Augmented Reality Effects Bring New Life to Exhibits at the Trick Eye Museum Singapore

Combine 3D together with Augmented Reality (AR) and you’ll get an out of this world experience!

27th May 2017 will mark the launch of Trick Eye Museum Singapore’s new AR mobile app, which you can use to take pictures at the museum and also discover the additional animations which appear with each of their art exhibits. This app is available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. You can use the app to take both photos and videos of yourself interacting with the art installations. There are added sound effects and music if you take videos using the app and you can watch some of my clips towards the end of this post.

The AR experience starts outside the entrance to the museum, where there is a hideous sea serpent waiting to pounce on unsuspecting visitors!

Running apps on your mobile with AR features does drain your phone battery life and I forgot to bring a power bank, thus in order to conserve my phone battery, I took only AR photos and videos during this visit, but I’ve also included some pictures from my previous visits for comparison.

If you have visited this 3D art museum since the last time when they had refreshed their artworks, you would be familiar with the rest of the pictures in this post but do take a look at how the pictures have been enhanced to provide a more fun and entertaining experience to your museum visit.

Original:

With AR turned on:

It puzzles me as to why a tiger has appeared at the Island of La Grande Jatte! Really unexpected!!

If you already think that this scene from the “Ghost” zone looks impressive in 3D…

…you will be pleased to know that it looks even better with the AR features turned on! I felt as if I was part of an animated movie with the skeletons moving about!

Some of the artworks have not-so-elaborate AR features, but the effects are still good as they enhance the visuals of the 3D exhibits.

Original:

With AR turned on:

Original:

With AR turned on:

Original:

With AR turned on:

Here are some other scenes with AR effects:

The addition of the AR features are best captured on video and you can “interact” with some of the animated characters (this is a chance to show off your acting skills!).

Here’s a compilation of some of the exhibits (please excuse my poor acting skills):

Do note that unless you are taking a selfie, you won’t have any idea of what special effects or animations are taking place in the space around you. If you have a friend helping to record the video for you, that person will need to be the director, otherwise it is pretty much up to your own imagination with regards to how to react in the scene!

Don’t worry if it’s too noisy at the museum, as the app will not record the background noise but instead overlay its own music and sound effects to your video.

Overall it was good fun and the AR effects certainly provide a different kind of interactive experience with the art installations!

Things to take note of before heading to the museum:

    • Download the “Trickeye” app (Free) from both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
    • Bring along a power bank in case your mobile battery runs low from using the app.
    • Try to familiarise yourself with the functions on the screen, otherwise if you are not sure, you can always refer to the tutorial page.

From 27 May to 26 June 2017, visitors to the museum will enjoy 50% off admission prices for tickets purchased from the Trick Eye Museum and Sentosa ticketing counters.

Thanks to Trick Eye Museum Singapore for the media preview of the new AR features!

Categories: Media Invite, Museums, Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chocolicious Fun at Universal Studios Singapore!

Chocoholics are in for a treat at Universal Studios Singapore’s latest Chocolate Garden attraction! Go on a Chocolate Adventure from now until 28th May 2017 and indulge your sweet tooth in some of the available offerings.

The entrance to the Chocolate Garden can be found between the Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase ride and The Brown Derby.

This walk-in attraction contains several themed areas like Lollipop Land, the Fondue Garden and there’s also a Choco Hedge Maze!

Lollipop Land

The swirls of colours immediately catch your eye when you enter the garden.

It makes for a nice photo spot.

There is an area for kids to decorate their own lollipops and they can add them to the Lollipop Garden!

Cocoa Hedge Maze

Get lost in this maze and who knows, you may even find some chocolate treats hidden amongst the bushes! It’s a pity the hedges aren’t high enough for adults to get lost in, but kids would probably enjoy this!

Fondue Garden

For a limited time, marshmallows are given out for free near the entrance to the Chocolate Garden, but if you haven’t had enough of them, you can purchase more at $1 for a set of 2 packets, each containing 2 marshmallows. The stickers that you see on the left of the photo below are for those who have registered for the cupcakes and cookies workshops.

Now if you have your marshmallows in hand and using the sticks provided, go dip them into the various chocolate fountains for a sweet indulgence.

There are several chocolate fountains of different varieties like Milk Chocolate, White Chocolate and there are even Strawberry and Pandan flavours!!

Character Meet and Greet

There are a few characters that you can meet in this area – Candice Cupcake and Mama Cookie are two newly introduced characters at the park and then there’s everyone’s favourite Cookie Monster from Sesame Street.

Candice Cupcake is such a sweetie pie!

Mama Cookie is quite a feisty character!

