Another walk through the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore 2018

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore 2018 Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore 2018Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore 2018

Here’s us visiting the reserve back in 2015, when the tide was high. We encountered plenty of tree crabs and monitor lizards during that walk. This year, in March, we went during low tide, which meant a whole different crew of animals. We weren’t expecting to see saltwater crocs, but we saw at least three lurking in the depths of the mangrove swamp. Horseshoe crabs aplenty; easy to spot even from the boardwalk, thanks to the lack of tide making it harder for them to hide. Caught sight of many interesting birds, and even an adorable acid-green tree snake hanging around on a branch at eye-level that we spotted only as we came within two feet of it. Of course, the archer fish and mudskippers were doing their usual thing.

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore 2018 Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore 2018Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore 2018 Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore 2018 Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore 2018 Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore 2018 Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore 2018 Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore 2018Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore 2018 Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore 2018 Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore 2018 Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore 2018 Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore 2018 Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore 2018Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore 2018Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore 2018

See? We weren’t kidding about the crocodiles–don’t believe the naysayers who think there are no crocs at Sungei Buloh. They are there, being sneaky.

Surprise Birthday Staycation at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa

Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa

James surprised me with a 3D2N staycation at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa over the Mother’s Day weekend. Nope, I’m not a mum (ha!), but it was my birthday on Friday. 28 (yuck). He’d already had it planned before he discovered I had to make a work trip out of the country to stay at a Shangri-la resort for 5D4N just immediately before my birthday weekend. That meant an entire week away from my comfy bed. It’s okay, I didn’t complain.

Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa

Holy heck, finally. A stay at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa. James knows me so well. I’d been gushing about how they have peacocks just wandering about the resort grounds, by the poolside, at breakfast, just outside the guest room gardens… James even booked a room that led straight out to the ground floor gardens so we got to make friends with this particular peacock who kept coming back to our little porch. Ahhhhhh! I wanted to take him home with me!

Everything from the fairy lights in the trees at night, to the friendly bartender we met at Le Bar who takes pride in preparing the more elaborate mock/cocktails from the menu, to all the water features everywhere — not to mention the super easy access to the beach from behind The Cliff — made this stay really lovely. The selection at Kwee Zeen’s daily breakfast buffet is pretty amazing, too! Plenty of pastries to choose from, and a smorgasbord of local and international fare. Sit on the veranda and you get to watch the peacocks and peahens wander around. Just try not to feed them human food!

Would I stay here again? Heck yeah.

Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa

The Datai Langkawi: The Tropical Paradise You’ve Always Dreamed Of

The Datai Langkawi The Datai Langkawi The Datai Langkawi

There are so many things we loved about The Datai Langkawi —

The fact that it is surrounded by lush virgin rainforest. The abundance of wildlife, including tame dusky leaf monkeys and cheeky macaques intent on climbing through the guestroom balcony window. The constant cicada noises that echo through the surrounding forest. The balmy sea breezes that cocoon you in tropical bliss. The sound of calm waves washing along the shore by the Beach Club. The sunbirds and swallows and hornbills that drop in to say hello. The resort’s dark wood furniture and modern touches here and there. The pretty orchid blossoms that are thoughtfully placed throughout the bedroom and bathroom. The little green frogs in the lilypad pond by the Lobby Lounge that insist on hopping all over the place — up pillars and down corridors. The panoramic view of the Thai islands belonging to Tarutao National Park in the distance (we were that close to the border!). The two swimming pools — the smaller ‘family’ pool by the beach and the larger one that the lobby overlooks. The fancy breakfasts each morning at The Dining Room (think DIY cocktails and à la minute signature dishes, among a decent buffet spread). The much-needed peace and quiet. And, as a cherry on top: the fact that there is high-speed wifi pretty much everywhere. Including down at the beach, and at every far-reaching restaurant of this sprawling place, so you can do your work wherever you are!

