Follow me on a heritage trail !!

1. Singapore Botanic Gardens


I visited the Singapore Botanic Gardens which has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 4 July 2015. It is the first and only tropical botanic garden on the UNESCO’s World Heritage list.

The brief history of the garden dated back into 1822 when Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of modern Singapore and a keen naturalist, developed the first ‘Botanical and Experimental Garden’ at Fort Canning.

In the early years, the Gardens played an important role in fostering agricultural development in Singapore and the region by collecting, growing, experimenting and disturbing potentially useful plants.

With more than 150 years of history, the 82-hectare gardens holds a unique and significant place in the history of Singapore and the region.



Burkill Hall, one of the historical sites in Botanic Gardens.

It was built between 1867 and 1868,  named in honor of 2 former directors of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, Issac Henry Burkill and his son Humphrey Morrison Burkill.

It was regarded as one of the most environmental friendly buildings in Singapore for having a sensitive design for mitigating the local climate.

It became the School of Ornamental Horticulture in 1969.

(Ornamental horticulture consists of floriculture and landscape horticulture. Each is concerned with growing and marketing plants and with the associated activities of flower arrangement and landscape design.)

It was restored in the 1990s during the development of the National Orchid Garden. Today, it is a popular venue for weddings and special events.




Tembusu, a heritage tree found in the gardens.

Estimated at more than 270 years old, it has a girth spanning approximately 6.5 meters and a height about 40 meters. It is the largest in the gardens and perhaps the finest specimen in Singapore.

The Tembusu is an evergreen with deeply fissured tree bark. The wood is durable and hardy, its trunk was used to make chopping boards in the past.





This is the Garage, a historical landmark in the gardens.

This was completed sometime between 1924-1928, originally used by a number of professors to park their vehicles.

It was a well-proportioned building, executed in a distinctly Art Deco style.


ANDDDDDDD I got lost in Botanic gardens while trying to find for more historical and heritage landmarks. I walked for like 45 mins around the garden and not knowing where am i going, so I gave up and find other attractions instead. After that, i went to visit the National Orchid Garden where it displays a wide variety of orchid species.




Here are some photos of the varieties of orchid.




2. National Museum of Singapore


With a history dating back to its inception in 1887, the National Museum of Singapore is the nation’s oldest museum with a progressive mind.

With its wide façade and large dome, the National Museum of Singapore has been a prominent cultural and architectural landmark on Stamford Road for over a century. It is Singapore’s oldest existing museum, devoted to the general history of Singapore.



I went into the Singapore History Gallery which exhibited the development of the island as it was known throughout the years of Singapore.

It displays Singapore’s journey from our earliest beginnings 700 years ago to the global city we enjoy today.

Singapore citizens and permanent residents will enjoy a free entry to the gallery.



Introducing the facts of Rickshaw Coolies

1.Thousands of Chinese migrants in Singapore, one job that many able-bodied young men could take up was pulling a rickshaw.

2. The 2-wheeled vehicle originated from Japan, was a popular mode of transportation from 1880 until the 1930s.

3. Fares were inexpensive. Rickshaw coolies worked at least 10-12 hours shifts for about 30-40 cents a day. They usually worked for 5-7 years before returning back to China.




More about Opium smoking

It is believed that opium smoking became popular after the Ming court banned tobacco in 1641. It is later spread beyond China and became ingrained in India and Southeast Asia.

In Singapore, large opium dens offered supplementary services such as Chinese tea. Large teahouses provide opium-smoking services for customers.

The first photo shows photographs of opium smokers, for working-class men, opium-smoking was a form of relaxation & escape from their cramped and unpleasant living conditions. However there is a high possibility to be addicted

At the bottom it displayed a opium bed in the early 20th century.


So here are some photos of myself during the museum trip.




A book selling machine located outside one of the exhibition halls


The modern Singapore

Some of the soldiers’ uniform in the olden days.


After visiting all these places, I think that it is really impress how these places were well-maintained even after decades. This shows the integrity and perseverance in those who run these places, keeping the place clean which allow us to enjoy the sights we have in today’s society. I understand that we should not take the environment and places we have now for granted. We should show gratitude for those who put in the effort.










Global Voices

Pick one story that calls out to you from Global Voices.

