Summer Holiday Round-Up

Now I’m back in England, after 5 weeks of revisiting old places, visiting new places and going to a new country. Of course there are things to look forward to back home: Doctor Who, a bunch of awesome films, and the return of normality.

There’s something about this holiday that I have really enjoyed. So, without further ado, here are the 10 activities I enjoyed most this holiday, in no particular order – Continue reading “Summer Holiday Round-Up”

Singapore Part 4: Ubin Island – Singapore’s time portal

On Saturday, I went to Pulau Ubin, off the coast of Singapore. The island is almost entirely forest, and the only people there lived in traditional kampungs, which were once the main style of house in Singapore. The villages are very old fashioned and the people rent bikes to travellers.

We went there with a university student from Hong Kong, and Singapore’s local historian KL Lee, who also took us to the Changi museum a week before. We walked approximately 12 kilometres for five hours across a third of the whole of Ubin island, and saw many interesting features on the island. Continue reading “Singapore Part 4: Ubin Island – Singapore’s time portal”

Singapore Part 3: Marina Bay Sands

Thanks to my uncle’s generosity, I’ve now spent the night in Singapore’s most famous building, Marina Bay Sands Hotel. We were lucky to have VIP Tower 1. The hotel had 57 floors, with the top floor being the Infinity Pool, the world’s largest rooftop pool which is 150-metre long. The hotel has three towels (I mean towers, whoops) and the top is in the shape of a boat, so it is a unique building to look at.
Continue reading “Singapore Part 3: Marina Bay Sands”

Singapore Part 2: Diving into Singapore’s past

So here I am back in Singapore. Thankfully my multi-media system on Singapore Airlines worked again so I watched Skyfall for the THIRD time (I needed something to quench my James Bond fatigue).

Singapore Zoo

My first trip was the Singapore Zoo and the River Safari. The River Safari was the new exhibit which I had never been to before, but I was not disappointed. There was a massive tank with many animals, including manatees and arapaimas. There were many different sections from many rivers around the world, including the Ganges, the Amazon, the Nile and the Mekong. Continue reading “Singapore Part 2: Diving into Singapore’s past”

Australia Part 1: Close encounters of the KANGAROO kind – in Perth!

Here I am in Australia, or more precisely Perth, the most isolated big city in the world. For a city with this distinction, it seems pretty alive and it’s hard to believe that the city is surrounded by miles of water of Indian Ocean and miles of desert on all sides.

The flight from Singapore itself was eventful, as my multi-media console was severed for some strange reason. Thankfully I had a bunch of comics from Singapore to keep me entertained. I was given 75 dollars compensation to spend at the airline shop. My parents will probably buy something expensive with it to bring back

Perth itself is a very laid back city. The one downside is that it is in the middle of construction works, so there is noise everywhere, and we could hear them from our hotel room, and get woken up by the digging sound every morning (from about 7:00 clock). The city centre was mostly unaffected though, which is good as the shopping here is amazing!
Continue reading “Australia Part 1: Close encounters of the KANGAROO kind – in Perth!”

Singapore Part 1: Local food and a massive aquarium

Finally, after 13 hours on a plane, I have arrived at Singapore (well, I arrived on Wednesday, but I was too tired to write then). Several things are different, several things are the same.

The first thing worth noting is the huge amount of people at the airport customs. Normally when we arrive, the queue is very short, but here the queue was massive. Something must have boosted the tourism here. The flight itself felt quite short, though of course it was normal length. I spent my time watching James Bond in hype mode (incidentally, Spectre trailer= AWESOME!) and sleeping.

I decided this holiday to not have any Western food until Australia, so my food in Singapore has been completely Eastern. I have had noodles, teriyaki and roast pork. Most food comes from the hawker centres, which are the traditional Singapore dining and socialising areas.

The main thing achieved today was the S.E.A Aquarium in Sentosa, one of the largest aquariums in the world. The last time I was here, the aquarium was pretty small. Good, but small. Now, the aquarium is gigantic. There is a huge tank with fish, sharks, groupers and three manta rays. There is a giant pacific octopus, spider crabs (does whatever a spider crab can), dolphins, jellyfish and more sharks. Every exhibit was great and there was a huge array of animals. Not since Singapore Zoo have I seen such a huge variety of animals.

We also went to Vivo City, the largest mall in Singapore. It’s huge, but not very interesting. I used to love it with the Toys’R’Us but now it just seems to be clothes shops. It is also very strangely laid out, at least to me. Thankfully there are other malls for me to explore. I have 400 Singapore dollars to spend (£200) so I have three options. Either find a perfect Singapore mall, spend all the money in Australia or wait until I get back to England and go on a Forbidden Planet shopping frenzy.

Whatever way it goes, my next post will be all about Australia and hopefully an Ant-Man review too.

The Singapore Scouts

During our second week in Singapore we went to see the Singapore Scout HQ.

I visited the scout headquarters in Singapore

The reason we went to see them is because our Scout HQ had a challenge to find the Scout hut that is longest away from England. Not to brag or anything, but I think I might have the one furthest away.

The scout promise in Singapore

There are several differences from the English Scouts to the Singapore Scouts. For example, the Scout Law is different because Singapore has no Queen, the Singapore Scouts pledge to the Republic of Singapore instead.

Formation of Scout Troops in Singapore

The Singapore Scouts were formed in 1910, three years after Scouts began. When we arrived there, we were shown around by an old scout and we learned the history of the Scouts. We brought some stuff in the gift shop as well. Above is a history of the Scouts in Singapore.

