When asked by Today in a phone interview about her experience, Ms Killick said: “There were many nights when I couldn’t sleep, because there’s so much to worry about.” For example, she was so broke that she once had to take food from her neighbour.
Despite all the hurdles that she had been faced with, she had no regrets. “These are challenges we don’t face in Singapore at all, and that is what I really wanted.”
The lodge has been a hit among locals and foreigners alike. While Killick’s friends initially helped her promote the lodge, it soon became a hit online. The lodge has had a steady growth of followers on its Instagram and Facebook page.
Killick even managed to sell out all the rooms for a big part of the winter last year.
The occupants were also immensely satisfied with their stay at Uchimaru Hakuba. The lodge has a whopping 9.5/10 rating on booking.com.
The most amazing thing about this all is that she virtually manages the lodge alone! Although her boyfriend does pitch in, Ms Killick does the bulk of the work, including the housekeeping and the bookkeeping.
Reviews have also poured in, all lauding the service at the lodge and some even mentioning Ms Killick herself.
It is rather heartwarming to see a fellow Singaporean following her heart and achieving such success. It really does show that anything is possible with passion and conviction.
We often get caught up in what we deem as a ‘practical’ way of life, and shove aside the dreams and aspirations from our youth. This comes at a price, and our job satisfaction may take a hit. In fact, a survey conducted in the Southeast Asian region last year, revealed Singapore to have the lowest job happiness numbers among our neighbours.
We could all learn a thing or two from Ms Killick about taking that leap of faith and turning our dreams into reality.
Alternatively, you can experience Ms Killick’s dream at Uchimaru Hakuba by booking yourself a room via the lodge’s website.
As we venture into the bright future that is Singapore’s, many of us scramble to hold on to some remnants of the past. Naturally, companies like TheSmartLocal in turn organise events to remind us of art and our history.
Similarly, non-profit art organisation OH! Open House has been organising art walkabouts in neighbourhoods like Potong Pasir and Joo Chiat since 2009:
These walkabouts focus on artistic infrastructure and unique oddities that many would not be initially aware of. And great lengths are taken to immerse goers into the neighbourhood they are exploring. In the case of Holland Village, participants will be allowed to enter some of these homes to get a glimpse of the art hidden behind doors.
OH! Holland Village
For every weekend in March 2017, Holland Village will take the spotlight.
Since it’s technically not part of Holland Village, most of us easily overlook the gem that is Chip Bee Gardens. In fact, some may say it was the Orchard Road of British soldiers during the colonial times. Today, it’s lined with a plethora of Italian restaurants and art galleries that will appeal to every history hipster out there.
It’s not just the exteriors of the HDB flats that will pique your interest. Judging by their previous neighbourhood walkabouts, you’d likely get to step into the intimate homes of some residents. By the looks of the past HDB tours done by OH!, it’s certain that one would be in for a surprise.
According to the website, one would have to go solo for this cemetery walk in the evening. Don’t worry though, there aren’t many dead bodies buried here. Instead, the majority of gravestones cover urns not coffins, filled with the ashes of the dead. It’s interesting to note that this is also the last Hakka cemetery in Singapore, making it even more precious.
Being the deep bohemian enclave that Holland Village is, it’s no doubt that you’d be in for a cultural shock too. In a good way, of course.
For just $25 per pax, it almost seems regretful to miss such an opportunity. As you watch the hustle and bustle of the neighbourhood below, give some thought on the history that has allowed Holland Village to become the exciting area that it is today.
The Duxton House houses 50 guestrooms and features an all-day dining restaurant, bar and a private cigar room for those who appreciate the finer things in life. The Duxton Terrace hosts a larger number of guests with 138 rooms.
Name: The Duxton Club Address: 83 Duxton Road, Singapore 089540 Contact:Email or Website
2. The InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay
The InterContinental at Robertson Quay boasts 225 rooms with InterContinental’s signature contemporary designs.
