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  • Writer's pictureKeef Hellinger

Blog 199 Travel Blog 2 Weeks in Singapore for Charlie's 9th Birthday

Updated: Nov 16

Created by KeefH Web Designs, November 4th, 2023, 7.24 AM


A Bonfire of a Travel Blog by KeefH Web Designs


Not The Motorhome trip No 20 : October 16th 2023 – November 2nd 2023 18 wonderful day in total spent with family


MENU

  1. Overview

  2. Panorama's

  3. Diary

  4. Snapshot of a few Highlights

  5. Charlie's Birthday

  6. Slideshows

  7. Flowers and Fruit

  8. Movies - The Talkies

  9. Travel Route and Maps

  10. Audiobook

  11. Singapore, land expansion

  12. The End, until we meet again

OVERVIEW

This is a KHWD travel blog, Travel Blog 199 by KeefH Web Designs showing family visit to Singapore for granddaughter's 9th birthday fun and featuring Cable cars to Sentosa and Foodie fun including finally Hawker Chan's 1 star Michelin Singapore Chicken and Rice, Awfully Chocolate, Quentin's Eurasian restaurant in Joo Chatt area (our 3rd visit but no stinky bean this time but whilst we are on stinky definitely some lovely gooey Durian, yummy) and a new experience in Indonesian BBQ chicken which relegates Colonel Saunders to the bin! #smile This was our 10th visit to Singapore (so far!) Doug and Phoenix kindly took me to the wonderful Old Colonial Coastal Settlement restaurant for my 69th birthday celebrations. Another yummy! We even managed the wonderful movie "Killers of the Flower Moon" at the Shaw theatre in the Jewel centre on a revisit to see the largest indoor waterfall in the world, i 'm still wondering how they got that glass bowl into what was originally Changi Terminal 1's car park #yourspuzzled

sentosa island siloso beach singapore, so tropical by KeefH Web Designs
sentosa island siloso beach singapore, so tropical

WARNING (Privacy)

In the interest of protecting our grandchildren's identity on You Tube I have made any slideshow or movie "PRIVATE" that contain images of them. Clearly should you as friends or family wish to see an unprotected version feel free to contact me via the Let's Chat button here on the site providing your name and email address and I will gladly change the security authority for you to an unprotected version so that you will be able to view, OK?. I appreciate your support in this to help in what has now become sadly a rather treacherous world online in some specific cases.

Much appreciated Keef x

lets chat box provided by KeefH Web Designs to enable privacy request for my You Tube content
normally found in the bottom right hand side of your screen

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PANORAMAS

KHWD travel blog style panoramas are fun to take sometimes however movement creates quite a weird effect, see what you think

colonial settlement restaurant for Keef's 69th  by KeefH Web Designs
colonial settlement restaurant for Keef's 69th
japanese yo sushi style lunch bit distorted pano sorry by KHWD
japanese yo sushi style lunch bit distorted pano sorry
jewel waterfall panorama the largest indoor waterfall in the world by KHWD
jewel waterfall panorama the largest indoor waterfall in the world

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DIARY

Here is the calendar overview of our wonderful 18 days spent with family in Singapore, maybe use the map to identify where each referenced place is, just a thought.

Blog 199 Diary of what we did when in Singapore created by KHWD
Blog 199 Diary of what we did when in Singapore

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A FEW HIGHLIGHTS

Here is a gallery of some of the many highlights of our 2 week visit for the 10th time to Singapore.

Here are some of the souvenirs we collected on our travels, especially the Mount Faber and Sentosa Island fans as the cable cars are not air conditioned, an essential item for travelling up their above the dense jungle below, a snapshot of what Singapore first looked like pre development with monkeys, snakes and monitor lizards a standard. It still fascinates me that the world famous Raffles hotel of Singapore Sling fame is on Beach Road which believe kit or not looking now was once on the beach, land reclamation is an ever changing feast in Singapore.

