Holland Village Market & Food Centre To Close In End 2020, Netizens Mourn OG Dutch Windmill

Holland Village Market & Food Centre Will Undergo 6-Months Renovation

Singaporeans who frequent Holland Village will be familiar with the market-cum-food centre that sits in the middle of the bustling district.

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In a year’s time, the Holland Village Market and Food Centre will be closed for a 6-month renovation project that will see improved facilities and more hawker stalls, reports The Straits Times.

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The works will reportedly cost a whopping $1.26 million.

Renovation works to extend market’s “economic lifespan”

According to National Environment Agency (NEA), the move – slated to happen in the 4th quarter next year – will hopefully improve the condition of the market and extend its “economic lifespan”.

This will be the second time that the popular market has undergone renovation. It was last renovated back in 2005.

Stall owners will reportedly be exempted from paying rent and service fees throughout the duration of the renovation.

The food centre is home to a host of popular hawker stalls. You can click here to check out a selection of stalls our food-loving colleagues have recommended.

363 Holland Village Nasi Lemak
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Netizens miss the OG Holland Village windmill

News of the renovation received mixed reactions from netizens.

Some bemoaned the drastic change that Holland Village has seen in recent times and hope that the iconic windmill will once again be reinstalled.

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For those who may not be familiar with the area, here’s a picture of the iconic windmill that added to the European vibes around the area. It has since been demolished to make way for a new shopping centre.

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Others took the opportunity to call for expansion works to be done to the adjacent carpark.

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One netizen who live around the area hailed the market as their “heartland Lau Pat Sat“.

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Never too early to visit the market for your favourite hawker fares

Let’s hope visitors will be able to better enjoy their dining experience at the market after the renovation works are completed.

Though there’s still a year to go till the works start, it’s never too early to visit the market for some of your favourite hawker food.

While some of us may not be fans of the changes made to Holland Village district, we hope that the new additions will inject life and vibrancy to the area, enhancing its appeal to both old and new crowds.

Featured image adapted from Google Maps

KL Bubble Tea Street Is Boba Heaven With 10 Shops Open Till Late Including Gong Cha & The Alley

KL Bubble Tea Street Is Every Boba Lover’s Fantasy

Visit any popular bubble tea shop in Singapore and you’re sure to find a snaking queue.

The boba obsession is real, and having to queue to satisfy your craving can be quite the mood-killer.

Good news for those who like to travel across the Causeway though — Kuala Lumpur (KL) has an entire street full of bubble tea shops, and most stay open till late.

If you’re planning a KL trip soon, drop by SS15 Subang Jaya to get your boba fix any time, even in the late hours of the night.

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1. The Alley

Singaporeans went crazy when famous Taiwanese brand The Alley first reached our shores in Apr 2019. The line at their Jewel Changi outlet is still insanely long, and we can expect the same at Cineleisure too.

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If you haven’t had a taste yet, we’d suggest heading to their KL outlet and making a mini vacation out of it. The new addition Early Grey Tea will pair perfectly with their signature brown sugar pearls.

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Address: 84G, Jalan SS5/4, 47500 Subang Jaya
Opening hours: 12pm-1am daily

2. Gong Cha

Gong Cha‘s iconic return saw throngs of customers lining up at the first outlet at SingPost Centre. With a few more outlets gradually opening, the craze will only spread.

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Thankfully, Gong Cha in KL doesn’t have such ridiculously long queues, so you won’t have to wait for eternity to get your milk tea with pearls.

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Address: 3, Jalan SS15/7, 47500 Subang Jaya
Opening hours: Sun-Thurs 11am-10pm, Fri & Sat 11am-12am

3. DABOBA

Want to depart from the bubble tea brands everyone keeps talking about? Why not try DABOBA, a brand that claims to have started the brown sugar craze in Taiwan.

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Their brown sugar pearls are said to be extra decadent and not too cloying at all, so it might prove to be worth the long trip there.

Address: 25, Jalan SS15/4, 47500 Subang Jaya
Opening hours: Sun-Thurs 12.30pm-11.45pm, Fri & Sat 12.30pm-12.15am

4. JLD Dragon

JLD Dragon takes brown sugar fresh milk to another level by adding a luscious topping of whipped cream and creme fraiche.

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Since you’re having your little sugary treat, why not indulge in the full experience?

Address: No. 7-G, Jalan SS15/4E, SS15, 47500 Subang Jaya
Opening hours: 12pm-12am daily

5. Xing Fu Tang

We know, another brown sugar pearl joint, but the twist here is that they stir fry their brown sugar pearls in-store in a huge wok, so you can be sure that the caramelised taste will really shine through.

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Another interesting item on the menu is their mango smoothie, which is topped with panna cotta in the shape of a rabbit. How totally random but super cute is that?

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Expect a long queue though, as the fairly new outlet is still welcoming waves of excited first-time customers.

Address: 88, Ground Floor, Jalan SS15/4, 47500 Subang Jaya
Opening hours: 12pm-1am daily

6. Tea Amo

Perhaps a play on the Spanish expression “Te amo” which means “I love you”, there’s every reason to love this bubble tea shop.

Their milk tea doesn’t just stop at the traditional option — you can opt for a variety of other milk flavours like rose, peach, caramel and even hazelnut.

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Go for the soft serve ice-cream with pearls, served in a cup or cone, if you want to switch things up a bit.

Address: 51, Jalan SS15/4, 47500 Subang Jaya
Opening hours: 11am-1am daily

7. OneZo

We have PlayMade, Malaysia has OneZo, the Taiwanese OG in flavoured pearl toppings. You can choose from brown sugar, cactus and caramel pearls to go with drinks like taro milk tea and cocoa latte.

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OneZo also famously created the Poké Ball pearls, so Pokémon fans can truly eat, live and breathe Pokémon.

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Address: 70-G, Jalan SS15/4, 47500 Subang Jaya
Opening hours: 11am-1am daily

8. Cha Wan Jia Tea Bubble

Cha Wan Jia is basically what you’d imagine the love child of PlayMade and LiHo would be. Pearls in flavours like sakura and dragon fruit, and teas with foamy cheese toppings give you the best of both worlds.

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You’d be so blown away by the menu that you’ll start tripping over your words and calling bubble tea “tea bubble” instead.

Address: No. 34, SS15/8, 47500 Subang Jaya
Opening hours: Sun-Thurs 11.30am-12am, Fri & Sat 11.30am-1am

9. Pin Tea

Not your typical boba store, Pin Tea offers healthier versions of thirst-quenching, ice cold beverages. Pick from fresh fruit teas like grape, kiwi, berries and mango, some of which also come in ice blended form.

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If you really can’t do without dairy, they also have frappes in flavours like double chocolate chip, caramel black tea and hojicha.

Add their unique “pin balls”, a supposedly healthier substitute for tapioca pearls, for some chewiness. These are said to contain zero fats and calories, and even help with digestion.

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Health nuts would appreciate this less sinful option for bubble tea.

Address: 86G, Jalan SS15/4, 47500 Subang Jaya
Opening hours: 12pm-1am daily

10. Chatto

Slightly further away from the rest, Chatto is the only shop that’s also a full-fledged cafe complete with a savoury food menu. Fill your empty stomach with Japanese and Korean delicacies like a kimchi chicken sandwich or a curry bento set.

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Wash everything down with a cup of matcha pearl latte, among other delicious drink options, for a satisfying meal.

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Address: No. 24 Jalan SS15/4D, 47500 Subang Jaya
Opening hours: Sun-Thurs 11.30am-12am, Fri & Sat 11.30am-1am

Late night bubble tea haunts

With over 10 bubble tea shops open past midnight, SS15 Subang Jaya in KL is really the place to be for crazy boba fanatics.

The area is easily accessible from the SS15 LRT station, but of course, you can just Grab your way there.

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June holidays are less than a month away, so you should probably start planning a holiday in KL to try all these wild and wonderful bubble tea options.

