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

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

The Best Dungeon Crawl Video Games

Dungeon crawl may be familiar to those who love role-playing games and encounter different obstacles and enemies in a labyrinthine location called a dungeon. Fortunately for those who love dungeons, there are games that devote a lot of time on such a location.

Here are the best in the genre.

Diablo (1996)

Well-known as a hack-and-slash game, Diablo also allows the player to control one character who must save the world from the Lord of Terror by completing the different challenges in sixteen dungeons.

Legend of Grimrock (2012)

This game was based on other titles like Eye of the Beholder and Dungeon Master, but has a real-time gameplay with tile-based movements. The player can control up to four characters, which are used to solve puzzles and defeat enemies.

Rogue or Rogue: Exploring the Dungeons of Doom (1980)

The goal of this game is to find the Amulet of Yendor by controlling one character, who must get to the lowest levels by fighting monsters and collecting items.

Darkest Dungeon (2016)

Unlike the other games, Darkest Dungeon allows the player to control different characters who are exploring a mansion. The gameplay also utilizes turn-based fights with real-time movements. As if that isn’t enough, the game also includes a stress level that can affect a character’s ability to finish the missions.

Etrian Odyssey (2007)

This role-playing game spawned several sequels and spinoffs with its unique use of time to create different encounters and combats.

Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss (1992)

Part of the Ultima series, Ultima Underworld features an underground cave system and a utopian civilization that the character Avatar must explore to find a baron’s daughter.

Stonekeep (1995)

More popular for the length of its game development, Stonekeep is the ultimate model for a dungeon crawler that features underground caves systems filled with enemies and treasures. The player controls the character Drake who must make use of different items and a rune-based magic system.

NetHack (1987)

Inspired by the game Rogue, which is also on this list, the player controls a character who must find the Amulet of Yendor, which unlike in Rogue, is generated randomly in a total of about 50 levels.

Grim Dawn (2016)

Based on the Titan Quest engine, Grim Dawn introduces the player to the world of Cairn where humans are nearly wiped out and are trapped between entities called the Chthonians and Aetherials.

Don’t Starve (2013)

The player controls Wilson is this survival game, making sure that he is fed properly and is physically and mentally healthy while avoiding enemies that are trying to eat or kill him. This is also one of the few games that includes a permanent death in the gameplay if the player fails.

Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition (2013)

Anyone who has played Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn and Throne of Bhaal will enjoy this enhanced version and some new content.

15 Oct 2019

Important Vaccinations for Adults

Despite what anti-vaxxers claim about the effects of vaccination on children, herd immunity is still the best defense against contagious disease outbreaks. Even as adults, there are vaccines that you might need to protect yourself against deadly diseases.

Influenza

One dose annually from the ages 19 to 65. This isn’t recommended if the person is allergic to eggs or has a Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis or whooping cough (Td/Tdap)

One Tdap dose, then Td booster every 10 years between ages 19 to 65; women are also advised to get a Tdap vaccination every pregnancy. This isn’t recommended to persons who are allergic to Tdap or have seizures.

Zoster (Shingles)

individuals aged 60 to 65 or older should get one dose of Herpes zoster vaccination. This isn’t recommended for pregnant women or those allergic to antibiotic neomycin or gelatin.

Pneumococcal

The one- or two-dose vaccination for PCV13 and PPSV23 are recommended for individuals aged 65 years and above, but it may be given to people younger than 65 years if there is a risk of contracting diseases. This isn’t recommended if the person is allergic to the vaccine.

Meningococcal

The one- to three-dose vaccination for MenACWY/MPSV4 and MenB may be given to individuals aged between 19 to 65 or older if there is risk of contracting diseases

Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR)

One or two doses for ages 19 to 59 years if the individual did not get this vaccination as a child or the vaccination was not completed at 21 years for men and 26 years for women. This isn’t recommended for people who are pregnant or who have HIV/AIDS, blood disorder, cancer or who had surgery and vaccination within the last 4 weeks.

Human papillomavirus

Women can get a three-dose vaccination between ages 19 to 26, while men can get three-dose vaccination at ages 19 to 21 or until 26 years if needed. This isn’t recommended to pregnant women or to people who are allergic to the vaccine.

Varicella (Chickenpox)

The two-dose vaccination for chickenpox is given at ages 19 to 26 if the individual has not completed the vaccinations as a child or before 21 years for males and 26 years for females. This isn’t recommended for pregnant women or those who have HIV/AIDS, cancer or had blood transfusion

Hepatitis A

The two- to three-dose vaccination may be given to an individual between ages 19 to 65 if the individual has not completed the vaccinations as a child or before 21 years for males and 26 years for females. This isn’t recommended if the person is allergic to the vaccine.

