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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by up an down View Post
    +1... For Mt. Kinabalu.. But when I was there in 2017 you needed to hire a guide and probably need to get a reservation at least a few days ahead of time.. I wasn't able to get one without a 4 day wait... Also some fun river rafting options there which I enjoyed.
    Go now because I imagine it will become even more crowded after Indonesia moves their capital to the pristine jungles of Borneo.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by altasnob View Post
    Go now because I imagine it will become even more crowded after Indonesia moves their capital to the pristine jungles of Borneo.
    Those "pristine jungles" are a world source for plywood, and the area slated for the capitol are currently eucalyptus plantations

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by boltonoutlaw View Post
    Those "pristine jungles" are a world source for plywood, and the area slated for the capitol are currently eucalyptus plantations
    Ah, I see, you must be a representative from the Indonesian government insisting that moving the capital to Borneo is somehow good for the environment.


    Indonesia’s utopian new capital may not be as green as it looks
    Moving the government to Borneo could speed deforestation

    https://www.science.org/content/arti...green-it-looks

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by altasnob View Post
    Ah, I see, you must be a representative from the Indonesian government insisting that moving the capital to Borneo is somehow good for the environment.


    Indonesia’s utopian new capital may not be as green as it looks
    Moving the government to Borneo could speed deforestation

    https://www.science.org/content/arti...green-it-looks
    Good article, but no I do not represent the Indonesian government. I am master of my own toilet, barely, and nothing more

  5. #55
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    Crossing the highway here. This country is very much built for the car. For sure car is king. Still, the freeways are some of the best manicured roads anywhere. Like a garden. Lined with trees, grasses and flowers. If you re going to be stuck in traffic, there really is nowhere better to do it. And at least I was able to ride my bike up/down ramps to cross this bridge.

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    But this post is about the MTB. I got out for a ride and put in about 15 miles on dirt. I accessed Trail 51 to start. Given my bike, this is perhaps my favorite stretch of dirt. Fast, flow, and there are almost some berms built.

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    I connected to Chestnut, took the Gangas Trail, and then connected to the 2nd half of the Bukit Timah loop on my way to lunch. The climbs were not long, but they were for sure some work. The pic from the previous post was a bit of flooded trail that was impassable. It was at least a meter deep, and beyond the hump the flood continued and the jungle opened up. You could not even really follow the trail. So much water. I aborted and followed the hiking trail till I hit Rifle Range Road.

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    Here is one of the faster sections of trail. Flat, and just a tad bit wet.

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    Took a stop at the old quarry mid trail.

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    It was fucking hot here, but a great little spot to sit and watch some bird.


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    This guy was flying about. Large wingspan. Elegant.

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    I'm sure these dudes got a better pic with their slightly better lens.

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    Waterfalls are rare here. Many cascades and babbling brooks, but clear drops are rare, outside the airport or cloud forest.

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    Back on the trail, this features was bit more challenging than it looks. Super slipper and super un even. Even with my FS trail bike, I think this one would continue to be clenching.

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    Jungle look. Parked here while I checked out the double diamond line. Chose the diamond line after viewing the long winding rock garden mixed with meter drops into winding rock garden,

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    Yes, I bike with a kick stand. Added challenge.

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    Trail heading back into the jungle. Sign is a bit unfocussed, but no hiking is allowed on the bike trail. Violators will be fined $2000. Made me wonder about my few hike a bikes.

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    After finishing up Bukit Timah, the trail pops out of the jungle and heads north through this meadow that offers up the only clean jumps I'f found so far. Basically clean drops off concrete slabs.

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    Headed over to Chestnut Park. While out I crossed paths with plenty macaw monkeys. Several times I had to avoid monitor lizards crossing the trail, one at least a meter long. In Chestnut, I saw three boar wandering around the jungle.

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    The trails over here were mostly rated blue with a few blacks. But they were for sure raw. This is one of the more groomed section of blue trail. Flat enough, but barely more than a way through the jungle. Several times I had crossings of deep mud, ruts and tangled roots.

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    Here is a typical climb section (that I did not succeed in completing)

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    Trails were one way. Do not enter - but I wondered exactly where the exit to there trail was. Like I said, raw.

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    On my way home the tarmac was not boring.
    Last edited by Ottime; 10-07-2022 at 06:41 PM.

  6. #56
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    Headed out for a family bike to hike from the home. I'm feeling a bit lucky we have a heavily travelled road between us and the jungle. It keeps these guys on their side. They are cool to see, but can be mettlesome.