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CHARLIE'S BIRTHDAY

Our lovely grand daughter was 9 and we celebrated with a variety of meals and the big day itself with traditional presents which were a fun challenge Lego wise. We went to awfully chocolate chosen by the birthday girl herself on the Sunday prior to her birthday, then we had presents and ice cream cake on her birthday at home. Poor Charlie she had a series of 4 school exams on and during her birthday week, but she did super well. On the Saturday it was the big birthday BBQ at ECP (East Coast Park) with all her friends, lots of lighting decorations and a HAPPY BIRTHDAY banner that took G&G and with Phoenix's help to quell our frustrations at the entanglement a few hours but oh so worth it. Lots of glow sticks in the dark on the beach. They all looked wonderful. We had a long chat with the South African grand parents of one of Charlie's friends. A lovely evening only marred slightly by poor Doug and Alfie's fall on the rocks. But all's well that end's well!. We also went to Quentin's Eurasian restaurant, one we have been to twice before as a denouement of her birthday. No stinky bean this time though. A great time and a privilege to be there for her birthday.

This movie which is PRIVATE & PROTECTED is 8 minutes long

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SLIDESHOWS

Monday 16th to Friday 20th October 2023. Packed up the car with our 2 suitcases and headed off down the UK's M1 motorway in what for the current period where storms Babet and Ciaran have been all the news was a very calm and mostly sunny day. With of course the obligatory motorway snarl up of travelling many miles at a snail's pace. We arrived on Floor 4 area B as directed by our meet & greet company and had the parking ticket for entry which naively I assumed the company would get when they left to take our car off site but no they took me over to the pay terminal to pay for it. Last time that was included, oh well thats progress #smile We then did all the usual checking in at Heathrow , dropped off the suitcases and had a bite to eat. WH Smith's meal deal seemed to be the best deal on offer , just a hint. The Singapore airlines flight left more or less on time and seeing there were not any movies , really that we fancied, we both mostly listened to music. The Last Domino tour album by Genesis for me, a true delight! Between broken sleep although I did manage about 4 hours this time, an all time record for me, I watched Titanic, so sad! Phoenix and Charlie met us at the terminal in Changi Airport, Singapore which was lovely. Taxi back to Marine drive, our new super wheelie Samsonite suitcases made the journey so much easier.

After a meal and catch up it was earlyish to bed. Next few days were great fun catching up with the kids, playing, helping Charlie with her revision (allegedly!) Alfie's new seeds pre school and Charlie's ballet in East Coast Road. Here is a slideshow memory.

Saturday 21st October 2023

We went of by taxi to the coastal settlement restaurant over in the Changi Point area, what used to be the old british military barracks that my Uncle Wally (bless his soul!) probably served at. Doug & Phoenix had taken aunty Linda there on her and Ian's cruise trip into Singapore so now it was Grandpa's turn to celebrate his birthday. Lovely setting so tropical but with masses of 50s etc. memorabilia. Nice meal for all I had possibly the best Nasi Lemak I have ever had.

Post meal we went for a wander outside just as the heavens opened, so we sheltered viewing lovely tropical plants, a banana tree in full fruit and some quirky other stuff especially the rotting caravan. Inside both motorbikes and scooters were very interesting. Many thanks Singapore Hellingers for a lovely 69th birthday experience.

Want to see more of this colonial experience?.

Sunday 22nd October 2023

We all breakfasted at the "big tree" hawker centre, a tradition, dining on egg filled paratha, kopi (coffee) and OJ. Just lovely and Michael came over to tell us all about his grand kids studying at posh UK & US universities. How kind of him #smile we were yet unknown to us get a repeat of this the following Sunday. A very nice man however who clearly spends a lot of time at that particular Hawker centre and is just so friendly as indeed nearly every one we met is in Singapore. I loved being called an old uncle NOT! Folks would stop and as us if we need help often, now where would you get that in London I ask myself. In the evening for Charlie's 1st birthday meal celebration we went to Awfully Chocolate in East Coast Road. Now guess whose choice of venue that was? A nice meal and venue, especially liked my Beef Brisket infused with chocolate, well it tasted that way. The puds understandably were to die for. The Air Con how ever was a little on the chilly side, I wondered if that was "chocolate related".

