Coney Island – A Deer Sanctuary

Ok now that I establish that having the OBS on Coney Island is  not a good idea, what will be a better option if the itchy handed Gahmen die die cannot leave the place in tact.

I will suggest turning the island into a tourist attraction which will attract not just local but tourists to a side of Singapore that tourist seldom see. Turn it into a animal sanctuary where animals can roam free without barriers. Perhaps something like Nara Park where deer roams freely. So how about Coney Island – Deer Sanctuary?

Singapore still have a small population of Sambar deer. To grow the population, what better than to have a place where they can roam free and without danger from prey and cars? Coney Island is perfect for this purpose. It is a small little island with only 2 entrances to it which can easily be reconfigured so that the deer cannot escape to the mainland and scare the hell out of the little darlings of Punggol. There are no preys on the island other than monitor lizards and wild boars. dsc_0096

The deer can roam freely. Visitors to the island can mingle with the deer like they do at Nara. Of course to defray the cost of maintaining the island and the deer, the authorities  can charge a entrance fee.  The fee will also help to keep the number of visitors down so as to not overly disturb the deer.

And in no time, we will haveour population of Sambar deer back to healthy level.

dsc_0103

So how about it? Wildlife Reserve Singapore, Tourist Board,anybody?

PS: Photos are half effort photo shopped version of Coney Island with deer from Nara Park for illustration purpose only

Sembawang Hot Spring

Not many people know Singapore has a natural hot spring except maybe those who lives in the Sembawang/Gambas area. I heard about it long ago but never did find the time to go there look see look see. And anyway the photos that I saw of the place on the web didn’t look very inviting. But after a visit to the Muar Hot Spring, I decided that it is finally time to go and take a look and compare how miserably Singapore fails in this area.

This is the Muar Hot Spring. Bear this photo in mind. Within the Hot Spring Park, there is this big dual tier hot pool. There are 3 – 4 separate toilets and changing room as well as the usual prayer room, cafe and restaurants although all these were not opened at the time of our visit.1-DSCN6817

On the other hand, the Singapore version, the Sembawang Hot Spring is located inside an army camp but thanks to the “generosity” of Mindef, it is open to the public but not before the public are treated to a slew of warning signs pasted all over the place right from the main gate to the hot spring itself.01-DSC_1210

02-DSC_1215

03-DSC_1216

04-DSC_1224To get to the Hot Spring, one must first enter from this little inconspicuous side gate along Gambas Avenue.10-DSC_1225

Then one got to walk about 100 metres along this little track while reading all the aforesaid warning signs.05-DSC_1217

And finally volia the Sembawang Hot Spring [drum roll]06-DSC_1203

Did I make a mistake? This looks like a vacant piece of land. But I kid you not. This is the famous Sembawang Hot Spring. And where is the Hot Spring? Here:07-DSC_1202

And here:08-DSC_1204

Errr isn’t this like the communal water collection point in some 3rd world countries?

water-services-pemba-tanzania

Photo from www.solutionmus.org

No while other hot spring in the world is either a pond or a stream, our version here is just a series of pipes and taps. Whatever “spring” is all hidden from view underground or somewhere else.

Most people go to a hot spring to soak their body or legs in it. In Muar, this is how everybody do it.1-DSCN6837

And this is how it is done at our Sembawang Hot Spring:09-DSC_1221

But before you can soak your feet in the little pails, you got to carry your own water11-DSC_1223

If small little Muar can afford to spruce up their hot spring, I wonder why we here in prosperous and proud Singapore cannot? What on earth possess our government to leave something that has so much potential economic value lying around like a water point at some squatter’s colony. I know it is located within an army camp. But the fact that one just need to walk a short distance from the main road to it means that there is much possibility for the authorities to hive it off from the camp and develop it into something that if not world class, is at least more pleasant to look at. Until than, maybe it is better to just close it off and not be the laughing stock of the hot spring world.

Street Food in Beijing

I enjoyed eating street food whenever I travel overseas. And one of my favourite place for street food is Bangkok which has almost everything. And then what I saw in Beijing blew me away. There at Wangfujing was streets after streets of food. And according to the local, this is not the best. There is apparently another place which has better food. But what was available at Wangfujing was more than enough.

Here are some pictures. First up, the nice looking stuff and desserts

09-DSC00990

This is some sort of pastries

08-DSC00988

Rice ball with yam, banana and coconut filling

16-DSC01002

Fried durian!

01-DSC00974

Fruits and the famous pintanhulu

12-DSC00996

This is supposed to be an imperial delicacy eaten by the Empress

13-DSC00997

Not ice cream but some sort of rice cake

Next up is all the more mundane looking stuff:

19-DSC01009

Grilled pigeon I think

11-DSC00994

All sort of fried fish

10-DSC00993

Fried crab claw

07-DSC00987

Pancake

06-DSC00985

Mantou. But not too sure what meat are those though

02-DSC00980

Whole crab. How to eat?

Last but not least, the yucky stuff

05-DSC00984

The white thingy is snake and the round thingy are cocoon

04-DSC00983

Meal worms and grasshoppers

03-DSC00981

Seahorses and lizards

15-DSC00999

Crickets

14-DSC01000

Giant scorpions

18-DSC01006

Centipedes and those black things are spiders!

17-DSC01005

Star fish! How could they possibly eat this?

20-DSC01012

And last something more normal looking. All sort of meats and crustaceans

Contrary to my usual self, I did not try any of the yucky stuff. Firstly wasn’t too sure how hygienic it was and secondly, some of the creepy crawlies were still alive although pierce on the stick! No way I am going to eat such cruel food!

Purple Dog

I have read and heard about people who dye their dogs but never actually see a live one until yesterday. At the funeral, this band member had his pet dog with him.

Does the dog looks really cute with all that color? Me think just like those crazy people with green or pink hair, the pet owners need their head examine. Does the dye irritate the dog? Is there a case for the dyeing of pets to be banned?