Singapore

Sentosa Sandsation 2017

Building sandcastles is an activity usually associated with kids, but these days it has evolved into an artform.

Sentosa Sandsation 2017“, a three-week long sand sculpture festival (from 1-17 September), is Southeast Asia’s largest sand festival and features more than 30 larger-than-life sand sculptures.

The exhibition area is spread across 2,400 square metres on Siloso Beach and visitors can walk through three zones with different themes, which include a competition zone, as well as sculptures depicting Singapore’s unique blend of culture, humour, quirks and colloquialism. Admission is free and the event is open from 10am – 9pm daily.

Leading the team of sand sculptors for Sentosa Sandsation 2017 is JOOheng Tan, an internationally-acclaimed Singapore sand artist, whose works have been showcased in over 70 cities across more than 20 countries.

An interesting fact is that the sand sculptures are made with just sand and water! 1.2 million kg of sand has been used and 300 tonnes of seawater needed to compact the sand. In case you’re wondering, the sand will be recycled after the event.

Apparently neither rain nor wind will affect the sand sculptures as the rainwater will be absorbed (and evaporate), while the compressed sand will not be affected by the wind.

Zone 1: Our Sandsational Singapore (Singapore, Ho Say!)

This features 15 three-dimensional sculptures inspired by local culture and I found that most of the sand sculptures in this zone are tongue-in-cheek representations of familiar Singlish phrases. The sand piles here are about 16ft (4.87m) high!

Download the MixGo mobile app for an enhanced experience and watch the sculptures come to life with various Augmented Reality effects (the app also includes behind-the-scenes video features, simulated photo frames and filters, as well as gamification features).

Sentosa Sandsation

So Jialat! (Using lots of strength)

Use the MixGo app to scan the picture…

A photo frame will appear and you can use it to take your pictures.

Blur like Sotong, Gabra like Zebra (to describe a person as being totally clueless, and messes things up)

Using the MixGo app, an octopus appears on the screen!

Kelong (match-fixing)

Singapore National Theatre

Lia’h Boh Kiew (to express one’s inability to understand)

Jiak Zua (to jiak zua or eat snake literally means to skive or shirk responsibilities)

So Wayang (an act of pretence)

Steady Pom Pipi (to describe one’s ability to remain cool under pressure)

Kan Cheong Spider (refers to a person with a nervous disposition, one who is easily flustered)

Cut Queue (to jump queue)

Talk cock sing song, play ping pong (to engage in nonsensical conversation or to make no sense)

Chope! (to reserve a seat)

So Kiasu (afraid to lose out)

Tok Kong (superb, top of line)

Using the MixGo app here will launch a game:

Zone 2: Sentosa International Sand Sculpting Championship

Based on the theme “Imagination”, 14 renowned sand artists from 13 nations around the globe are participating in this championship and the sculptors spent a total of 28 hours over three and a half days to create these creative works of art.

On 31 August, Portugal’s Pedro Mira was crowned the winner of the Sentosa International Sand Sculpting Championship, clinching the Golden Shovel Award and a cash prize of USD 5,000. Togo’s Bob Atisso and Poland’s Borecki Wiaczeslaw were presented with the Silver Shovel Award (and USD 2,500) and the Bronze Shovel Award (and USD 1,500) respectively.

The winning sand sculptures were judged based on various criteria including concept, design, originality, three-dimensionality of the works, as well as carving technique.

[Belgium] …if cats got bigger? by David Enguerrand

[Canada] Tropical Splendor by Michel Lepire

[Czech Republic] Lion City by Jakub Zimacek

[France] The world through children’s eyes by Benoit Dutherage

[India] Save our Oceans by Sudarsan Pattnaik

[Italy] Smog City by Leonardo Ugolini

[Mexico] Way (or Uay) by Calixto Molina

[The Netherlands] Entangled by Marielle Heessels

[Poland] Evolution by Borecki Wiaczeslaw (Bronze Shovel Award)

[Portugal] Broken Heart by Pedro Mira (Gold Shovel Award)

View from the other side of the sand sculpture:

[Russia] Dreams by Aleksei Shchitov

[Spain] Everything can be possible, so why not? by Cuesta Marin Montserrat

[Spain] Game Over by Sergio Ramirez

[Togo] The Drive of Illusion by Bob Atisso (Silver Shovel Award)

Zone 3: Shifting Sand 2

In this last zone, JOOheng commemorates his 20th year of transforming ordinary sand into incredible artworks through a series of interactive sand art pieces.

