Smiley faces on Archie, Frosty, Sweety and of course, yours truly.
As part of the line up for this year’s Singapore Heritage Fest , a series of neighbourhood trails was held to allow locals to embark on a historic tour of places and sights around some of Singapore’s oldest neighbourhoods. Wanted to go for the tour at Joo Chiat/Katong but the places were snapped up almost immediately! So, the Sembawang Heritage Trail it was!
This trail brought us to some familiar places such as the hot spring and others like the jetty that was previously used by the Royal Malaysian Navy and the last surviving kampung mosque. Unfortunately, due to a lack of time, we were unable to visit the Old Admiralty House. To add to that, the inexperienced tour guide was not able to share much details about the various places of interest so the tour, albeit a free one, felt more like a bus ride with several pit stops.
Shell Jetty (Woodlands Jetty)
The picture below shows the Woodlands Jetty, which is still operated by SHELL. Frankly, this was the only place amongst the list of places that we visited that quipped my curiosity so I did a quick search on the history behind the SHELL depot and jetty and found this site that proved to be very informative.
For many years, the Malay Muslim community living in kampungs in Sembawang had to pray at suraus (small prayer house) before funds were raised to build a mosque. The Lee Foundation donated a total of $10 000 for this project. Originally named as Masjid Kampung Tengah, the mosque was completed in 1963 and served as the main place of worship for the Muslims. Today, the mosque is the last remaining kampung mosque in Singapore.
The establishment of the Singapore Naval Base back in 1920s saw an influx of Indian migrants who came to work as naval workers. 1 of the Hindu naval worker had a dream about a Hindu deity and a golden cobra under an elantha tree. A chance encounter the next day saw him finding the tree of his dream near Canberra Road, in which he interpreted it as a divine sign.
As such, he decided to build an altar, which soon became a place of worship for the Hindu workers. Funds were raised to build the temple in Sembawang. However, it had to be relocated to its current location at Yishun Industrial Park to make way for the Sembawang New Town.
“We started coming here since 1990s, after reading about it in the papers. The water is good for the skin, and when my ankles hurt, I will come and soak my feet. The pain will go away.”
-Mr Chew Cheng Hoe and his wide, Mdm Ling Ai Lee-
This was the boy and my 2nd visit to the hot spring so we pretty much knew what to expect. However, our fellow tour mates had a ball soaking their feet in the buckets of natural spring water as it was their first time to our very own hot spring!
* All information from the Yishun-Sembawang A Heritage Trail book
The title pretty much sums up my current obsession. From someone who used to think yoga as something too boring and meditative for my liking to one who does an average of 5-6 yoga classes/week, this couldn’t be a stronger testimony of how yoga can truly transform someone. Thanks to Groupon, I have been able to visit the various yoga studios to compare the different teaching styles and classes. Shall now introduce you guys to 3 yoga studios that I have visited thus far – One Wellness Fitness Club, Hom Yoga & Real Yoga.
+ points: I truly enjoyed my fitness and pilates classes with the instructor, MK (yes, what a coincidence that my fav instructor at OW has the same initials as the boy!) … She’s a no-nonsense hardcore instructor and I never fail to feel much fitter after every workout with her. The location: It’s a 5mins walk from Raffles Place MRT and great for those who work in the CBD area. Class-wise: OW offers an array of classes, from yoga to belly bollywood dance to pilates with reformer thus catering to the various interests of the students
– points: Personally, I didn’t choose to continue with my classes at OW after the completion of my groupon package as the location isn’t exactly convenient for me. In addition, the classes offered back then were not as comprehensive and the room for the hot yoga was more warm than hot.
Class Size: It really depends on the time of the day. I’ve been to weekday evening classes where it’s full house (30-40 pax) and also Sunday morning classes where I was 1 of the only 2 students present for the class.
$$$: $1400 w/o GST for 100 classes ($14/class)
+ points: To quote from the website, Hom Yoga is trendy and fun with a twist of bohemian-eclectic. I must say that it definitely stands out in the sea of yoga studios in Singapore with its chic design and white & baby blue colours. Location: It is located at Boat Quay and a stone’s throw away from Raffles Place MRT so it’s great for those who work in the CBD area. Teaching style: I like the fact that almost all of the instructors take the effort to explain the benefits behind each yoga pose, thus giving me a better understanding of my practice. In addition, there’s always a breathing exercise (pranayama) before and after each class thus allowing the students to connect better with their yoga practice. Practicing hot yoga at their insanely hot & humid studios is always a challenge but their classes have made me stronger and more appreciative of my hot yoga practices.