Monday 23rd October 2023

Took the bus to Dhoby Gault, a trip we have done before on previous trips to visit the Singapore Museum, a must if you are in the country. We went with Phoenix and visited Spotlight (the Australian fabrics chain) in Plaza Singapura, so Annie could get crochet hooks for Charlie and wool for Granny's lessons, lets keep these skills going between generations. We also got some Christmas fabrics for Granny to make then outfits for the up and coming Xmas time. We then went to the food court to finally sample Hawker Chan's Singapore chicken rice, a personal mission stretching back over the years. Approx. £4 for a Michelin starred meal, beat that #hintsandtips

Tuesday 24th (Charlie's 9th Birthday) to Thursday 26th October 2023

The main images which are kept private of Charlie's birthday are available under the appropriate heading. On Thursday we headed out to do a tourist trip for the first time which in our 10 trips to Singapore we have not done before. We have been to Sentosa back in the day but never used the cable cars. So it was 16 bus to Dakota MRT, then east west line to Harbourside where rather than buy your cable car tickets online #hintaandtips it is better on the ground floor to negotiate your tickets by telling them you are seniors (if indeed you are). We saved a lot, the combined ticket for both cable cars was SG$50, clearly if you are Singaporean or local resident it is much cheaper still. Finding the appropriate building for the Mount Faber cable car is easy from the Harbourside MRT , come out at exit B and follow the signage. #doddle So we went up Mount Faber , some fab views ate the top and then down using the cable car across the Pandan Straits to Sentosa Island. A few minutes walk and you are on the second cable car which like the Mount Faber cable car has three stops. Going from the Merlion stop near the Madame Tussauds to Siloso beach, what a beach, wonderful view, we had a walk around here, shame we hadn't bought our swims with us. Didn't go to the Sentosa cove gated area though , just didn't have enough company directorships to get in sadly #smile Really enjoyed our day being tourists. See the slideshow.

50th anniversary of the Singaporean Cable Cars, route map by KHWD
50th anniversary of the Singaporean Cable Cars, route map

Friday 27th to Sunday 29th October 2023

Saturday was Charlie's big birthday BBQ with pals down at the BBQ pit in East Coast Park, such a lovely setting. The main images which are kept private of Charlie's birthday BBQ are available under the appropriate heading. Sunday we went to the Hawker centre for the trad Paratha breakfast and in the afternoon by bus to the Geylang area to dine at Quentin's Eurasian restaurant. As Charlie said to me Grandpa I'm Eurasian, sadly she didn't get to eat free there though! We counted this as the last of Charlie's birthday treats. The fish curry there is to die for, lovely Barramundi in a fab sauce. Highly recommended #yummy

Monday 30th October until 2nd November, the long trip Home

We revisited the wonderful Jewel at Changi Terminal 1 as we were so impressed by the world's largest indoor waterfall last time that we just needed another visit. Bus 36 outside the Roxy Mercure all the way to T2 where we walked through to Jewel. You can of course stay on the bus and get off at T1 which is where we got on on the return journey, security checks and all. We got in early as were going to see "Killers of the Flower Moon" at the Shaw theatre inside Jewel. Tip take long trousers and a jumper, Singaporean cinema's are set on air con setting "Antarctic". After looking around the fab Jewel post movie which we can't recommend enough we had lunch in one of the many eateries before returning to Marine Drive. A great last day doing touristy things!

Here is a bit of a write up about Jewel. A wonder of the modern world. The Jewel in Singapore is home to the world’s largest indoor waterfall, the HSBC Rain Vortex. It stands at 40 meters tall and cascades down from the dome-shaped roof of Jewel Changi Airport. The waterfall is surrounded by a five-story greenhouse and can channel 10,000 gallons of water per minute. To create that even circular flow of water down the Rain Vortex, there are structural features built into the exterior of the building. The “fins” outside the dome structure make up a network of pipes that channel water to the ring in the middle of the oculus. The oculus then distributes the water down the Rain Vortex and gives it an even complete circular effect. The water stretches all the way from the roof, down to Basement 3 (B3), where the catchment area is. The water stored in B3 is then pumped back up around the perimeter of the building to the oculus, where the cycle repeats itself.

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FLOWERS AND FRUIT

This video shows many of the wonderful tropical flowers and fruits we experienced once again in Singapore. I have set the video to have a background of Clarke Quay at night and used the final Beatles single, Now and then. Although we ate Durian this time, a frozen version of the King Fruit just yummy, I only have a limited shot of the fruit at the local Parkway Parade market. On the video are frangipani, blue pea (a fascinating orchid like plant with the scent of pea shoots that Charlie introduced me to), hibiscus, angel plant, bougainvillea and many others. The fruits include dragon fruit, longan like lychee, rambutan, fresh dates and more. Take a look.

King Gold Durian on sale at the local market, we had the frozen version as at this time of year (not Durian season) those on sale are both expensive and of poorer quality, so says a durian aficionado #maybe #teehee

image of king gold durian taken by KHWD in singapore market
fruit of the gods, maybe, banned in most indoor and confined spaces, durian not me obs!

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THE TALKIES

This movie is 4 minutes long and provided a flavour of some of our 2 weeks+ fun

This move which is PRIVATE & PROTECTED is 22 minutes long

Thanks for viewing KHWD

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TRAVEL ROUTE & MAPS


Zoom in and out using this map to locate the places referred to in the Blog, our family live in this region. East Coast park is just a fabulous area to live in. We took buses and MRTs (Mass Rapid Transport system or tube to us old Londoners) which are all very cheap and A/C-ed. An example £2.55 28 stops from Dakota MRT to Harbourside MRT for our day out on the cable cars and across to Sentosa Island.

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AUDIOBOOK

Listen to the blog if it is easier for you. There is also a slideshow with audio book overview but be warned this is 17 minutes long and the individual slideshow content can be found in shorter versions elsewhere on this blog and / or just listen to the audio version here, its much quicker, thanks for looking, KeefH Web Designs.

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SINGAPORE, DEVELOPMENT & EXPANSION VIA RECLAIMED LAND


Only for the very nerdy, but created by KHWD using AI (copilot - ChatGPT) from the latest MS OS version H223 to answer a question that has fascinated me ever since our first trip to Raffles on beach road. Here's what I got, it makes interesting reading. Feel free to click on the embedded link within the write up to read even more about this fascinating subject. Over and Out Kx

Singapore is a small island nation that has limited natural land area. To overcome this challenge, Singapore has used land reclamation to expand its territory and create more space for development and urbanization. Land reclamation is the process of creating new land from the sea or other water bodies by adding materials such as sand, soil, rocks, or cement. Land reclamation in Singapore began in the early 19th century, when Sir Stamford Raffles arrived and established a British colony. He planned to develop a commercial district along the south bank of the Singapore River, but the area was low-lying and marshy. Therefore, he ordered the leveling of a nearby hill to fill up the wetlands and build an embankment along the river. This was the first land reclamation project in Singapore, which gave rise to Boat Quay and Commercial Square (now Raffles Place).

Since then, Singapore has continued to reclaim land from the sea, especially after its independence in 1965. Singapore has increased its land area by 22% since then, from 578 sq km to 719 sq km . Some of the major areas that were created by land reclamation include Changi Airport, Jurong Island, Marina Bay, and Tuas Port. Land reclamation has enabled Singapore to accommodate its growing population, economy, and industrialisation, as well as to preserve its historical and cultural heritage. Land reclamation has also helped Singapore to enhance its coastal protection from climate change and sea level rise

Singapore plans to expand its land area by another 7-8% by 2030, using different methods of land reclamation . One of the challenges that Singapore faces is the shortage and restriction of sand, which is the main material used for land reclamation. Sand is sourced from neighboring countries, but some of them have banned or limited the export of sand to Singapore due to environmental and political reasons . Therefore, Singapore has switched to alternative methods such as impoldering, which is a technique from the Netherlands that involves building a dyke around an area of water and pumping it dry to create new land. This method requires less fill materials and reduces the upfront construction costs . Singapore has also explored other innovative solutions such as floating structures, underground spaces, and vertical cities to optimize its land use and create more space for its future needs.

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THAT'S ALL FOLKS

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