Where have you been on holiday? What did you see?

Ghosts, rice cakes and paper mansions

In Singapore, there are two major festivals that happen in August.

The major event that happened was Ramadan. It is a period of time where Muslims fast (Not eat) for a whole day until late evening. They do it for a month before having a big feast and celebration on Eid al-Fitz. The reason Muslims fast is because of spiritual purity. Muslims hang up beautiful decoration of little triangle bags of rice called ketupat. Ketupat is a rice cake encased in woven palm leaves. It is one of the food which Muslims tend to eat after fasting at the end of the day with curry and satay.

The barber I went to in Singapore used ketupat (rice cakes) as decoration
Beautiful ketupat decoration

The other big festival is the Hungry Ghhhhhhhh-ooooooo-sssssss-tttttt festival. It is a time where Chinese around the world burn incense and offer food to the dead. You can burn paper cars, houses, toys and anything else the dead might like. But be warned: Some ghosts want Ferraris and might come back to haunt you if you get them the same DVD that you gave them last year! It occurs during the seventh month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar. Chinese people believe that the dead should be respected and if they don’t leave offerings, the ghosts will get hungry and cause havoc. Some ghosts are very fussy and prefer certain types of Pringles and like Micheal Jackson. (OK, only kidding).

Offerings to the dead are everywhere.

I overheard the conversations with a ghost and his son.

The ghost was haunting his son’s flat because he gave him a Spice Girls’ album.

“Dad, why are you hitting the cat?”

“Because I’m not happy with your present this year.”


“Because I wanted Girls Aloud, not Spice Girls!”

“How could I know?”

“You didn’t. So I’m telling you next year GET ME A GIRLS ALOUD ALBUM!”

“OK, but can you stop hitting the cat?”


Have you been to any festivals that you remember? What were they?

A low down of my holiday

Christmas is almost over… whoops, used the wrong blog starter in “Good blog starters” by A.Man. What I was TRYING to say was the summer holidays are almost over. We’re leaving Singapore at 9:00 am tomorrow – or England time 2 in the morning (I need to switch to English mode).

During my holiday I’ve noticed several major differences from how I normally live in England and how Singapore people live-

  • 80% of people in Singapore live in flats. Hardly anyone in England do.
  • There are a lot of taxis. We took about five taxis to get to places in Singapore. All you have to do is wave your hand (preferably not doing a dance) and tell the taxi driver where you want to go (eg: the toilet).
  • We travelled mostly on MRT trains. They are a kind of overground train. They are clean, efficient and fast. Unfortunately, there’re a lot of people on the train, so I have to stand a lot of the time. In England, I normally walk or get driven around by my private chauffeurs (just kidding — these are my mum and dad!)
  • When you cross the road, in Singapore, there is a timer that shows you how long you have to cross the road: either 15, 20 or 40 seconds to cross the road. I like counting the seconds it takes me to cross the road. I haven’t seen this kind of timer in England.
  • The lifts are actually nice. They’re colourful and have wooden doors with glass windows so you can see what’s outside. One lift in another area had a sign saying a ‘Urine Detector’ was in place. Perhaps some people do pee in the lift. In England, I don’t get to the lift very often.
  • There is a good Malay barber near my maternal grandmother’s flat (where we stayed at). He cut my hair with smart layering and trimming. Not to be offensive to barbers anywhere, but the barbers near where I live in England are not good (According to Mum, who says everything is either good, bad, expensive or stupid).
  • There’re adverts on the news as well as EVERY TV program. I feel there shouldn’t be any advert break in the news. In England, the news hasn’t got an advert break. The programs that I watch on the BBC have no advert break.

There’s a lot more but these are the major differences. I am looking forward to going back to my new school and learning more history and telling everyone my experiences.

OK, who’s being illegal?

When we went to the Singapore Science Centre a few weeks ago, we went to a section about animal protection. In the first cage I saw a beautiful leopard gecko, but SHOCK-HORROR!!!!!!!! The sign explained it was illegal to keep them in Singapore. I was baffled.


I told mum that in England you can keep leopard geckos at home as they are treated as pets. The proof: My friend keeps one in his room. I bet that blue tongued skinks like Georgy are also banned in Singapore. I’ve kept Georgy for about 2 years and we look after her very well. She is about 80 cm long and has gone through two vivariums. I feed her frozen mice called fluffies, locusts, banana, salad (What!? She needs her 5 a day!) grapes and fresh scrambled eggs — the eggs from our hens. She also likes snails but we haven’t found any from the garden to feed her. We feed Georgy once every 2-3 days, but sometimes she eats when she feels like it.

The leopard gecko is hidden at the back on the left

Mum said that the reason they’re banned in Singapore is because there’s not enough room in a little flat where most people in Singapore live. Also the temperature is not suitable.

I was playing with Joe’s leopard gecko 3 years ago!

Well, England is colder than Singapore and I manage to keep a blue tongued skink in a heated vivarium, which I turn on the heat to 28 or 30 degrees in the morning and turn it down at night to 18. Georgy’s species lives in tropical and desert areas in Australia and Papua New Guinea. Yet, she lives happily in our home, which is colder than the places where her species live.


However, in the same area there was a pig nosed turtle and the sign read that you’re not allowed to keep them as pets either. I agree on that because pig nosed turtles are endangered and more exotic.

You shouldn’t keep pig nose turtle as pet

So, what do you think? Have you got any exotic pets at home? How are they kept?