The reason to why i chose this box is because I think this is a good opportunity to voice out my opinion towards issues across the world. I hardly have the platform to do so, and I definitely want to voice out my thoughts on the quite recent Yulin Dog Festival.

Local Chinese Officials Promise They Won’t Let the Yulin Dog Meat Festival Happen This Year

This article reported that the Guangxi government has put a halt to the notorious Yulin Dog Meat Festival, which was scheduled this year for June 21 and 22 due to immense public pressure. Animal activists from around the world have been calling for an end to the festival for years. 24 of them handed a petition signed by 11 million people from around the world over to the Beijing office of the Yulin city government. It listed the negative effects of the Yulin dog meat festivals and it is time for the Chinese Government to take firm action to end this event for good.

Festival opponents say the majority of the dogs consumed during the festival are stolen. The Yulin dog meat festival shows the cruelty of the black market and 90% of the dogs slaughtered are being stolen from households. 

The reason why this story calls out to me because I am a dog lover, seeing these dogs being treated this way make my heart breaks. I feel strongly disagree towards the Yulin dog meat festival and I think it is a cruel and cold-blooded action to slaughter dogs for human consumptions. I think those people who should be responsible for these actions need to be punished and seriously reflect at what they’ve done. Those dogs are innocent and they have no reasons to be treated this way.

I am still confused as to the constant delays from the government to take actions to stop this dog slaughtering event. It is so unbelievable that it has been 26 years since the start of the dog festival and it was even supported by the government. I cannot understand and i do not tolerate these actions because it is nerve-wicking and they do not care/feel for those animals. I really hope that the government can control the number of dogs being slaughtered and take actions into this serious issue. On top of this, I think that black markets should be closely monitored by the government/police department to stop the trading and buying of dogs. In addition, I hope that the Duo Duo animal project will influence and encourage more people to support their actions too. On my part, I will continue to love dogs and hopefully to participate in voluntarily campaigns for dogs and other animals in the future.



I realised that we should be more aware of what is happening around us through different platforms. It is important for us to keep up with what’s going on in our world and in fact we might come together and discuss about it. By doing so, we will increase our interaction with one another as well as to be more concerned about our world.

$5 Challenge

Can you survive just $5 a day?

The reason why i chose this box is because I wanted to experience to survive with just $5 a day. I always have doubts for people claiming that they used only $5 a day, so I think that it’s time for me to try it out. On top of this, I thought it would be a really fun activity to challenge myself.

Called the $5 Challenge, this is part of an initiative – called Singaporeans Against Poverty – by Caritas Singapore, the social-service arm of the Catholic Church, and other partners, including charity Catholic Welfare Services.

It aims to get people to develop empathy for the less fortunate by spending less.


I woke up at around 12pm so I skipped breakfast, I began my day wih a packet of chicken rice which cost $2 and I added long beans for 80 cents. FYI the chicken was so disgusting, it was mostly bones and little meat. Basically I felt like I’m just eating vegetables with rice.

Lunch: $2.80


I was still hungry after my lunch so I went to buy a slice of pear which cost like a bomb of $1.20!!!

SOOOO in total: $4


Since I only have $1 budget for my dinner, I decided to just take whatever is available in my kitchen and make some free dinner for myself.


I made nutella french toast with banana slices, it might not look appealing BUT it taste good (I guess). I made a few more than this but I ate most of them.

Dinner: $0

This summed up my $5 challenge day and it was a torture for me. I wasn’t able to eat a complete meal and I had to give up my constant cravings for other food. However through this experience, I realised that it is very hard to even live with only $5 a day, I wonder how those people manage to squeeze everything together.

In my opinion, I think it is indeed a challenge with much difficulties as Singapore’s economy has grown tremendously over the years. Now we need to spend and afford more money on certain things compared to the past. On top of this, I agree that teenagers (more like myself) are overspending on unnecessary things such as clothes and beauty products. The $5 challenge made me say ‘NO’ to sales, ‘NO’ to restaurants and ‘NO’ to movie dates. I have to admit that I’m crazy about shopping and buying clothes, I had to control myself during that day when the Great Singapore Sales are going strong.

I think that there is no doubt a REAL challenge for many singaporeans as we are used to the type of carefree lifestyle. We have low awareness of the poor and we show little appreciation towards what we have.