The hotel is a part of a mixed-use development called DUO Singapore, and is part of a combination of retail, restaurants, bars, residences, and offices. For convenience, it also has a direct underground connection to Bugis MRT Station.
Andaz Hotel has 342 guestrooms, a rooftop bar with ocean views, and an infinity pool for you to take that Instaworthy shot. On top of that, it oversees some of Singapore’s popular tourist spots like Bugis Street and the Kampong Glam conservation district.
Name: Andaz Hotel Address: 5 Fraser Street, Singapore 189354 Tel: 3100 0102 Contact:Email or Website
4. Hilton Garden Inn
A cheap thrill Singaporeans are guilty of is to visit Mustafa Centre at odd hours in the night.
Hilton Garden Inn is situated in the heart of Little India, making those trips to the all-encompassing 24/7 shopping centre fuss free.
This addition to the Hilton Worldwide brand features a 24-hour pantry — Our Pavilion Pantry, and the Garden Grille & Bar to unwind at after a day of sightseeing at local attractions around the area — the Temple of 1,000 Lights, Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple and House of Tan Teng Niah, to name a few.
Meanwhile, the in-house restaurant, Racines — helmed by Chef Jean Charles Dubois — serves contemporary French and local cuisine.
Name: Sofitel, Singapore City Centre Address: 9 Wallich Street, Singapore 078885 Opening: May 2017 Tel: 6402 8888 Contact:Email or Website
7. The Patina
The Patina at Capitol Piazza, the iconic building along Stamford Road finally opened in the second quarter of 2017. Not only is the hotel under the Leading Hotels of the World programme, it’s interior is designed by world-renowned Jaya International Design.
Worried that your phone battery will drain whilst basking in the presence of the complimentary wi-fi? Don’t fret, there are also up to 800 free charging stations planted all over the different terminals.
These services are not always available in other airports out there, making it difficult for passengers with long transits. Looks like Changi Airport’s approach to pampering visitors is obviously working.
2. ‘Mazing Movies
Who would’ve thought that you could Netflix and chill at the airport? Although some look forward to catching the latest movies during their flights, others aren’t fortunate enough to have that privilege.
Not only do these gardens provide scenic views for Instaworthy photos, they are the perfect spots to bring children for a fresh breath of the outdoors after being confined in their airplane seats for prolonged periods of time.
So it’s definitely comforting for passengers to know that Changi Airport has designated resting areas that have reclining chairs, deeming it as one of the best airports to take a nap during a dreaded long transit.
Let’s not forget that they are also free-of-charge. Here are their locations:
Terminal 1: Snooze Lounge, Transit East, Level 3, Transit Area
Terminal 2 : Sanctuary Lounge, Transit North Pier, opposite E5, Transit Area; Oasis Lounge, Transit North Pier, Opp E11, Transit Area
Terminal 3: Snooze Lounge, Transit North Mezzanine, near to Singapore Food Street, Transit Area
5. Terrific Tours
Take a little trip around Singapore town in a Singapore city bus. Sound familiar? Well, Singapore is actually one of the few airports in the world that offer not only one, but two free tours for passengers in transit.
The City Lights and Heritage tour allows passengers gawk at the grandeur of the city or explore the historical sites around the country. This is accompanied by well-trained tour guides, assuring visitors of a high-quality experience.
Here are some photos taken by tourists on one of the tours:
Terminal 2: Departure Transit Lounge South, next to the Orchid Garden, Level 2, Transit Area
Terminal 3: Next to the Fountain area, Level B2, Public Area; Departure Transit Lounge North, Outside gate holdroom B1-B4, Level 2, Transit Area
We think it’s wonderful that Changi Airport is taking the appeal of the arts so seriously, definitely much more than other airports out there.
9. Maximum Mugging
To many foreigners, encountering students studying at airports is rather strange. However, Changi Airport has picked up on Singapore’s obsession with studying, and houses many studying spots perfect for the everyday mugger, unlike other airports in the world. Here are some of the best spots to study!
