Category Archives: About Singapore

. discovering the unkempt beauty of the forgotten reservoir .

It has been a while since I went on a mini exploration trip to visit some of the off-the-beaten-track places in Singapore. Beyond the hipster cafes and glitzy malls. I miss the excitement of venturing into somewhere relative unknown, only to get lost along the way, sometimes for an hour or more, before we finally reach our destination.

“You get lost out of a desire to be lost.
But in the place called lost, strange things are found.”
– Rebecca Solnit

Recently, there has been a lot of buzz surrounding the abandoned reservoir located near Mount Faber, that dates back more than 100 years ago. Did someone just mentioned about a lost place? Immediately, my curiosity was sparked. In our quest to discover the unkempt beauty and history of this forgotten place, my mum (who is also an inquisitive heritage buff) and I decided to join the free heritage tour organised by the National Heritage Board. The 1 hour long talk-cum-tour was led by Charles Goh, the famous “tomb raider” who first stumbled upon the hidden reservoir during one of his exploration trips back in 2005.

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Formerly known as the Keppel Hill Reservoir, this private reservoir was built sometime back in 1905 as a form of water source for the Tanjong Pagar Dockyard. It was later converted into a swimming pool, complete with a diving board and bathing area, during the Japanese Occupation. Post-war years, the area remained as a recreational pool for nearby Kampung residents before the area eventually gave way to other developments. The image of the water source disappeared from local maps in 2000 and hence, this explains why the reservoir has remained ‘lost and forgotten’ for more than a decade.

Interestingly, the reservoir-turned-pool made headlines twice back in 1936 and 1948 when 2 soldiers and 1 young boy drowned in two separate incidents while swimming in the 2m deep pool. Apparently, there were also other drowning cases that were not reported in the news. As a result of that, it was inevitable that the residents became wary of the place that was associated with many haunting tales. So, you have been warned – Swim at your own risk!

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In the picture below, you can still spot the remnants of what used to be the diving board.
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Today, at first glance, the hidden reservoir looks nothing more than a swamp in the middle of the forest. However, upon closer investigation, you will discover the colonial bricks that are still lining the walls of the reservoir and a small bathing area. Apparently, there is also an old and battered sign hanging from a tree that states that no fishing or swimming is permitted in the reservoir.

To me, the long-forgotten reservoir is a place of tranquility and peace … a calming pocket of space in the middle of our bustling city. With the influence of the digital and social media landscape, it’s not surprising that hundreds of people have since flocked to this area since news of the discovery first broke in September. So, take this chance to explore this lost & found place while it is still unkempt & retained in its raw beauty.

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The Forgotten Reservoir (Keppel Hill Reservoir)
Located near Wishart Road and Keppel Hill Road
* Pls wear proper footwear for this walking trail

. weekends: bits and pieces .

 Weekends / A gift from a blog reader – Be Inspired ring. Thank you. / Staycation at Parc Sovereign – Tyrwhitt / A reminder – This too shall pass/ Living life on the edge/ Addicted to The Original Churrio @ Orchard Central/ 14.5 years of friendship and memories with the girls/ 5th Anniversary with the ones who have been with me from the start of my career / Supply & Demand with the marketing girls / Trekking and water caving at Batu Maloi/ Singapore Heritage Festival – My 1st trip ever to Kusu Island/ Discovering the unkempt beauty of the lost and forgotten reservoir/ A day out in the sea with the dogs

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. yoga & reiki with Tirisula Yoga .

Last year, my interest to further my yoga practice fueled my desire to bring it to another level by enrolling in a 50 hours intensive yoga course at Tirisula Yoga. Unlike most typical yoga studios, Tirisula Yoga is primarily a yoga teacher training school and places its focus on grooming yoga and pilates practitioners to become instructors.

And boy, each half-day session was practically like a hardcore training boot camp for me. I remember waking up at 6am for 5 weekends, dragging my feet for what would be the toughest yoga classes I have ever attended and sweating buckets at the end of each 2.5-3 hours practical session. Yet, there was never a time where I didn’t feel accomplished at the end of each session. Through the 50 hours yoga course, I’ve learnt a lot more about yoga beyond the postures and poses – from our body anatomy to the different breathing techniques (which helped me a lot throughout my hospital stay) and yoga philosophy. It had been an enriching albeit “torturous” 5 weeks of lessons for me and my only regret was not taking the initiative to pursue the 200 hours yoga teacher training course, which all of my fellow classmates completed.

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It was through sheer determination and practice at Tirisula Yoga that I managed to perform my first proper headstand without the wall! 🙂  One of the proudest moment in my yoga journey although, sadly, my spine doctor has forbid me to perform any more inversions since my injury. 

