Hokkaido 2016 Photography Adventure Day 0

20th October 2016 – Day 0

My Hokkaido 2016 photography adventure began in the early morning of Thursday 20th October. I was taking Scoot TZ 216 to Sapporo (Hokkaido) New Chitose via Taipei, departure at 0615hrs. Scoot currently fly to Sapporo (Hokkaido) three times a week with their Dreamliner 787. This is an travel route worth considering for those who wish to fly to Hokkaido on a budget.

The Scoot flight schedule was as follows

TZ 216

0615hrs – 1045hrs Taipei (Taoyuan International Airport)

1155hrs – 1700hrs Sapporo, Hokkaido (New Chitose Airport)

During my flight from Singapore to Taipei, the flight encountered some gusty cross winds and a bit of heavy air traffic at Taoyuan, causing the plane to be slightly delayed in their arrival timing. The transit procedure wasn’t too difficult, just like any other transit procedure at international airports. After another round of hand carry baggage security check, I was back at the departure gate to board my next leg of flight from Taipei to Sapporo.

Overall, the flight from Singapore to Sapporo via Taipei was pretty smooth with the usual turbulence along the flight route. I did manage to capture the sunset at Hokkaido from my seat prior to the plane landing at New Chitose Airport.

Upon landing at New Chitose Airport, night time has arrived in Hokkaido. After clearing immigration, my friend, Kato san, who is also my Hokkaido Photo Guide for Days 4 to 7, picked me from the airport and gave me a lift to Otaru where I based myself for the next 4 nights

While driving along the highway from New Chitose Airport to Otaru, snow rain fell on the highway, winter season kind of arrived early for Hokkaido and my friend Kato san said, “The snow welcomes you back to Hokkaido!” This is really awesome but I am not prepared for early Hokkaido winter! The snow rain was pretty heavy at some stage and Kato san had to drive more slowly and carefully!

Upon reaching Otaru, we went for dinner together and I chose ramen for a cold chilly autumn night. My first Hokkaido meal, was simply amazing, authentic ramen in Japan! I had a good chat and catch up with Kato san, he also passed me some brochures and tourism information for the areas that I wanted to explore on my own during my first 3 days in Hokkaido.

My hotel was Dormy Inn Premium Otaru, right in front of JR Otaru station, very ideal location, they have onsen too! After checking in and settling down, I immediately head towards the onsen! I missed the onsen experience in Hokkaido, it was really amazing, soothing and relaxing, allowing me to have a good sleep on my first night in Hokkaido!

Hokkaido Autumn 2016 Day 0


Created with flickr slideshow.



Hokkaido Autumn 2016


Created with flickr slideshow.

Canon Valentine’s Day Gift Guide 2017

Valentine’s Day 2017 is just round the corner, if you are planning something special and unique for your special someone, you would need something beyond your Valentine’s Day gift.

Let me share with you some ideas that can be helpful and important to help you capture down your Valentine’s Day 2017 memories (or proposal) with some technology gadgets recommendations from Canon and the steps to creating your Valentine’s Day proposal moments –

Step #1 – Creating the mood with appropriate decorations  

Canon PIXMA TS8070 (SGD $299.00)

From the moment that you both became “Instagram-official” countless of photos must have been taken and shared on social media platforms. Now’s the time to put these photos to good use by printing them out and decorating the event venue with them.

With the help of the PIXMA TS8070, which supports a new 5” by 5” (square) photo paper, you can easily print all the photos you shared on Instagram and use them as part of the venue decoration. As the printer is wireless and promises a quick and easy set-up, you need not waste precious time setting up the printer, but can instead print the photos straight from your phone.

Equipped with a six-colour hybrid ink system, the flagship printer delivers highest quality prints, ensuring that the venue is adequately jazzed up.

Step #2 – Going down on one knee

 Canon RAYO i8 (SGD $749.00)

With the RAYO i8 in one pocket, and the ring in the other, you are now all set for the perfect proposal. Now all you have to do is just ask!

Measuring at just 111 x 111 x 17.2mm and weighing only 269g, the RAYO i8 mini projector fits easily into the back pocket of your jeans. With the ease of portability, the video montage you prepared for the day can be stored on smart devices and streamed directly via either wired or wireless networks.

Despite its tiny size, the RAYO i8 punches above its weight. With its ability to enlarge content to a 158” image on any surface while delivering continuous brightness at 100 lumens, the RAYO i8 ensures that the video montage you put together will be delivered in great clarity, evoking all the necessary emotions for your partner to say yes.