Visitors can “step into” the art pieces and become part of the artwork.

A different theme is planned for each weekend and those who visit between Mondays and Thursdays will be able to witness the artist at work.

Week 2 (work in progress):

On the final weekend (15-17 September), JOOheng will be sculpting a vision of Singapore in the year 2040, based on a winning sketch submitted by a local child aged 5-12 years old who will imagine how it will be like to live and play in future Singapore, and what makes us a happy and cohesive nation.

Sentosa Islander members will get the exclusive opportunity to snap a photo with the interactive sand artwork from Fridays to Sundays*, from 12pm to 9pm. Simply flash your Islander membership card to enter the photo area and have your photo taken with JOOheng’s interactive sand art! You will need to provide your email address or mobile phone number, so that the photograph can be sent to you.
*Only valid on the following dates: 1-3, 8-10, 15-17 September 2017, from 12pm – 9pm.

People’s Choice Awards
Visitors to this sand festival can take part in the People’s Choice Awards and pick their favourite sand sculpture by taking a photo with their favourite sand artwork, posting it on Instagram with the hash tags #SentosaSandsation and #SandsationalContest, plus stating the reason(s) for their choice. One winner will be drawn from the entries featuring the most popular sculpture, and this person will get to enjoy a 2D1N Sentosa staycation package. The results of the People’s Choice Awards will be announced after 20 September.

Event Details
Date: 1 – 17 September 2017

Time: 10am – 9pm daily

Venue: Siloso Beach, Sentosa

Admission: Free
(Note: Island admission and parking charges apply)

Getting There: Guests can enter the island for free via the Sentosa Boardwalk, or take SBS Transit’s Service 123 to get to Sentosa’s Beach Station.

As part of the resort island’s 45th anniversary celebrations, from 4-10 September 2017, Singapore residents will also enjoy free entry to Sentosa with a waiver of charges for the Sentosa Express monorail and gantry fees for cars, as well as free rides on Sentosa’s on-island cable car line which brings guests directly to the Siloso Point Station where the event is. The free cable car ride starts from the Merlion Station at Imbiah (opposite the Sentosa Express Imbiah Station).

Those who are making their way from Beach Station can hop onto the Beach Tram and get off at Mega Adventure, where you can find the entrance to the sand festival.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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[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.

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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

[Media Preview] Halloween Horror Nights 6 at Universal Studios Singapore (2016)

**WARNING**  This post contains some visually disturbing and gruesome photos.
Please DO NOT continue reading if you are uncomfortable with nightmarish scenes.
We bear no responsibility on the repercussions suffered as a result.
**********************************************************

Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) is back! This will be Universal Studios Singapore’s sixth edition of the event and it promises to be scarier than the previous years! A record number of haunted houses will be showcased and the first-ever theatrical procession, March of the Dead, will make its rounds through the park at scheduled timings during the night.

This year’s event runs for 16 nights from 30 September to 31 October 2016 and features five haunted houses, two scare zones and two live shows.

If you want a breather between the scares, selected rides like TRANSFORMERS The Ride: The Ultimate 3D Battle, Revenge Of The Mummy, Battlestar Galactica: HUMAN and Battlestar Galactica: CYLON, will be open throughout the night.

If you don’t have time to read through this entire post, here’s a quick summary of the event…

…otherwise, read on…


OPENING SCAREMONY


HHN usually doesn’t start until the Opening Scaremony is held. This starts at 7:30pm during the HHN event nights, so don’t be late if you want to catch it!

We are introduced to all the characters who represent their respective haunted houses, with the exception of Jack, the infamous clown who is making a comeback this year with his circus.

If you are standing at the front, do note that pyrotechnics and flame throwers are used and you will feel the heat!

A gigantic head appears from the stage. Do try to see if you can spot the various faces that appear. Here are some of them…

In case you haven’t noticed by now, Mel’s Drive-In has been changed to Mel’s Die-In!!