Then there’s Cookie Monster donning a chef’s hat and an apron. Who’s the guy next to him? Well, he’s the Chocolate Man…

Chocolate Man Hunt

The Chocolate Man wears a badge or patch with the words “Are You Looking For Me?” and he will be roaming the park. Look carefully for him as you explore the park and when you do find him, shout “Got you! You are the Choco Man!” and you can win a mystery prize, which ranges from retail and dining vouchers to Universal Studios Singapore admission tickets!

Cupcakes & Cookies Workshop

If you are feeling creative, you can sign up for one of the sessions where you can decorate delicious cookies and cupcakes. It costs $6 each for a cupcake or a cookie.

We were first given a demonstration of how to decorate a cupcake and the kids looked like they couldn’t wait for their turn to try doing it!

  

Here are some samples of cookies and cupcakes that have already been decorated – they all looked like a sugar overload to me!

  

Ok, now’s my turn to have a go at cupcake decorating and we were given some white chocolate, strawberry chocolate, four different bottles of cream and lots of candy sprinkles!!

On the left is my chocolate chip cupcake and on the right, my completed masterpiece!

  

I coated my cupcake with strawberry chocolate, but didn’t add that many candy sprinkles as I don’t like my cupcakes to be too sweet! Mama Cookie saw it and approved of it! ^_^

You can bring your cupcakes/cookies home after you have finished decorating them, i.e. if you don’t plan to eat them on the spot. A word of advice – if you’re doing cupcakes, do remove the flag before you put the cupcake into the box. I forgot to do so and mine was a little squashed after I put the lid over.

Here’s a quick recap of what you can find at the Chocolate Garden:

Schedule:

I wandered around the park to see if I could interest any of the park’s characters in some chocolate.

The Minions weren’t interested – oh yeah, I forgot that my cupcake wasn’t banana flavoured (you can see my squashed cupcake here).

The Raptor looked keen and about to escape from his enclosure! Then again, he’d probably eat anything! Oh well, I’d better run along before he really escapes!…

Do go check out the Chocolate Garden and the various characters there. It’s also a good place to hang out to get away from the scorching sun!

Other Chocolate Flavoured Dining Offerings

Chocolate-flavoured delights can be found at various dining outlets in the park and these include Cho-infused Curry with Chicken Katsu, Nutella & Cheese Fries, Crispy Chicken Strips with Chocolate Dip and Cocoa Slush. Visitors can purchase the Sweet Tooth Package and choose three selected chocolate-themed items at participating dining outlets for just $20.

A Chocolate Adventure is a new experience included with regular paid admission to Universal Studios Singapore. Now until 28th May 2017.

Categories: Theme Parks, Universal Studios | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beat the Queues at popular eateries with DBS Fastrack Apps

Hate long queues? Are you one of those who always dabao food/drinks on behalf of your colleagues, friends, family or perhaps for yourself? Read on to find out how these mobile apps could help save you a lot of valuable time! Queuing may gradually be a thing of the past for you…

List of apps currently available:

Several merchants (as seen from the above photo) have partnered with DBS Fastrack to provide a solution to enable customers to order and pay without having to be physically there. More eateries may be added to the list in the near future.

What’s in it for me as a consumer?
Well, one benefit is that you can avoid queuing and save that precious time to run other errands. After all, in our fast-paced society, time is money.

These mobile apps are especially useful when ordering takeaways, as you can go pick up your food/drinks when they are ready for collection.

Some establishments like Five Star Restaurant, allow customers to drive by to pick up their food orders. With their app, it allows for a cashless drive-through and customers can just grab and go – this minimises inconvenience to other road users as previously customers who stop their cars to pick up their orders may obstruct the traffic flow in the area.

From the merchants’ point of view, they benefit from these apps as it increases their productivity and they can serve more customers due to a reduction of time required to handle cash and return change.

How does it work?
I decided to give it a go and went down to Koufu to check out the weekday lunch queue in the CBD area. This was the queue at the Duck Rice stall and although the queue wasn’t exactly that long, I decided to order duck rice to go, via the Koufu app.

When you launch the app, you can select the stall which you wish to order from and a choice of food items will be displayed. Ohh…I discovered that there is a 10% discount if you order via the Koufu app!

I chose the Specialty Braised Duck Rice, checked that the correct quantity was specified and that I was doing a takeaway (although dine-in option is also available).

Add the item to the cart and when you are ready, click on the cart to do a checkout.

The estimated waiting time will be shown next and you will be prompted whether to proceed with your payment.

The amount to be paid is displayed and you can choose to settle by DBS/POSB Debit or Credit cards, or by DBS Paylah!