Top this off with up to 2 hours of run-time on a single charge, you have all the time you need to muster up your courage and ask.

Step #3 – Photographing the big moment

Canon EOS M5                                                   
EOS M5 (Body) SGD $1,669.00
 
EOS M5 Kit (EF-M15-45 IS STM)  SGD $1,499.00

EOS M5 kit (EF M18-150mm) SGD $2,099.00

*Disclaimer: This step should be outsourced to friends or family present, least you miss the perfect photo opportunity and have to get down on your knee all over again*

Of course, you have to have a camera to capture your special day, and share the memories with the extended family.  The new Canon EOS M5 boasts of one of Canon’s most impressive features – the Dual Pixel CMOS AF. This state-of-the-art function helps provide smooth and precise AF for photos and videos even while staring through the camera’s EVF.

To top it off, the EOS M5 also shoots at a rate of 7fps with continuous AF and 9fps when focus is locked – perfect for capturing fast activity unfolding in the field. Every happy tear shed will be captured with absolute precision.  Plus, with a shutter that is virtually silent, you don’t have to fear alerting your partner before you actually get down on your knee and ask.

If you were too flustered before the actual proposal and had forgotten to find a photographer, fret not!

The inclusion of the new Bluetooth Smart feature allows the camera to stay fully connected to a smartphone or tablet running Canon’s Camera Connect application. All you have to do is to find a suitable spot to put the camera, dash back to your partner, get back down on one knee, and control the EOS M5 from your smartphone.

Step #4 – Printing photo souvenirs for friends and family

Canon SELPHY CP1200 (SGD $199.00)

*Disclaimer: You may wish to skip this step if your partner said no. Sorry. *

Now that the difficult part is out of the way, it’s time to show your appreciation for all that helped you put the event together. Weighing at only 860 grams, the SELPHY CP1200 can be easily brought to the proposal venue.

The simple button layout easily allows you to easily print photos from your Canon EOS M5 via Wi-Fi, on a variety of layouts and sizes such as postcard prints, while the date printing function ensures that you never forget this memorable date.

A simple handwritten thank you note can be crafted on the back on the post card print, and given out to all those who are present.With the optional battery pack, you need not worry about finding a power socket should you decide to propose on a yacht out at sea!

If you are planning to propose to your special one during this Valentine’s Day, hope the 4 steps and gadget recommendations help you in some way or another!

However, if you are planning to celebrate with your Valentine’s Day with your special one, all the above photography, printing and technology gadgets are definitely useful and handy to have a romantic and special time with your special one, take photographs with the Canon EOS M5, project them on the screen/wall using RAYO i8, view the precious and priceless moments together as a couple! After viewing them, you can print them out as memories using the Canon SELPHY CP1200 and PIXMA TS8070 for both of you to keep!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Happy Friendship Day!

* Pictures courtesy of Canon Singapore*

Lego Batman is coming to save the City!

Batman and Lego fans, this is the time to get hyped up and excited! Lego Batman is coming to save the City, showing today on 9th February 2017 in Singapore! The adult fans of Lego would love it (especially if you are also a fan of Batman) along with their children!

I am a Lego fan, I have collected some Lego toys although I haven’t reach the hardcore serious Lego collector yet (I should write a post on my cousin’s huge Lego collection if he allows me to)

Lego Batman is coming to save the City, with a fun event at ION Orchard, new Lego Batman toys for you to play with and the movie is showing today on 9th February 2017! 

Lego Batman Escape Room Event at ION Orchard B4 ION Station (24th Jan to 18th Feb, 10am to 10pm)

If you are a parent, bring your children down to ION Orchard and have fun inside the Lego Batman Escape Room, it’s a fun hands on experience with Lego bricks and toys, your children would love it! I am also quite sure that inside you, there is still a child in you that wants to play with Lego, go in, play and build Lego with your children, this is going to be a great family bonding and fun time with Lego bricks!

As an adult fan of Lego, I had fun playing with Lego Batman bricks and toys! I didn’t take much photographs because I was too busy and engrossed with playing Lego Batman toys or looking at the new Lego toys!

Thank you Bricks World for inviting me down the Lego Batman Escape Room Event prior to watching the premiere of The Lego Batman Movie!

6181406 Lego Batman Movie Maker

Would you like to make your own Lego based video? With this Lego Batman Movie Maker, you can use your smartphone to produce your own stop motion videos! Here’s the link!