Featured image from @steffylovesfood and @eva_t0807 on Instagram.

Fox Giving Marmot A ‘Heart Attack’ Moment Was So Epic, It Won Best Wildlife Photo

Person Behind Tibetan Fox Hunting Marmot Photo Snags Wildlife Photographer Of The Year Award

Be inspired to take your next adventure thanks to these award-winning wildlife photos.

London’s Natural History Museum organised The Wildlife Photography Awards and received 48,000 entries from 100 different countries.

Chinese photographer Yongqing Bao’s entry titled ‘The Moment’ featuring a Tibetan fox ready to pounce on a shocked marmot – a species of large squirrels – snagged The Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award.

wildlife photography award 1Yongqing took this photo at Nan Shan mountains in northern China
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Wildlife photography can make many stop and stare. If you’d like to see the stunning images, here’s a look at some of the award-winning photos that you need to check out.

Tibetan fox about to pound on shocked marmot

How far would you go to feed your children?

The winning entry titled ‘The Moment’ by Yongqing Bao featured a Tibetan Fox hunting a Himalayan marmot to feed her three hungry cubs, according to The New York Times.

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The image conveyed a stark contrast between life and death as the predator was poised to attack and the prey realised its quick demise.

Bao took home the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award for his stunning feat. We were equally amazed, and even made a meme out of it.

Glowing squid also a stunning photo

Meanwhile, the winner of the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year was Cruz Erdmann.

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His entry titled ‘Night Glow’ featured a bigfin reef squid altering its body colour and pattern.

Notable mentions of the awards

The competition also announced winners for different categories like birds, amphibians, animal portraits, invertebrates and mammals.

‘Pondworld’ by Manuel Plaickner captured the mass migration of common frogs in large ponds. We never knew that these amphibians had their own sci-fi wonderland until today.

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The ‘Garden of Eels’ by David Doubilet includes a swaying group of eels drifting across the current.

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‘The Equal Match’ by Ingo Arndt reminds us that we’ll never know which day will be our last.

The picture highlights a horrified guanaco as a female puma grabbed him by the throat.

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Surprisingly, Mr Arndt revealed that the guanaco escaped while the female puma went hungry.

Hawaii is famous for its gorgeous beaches but it’s volcanoes are a sight to see too. ‘Creation’ by Luis Vilariño has red lava from the Kīlauea volcano dripping down towards the cool Pacific Ocean.

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‘The Huddle’ by Stefan Christmann proves that you need others to survive in the wildlife too. The photo featured 5,000 male emperor penguins huddled with their heads down to share body heat.

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Appreciating the beauty of wildlife

We undoubtedly love to take vacations in urban destinations but these pictures inspire us to consider a wildlife adventure too.

If we witness the beauty of nature, then maybe we’ll be more inspired to preserve the planet and protect the environment.

The Earth is huge and there are a lot of places to discover.  In the meantime, consider adding underwater worlds, hot volcanoes, forests and savannas to your travel bucket list.

Have you ever had a wildlife adventure? Share your stories with us in the comments below.

Featured image from Natural History Museum. 

Sentosa Pokemon Carnival Has 5-Metre Pikachu Float, Parades & Carnival Games From 15 Jun

Sentosa Pokemon Carnival Has Pikachu Floats, Pikachu Parades & Carnival Games From 15 Jun

Pokemon fans in Singapore seem to be having the time of their life thanks to the Pokemon Go Safari Zone and the recently opened Pokemon Centre at Jewel Changi.

But the party’s far from over since Sentosa announced that they’ll be playing host to the first-ever Pokemon Carnival.

©2019 Pokémon. ©1995-2019 Nintendo/Creatures Inc. /GAME FREAK inc. TM and ® are trademarks of Nintendo

From 15 to 30 June, Pokemon lovers can visit a massive 5-metre inflatable Pikachu and meet a whopping 403 types of Pokemon in the Alolan region of Sentosa Cove Village.