I chose to pay using DBS Paylah!

After my payment had been processed, a collection slip was provided and this is to be shown to the stall when collecting my food.

At the stall, they had also printed a collection slip with the queue number and this sat next to my packet of duck rice.

I have to say that the ordering process and payment was pretty straightforward. The best part was getting a discount on the food and knowing what time I had to go collect it. Do note that if you want to use DBS Paylah!, you’ll first need to apply to use internet banking.

As my office will be moving to the CBD area early next year, I am happy that I will have some solutions available for me to beat the long queues during the lunch hour madness. For those groups of colleagues who want to dine-in but don’t have the habit of using tissue packets to reserve tables at various eating places and one magnanimous colleague usually needs to sit at the table and wait for the rest to return before heading to order his/her food, the good news for this person is that he/she can sit at the table and order food via the app whilst waiting! Alternatively, everyone can sit at the table and chat, order via the app and walk over to pick up the food once it is ready.

Each mobile app differs according to the merchants’ customizations. Most will offer takeaway options, but some may also allow dine-in orders to be placed via the app. Hmm…I can’t wait to go try this out at Tiong Bahru Bakery and Miam Miam, both of which have notoriously long queues during the peak mealtimes.

These apps are available for download in both the Google Play Store as well as the Apple App Store. All you have to do is search for “DBS Fastrack” and a list of related apps will be displayed. Do try out the apps and let me know if you find them useful.

Categories: Eating in Singapore | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mulan The Musical (木兰少女)

Mulan The Musical (木兰少女) runs from 16 December 2016 to 5 February 2017 at the Resorts World Theatre. This musical comedy from Taiwan, which is making its overseas debut, brings a different twist to the legendary story of Hua Mulan (花木兰).

The cast includes Zhou Ding Wei in the leading male role (the General), Taiwanese singer-actress Li Qian Na and Lai Ying Ying taking turns in the role of Hua Mulan and Singapore artistes Pierre Png and Ann Kok in supporting roles.

At the beginning, we are introduced to the Hua family, where the head of the household has some health issues, the older sister Hua Mulian (played by Ann Kok) was pregnant out of wedlock and the younger brother Hua Xiong, who exhibited some effeminate traits.

If you are familiar with the story of Hua Mulan, you will know that she took her father’s place in the army out of filial piety. However, in this version, she reluctantly agreed to take the place of her father as her siblings couldn’t make the mark and she was deemed to be the most qualified candidate in their family. Thus, Mulan disguised herself as a man and joined the army as Hua Munan (花木男), which is a more masculine name.

Pierre Png plays the army captain, also known as “Encik” and several of his scenes are hilarious! Be prepared for some vulgarities in the dialogue as some of the scenes have local influences and may remind the local audience of Singapore’s National Service.

Look out for this bathroom scene where someone accidentally opens the door to one of the stalls (whoops!) but I won’t spoil the fun for you, so you’ll just have to go watch!

My favourite part was this subsequent bathroom scene with the strawberry-scented soap! It was quite funny, but also romantic in a kind of way.

Whilst at the army camp, both the General and Mulan’s childhood friend Guanfu fall for her and it was amusing to see them wrestling with the idea of having feelings for someone of the same gender. At one point, Mulan was accused by her best friend for being indecisive and liking two guys at the same time (劈腿).

Well, there is a bittersweet ending to the story and in my personal opinion, it resolved the dilemma for Mulan to have to choose between the two!

Apparently, the script has been modified for the Singapore audience, to incorporate local humour and colloquialisms. Current societal issues have also been weaved into the story and these include single parenthood, compulsory military service and LGBT issues.

The music during the second half of the show sounded much better than that in the first half. I was most impressed by Zhou Ding Wei’s vocals and I felt that his voice outshined the rest of the cast.

Curtain call:

It turns out that I absolutely loved that bathroom scene with the strawberry-scented soap, so I just had to get this picture taken as a keepsake! LOL!

Do note that Mulan the Musical is about two hours long with a 15-minute intermission and the show is in Mandarin, but English subtitles are displayed on screens located at both sides of the stage. I wonder which translation software did they use as I found some of the English subtitles to be strange and it was quite funny – one example was 马子 (girlfriend) being translated as “pony”!

Overall, I liked the show for its comedic elements more than the musical numbers.


Dates: 16 December 2016 – 5 February 2017, select nights (please refer to show calendar)

Time: 8pm
Venue: Resorts World Theatre
Prices*: Cat 1: S$128, Cat 2: S$98, Cat 3: S$68, Cat 4: S$38
*Prices exclude SISTIC booking fee and handling charges. Terms and Conditions apply.
Tickets are available from SISTIC or at the Resorts World Theatre.

