Thursday, October 20, 2016

Safari Boo 2016 - Aliens and Monsters!

[Media Invite & Giveaway]

This may be the third Safari Boo that the kiddos had been to, but they were still pretty excited since knowing that they were invited and kept reminding me of the date! They were sure looking forward to meeting all the magical characters again, and of course to collect their treats!

This year's theme is Aliens and Monsters. Halloween at River Safari is a Merry-Not-Scary kids event and nothing like those eerily scary fright fest! It is a fun-filled evening for the younger ones, who will run from one creature to the next to find out who it will be, and of course to get their treats! 

Besides the mystical creatures along the paths, educational booths will also be set up to teach the little ones on animal conservation and how to differentiate between our local fauna and introduced alien species. There are face painting booths and the kids' favorite act, Monster Boo! featuring some well-trained animals too!

However the highlight this year at River Safari would have to be the introduction of live mermaids into the dugong tank in the brand new Mermaid Mania! Yes, in case you have not read about that in the news, 4 beautiful mermaids will be swimming alongside the Dugongs and giant Arapaimas while showing off their graceful swimming. It was a hit with the crowd and drew loud screams and squeals from kids and adults alike the moment they appeared. Check out for ticketing details and show times!


Now that the kiddos have had their fun, we also have a set of family tickets to 2 adults + 2 kids to River Safari on Sun, 23 Oct 2016, courtesy of the awesome folks from Wildlife Reserves Singapore! 

All you need to do is -

2) Like and Share this Facebook Post; and
3) Comment and Tag your friends responsibly in the same post!

Contest ends at 5pm on Fri, 21 Oct 2016 and winner will be contacted via Facebook message for prize collection details. Good luck to all!

Monday, October 17, 2016

My First Overseas Bonding Trip

There were many times when Steffi had to give in to her younger siblings and learn how to take care of them at a tender age. In fact it even reached the point where she drew a picture of just me and my wife holding her hands (without the brothers and sister) when asked to depict her happiest moment. It was as if she had lost me to her siblings and I can feel her pain. I needed to make it up to her somehow, and decided on a free and easy father-and-daughter bonding trip to Korea, just before she started formal education. It was the best decision ever.

Fresh Experiences

I had never been to Korea before myself, hence with her along, we had our many first times together. It was the first time we saw and felt snow – we even tried catching snowflakes with our tongues. Made our first snow balls, snow angels, had our first snow fights and even went ice-fishing to boot! I can still remember her smiles, and her laughter as we reveled in each other’s company. They were uninhibited, genuine, and priceless. Those were some magical moments indeed.

That’s a big snowball there isn’t it?
Trying out ice-fishing in the freezing cold!
Unfortunately we didn’t get any but we still got to try out fresh trout!
We had no fixed itinerary to follow, and all the time in the world to do what we like. All we needed was our portable WiFi egg for navigation. Absolutely liberating and we simply went with the flow!

Unfounded Fear

Singapore is definitely safe but that doesn’t mean other places are as dangerous as you may perceive. Looking back now, the wife was rather apprehensive about letting me leave the country alone with Steffi, and kept reminding me to take good care of her, never to let her out of my sight and avoid all dangerous stunts! Being the caring wife and mom she is, she also shoved lots of “essential” stuff into my luggage.

I was able to find almost anything we needed from the street across our hostel. Here’s a photo with the staff from Korea Tourism Organization stationed in the streets.
But my tip to would-be travelers to Korea or to most other cities as a matter of fact, is to just bring along the bare necessities, especially for consumables. Heat packs, gloves and even winter wear were so much cheaper in the many street markets. If I were to go again in winter, I may just decide to bring along ONE initial set of warm clothes and leave luggage space for their trendy winter wear! So do not worry over missing anything out and end up over-packing, there are always places for you to buy what you need.

Where do you think Korean parents buy stuff for their kids anyway?

One can probably get whatever is required to keep one warm at this store and this is the handsome storekeeper!
There are lots of interesting street food too!

Breaking down barriers, with Kids!

I was supposed to be the one showing Steffi around, but in reality it was really because of her personality and likability that broke down the barriers (language or otherwise) between us and the locals. She would step into restaurant kitchens to see how food was prepared, approach policemen on the street for a photo, walk into the restricted fish-holding area, get behind the counter of the Pojangmacha (small tent selling food), strike up a conversation with tourists, and basically explore places I don’t think I would, if on my own.

Escaping the cold in the Pojangmacha.
Super fresh food that needed no refrigeration and aunty likes Steffi!
And she casually walked over to strike a conversation with other tourists!
Presumably the owners of the restaurant here.
This uncle gestured to Steffi to go over his table proceeded to teach her how to do the gesture for “love”
Walked past the police station and this is what I got, very friendly law-enforcement officers!
Everyone was so friendly towards Steffi!
I am almost certain that if I were to explore Korea on my own, I wouldn’t be able to have even half the fun I had together with Steffi! I have noticed that everyone tends to warm up to me when I am with my kids and it helps greatly that Steffi was friendly and outgoing! That made everything so much more enjoyable!

