Thursday, November 26, 2015

Diminishing Trade - Trishaw riders

Where else do you get to sit on a Trishaw apart from the one in Land Transport Authority Gallery? It was unplanned when we left Odeon Towers (Right beside Bras Basar Macdonalds) when this uncle riding a trishaw came by. Xav saw it coming and asked if he could take a ride.

Seriously, the first thought that came to my mind was, is this going to cost a bomb as gone area the era of travelling by trishaws when I paid like $1.50 - $2 for a trip to school. In the modern days, this trade is dying off. Nowadays, trishaws are mainly used to offer tri-shaw tours for tourists.

Initially, uncle thought that we were tourists and offered his trishaw tour services. Then, I asked him for the price and he asked me where would I like to go. I would pretty much guess that it's based on our destinations. He told me that usually for pax of 3 heads, it usually costs around $35 but he said for the kids to experience the ride, he would just charged us $10.

To some, it may seemed that for $10, you would rather take a taxi and go further. I agreed to it because Xav seldom request us to buy him toys unless he really like it. Since he requested for this, I am more than willing to pay the $10 to buy him an experience. So off we go, we played tourists for a short moment!


Uncle was really friendly and could communicate pretty well in English. He was very nice and insisted to take pictures for us saying that the kids will remember the ride when they look at the photos next time. He made sure we were safely and comfortably seated on the cushion seat.


He rode across the road towards Raffles Hotel direction. Frankly,  I was a little worried about the on coming traffic from behind but uncle told me not worry ! Surprisingly, the buses and the cars were pretty accommodating as he rode along the left lane of the road and on pavement most of the time. As he paddled on with his strong legs, he spoke and introduced us the landmarks as though we were tourists at the same time.


Uncle would stop by and take pictures for us. He was really nice and taking the extra effort to snap for us despite having to tell him it's ok to just pass by !

@ Raffles Hotel

As we approached Shaw Towers, this building is pretty rich in it's history too !

History of Shaw Towers :
1977 : Official opening of Jade Theatre (翡翠戏院) and Prince Theatre (太子戏院) by the Shaw Organisation which was built much earlier in 1970 on the former sites of Alhambra and Marlborough Theatres.
1988 : The above theatres were expanded to two halls each, known as Jade 1 and Jade 2, Prince 1 and Prince 2.
1991 : Jade 2 was converted into Jade Classic (新艺戏院) to cater for the niche art house audience.
1996 : Cinemas at Shaw Towers were sold to the United Artists and the four halls were renamed as Grand Prince, Alhambra, Royal Jade and Emerald.
2001 : Shaw Organisation bought back the cinemas which operated for 7 years before their closure.



As Uncle paddled along, we had a casual chat as he shared a little of his life with me while Vera was happily sounding the horn !


I did not bother to time the duration but I can tell you both the kids and myself enjoyed the short ride before we alighted at the bustling Bugis Street.


Right opposite Bugis Street, behind Fu Lu Shou Complex is an area where you can find Trishaws made available for Trishaw Tours and the price for a standard trishaw ride starts from $25 to $36 per person. Click to find out where else you can find Tri-Shaw Tours if you did not happen to catch him. He told me he will usually be at Raffles Hotel and Bugis vicinity.

I thought it would be  pretty cool if I can get to ride on his tri-shaw again, perhaps this time to Boat quay or Chinatown and listen to his stories.

As for Xav, he got to see how hard trishaw riders have to work as they need to toil under the hot sun and rain just to bring back an income. Life was not as easy for the older generation.

Thank you for reading and if you would like to stay tune for future updates, do follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram !

Monday, November 23, 2015

Millennia Kids Challenge 2015

Last Saturday, our morning was spent differently from our usual weekends cycling session. For the first time, we were invited by Sengkang Health to join in the Millennia Kids Challenge 2015.


This is the second year which Millennia Kids Challenge was organised for the northeast residents to participate. With the number of participants double up to that of last year's 250, taking part in the one-day sport-themed carnival-like event at ActiveSG Sengkang Sports Centre. Participants form parent-child teams to take part in an obstacle course or a cycling event to pledge to be smoke-free. 

"Through the Millennia Kids Challenge, we hope that young families in the Sengkang and Punggol area will be more aware of the benefits of embracing a healthy lifestyle and engaging in sporting activities together, and that they will continue to do so after the challenge is over,” said Prof Christopher Cheng, CEO, Sengkang Health. 

The event kick-started with the arrival of the Guest-Of- Honour, Dr Lam Pin Min (Minister of State for Health) and carrying out the mass workout with the rest of the community.


A group photo before event started. Photo credit to : Christopher Cheng (CEO of Sengkang Health)

We signed up for the obstacle game challenge and went around in a non sequential manner to complete the different game stations. We completed all 8 except for one which we can't locate. This Drink up, Button Up station, allowed participants to experience the difficulties of how the elderly and people with disabilities manage their daily lives.

Drink up

Button up

I felt that it was a good initiative, not only it encouraged young families especially, to get together for some family bonding through the games, it was also a good exposure of different kind of sports to the kids. Xav was just asking me two weeks back what Floorball is about and am glad that he managed to have a go at it in one of the obstacle game challenge.

Floor Twister

Quite a number of sports were being played between the father and son for the first time, indeed, they had a ball !

Volley Vroom


Hold The Granade

Flipper Dart Ball was quite a hit with Xav! This gave him perhaps a rough an idea what water polo is like except for this was based on individual aim and throw.

Flippa Dart Ball

This station was supposed to be Xav cycling on the aqua bike while daddy blew up the balloon. He could stop once the balloon reached the required size. But dear did it like wise, he "gave" Xav more time in the water by taking his own sweet time to blow up the balloon. I was laughing away at the same time.

 
I lost count on how many rounds Xav went for the very last obstacle, it's like a floating obstacle platform. The participants needed to climb and then slide down before they can land on this area and complete the obstacle.  Great fun !


The smile on his face tells you how much fun he had !


Photo credit to : Christopher Cheng (CEO of Sengkang Health)

Solve the "Active SG" puzzle ! Photo credit to : Christopher Cheng (CEO of Sengkang Health)
 
This event is jointly organised by Sengkang Health, Health Promotion Board, Sport Singapore and Tobacco-Free Generation 2000, the Millennia Kids Challenge was initiated as part of the Millennia Kids Programme to encourage families in the Northeast to get active and embrace healthy living together. 

If you are wondering what's Sengkang Health is about ?
Sengkang Health envisions enriching the quality of life in the Northeast by delivering holistic, informed and reassuring care in partnership with the community. We will work with the community to achieve better health together through pioneering a community compact in building an ecosystem for healthy living.

Currently, Sengkang Health is building the Sengkang General and Community Hospitals, a 1,400-bed integrated hospital development. You can check out their social media pages at : Facebook Sengkang Health and website.

Thank you Sengkang Health for the fun Saturday morning ! We are looking forward to the next Millennia Kids' Challenge and if you are staying in the NorthEast, do sign up for it next year!

Thank you for reading and if you would like to stay tune for future updates, do follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram !

Monday, November 16, 2015

Hello Taiwan 2014 ! Day 7 / 8 - Leofoo Resort

This is coming close to 1.5 years' back log ! I better get it blogged down before the memories slowly fade off or worse, photos may just disappear just like those for my 2014 U.S trip.

This is the 5th installment of our Taiwan trip in 2014. I did a jump. I skipped Day 5 & 6 and jumped right into our Day 7 & 8 as the photos were somehow properly categorized, unlike the rest.

The last on our itinerary to end our "Hello Taiwan 2014" vacation. Approximately about an hour to drive from Taipei to reach Leofoo Resort, we engaged Tour Taiwan's services again for the last two days of our trip. Having seen and read some reviews, we decided to include this in our itinerary. I would say it's not that cheap but the experience was unforgettable at least to Xav.



While waiting to check in, we walked out to the broadwalk to say HI to the animals.
 


 


With a 6 year old child and a 1 year old baby, we gave some considerations about going to the theme park. Partly was due to the height restriction of a minimum of 110cm, the staff who attended to us told us that Xav would be turned away from some of their popular rides which has strict height requirements due to safety reasons.

