Brief Guide to Camping in Singapore

Want to try a new experience that would liven up your senses and give you a deeper appreciation of nature? Well, there’s nothing better than camping! Here are the five spots where you can camp in Singapore, and everything else you need to know.

East Coast Park. The park’s biggest attractions are its cool ocean breeze and beautiful horizons, plus toilets and barbecue pits are easy to find too. If you want a quiet night, come during weekdays as the area gets very lively during weekends.

West Coast Park. West Coast feels closer to nature with its hilly area and nearby tall trees. It’s better for families as there is also a big playground nearby. You can find food places just across the West Coast Highway.

Pasir Ris Park. This is your best bet if you want a romantic night under the stars. While quite peaceful, there are also modern facilities just close by. Wake up to watch the sun rise, and then go exploring in the area’s 6-hectare mangrove trail.

Pulau Ubin. If you don’t mind going offshore, you can enjoy a camp with a rustic vibe here. Its main attractions are its idyllic kampung village, granite hills, and wonderful tide pools. It’s definitely closer to the wild so come prepared.

Pulau Hantu Besar. Located well away from the city, the “island of ghosts” is for campers who aren’t afraid to rough it out with nature. Its perks: total seclusion and a white sand beach where you can go for a swim and even snorkel.

Reminder: Do note that camping is no longer allowed in Noordin Beach in Pulau Ubin, Changi Beach Park and Sisters’ Islands.

Glamping

Want the fun and romantic feel of camping with the comfort of a hotel stay? Then “glamping” is for you. For a fee, Companies like the Glamping Society and Glam Nomad will pitch a tent for you and provide your food and bedding needs, so all you need to do is come and enjoy being close to nature.

Securing a camping permit

You need to apply for a camping permit if you want to pitch a tent at East Coast Park, West Coast Park, or Pasir Ris Park. This is a simple process that you can do at any AXS station or online at the NParks website. If you’re staying at Pulau Hantu Besar, get your permit from Sentosa. We recommend getting your permit at least three days before you camp.

Things you’ll need to bring

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Plenty of water
  • Torch light and lamps
  • Extra batteries
  • Head lamp
  • Food
  • Mess tins
  • Solid fuel
  • Cooking utensils
  • Tissue paper and wet wipes
  • Ziploc bags
  • Trash bags
  • Jacket
  • Swiss knife
  • Insect repellent
  • Portable charger
  • Toiletries

You can find all these at the following stores: Decathlon (at City Square Mall), Outdoor Life (at Thomson Road and Orchard Road), Camper’s Corner (at Waterloo Street), Adventure 21 (at Eu Tong Sen Street). Some sports shop also offer tent rental.

Things to remember

  • Make sure to have a checklist and an itinerary so that your whole camping trip is well-organized.
  • Scout the area before your trip to familiarize yourself with nearby facilities and adjust plans if necessary.
  • Always clean after yourself; make sure all your trash and other wastes are properly disposed.
  • Prepare for both a very hot as well as a typhoon weather – you can never be sure which one you’ll get.

19 Sep 2020

12 Alternatives to the Traditional Flower Bouquet

If you and your partner are not fans of the traditional wedding, you would also go for a non-traditional wedding bouquet to complete the bridal look. There are a lot of alternatives to a flower bouquet that look just as impressive. Here are some ideas to give you inspiration.

Feather bouquet with beads. Some flowers will wilt within a few hours. If you do not want your bridal bouquet and decorations to look half dead before the party is over, synthetic feathers are just as beautiful to look at. Just add some beads and other sparkly embellishments.

Paper flower bouquets. If you still want flowers but do not like the idea of them wilting before the ceremony is over, fake flowers will do. You could have one created from various colors and textures to make them look like the real thing. Experiment with different types of paper like ombre, pages from an old book, etc.

Fabric origami. Instead of paper, you can also make a bouquet of flowers using fabric, lace, ribbons, etc. You have more choices with the fabric colors and patterns than with the flowers that are available only at specific months of the year.

Leather bouquets. Leather can also be shaped into flowers to make a bouquet. You could find dyed leather in hobby shops or you can dye them yourself with simple tools.

Burlap bouquets. Another option besides paper and felt is burlap. The pattern has a unique texture you will not get with flowers and greenery. It will not wilt if when exposed to sunlight on an outdoor or beach wedding, too.

Felt flower bouquet. Felt paper is also a good option for creative brides because they come in various bright colors. They also have a textured surface which can be embellished with buttons, gems, ribbons, and many more.

