Saturday, August 14, 2010

Diving in Malaysia: live aboard

Friday evening, off work at 5pm to get to the other side of the island to get on the DiveRace boat which is going to take us diving for the next 3 days (Monday is a bank holiday) around tioman.
The boat is great, about 20 divers on it plus 8 staff.
We departe around 7.30 and need 2 attempts to clear immigration but finally we are on our way and we get our first lovely dinner. We are in bed early because of the 4h of sleep of the night before and because diving is for people who get up early!
For the next 3 days, our life is a succession of dive, food and sleep! 4 dives the first day, only 3 for me as I'm not allowed to do night dive yet (another reason to get my advanced open water padi).

No issues today, ears are fine, I have plenty of weight and I'm getting a bit more confident under R's supervision!
2nd day is a big day we are visiting 2 wrecks, there are my first ones! The first one Kuantan wreck is an oil tanker, the 2nd one is a Japanese vessel which sank during the 2nd world war. There are both very impressive, one has a bit of oil leaking, the other one still has bombs and canon! We were supposed to do 2 dives on the oil tanker, unfortunately, my ears decided that 1 was enough so R had to find another buddy. I already had equipment issues on the 1st one, it was not a good day...
Third day started quite painfully, carrying so much equipment and weight wasn't my back cup of tea! Anyway, only 2 dives on this last day, not the best ones, quite poor visibility and no more turtles :-( By lunch time, the diving is over and we start making our way south to Singapore.

We finally arrive around 9.30pm to find the city still blocked in several places after the national day parade!

Singfest, Smashing Pumpkins in Singapore

Music events are so rare in Sg that we have to make the most of them! So last Thursday we were going to Fort Canning (1st visit) to see the smashing pumpkins and plenty of other groups I had never heard from (I know, I'm not a reference in terms of music...)

It was starting at 6.30pm and went on until 2am. We only arrived around 8.30am and that was plenty of time to enjoy the music, the venue and the beers from Harry's!
Fort Canning park is a great venue for such a festival, it's hilly, so even from the back you get a good view, there is plenty of space to sit down and there is even fancy decoration!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Red dot design museum

Rainy sunday afternoon in Singapore, what do we do?
Let's give a chance to the local museum: small choice but we decide to try the design museum. Not expecting the Tate modern is probably a good start because the place is tiny but there are some interesting things inside and we had a good time!
Best point: the building itself and the colourfull Tuperware exhibition!

East Cost park

Last sunday, we went to East coast park. It is the biggest park of Singapore, going from central of town nearly up to the airport along the east coast.
We cycled for 2h after having given up on wind surfing (no wind...),
it is a perfect place for a quiet afternoon: lots of bbq spots, lots of kites in the sky, roller bladding lessons, fishing and plenty of restaurants (of course, it's Singapore!)
Obviously, here are a few photos:

Marina bay sands hotel, casino mall !

A long time ago (I'm very late on this post again) my cousin R and I decided to investigate the latest architectural prouess of Singapore. So we went to see Marina Bay Sands; its casino, its hotel, its shopping centre and its cranes because it wasn't completly finished when we went.
First, here is a small scale overview:

The hotel is in the 3 towers, the casino and shopping mall in the 3 small structures at the bottom and the flower on the left will be a theatre. The skypark with the viewing platform (20$ to access), the 150m long infinity swimming pool and the bar is the ship shape at the top!
In the lobby of the hotel there is a very impressive stainless steel structure hanging from the ceiling.
Here is 1 picture of the full structure from me and if you want to see much more, have a look at the 26 photos on this website:

The interesting story (until we get access to the famous swimming pool) is more about the casino. Entrance is free to foreigners but it costs 100$ for the locals and Permanent Residents, the entrance has lots of cash points and security guards who don't like people wearing shorts...

The idea behind an entrance fee for locals is to make sure they don't go gambling too often. From what I have heard from taxi drivers (who love this subject of conversation), this only make matters worse as people try to make up for the 100$ they have paid on arrival by gambling more!