This quiet cafe offers free wi-fi and charging ports, perfect for the everyday mugger. Located at Level 2 of Terminal 3, this 24-hour cafe is sure to help keep students awake and undisturbed.
With a plethora of food chains and open spaces available for students to study and/or relax, no wonder Changi Airport doesn’t appeal only to travellers.
10. Shiok Shopping
Avid shoppers almost always look forward to the “NO GST”, duty-free deals during transit. At Terminal 2, The Shilla Duty Free store hosts 180 brands, making it one of the most accessible shopping stops.
It’s no wonder that Changi Airport is considered one of the best airports in the world to shop, according to Skytrax.
Changi Airport’s Achievements
As Singaporeans who grew up frequenting Changi Airport, we tend to take for granted how well-kept and developed our airport is. In total, the airport has won over 500 awards as of 2015 and yet still undergoes numerous renovations to better their services.
The building’s general manager Vicky Hwang told Australian Bartender that “every piece of furniture, every textile, the carpets, the marble” were all handpicked. In other words, a lot of effort was made to achieve such a beautiful concept.
The bar has an eye on becoming a popular tourist attraction to many over the world too, thus the moniker “Atlas”.
As it will be open from from 8am to 3am on weekends, it will undoubtedly appeal to the local crowd too.
Head bartender Roman Foltán assures guests of great service, saying: “We want to deliver a five-star service, with a lot of attention to the details and personalised service. At the same time, in a very relaxed, and a little bit cheeky way as well.”
The carefully procured champagnes (many from the famous Hwang family) will even be housed in a walk-in, rose-metal plated champagne chiller room behind the main bar, according to Mr Jason Williams, creative director of Proof & Company, which is behind the Atlas project. It even has a pillbox with a special light, because UV lights are a big no no.
Who would’ve thought that being a champagne bottle would feel so good?
Before Atlas took over, the space was taken up by Divine Bar. From past photos of its lavish interiors, we can tell that Atlas is going to look like a throwback to The Great Gatsby, Leonard DiCaprio not included:
Aloha! A little bit of Hawaii haven has landed in sunny Singapore in the form of Ola Beach Club.
Whether you’re looking to chill (or rather, melt) under the hot sun, seeking thrills to rejuvenate your weary soul or just want to spend quality family time with your loved ones, this Hawaiian-themed beach paradise is a one-size-fits-all attraction.
From adrenaline-pumping water activities that propel you 15m into the air to sipping cocktail and lepaking by the beach, the picturesque Ola Beach Club is a great place for a getaway.
For superhero wannabes, flying in the air is no longer an improbable dream.
Ola Beach Club has Asia’s first and only water-propelled jetpack thrill ride. Fly up to 9m in the air and at speeds of up to 40km per hour as you get to experience what it’s like being Superman for a day.
But flying doesn’t come cheap – it costs $228 for 45 minutes of wild jet-packing fun.
A classic Hawaiian dish, Ahi Poke (pronounced poh-kay) is a salad made up of marinated fish cubes.
This salad is highly customisable; you can choose your base (jasmine rice, brown rice, salad), flavour (kimchi, shoyu, togarashi) and 2 sides (ebiko, pineapple, guacamole, kimchi, pumpkin seeds, cranberry, pomegranate).
Good news for nature lovers: Two new wildlife parks are coming to Mandai, and they are set to boost eco-tourism, as Singapore aims to become the leading nature hub in Asia.
The construction phase of the project was launched on Monday (Jan 16), with the first phase set to be completed in 2020.
Currently, the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and River Safari attract 4.6 million visitors per year, and they’re hoping that the rejuvenation of Mandai to be an eco-tourism hub will increase visitor numbers to more than 10 million annually.
Take a look at this video that Mandai Park Holdings released on Sunday (Jan 15) to promote this project.