Premiere of The Lego Batman Movie

It was an honour, a great pleasure and fun to watch the premiere of The Lego Batman Movie at Shaw Lido theatre prior to the official release of the movie this week in Singapore.

I just want to share some personal thoughts and feelings after I watched The Lego Batman Movie. First and foremost, I am not a movie/film critic and it’s also not meant to be a movie review.

The Lego Batman Movie is not like the ones you saw on the movie screens, this movie is family oriented, the bonding, relationships and friendships. The starting and ending movie segments were really comical and funny, I was thinking what happened and why, followed by me laughing at Batman’s wisdom of words!

Colours and quality of the digital animation works are really excellent, for those who love digital animation videos, you have to watch The Lego Batman Movie.

The Lego Batman Movie is ideal and suitable for children, parents, bring your children and watch it together for a fun family bonding time. Parents, if you are an Adult Fan of Lego too, you don’t need more encouragement, you are probably more excited than your children to catch the movie!

The Lego Batman Movie would be starting to show in cinemas today on the 9th February 2017! Time to bring your family and children down to the cinemas and catch this family fun movie!

Last but not least, here are some key websites for all Lego Batman fans –

Lego Batman Movie

Lego Batman Toys

Lego Batman Twitter

Bricks World

Alright folks, it’s time for Batman to catch The Joker, save the city and bring him to watch The Lego Batman Movie screening today in the cinemas!

Thank you Bricks World for the invitation!

Battle for Singapore 2017 – 75th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore

On 15th February 2017, everyone of us needs to remember one of the important dates in Singapore’s history. 75 years ago, on 15th February 1942, Singapore fell to the Japanese and we entered into a period of history known as the Japanese Occupation of Singapore. It is very crucial and important for Singaporeans (especially for those that did not experience the Japanese Occupation of Singapore) today to learn more in depth on this part of our history.

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore, the National Heritage Board (NHB) has organised many different initiatives across the year 2017, starting from the annual Battle for Singapore commemorative event, starting from 16th February to 12th March 2017. There are different activities, guided walks, public talks and activities at the various Museum Roundtable (MR) museums to learn more about the events leading up to the Fall of Singapore, the stories of the Japanese Occupation from the survivors and veterans.

The Battle for Singapore 2017 commemorative events runs from 16th February to 12th March 2017, a total of 49 tours to 11 World War II (WWII) related sites and structures in Singapore. They are interesting and informative guided tours, I strongly encouraged my readers to sign up to learn and know more in depth of the Japanese Occupation of Singapore. There are four new tours for the Battle for Singapore 2017 –

  • Singapore Occupied: This offers a visit to the buildings and sites that held the Japanese Broadcasting Department and the Kempeitai (Japanese Military Police) Headquarters, to name a few.
  • Botanic Gardens to Bukit Brown – a WWII Trail: Walk through the heritage corridor from the Botanic Gardens to Bukit Brown cemetery, and hear the brownies share stories of WWII heroes and prominent personalities at heritage landmarks, including the Jacob Ballas Garden, old Raffles College as well as Former Command House. Explore the remnants and stories of the ‘kampong’ life that was once at Bukit Brown cemetery.
  • Fort Serapong @ Fort Siloso: Discover the fascinating structure of the former Fort Serapong, which was one of the three forts that were built at Pulau Blakang Mati to defend Singapore’s waterways.
  • The Last Days of Empire: Japanese Advance Along Bukit Timah Road, 1942: This walk attempts to tell the harrowing story of the battle based on the grim testimonies of the soldiers who fought in the last days of the British Empire.

(Information courtesy of National Heritage Board)

For more information, please visit www.museums.com.sg and check out their website for more details. Sign up for the guided tours begins on 6th February 2017 at 1000hrs, slots are limited and allocated on a first-come first-serve basis.

During the media preview of the Battle for Singapore 2017, we went for one of the guided tours: The Last Days of Empire: Japanese Advance Along Bukit Timah Road 1942. Here are the details of this guided tour if you are keen to sign up when registration opens –

Tour dates: 25, 26 Feb; 4, 5 Mar 2017

Timings: 9:00 am – 12:00 noon

Meeting point: University Cultural Centre, National University of Singapore

Let me share with you some stories and photos of the locations along this guided tour.

This tour is organised by the National University of Singapore, Southeast Asian Student’s Society in collaboration with National Heritage Board. The tour is led by Dr Mohamed Effendy and Syonan Gallery Docents. The start/meeting point is University Cultural Centre, National University of Singapore.