I have also look into other people’s $5 challenge and it had been a tough time for them too. For example I visited a blog by melody , even though she manage to spend only $5 a day, she admitted that it was tough and it is hard to get used to that type of lifestyle. This men as well, he couldn’t keep it with $5 a day even if he tries very hard.


Through this $5 challenge, I have learnt that it is really hard to spend only $5 a day. Now I am really proud for those people who spend like this everyday. Despite having different financial backgrounds, there is definitely a need to respect each and every individual in this society to live in harmony.

Now I might have a second thought when spending my money on more clothes and not-money-worth-it food.


Unusual Occupations

Research on one such job and share it with the class; try to choose something that you might undertake next tine. Tell us what ‘unusual’ means to you.

The reason to why I chose this box is because I think it is a quite interesting topic to write about and it clears my doubts for what is a “unusual occupation”.

6 women funkiest jobs joanna.jpg

This photo featured a woman Zaphs Zhang who is a freelance numerologist, but she is the Head of corporate and marketing communications at AIA. She founded Sun Goddess Tarot in 2010, providing all three services; numerology, astrology and tarot-card reading to clients in person, over e-mail and on the phone. She has up to 60 clients a month, earning $2,000 to $3,000.

Numerology is any belief in the divine, mystical relationship between a number and one or more coinciding events. It is also the study of the numerical value of the letters in words, names and ideas. It is often associated with the paranormal, alongside astrology and similar divinatory arts.



  • To understand the basic meaning behind each of the nine `common’ integers.
  • To understand the mathematical principles behind the isopsephy conversion of letters to numbers and vice versa.
  • Be able to obtain information from the client in a calming, persuasive and non-intrusive way.
  • Be able to illustrate findings to the client in a logical and “story-driven” manner that is easy for the person having the reading done to understand.
  • Be comfortable addressing a large audience if giving seminars
  • Be confident with numerological practices and able to explain fully if teaching others.


There are no formal academic barriers to entry, although numerologists who wish to practise professionally will find clients are perturbed by a lack of paperwork, denoting practitioners’ credentials. There are various study-at-home courses and foundation-by-mail type courses which provide a reasonable insight, and are backed by some form of certificate on completion. Holistic colleges are a relatively recent innovation in education, and can furnish would-be practitioners with a certificate of completion also.

Numerologists wishing to give seminars are usually expected to have completed training in-house with the organisation which they will be representing, and some demand quite an intensive input in terms of time, effort and responsibilities.

I think an ‘unusual’ occupation is a job that only a handful of people will take up and it is beyond our normal expectations. I always assume those jobs that appeared on television dramas are fake and they do not actually exist. However a numerologist is surprisingly a career which earn quite a decent salary.


I have learnt that different people have a different opinion/definition of what is unusual to them. Despite so, we should respect one another and accept the different opinions.


What/Where to eat???

Planning lunch for a diverse group of friends and visitors. They have preferences for sustainable seafood, Halal food, eco-friendly organic food, and/or a social enterprise eatery.

The reason why I chose this box is because I love food and this would definitely be one of the boxes that I will work on. On a side note, I can use this as an opportunity to search for more food places to explore in the future with my friends.

  1. Tang Tea House (355 Bedok Road 6445 9100)


They provide delicious Halal Cze Char and Dim Sum and traditional Chinese Cuisine. Tang Tea House is famed for the freshness and authenticity of its halal dim sum ranging from chicken pau, har kow, siew mai and steamed chicken dumplings.


I personally think that the Tang Tea House will be a wise choice to bring them for lunch because this places provides a wide range of halal dim sums which is hardly found in Singapore. In addition, this restaurant provides a variety of seafood dishes such as, hong kong-style steam seabass, salted egg prawn, chili crab and many more. It is a preferred place for late night supper as well as a good gathering place for friends and family. It is operated from 12pm to 12am midnight.


2. 18 Chefs


After several years in prison and rehab for heroin addiction, Benny Se Teo decided to forge his own future. Now, the Singaporean is the successful owner of a chain of restaurants called Eighteen Chefs.

Eighteen Chefs is a restaurant chain and franchise company in Singapore based on the principle of social enterprise. The restaurants serve both Western and local foods. The signature dish of Eighteen Chefs is the “Heart Attack Fried Rice”. In addition, the menu has a “Be Your Own Chef” section that allows customization of cheese baked rice or pasta, with a mix and match of up to 12 ingredients and 8 sauces. 