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    Tree Top Walk is basically a suspension bridge over a deep valley that allows you to get out and above the jungle canopy.



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    It is a few hundred meters long, and barely wide enough to pass another person. At either side it breaks through the canopy about a quarter of the way out.



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    The views down are great. It is too hard to catch with a cell phone camera, but loads of birds and monkeys down there moving about. Some of the taller trees would reach up to the bridge itself.

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    The views out across the canopy top are expansive. This is one of the few spots I've been where you don't quite see or hear the city in the distance. Located in the Central Catchment, it is one of the larger, if not largest, green space on the island. Of course it is also dotted with private gold clubs. You can not bike through the CC, and official word is because of impact to nature, but you are able to mow down the jungle and manicure lawns and pave lanes to drive your cart on. So, go figure, money has its way.


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    In non-nature, one of the many sports you can enjoy in the East Coast Park (along the south coast) is Cable Ski at the Wake Park Lagoon. I'm not sure why it is called a Wake Park, as there is no wake. Just a cable pulled event with lots of obstacles.

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    This lady I'm pretty sure I've seen here before. She is by far the best rider out on the lagoon this day, and the other time I was here, there was a woman ripping it up. I thought, briefly, about giving it a try, but it is not cheap to get started. And you spend at least your first session in a different section practicing starts and turns before they let you out into the lagoon. Of course the day I saw several folks drop the line, wipeout and swimming to shore and doing the walk of shame back to the start.

  7. #57
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    Found a floor lamp on Carosell (SG version of CL) down on the south side and decided to go pick it up. It was an hour twenty minute commute on public transit and an hour half with the bike. Choose the bike. Been riding a lot here, and put in over 160km Tuesday through Thursday. Two days running errands and one day just out for fun. Took a bunch of pictures on Wednesday errand run. Starting off from our place, the monkeys were waiting for the bus across the street. Heard that they were also in my wife's school that day. Something was in the air.

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    Part of my commute was through a park. Paved pathway, but otherwise through dense forest and alongside a mangrove swamp. I thought about parking my bike and checking out the mangrove boardwalk, but I had some fruit in my saddle bags and feared a monkey invasion if I left them untended.

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    The park corridors are super fun to bike along. Mostly paved, but occasionally they are dirt or gravel. The townie bike I brought works well enough in the non paved surfaces that are fairly smooth. 700cc wheels, but a touch wider with some siping. I'm thinking they are somewhere between road and gravel tires.

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    The Start Performing Arts Center. After the park riding, I was in the road for quite some time. First on major three lane boulevards, and then on single lane roads through landed developments. Then back on a major road. At an intersection I was waiting for the light and looked up and saw this place. I had seen it before from the Railroad Corridor. A pretty stunning building and from what I hear the theatre spaces inside are just as stunning. Looking for a show to attend there and check it out form the inside.

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    Actually made good time and it took me just a bit more than hour to get to my pick up. I then headed toward lunch, and along the way, looked up and saw this place built into the hillside above me. Decided to go check it out.

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    Haw Par Village was built in 1937 by Aw Boon Haw, and dedicated to his brother Aw Boon Par. Hence the name of the park. The brothers are better known and the Burmese founders of Tiger Balm. The park has quite a history. It was built as a memorial to their parents, and to display Chinese mythology, history and culture. It was bombed and occupied by the Japanese in WWII, and later rebuilt in the 1980's as SG wished to emphasize its "oriental mystique"


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    The park has about 150 dioramas, each depicting a myth or piece of history and sharing Chinese values. The Legend of Madam White Snake is depicted here. The diorama itself is much larger and shows the entire arc of the story. Her Madam is fighting alongside water spirits to vanquish the monk who has stolen he beloved. If interested in the myth, here is a wiki.

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    It is perched on a hillside adjacent to the Southern Ridges, and has views of the shipping docks and lanes. But mostly you are surrounds by an immense number of statues.

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    Just trying to capture a bit of the uniqueness of this place. Planet of the Apes? Mermaids? Lily Pond Cities?

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    Overall, the park and its location is pretty damn cool. And creepy in a way. Apparently they were going to animate parts, and at one point housed puppet shows.