There is a grass patch beside the entrance of University Cultural Centre, overlooking Clementi Road and Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE). Clementi Road connects to Upper Bukit Timah Road, whereby some of the heaviest fighting between the Japanese forces and British forces, as well as the Australian, Indian, Malay and Chinese volunteers took place along this stretch of road.

WWII marker near to Clementi Road and Dover Road

Our next stop was along Dover Road, at the edge of University Town, National University Singapore. Behind this bus stop, there is a World War II marker/plaque that marks the area where captured commandos from Operation Rimau in 1944 were behaded near Clementi Road and Dover Road. Having read up and research on World War II, I came across Operation Jaywick and Operation Rimau, knew about these two operations conducted by the Allied forces. The location whereby the captured commandos of Operation Rimau was something that I didn’t know and from the tour, I learned something new that afternoon.

Junction of Clementi Road and Ulu Pandan Road

After Dover Road, we went on to the junction of Clementi Road and Ulu Pandan Road. I grew up in Clementi and Clementi West areas (and still living in this area), thus I know the area quite well. Dr Effendy shared on the importance of the hill on the left side of Ulu Pandan Road (where the Singapore Police Force had taken over the Mowbray Camp, formerly used by the Singapore Armed Fores). The area where Pine Grove now sits, was another high point where there were artillery guns placement to defend attackers coming in from the sea but not from inland, that’s where the Japanese came in from.

Junction of Clementi Road and Upper Bukit Timah Road/Bukit Timah Road

This is a major arterial road junction, with Bukit Timah Road and Dunearn Road leading to the city centre of Singapore, while Clementi Road leads towards Pasir Panjang followed by the harbour and city centre. Dr Effendy shared a few stories at this location, on how the Japanese forces advanced towards the city of Singapore.

Bukit Timah Hill (WWII marker at foot of Bukit Timah Hill)

The Bukit Timah area saw some of the heaviest fighting between the Japanese forces and Allied forces. Bukit Timah is a strategic and important location for both British (to defend) and Japanese forces (to attack). The Bukit Timah and Duneran Roads lead towards the city area. There is a WWII marker at the foot of Bukit Timah Hill, giving visitors information on the battles that took place in the Bukit Timah area during the Battle for Singapore in 1942.

Bukit Batok Hill – Syonan Chureito

A beautiful hill park, surrounded by nature and wildlife. This hill has some WWII history behind it, during the Japanese Occupation, a Shinto shrine and war memorial was built on this hill, to commemorate the fallen Japanese soldiers who were killed in action during the Battle for Singapore. Today, the only remains of the Syonan Chureito were the 121 concrete steps built by the prisoners of war.

Former Ford Factory – Syonan Gallery

During the media preview, the Syonan Gallery was not ready to host us thus we did not manage to visit the revamped Syonan Gallery at the Former Ford Factory. This would be the end point for this guided tour. I would try to arrange my timing and schedule, I would visit the revamped Syonan Gallery and add on to below after my visit.

Attending a guided tour is good, informative and interesting. Listening to the subject matter experts do give you a greater, wider and more insights into the history for the Battle of Singapore. Do sign up for the different guided walks that you are interested in.

I am planning to sign up for a few guided tours that I am interested in. I would share my stories and photos after attending the guided tours that I signed up, stay tuned!

* I would like to thank National Heritage Board the invitation to the Battle for Singapore 2017 preview event *

Shoutout for N.E.mation! 11 – Final week to cast your votes!

The 11th edition digital animation competition is reaching its climax soon, the Top 10 digital animation videos were officially released on 14th January 2017 and this week would be the final week whereby the public can cast their votes for your favourite Top 10 teams digital animation videos!

N.E.mation! 11 has produced pretty outstanding digital animation video clips and all the Top 10 teams have excellent and solid content showcased in their digital animation video clips. This is going to be an exciting competition!

During this voting period, I had been following and observing my 5 teams under my care. The students were very active and enthusiastic, balancing their new school term studies with rallying and garnering votes for their digital animation video clip. They all deserve a big pat on their back for all the great work and effort that they put in during the production phase and voting phase.

I am also taking this chance to give the 5 teams under my care, helping them go give a shoutout in their final sprint to 5th February 2017, the last day of the voting period for N.E.mation! 11 digital animation competition! Their digital animation video clips are shown below, if you have not voted for your favourite Top 10 teams of N.E.mation! 11, take the time now to support and help my 5 teams below, cast your 3 favourite digital animation video clips –

Snakes and Ladders

C04 – Team Doughnuts & Donuts from Cedar Girls’ Secondary School

Building Our Nation

C05 – Team Finding Sanity from CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School

A Beautiful Song

C06 – Team Geekstrux from Crescent Girls’ School

Our SG Dollar

C08 – Team MADEit from Cedar Girls’ School

Just A Little Something

C09 – Team N.E. HEH HEH from Singapore Chinese Girls’ School

There are 4 different methods of voting, check out the diagram below –

Picture courtesy of Animagine

Good luck to all the Top 10 teams of N.E.mation! 11!!

A special mention to my 5 teams under my care – Team Doughnuts & Donuts, Team Finding Sanity, Team Geekstrux, Team MADEit and Team N.E. HEH HEH!

To all my relatives, friends and readers, give them the care and support with your 3 votes across the 4 different voting methods!

Happy Chinese Lunar New Year 2017!

Today, on the 28th January 2017, marks the start of the new Chinese Lunar New Year, the Year of the Rooster! Let us all welcome the Year of the Rooster with the fireworks photo that I took during River Hongbao 2017, at the countdown on Chinese Lunar New Year Eve.

I would like to wish everybody Happy Chinese Lunar New Year, good health, wealth and prosperity for the year 2017.

祝大家新年快乐,万事如意,身体健康,步步高升,年年有余,财源滚滚,金玉满堂,生意兴隆!

This year 2017 is going to be a challenging year for everyone, we all can do it and overcome all the obstacles ahead! Good luck everybody!

Singapore Motorshow 2017

The Singapore Motorshow 2017 took place recently, held at the Suntec Convention Centre and Exhibition Centre between 12th to 15th January 2017. I was there when it was officially declared opened in the morning and started visiting the various car brands, keeping a lookout for their new car models launch and announcements.

I was invited by Borneo Motors to Singapore Motorshow 2017, therefore spent more time there checking out the many different types of Toyota automobiles after visiting the various car brands in the exhibition hall. Do check out my earlier article that I wrote on my coverage of Toyota at Singapore Motorshow 2017. This new car, the Toyota C-HR (Coupe-High Rider) is coming soon and it caught my attention, beautiful, sleek and sporty. Yes, I am a fan of coupe cars.

Singapore Motorshow was organised by Motor Traders Association of Singapore (MTA) and this year 2017 Singapore Motorshow saw an exciting 20 new car launches! At this year’s Singapore Motorshow 2017, there were new features such as the usage of virtual reality (VR) experiences for visitors for the first time. A total visitorship of over 47,000 visitors came down to Singapore Motorshow 2017 over the four days period. This is an encouraging figure considering the challenging economy climate for Singapore in year 2017.

“We’re encouraged to see a good crowd considering that many have said that this will be a challenging year for Singapore’s economy,” said Glenn Tan, President of the Motor Traders Association of Singapore. “It’s great to see the brands working together to present an iconic automotive event with new activities and launches that the people of Singapore can look forward to each year.” 

“Despite smaller numbers this year on the weekdays, we had very solid turnouts on both Saturday and Sunday. Crowds packed our popular activities with sold-out shows at Russ Swift’s stunt performances, live radio shows, contests and lucky draws. We’re glad to see families and car lovers having a good time throughout the 4-day event and we’re committed to keep this momentum going for next year’s event.

Statement by Mr Glenn Tan, President of Motor Traders Association of Singapore (Source: press release information courtesy of Rice Communications)

It was great to see Singapore Motorshow 2017 taking on new experiential activities and experiences for visitors, beside just looking at all the various car brands and their automobile models on display. While I wasn’t able to catch the Mediacorp artistes and celebrity DJs making their appearances at Singapore Motorshow 2017 and Russ Swift breathe-taking stunt-driving performances sponsored by Subaru, I had a good time walking around on Thursday and Friday, checking out the various car brands and their new automobile models launch.

Overall, the Singapore Motorshow 2017 had shown that it was more than just a motorshow, with new visitor experiential activities, engaging artistes and DJs to liven up the motorshow with their engagements. I hope that the next motorshow in 2018 can leverage on the new things that they did for 2017, bringing it further and beyond for the 2018 motorshow edition.


Created with flickr slideshow.

N.E.mation! 11 Downtown Picnic! Time to cast your votes!