©2019 Pokémon. ©1995-2019 Nintendo/Creatures Inc. /GAME FREAK inc. TM and ® are trademarks of Nintendo

Looks like June holiday plans for the kiddos are settled. Here’s what else to expect.

Catch all 403 Alolan pokemon & play carnival games

Many of us spent our entire childhood watching many Pokemon adventures on TV.

This time, we’ll experience our own Pokemon Adventures, snag some activity booklets and discover tons of Pokemon in an island. We hear that Pokemon plushies will be up for grabs too, if you join in the festivities.

©2019 Pokémon. ©1995-2019 Nintendo/Creatures Inc. /GAME FREAK inc. TM and ® are trademarks of Nintendo

Thanks to the Carnival Game Vouchers, guests can experience four carnival games and win Pokemon stickers. We’ve always wanted to try using Pokeballs in real-life, and we might get the opportunity to do just that.

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Kids can learn about each Pokemon by scanning the QR codes on the Pokémon standees scattered around Sentosa Cove Village. They can use what they’ve learned to answer questions in these mysterious Pokemon boards.

©2019 Pokémon. ©1995-2019 Nintendo/Creatures Inc. /GAME FREAK inc. TM and ® are trademarks of Nintendo

Get the chance to meet these adorable Pokemon mascots. Here’s to hoping that you don’t get electrocuted by lightning bolts in exchange for a hug.

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Pikachu parades & dance parties

Those who loved the Pikachu Parade last December can relive their adorable butt-shaking and ear-wagging with return of the Pikachu Parade.

©2019 Pokémon. ©1995-2019 Nintendo/Creatures Inc. /GAME FREAK inc. TM and ® are trademarks of Nintendo

We don’t have details about the event yet, but we recall last year’s parade featuring Pikachu’s glowing afro wigs, funky fashion and neon-lit costumes.

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Get ready for more surprises and groovy nights as Pikachu’s LED costume changes colour according to the beat.

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Massive 5-metre Pikachu float & Pokémon inflatables

The adventure doesn’t stop there. Kids can make new friends and jump inside this huge  Pokémon-themed inflatable slide and ball pit.

©2019 Pokémon. ©1995-2019 Nintendo/Creatures Inc. /GAME FREAK inc. TM and ® are trademarks of Nintendo

Just like any Pokemon adventure, they’ll make new friends and conquer obstacles through teamwork.

©2019 Pokémon. ©1995-2019 Nintendo/Creatures Inc. /GAME FREAK inc. TM and ® are trademarks of Nintendo

We went gaga over the massive inflatable Lapras last April, and this time we can hang out with a 5-metre inflatable Pikachu.

While we don’t have an image of actual float yet, we think that this huge Pikachu float from Changi Airport is close to the real deal.

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Catch ‘em all at Sentosa Cove

With the school holidays upon us, Pokemon Carnival is the perfect event to celebrate your love of Pokemon and pass it on to your kids.

There’s no need to break the bank to live like Ash Ketchum because admission is free.

The Pokemon Parade and meet and greet sessions won’t be available everyday so check out their website for more details.

Here are some details about the event:

Location: Sentosa Cove
Date: 15-30 June
Time: 5pm-9pm
Nearest MRT: Harbourfront Station

Stay tuned for updates as Sentosa reveals more information about the upcoming Pikachu carnival.

The Pokemon Carnival is a fresh opportunity to update your feed, especially if it’s been filled with Pokemon Centre pics for the past few months.

Featured image from Sentosa. All photo credits to Nintendo unless otherwise stated. ©2019 Pokémon. ©1995-2019 Nintendo/Creatures Inc. /GAME FREAK inc. TM and ® are trademarks of Nintendo.

A Pop-Up Chanel Cafe Is Opening In Singapore For 8 Days In Early April

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Chanel Cafe In Singapore

It’s not just bags and makeup — it’s a lifestyle. You know what I’m talking about, it’s Chanel.

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Guess what’s popping? That’s right, it’s Chanel’s own pop-up concept called Coco Cafe that will be open from April 8 to April 16, 2017, from 11am to 8pm.