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As part of my holistic and wellness journey, I have always been interested to learn more about the other alternative treatments that would complement my yoga practice. I was delighted when Pamela from Tirisula Yoga invited me over for their Reiki Level 1 & 2 certification course, where I can finally experience for myself the benefits of this energy balancing treatment. I heard from a fellow broken neck survivor that she even went for an energy healing treatment, as part of her quest for a full neck recovery!

What is Reiki? Reiki is a form of  Japanese energy healing treatment that is said to help promote one’s natural healing process and restore balance and harmony on all levels – physically, mentally and emotionally.Think of it as our Chinese equivalent of “Qi”.

Reiki Level 1 –  This level introduces the student to the fundamentals of Reiki energy, chakras, flow of energy, procedure of self-healing and hands-on healing. Reiki Level 2 – Upon graduation from level 1, you will progress to the next level, where you will be exposed to more intense healing such as distance healing that allows the healer to heal another person without them being present at the moment. Students will also receive deeper attunement from the Grand Master.

IMG_0231Master Paluu demonstrating Reiki techniques on a student 

As much as I’m curious to learn about complementary treatments and therapies, I must confess that I am a skeptic at heart. For me to even remotely believe in something, I’ll first need to see the results for myself. To my surprise, I was shocked to learn that quite a number of my fellow classmates were able to feel “intense heat” radiating from my neck area even though I had not mentioned to anyone about my injury. Apparently, my neck region was significantly hotter as compared to the other parts of my body and unless they have some sort of six sense, there was no way that they would have known about the injury!  :O

Another incident that took me aback was during the distance healing session where we had to heal our partner from across the room, without telling them the body part(s) that we would like to heal. Amazingly, my partner was able to guess correctly that I was offering Reiki treatment to the right side of her arm as she felt tingling sensation at the area! I was, honestly, speechless when she revealed her guess … It was pretty spooky yet aroused the curiosity in me. My foundation as a skeptic is being shaken and I could finally get a glimpse of how Reiki might work for some.

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IMG_0248Hands-on healing session for the students

To promote a comfortable setting for all, we were encouraged to cast aside our egos and share about our experiences with Reiki and aura reading. While I am still skeptical about energy healing, my biggest takeaway from this 2 days workshop is learning how important it is for us to maintain balance from within and being in tune with ourselves. Similar to to yoga, it helps me to address the needs of the body, mind and soul through conscious living.

IMG_0336Sharing session for all

PROMOTIONS for upcoming courses!

Reiki Level 1 and 2 course: Quote my name “Stephanie” and get an additional 10% off the discounted price of $700 when you sign up for the upcoming Reiki course at end November!

Yoga: Enjoy 50% off when you sign up for the Jan 2015 intake of 50-hours yoga transformation course (U.P. $1800)!

IMG_0369 (1)Reiki-certified!

Tirisula Yoga
A: 80B Arab Street
W: http://tirisulayoga.com

. sunset cruise with the doggies .

With the increasing fondness for pet ownership, it is not surprising that many pet owners are now pampering their pets more often than before. 5-star pet hotel complete with 24 hrs air-conditioning and camera for video skype, doggy spa treatments, animal daycare and even, doga (yoga for dogs!), you name it and they got it! And yours truly is one of those who’s guilty of pampering her furkids with treats, doggy apparel and even a doll-sized bed for Simba although that investment turned out to be redundant eventually. Too easy to spend a lady’s money, isn’t it? Lol.

I have been toying with the idea of bringing the dogs out on a boat ever since I first read about the pet cruise a couple years back but it has never quite materialized. So, when my aunt who’s also a dog lover and owner returned to Singapore for the holidays, we decided to go ahead with this long awaited plan! Little Simba didn’t join in the fun as he has a severe case of motion sickness so we didn’t want to risk having him feeling sick throughout the boat ride. Trust me, it’s no joke having to clean their vomit every few minutes when all you want is a hassle-free experience.

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Pet Cruise offers several cruise options – 2 hours boat ride to Coney Island/ Punggol Park where you can bring your furry counterparts for a swim/walk or 1.5hrs sunset cruise to watch the romantic sunset. Aside from the fact that I’m a sucker for sunset views, neither Archie nor Frosty are not fans of swimming so we opted for the sunset cruise. Plus, it gave me an excuse to avoid the chaotic shower scene, where we will have to battle with the crazy flying fur. It’s a nightmare! Paid $250 for the boat ride (max. 10 pax, including dogs) which, in my opinion, is very reasonable.

Our 2 very special and important guests for the day: Archie & Frosty
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My favourite candid shot of the day – Archie and me looking out into the sea
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Needless to say, the human beings enjoyed ourselves tremendously and even had a tea (or pre-dinner) picnic on board! Just chilling and relaxing on a lazy Sunday evening although we didn’t catch the sunset as it was pretty hazy.