The N.E.mation! 11 Downtown Picnic took place on Saturday 14th January 2017 at The Cathay, External Atrium, Level One, from 1pm to 4pm. This would be my fourth Downtown Picnic attendance and coverage, when it began during N.E.mation! 8 to 9 and then 10. The Downtown Picnic at The Cathay was fun, packed and well received by the teams, schools and their supporters.

I arrived a little bit earlier at the venue before the official start time of 1pm, went around chatting with the students from the five teams that I am ambassador for. Some were having lunch while some were still preparing with the final preparations for the start of the Downtown Picnic at 1pm. Prior to arriving at the N.E.mation! 11 Downtown Picnic, I watched all the Top 10 teams digital animation video clips when they were officially released after 12midnight on 14th January 2017. All the Top 10 digital animation video clips were really good and equally strong in content, style and presentation. The journey to who might be the champion of N.E.mation! 11 is going to be very interesting and exciting with the start of the public voting at N.E.mation! 11 Downtown Picnic.

The Downtown Picnic is also a platform and event ground for the Top 10 teams to showcase their digital animation works to their school, family, friends and supporters, as well as getting support from the public to vote for their digital animation video clip. All these experiences would definitely serve them well in the future, it might be a bit of a daunting experience for them to approach members of the public, sharing their video and asking them to vote. These experiences are priceless and invaluable, they would be able to help them build up their self confidence and public speaking, in school and later in adult life.

At the Downtown Picnic, there were many activities and performances, the Top 10 teams were also invited up on stage to share their digital animation video clip to the participants and visitors at the picnic ground. They also shared about how their video, theme and idea came about, and also their experiences during N.E.mation! 11 production phase. Going up to the stage in the public space, speaking, sharing and pitching for votes are commendable for the young students. The younger students would definitely learn from these experiences while you can spot and sense the maturity of the slightly older students who had prior N.E.mation! experiences in previous/earlier seasons.

Now, this is also the time that I am going to share on the N.E.mation! 11 Top 10 digital animation video clips, watch all the Top 10 teams videos, give them the support and encouragement, cast your votes for your favourite digital animation video clips and you might stand to win attractive prizes too! Visit N.E.mation! website or YouTube channel to view the Top 10 videos by the Top 10 teams of N.E.mation! 11!

Check out the picture below on the 4 different methods of voting!

Picture courtesy of Animagine

There are exciting prizes to be won too! Check it out below!

Picture courtesy of Animagine 

Now that you have voted for your favourite digital animation video clips, do a good deed, spread the word, pay it forward and pass it on, to your family, relatives, friends, colleagues etc etc. Share the wonderful digital animation works produced by these young school students!

In N.E.mation! 11, I am also the ambassador for the following five teams, let me give them a quick shoutout here with the link to their digital animation video –

Snakes and Ladders

C04 – Team Doughnuts & Donuts from Cedar Girls’ Secondary School

Building Our Nation

C05 – Team Finding Sanity from CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School

A Beautiful Song

C06 – Team Geekstrux from Crescent Girls’ School

Our SG Dollar

C08 – Team MADEit from Cedar Girls’ Secondary School

Just A Little Something

C09 – Team N.E. HEH HEH from Singapore Chinese Girls’ School

Please do give my five teams listed above the extra support with your votes!

Last but not least, I would like to wish good luck and all the best to all the Top 10 teams of N.E.mation! 11 in the final leg of the digital animation competition!

Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail CNY 2017

The Year of the Rooster 2017 is going to start soon in about 12 days time (starting from today 16th January 2017), ushering in the Chinese New Year on the 28th January 2017. Leading up to the festive season of the Chinese Lunar New Year, we have exciting events, activities and our favourite festive bazaar at Chinatown.

Having grew up in Singapore, I visited Chinatown a number of times during the Chinese New Year festive bazaar, to indulge in the festive atmosphere. It can get really crowded during this period and this is a great time to experience the Chinese New Year festivities in Singapore.

I recently went for the Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail held during the Chinese New Year 2017 festivities on 14th January 2017. Let me bring you through some of the destinations, features and highlights that you can experience for yourself with your family, relatives and friends during this Chinese New Year festivities at Chinatown (12 more days of Chinese New Year festivities before the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year on 28th January 2017)

This Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail was interesting for me because we had the gorgeous and beautiful Mediacorp artiste Sora Ma, leading us for this walking trail! She’s a great travel/tour guide, awesome interaction with the stall owners and walking trail participants, in the midst of the huge crowds and congestion!