– points: To put it simply, the price tag is a little too hefty for my budget although I did sign up for a 30-class package at 30% off at the start of the year. Unlike most yoga studios, Hom focuses mainly on hot yoga so there is a limited range of classes being offered. High turnover of yoga instructors – All of the instructors whom I have met at the start of the year have since left to start their own studios. While this doesn’t matter much to me (ad-hoc student), it can be quite disruptive for regular students who are used to a particular instructor.
Class Size: Hom Yoga is a boutique studio so it is definitely the most intimate studio that I have been to so far. Classes are kept to a max of 20 students thus allowing the instructor to give more personal attention to each student.
$$$: $2690 for 1 year unlimited membership ($224+/month)
News Alert: Hom Yoga is opening a new and bigger studio at Orchard Central so join them in the official launch of the studio on 16th September (Sunday)!
+ points: Location: Being in the middle of town gives it an edge over other studios as it is quite convenient for me to head for classes after work and during weekends. Class-wise: Real Yoga offers a diverse range of yoga classes, from vinyasa flow to hot yoga to hot slimming therapy. For those who prefer a more cardio-based workout, they can also attend the highly popular combat kickboxing class which promises to get your adrenaline going. Teaching style: What I really like about most of the instructors at Real is that they are very encouraging and would walk around the studio to correct one’s pose and posture. For someone who is a newbie in yoga, this is extremely crucial as I do not want to risk injuring myself by performing the poses incorrectly. Thanks to great instructors like Dr Kumar, Omkar & Hari, I’m now able to perform some asanas that I never thought would have been possible. Membership rates are also very reasonable and thanks to the Groupon deal, I was able to get a special deal which makes attending yoga classes even more affordable (average $7-8/class).
– points: Real Yoga is getting more commercialized which means that the classes tend to get very packed during peak hours. Unlike the boutique studios which offer a hassle-free online reservation system, students at Real would have to call in to book the classes.
Class Size: Evening and weekend classes are almost always packed (Bigger studio: 50 max; Hot studio: 40 max). Despite the relatively large class size, most of the instructors do walk around to correct one’s pose so there’s sufficient amount of attention give to the bulk of the students.
$$$: $1740 w/o GST for 1 year unlimited membership but do remember to check for promotions to get a better deal!
News Alert:Real Yoga is opening a 2nd outlet in Tampines next month to cater to those staying in the East!
As some of you would have known, I’m no longer a virgin … That is when it comes to the increasingly popular Brazilian waxing. As the self-proclaimed Ministry of Waxing, STRIP is now bringing convenience to those who do not want to be ‘unfurgivable’ by going mobile!
My 2 experiences with brazilian waxing (Face Bistro & SKIN in Bali) have left me with baby smooth skin and an ecstatic boyfriend! In other words, other than a little discomfort (pain factor: 3-4 out of 10), there’s really nothing to dislike or be ashamed of when it comes to brazilian waxing. Been wanting to try STRIP for its waxing services for the longest time as they are known to carry a wide range of delicious-sounding wax flavours ( chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, lavender, etc); However, the relatively expensive price tag is the main deterring factor. So now that STRIP’s mobile outlet is having a 50% promotion for its brazilian waxing on-the-go, you can bet that I would like to get it all off lol!
What you NEED TO KNOW:
This season’s hot flavour: Summer Orange hard wax
$5 for Underarm Wax
$18 for Underarm IPL (1 time)
$28 for Brazilian Wax
$48 for Brazilian IPL (1 time)
Was looking through some of the videos that the boy and I took in Ubud, Bali earlier this year when I came across these videos of him flair bartending at our pool villa. The boy’s flair skills might be a tad rustier as compared to half a decade ago (wow, we really sound old!) when he was still at his prime as a bartender, but I’m still as impressed and blown away by his extra talent as I was when I first met him. 😛