Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Flower Dome Trip

With the company day off on 03-May for the May day (Sat) holiday, we decided to bring *OEE* to look at flowers in a nice big air-conditioned glass house, utilizing the SingapoRediscover vouchers which just have their expiry date extended by 6 more months to 31 Dec 2021. This time, the main exhibit in Flower Dome is Glass in Bloom.

Date: 13 Apr - 01 Aug 2021

There are various glass exhibits located at different venues, namely Flower Dome, Dragonfly Lake, Serene Garden and Cloud Forest. For more details, you can refer here.

At least for the flower dome, we found there is nothing interesting about the glass sculptures, except that they are uniquely crafted and colorful. Nonetheless, we have an awesome time taking photos together with *OEE* 😃

Had dinner over at McDonalds before catching a cab back home. Interestingly, we found that there is no self-collection service at this counter, else, we would have use the Grab 30% self-collection discount voucher. Hmm

Thursday, April 01, 2021

1Q 2021 Investment Strategy Update

Q1 marks the start of the global rollout of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. Getting the population vaccinated also mark the start at getting the country to reopen again. Since then, new COVID-19 cases has seen a drastic drop, plus the recent USA stimulus fending concerns of inflation and rising interest rates, it has caused a shift away from current favorite technology counters into past forgotten hospitality and tourism sector that stand to benefit the most when countries re-opens again. In the recent few weeks, there is also a COVID-19 resurgent trend in Europe causing concerns of further extension in lockdowns, putting a damper in equity recovery.

DJI ended at 32981, an increase of 2375 points (+7.75%) compared to 4Q 2020. For Singapore, STI ended at 3165, an increase of 322 points (+11.32%) compared to last quarter. For me, all the actions are still seen over at the USA market, withdrawing from highly valued technology shares and shifting into counters that stands to benefit when countries start reopening:

Transaction 1: Sold all Apple shares in February.

Since the start of global vaccine rollout, I believe it is time to start positioning for countries reopening and the past record breaking profit will be a bar too high to repeat again. Time to step away until a lower price for re-entry.

Transaction 2: Bought 1 batch Visa shares in February.

As countries begin to re-open for travel, business travel and to a lower extend, tourism will start to pick up. With the pent-up demands, this is the time where credit and debit cards stand to be put to good use. Bought in Visa in anticipation of the new spending wave to come.

That is all for now. See you all in Q2 2021 update and thank you for reading thus far.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Singapore Zoo Trip

All thanks to Wildlife Reserve promotion again during early March, we brought *OEE* to visit the Singapore Zoo to see some of his animal friends "live" that he is seeing from his everyday playbook and toys.

Promotion Period: 3-7 March 2021 (Online) 
Validity: Any days in March 2021 
Eligibility: Only local residents

It is highly advisable to bring along fans and spray heavy doses of insect repellent before entering the gate. You will soon find that most of the zoo compound are unsheltered and you will be at the mercy of the weather elements and mosquitoes. Currently, some parts of the zoo are under renovation and some parts of the animal enclosure (such as elephants and hippopotamus) are closed. Most important of all, do bring your own water as the drinks inside the zoo are ridiculously priced, with the exception of iJooz orange juice vending machine, which you can get a cup at $3.

Well, not much photos from me as I was busy carrying *OEE* around on my arms. Only managed to snap a few photos whenever I am inside an air-conditioned room or there is no sun =p

Australia Wallaby

Papua New Guinea Tree Kangaroo 

Chimpanzees and Orangutans monkeying around 

Giraffes in the setting sun

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Changi Jewel Trip

Since there is a need to clear some Annual Leave before the FY ends, we took the opportunity to bring *OEE* to visit Changi Jewel, at the same time, to ease *mds* craving for lobster since the visit in UK. Glad that there is not much crowd during our weekday visit and we managed to snap some good photos at the iconic Jewel waterfall:

For lobster, we visit the UK famous Burger & Lobster restaurant. Price aside, the lobster is still as fresh and juicy as we remembered, with some localization of Singapore flavour. Just a pity, the menu choices in Jewel is not as much as the ones in UK or Raffles branch. 

Surf & Turf Roll - $20
Best of both world - chunky lobsters meat and juicy beef patty

Sambal Lobster - $67

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Staycation @ JW Marriott South Beach

With the need to clear leaves accumulated over 2020, and not able to travel overseas, we decided to do a 1 day staycation in Singapore and bring *OEE* for his first swimming pool encounter (Or rather splashing water time). JW Marriott South Beach was chosen based on the good reviews written online about its swimming pool view and the availability of tubs in every room for mineral spa treatment. 

The room was booked straight from Marriott website and we did an early check-in 1 day earlier via the Marriott app with some request such as early check-in at 1.30pm, high floor and crib in room. I was really presently surprised that the app notify me that my room was ready as requested at 11am! Good service ya?

Premier King Room at 17th floor

Tub for spa treatment

Baby pool at 18th Floor with view

Adult Pool
(We have the whole pool to ourselves at 4pm)

View of Suntec from our room

We chose the package with breakfast included at their Beach Road Kitchen. Due to COVID-19 restriction measures, you will need book your dining visitation hours restricted to 45mins per booking. Well, we went at a time where there is not much crowd and hence, the 45mins eating restriction was not enforced. There are still plenty of empty seats in the restaurant though. Same goes for the swimming pool, you will need to make your reservation in 45mins slots. 

As buffet is not allowed to be served, you will need to make your orders to the staffs in the restaurant. The choice available are not as plentiful as the normal pre-COVID times, but the usual Marriott standard choices are still there. Given a choice, I will rather make my own Grab Breakfast and walk over to Suntec for self collection! Will definitely re-visit again, if situation allows.

Friday, March 05, 2021

River Safari Trip

All thanks to Mothership, I came across this great promotion by Wildlife Reserve Singapore. With some cash remaining in the SingapoRediscover Voucher account, and wishing to avoid the school holiday period, we decided to buy the ticket online and visit River Safari the very day (04-Mar), bringing our *OEE* along to see some river wildlife! That is 2 out of 4 down, leaving Singapore Zoo and Night Safari left to conquer. (Sidetrack: Thank God that *OEE* did not develop fever the next day after his vaccination)

Promotion Period: 3-7 March 2021 (Online)
Validity: Any days in March 2021
Eligibility: Only local residents

Picking a weekday to visit is really amazing. Not only there is no crowd, you can take your time to take all the pictures you want (if you can take the heat of the sun)! Well, another good thing about River Safari is that almost 50% of the exhibition are in Air-Conditioned Room 😄.

No crowd!

Entrance to the River Safari featuring the otters!

One thing I do notice though are that most of the sea creatures in the river are gigantic! Human are easily dwarfed comparing to them in terms of size! Not sure if their meat can be eaten though 😜. First part of the tour (River Safari is developed in such a way that you only need to continue walking forward to tour through all the exhibits) brings us to see the sea creatures living in the major rivers of the world (Mississippi. Congo, Nile, Ganges, Mary, Mekong, Yang Tze)

After touring Rivers of the World, you will arrive at the main attraction of the safari, the giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia! Of course, there is also the lively Red Panda as the side attraction.

Kai Kai

Kai Kai

Kai Kai

Kai Kai

Jia Jia

Yup, the giant pandas are really cute and adorable. 😄 We arrive just in time when they are having their snacks! With that, we have finished half of the River Safari. Wanting to give *OEE* a break from his carrier and give our tired legs a much needed rest, we took refuge in the Mama Panda Kitchen.

Food ordered
  1. Seafood Basket - $12.90
  2. Panda Cappuccino - $3.45 (50% off after ordering a meal)
  3. Chocolate Panda Bun - $2.90
We did saw bad reviews for the Ramens and rice, so we end up trying their Western Section, which we did not regret doing so. The seafood basket with 2 fish fillets, 3 prawns and a generous serving of lightly salted cut potatoes are served pipping hot! Cappuccino wise is normal, definitely not worth paying $6.90 for it, but can consider if it is 50% off just for photo sake. The Panda bun wise is soft and the chocolate filling is not too bad. *OEE* like the plain bun quite a lot! Do bring your own serviette, as the café will charge $2.00 if you need them. Well rested, we continued on the rest of the journey, crossing the Upper Seletar Reservoir bridge. 

As *OEE* did not meet the height requirement for the Amazon River Quest, we have no choice but to bypass it. Anyway, the boat ride will cost $5.00 each pax. The next exhibit is the Monkey forest, where all the creatures such as monkeys and Azara's Agouti in the enclosure are free roaming. Better keep all your belongings least they are snatched away (Hence no pictures here) 😞. The last exhibit will bring us to the Amazon Flooded Forest, where visitors will be treated to a gigantic view screen showcasing the Amazon River wildlife! I felt this was way better than the Southeast Asian Aquarium!

After cooling down in the air-conditioned room and taking all the pictures we wanted, this bring us to the end of the River Safari journey! We might give this place a re-visit though, if there is such a chance.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

S.E.A. Aquarium Trip

Finally, we get to use our SingapoRediscover vouchers! Yes, I am not kidding, it can be quite tough to find a suitable time to bring *OEE* out considering we wanted to avoid the crowd, so school holidays and weekends are out. In addition, there are better deals that came along the way, such as the $2.50 bird park ticket, which we thank God for and delayed our usage of the vouchers. =) Anyway, yesterday was our first ever trip to the S.E.A. Aquarium to expose *OEE* to the underwater world! 

The aquarium was quite well stock with the fishes you will typically find in the Southeast Asia region, and there are plenty of information on display telling visitors on the fish habitat and the threat they faced from human activities. The abundance usage of full height acrylic wall allow the visitors an uninterrupted view of the fishes swimming around the enclosures. As we went during an off-peak period, there are not many people around and we can take our time taking photos with the fishes.

Entrance to S.E.A Aquarium

Fishes swimming around a sunken boat setup

The tunnel walking through the water

Full height views of fishes and corals

Jellyfish time!

The final display of a wide screen view of stingrays and many fishes swimming around. If your timing is right, you can catch the employees feeding the fishes! Last tip: if you are looking for sharks, they are right after this chamber. =)