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Where?

Wonder where’s it’s at? Don’t worry, we Ghaut you covered. Yes, the Parisan cafe will be at the Visual Arts Centre at Dhoby Ghaut Green.

So expect a whole lot of visuals to go along with some Coco Crunching mouth action.

One of the highlights involves colours from the new Chanel Cruise Makeup Collection called Les Indispensables De L’été that promises to be an indispensable delight.

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Other Cafes

Chanel has opened similar cafes in other cities as well. Check out some photos of the one they opened in Tokyo from March 3 to 12:

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Priority Access

So get ready to Chanel your inner loco in Singapore’s Coco Cafe and fight to gain priority access (which comes with a complimentary drink, by the way) by clicking here. Don’t say bojio!

Featured image from Nylon

Christmas Wonderland At Gardens By The Bay Has 10 Parades, Carnival Rides & Food Markets From 29 Nov

Christmas Wonderland At Gardens By The Bay Starts 29 Nov Till 26 Dec

Christmas Wonderland is returning to Gardens by the Bay.

In a press release, Gardens by the Bay announced that the event will feature 10 new parades, illuminating installations, and entertaining productions from Friday (29 Nov) until 26 Dec.

Here are some things you can look forward to.

Santa’s Workshops & Italian sculptures

Christmas Wonderland will make your holidays’ even brighter thanks to their illuminating light installations and new parades. The Christmas Parade will include festive characters like Santa Claus, dancing elves, reindeer sleighs, and cheeky penguins.

Those who dream of riding a sleigh can enter Santa’s workshop. We’re hoping to catch a ride to the North Pole with the help of reindeers.

There’s no need to visit Italy to witness the splendour of the season.

More than 360,000 bulbs will light up the night sky. Christmas trees, handmade Italian sculptures and classic towers inspired by Tuscany, will delight visitors of all ages.

Garden Rhapsody & Blizzard Time

While we’ve been to Gardens by the Bay numerous times, we bet that Christmas Wonderland will still take your breath away.

The Garden Rhapsody will feature a special light and sound show at the Supertree Grove. Those who are tired of the traditional Christmas tree will definitely marvel at the towering supertrees.

Good ol’ Christmas Carols will be sung at the magical Cassa Armonica gazebo. You can witness the live performances of:

  • Inch Chua
  • Sam Driscoll
  • The Hwa Chong Institution Choir
  • The NTU Alumni Choir, and more local musicians.

Blizzards and snow will never make an appearance in sunny Singapore. However, you can witness bits of ‘snow’ falling from the sky during Blizzard Time.

Carnival rides & Christmas train

Christmas Wonderland will have fun and games for kids and adults of all ages.

The carnival will feature 18 traditional carnival games and rides like Mini Viking and Swing Chair Carousel.

Visitors can hop on a bumper car and occasionally bump into their friends and family. Parents may also use this opportunity to teach their kids the basics of driving.

If you ever get fatigued from walking, then ride the Christmas train to view installations from the comfort of your own seat.

Christmas Village

Shoppers can visit the whimsical Christmas Village to find crafts and limited-edition food and drinks.

The village’s European-style wooden huts are reminiscent of the structures that you’ll find in the Nordic region. You can browse a total of 24 festive huts to find gifts such as jewellery, bags, and phone covers.

Hungry locals can feast like a king through delicious food from Dessert Wonderland, Fat Belly, Mac Tacos, The Beast, Street Food Circus SG and more.

A meal is more delicious when shared with friends and family so be sure to invite them. Those who are still single AF may unexpectedly meet someone new.

Christmas Wonderland from 29 Nov

Christmas Wonderland at Gardens by the Bay signals the start of the holiday season.

The holidays conjure images of Santa Claus, quaint buildings and illuminating sculptures. Thanks to Christmas Wonderland, you can witness the beauty of the season a lot closer to home.

You can purchase tickets at Christmas Wonderland SG or through their official ticketing partner KLOOK.