Continue reading “The Datai Langkawi: The Tropical Paradise You’ve Always Dreamed Of”

Weekends with Angie & James | Part X: Easter Staycation @ Hotel Fort Canning, Singapore

Hotel Fort Canning Hotel Fort Canning Hotel Fort Canning

Hey, long time no blog! I’ve decided to keep going with the Weekends Series (no, I haven’t been lazy, don’t look at me like that). Something a little different from our usual routine (or maybe not so different, since we love our staycations) – we checked ourselves into the elegant Hotel Fort Canning for a couple of nights over the Easter long weekend. Never heard of HFC? It’s one of Singapore’s lesser-known colonial style hotels (lesser-known because it’s tucked away in a lush heritage park instead of located along the streets of the central business district, so people never really get to see it in all its sprawling glory).

Continue reading “Weekends with Angie & James | Part X: Easter Staycation @ Hotel Fort Canning, Singapore”

Singapore Botanic Gardens – For the Love of Orchids (And Other Colourful Things)

Singapore Botanic Gardens 2016 Singapore Botanic Gardens 2016 Singapore Botanic Gardens 2016

One should really only attempt a serious visit to the Singapore Botanic Gardens on a cloudy day, or in the evening. If the sun’s out, you’ll probably bake to death trying to get from one end to the other. That said, if you can find a cool day to pay your visit, you’ll find that it is well worth your while, especially if you like the colour green or have the patience to seek out and observe local wildlife. Continue reading “Singapore Botanic Gardens – For the Love of Orchids (And Other Colourful Things)”

Tennōji Zoo, Osaka – Japan’s Third Oldest Zoo

Lions at Tennōji Zoo, Osaka Mandarin Ducks at Tennōji Zoo, Osaka

Just a handful of animal photos, all taken at the Tennōji Zoo in Osaka. Not the best zoo I’ve ever been to. Opened in 1915 as Japan’s third oldest zoo, it celebrated its 100th birthday this year, and its age certainly shows. Many of the enclosures are small and we noticed some of the larger animals exhibiting signs of listlessness. Then again, at only ¥500 to get in (about AUD 5.80), it’s a wonder they make enough to keep such a large place running. I wouldn’t have minded paying a higher admission fee to help the zoo improve some of their enclosures. Continue reading “Tennōji Zoo, Osaka – Japan’s Third Oldest Zoo”

When Not To Visit The Hong Kong Zoological & Botanical Gardens

Hong Kong Zoological & Botanical Gardens Hong Kong Zoological & Botanical Gardens Hong Kong Zoological & Botanical Gardens

How weird do you think it is to witness a prehistoric-looking hornbill the size of a rooster try to pick a fight with a giant sassy-as-heck blue crane standing over a metre tall? Very weird. I’m not exaggerating about the sassy crane, either. That thing was strutting around its enclosure like its tail feathers were the best thing since sliced bread. Its companion watched in what I would call mild interest as it tried to kick and bite and unfurl its wings at the hornbill in the next cage over, despite the wonderful steel bars in the way. You’d be glad to know the hornbill decided to humour the angry crane and had a rolling good time pecking at it through the cage. Funny things, birds. Also, goddamn frightening. Continue reading “When Not To Visit The Hong Kong Zoological & Botanical Gardens”

Weekends with Angie & James | Part IV: Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens

Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens

As you can no doubt tell by now, James and I have been actively pushing ourselves to go somewhere new each weekend (instead of lazing around at home and blaming our lethargy on the “hectic work week”). As an incentive to get out and about, I started this Weekends with Angie & James blog series. Our journey began with a picturesque breakfast at Elephant Rock four weekends ago, followed by a lunch date in Brisbane the weekend after and lunch along the Surfers Paradise beachfront the weekend after that. Our latest adventure features the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens, a green space I’d been longing to visit ever since I discovered its existence almost five years ago. Continue reading “Weekends with Angie & James | Part IV: Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens”