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Tag Archives: Ayu’s Singapore Series

Gardens by the Bay – Going Floral

While all the photographs in my previous post focused on the structure of the Cloud Forest dome, this time I’m going to focus on the flowers that grow in the garden inside the two domes.

I visited the Gardens by the Bay during the day. The lighting inside the dome was just beautiful, it made taking photos of the flowers such a joy, especially when we were inside the Flower Dome. It was really pleasant inside the Flower Dome, like in the Cloud Forest. The difference was while it was cool and misty and slightly wet inside the Cloud Forest, it was cool and dry inside the Flower Dome. It’s the perfect place to literally stop and smell the flowers, as they were everywhere around you in many shapes and colours.

at the flower dome

 

Here are some flowers inside the Cloud Forest.

Cloud Forest

And these are of flowers and/plants that I thought very odd-looking and quite peculiar, though special and very beautiful.

Take a peak here to find out what’s going on right now at the Gardens. The flower field display looks stunning indeed!

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  • Jojor27/11/2013 - 10:06 am

    Wow! Beautiful pictures! Love it!ReplyCancel

  • Gracie27/11/2013 - 10:58 am

    These are beautiful!ReplyCancel

    • [ayu]27/11/2013 - 3:55 pm

      The flowers are already beautiful, I was lucky to be there to capture it! Thank you Gracie xReplyCancel

  • Kevin & Joan Vivian27/11/2013 - 11:32 am

    Love your flower pics.ReplyCancel

    • [ayu]27/11/2013 - 3:56 pm

      The flowers are already so photogenic, makes my job so much easier 😉
      Thank you Joan! xReplyCancel

  • Hero27/11/2013 - 8:54 pm

    I love every shot of the flowers!ReplyCancel

Gardens by the Bay – The Cloud Forest

Gardens by the Bay is my new favourite place in Singapore. As our taxi drove closer, my excitement grew just from the sight that was right in font of us.The domes, the Super Tree constructions, the sheer size of the place was impressive, and quite overwhelming. 

This is the Cloud Forest. The world’s tallest indoor waterfall welcomed you as soon as you entered the dome. The super fine mists in the air freshened and cooled you straight away. Coming from the sunny, hot and humid world outside, this felt super duper awesome. You could feel some cool wind when you stood close to the water fall from the sheer energy of the water that falls from the top of the 35 metre high ‘Cloud Mountain’. You couldn’t help but to look up and forget to close your mouth for a second of two. It was that awesome.

The Indoor Waterfall, Cloud Forest

The Cloud Forest boasts to feature plants from Tropica Montane regions between 1000 to 3500 above the sea level, and offers different experience on each level of elevation. You get to do the Cloud Walk at the top of the mountain, looking at some dripping wet flowers (because the continuous spraying of the mists), or going to the lowest ground to the Secret Garden to see some weird plants that looked unfamiliar and odd. There were also a lot of what I called ‘educational sections’, which equipped with interactive media to share information about the environments.

For me though, I couldn’t get over the dome and its construction. When you walked that catwalk at the top there was just so much to see. Through the thousands of glass panels in many sizes and shapes, you could see the beautiful view outside of the surrounding gardens and the cityscape. Look down and you could see tiny people walking far below you on the ground, all looking up like you did the first time you entered the dome, with their mouths hanging open. And of course, there’s that indoor mountain and that waterfall again.  Who knew that ‘walking in the clouds’ was so much fun.

view from the top, cloud forest

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  • lesleycarter25/11/2013 - 11:13 pm

    Wow! This is going on the list now; it’s amazing. Great photos!

    Lesley
    Bucket List PublicationsReplyCancel

    • [ayu]26/11/2013 - 1:43 pm

      Definitely, Lesley! Gardens by the Bay should definitely goes to the list. Thanks.

      AyuReplyCancel

  • Gardens by the Bay02/12/2013 - 2:11 pm

    We’re glad you enjoyed your visit to the Cloud Forest Ayu – as much as we enjoyed reading your post! 🙂 Hope to welcome you back to The Gardens again soon.ReplyCancel

Kampong Glam part 2

The next destination after I was done with visiting the Sultan Mosque was to check out Haji Lane. After passing the many textile shops who were already in business since 1950s, entering Haji Lane would take you to another time and place completely. The tiny streets were filled with arrays of hip shops, offering coolest stuff made by local designers and entrepreneurs; from clothes, shoes, accessories and cute knick knacks. The tiny colourful independent stores with eclectic designs reminded me of stores that line-up in Melbourne alleyways. Haji lane even had its own graffiti on many of its walls, which made the resemblance to Melbourne even stronger. This resemblance stopped as soon as you left the Haji lane. It was very peculiar.