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    And then down to Pasir Panjang Food Centre for Crispy Fried Noodles in Savory Egg Sauce w Prawns, Sliced White Fish, Sliced Pork and Gai Lan. $3.50 usd and super yum. Was a big fan of this centre. Plenty of options, from cheap Nasi Lemak to pricier BBQ Stingray and Black Pepper Crab. And I rather enjoyed the open seating and the vibrant buzz of blue and white collar workers on their lunch hour.
    Last edited by Ottime; 10-07-2022 at 10:28 PM.

  8. #58
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    After lunch I started to head home, but decided to head a different way There is a stall at Zion that has great blended fruit beverages I wanted to hit up on my way. This is actually a big part in how I decide where to bike and what routes to take. There is a great Popiah in Whampao I never miss when biking by. It is a wonderful snack - a single roll. Anyway, my route brought me up Alexandra and past the Forest Walk and the Interlace.

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    I met a Belgium architect while in Bali who worked on the interlace. I mentioned I thought the architecture in SG was overall fairly interesting. He felt differently, but was very impressed with his own work. I finally was bale to get him to admit that privately built buildings are rarely boring here. And the Interlace is for sure a pretty cool feat for an apartment building. Besides the aesthetics of it, it is designed to maximize light in each apartment, and "blend" into the landscape. Far from camouflage, it does have an appeal to its surroundings.

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    Eventually I meet up with the headwaters of the Singapore River. I was going to take the Rail Corridor for a bit, but decided on the river instead. It was more direct to where I was going, and also I wanted to connect the few sections I had already been for different outings. More not boring towers and gardens.

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    I stopped at Zion, popped in to Great World for some money exchange (I'm always watching the rates, and trying to do my best to hedge before I head abroad) and approached downtown. Every time I approach the Financial District and Marina Bay, I really enjoy the views. It really is an amazing urban space. I studied Urban Design and Development at school, and this place sure has a lot to work on, but also has a lot to offer.

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    The shop houses backed up to the sky scrappers is a get juxtaposition.


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    I think this is an art museum, but still not confirmed. It could be a UFO landed and abducting humans.

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    Security and surveillance. There are cameras everywhere. Like literally everywhere. I spoke with a citizen about it one day and asked how they felt about. The short answer - 'we are a small country on a small island and chaos would destroy us, so they are ideal.' They enjoy their safety here. Very low petty crime rate and almost no violent crime. Being caught with a bullet, including a spent casing puts you in jail for a decade. Being caught with a gun can be life; firing a gun mandatory life. Women run at night on dark park paths without fear. It is a value here. The longer answer got into their government and its soft authoritarianism and went something like this:

    When independence was forced on SG (they were kicked out of Malaysia because of violent race riots on the island) we needed strong leadership and found it. Of all the world, only Israel stepped up and help develop the military. The leadership created and enforced strict laws to control the violence and crime. It was an impoverished nation, where one was lucky to enjoy an organic but once per year - even the wealthy and upper middle class. Within a generation, the country was well on its way to becoming a developed nation, and the average person was housed, fed and eating oranges as often as several times a month (he really did speak of oranges, and they easily represent imported fresh food). This generation has some of the best public education in the world and are well on their way to a prosperous country where we can eat many oranges a week, one or more a day if we wished. There is no homelessness. There are for sure class differences that are easy to see - as both an outsider, and the citizens I've spoken to see it as well - but there is almost no poverty. Everyone is housed. No one is going hungry. And this is based on several things provided by the leadership. Everyone is safe to live their lives as they wish. There is religious and cultural freedom. There is an open free market (tho it helps the monied class more, as any free market will). There is security. And everyone gets at least a little bit of the pie.

    My perspective on this places has wavered back and forth, on many topics, and I feel really fortunate to be spending enough time here to have those feelings swing. I wonder where I will be when it comes time to leave.

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    And just one more. A foot bridge. It was put in a long time ago, and they put it in wrong, so it never was strong enough for carts to go across it - so always a foot bridge. The Fullerton Hotel is on left and is a vestige of an older era. The MayBank Tower on the right - crisp and new
    Last edited by Ottime; 10-07-2022 at 11:09 PM.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ottime View Post
    My perspective on this places has wavered back and forth, on many topics, and I feel really fortunate to be spending enough time here to have those feelings swing. I wonder where I will be when it comes time to leave.
    This is the best augment for actually LIVING in a place rather than just visiting. It takes a long time to take understand where a culture came from and why it is the way it is. I look forward to hearing what you think after a lot more time there!
    ride bikes, climb, ski, travel, cook, work to fund former, repeat.