Here are more details about the event:

Christmas Wonderland 2019 at Gardens By The Bay

Address: Gardens by the Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018953
Opening hours*: 29 Nov-26 Dec 2019

Monday – Thursday: 5pm-11pm
Friday – Sunday: 4pm-11pm
Christmas Eve (24 Dec): 4pm-12:30am
Christmas Day (25 Dec): 4pm-11pm
Boxing Day (26 Dec): 4pm-11pm

Nearest MRT station: Bayfront

We expect a lot of people to visit Christmas Wonderland, so book your tickets as soon as possible.

What are your plans for the holidays? Let us know in the comments below.

All images courtesy of Christmas Wonderland via Right Hook Communications Pte Ltd.

Artbox 2018 – Bangkok’s Biggest Hipster Market Returns To Singapore In May 2018

Artbox 2018 Returns To Marina Bay In May, 3 Times Bigger Than Before

Mark your calendars — Artbox 2018 is back and it looks to be bigger than ever.

In case you missed it last year – or gave it a pass due to the insane crowd – Bangkok’s creative market will be returning for the second year in a row on 25-27 May and 1-3 June at Bayfront Event Space.

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With over 400 regional vendors and almost three times the space occupied compared to 2017’s event, seems like the organisers spared no expense to ensure last year’s disastrous crowd issues don’t happen again.

Could we be experiencing Artbox’s full potential this year? Only one way to find out.

Introducing Artbox 2018: Oasis

Set to be Singapore’s largest creative market, Artbox 2018 promises to be a “land of pure enjoyment” that offers something for all ages.

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From interactive elements and activities, to creative art installations and a wide variety of delectable food, this year’s edition will be taking place over the entire Bayfront Event Space at Marina Bay.

That’s over 140,000 sq ft of space — almost three times of last year’s 50,000 sq ft.

Looks like come two weekends in May and June, Marina Bay is the place to be.

What you can expect

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While details are still scarce at the moment, here are some things you can surely expect to see.

Live musical performances that will sweep you off your feet.

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Unique trinkets and knick-knacks to spice up your everyday life.

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And of course, a wide variety of food that’ll make you salivate.

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And drinks to quench your thirst under the Singapore sun.

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IG-worthy hotspots that’ll make all your friends wish they were there.

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Lastly, an evening of unforgettable fun is also guaranteed.

Still not convinced? Check out this video of last year’s event — it might just change your mind.

We’ll definitely update this page as more information is released.

Mark your calendars now

Need we say more? Block out those dates, call all your friends and families and tell them to get ready.

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Date: 25th to 27th May and 1st to 3rd June
Location: Bayfront Event Space next to the Marina Bay Sands
Nearest MRT: Bayfront MRT Station
Time: 3pm to 11pm

Alternatively, you can check out Artbox Singapore on their Instagram for more information or keep track of it via Facebook.

See you guys there!

Featured image from Instagram.

Malaysia’s Zoo Negara Needs More Visitors Or It’ll Run Out Of Money To Care For Animals

Malaysia’s Zoo Negara Urgently Needs Money To Sustain

Though opinions are split between the pros and cons of zoos, they are undeniably sanctuaries for endangered animals.

Our very own national pride, the Singapore Zoo, has helped tremendously in global animal conservation efforts over the years.

Likewise, Malaysia’s Zoo Negara is doing its part to keep many animal species alive. But its efforts could go to waste, if visitor footfall continues to drop and the zoo stops making money.

Malayan tigers most at risk of losing funding

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), there are only 250 to 340 Malayan Tigers left in the world, making the species “critically endangered”.

Zoo Negara helps to look after some of these surviving tigers, feeding them, and ensuring that they’re in the pink of health.

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But their care costs a significant amount of money, with each tiger setting them back roughly RM40,000 (S$13,200) a year.

The zoo estimates that it needs at least RM500,000 (S$165,000) to keep up with tiger care, but hopes for RM1 million (S$330,000) to focus on conserving all Asian tiger species.

Currently surviving on limited funds

Since 2015, the number of visitors to the zoo has fallen, with the latest record accounting for only 368,000 in a year. The zoo needs at least 500,000 to break even.