Hepatitis B

The three-dose vaccination may be given to an individual between ages 19 to 65 if the individual has not completed the vaccinations as a child or before 21 years for males and 26 years for females. This isn’t recommended if the person is allergic to the vaccine.

Haemophilus influenzae type b

The one- to three-dose vaccination is given between ages 19 to 65.

15 Oct 2019

Why Do More and More People Listen to Podcasts?

Before, radio shows were the only type of audio entertainment aside from music to be consumed by people. Then came audiobooks. And now, we have podcasts. Podcasts have definitely become more and more popular around the world today. Here are some reasons why people enjoy them so much, and maybe you’ll be convinced too.

They’re basically free

Once you download a podcast, you already able to listen to it without actually paying. Sure, you can go to podcast streaming websites and donate, but most podcasts are up for free listening. To compare, audiobooks are priced but you’re listening is still limited since every book has an ending. But that won’t be the case for podcasts at all.

They’re like actual conversations

Another reason why people enjoy podcasts is because they feel like actual conversations and not just someone telling you a story. This is because most podcasts involve more people talking. Aside from the host/s, there are also guests who share their own stories and ideas. When you listen to a simple narration, it will be easy for you to lose focus and become bored.

You can listen anywhere

Another great thing about podcasts is that you can listen to them anywhere. You can listen on your commute, you can listen while doing boring chores, you can sometimes even do it while working. If you want to listen to a podcast while jogging somewhere in Singapore early in the morning, you can definitely do it!

Podcasts are time-efficient

In relation to the point above, listening to podcasts can also help save time. If you watch a television series, for example, you’ll have to just sit there and focus on what’s happening. For podcasts, you can walk around and do other things while listening. You can dedicate your time to more things than one.

You can learn and stay updated

Another common reason why people listen to podcasts is that they provide a lot of information that you can actually pick up. There are a lot of podcasts that teach certain fields of study. Whether you want to learn about arts, business, or even languages, you’ll be able to find a podcast for that. Even some of the more popular podcasts are those that teach productivity and self-help.

It’s also a way to get over a creative slump

There are many ways to get over writer’s block or any type of creative slump. But if you’ve exhausted those other means and still have it, try listening to a podcast. It doesn’t need to be a podcast related to your work. Pick one that you actually find interesting. Due to the conversational vibe you get from podcasts as said earlier, you might find some interesting points and ideas that you can use yourself.

18 Sep 2019

Common Causes of Memory Loss

There are always situations when we simply forget things. But it’s a whole different story if you keep having memory slips time and time again. Not taking care of our mental health can make us more and more susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. That’s why it is important for us to find out what causes memory loss. So, let’s just jump right to it.

  1. Too much stress and anxiety

Stress is one of the most common reasons why we get memory loss. It’s understandable that we get memory loss as we age, but because of too much stress, we’re getting more and more prone to having memory slips. Stress affects our ability to focus which then makes it harder for the brain to retain new information and process older ones. That means not only our short-term memory is affected, but now also our long-term memory.

  1. Depression

Memory loss can be both a cause and an effect of depression. For one, depression can make you less and less interested in your environment. That simply means your memory and awareness will be affected negatively. You feel so down that you start paying less attention to everything happening around you. It can also lead you to have trouble sleeping. Which leads us to our next point…

  1. Not having enough sleep

The lack of sleep is probably one of the biggest causes of memory loss. When we don’t get enough sleep, our mind is not given time to rest and recover. That means it will be more and more difficult for our brain to retain information. It can also cause massive spikes in our hormones which in turn will lead to more mood swings. Our mood can also significantly affect how we process information.

  1. Certain medications

Blood pressure medication, sleeping pills, some painkillers, even antidepressants can also affect our memory. Certain drugs can affect our memory because of their effects. Those that cause sedation like painkillers and hormonal changes like sleeping peels can definitely affect our memory since they influence our minds directly. This is why depression is such a complicated case. Depression itself affects our memory and antidepressants also affect our memory negatively.

  1. Drinking too much alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol impairs our short-term memory. If you get wasted too often, it can be more detrimental than you think. Alcohol is a diuretic which basically means it dehydrates us. When we’re already dehydrated, that’s what causes our brains to just shut down while drinking. Doing this frequently can cause significant damage not only to our memory but our overall mental health. Yes, there are a lot of great places to drink in Singapore, just try not to get wasted too often.

18 Sep 2019