Sunday, November 29, 2015

Punggol Promenade, Lorong Halus and Coney Island [28/11]

The visit to Coney island with FP has been in the plans for 1 month since it was officially opened. From Google Map, it appears there are two ways to get to Coney island - either from Lorong Halus or from Punggol Settlement. NParks recommend visitors to take a bus 84 from Punggol Interchange to Punggol Settement and walk 500m to the Coney Island West entrance. Street Directory map shows there are 3 connections from the mainland with the 3rd bridge connecting from the Punggol Promenade. It was later verified that this 3rd bridge is actually not in existence.

Our focus is to have a one way walk from one point to another and not do a back track. Secondly, besides exploring Coney Island, we can also check out Punggol Promenade and Lorong Halus at the same time since it's only next to each other. The best way is to come in from Lorong Halus and exit at Punggol Settlement. We decided to take a cab to Lorong Halus from Joo Chiat, which cost around $15.

It is 1.15pm when we arrived at the Lorong Halus wetland reserved. There is an exhibit and rest area explaining about the wetlands. 

It is an absolute nature getaway. 

Behind the main entrance, is a crossroad. One path will lead to Coney Island, and another to Punggol Promenade. Since we would like to visit Punggol Promenade at the same time, we decided to cross the bridge. 

The weather is perfect for photography. Here is the steel bridge connecting Lorong Halus to Punggol. 

Towards south on the left, is a great view of Punggol new town. 

And to the north on the right, is a view of Serangoon Reservoir Dam. 

Past the bridge are the lalang fields. Before Lorong Halus was developed, this area were filled with lalang fields. Now only a small part of it is left. 

A short walk away are some rest pavilions and benches. 

There is a curve walkway linking to the bridge that links to the opposite side of the shore. 

Here is a vantage view of the bridges and pathway. 

From the bridge at the other side, we can see the Punggol waterway. It looks very impressive.  

We walked further down slightly to get a feel of the Punggol Promenade. Here is a scene of Coney island and the dam from the opposite shore.  

We made our way back to Lorong Halus to where the crossroad is and proceed down the path towards Coney Island. This side of the road is not yet paved. There are workers clearing the path and I believed the road should be ready in a few months time. 

Past the dirt track, is the dam linking our Singapore mainland to the east entrance of Coney island. From this bridge, we can catch a view of Changi Point and Pulau Ubin.

Here I am at the east gate of Coney island. 

Here is the map of Coney island below. It is an approximate 3km walk from one end of Coney island to another end. From the east gate, there are the East Promenade, several beaches and well-walked side dirt roads to the southern parts of the island. 

We explored the East Promenade first. It is just better paved roads with some benches.

The main road is basically a dirt track that stretches all the way. There is not much sight except for greenery. 

There are 5 beaches where visitors can hang around.

It took us around 2 hours to cover the Punggol Promenade, Lorong Halus and Coney Island before we reached the Punggol Settlement.

Another good method to explore Coney island is on bicycle. Visitors can rent bicycle from the Punggol Settlement. But as most of the track are dirt track, it will be quite tough to also cycle on those roads. 

While waiting for the bus, the Punggol ranch is just next to the final stop. We walked around and take a look at it.

From there we took a bus 84 back to Punggol Interchange. It is just a 10mins ride away

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Legoland Malaysia [11/06 - 12/06]

On this day we are going to Legoland Malaysia. I have been to the entrance of Legoland a few months back with my BDS friends, but had not stayed at the hotel or went into the theme park itself. This time round, with AJ, we will be staying overnight at the hotel and going to both theme park. We bought two return bus-tickets from WTS Travel online which cost around S$50. And also booked online Legoland Hotel with 2 sets of 2 days combo tickets, coming up to RM1260 (S$500). 

We rendezvous at the Singapore Flyer at 8am, and received the boarding pass to the bus. It departed at 8.30am sharp. As we were there early, we walked around the Singapore Flyer and was captivated by the quiet morning scene of the Singapore river.

The journey is quite fast, taking around 1 hour. But custom clearance is an additional 1 hour at the Singapore end. First thing first is to check into Legoland Hotel. Below is a picture of the reception.

There are lots of lego bricks for people to play with.

After we have done our check-in and deposit our luggage at the concierge, we walked along Medini Mall, which is just besides legoland. We saw artists drawing images of people and it cost RM10 per person. So we decided to have our portrait drawn. It cost RM10 for my single black and white portrait and RM40 for our couple colour portrait.  

Below is the colour couple portrait.

Here is the bird's eye view of legoland.

As we approached the entrance, we were captivated by figures below.

One of the first ride we took is the train ride.

We continue to try out the different rides and went for different lego workshop experiences. Our favorite ride is the laser shooting ride and the car-making workshop is one of the two memorable experience. (seen below)

We made our own car and race with others. Below is a video of the race. We have been winning every round.


It is 4pm, time to bunk into our room. Legoland hotel elevator has different theme music in it.

Our hotel room is the castle-theme room.

It is large and could easily accommodate 5 people.

Here is the castle-theme corridor.

One of the floor has access to the swimming pool.

We went back to Medini Mall for our dinner. And we had Thai food. It is quite affordable after conversion to Singapore dollars. A sumptuous dinner for two is around S$40.