The falling numbers means expenditure is really tight, with almost as much money going out as it is coming in.

Five-year grants had long ended in 2004, and the zoo is currently getting by on a one-off government aid for general maintenance.

Future remains uncertain

It is not known what the consequences will be if funding eventually runs dry and the zoo is unable to make ends meet.

But Zoo Negara has arranged talks with Malaysia’s Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister as well as Prime Minister Mahathir to discuss ways to sustain the zoo and possibly upgrade it to a dedicated conservation centre.

For now, we can help keep a roof over the animals’ heads by making a visit to the zoo the next time we’re in Kuala Lumpur.

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Here’s more information on how to get there:

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Address: Jalan Ulu Kelang, Kemensah Heights, 68000 Ampang, Selangor, Malaysia
Opening hours: 

  • Mon-Fri: 9am-4.30pm
  • Sat-Sun: 9am-5.30pm

Nearest LRT stations: Sri Rampai & Wangsa Maju
Entrance fees (for ASEAN citizens): 

  • Adults – RM61 (S$20)
  • Children (3-12 years) – RM33 (S$11)
  • Senior Citizens (60 years & above) – RM61 (S$20)

It’ll be a nice change from the usual city shopping sprees that people go on to whenever they visit KL. A visit to the zoo will surely be a fun trip for the entire family.

Let’s do our part to help the animals. This is, after all, a matter of preservation of life rather than national interests.

Featured image from backpackingmalaysia.com and 8excite.

Pokémon Centre At Jewel Changi Opens To Public On 17 Apr; Time To Assemble Your Army Of Plushies

Pokémon Centre At Jewel Changi Airport Lets You Assemble Your Pokémon Team

On Thursday (12 Apr), Singapore’s Pokémon Centre opened its doors for the first day of Jewel Changi Airport’s public preview.

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Now that Singapore has its own Pokémon Centre, you don’t need to travel to Japan to catch ‘em all. The location is a haven of Pokémon plushies, finger puppets and trading cards.

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If you’re ready to expand your collection of Pokémon merchandise, here’s what to expect on 17 Apr, when it officially opens to the public.

Pokemon plushies & statues

The opening was met with a lot of fanfare, thanks to the Japanese Pikachu guarding the entrance.

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A look inside reveals gigantic Pokémon statues and plushies.

Lapras enjoys ferrying people across bodies of water, and we can only hope that it’ll do the same for us.

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Gyrados – a flying dragon-like creature – seems like an evolved cousin of Merlion.

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Singaporean Pikachu flight attendants are the plushies that we didn’t know we needed. It’s a welcome addition to our Pokémon wishlist, and we’re not complaining.

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They say the more the merrier, and the same applies to Pokémon.

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Time to buy new shelves to store your future collection of Pokémon collectibles.

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Finger puppets, blocks & miniatures

Save up your money because you’ll find a great number of things related to Pokémon.

We didn’t know that Pokémon could rest on the tips of our fingers, until we discovered these finger puppets.

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Those who love building LEGO buildings & towers will have a blast assembling these Pokémon Nanoblocks.

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You might have caught virtual Pokémon in video games, but at least you can now buy tangible miniatures.

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We doubt these Pokémon face masks can transform us into our favourite creatures, but at least you’ll get A+ for effort.

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Trading cards & face masks

Those who grew up collecting decks will be happy to find the Pokémon Trading Card Game Theme Deck of Sun & Moon, Team Up, Crimson Invasion, Burning Shadows, Ultra Prism and Guardians Rising.

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Decorate your desk with Pokémon TCG: Shining Legends Pin Collections featuring Pikachu and Mewtwo.

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Those who’ll watch the Detective Pikachu movie should stock up on these cards for the ultimate fan experience.

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Prepare your Pokémon wishlist

As much as we want to collect ‘em all, we have to save up first.

We suggest you list down your favourite Pokémon, otherwise you’ll get overwhelmed by the goodies.