Haji Lane, Singapore

I realised I had no method nor strategy in the way I explore the area of Kampong Glam, so I ended up sometimes going to the same lane again and again, but from a different direction. At times I found myself just circled around the same corner, because I was too busy shooting away and was not aware where I was going. The following is a series of photographs I shot in Bussorah Street and surroundings (included Baghdad and Kandahar St). The architecture of most of the buildings in Kampong Glam is from their original design (back from 1822) that has been restored, and now painted in vibrant colours.

I think you need more than just one day to explore the whole area. You can use one day just to browse and see what is offered, and spend the next day to actually explore the speciality shops (and do some targeted shopping), going inside the art galleries,  make your own perfumes, and enjoy scrumptious food at restaurants that really interest you.

See you next time, Kampong Glam!

Intersection - Haji Lane, Singapore

 

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  • Rachel Yeoh22/11/2013 - 12:43 pm

    Your photos are absolutely gorgeous! So glad that I happened to stumble across your blog. Thanks for sharing such lovely posts. XxReplyCancel

    • [ayu]22/11/2013 - 4:53 pm

      I love it when people ‘stumble’ across my blog and like what they see. Thanks Rachel! xReplyCancel

      • Rachel Yeoh23/11/2013 - 2:46 am

        It’s my pleasure! Keep it up 🙂 xx ReplyCancel

  • […] See you in part 2. […]ReplyCancel

Kampong Glam part 1

My plan that day was to visit the major landmark in the area, the Sultan Mosque, and explore the surrounding area of Kampong Glam. It was another sensory overload kind of experience, that I never get tired of in Singapore. I got off my taxi one lane away from the mosque, and I passed many traditional business, selling carpets, textiles, and the widest selection of colourful cushion covers I’ve ever seen.

Masjid Sultan (Sultan Mosque) on Muscat Street is one of the most important mosque in Singapore. The mosque is open for visitors, so I went in. Like the  Buddhist temple I visited recently, the mosque has a conservative dress code. If you are not dressed appropriately you need to wear some kind of  cloak if you want to enter, and cloaks are available free of charge. Ok. I had to wear a cloak to enter that day. And, no, we are not going to talk about communal cloak again. I feel itchy just to think about it…

I believe this was my first time in a mosque, despite being born, grew up, and lived in Indonesia the first decades of my life. It was quiet inside the mosque, I was not there in any of the time of praying, and it was not a Friday. I enjoyed looking around, noticing all the intricate details, and feeling how airy it was inside. The visit to the Buddhist temple was still fresh in my mind, so it was interesting to see symbols and colours that were influenced by a totally different cultures and religious. They were so different, and yet equally powerful.

Here are images of the building and its surrounding.

 

The look from inside the mosque:

Inside Masjid Sultan, Singapore

Half a block away from the mosque would take you to the Malay Heritage Centre. The centre was a total contrast to its surrounding. From the colourful shops, the loud noise, and variety of smell I passed, suddenly it was ‘quiet’.  There was a big (clean and new-ish) yellow building in front of me, surrounded by a neatly mowed lawn and very well-trimmed trees, not a branch went astray, all around. It all looked almost sterile compare to the surrounding area. I did not remember the reason why now, but I decided not to go in the centre and continued on walking.

See you in part 2.

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Jurong Bird Park

The birds at Jurong Bird Park in Singapore have been photographed to death. I know. The fact that those pretty birds were just…there, probably, the reason why many people, me included, still out there with our cameras. You don’t have to have a gigantic lens the size of a bazooka, and you don’t have to hide and wait for a looong time for a chance to get a decent shot of birds, like you do under in ‘normal’ life.

I have to admit, I love Jurong Bird Park. I know not many people are with me on this. I’ve been here before, and I remember I always had a great time; so I was glad that I had the opportunity to go to the park again; with my kids this time. Even though my daughter clearly specified that she only wanted to feed the birds and do water play (in the venue’s water park section), and swore she would not enjoy/see anything else, she and her brother could not help but enjoying the rest of the park as well, because it’s really interesting.

Taking photos of birds, even in captivity like the ones at the park, can still be tricky. The way they move their heads, flutter their wings, and other things birds do, they do it pretty fast. It’s almost like trying to take a portrait photo, with the subject that keeps doing sudden movements every single second.

If you want to know the name of these birds, this might not be the post for you.(*12/11 update: thanks to Bird Watcher – see comments- now I am able to put the names of all the birds!). Do read further if you want to see some images I took over there; they were of birds that I thought very attractive, to me at least, colourwise, and shapewise.

Remember when I say that some birds just move to quickly for the camera, well, this one (shown below) is not one of those birds. Meet Shoebill.

This is part of what’s written on the information board about Shoebill:

..it gets its name from the fact that its beak resembles a clog which is type of Dutch shoe.It feeds on fish and uses a “standing and waiting” approach. One can observe that the shoebill stands as still as a statue, staring at the water below for a long periods up to 20 minutes, waiting for opportunity to strike…

After watching this Shoebill staring grumpily at us for a full 5 minutes without moving one single muscle, I was sure that we were looking at a bird statue, until I read the information above. After I was convinced it was a real deal,  I returned to stand right in front of it to see whether it was ever going to move. The intensity of the stare was so unnerving, considering there was no fish insight. The bird was standing next to the wooden gate, and was just stand there and staring at me. It did finally move, then I wondered whether it could fly, or jump, or pounce. That beak was bigger than my 24-70mm lens, you know. It could easily gulp it down, if it wanted to. The smart thing to do at that time I thought was to step away, really slowly, from the gate and the Shoebill. Not taking any risk…

Shoebill, Jurong Bird Park, Singapore

The next bird behaved differently than Shoebill. It couldn’t stay still, and always walking around, pecking here and there. It did not even look nervous that I was standing really close to it, it kept walking closer towards me. Then I got scared. I could not figure out birds. They make me nervous sometimes.

I watched this bird, named African Grey Crowned Crane, for a while, I really like how pretty the head looked. Feel free to fill me in about the name of this bird, because I got no clue.

African Grey Crowned Crane, Jurong Bird Park, Singapore

We ended the day by feeding the friendly and beautiful Lorikeets. It was a long and hot day, we were all very tired from the walk, and from the heat. It’s hard not to feel happy while feeding the Loris, they were so playful, and colourful. It was a really nice way to end the day.

Rainbow Lorikeet, African Grey Crowned Crane, Jurong Bird Park, Singapore

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  • Cindy12/11/2013 - 2:31 pm

    I’m so glad I’ve found your blog, your photos are just too pretty! 😀 Can’t believe that I haven’t been to the Birdpark since I was 13 (I think), should catch a breather soon ~ReplyCancel

    • [ayu]12/11/2013 - 4:21 pm

      thank you Cindy! you know how it is…sometimes we forget to appreciate places in our own local. Happens to me too here in Canberra… Go visit the bird park. Try to catch their shows. They are really fun!ReplyCancel

  • The Bird Watcher12/11/2013 - 7:18 pm

    As much as I appreciate the beautiful photos, I also wish people who visit the park would take a moment to learn more about what they’re seeing. The main reason for the existence of zoos, birdparks and aquariums is to educate.

    The first 4 photos show (clockwise from L to R): Great Pied Hornbill, Australian Pelican, White-crested Laughing Thrush, Temminck’s Tragopan.

    The bird with the funky hairdo is an African Grey Crowned Crane.

    The green coloured lorikeet is the Rainbow Lorikeet, while the red one is, no prizes for guesing, a Red Lory.

    The other 2 lories feeding from the plastic cup are Yellow-bibbed Lories, and the one looking on is another Rainbow Lorikeet.

    CheersReplyCancel

    • [ayu]12/11/2013 - 8:03 pm

      Ah. The answer to my prayer. Thank you so much for this valuable information on the birds. I totally agree, and support the zoos/birdparks/aquarium educational purpose; I should’ve taken time to take notes.

      I really appreciate this, and am going to write the name of the birds in this post’s images. Thank you for checking out my blog and more thank you for your generous share of knowledge. You’re awesome!ReplyCancel