If you don’t manage to get a spot in front of the crowd, there is a screen located in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard that will give you a glimpse of the action.

Otherwise, you can always watch this video:


Now for the main highlights…

Map compiled by rwsentosablog.com


HAUNTED HOUSES


(listed in the sequence that you’ll encounter them if you start by turning right at the end of Hollywood Boulevard into New York)

HAWKER CENTRE MASSACRE (小贩中心食人宴)

Oh, how I hate love that they come up with such local themes, which make it seem closer to home! This is one nightmarish hawker centre that you hope you’ll never ever have to step into in real life! Welcome to Ulu Pandan Hawker Centre…

Customers fall victim to radioactive food poisoning, which transforms them into savage, flesh-eating creatures! Beware, that chicken rice auntie may not be as nice and friendly as you think she is!

Claustrophobics, do note that there are many tight corners in this haunted house and you really have nowhere to run hide!

I loved that they even have a clothing stall here!

Stay alert – there could be something lurking between the rack of clothes!! ^_^

Take a look at some of the scenes here:

Universal Studios Singapore has really outdone themselves with this one – besides the sights, sounds and frights, one thing that stood out were the SMELLS! Ughh…venture in and find out for yourself!


SALEM WITCH HOUSE (塞勒姆女巫之家)


Here you’ll meet the coven of DeFeo Witches who were thought to have disappeared after the townspeople of Salem tried to burn down their house–along with them–in 1692. However, modern-day witchcraft enthusiasts have brought them back and the witches are out for revenge!

One of the townsfolk telling us to get away from this place!

The most beautiful scene (one of my favourites!) is the Witch’s Realm, which has a snowy setting, much like in Narnia.

Apologies, we got too carried away in here as it’s one of the must-visit haunted houses, plus it was quite dark in there and so I don’t have that many photos to share. Make sure that you don’t miss this one!!

Some of the scenes from this haunted house can be seen in the first video starting from 0:24.


HU LI’S INN (狐姬客栈)


Step back in time into the world of Old Shanghai’s cabaret in the 1930s.

As you approach, a man (pimp?) will usher you into the nightclub.

Upon stepping in, we see Hu Li singing on stage.

Hubby was so enchanted by her that he took another picture! Make sure you stay long enough in this room to see what happens when the light flickers!

Another lady at the cabaret. Hmm…

Look at all the pictures of the beautiful women!

However, things are not always as they appear to be!…

Masters of disguises, these seductive temptresses are demonic shape shifters who are after your souls!

To all the Chee Ko Peks (Hokkien/Teochew slang for “pervert” or “dirty old man”) out there, be warned! This is how you will meet your end if you visit this cabaret…

My favourite scene in this place:

Overall, I loved the concept of this haunted house and it really made me feel as though I’ve stepped into Old Shanghai!

Some of the scenes from this haunted house can be seen in the first video starting from 0:05.


OLD CHANGI HOSPITAL (旧樟宜阴魂)


Another haunted house based on places in Singapore – the actual hospital in Changi was built in 1935 by the British government and its location was used as a prison camp during the Japanese occupation where it was reportedly used as a torture chamber. The hospital ceased operations in 1997 and is said to be one of the most haunted places in the world!

Graffiti on the walls.

As you head towards the hospital gates, a sarong-clad Malay pakcik will approach you, shouting some warnings and that made me start to regret what I was doing here!…

Meet the doctor and his lovely nurse…

Beware of the many dark corners and you’ll never know who you’ll encounter along the passageways! There’s so much to take in and I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

  

There was even a half-naked guy in the bathroom and I thought he looked kind of cute! LOL!

Beware – there are many sudden surprises and unexpected encounters in this house!


BODIES OF WORK (血尸秘展)

Entrance to the haunted house.

Artist Damien Shipman takes fans on a heinous trip down memory lane as he unveils his controversial exhibition titled Bodies of Work.

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Apparently his family perished tragically in a fire and this is his homage to them.

If you look closely, you’ll see a carousel in this photo which is displayed at the start and visitors will also get to see an actual one at the end of this exhibition.

Most of the exhibits are displayed in a macabre fashion.

   

Call me a sadist but this girl whose lower body went into the grinder is probably my favourite scene in this haunted house!

