Tuesday, November 26, 2013

"In our rush to explore the world, we overlook the fact that we are strangers in our backyard"

Stumbled upon the above quote at a really nice website done up by the Singapore Urban Redevelopment Authority encouraging people to explore Singapore and at the same time, revisit our heritage - even providing very user friendly maps and info guides and if you click this link, you'll be magically teleported to that website. The hardcopy versions of some of these maps can be found at tourist attractions such as Singapore museums and I myself have taken a few. I haven't really used them properly though - I will definitely do so! It's a really easy and fun guided way to explore this little island. 

Going back to the quote, I feel like it's true that so many people around me are always going overseas and I agree that it's a great thing - broadening horizons is always lovely but I feel like apart from travelling, we should also come back to have a little adventure in our own country as well because wouldn't it be ironic if we don't even understand the places in our hometown? And to those who think that they already know Singapore at the back of their palms - no, no you don't. I can vouch for that. 

Having a little travel around Singapore is easy, convenient and best, it's relatively cheap! Sometimes, when hanging out with friends, there isn't a need to have a planned entertainment factor like watching a movie or ice-skating and stuff like that. Just walking around parts of Singapore rich in heritage could well entertain for an entire day. 

As a continuation to my previous post with Ragini, after we had our ice cream and hung out at Vivocity for a bit, we headed to Chinatown because I've been wanting to revisit it properly ever since the Dwen An project. It was a last-minute and unplanned trip there, so I wasn't prepared with a map we couldn't stay there for long either because it wasn't early anymore. It was still a refreshing walk though, away from the commercial buildings into old school shophouses, though they all mainly touted things meant for tourists. 

Pretty chinese lanterns!

Hey look! "Pacific islands of Yap" - I guess my family used to owe islands :-)

Anyway, to be honest, I feel like everytime I visit Chinatown, I end up going to only the tourist parts, which is really terrible because I know that there are hidden gems, especially in the really old and run down shopping centre nearby - if I'm not wrong it's Chinatown Point. I feel like there's quite a bit of vintage things there but I'm not entirely sure. I really need to go there again and really go to the hidden parts of the place. In the meantime, just enjoy these photos! 

In the middle of Chinatown, there's a Hindu temple - that's multi-racialism for you!

Shophouses hehe I wished they were less commercial looking though; without those bak kwa (bbq pork) and 'SONY' advertisements glaring at us. 

In my favourite shirt HAHA for my birthday please get me white shirts (okay I'm kidding but yes) 

Seriously, market spoiler I swear :') 

Coming to Chinatown used to be an annual family tradition before Chinese New Year and the place, especially the iconic bridge part, are a part of my fondest childhood memories. I have a lot of photos of myself and my family with the festive lanterns and light-ups when I was younger and the place looks totally different during that time of the year. However, there was something about Chinatown that had a bit of a curse with my parents and they would quarrel everytime we were there, which was really terrible because it was the new year, and fall outs do no good to anyone. So we eventually learnt and decided to stop this tradition. It is quite upsetting because it is really pretty during that time (just like Orchard Road during Christmas - but more oriental) and I miss visiting it before Chinese New Year :-( Well, it's for the better I guess. 

Please stop being so gorgeous Ragini

After our little walk, we decided to seek refuge at this traditional dessert shop just across the road from Chinatown MRT station. Or rather, I forced her to go with me. We brought our Taiwanese friends here during the Dwen An Project and I really like the snow ice here - reminds me so much of Taiwan so I wanted to eat it again :') Plus it was Ragini's first time having snow ice! 

All smiles (I didn't coerce her that much ok) 


We ordered the mango and strawberry snow ice for $6 and the portion is really a lot; I think three people can eat this and be really full afterwards. I really love the little pearls at the bottom, like what Ragini described it as - "mini grapes" - they burst in your mouth and the liquid inside the pearls ooze out and it's such a pleasant feeling. 

Anyway, it was a fabulous day - thank you Ragini once again for the wonderful company! :-)

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