There is a secret safe in our room which have free lego souvenirs. It will ask you the number of snails, the number of shields, the number of dice and so on. If you could not decipher it, the secret number is 3335. You can also ask the reception for help.

Breakfast is provided but it gets real crowded in the morning.

On the second day, we decided to visit the water theme park.

This is one of our favorite attraction in the water park, when the big pail of water come splashing down.

There is also a pseudo-beach wave area.

We also went for the inflatable boat ride below.

In the afternoon, we joined in a tour of the lego miniland with customer experience manager below. It is a 30mins tour where he brought us around the different sites. Below he is explaining to us the different kampong houses. 

Here is our Singapore scene.

Before the end of the day, we went for the technics lab. This is the second of the most fun lego experience in the park. If you would like to sign up for it, be sure to do it after you have arrived at the park to book your time. We have the lab technician explaining to us briefly on the 4 objectives we have to complete in 20mins:
1) Control the robot to perform injection
2) Remove bad cells
3) Cut one of the veins
4) Add in vitamins

We successfully completed all the tasks in 20mins. Below is a video of the first task - injection.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sydney [18/04 - 25/04]

This will be my first time visiting to Sydney. It's also the first time visiting to a major Australian city. The last time I visited Australia was back in my secondary school days when we visited the desert and iron ore facilities in Pilbara - Western Australia as part of an educational tour. 

I booked the flight out on Saturday morning as I was planning to do some work on Sunday before the start of a week long programme there. As I arrived at the gate, I was pleasantly surprised to be given a free upgrade to business class. And I am also granted express lane at customs control upon arrival.

Past the airline experience, I took a cab from the airport to Parkroyal Darling Harbor, which is 30mins away and the ride cost A$60. According to my colleague, the hotel room has a cosy feel which I find to be very true.

19th April 2015 (Sunday)

Sunday is the only day where I have the most free time available. After consulting with Lonely Planet Sydney and a few other travel guides, I came up with a walking tour of the below route. In all, it took us 6 hours (starting at 9.30am and ending at 3.30pm). The landmarks at each point are listed below:
1) City Hall and Queen Victoria Building
2) Sydney Observatory
3) The Rocks
4) Sydney Opera House
5) Royal Botanical Gardens
6) Art Gallery of New South Wales
7) Martin Place
8) St Mary Cathedral
9) Memorial at Hyde Park
A) Shopping at Pitt Street
B) Central Station
C) Market City Shopping Center
D) Chinatown and the Gardens

We left our hotel and began our uphill walk towards the City Hall and Queen Victoria Building (QVB) area. QVB is actually a shopping mall.

And we proceed along George Street, which is the main street of the central business district where there is a mix of old and modern buildings along the way. In the picture below, we have an old office building with shopping centers around it and the tall Sydney Tower behind.

After an hour of walking, we arrived at Sydney Observatory. There are showcases of telescopes and astronomy in there.

From there, we have good vantage view of the residential area and the river beyond.

As well as a very good view of Sydney Bridge.

We walked along the winding road from there towards the Rock, beneath the bridge.

And there is a large outdoor market with pubs around the Rock.

At last we arrived at the Sydney Harbor which provides great view of the Opera House and a large cruise ship besides.

Here is another perspective of the Sydney Bridge.

A view of central Sydney Harbor bustling with people.

And a closer view of Sydney Opera House.

We walked through the Royal Botanical Gardens next.

On the grounds of the Royal Botanical Gardens is the old parliament house. They offer free tours every 30mins. We did not sign up for it as we just missed it.

As it is around lunch time (12.30pm), we decided to stop here for lunch.

After lunch at 1.30pm, we proceed down towards the Art Gallery of New South Wales. It is at the corner of the Royal Botanical Gardens. This gallery has been mentioned by the travel guides a few times, so we decided to pop in and take a look. Entry is free.

There are European and Australian arts being showcased in there.

And we made our way towards Martin Place, there are several museums lining along the street.

Here is the majestic St Mary Cathedral. I will recommend a visit to the cathedral to have a quiet moment and reflection on life.

Outside the cathedral, we have a statue of a little boy using the iPad (according to my friend Perry).

We arrived at the quiet waters of the memorial ground in Hyde Park.

Just next to Hyde park, are the shopping streets of Pitt and George Street. We arrived at the City Market shopping center. At the first floor, there are hundreds of shops selling souvenirs trinkets.

We spent 3 of our nights in our hotel for dinner as it was raining heavily in Sydney. For the other nights, it's at Darling Harbour. We have the day scene and night scene below.

And here are the meals we have in Darling Harbour. The first is My Angus with their great entrees below.

And also Blue Fish seafood below.

And we are back to My Angus for their steak and ribs below.

Here is our dinner group photo.

On Thursday and Friday evenings when the sky start to clear up, we started to do shopping. Here are some interesting shopping stuff. There are Kangaroo, Ostrich and Crocodile Jerky.

The famous local Australia Vegemite.

And lots of Manuka Honey.

We departed from Sydney to Singapore on the 25th April. Below is picture of the lounge.

As our plane depart from the terminal, it will travel over the bridge to the runway as seen below.