We get to meet other strange characters…

  

…and finally the artist himself! (i.e. if you can spot him in the dark!) I didn’t manage to take a good photo of Damien Shipman but you can see him at the end of my video:

Loved that there’s a carousel in this haunted house!


SCARE ZONES


SUICIDE FOREST (自杀森林)

This is a foreboding forest filled with desperate cries and a sinister presence that lures unsuspecting victims to their deaths.

The following warning sign is displayed outside:

After entering the forest, we came across this vehicle – oh no…what exactly happened here?!!

You can find creepy characters…

…as well as a “cute” life-size walking rag doll.

There is a sinister looking tunnel that you can walk through – thankfully I didn’t encounter any strange beings in there!

Ohh…I just love the dramatic lighting effects in this forest!

Be careful not to bump into this headless person when you walk through a cloud of smoke!

Finally, a short clip to summarize this place.


MARCH OF THE DEAD (死神降世祭典)


This is the less intimidating of the two scare zones. Stroll through this area to check out the festivities of the Day of the Dead (Día De Los Muertos).

Here’s a walk-through of the scare zone:

March of the Dead Procession
There’s also a Death March procession with a supposedly carnival-like atmosphere, but it reminded me more of a funeral procession!

Look out for Lady Death (死亡女神), perched atop the leading float.

The lights on the float actually change colour.

For a change, it was nice to see a night parade being held at the park!

Procession timings for 30-Sept: 8:15pm, 9:45pm and 11:15pm (schedule may vary on other dates – check at the venue on the day of your visit)


SHOWS


There are 2 shows that will be staged as part of HHN6 but unfortunately they weren’t available during the media preview.

March of the Dead show
This action-packed live show begins at the end of March of the Dead procession.

Show timings for 30-Sept: 8:45pm, 10:15pm and 11:45pm (schedule may vary on other dates – check at the venue on the day of your visit)

Stage area (at the New York Library):

Jack’s Recurring Nightmare Circus (杰克重返噩梦马戏团)
Synopsis: “Back by popular demand, Jack the Clown will steal the show once again in Jack’s Recurring Nightmare Circus at the Pantages Hollywood Theater. Together with his deranged disciples, he will hunt for killer acts from a live casting call featuring world-class aerialists, acrobats, contortionists and other freaky friends.”

Show timings for 30-Sept: 7:45pm, 9:15pm, 10:45pm and 12:15am (schedule may vary on other dates – check at the venue on the day of your visit)


MERCHANDISE


All the HHN6 memorabilia seems to be centred around Jack!

 


If I have to list the haunted houses in the order of my preference, they would be:

1) Hu Li’s Inn
2) Salem Witch House
3) Old Changi Hospital
4) Bodies of Work
5) Hawker Centre Massacre (because of the smell! LOL!)


Many thanks to Resorts World Singapore for the media invite to HHN6!


Event Details:

Halloween Horror Nights 6 (HHN6) is held on Select Nights from 30 Sept to 31 Oct 2016.

Dates, Opening Hours and Ticket Prices:
Entry on 30 Sep, 6, 13, 20, 27, 30, 31 Oct 2016. Time: 7:30pm – 12:30am.
General Admission Ticket: S$65
RWS Invites / RWS Invites Attractions Members: S$50

Entry on 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29 Oct 2016. Time: 7:30pm – 1:30am.
General Admission Ticket: S$69
RWS Invites / RWS Invites Attractions Members: S$59

Check the HHN6 website for more ticketing details, including the Frequent Fear Pass, R.I.P. Tours and other promotional packages.


Source: RWScoop

Categories: Resorts World Sentosa, Theme Parks, Universal Studios | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Oriental Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis)

If the Oriental Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis) is supposed to be a common bird in Singapore, then why is it that I’m only seeing this for the first time?

From afar it looks like a dark coloured bird but if you manage to get a closer look at it, you’ll find that its chest feathers are blue and its wings have a greenish sheen. Since it was my first encounter with this bird, I couldn’t help taking several shots of it.

Apologies that this next photo was a little blurry as I was laughing at its comical expression when I took this!