If people go gaga over their virtual Pokémon Go collection, we’re betting they’ll go crazy over these merchandise. We’re not sure how fast these will get caught by local fans, so grab what you can.

Featured image from Instagram.

Istana CNY Open House On 6 Feb Lets S’poreans Bai Nian Inside For Free

Istana Hosts CNY Open House On 6 Feb

Mention visiting the Istana and you may get bewildered looks from your family and friends, followed by a “can go in one meh?”.

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The answer is an indisputable ‘yes’. In fact, the Istana has a few open houses every year, one of which is happening very soon on 6 Feb, the second day of Chinese New Year (CNY).

The open houses are held in celebration of various public holidays in Singapore, such as CNY, Labour Day, Hari Raya Puasa, National Day and Deepavali.

The Istana is the official residence and office of the President of Singapore, as well as the working office of Singapore’s Prime Minister.

Tours & exhibitions

Even if you’ve never been to the Istana before, not to worry as there are guided tours available.

Take a tour of selected function rooms in the Istana Main Building, and view a special exhibition of gifts presented to Singapore’s Presidents and Prime Ministers over the years.

Istana Main Building

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Sri Temasek building

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The Villa building

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Military Guard Room

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Here is a picture of what you can expect from a past open house:

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You can also try your hand at Chinese calligraphy booths.

Furthermore, there will be a display by Wildlife Reserves Singapore to educate the public on wildlife conservation issues.

But, if you prefer to enjoy the scenery and festivities of the Istana on your own, you can choose to do a self-guided tour using the Istana Garden Walk mobile app.

Wushu & musical performances

Expect to be treated to an array of performances such as brass band and Chinese martial arts (wushu) shows.

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And of course, the all-time CNY favourite — lion dance.


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Istana Nature Guided Walk by NParks

If you love greens – admiring them, not eating them – you may also choose to join the Nature Guided Walk.

A collaboration between the President’s Office and the National Parks Board (NParks), the walk will take you through the Istana’s flora and fauna displays.

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You may even be able to catch a glimpse of swans at the Swan Pond!

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The guided walk will be conducted hourly from 10am to 4pm. For those who are keen, do look out for signs on the Istana grounds to find out where to register.

Guided Tour Fees:
– Children aged 4 years & above: $2
– Singaporeans/PRs aged 13 & above: $4
– Foreigners aged 13 & above: $10
– Singaporeans/PRs (Family of 4): $12
– Foreigners (Family of 4): $30

150th anniversary of the Istana

This year is undeniably a special one for Singapore, since we’re commemorating SG’s Bicentennial Year — aka the 200th anniversary of Raffles’ arrival in Singapore.

But did you know that the Istana is also commemorating its 150th anniversary?

To mark this occasion, President Halimah Yacob will be launching an Istana 150 Souvenir Series of Medallions and FlashPay cards on that day.

Jointly brought to you by the Istana and The Singapore Mint, the souvenir series will consist of a range of unique silver medallions and card products featuring the architecture of the Istana buildings.

Security screenings will be done

Before you head down to the Istana on that day, do make a mental note of these rules.

For security reasons, do not bring the following items with you:

1. Pointed & sharp objects (e.g. knives of any size, forks)
2. Flammable items (e.g. lighters)
3. Canned food & drinks

To ensure a safe and enjoyable visit and to prevent damage to the premises, visitors will have to undergo security screening before entering the Istana grounds.

The sale of tickets for the Istana Main Building will close at 5.30pm, subject to crowd conditions. As for the guided tour, registration will close by 3pm for the main building, and 4pm for the Nature Guided Walk.

Bai nian at the Istana this CNY

So if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like inside the Istana, head on down on their CNY Open House!

But if you happen to be busy with CNY visits that day, there are still more Istana open houses later in the year.

You can take a look at the schedule here.

Address: 35 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238823
Date & time: 6 Feb 2019, 8.30am-6pm
Entrance fee: Free for Singaporeans & Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs), S$2/person for all other visitors

Featured image from Wikipedia and the Istana.

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