Langkawi: Day 1

I meant to make just one post for the short Langkawi trip but as I have assignments to grade and other things to do, I haven’t found the time to look through and edit all the pictures I have. So I’ll have to make three separate posts instead of one I guess. (Anyway I’m having something of a writer’s block lately – don’t know what to blog about. Maybe this is a good thing after all haha)

We stayed at a house belonging to a friend’s family. It was an interesting looking house (which I can’t show here to maintain their privacy), and we slept amidst the sounds of insects and frogs. I’m sure there were mosquitoes too but we escaped them thanks to mosquito netting. It was unfortunately rather humid, what with there being no fan or air-conditioning to help air circulation. But I’ve been in worse places. *thinks of nights spent in hot stuffy tents on camping trips…*


This is what the view from the top floor looks like when rain approaches from afar.

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NZ: Hobbiton

Please feel free to play this Youtube vid and listen to the music as you view the pictures here. hahah (It’s the Hobbit/Hobbiton theme from Fellowship of the Ring and one of my favourite movie themes from the trilogy.)

When you arrive at Hobbiton in Matamata, this is where you go first to get your tickets:

The Shire's Rest
The Shire’s Rest. You have to wait here for the bus to come and get you. They don’t allow you to wander randomly about the movie set; you have to go with a tour guide. (I think this makes sense because some people would really abuse the freedom to wander at will.)

We got here later than we were supposed to. Steph had booked tickets for a 2.30 tour but we got stuck in a massive traffic jam leaving Auckland (due to it being a public holiday – Good Friday) and what should have been a journey of 1 hour and 40 minutes turned into 3.5 hours. Really really tiresome. But we got there in the end!

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Europe 2013: Day 7

I realised that I haven’t finished blogging about my European trip last year. Oh well. Almost done though! There’s only Amsterdam left :)

Titling this “Day 7” because although we went to Amsterdam on this day (December 5), in the morning, Mum had to go present a paper at the conference in… some tiny tiny German town not far from Freiburg. I don’t remember where anymore. haha


Didn’t see much of the town except a few quiet roads near the conference venue. That yellow house really stands out…

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Back from NZ

I don’t have half as many pictures from New Zealand as I did from Japan, but there’s still about 900 to sort out so here’s a view from my hotel room facing part of the Viaduct Harbour.


Afternoon…


… and evening.

Courtesy of the iPhone camera panorama mode. haha

S.E.A. Aquarium

If you’ve been reading my blog for some years, you might have realised by now that I like zoos and I like aquariums. (This renders me somewhat incomprehensible to my young Singaporean cousins who show minimal interest in zoos and aquariums.) For reference: Aquaria KLCC in KL (which I’ve been to about three times already), Deep Sea World in Edinburgh, and the Tokyo Sea Life Park. And now, the new S.E.A. Aquarium in Singapore!

The S.E.A. Aquarium is supposedly the world’s largest aquarium. I don’t know how true that is, but it’s certainly larger than Deep Sea World and Aquaria. Probably bigger than the Tokyo aquarium because of the Open Ocean display, but as I don’t have a habit of measuring tanks and counting fish and corals, I can’t really say. It certainly felt a little bigger… But then Tokyo’s had the outdoor section with the penguins, so that does mess with my sense of size as well.

I went to this new one last weekend and whiled away slightly more than three hours there. Mind you, this is three hours without my camera. I left my camera at home on purpose because I knew I didn’t have all day to sit around and stare at fish, and if I had my camera with me, I just know 3 hours wouldn’t be satisfactory. So the camera stayed home and I made do with my iPhone. It was nice in a way – freed me up to appreciate the fish with my own eyes instead of constantly gazing through a viewfinder.


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