Meeting point/Starting point: Chinatown Heritage Centre

The Chinatown Heritage Centre is an excellent destination for everybody, for the locals and our international visitor friends. This is the place where you can go and visit, to learn, see, feel and discover the footsteps of Singapore’s early pioneers and explore the personal stories of early Singaporeans who lived in Chinatown.

I visited and toured Chinatown Heritage Centre on a separate visit with my university alumni group during an alumni outing. It’s definitely an eye-opener and I strongly encourage everybody to visit Chinatown Heritage Centre. More information and details can be found on their website.

There are two exciting programmes at Chinatown Heritage Centre during the Year of the Rooster festive celebration

Happy Rooster Family Album

6 January to 28 February 2017

Daily: 9am to 8pm

27 Jan: 9am to 5pm

28 Jan: Closed

If you are born in the Year of the Rooster and you are visiting Chinatown Heritage Centre, you can get free admission into Chinatown Heritage Centre if you participate and be a part of the Happy Rooster Family Album!

Year of the Rooster Capteh Challenge

6 January to 28 February 2017

28 Jan: Closed

The capteh is a traditional game, I personally played it before when I was a young kid. A fun game, if you can juggle a football consecutively, you are definitely game enough for the capteh! It can be challenging yet it will be fun!

All you have to do is to catch Chinatown Heritage Centre’s signature memorable moments at 1pm and 4pm daily to participate in the capteh challenge. If you can keep the capteh flying in the air by kicking and controlling it for 8 consecutive times non-stop, you can win free admission to the Centre!

Try it out! It’s going to be a fun experience!

Chinese New Year Festive Street Bazaar

A must visit when you are in Chinatown during the Chinese New Year period, indulge and soak in the festive atmosphere of the Chinese New Year festivities, the huge crowds, the bazaar, the goods and food on sale.

It can be very very crowded, making it very difficult to walk around the congested streets during this time. Take it slow and easy, wear comfortable clothing and shoes.

Check out some of the stalls that we visited during the Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail!

YouthEATS @ Temple Street

A new addition to the traditional and regular Chinese New Year festive street bazaar, it’s my first time too! You have to check out the stalls and their food below –

Must try, I reckon you would love them! Sometimes, I don’t need to write a food review for them because I just want to show you the food and where to find them! Go try it!

Spots for Chinatown light up photography

I do love coming down to Chinatown for photography during the Chinese New Year festival season. I took photos from this location previously! There are a lot of different lightings, lanterns and displays during the festive season. Let me share with you, one of the locations to view, enjoy and take photographs!

Garden Bridge (Chinatown Pedestrian Bridge)

You can’t miss this bridge when you are in Chinatown, many people use this bridge to cross from one side of Chinatown (Pagoda Street, Temple Street, Smith Street, Mosque Street) to People’s Park Complex, The Majestic, OG People’s Park.

This would be one of the locations for me to take photos of Chinatown during the Chinese New Year festive season. Visit it during the night when the lightings, lanterns and displays are lighted up, making Chinatown extra bright and colourful!

Lepark @ People’s Park Complex

This is probably one of Singapore’s not too well known yet locations that I believe would slowly grow, transform and evolve into a destination that is popular with creative artists, youth and future flea markets. Lepark is located on the 6th floor of People’s Park Complex, the roof top carpark!

I heard a lot about this location and I had yet to visit Lepark. Thanks to this special Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail, I finally got to visit Lepark. When we were up there on 14th January, there was YHFLEA: Come Lepark Edition a first-of-its-kind collective flea and car boot market with Lepark and Young Hungry Free. Although YHFLEA was only held for two days (14th and 15th January), I hope they would return again and slowly help Lepark grows into a destination for all to visit in the future.

Lepark is another ideal location for street/urban landscape photography of Chinatown and Singapore’s Tanjong Pagar CBD sector. I have a feeling that more photographers will start to visit this location as time goes by. Let’s hope that all these activities and events would slowly transform and grow Lepark at People’s Park Complex.

After visiting Lepark, this marked the ending point for this specially organised Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail tour on the 14th January 2017. It was a fun trip with Sora Ma as our tour guide! Of course, we have to take group photos with our gorgeous and beautiful Sora Ma!

The Chinese New Year festivities are now taking place at Chinatown, do visit and explore some of the festivities, locations and food that I shared here!

Thank you Ninemer PR for the invitation and Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens’ Consultative Committee for organising this walking trail!

Toyota at Singapore MotorShow 2017

The Singapore MotorShow 2017 is currently taking place at Suntec Singapore Level 3 and 4 from 12th to 15th January 2017. For car lovers in Singapore, it’s a good opportunity to visit them and check out the various car brands and models on display at the Singapore MotorShow 2017.

