Tag Archives: Singapore

An Afternoon at the Stadium

One hot Sunday afternoon in March, Daddy took Nyan to the free waterpark above the shopping mall that’s attached to the National Stadium. It’s not a huge waterpark at all — a small pool and a waterslide, basically — but it’s nice enough, especially for the price. Just next door is a lazy river attraction: for $2, you get an inner tube and unlimited spins around a slowly moving ‘river’. It’s quite pleasant. 

No photos of any of that, but here’s our boy doing a little dance after the lazy river. Not sure if he was dancing or trying to avoid the hot bricks. Maybe both?

As we were making our way home, we passed by the main entrance to the stadium. Turns out they were having an open house — inviting anyone and everyone to come in, check the place out and run around the track. So of course we did. We’ve been to the stadium many times, of course — for Monster Jam, for soccer matches, for rock concerts — but never been down on the floor when it was set up for athletics. Pretty cool. 

Nyan and Daddy went for a run, covering about half of the circular track. No video or photos of that either, though — we were too busy running. 

And finally, they had one of those awards-podium thingies like you see at the Olympics. Nyan had Daddy take a bunch of pictures of Nyan being No. 1. Then he took a picture of Daddy — but made sure that Daddy was number 2.

Competitive little fella, ain’t he?


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Posted by on April 27, 2018 in Uncategorized


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A Couple of Days at the Beach

One gloriously warm and sunny recent Friday afternoon, rather than just going home after school, Daddy decided to take Nyan down to the nearby East Coast Park. He thought it would be a quick stroll to the water, check out the ships, an early dinner, then home.  But no: it ended up being a lovely, multi-hour expedition that kept our here up well past his bedtime.

Here’s our hero, scooting his way toward the park.

Once he got to the sand, he refused to leave. And who can blame him: look at how perfect the weather was!

So he played, he dug, he chased the waves.

He also did some writing in the sand. Including a loving homage to Y2L, the name of his class at school.


We finally managed to get to a nearby restaurant for some food. While Daddy finished up his meal, Nyan wandered around, collecting coconuts.


Then… it was back to the beach for some nighttime sand play.

It was quite late when we got home. But we had such a blast that we went back on Sunday evening for more play!

We are definitely spoiled and blessed to live so close to such a beautiful park, that’s for sure.

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Posted by on April 12, 2018 in Uncategorized


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A Visit to the Istana

In the middle of heavily-developed central Singapore, there’s a big estate – just over 100 acres – of rolling hills, gardens, forests, and a grand old building called the Istana, which serves as the official residence and offices of Singapore’s president. Kind of like the White House, except Singapore’s president usually doesn’t actually live there. (Plus, the Singaporean president is much more of a ceremonial role than that of the U.S. president.) The Istana and its grounds are closed  to the public except on a tiny number of days each year.

One of the days it’s open is during the Chinese New Year holiday. Nyan had been learning about the Istana at school, so during the new year break in February, we paid the Istana a visit.

Here’s the building itself, and a guard outside the gates. We did get to tour the building, but no pictures allowed inside.

The grounds, though, are quite something,  swan-filled ponds, vast expanses of open field, and huge jungle plants.

We tried to take some family portrait selfies, which was a little difficult because the morning sunshine was quite bright.

We also played around with shadows in that bright light.

And we admired the decorative artillery gun in front of the main building.

We had been warned that if you don’t get to the Istana early, you have to stand in line for a long time to get in. We got there early and waltzed right in; a couple hours later, as we left, we saw that we were very glad to have been early.


And finally, after our trek around the Istana grounds, we headed to a shopping mall next door for a late breakfast. This particular mall features some very long sloping escalators, which our boy wanted to go up and down, but only on his own. So off he went.

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Posted by on March 20, 2018 in Uncategorized


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Celebrating the Year of the Dog

Chinese New Year — a.k.a. the Lunar New Year — is a big, big deal in Asia. In Singapore, it’s a bigger deal than Christmas, with nearly every store closed down for a couple days (whereas many stores and restaurants stay open for a normal business day on Christmas). There are family reunions constantly during the Chinese New Year celebrations, plus plenty of other activities. We took part in as many as we could, just to get into the spirit.

That included a visit to the official residence of Singapore’s president — more on that in a later post — and an evening spent in the heart of the action, Singapore’s Chinatown.

This year is considered the Year of the Dog, so Chinatown was full of dogs of all shapes and sizes. Like these giant inflatables towering over the main intersection:

There were also lots of these sort of foam rubber dogs, at a more human scale, all over the place too.

Lots of lanterns and lights everywhere (click to enlarge):

Nyan really enjoyed a permanent display of an old rickshaw that’s along one of the pedestrianized streets, I suppose to give a taste of what life was like back int he day.

We also popped into a giant Hindu temple that’s downtown, just for the heck of it. Not very Chinese New Year-y, but it’s a pretty amazing temple, plus there’s a nice patch of grass to roll around in.