  10. #60
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    Great long term, TR, even with the whiplash of sideways pics every 10 or so.

    hint - edit any pic in any way and it will show up properly in the thread.

  11. #61
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    ^^^^ I will give that a try. They all have at least the Apple auto edit on them, but I'll try to at least manually adjust at least one setting and see if that works. They are all upright on my phone; and yeah, it kind of sucks with the sideways presentation. It is also a bit of pain even just posting from the phone, but don't have the time to transfer everything to the computer. I did bring my DLSR, but have yet to bust it out. It is so fucking hit here that carrying anything extra has not been part of the program. I might do it one of these days, as it for sure takes a better picture.


    Quote Originally Posted by climberevan View Post
    This is the best augment for actually LIVING in a place rather than just visiting. It takes a long time to take understand where a culture came from and why it is the way it is. I look forward to hearing what you think after a lot more time there!
    And that is the reason why we took this plunge. We are only here for a year (most likely) which will barely give us enough time to settle into the place, but for sure more than visiting for a week, or even a month, at a time.

  12. #62
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    Looks like you and the family are having the best time! Very happy for you!


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  13. #63
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    Back at River Wonders. The kiddo wanted to show their mom around.

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    Lucky us getting to see the panda take care of their business.

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    Monkeys do as monkeys do. This enclosure is pretty cool, as you are walking around inside with the creatures. It was a quite day compared to our last visit.

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    SG is full of signs. This, of course, is an exhibit. Not sure I'd take a chance of peeing in the river. Just in case.

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    Manatee are pretty cool, chill animals. I heard a lot folks calling them cute. Not sure I agree with that, but chill for sure. One of these guys was literally using just a single flipper to move, with the other relaxing along their side.
    Last edited by Ottime; 10-24-2022 at 07:31 PM.

  14. #64
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    We've been enjoying the juices at hawkers centres. Priced between $2-$4 typically for pint sized drinks. Kiddo was having an Avocado, while I sucked down an ABC (Apple, Beetroot, Carrot). Just bought myself a blender to start whipping up smoothie style drinks at home - Avocado, Banana, Dragonfruit, Mango, etc with Coconut Water is the plan. Made some of my own Lime Juice last night. A 2 Liter portion cost me about $1 in limes and $.07 in sugar.

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    Back out running errands around town, I ended up eating lunch at this Hawkers Centre near Rsffles Place (was doing some currency exchange). This was my first centre inside a modern building. Located on the 2nd and 3rd floor of the building to the right. But also wanted to capture some of the facade features of otherwise basic towers.

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    They are finally starting to open up some of the waterfront that was closed for the F1 race. Looking across toward MBS and Arts and Sciences building.

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    Next day I went out for a pleasure ride. No real errands others then stopping at hawkers markets to look for magnifier glasses, shoe laces and Tiger Balm mosquito repellent patches. These monitor lizards are pretty common around SG, but a bit camera shy. As soon as you start to approach, the walk away, and can get to a pretty good run if you get too close. Which is good, cause they look like they could rip your foot off. This guy was about average to small sized. Saw one the other day in the jungle about 2.5 feet long and thick through the middle.
    Last edited by Ottime; 10-24-2022 at 07:40 PM.

  15. #65
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    I was headed to Coney Island - one of the just offshore nature conservancy islands. Coney Island is littered with packed gravel and asphalt trails. I was on the town bike, so these trails were pretty ideal.

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    Its not a large island, so not miles and miles of trail to ride, but it was pretty quiet out there, so fun cruising through the jungle.

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    The north side of the island has a paved promenade and looks across to Malaysia. Basically it is just a shipping lane, and refinery area. Not picturesque, but gives you a sense of the shipping center this area is.

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    I saw no less than three barrages this day. It was a word I learned here in SG, and is basically a dam. They use them to cut off the ocean from their rivers, to create fresh water reservoirs. Without them, most fo the bays, inlets and rivers would be brackish. They for sure have changed the environment here in more ways than one. Even with all this infrastructure to create fresh water zones and massive amounts of rainfall, they are still reliant on importing water from Malaysia. Amazingly the water in SG is safe to drink from the tap - so they are doing something to refine/ clean this stuff up.
    Last edited by Ottime; 10-24-2022 at 07:47 PM.