New Attractions To Look Out For
Apart from the new Bird Park and Rainforest Park, which are projected to be completed by 2020 and 2021 respectively, there will be also be a nature-themed indoor attraction and eco-lodging.
Here’s a map showing where the new attractions will be located:
The new Bird Park will house some of the world’s most endangered bird species.
Visitors will be greeted by a majestic waterfall at the entrance as they begin to feast their eyes on a variety of exotic birds that are found in the rainforests of Africa, flooded savannahs of South and Central America and the Australian bushlands. Some species that we can expect are hornbills and birds of paradise.
Starting from an underground cavern, visitors will walk their way up to the tree canopies at the Rainforest Park, as they experience the lavish flora and fauna of an South-east Asian jungle. Keep your eyes peeled and you may spot apes swinging from tree to tree!
#QOTD no longer stands for quote of the day but question of the day. So, #QOTD: What is considered a human being? Well, apparently not the Ministry of Defence (Mindef).
The Court of Appeal ruled on Monday (Jan 16) that Mindef cannot invoke the anti-harrassment law against The Online Citizen, as Mindef is not a human being.
What’s going on?
In case you’re lost in all this legal talk, here’s a quick overview of how it all started.
In 2011, MobileStats Technologies, owned by Dr Ting Choon Meng, sued Mindef for infringing its patent. This was because Mindef bought a mobile battalion casualty station (BCS) that supposedly infringed the patent of MobileStats Technologies’ Station With Immediate First-Aid Treatment (Swift) vehicle.
Due to high legal costs, Dr Ting dropped the case in January 2014.
According to a note on Mindef’s cyberpioneer Facebook page, the “case was actually a commercial dispute between MobileStats Technologies and Syntech Engineers, which supplied the mobile BCS to Mindef”, i.e. — Mindef was merely the consumer, it said.
Mindef’s Facebook note also stated that the court had ruled that the MobileStats’ patent for the BCS was invalid, and revoked it.
In January 2015, The Online Citizen posted an interview with Dr Ting, where he made allegations against Mindef. Mindef sued the website and Dr Ting, invoking Section 15 of the Protection from Harassment Act (POHA)
According to Today, a district court granted the order but on Jan 16, that was overturned by the High Court, which ruled that the government cannot be considered a person. Thus, Mindef cannot invoke POHA.
What’s The POHA?
According to Singapore Statuses Online, the official website for Singapore’s legislation, here is the debated act:
“Mindef was anything but a helpless victim… It is a Government agency possessed of significant resources and access to media channels.”
The judges added that Mindef conveyed its side of the story through both traditional and online media, and that The Online Citizen included Mindef’s statement and the link to that statement in the portal’s article.
“Given all this, it is difficult to see what discernible impact the allegations and The Online Citizen’s publication of the allegations could have had on Mindef’s reputation or public image,” said the two judges’ ruling.
Now that it’s been ruled that Mindef is definitely not a person, we hope this ignominious chapter can be closed and all parties can move on.
Singapore’s most spectacular countdown celebration
Ever since its inception in 2005, Marina Bay Singapore Countdown (MBSC) has become the largest and most spectacular countdown celebration in Singapore, having attracted more than 300,000 people to the Bay on New Year’s Eve.
Jointly presented by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay and Urban Redevelopment Authority, here are 10 reasons why you should be at #MBSC2016 this year to create exciting new memories for the New Year ahead. We are sure that there is definitely something for everyone on 31 Dec.
1. It is the biggest, most dazzling New Year’s Eve event in Singapore
#MBSC2016 will be the 11th edition of this signature New Year’s countdown event – proving that these folks sure know how to make a memorable and lasting impression year on year!
2. The iconic location at the heart of Singapore
Held at Marina Bay — arguably the most iconic location in Singapore – this magnificent venue is a visible representation of Singapore’s remarkable transformation from a fishing village to a first-world modern metropolis.