Based on my personal experience, I think that 18 chefs is indeed a place where a diverse group of people can enjoy dining in. You can always get to choose your favourite topping, sauces and they even provide a choice of cheese-baked pasta/rice. They even offer a student meal at $6.40 at any day any time. There is also a privilege of $2 off for NS men as well. AND my favourite is the salted-egg yolk snack platter, i can always enjoy it with my friends and it’s mouth-watering. There are many more fusion dishes which I think that all ethnic groups will enjoy.



3. Onaka Cafe & Juice Bar @ Rochester Park

ONAKA is also short for Optimum Nutrition And Kitchen Arts.

Their concept is basically, organic food, which may not sound as appealing as fried chicken and fries, but once in a while, these green and healthy food can be refreshing. Onaka looks like some high end private housing, surrounded by trees and grass patches. It takes you away from the hustle and bustle of the busy Singapore.


They provide a wide range of organic juices with interesting names to each of them. They have specific juices for one’s needs, for example juices to detox. I believe that may will be interested to try out juices which its colors are so flamboyant and vibrant, it satisfies your sight on top of your taste. They also include a wide range of starters, main-courses , noodles and even desserts. Some of the dishes are omega 3 salmon rice, carrot cake and watermelon sashimi. This restaurant is dedicated to using only all-natural ingredients without artificial additives, chemicals, colorings, flavorings, MSG, and trans-fats. The restaurant serves No pork and lard.

omega 3 salmon rice

tofu stewers

Avo-choco emotion (avocado and chocolate mousses layers)

In my opinion I would think that this is a unique dining place where we actually feel healthier after eating. It definitely promotes a healthy lifestyle and encourages eco-friendly. I honestly think that Singapore has only a few organic restaurants and it will be a wise choice to try eating at this Onaka Cafe. They provide a variety of western and asian fusion cuisine.





What? We Kinda Cause the Haze?

The reason to why I chose this box is because haze is constantly an issue to Singapore these days and it affected us in many ways. I believe that through this research on the recent haze issue, I will have a better understanding of what are the reasons that cause haze and the solutions to it.

Let’s learn more about HAZE….


The haze is composed of smoke particles from huge peat and vegetation fires that occur mainly in Malaysia and Indonesia and is carried by the wind over hundreds of kilometers. It occurs almost every year in the Southeast Asia. Every year at this period of time, we will always witness Singaporeans wearing masks when they are outdoors. We are often encourage to stay indoors and keep our house ventilated. Haze also causes many health problems especially to the young and older. There are more serious effects such as carbon emission, large-scale fire and decline in the country’s economy.

We, the consumers are responsible for the haze too

The uncontrolled expansion of palm oil and paper production is one of the root causes of deforestation, large-scale fire and more.Palm oil and paper produced in such a way is called “unsustainable” because it causes long-term harm to the environment and people. Palm oil is the most widely used edible oil globally, and is found in half the products in the supermarket, from chocolate to coffee creamer, soap to shampoo.We use and throw away paper every day, we generated 1.27 million tones of paper and cardboard waste. 


How and what we can do to become more responsible?


1.When buying wood-based products, look and ask for FSC certified or 100% recycled pulp and paper options. Products include tissue paper, stationery ,furniture, musical instruments.

2.Demand clear labeling of palm oil products so that we as consumers, can make an informed choice. Most of them hide behind names like vegetable oil, palmitate, sodium laureth sulfate(can also be from coconuts), glycereal stearate and stearic acid.

3.As consumers, we create the demand for palm oil and paper, but we also have the power to demand that the palm oil and paper we buy are haze-free. By ensuring that palm oil and paper is produced with zero burning, zero deforestation, zero peat drainage and zero land conflict, we can take a huge step towards zero haze.

4. We should be more aware of the current haze situation and understand that there are many negative effects when the haze is not stoping. We should play a part as a citizen and concern about our country.




Reflection (week6)

What if Singapore doesn’t have any foreign domestic workers or foreign construction workers? What will happen?

Its hard to imagine Singapore without the presence of foreign domestic/construction workers when it’s common to see them around almost everywhere. Foreign workers played a vital role in building up Singapore’s infrastructure and they are responsible in constructing the high-rise buildings we live in. They are deployed in doing laborious that most Singaporeans are reluctant to take up.