Dazzling brooch bouquets. Nothing says statement piece than a bejeweled bouquet. You can have one customized to include your favorite colors and shapes or gems that will go well with your wedding theme.

Embroidery hoop. Flower hoops are becoming popular nowadays, but a great alternative would be made from lace and ribbons.

Beaded bouquets. If gems are too expensive or showy for you, an alternative would be to create a bouquet from French beads. The texture and brilliant colors make the bouquet picture worthy.

Crocheted bouquet. This will look great as boutonnieres and bridesmaid bouquets but will also turn heads as a bridal bouquet.

Dried flowers bouquet. With this bouquet, you do not have to worry about the blooms wilting because they are already dry. You can also add more embellishments like lace or even spray paint on the flowers.

Feather fan. Another option you can do with feathers is to decorate a huge fans with. Add some stones, beads, and ribbons to complete the look.

19 Sep 2020

Types of Arthritis You Should Be Aware Of

Arthritis is a very common illness in Singapore with a prevalence of 19.8% in the age group between 60 to 69. Rheumatoid arthritis in particular is the most common type of disorder which affects about 1% of the population, but there are many forms of arthritis that you should be aware of.

Childhood Arthritis

Also known as juvenile arthritis, it is an umbrella term for different conditions that involve inflammatory, autoimmune, and rheumatic diseases that afflict children younger than 16 years. There is no clear cause for this although genes may play a role with the symptoms appearing because of certain triggers. There are several forms of juvenile arthritis such as fibromyalgia, Kawasaki disease, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, juvenile dermatomyositis, juvenile scleroderma, juvenile lupus, and mixed connective tissue disease.

Fibromyalgia

This is a condition characterized not only by chronic pain but also by mood changes, memory problems, and fatigue. Because the illness is a combination of several conditions, researchers suspect that these are triggered by trauma, illness, and changes in hormones. The pain associated with fibromyalgia is not only limited to one area but might also affect several regions.

Polymyalgia Rheumatica

The condition is commonly observed among the elderly and is characterized by flu-like symptoms such as fever, fatigue, poor appetite, and pain in the neck, arms, shoulders, hips, thighs, and buttocks. If it is accompanied by headaches, it might be a symptom of temporal or giant cell arteritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

It is an autoimmune condition in which the body attacks the joints mistaking them for foreign bodies. A person will experience pain, tenderness, and swelling in the joints which are more pronounced in the mornings. Even the small joints such as those in the hands and feet can be affected. Sometimes the pain is accompanied by fever, fatigue, and loss of appetite. The flareups can also last for days and might affect even the eyes, mouth, blood, lungs, and skin.

Osteoarthritis

The worst of the symptoms usually appear in the mornings and will result in swelling, pain, cracking sounds in the joints, stiffness, and limited range of motion. Osteoarthritis can affect different parts such as the fingers, feet, knees, and hips. It makes even the simplest of chores difficult.

Ankylosing Spondylitis

The condition usually affects the pelvis and the lower spine, which is why it is often referred to as lower back pain. The symptoms can appear as early as 17 years in other people and cause chronic pain and stiffness that might even extend to the neck and rib cage.

Lupus

This is an autoimmune condition that affects not only the joints but is also accompanied by a variety of symptoms. These include hair loss, fatigue, sensitivity to light, rashes, kidney problems, mouth sores, memory problems, breathing difficulties, dry mouth and eyes, blood disorders, and vaginal dryness among women.

Gout

 It is a form of inflammatory arthritis that causes extreme pain and swelling. Most of the pain starts in the feet and knees and can last for days. This condition is caused by hyperuricemia or excess uric acid in the blood.

15 Jul 2020

The Different Types of Italian Liqueurs

There are nearly 40 Italian liqueurs to choose from, each of them with their characteristic color, flavor, and aroma. To be able to distinguish each type of Italian liqueur, let’s break down the basics.

Alchermes is a dark-colored liqueur usually made with cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, sugar, coriander, maces, orange zest, anise flowers, vanilla, and herbs.

Amaretto is primarily a sweet liqueur flavored with bitter almonds and is different from amaro liqueur.

Amaro is known for its aroma which may consist of one of a combination of herbs, flowers, spices, barks, roots, and leaves. Most amaro have syrupy, sweet, bitter, and dry taste depending on the infusion.

Anisette, also called anis, is an anise-flavored drink made with anise and licorice root.

Aperol is classified as an aperitif and is made with gentian, bitter orange, and rhubarb.

Aurum is a sweet liqueur made from brandy and citrus fruits.