3. Free musical performances at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre
Starting from 7pm, spend your last evening of 2015 with a myriad of performances by The Mad Company and Roze and the Family Soul, who will be dazzling the audience with popular music numbers to gear you up for the final countdown.
Head on to the Esplanade’s website here for the detailed schedule for the evening.
4. A waterfront bazaar along the promenade
Earn brownie points with your bae by taking him/her on a unique shopping experience as you stroll down the Marina Waterfront Bazaar at the promenade from 3pm all the way to 3am. You’ll be greeted with an array of handicrafts, collectibles, fashion apparel and accessories, party novelties and lighted gadgets. Oh, and not forgetting the actual food. Light refreshments are also available at affordable prices.
5. Concert at The Float (tickets required)
Featuring a star-studded ensemble of local artistes and international star Adam Lambert, this concert — organized by Mediacorp — will pack your evening with high-energy entertainment and excitement as you party it up to 2016 with them.
6. Countdown Animation Sequence at The Fullerton Hotel
Image by Andrew JK Tan, Courtesy of Urban Redevelopment Authority
A special light presentation depicting Singapore’s dynamism and vibrant future will be displayed on the façade of The Fullerton Hotel. You can look forward to stunning images that show our identity as a nation that grew from shophouses to the high-rise HDB flats we know of today, as well as the sprawling world-class city we have become. It will be shown hourly between 8pm and 11pm from 26 to 31 Dec 2015. On New Year’s Eve itself, the final showcase at 11.55pm will culminate in a countdown sequence to midnight.
The exact timings of the animation: 26-30 Dec 2015 – 8.15pm, 9.15pm, 10.15pm and 11.15pm nightly; 31 Dec 2015 – 8pm, 9pm, 10pm, 11pm, 11.55pm.
Image by Bryan van der Beek, Courtesy of Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay
7. 8-minute long fireworks display
End the year with a bang (literally) with the highlight of the evening: an eight-minute long firework display at the stroke of midnight. For the first time ever, this spectacular firework display — accompanied by a rousing musical score specially choreographed and composed by local music talent Julian Wong — will span the entire length of Marina Bay. And hey, this ensures that you will no longer be craning your neck just to look at a section of the fireworks anymore.
Image by Wesley Loh Kar Wai, Courtesy of Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay
8. The Wishing Spheres Project
Noticed the various wishing stations that were set up all over Singapore ever since mid-November?
Hopefully you have been duly penning your hopes and dreams onto those spheres, for 20,000 of those spheres will be set afloat onto the bay, and lit with coloured lights on New Year’s Eve to create a magnificent visual showcase. The installation represents the collective wishes by residents and visitors for Singapore’s future in the years to come. Did you know that there were only 2,500 wishing spheres back in 2005 during the first ever celebration? This installation has been a tradition of MBSC celebrations ever since.
9. A chance to win travel vouchers worth $5,000
We love competitions, and we love competitions with attractive prizes even more. This year’s Photo Competition theme is “A Better Future”, and participants are to submit photos of the various festivities and events of #MBSC2016 that reflects this theme. The photo entries should try to capture people celebrating the event, highlighting the kinship, friendship or community ties, as well as to reflect hope and anticipation for the nation’s future as Singapore journeys into the next 50 years and beyond. Participants stand to win attractive travel vouchers sponsored by #MBSC2016’s Official Airline Partner, Tigerair.
And last but not least, this will be the last ever #SG50 (yes, we know you’re tired of seeing this hashtag too) event, and the start of a new chapter for Singapore. We are all excited about the infinite possibilities that 2016 will bring in.
With lights, music and action, what more can we ask for? Definitely the most unforgettable way to celebrate the start of 2016, and we can’t think of a better way to count down to the New Year than at #MBSC2016.
Gear up for the celebration by liking and following #MBSC2016’s Facebook and Instagram page, and stand a chance to win amazing prizes by participating in their weekly contests!
For more information, check out the website here for updates and detailed schedules.