The question is, did the dogs enjoy it too? Well, I think they did! Caught Archie poking his head in-between the railings many times to catch the evening breeze and admire the scenery. My reward? Him expressing his happiness by showering me with sloppy kisses all over my face! :p Frosty also seemed contented to bask in the ambiance and take in the sights of the passing ships.  They went home tired but really happy, and so did we.  

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Check out Pet Cruise Singapore for more details on how you may pamper your furkids in a special way! 🙂

. off we sail to Lazarus island .

Before I start off on this entry, I would just like to confess that I’m a  living paradox. I love outdoor adventure and nature but I hate the sun. Yes, I’m one of those office ladies who have to carry an umbrella during lunch breaks just to avoid the merciless sun. I love the sea and breeze but throw me into the open sea and I tell you I’ll need a life vest, no matter what. Such an irony right?

Despite my dislike for the sun, I couldn’t miss out on the opportunity when CC and her family invited me to join them and family friends for a morning to set sail to the picturesque Lazarus island. My first yacht party and visit to Lazarus island was one of the best times I ever had and I’ve been talking about arranging a return trip since although nothing has materialized… Till now. Anyhow, since I wouldn’t be travelling much at all this year, I decided to bring the ‘travelling’ to home instead! 🙂

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The little twin captains who took the rein and steer the boat. They might be tiny in size but they sure do pack a punch!
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Although I have an absolute lack of maternal instincts, I think I do get along pretty well with kids in general. Strangely, I found myself quite contented basking in the sun (a usual BIG no-no for me) at the sun-deck with the kids, talking about their interests and dreams. The girls excel in gymnastics and have won medals in competitions, and the boy cannot wait till he’s 14 so that he can finally get a scuba diving license. When I was their age, all I wanted to do was to play catching and hide-and-seek with my siblings and friends. And I thought anyone older than me was just “uncool to talk to”. Hahaha.

If anything, I would think I’m like a much bigger sister to them but imagine my horror when a stranger at Lazarus island approached me to comment on how lucky “my kids” were because they were given the chance to have fun in the week leading up to their examinations. My kids? Which means I would have given birth to them when I was only 17 yrs old! Teen mum alert! Perhaps, I should consider a switch in career to become a nanny instead?

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Lazarus island has always been known as one of Singapore’s best kept secret because of its tranquility and breathtaking beach. However, with the recent buzz and hype, it’s not too surprising to learn that it is now a hit among both locals and tourists. It is not too uncommon to hear people squealing in delight as they first laid their eyes on the picturesque beach, a sight that most would never have thought existed on our little red dot.

For those who do not fancy chartering a yacht to this hidden gem, fret not as there is also a causeway that links St John island to Lazarus. So, pick an afternoon to head over to this island for a refreshing dip in the turquoise waters or have a picnic by the beach! 🙂

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Kids will love playing with the fine sand, and building sand castles, complete with a water moat. For our case, we decided to be creative and give her a mermaid tail! 
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I’ll admit – I’m jealous of a 10 yrs old girl. I’ve tried so hard to perform a handstand during my yoga classes but have never been successful in my feeble attempts. Yet, she does it so effortlessly … on the sand!
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To 14 years of friendship and  many more years to come till we become old and wrinkled! 
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. weekends: bits and pieces .

Weekends / Loving my new dress from the Madonna Material Girl collection /  Selfie time / Match-mini boxes on display at the Jad & Jew booth at Public Garden / Start of the food porn / Population at 1942 Alfresco @ Changi restaurant : 21 / War museum with original World War 2 artifacts / Craving for sinful Mookata / Fired up over mookata pot at Huay Kwang Thai @ Upper Thomson Road / An affair with French and Italian and girlfriends / Duck confit at Saveur / Mouth-watering foie gras that literally melts in our mouth at Bistro Du Vin / Lobster  ravioli / Sweet tooth cravings: lemon meringue and tiramisu at Nonna / Design Film Festival with favourite girlfriends / An artsy film: Yves Saint Laurent / The life of a fashion designer: Sex, Drugs, Alcohol. Live, eat, breathe fashion / 1st hike since my injury / At the Bukit Timah Summit with Swiss … More to come!

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. weekends: bits and pieces .

Weekends / The unlikely baker bakes her 1st ever salted caramel & rose macarons / Cavalia: Cirque Du Soleil-meets-horse power under the White theatre tent / Having fun horsing around / National Museum lights up with the Singapore Night Festival / Fooling around with uni girlfriends in the BOOBS room. I like / An enchanting time at the Singapore Garden Festival / Orchid Extravaganza at Gardens by the Bay / Support Singapore’s bid for the Botanic Gardens to become our first UNESCO World Heritage Site/ An extravagantly expensive day at CreatorySG with Shermin / A day of workshops: Learning leather crafting, easy silkscreen printing and coffee slow pull / Green-Red Art Installations: Spot the difference / Good Old Romantic Film / Good Things take Time & I’ll wait

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