Changi War Museum

wpid-img_20140504_133242.jpgThis Sat morning I went back in time to a (fun) World War II GCSE History class, curtacy of The Original Singapore Walks. Their 3 hour tour stops at The Changi Museum, the beach of the Sook Ching Massacres & outskirts of Changi Prison.

For an enjoyable way to brush up your 1930/40’s, Noel Barber’s novel Tanamera is a great read for anyone that knows or loves that era of Singapore. The rest you can piece together from the backpacking trail of The Death Railway or Hiroshima.

It’s not only useful to learn about Pearl Harbor from a South East Asia (not American) point of view. They also share nice myth busting like whether Singapore really did have her guns pointing the ‘wrong’ way. Most intriguingly though, is where your Kaya toast is baked and your 5* hotel laundry washed every morning….

 

Georgetown, Penang

Penang is a bit like Malacca’s bigger brother, only with less pavements and more traffic. Once a mainstay of the backpacker trail, in recent years it’s been bumped off for nearby Langkawi, the Perhentians and Thailand.

However it’s amazing how a tourist board can turn that around; step 1) Embrace street art, 2) Get imaginative with wrought iron and 3) Create the mother of all scavenger hunts around Georgetown’s alleyways to tick them all off your list!

Extra pub quiz fact; Shoe fasionista Jimmy Choo was born here. His first small factory is on Lebuh Leith.

Getting There: Singapore to Penang $60 with Jetstar.

Where I Stayed: The lovely Ryokan Hostel, Lebuh Muntri, 30RM dorm inc breakfast.

Pic of the week; Chinese checkers

image

It’s all in the game…. Daily 8am checkers at Buddhatooth Temple, Chinatown.

 

 

Singapore Writers Festival

So I google TimeOutSingapore Thursday evening.

This pops up: Singapore Writers Festival 

I love living in a city where this is how you can spend your weekend at a moments notice.

Organised by the National Arts Council, the festival features panel discussions, writers workshops & book signings.  All for $15 for a week-long pass.  Three of my highlights included:

“Pillow Fight: Do Women Write Better Sex Than Men?”
This was part of their ‘Erotic Fiction’ strand. Always a crowd pleaser. Hearing this city discuss the artistic merit of XXX porn is actually quite a bold move for shy little Singapore. Refreshing to see a little risqué festival programming.

You Can Write Too!
Was a nice pep talk panel discussion from writers old, young & new. It’s inspiring to be reminded that the first step to becoming a writer is to call yourself a writer. Other great tit-bits included: “Write for you” & “Don’t write in secret!” Wise words.

Getting Lost; Getting Inspired
Wanderlust, exotica, travel writing. All of my favorite things.

The quote of the weekend has to be:

“I write to taste life twice. Once in the moment, and once in retrospect”  Anais Nin.

Bookworm Sundays; 3 Singapore Reading Rooms

So this one’s a bit niche, but my new favorite Sunday activity in the city is to embrace my inner bookworm & all things paper & crafty. As in arts and crafts, not scheming.

Whether it’s brunch over the Sunday papers on Club street, or finding the perfect bench to read 5o Shades of Grey on Bayfront Avenue, here are three of Singapore’s  literary hotspots.

National Geographic Shop, Vivo City, HarbourFront MRT.

It’s how I’d like my dream living room to be. ‘100 places to see before you die’ books, &  S.T.U.N.N.I.N.G framed prints of  their more iconic travel photography.  I could marvel there for hours. Well, maybe one. The moody lighting and ‘DO NOT touch vibe’ make you feel a bit of a grown up, but that’s anywhere that sells coffee table books isn’t it. The staff know most people aren’t there to purchase, and come just come to get inspired. A genius extension of their brand if you ask me.

Evernnew Second Hand Bookstore, Bras Basah

Just across from Raffles and (appropriately) next door to the National Library. It’s  in a slightly run down shopping arcade, but their outside bargain bin is always a winner for a little book-swap roulette. They don’t strictly offer book exchange, but when I offered them my old copies anyway they knocked $.40 off. Thanks then.  Novels are 2 for $5 in the section outside. The stacks of paperbacks inside are in no logical order, and are individually priced.

PaperMarket

Paperchase, NBC, City Luxe. Fair enough, stationery stores are ten a penny. Except this one gets its spot on, with it’s lovely staff who hand you origami puzzles to solve as you’re browsing, and enough paraphernalia to warrant a masters degree in scrapbooking. Singaporeans, like Japan and lots of Asia, take their paper stores seriously. Papermarket is like a boutique version of Hobbiecraft, and much less industrial. The pis de resistance is their special craft room. Very Emma Pillsbury from Glee. They offer a schedule of arts & crafts classes.  Too cute.

Previous Older Entries

An.an.tas.in : The Anantasin is the name of a shipwreck just of the coast of the Sensi Parasise, Mae Haad Bay, Koh Tao, Thailand. It’s one of my many favorite places.

Lit.tle: Just because it’s cute.

Blasts From The Past…

June 2017
M T W T F S S
« Apr    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 186 other followers