The photos in this post are credited to Resorts World Sentosa, unless otherwise stated.
Thanks to Resorts World Sentosa for the invite to watch Mulan The Musical.

Categories: Media Invite, Resorts World Sentosa, Theatre | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

KoKoPanda – A Korean Superfood Dessert and Beverage Parlour

Officially opened on 16th December 2016, Kokopanda is a new Korean soft serve and beverage concept focusing on “superfood” toppings to cater to the health-conscious. Yes, you can indulge without feeling guilty!

They offer three unique soft serves, which include White Cremo (a rich smooth and creamy Korean soft serve ice-cream made from premium Korean milk), Black Yogo (a black frozen yogurt made from roasted coconut husk that contains edible activated charcoal, which helps to cleanse the body of toxins) and for the undecided who want to try both – KoKo Twisto (a combination of both Black Yogo and White Cremo).

White Cremo

Black Yogo

Koko Twisto

Quality ingredients sourced directly from Korea are used, including Korean Milk and a selection of superfood toppings like KoKoCrunch granola (a blend of dried fruits and rice puffs) and dried fruits that are rich in vitamins and fibre. The best part is that the fruits are not artificially sweetened and if you are familiar with Korean strawberries and tangerines, they are naturally sweet! The Korean Milk used here is preservative free and thus has a shorter shelf life, so this is regularly flown in fresh from Korea.

A variety of dried fruit is available and this includes Jeju tangerine, Korean strawberries, pear, apple, persimmon, orange and lemon! My favourites are the pear, tangerine and strawberries.

Interestingly, when you eat the dried fruit on its own, their texture is what you’d expect dried fruit to be like, but when you put them into the soft serve, some of them turn a little crispy! I tried this with both the tangerines and strawberries and there was an added crunch to them!

Fruit Bombs (made from real fruit juice) and Jelly Pearls (made from seaweed) are some of the other toppings that are available. If you like nuts, you can try the Honey Butter Almonds, which I absolutely loved!

In addition, there are also Jellies and Chia Seeds that you can choose to add to your dessert or beverage.

A variety of different drinks can be found on their beverage menu, which include Seoulistic Iced Tea Lattes, Korean Fruit Vinegar Ciders and Fruit Enzyme drinks, Exotic Gangnam Iced Teas and ChiaChaCha, which is a refreshing combination of 100% coconut water with Chia Seeds.

One of their signature drinks is the Jeju Green Tea Latte and you can have this with black KoKoPearls, i.e. if you are the type who’s into bubble teas. I usually like my drinks with 0% sugar and I found the green tea latte with black pearls to be just right for me as it wasn’t too sweet and I think those who don’t like the slightly bitter taste of Japanese matcha may like this as this Korean green tea doesn’t have that same bitter taste. Premium grade Jeju green tea is used and it contains natural polyphenols and antioxidants.

Those who can’t do without sugar haven’t been forgotten and similar to other beverage outlets in the market, you can customize your sugar levels, but of course to be healthier, try to slowly reduce your sugar intake and go for 0%! ^_^

Although I’m not a hugh fan of coconut water and healthy drinks, I did try the ChiaChaCha with added Mango Fruit Bombs and I have to say that those fruit caviars burst easily in your mouth and made each sip of the drink very flavourful! Hmm…possibly something I can consider drinking more of in the future, with health benefits!

Weight conscious individuals can opt for the Green Grapes or Green Apple Cider with Chia Seeds, as these are made from pure fruit vinegar ciders known for extra health benefits such as weight loss and maintaining blood sugar levels.

If you haven’t already noticed by now, the shop’s logo has a cute panda in it and you can find this mascot on both the drink and dessert cups, on the staff’s t-shirts, as well as at the shopfront.

On what sets KoKoPanda apart from other dessert and beverage outlets, Katie Kang, Managing Director for KoKoPanda states: “We are all about superfood desserts and beverages. We noticed that many of the drinks and desserts available today are mostly made from sugar and syrups with little goodness included. We are here to spread our concept of guilt-free indulgence by adding the benefits of superfoods into delicious desserts and beverages that people already enjoy.”

I’ve always thought of health foods as being bland and taste-wise not to my liking, but this has somewhat altered my perception. Healthy desserts and beverages that taste good too! Do come and give it a try!

As part of their Opening promotions, Kokopanda will be having a special Buy-1-Get-1-Free promotion on all items on their menu during their launch weekend from 16–18 December 2016.

Thanks to KoKoPanda for the dessert and beverage tasting!

Address:
KoKoPanda
#B2-60, Plaza Singapura,
68 Orchard Road, Singapore 238839.

Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm Daily

Categories: Cafe, Desserts, Eating in Singapore, Korean | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Latest Exhibits at the National Museum of Singapore

As part of the final stage of the National Museum of Singapore’s revamp of its permanent galleries, the Glass Rotunda has reopened on 10th December 2016 after two years of renovation works. Two permanent installations “Story of the Forest” and “Singapore, Very Old Tree” are showcased here.

Story of the Forest

  • Glass Rotunda, Entrance on Level 2
  • Daily from 10am – 7pm
  • Free admission for Singaporeans and PRs.

Health advisory:  Those who are prone to epileptic fits or seizures may want to use your discretion on visiting this exhibit due to the lighting and moving/flashing images.


Upon entering the upper level of the Glass Rotunda, one is greeted by the sight of a floral blizzard.

You’ll soon find yourself being immersed in a larger-than-life interactive digital installation that is inspired by the National Museum of Singapore’s prized William Farquhar’s Collection of Natural History Drawings. This treasured collection was brought to life by internationally renowned Japanese digital collective, teamLab, using the latest cutting-edge technology to transform 69 drawings into animated illustrations.

As you make your way down the passage towards the lower floor, visitors will encounter various flora and fauna. Try to spot and interact with the various animals that inhabit this forest! I found that the birds and the deer are easily startled and tend to take flight when you approach.

Oriental Pied Hornbill

Black-naped Oriole

Ohh…I spotted a Black Panther!

I love the vivid colours and that the scenes change from day to night and as you walk along, it may start to rain too!

For a more immersive and educational experience, visitors can download a free mobile application via the App Store or Google Play and you have the option of going on “hunts” to “capture” the different flora and fauna that call the Glass Rotunda home. Valuable insights into the illustrations from the William Farquhar collection will be revealed when you have successfully “captured” the animals using your phone’s camera function.

When you reach the lower level of the Glass Rotunda, you can either sit or stand in the middle of the room to take in the 360 degree view of the scenes being projected. This display certainly takes your breath away and is simply visually stunning!

Singapore, Very Old Tree

  • Glass Rotunda, Level 1
  • Daily from 10am – 7pm
  • Free admission for Singaporeans and PRs.

The lower level of the Glass Rotunda houses the Singapore, Very Old Tree exhibit by renowned local photographer and artist Robert Zhao. This features 17 images of significant trees in Singapore and around the vicinity of the National Museum, as well as various stories which present visitors with an alternative perspective of Singapore’s history and the personal connections that Singaporeans have with our local trees.

What is Not Visible is Not Invisible

  • Exhibition Galleries, Basement
  • 7 Oct 2016 to 19 Feb 2017
  • 10am – 7pm (from 1pm on Thursdays)
  • Free admission for Singaporeans, Permanent Residents and visitors aged 6 years and below.

This exhibition of multi-media installations uses unconventional approaches in art-making and features selected artworks from the French Regional Collections of Contemporary Art (FRAC). Its title and design takes inspiration from the artwork of the same title by French artist Julien Discrit.

Go on a philosophical journey with the various artworks, which will take each visitor into a new state of mind through personal interpretations of the presentations, its surrounding space and context.

When you enter this space, you will see three infrared lightbulbs strung from the ceiling in front of a blank wall. These bulbs are triggered by the viewer’s presence and they will light up to reveal the ultraviolet text on the wall: “What is not visible is not invisible”. The work only appears when it is seen, thus highlighting that to express the invisible, one needs to paradoxically have to make it visible.

I’m not good at interpreting art pieces, many of which are too profound for me, but cobwebs – yes, I agree that sometimes these are “invisible” if you don’t notice them.

This exhibition has several spots for those who like to pose for photos or if #OOTD is your kind of thing.

Moving through the exhibits, I came across a room filled with green balloons (Work No. 262 by British multimedia artist Martin Creed), but my foodie mind immediately made me think of luscious green grapes, thus I didn’t know how to interpret this installation.

I think it makes quite a nice background for a photo – no?

This one below is titled “Repulse Bay” (by Dominique Gonzales-Foerster) – I was a bit confused as its name reminded me of the beach in Hong Kong, but then again, it also resembles a swimming pool! Apparently the artist’s intention is to attempt to have an exterior/interior situation where you are unable to differentiate between whether you are indoors or outdoors.

I was clueless as to what these pieces of paper are for but apparently you can take one home if you like. The faces do look cute!