  16. #66
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    Returning to SG proper over a barrage, capturing a bit part of the spirit of this place. They are building like crazy with thousands and thousands of new HDB housing going up currently. Part of it is population growth and part of it is replacing older structures and part of it is the fact that nothing last long in the tropics.

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    I was biking mostly around Punggol. It is framed by Coney Island to the north and rivers on the east and west. The PCN through this area was a great ride. I did about a 40km loop, with just about 2km on roads. This section was wide, with water front to my right and no one around.

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    Crossing a waterway that connects the Punggol (east) and Sarangoon (west) rivers. PCN also flank both sides of this waterway, providing a lot of path access to locales of this area. Just noticed that Coney Island is the name of the park, and it is on Serangoon Island. The entire island is th epark, so not sure why they have two names.


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    Signs are everywhere. This one reminds you not to litter int he river. Go figure.

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    Lunch was bibimbap for about $2.81 usd. If you ever get a chance to visit SG on the bosses dime, and you enjoy eating, you need to take them up on traveling for work While this place is crazy expensive in so so many ways, these hawker centres are unreal opportunities to eat some really greta food at dirt cheap prices.

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    The LRT (Light Rail Transit) are built in two parts of SG to service areas that have lower public transit needs. They are a bit antiquated, as Punggol is not loaded with residents. They remind me of airport people movers, with single cars zipping by every few minutes.

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    This food centre was my second day in a row eating in a modern multi story building. Super clean and very much like a mall food court, except the low prices and quality food. And around the corner is the wet/ dry market were you can purchase fresh fish, meat, produce and houseware.
    Last edited by Ottime; 10-24-2022 at 08:34 PM.

  17. #67
    Join Date
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    Nice updates!

    Have you tracked down soursop smoothies yet? It's my favorite fruit in the world and outlawed in the continental US by the USDA for indeterminate reasons. It's widely available in Singapore and SE Asia though.

    It'll change your life.

  18. #68
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    ^^^^ I'll give it a try next time out. I have for sure seen it. I've just been so addicted to avocado that I have not ventured to many other flavors. The place I went to with my kid, pictured above, it 5 minutes ride from my house and one of my regular go to places. I even have their 'frequent buyer' card. I'm pretty sure they have soursop there. I'm ready for more life changing events.

  19. #69
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    It was my wife's birthday, so we headed down to Duxton Hill to have a bite to eat. We found a great place for family birthday celebration. The food was decent, but the ambiance was spot on. Outdoor garden seating with views of old shop houses and skyscrapers.

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    This area of town is pretty cool. Lots of options for food. A bunch of bars and clubs and one of my favorite bookstores thus far in SG. I've been in tow other huge bookstores, but the one in Duxton is in a shophouse, two stores and packed to the gills with good books.

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    The Duxton Hill Reserve is not a cheap sta, but the place is pretty damn nice. Beautifully restored by Anouska Hamplel, old shop houses are connected to make the lodging. The zone was once a bustling market, as well as a red light district. Perhaps your rooms was an old opium den or a prostitutes quarters. You will wonder what happened in your room a century ago.


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    Finally my wife made it to Autumn Break and we were off to the airport. Changi is quite a place. It is not a bad place to have an extended layover. You spend some time chilling in this space enjoying the second tallest waterfall in SG.

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    And then we were off to Bali for a week of exploration, fun and relaxation.
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  20. #70
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    Feb 2008
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    Glad you and your family are having this wonderful experience.
    watch out for snakes

  21. #71
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    We are for sure super fortunate to have this year. We are 99.7% sure we are returning home in July ‘23. While very much enjoying being here, we do not want to move here. There is a lot going for SG, but there is also a lot to be said for the US. In fact, being here has made me appreciate my home country much more. So many things I had complained about at home now seem quite alluring. I want some of my freedumb back. Ha. OTOH, being in SG allows us to travel to some places easily that we would just not spend the time, money or carbon footprint going to otherwise.

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    Ubud, Bali is the epitome of a tourist trap, and yet is harbors a ton of culture. We spent four nights there trying to find the balance. Our first morning my wife and I headed out to the local market a few minutes from our home stay. First we ventured out to find some coffee around the corner from the Kings Palace.

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    We got super lucky with our stay. We were in local home located off the main drags, down a side street and down an alley - so super quiet, expect for dogs, cats and roosters. Local kids were playing in the street, and we were surrounded by families. It was a two story structure, built on a hilltop, so views across rooftops to jungle and Mt Batur. It was pretty ideal. 5 minutes walk and we were in town, but it felt both secluded and local. And the neighbors were super kind and friendly - and the local kids playing int he street made it even better.

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    It rained a lot the first two days in Ubud. Our hosts said it was the most rain they recall every falling in October, which they still consider the end of the dry season. This is our street. This particular evening, I ventured out int he rain as my family huddled and read books and I explored options for dinner nearby. As I was out it began to rain even harder, perhaps the heaviest rain I ever recall being in, and I've experienced some heavy CA winter rains. The streets began to flood and were over a foot deep in spots. This hill I had to walk home was like walking up a river, and there was a standing wave at the bottom as the current hit a "speed bump" in the pavement.

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    We hired a bike company to take us on a guided tour of the country side. On the way to the bikes we stopped at a Lewak Coffee plantation. Lewak coffee is made thus. Lewaks eat ripe arabica beans, and the beans ferment in their stomach. When they crap, farmers collect the feces and clean the beans out of it. Dry for a week, roast, grind in a wood mortar and brew. It is described by the sellers as the "best coffee in the world". Compared to Bali Coffee (Robusta/Aribica blend unfiltered) it is for sure smoother. The best, I'm not sure. The grounds were nice and quiet and my kid enjoyed hanging out in their swing.

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    Rice is the main agricultural product of Bali. It was everywhere in "the wood" as the area was referred to. Still, due to growth in tourism, more land is being used to build hotels and Bali now needs to import rice from other islands.

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    We had breakfast with a theoretical view of Mt Batur, the 2nd highest peak on Bali. The volcanos are holy places, as they are reaching toward the gods. We thought about making a sunrise hike to the crater, but given the weather we passed. Some bike tours begin at the crater and head down from there. We opted to bike from the flanks. Mostly (like 97% of the time no peddling) downhill, but not steep at all, so rarely riding on the brakes. We did get a brief view between clouds, tho.

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    The ride was mostly through rural space. Villages were lined with compounds. What struck me was the different stone and wood work. You could get a sense of what areas were wealthy village centers and what were poorer outlying areas, often just from the walls and gates of the compounds.

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    Much of the ride was near and around rice paddies, which was pretty cool. Another reason cultivation is waning is that the younger generation is less interested in the hard work of planting and harvesting rice for low wages. More and more are looking to get an education and find employment in professional services or tourism.

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    The town centers were pretty cool. Often we were working our way down single rural roads, but occasionally we'd come into a town, with shops and a small grid of roads. I just liked this particular spot with a tree in the middle of the road.

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    Perhaps the only challenging biking we did was through mud between rice paddies. Not sure I'd quite cal it mountain biking, but it was a little bit of a workout keeping the wheels spinning in the glop.

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    Did I mention it was a beautiful ride. It rained off an on during our ride, with us putting on and taking off ponchos. Even when the rain was heavier, it was still quite pleasant and nice to get out into the country side. Living in SG, we are never in the country.

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    The wood work in this compound was pretty insane. Nicely carved and painted. We visited a compound as part of the tour and met with a local family. A good portion of their income was carving pieces for the market and occasionally commissioned to do work for wealthier families. One of the family basically sat around all day under a thatched roof and carved what ever was "trending" at the tourist markets in town. This day he was working on tikis.

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    More "middle class" area with a lot of concrete and masonry walls, and less intricate stone work. Still not boring. Because so many people do not have proper employment, much of the carving you see is done by someone in the extended family - a skill that is passed down through generations.

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    Big tree and temple in the middle of the intersection of two "major" roads.

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    We finished our ride up at a waterfall and nearby the company owners compound, where we enjoyed a long casual lunch. On the way down the water fall, you get to see Balinese graffiti. Basically carvings, cut right into the rock faces by unofficial artist. This one has clearly been there for a while.

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    Because of the heavy rains, the water was not really swimmable, and was more like a raging river.

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    You can see the concrete steps built at the bottom of the waterfall, so that you can stand underneath and take photographs safely. There were more than a few instagram photo shoots going on while were down there. Its is an interesting and popular tourist thing to do in Ubud. You can even purchase "Instagram Tours with Profession Photographer" that even include wifi in the car, so you can instantly upload.

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    Happy family just before our lunch. It was a good first day for us. Good views, fresh air and we really enjoyed our guide for the day. If anyone finds themselves in Ubud and wanting to do a bike tour, I suggest checking our ABC Tours.
    Last edited by Ottime; 10-25-2022 at 07:46 PM.