Today, I am going to share more on the range of Toyota cars, the current models and future models that would strengthen their line up in the SUV range. Toyota is one of Singapore’s favourite car brands, well known for their reliability, durability and quality. Our current family car is a 2007 Toyota Vios and we are very happy with this car, stable and reliable!

Do visit the Singapore MotorShow 2017 this weekend and check out the wide range of Toyota cars on display there! Inside Singapore MotorShow 2017, there are two interesting cars at the Toyota booth that you have to check them out!

Ms Adelene Tan, Commercial Director, Borneo Motors Singapore, “We are very excited to have the Toyota C-HR and Harrier on display. BMS joins Toyota’s vision to be a market leader in all segments. We are dedicated to delivering the most stunning new cars to our customers. We look forward to strengthening our SUV line-up in the near future.”

When you visit the Toyota booth, you can’t miss these two new cars – Toyota C-HR and Mirror Harrier!

Let me share with you more information and details of these two Toyota car models –

MIRROR HARRIER CONCEPT DISPLAY

On display at the Motorshow was the special edition Mirror Harrier, to signify a possible future milestone for Borneo Motors Singapore. Since its debut in 1997, the Harrier has built a strong brand image while pioneering the high-end crossover SUV genre. The Harrier’s exterior design is characterised as “Elegant velocity”, with its sleek, dynamic side profile, dramatic curves and powerful front end, which makes it instantly recognisable. Its premium and modern interior fully embodies the design aesthetic of “rich simplicity”, which explains its widespread appeal in Singapore’s SUV market.

PREVIEW OF THE TOYOTA C-HR

The All-New C-HR or Coupe-High Rider will give Toyota a powerful new presence in the crossover market. The Toyota C-HR made its debut at the 2016 Geneva motor show and is the crossover that the world had been eagerly anticipating. Designed to stand out both within the Toyota line-up and in the crossover segment, the All-New C-HR represents Mr Akio Toyoda’s determination to allow greater stylistic freedom and promote engineering creativity to achieve eye-catching designs and enhanced driving pleasure.

The C-HR boasts distinctive styling that brings newfound dynamism and sensuality to the crossover market. Its diamond architectural theme body with prominent wheel arches emphasises on the crossover’s strength and rigidity. Viewed from any angle, the C-HR’s combination of facetted gemstone-like shapes with fluid surfaces and elegantly integrated detailing creates a delicate balance of precision and sensuality.

The C-HR’s driving dynamics have been calibrated according to Chief Engineer Hiroyuki Koba’s vision of “Response, Linearity and Consistency”. It is powered by a new 1.2-litre turbo engine, with Continuously Variable Transmission system.  Thanks to the meticulous refinement of Toyota’s most recent TNGA platform and its low centre of gravity, the C-HR boasts excellent body control and steering fluidity, in a way that exceeds current standards for a crossover.

The official launch date will be announced at a later timing.

At the Singapore MotorShow 2017, the other well known Toyota car models are also on display too. I took the opportunity to take a closer look at some of the Toyota car models on display because the family car is facing the end of her 10 year life span (all thanks to our COE system) at the 4th quarter of 2017. The Toyota Corolla Altis and Toyota Sienta are  two practical and reliable upgrade choices for a family car while I am attracted by the C-HR. At this time, no decision is being made yet, I still have to go back to the family drawing board for discussion.

Check out the recently launched Toyota Previa Aeras too! More info below –

PREVIA AERAS

The Previa Aeras is designed to deliver unrivalled convenience for its drivers and passengers, ensuring a hassle-free and DriveHappy experience. Its distinctive design presents a brand new image concept of refined indulgence, both in a dynamic exterior as well as a luxurious interior. Poised to take the local automotive market by storm, the 7–seater multi-purpose vehicle is packed with features to attract the family oriented audience looking for a more refined drive to complement their lifestyle. With the introduction of the latest Previa Aeras, Borneo Motors now offers a complete range of Toyota MPVs for every segment.

 Don’t forget to check out their other Toyota car types and models –  King of MPVs, SUV, Sedans, World Best Selling Hybrid Range and Commercial Vehicles!

Thank you Borneo Motors Singapore for the invitation to Singapore MotorShow 2017!

* Information on Toyota cars and models courtesy of Borneo Motors Singapore and cohn&wolfe *

Photojournalist in Travel, Events and Sports Photography