Great memories

First time skating in the open too!
I am no professional photographer but exploring new places together allowed me to take great photographs of her, and of us, that we can always look back at to temporarily ease our wanderlust. Of course, the feelings and memories are forever etched in our minds too. It’s been two years and Steffi is still able to remember us having our ice-creams in the cold, the ajumma who offered her hot soup in the Pojangmacha, the ice-skating in the open rink and most importantly, having all of me, my full attention to herself for the 5 days.

Such beautiful scenery that any point and shoot camera will do!
Love her comical and exaggerate poses.
I love capturing all the moments.

The time is now

Even an uneventful flight, can become an unforgettable experience for Steffi.
Procrastination will be your worst enemy. You have heard this advice time and time again from parents with grown up children, to be there for your kids and savor their childhood. Blink and you would have missed it. So live the moment, go forth and explore the world together. The experience of exploring the world with your kid will be truly amazing, I guarantee that. I know, because my trip with Leroy last year was a blast too, and I am so looking forward to my next trips with the younger two! So go forth, step out of your comfort zone and escape the daily grind!

Note: This blog post is in collaboration with Friso. Kids learn from experiences whether big or small, good or bad. That’s why Friso provides the right nutrition for your child to be strong inside to take on challenges. For more information on Friso, follow them on their Website, Facebook or Instagram.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Halloween at Quayside Isle @ Sentosa Cove

[Media Invite]

I brought the kiddos down to Quayside Isle @ Sentosa Cove recently as the restaurants rolled out a series of Halloween-inspired menus for the month of October. Nothing spooky or sinister though, but everything sweet and nice!

Joe & The Juice

First we popped by Joe & The Juice for some great-tasting concoctions such as 'Pick Me Up' - (Apple, Raspberry and Banana) which started our evening with on a sweet note. That was followed by 'Young Blood' which is not exactly for people who dislike celery, because it is one of the ingredients, alongside lemon and apple.

The juices are definitely yummy and fresh and the only way to get them fresher would be to pluck the fruits straight from the trees and eat them direct! Oh and in case you do not know, their Turkey Sandwiches are da bomb too! Toasted to perfection with mozzarella cheese and tomatoes. Makes a great snack which light-eaters can substitute for lunch!

Gin Khao Bistro

And for the real meal, we popped by over Gin Khao Bistro for some authentic thai food without needing to leave on a jet plane. They are currently have a special 5-course dinner promotion consisting of the following -

Pla Muek Yang Nahm JImm (Scorched fresh squid served with Thai green chilli dip)
Kor Moo Yang (Flame grilled tender pork neck served with sticky rice and Thai dip)
Tom Kha Koong (Succulent fresh prawn braised in chicken and coconut broth served in coconut husk) and Truffle Mun Pla (Pan seared truffle infused Thai fish cake)
Kanom Pheuak (Yam paste with coconut sauce)
I really wonder if it's squids or octopuses because the pieces were really big and succulent! Thai fish cake was more of a "meat-ball" consistency that breaks up easily instead of the slightly chewy texture one would expect of fishballs. Soup was awesome, so full of flavors and had the coconut fragrance that I finished the last drop! Pork neck looked sinful, but wait till you plonk them into your mouth and taste it for yourself. Forget about counting anything I tell you. I am no fan of warm desserts really, but I can tell you that the yam paste tasted almost identical to our Cantonese version. 


This is the first time we stepped into Museo and I must say that I am impressed with the overall ambiance. It is truly a place where I would imagine chatting with good friends over a pot of tea. Very classy indeed. Perhaps the budding artist in you may want to try their Art Jamming sessions too and let your imagination run wild, through the paintbrushes!

‘Vampire’s Libation' (Hibiscus Tea)

‘Medusa’s Supper’ (Blueberry Meringue with Vanilla Ice Cream Raspberry Coulis and Popping Candy)

But we were really there to try out their Halloween creations of ‘Vampire’s Libation’ (Hibiscus Tea), which for some strange reason I kept reading as Vampire's Ligation! The glass came 2 eyeballs and the drink had a beautiful glittery red hue once you pour it in. A refreshing drink with the dash of lime added. ‘Medusa’s Supper’ (Blueberry Meringue with Vanilla Ice Cream Raspberry Coulis and Popping Candy) looked eerily good with the extra appendage added. Yummy! 

Greenwood Fish Market

Lastly we popped by Greenwood Fish Market for some light snacks and their super fresh oysters! No matter how filled our stomachs were, they will still be room for some great-tasting fresh oysters. Even Steffi gulped down 3 pieces on her own!

Spend a sweet Halloween on 30th Oct at Quayside Isle @ Sentosa Cove, as the kiddos goes trick-or-treating at participating restaurants! Remember to check out for more information!