  22. #72
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    Oct 2003
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    I hope to visit Singapore in mid December for 4-7 days with my girlfriend.. Any budget lodging recommendations would be greatly appreciated.....TIA
    what's so funny about peace, love, and understanding?

  23. #73
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    Jun 2007
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    Have you looked in Malaysia?

    I don't think budget lodging is really a thing here, but I'll ask around. For sure there is a price range, but no idea if any of those on the less expensive end are quality stays. We were put up in a serviced residence while we were apartment hunting. I can say the Le Grove was a decent stay, but our 39sqm studio deluxe was S$5800/mo, so not a cheap stay. When you are looking, be sure to convert to US, as the exchange is at about $1usd to $1.45sgd right now.

    What I can tell you is nothing is very far (or too close) in SG and the public transit is very very good. I would suggest the following for planning purposes. If you can afford a place in Duxton Hill or Chinatown, book there. So much to walk to in that area. Eateries and bars galore. There are two good Hawkers Centers. Maxwell is is bit more local old school and very much worth a visit. Lan Pa Sat is a bit clean and tourist friendly, but also very much worth a visit. And Satay Street is right next that, which gets closed off to traffic at 7pm and turned into an outdoor satay festival. Add to that shop houses, cute districts, parks, shops, and the financial district close by and it is a worthy trip.

    All the hotels in SG are in the southern district. So nothing is far and away, so any hotel location will do and will likely be in a good district. Personally I'd avoid Orchard, as it is really just a bunch of shopping centers. The Botanic Gardens are nearby, but also easy to access with transit

    TRANSIT: If you have Apple Pay, you can pay for transit by opening your wallet and swiping it over the scanner at the gate. It is that simple. You swipe to exit and pay per distance. Transfers are included, as long as you use the say pay system. Alternatively, you can swipe most credit cards that have chips. Also pretty simple. Or you can buy a tourist MRT card. These offer unlimited rides and are aper day type of thing. I don't know much about these because I never had one, but a colleague who was in town was using one and told me about it. It was maybe $10 a day.

    Download the CityMapper App and set to SG. Type in your destination, hit the transit button, and it gives you a bunch or routes to choose from - down to what exit to come above ground from the train.

    Grab is the driver app of choice. Like Uber, but green. I'll post up another one, once I figure out which it is that I use. I usually go Grab first and if the price looks high, check the other one. Of course you can also get Gojek.

    More later - gotta play cards with the family now.

  24. #74
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    Jun 2007
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    More Tourist Info:

    Google search "NEA food centre" for locations of NEA hawker's centers. There are more unofficial centers referred to as 'coffee shops' but these tend to be less common in districts you may visit.

    Little India has a pretty awesome Hawker's Center. It also also a lot of good small restaurant. As does the corners of Jalan Sultan and North Bridge Road. Chinatown and Duxton His were mentioned. Even the food court in Marina Bay Sands is surprising good food, and not a terrible price point - tho a bit more than a food centre.

    Rent a Bike and bike around. I could give you longer bike tours if you want, but even biking around Marina Bay and up the Singapore River is a nice ride with several food centres to choose from. Another option is to download the AnyWheel ap and buy a day pass. A foreign phone number it is $10 per day, as many rides as you like. The first hour is included, and then charged per half hour But If you park and lock the bike every 59 minutes it remains free. Bikes are heavy single speeds for the most part, but great for hopping on/ hopping off. SGBikes is another bike ap, (and there is a third) but AnyWheels are all over the country. If you have a SG phone number, it is $10 for an entire month, but you need to park and lock the bike every half hour.

    PHONE: If you don't have an international plan, and your phone is unlocked, buy an SG SIM when you arrive. I use Singtel, and can buy a SIM at any 7-11 (surprisingly all over the place) $15 would give you all the data you could use (I think its like 50GB) for 30 days. Download WhatsApp and you have a phone/text included. And now you have an SG number while here. Just bring paper clip with you, or a SIM card popper. Alternatively you can download FlexiroamX and use a virtual SIM - but they will charge you more.

  25. #75
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    1,482
    Thank you!!... I will do some map searching for a place in Malaysia close to Singapore... Hopefully not a problem to border cross often?.. I do have a Google pixel 6 phone with decent international coverage in the past when I have been in Malaysia and Japan, and also usually very good now in the Philippines..

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