Several die-hard bird photographers were waiting to get shots of the Dollarbird in flight and I decided to wait with them for a bit – let me tell you that this really is a test of your patience!!

The experienced birders told me that this bird is rather territorial and whenever it appears, the smaller birds will fly away, so if you are hoping to get pictures of other bird species, your chances of spotting them have been greatly reduced by this one’s arrival and until it decides to fly away, all you’ll be seeing is this Dollarbird for an extended period of time.

Well, I didn’t mind since I haven’t seen it before and I just love the shine on its feathers! ^_^

Location: Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

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

Soak Out Water Party at Universal Studios Singapore

Have some splashing fun at Universal Studios Singapore’s Soak Out Water Party with the Minions, Penguins of Madagascar, Sesame Street friends and the Woodpecker couple – this event runs from 13th June to 10th August 2016.

There is also a Soak Out After Party with DJ Inquisitive and the band Good Karma on selected dates (more details can be found at the bottom of this post).

The window displays at the Hollywood zone have been changed to fit the tropical beach holiday theme.

You can find the Lagoon stage at the end of Hollywood Boulevard, which is the venue for the Soak Out event.

There are two Super Cannons on the stage and this is one of them:

Party goers can stand anywhere around the stage as the celebrations take place all around the stage area (i.e. in a 360 degree radius)! This is the view from the back:

Other decorations with a tropical feel…

…and these are actually the refilling spots for your water guns!


Some Ground Rules if you are turning up for the Soak Out Water Party:

  • All guests entering Universal Studios Singapore must hold a valid admission ticket.
  • Guests can only use water guns sold at Universal Studios Singapore.

  • Guests can only use the water guns at the splash zone near the Lagoon Stage in the Hollywood zone.
  • Guests shall be allowed to continue playing with water guns within the boundaries of the Lagoon Stage in the Hollywood zone for a maximum of 30 minutes after the end of each Soak Out Water Party. The following timeslots shall apply: 
    • Extended water play time after Soak Out Water Party on Sundays to Fridays: 3:30pm to 4:00pm
    • Extended water play time after Soak Out Water Party on Saturdays: 6:00pm to 6:30pm
  • Guests shall not engage in water play at any other zones in Universal Studios Singapore.
  • Guests are not allowed to engage in water play after the Soak Out Water Party and at any other zones in Universal Studios Singapore.
  • Guests must wear proper attire at all times.


Now for the actual party!…

Before the party could kick off, there were reminders from the park’s crew that “you will get wet and possibly soaked!”

There are some dry zones at both Hollywood and New York (check with the crew on duty for their exact locations) and I decided to park myself next to this signboard, so that I could duck for cover if a stray stream of water came heading my way! LOL!

The Emcee was working out the crowd.

Two “floats” arrived and were parked at the two opposite ends of the stage. This is one of them:

Various characters then appeared for the different dance segments.

Sesame Street friends:

Woody Woodpecker and Winnie Woodpecker:

Penguins of Madagascar:

Minions:

Here’s a little flavour of what you can expect to see there:

Splashing away!

Super cannons in action!!

Verdict:
The Soak Out Water Party somehow reminded me of all the previous years’ New Year Eve countdown parties at the park, with character appearances and loud music, except that this is now held during the day and with an additional water component. Personally, it’s not really my cup of tea (sorry!) and I’ve probably long outgrown attending dance parties. In Singapore’s hot and humid weather, it’s a good opportunity for you to get wet and cool off from the heat (i.e. if you don’t mind getting soaked). On another note, I would have preferred if the park had organised a special parade with different floats for the event, similar to what the Disney parks do for their summer events.


DETAILS:

Soak Out Water Party
Dates: Jun 13 to Aug 10 2016
Daily except Saturdays: 3:00pm – 3:30pm
Saturdays: 5:30pm – 6:00pm

Soak Out After Party
Dates:
Jun 24 – 25
Jul 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 29, 30
Aug 5 – 9
6:00pm – 9:00pm

Dance the night away at the After Party, which begins in the evening in front of the New York Public Library. Its facade will be transformed with eye-popping projection mapping displays and the crowds can enjoy the slammin’ electro beats and Top 40 hits by DJ Inquisitive and the band Good Karma.

Categories: Theme Parks, Universal Studios | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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