Wings of a Rich Manoeuvre

  • Level 2, located above the bridge
  • Daily from 10am – 7pm
  • (do check with museum staff on the timings when the chandeliers will be in motion)

This is a new kinetic installation by home grown artist Suzann Victor and it took 2 years to be completed! This stunning contemporary masterpiece features 14,000 handpicked precision-cut Swarovski crystals accentuated by sophisticated LED technology that hang from eight wing-like stainless steel chandeliers. Wow…each “wing” spans 1.2m in length!

At various times in the day, these chandeliers will swing, being propelled by customised electromagnets and they can form 8 different swinging patterns. I especially liked them when the blue lights were turned on, but you need to be quick to photograph them as the light patterns will keep moving and changing too!

Address:
National Museum of Singapore
93 Stamford Road, Singapore 178897.
[Map]

Telephone: +65 63323659 / +65 63325642

Opening Hours:
Daily from 10am to 7pm.
Last admission to Glass Rotunda at 6:15pm.
Last admission to all other galleries at 6:30pm.

Categories: Museums, Singapore | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

[Media Preview] Universal Journey – the World’s Largest Indoor Light Display!

The Universal Journey is a brand new experiential festive light display, which is the highlight of this year’s Santa’s All-Star Christmas at Universal Studios Singapore. It features eight thematic zones of wonder that have been constructed with the use of a total of 824,961 light bulbs! Yes, you read the number correctly – this whopping number of lights have earned the theme park a Guinness World Record for having the largest light bulb display in an indoor venue!

Take a step in and you will find a Big Planet amidst a backdrop of stars in the night sky. There’s a hole in the middle of the planet and it resembles a wormhole or a time warp tunnel!

The lights in the tunnel change colours, so you can take your pick of your favourite colours when posing for pictures.

You will soon be transported into the Enchanted Pine Forest, where you can find trees in a mesmerizing assortment of colours!

Upon closer inspection, you can see that the lights come from these tiny LED light bulbs.  How on earth did the Guinness World Record Officials manage to count the total number of light bulbs?!!  I think I would be all googly-eyed and probably lose count after a while!

After passing through the forest, you will enter the Haven of Pixies, which is a magical realm and it feels as though you have stepped into fairyland!

From here we get a glimpse of the next zone and the combination of all the lights is quite a breathtaking sight to behold!

Ohh…what is that long archway which looks a little like a slinky toy?

This is called the Rainbow Bridge and its name was inspired by Thor, as divulged by Ms Andrea Teo, Vice President of Entertainment at Resorts World Sentosa.

The colours move around, producing different effects and I thought it was quite fun to walk through this!

Even Marilyn Monroe appeared to be enjoying herself in this space! ^_^

The archway at the other end of the bridge will take you into Herald’s Square.

Imagine stepping into a quaint European town without having to buy a plane ticket to get there!

Cute deer can be found close to the foliage.

  

Betty Boop certainly enjoyed posing for pictures with them!

There is a side door to another room which contains the Land of Great Gifts.

I just love Christmas light displays and this entire place and its atmosphere is simply amazing with its dazzling array of lights that I just had to get a photo to remember the experience!


Here’s a walkthrough of the Universal Journey, but you really have to be here to soak in the atmosphere!:

Bring family and friends, or you can even have a romantic date here and take lots of pictures! It certainly promises to be a dazzlingly spectacular and memorable experience!

We even did a mannequin challenge there – see if you can spot me in Resorts World Sentosa’s video! LOL!!

Santa’s All-Star Christmas will be held from 1st December 2016 to 2nd January 2017 at Universal Studios Singapore.

Categories: Theme Parks, Universal Studios | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Pokémon Go: Finding The Elusive Farfetch’d

Those who play Pokémon Go will know about the region exclusive Pokémon and that Farfetch’d can only be found in Asia. However, confirmed sightings seem to only be in countries like Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan, much to the dismay of fans in South East Asia.

We managed to find this wild duck in both Hong Kong and Japan. Read on if you want to find out the exact locations…

A well-known nest site in Hong Kong is at Signal Hill Garden and we had originally planned to check it out, but when my hubby found it on the radar in our hotel room at Sai Ying Pun (in late-Aug 2016), he immediately put out an incense and managed to catch it!


Source: Google Maps

I hadn’t installed the game then and since the man was happy with just catching one Farfetch’d, we ditched our plans to go to Signal Hill Garden as we had a tight sightseeing schedule.

About two-and-a-half months later, we found ourselves on a plane to Kyushu, Japan for a 6-day trip and this time I had the game installed!