Braulio is a type of amaro digestif that is made with roots, medicinal fruits, herbs and berries. Braulio is aged for two to three years before bottling.

Campari is a bittersweet variety of vermouth.

Centerbe has a green-colored liquid and is classified as a digestif. It is made from several medicinal herbs.

Cynar is a type of amaro which is made with 13 plants and herbs. Its name comes from one of its ingredients, artichoke.

Fernet is a type of amaro that is flavored with at least 40 spices and herbs, primarily saffron. It is classified as a digestif.

Frangelico is a hazelnut-flavored liqueur, which sometimes includes vanilla and cocoa.

Galliano is an anise-flavored liqueur primarily made from vanilla, licorice, anise, cinnamon, peppermint, ginger, juniper, lavender, musk yarrow, and other herbs.

Lemon liqueur are beverages made from a combination of liquor, sugar, and lemons.

Limoncello is lemon liqueur made from alcohol, water, and lemon zest. It is classified as a digestif.

Maraschino is cherry liqueur made from marasca cherries from which its name was derived.

Mirto is a bitter liqueur made from berries and myrtle plant leaves.

Nespolino is made from loquat fruit seeds, which produce a bitter taste.

Nocello, or nocino, is a walnut- or hazelnut-flavored liqueur with vanilla tones.

Passione nera has a dark purple color and is nearly similar to sambuca in flavor, but it also has hints of coriander and cardamom.

Ramazzotti is classified as a digestif and has a bitter taste.

Rosolio Is made with rose petals or rose essence, alcohol, sugar, and water.

Sambuca is an anise-flavored liqueur made from sugar, herbs, spices, witch elder bush, and licorice.

Sassolino is a star anise-flavored liqueur that was first commercialized in 1804.

Strega has a characteristic yellow color and is known for its sweet anise flavor. It is made up of sugar, herbs, and safran.

Tuaca has a beautiful amber color and sweet taste that hints of oranges and vanilla. Tuaca is a type of flavored brandy.

Vespetro is made with medicinal plants and spices. It is famous for its sweet anise flavor.

Zucca is classified as an aperitif and is made primarily with rhubarb.

12 Jul 2020

How to Avoid Falling for False Advertisements

Most of us have access to the internet nowadays, making it easier for companies to advertise their products like never before. Not all people pay attention to advertisements, however, and even think of them as nuisance because we think we can easily tune them out. That is not how it works at all.

What should you do to protect yourself from advertisements, especially those that send out false information?

Read all relevant information

If you are looking for a specific product, you need to research. Some advertisements do not provide everything or construct the message to make it more attractive to customers. After all, the goal is to sell the products or services. Before any purchase, read all relevant information especially the offers that seem significant in the advertisement.

Remember that legit ads should be clear

You could easily spot suspicious ads even if you have no background in advertising and marketing. Offers and conditions must be included in the advertisement clearly and concisely. If it is an ad on the internet, it should provide relevant links to the site to give the customers more information. If it takes you a while to get the information you need (e.g., you need to click various pages), then stay away from it.

Check prices carefully

Be wary of ads that post prices with asterisks beside it. Maybe that is not the full price for the product or service. You might have to pay separately for other charges like VAT, delivery, booking, etc. Before finalizing any online purchase for example, you should check the additional charges at the bottom of the ad or the page (usually in small font size) to avoid surprises. This is mostly a problem with online purchases and ticket providers.

Don’t believe exaggerations

Presentation is everything when it comes to ads. They need to stand out among competitors which is why they will exaggerate features or capabilities of their products and services. It does not necessarily mean they are misleading the customers, but you should not take things literally.

Read the small texts

Some ads like posters have extra text somewhere that most people don’t read. Usually, these contain important information that must be included but the company is hesitant to include because it can contradict the claims of the ad. You will see this more commonly when products are advertising marked down prices. There is usually a text somewhere that says, “on selected items only.”

Don’t fall for “going green” tactics

This is a common tactic to attract customers by appealing to guilt. It is so easy to post “recycled” or “environmentally friendly” then add some trees and endangered animals on the ad. But claims like these are usually untrue. Sure, the company may be taking steps to reduce waste and source sustainably but there are other aspects not shown on the ad such as packing, transportation, labor, etc. which might still be problematic.

17 Jun 2020

10 More Underrated JRPGs (If You’re Tired of Final Fantasy)

If you’ve only been playing AAA games released in the last ten years, you most likely missed out on a lot of JRPGs that weren’t as popular as the FF series.