We can say that most of our country’s construction workers come from a foreign country. They contributed since the old days and up till now. Even though they are in the blue-collar class, it is inevitable that they played an important role in the city.

If Singapore doesn’t have any foreign domestic/construction workers, we will experience labour shortage and a slow down in the city’s development and eventually affecting the economy. In my opinion, I think that most Singaporeans are unwilling to take up these jobs as they are used to the air-conditioned environment and not working under the hot sun. If no one is willing to take up these jobs, there will be no more new infrastructures and Singapore will not improve further. After a period of time, the buildings will start to be worn out and there are no one to repaint it. Eventually, more problems will be created due to the shortage of manpower and labour to contribute to the society.


Reflection (week 5)

What is a “good country” to me? Do i consider Singapore as a good country?

A good country provides social security, sustainable economy, a harmonious neighborhood, a clean and green environment etc. In my opinion, I do consider Singapore as a good country. Singapore is generally a place where it has low crime rates, there are rules and regulations that each individual must abide by. Economic wise, Singapore has a vibrant economy and has low unemployment rate.Throughout the years, Singapore has become more well-developed, there are more high-rise buildings and in-merging into a science and technology nation. In addition, Singapore strongly encourages citizens to live in harmony with one another regardless of their races and languages. I do believe Singapore is generally a good country.


What do I like and dislike most about Singapore? Do I possess any of these positive/negative characteristics?

One thing I like about Singapore is that it is a shopping paradise, Singapore brought various oversea brands such as Berska (one of my favorite brands!!!!), H&M, Cotton On, Pandora and many others. I always go Vivo city or Orchard to shop for clothes during the holidays and I (almost) went back home with clothes every time. Besides clothing and accessories, Singapore also brought in one of the biggest furniture mall in Sweden, IKEA. I love going to IKEA because of the food and the $1 hotdog bread!

One thing I dislike about Singapore is the over-crowded population. Personally I disagree that the government accepting/ allowing more foreigners to enter Singapore. It is a fact that Singapore is a small island and we have limited land for Singaporeans ourselves. The transportation infrastructure is insufficient to cater to the rapid increase in population. This will lead to a big problem, which is the overcrowded trains and buses. Every morning i had to squeeze into the train no matter how close I am from the passengers, in order to make it on time for school.


How can I be a better person-and hence a better citizen? What am I blind about, and what should I see? How can I/we be truly happier?

In my opinion, I think that by contributing to the society such as- 1. Doing my part with the emphasis on social responsibility (practicing the 3Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle and to influence the people around me.)  2. Increases awareness of the importance of protecting our environment, our home.





Reflection (week4)

What are Singaporeans’ concern?

In my opinion, i think Singaporeans are afraid that the migrants will take away a share of what belongs to Singaporeans. For example, the vacancies of jobs and housings. As the number of migrants increases, Singaporeans will eventually feel threatened and panicky that their homeland is filled with foreigners. It is inevitable that Singaporeans will discriminate/outcast those people who doesn’t belong here.

What are our migrants’ concerns?

Moving to a foreign country can be quite a challenge for some of the migrants as they are feeling strange and lonely in a totally new environment. It is not easy to adapt into a new environment and surrounded by people from a different country. In addition, the migrants will not know if they have made the correct choice to leave their home and come to a new place.

Can there be a happy marriage between these concerns?

I would say it really depends on the person himself/herself. Both party have to learn to accept their differences and work things out together. They need to understand each other’s need and harmonize with one another.


Money management (HBL)

What I know about money management?

Money management aims to help one individual to save money, to set a budget for one’s spending and more. It set goals for one to control their expenses and it manages to save money every month. However I don’t think that money management works on every individuals, as it is still a person’s will to follow or not to follow the plan.

What I want to know about money management?

How do money management works in order to help individuals to save money?

What I have learnt about money management?

I have learnt that without proper money management, it will be very easy to have debts after spending so much unknowingly. Everyday’s work will become a waste if we do not plan ahead of the amount we should save each month. In addition, we should learn to differentiate what we really need and want we really want. We should learn to appreciate what we have instead of complaining and pleading to get a new phone/watch for example.

#HBL #week3