In addition with a baby around, I would prefer to stay around the resort's premises instead of going under the hot sun and end up with a cranky baby.  Hence, we ditched the idea of going to the Theme park but paid to join the activities planned by the resort.

If you are visiting Leofoo Resort, ask for their programme list. Each activity has a time allocation and some will only have one or two sessions that run for the day. Book for activities that you are keen to join. The price and list of activities are subjected to changes.

To begin with, we decided to go for their zoo tour in the mini safari bus.



What we saw from the mini bus,

Guess whose paws ?

This is a combination of a camel and a horse ?




For the adults, if you are game for more adventures, this cage ride allows you to get really upclose to the lions for feedings. I find it quite scary to see the numbers of lions surrounding the truck, all the WHAT IFs started flooding my mind at that moment.

 

The hungry beast




Spotted this hunk drinking by the river.
 
 

The last part of the mini zoo tour ended with feeding of goats by the fences.





We arrived back to the lobby and continued with the pre-booked activities. Xav had an opportunity to have a feel like how it was like to be a zoo keeper assistant. His task was to scrub the giant turtles' backs !

Decked in the pair of rubber boots, gloves and cowboy hat, he's ready !


 

Xav was all gamed to scrub the shell by himself after the staff ran through once with him!


Least, he did not freak out upon seeing the size of the tortoise but vice versa, the creature seems to be attempting to escape.


Spa time, Giant Tortise ! Let me give you a good scrub !


With the friendly staff who taught him how to clean the shell.
 
After spa time, it's buffet of course  !


Vera joined in for a group picture before we made our way to the next activity.


Next in line, I signed up for Lemurs feeding session with Xav.


The moment they saw the food, they crowded around us.  They were so playful and friendly !


They snapped up the bananas real fast !




Try it with some food in your hand, they would just jump and land on your shoulder.

 
 
 
Lazing around after having their fill.

Finally, we got to check in near to late noon. We were given the Congo greenery room on Level 2. A simple room with basic amenities, Xav was disappointed with no bath-tub.


African themed room

View from our room

watching the animals from the window

Giffy came to "visit"

At night,  there was a story telling session in one of the rooms for the kids, do check out the timing and location from the receptionist.



That's how close we could get near to the giraffe.


Apart from having long necks & legs, they do have a long tongue,
 

and thick, long lashes too. So pretty !!


 
If you asked me if it's worth paying $500 for a night, it depends on how you see it. For me, the hubbs will not agree nor allow us to go Bali due to security threats reason so this stay was definitely worth it for us. I have to say if you are not going to Leofoo Theme park, then expect yourself to laze around and take leisure walk around the broadwalk before dusk. By the night, it was pitch dark at the broadwalk, I would prefer to stay indoor. Overall, the experience was awesome and an unforgettable one. But be warned, the smell of poop can be pretty strong.

We ended the stay with one last walk around the boardwalk before Xiao Lee sent us to the airport. Thank you Tour Taiwan again for your good service ! See you again for our next trip!

Photo credit : Tour Taiwan

 Leofoo Resort is located at :
306 新竹縣關西鎮仁安里拱子溝60號
 
Hotline : +886-3-547-5365
Email : lrb.reservation@leofooresort.com.tw

This was our itinerary for the 8 days trip :

Day 1 : Taipei City, Ximending , Shilin Night Market

Day 2 : Cingjing, Lu Ma Ma 清境 << 魯媽媽 >>  (Part 1)

Day 2 : Cingjing, The Evergreen Grassland 清境农场 & Starry House 觀星園景觀山莊 , Nina Chocolate Factory (Part 2)

Day 3 : Cingjing, Monster Village, Taichung,

Day 4 : Hell Valley, Danshui (Old Street),

Day 5 : Jiu Fen, Gold Mine Waterfall, Historical Museum, Shi Fen, Rao He Night Market

Day 6 : Tai Pei Free & Easy

Day 7 & 8 : Leofoo Resort

If you are planning a visit to Leofoo Resort, here are some blogs you might want to check out
Bumble Bee Mum's post on which rooms are the best to go for and Life's Tiny Miracles for their theme park and resort experience.

Thank you for reading and if you would like to stay tune for future updates, do follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram !

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