Radiant Historia (2010)

The world is slowly devoured by desertification and as a consequence, survivors fight for control over available land and resources. Embroiled in a battle between nations, you control Stocke who was given a book capable of sending you back in time to prevent the disaster.

Secret of Evermore (1995)

You think having a dog companion is cute? How about this action RPG that features a shapeshifting dog as a companion in an alternate world? You can control either the boy or the dog while the AI controls the other you didn’t pick during battles. If you love the combat system is Secret of Mana, this is the one for you.

The Last Story (2011)

This action RPG is aptly named because it is set in a world where the life force is slowly being leached. You control only Zael and employ both stealth and tactical gameplay to progress the story, but you can use player commands for companions.

Arc the Lad (1995)

The first entry to an underrated tactical RPG, it centers on Arc’s search for his father. Exploration in the game is limited to dungeons, fields, and small areas and dialogues mostly happen during events. If you want to play the first game, you should look for Arc the Lad Collection which includes the trilogy.

Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals (1995)

This prequel RPG, which includes puzzle elements, follows the story of Maxim during the start of the war between humans and the Sinistrals. You can play this game as an entry point to the Lufia series.

Grandia (1987)

It’s the introduction to the series of the same name and introduces Justine who is on a quest to discover a lost civilization. There are no random battles here because you can see the enemies on the field and you can even sneak up on them, unlike most of the FF games.

Shining Force II (1993)

Another tactical RPG on this list, you can play this game even if you’re not familiar with the first entry in the series. The exploration part is similar to that in open world games because there are no chapters and it allows for free roaming.

Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished (1987)

The entire Ys series has been around for a long time but it’s strangely underrated. This first entry is an action RPG was a pioneer when it comes to storytelling and introduces Adol, who was told that a looming threat was coming. To stop this evil from coming, he has to gather the six Ys books which contain secrets.

Riviera: The Promised Land (2002)

The first installment of the Dept. Heaven series, it features a dating sim, multiple possible endings, strategy elements, and unique movement features divided into look and move modes.

Wild Arms (1996)

A Western-themed turn-based JRPG with 3D-rendered battles, this game combines elements of puzzle solving, story-based scenarios, and combat.

17 Jun 2020

The Best Third-Person Shooter Games

Tired of first-person shooters? Or do you want to play something similar, but with a more immersive story and bigger map? These are the best third-person shooters that will fill those needs.

Gears of War (2006)

Delta Squad may be the last hope of the humans in the planet Sera against the Locust Horde. Marcus Fenix leads the defense, forcing the player to learn how to utilize different weapons and to use covers effectively against the enemies.

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (2007)

This might seem like just another adventure game in a strange country, but Drake’s Fortune will utilize the player’s skills in problem-solving, platforming, and efficiency in the use of limited resources.

Tomb Raider (2013)

This is the 10th installment in the series which features enhanced graphics and gameplay from the original. If you loved the series, this will make you fall in love with Lara all over again and her arsenal of survival, combat, and stealth skills.

Resident Evil 4 (2005)

Out of all the games in the Resident Evil series, this is probably the most enjoyable. Your task is to control Leon Kennedy as he searches for a presidential daughter in a zombie-filled Spanish town.

Max Payne (2001)

The first game in the series introduces players to detective Max Payne in his search for justice for his murdered family. One of the game’s most notable characteristics is the use of neo-noir graphics and an immersive storyline.

Red Dead Redemption (2010)

This game is not just about your average cowboy. Following the adventures of John Marston, whose family was kidnapped by government forces to force him to kill some people, the player can choose to explore the American West through various side missions or pursue his main goal of getting his family back.

Vanquish (2010)

Vanquish has a unique gameplay in its ability to blend beat ‘em up and bullet hell games. The player will take control of agent Sam Gideon and utilize the abilities of his Augmented Reaction Suit against various enemies.

Dead Space (2008)

The game will not just challenge your ability to control Isaac Clarke during combat, but will test your sanity against reanimated corpses in a mining spaceship. Some of these creatures require special tactics to defeat.

Grand Theft Auto V (2013)

If you have enjoyed most of the titles in the series so far, GTA V will give you three times that enjoyment with the ability to control three different characters in the game. You can choose to complete the missions or just explore the different areas of Los Santos and San Andreas countryside.

The Last of Us (2013)

This survival game introduces the player to Joel and Ellie in their journey across a post-apocalyptic landscape to escape the effects of the mutated fungus. You will explore different towns while avoiding cannibals and other infected creatures.

03 Feb 2020