Nyan’s school got into the New Year spirit too. Everyone dressed up in brightly  colored clothes for a school-wide assembly:

The kids also put on a very intricate and elaborate dance performance. We’re not sure what it actually means, but it’s actually quite impressive. Nyan can really move! This video is a bit long but worth it:

We close with a couple of shots of Nyan and Jayden. These two really do love each other.

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Posted by on March 14, 2018 in Uncategorized



Charles Darwin Comes to Singapore

Singapore’s ArtScience Museum hosted a traveling exhibit of goodies from London’s Natural History Museum, including some artifacts from Charles Darwin himself. Nyan’s always been a fan of Darwin — Darwin is, in fact, Nyan’s benchmark for if something or someone is old or not; if it’s older than Darwin, it’s old. If not, not so old — so off we went.

The Art Science Museum is downtown, part of the Marina Bay Sands complex, with great views of the city skyline.

Outside the exhibit was a fake tiger and gear that explorers would wear, which visitors could put on and be silly.

Inside were those artifacts from London, collected by naturalists over many years of exploring. There were lion statues and taxidermied tortoises…

And journal entries written by none other than Darwin himself!

We had fun messing around with shadows:

One of the conceits of the exhibit was, What if some of the skeletons at the museum came to life? And it showed video animation of the outcome – dolphins swimming through the halls of the museum; a pack of saber-tooth tigers snacking on some prey. Kinda cool. There was also a little light display meant to show a tiger’s footprints. Nyan enjoyed that:

They also had an interactive science lab, where kids could select items and actions on a computer screen and it would figure out the results of the experiment. Our boy was definitely into that.

But he said his favorite bit was the faux sailing ship that he could climb into and pretend to be steering across the ocean.

A very cool and informative exhibit.

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Posted by on March 11, 2018 in Uncategorized



The Singapore Air Show, Take Two

Every two years, Singapore hosts the Singapore Air Show. It’s mostly an exhibition for airplane makers (and arms dealers) to try to sell their stuff to Southeast Asian governments. But they also open it up to the public for aerobatics shows, tours of airplanes and helicopters, and more. It’s a young boy’s dream; we attended the show in 2016 and weren’t going to miss the 2018 edition, either.

Here’s our hero in the taxi ride to the show. Check out that expression when we pass the airfield and he gets his first glimpse of all the jets parked there, waiting for him:

And sure enough, there were military jets, private jets, helicopters, you name it. Some of them were just for display; others had huge lines of people waiting to tour inside or sit in the cockpit.

Besides a helicopter or two, we took a tour of a US Air Force plane – an aging AWACS radar plane with what looked like 1960s technology, but which the crew said would be used for another 30 years or so.

We also made sure to get a good position for the aerial show, which featured plans from number of regional Air Forces – including Singapore, of course – showing off what they can do with their planes.

The Singapore Air Force had its own pavilion, with lots of displays of its technology, and even a model of a fighter jet for kids to sit in and take pictures.

And inside the cavernous exhibition hall were displays from scores of companies who sell everything from airplane seatbelts to military drones. Nyan was really into the model airplanes. Daddy was less into the crowds.

Among the exhibitors was the company that operates Singapore’s Changi Airport. They are in the midst of building a new shopping mall at the airport called Changi Jewel, and they had a scale model of the new mall on display.

The new mall will include a special feature: high-grade netting that will be suspended high above the ground for people to walk and bounce on. There was a section of the netting on display at the airshow, and people were welcome to try it out. So we did.

Fun stuff!

Bonus: A day or two before the airshow, some jets from the Korean air force were practicing some moves ahead of their display at the airshow. But, oops, on take-off, one of them lost control or something and, well, things did not end well:

No one was hurt, happily, but the Koreans had to pull out of the aerobatics show. Too bad. (Video sent by a friend.)

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Posted by on March 2, 2018 in Uncategorized



Sunday at Peninsula Plaza

In downtown Singapore, there’s an art deco-style skyscraper called Peninsula Plaza. It’s a shopping mall on the first few floors and then an office tower above that, and it’s sometimes called Little Burma, because the place is chock full of Burmese restaurants, groceries, travel agencies and shops.

It’s a place we’ve been to a lot, so when Nyan had a school assignment to write a little bit about a special place in Singapore that his classmates may not know about, he opted for Peninsula Plaza. We didn’t really *have* to pay it a visit, since we know it so well already, but any excuse for some good Burmese food. So off we went.

That’s the building itself, and Nyan standing outside it on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

The place was packed – there are thousands of Burmese domestic workers and construction workers here, and Sunday is their day off, when they all converge on Peninsula Plaza to eat and socialize – but we managed to find a table at a restaurant in the basement.

When Nyan wasn’t eating, he was drawing.

Maybe the best part of Peninsula Plaza, for Nyan at least, is a store on the first floor called Sin Toy. It’s full of cheap, junky toys, but every once in a while you can find a gem – like a die-cast metal airplane. It’s the shop where his big Singapore Airlines A380 model came from, and on this visit, he managed to convince Daddy to buy him a Jetstar plane.

Not a bad day.

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Posted by on February 18, 2018 in Uncategorized


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