What luck! On the first day after I had checked into the hotel in Fukuoka and was taking a rest before going out for dinner, I spotted Farfetch’d in my room and had just caught it using a Great Ball, but just when it was in the process of determining whether I had successfully captured it, the GPS went into error! Argghh…it turned out that the GPS signal wasn’t good in the room and I then rushed down to the hotel lobby as the signal is more stable there. I could still see the shadow of Farfetch’d on the radar, but no matter how much walking around and even with the use of incense, there was still no sign of Farfetch’d re-appearing and it soon disappeared from the radar after 30min.


Source: Google Maps

This was somewhere between two Pokéstops, which are located just across from the JR Hakata station.

    


My second chance appeared at Kijima Kogen Park, where I had spotted Farfetch’d on the radar about 75 minutes before closing time (the park closed at 5pm that day).

Initially it was at number 5 on the radar and as we walked around, it went to number 4 and eventually was number 1 on the radar, but it started to rain! However, even when I put out incense, that elusive Pokémon still refused to appear! Unfortunately, we had to leave to catch the last bus back to our hotel at 16:11 and so didn’t manage to find Farfetch’d. 😦

By this time, it was 2 days before we were due to leave Japan and I was wondering if I was going home empty-handed. At the end of our bus trip that day (we had spent the day sightseeing) and when we alighted at the Yufuin Bus Terminal, my hubby said he had spotted Farfetch’d on the radar and soon after, it immediately appeared on his screen! He was extremely pleased with himself that he had caught his second Farfetch’d, although it was his very first one in Japan.

As for me, this Pokémon was still hiding itself from me! I could see it on the radar, but it still did not appear (imagine the frustration!) and so I started walking around the surrounding area. With only 6 Poké Balls left in my inventory (the nearest Pokéstop was a 4-min walk away), I was beginning to think that my chances were dwindling… and then I finally spotted it around the corner of a souvenir shop, which was between the bus terminal and the train station!

Finally, I caught it with 3 Poké Balls to spare but I didn’t take any pictures prior to the capture as I didn’t want to risk my chances after the first 2 failed attempts.

This was the area in which we had caught Farfetch’d (note that there are no Pokéstops at the bus terminal and train station).


Source: Google Maps

All the sites that we had personally spotted Farfetch’d don’t seem to be nests. We had spent about 10 days in Hong Kong and only spotted it once and subsequently 6 days in Japan with 3 sightings, of which I think the chances in Japan seem to be much higher! Hope you’ll have better luck if you’re out hunting in North Asia! ^_^

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Pokémon Research Exhibition at S.E.A. Aquarium

Pokémon fans may be thrilled to visit the Pokémon Research Exhibition, which is being held for the first time outside of Japan, from 22 Oct 2016 to 2 Jan 2017 at the S.E.A. Aquarium in Resorts World Sentosa. You can also get to meet Pikachu there!

Upon entering, you will be given a briefing by the research assistants in lab coats and basically you have a mission to accomplish at this exhibition and that is to identify the Pokémon hidden in a Poké Ball.

You can choose only one Poké Ball out of the three difficulty levels – the red Regular Poké Balls (easy), the blue Great Balls (medium) and the yellow & black Ultra Balls (hard).

I don’t have much knowledge about Pokémon apart from watching some episodes from the cartoon series in the past and playing Pokémon Go, so I selected an “easy” ball.

There are 7 interactive stations in total, where you can pick up clues to try to identify the mysterious creature contained within your Poké Ball. However, note that you can only pick 4 out of the 7 stations to receive your clues, so do choose wisely as to which ones you think will be able to provide the most details for you to accomplish your task!

Place your Poké Ball at the slot on the machine to begin the analysis.

Remember to pay close attention to the given clues, as the machines will not provide you with the details a second time (haha…occupational hazard and I was “testing” their system!)

Took a short breather for a photo with this giant inflatable Pikachu.

When you’ve finally obtained your 4th clue, you will be prompted by the machine to make your final deductions and head over to the “Goal” for the answers.

I decided to go check out the Pokédex wall to see if I could find more clues to help me identify the Pokémon in my Poké Ball. More than 700 Pokémon are featured on both sides on the wall. Unfortunately, after scanning through all the pictures, I was still clueless!!

I could swear that this Totodile was laughing at my incompetence!

Ok, I gave up and headed for the last station and to my surprise, the answer was automatically given without me having to key in my guesses!

What in the world is this Pokémon? I’ve never ever seen or heard of it!

Unfortunately, all Poké Balls cannot be kept as souvenirs and have to be returned just before you exit from the exhibition, so please leave them at the trays.

The highlight for me at this exhibition was meeting Pikachu and trying to catch him and bring him home! LOL!

Pikachu Appearance: Daily at 11:30am, 2:30pm, 5:30pm

Venue: Inside Pokémon Research Exhibition & S.E.A. Aquarium – B1 Entrance Atrium (2:30pm session)

Those of you who are interested in visiting this exhibition, do know that an admission ticket to the S.E.A. Aquarium is required and there is an additional admission fee for the Pokemon exhibition on top of the aquarium ticket. S.E.A. Aquarium Annual/Season Pass Holders can enter at no additional cost.

Dates: 22 Oct 2016 to 2 Jan 2017.

More details on tickets and pricing can be found at the Resorts World Sentosa website.

Categories: Anime / Games, Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore, Theme Parks | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seoul Garden’s All-U-Can-Eat Buffet at Harbourfront Centre

Seoul Garden has opened a second outlet at Harbourfront Centre #01-65/66 and this is a buffet restaurant (different from their hotpot restaurant located at the 2nd floor).

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For those who are unfamiliar with their buffet concept, both cooked food and uncooked ingredients are available in the buffet spread. You can choose to cook the raw meats and seafood on the grilling pan or in the hotpot(s) at the table.

Here’s a look at the buffet spread…

Take your pick from a selection of meats (beef, lamb, chicken) that you can put on the grill.

Premium meats and seafood are available in the dinner buffet – I was eyeing the crayfish and scallops! :p

Other items at the buffet for the hotpot/grill:

Various sauces to go with your food, or you can also use them as an additional marinade before cooking the various meats!

For those who can’t wait for their food to be cooked, a selection of cooked and ready-to-eat dishes are available.

Sushi:

Salad and pickles:

Instead of a soup base, you can opt for Queso Fundido, which is a cheese dip and these are some of the foods that go well with the dip!

Moving along…here are the drink dispensers, plus an ice shaving machine (at the far right of the photo below), which you can use to make your own version of ice kachang.

Fruits and ingredients for your ice kachang:

Ice cream and available toppings to go with it:

Both Western cakes and Asian “kueh“:

We tried the Thai Tom Yum hotpot and the Queso Fundido (cheese dip), which was topped with kimchi and grated cheese. I know the combination of kimchi and cheese sounds weird but surprisingly it actually goes well together!

  

In case you are unsure of the optimal temperatures to use for cooking, we were told to use P2 for the cheese dip, P4 for the grill and P3 for the hotpot.

Okay…time to start cooking and tucking in!

The good thing is that this restaurant has certainly kept up with the times! I’ve patronised Seoul Garden since my schooling days and when I first entered the workforce and in the past, after a BBQ meal, your clothes and hair will end up smelling of the food that you had cooked earlier – well, gone are those days as the restaurant has a ventilation system which absorbs the cooking “smells” and when you are done with your meal, your hair and clothes still smell exactly the way they did as when you first entered the restaurant! ^_^

I think the buffet spread is quite decent for its price and I loved the grilled meats, seafood and the cheese dip!

Thanks to Seoul Garden for the invite to the food tasting!


Address:

1 Maritime Square, #01-65/66 HarbourFront Centre, Singapore 099253.

Telephone: 6710 6339

Opening Hours: 11:30am – 10:30pm

Buffet Prices:
Weekday Lunch – Mon-Thur (11:30am-4:59pm), Fri & Eve of PH (11:30am-3:59pm): Adult $21.99++, Member $17.99++, Child $8.99++
Weekday Dinner – Mon-Thur (5:00pm-10:30pm): Adult $28.99++, Member $25.99++, Child $11.99++

Weekend Lunch – Sat-Sun & PH (11:30am-3:59pm): Adult $25.99++, Member $22.99++, Child $8.99++
Weekend Dinner – Fri-Sun, Eve of PH & PH (4:00pm-10:30pm): Adult $31.99++, Member $28.99++, Child $11.99++

Student Meal is available for Lunch on Mon-Fri, excluding PH (11:30am-3:59pm): $14.99++ (present bus-pass, matriculation card or student pass before ordering)

Senior Citizens (60 years and above): Mon-Fri (11:30am-4:00pm) – $15.99++

Kids (below 1.0m in height) dine for FREE on Sunday with every paying adult.
Child price is applicable for kids between 1.0m to 1.3m and those aged 9 years and below.

Soup Base (freeflow, per table):
Basic Soup Base $1.99++
Soup Upgrade $5.99++ which gets you a choice of any 2 soups OR 1 soup & 1 Queso Fundido (cheese dip)

Soup flavours include:
Herbal Beef Broth, Ginseng Chicken, Chinese Herbal, Thai Tom Yam, Seafood Kimchi and Miso.

Categories: Eating in Singapore, Korean, Media Invite | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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