The First

Having reached out to many on Coachsurfing site, Bigg is the first friend I met.

Although our exchanges were rather short through messages initially, things picked up after we added each other on Facebook just 2 days before he was to arrive at Singapore. Things changed when we met for the first time at Choa Chu Kang MRT for a brunch of Bak Chor Mee (Minced Meat Noodles) and Chwee Kueh at the popular coffeeshop usually referred to as “Block 302”, located just by the bus interchange.

While having the brunch, we got to know each other a lot more. Conversations on topics like languages, religion, politics, views on education and even personal stories were exchanged. We spent about an hour plus there chatting, until he had to go off to meet another friend somewhere else.

Because of the interesting conversation that we had, we decided it couldn’t be our last!

We met again on Sunday, because knowing he is a Christian, I connected him to a church, of which a friend of mine attends, so that he could maybe feel the fellowship (sorry, not too sure if this is the word, because I’m not too good at this).

Before we headed to the church, we had a round of breakfast of Yakun toast at Lot 1, Choa Chu Kang. Then it was time for an hour bus ride.

Yakun Kaya Toast

Yakun Kaya Toast

Yakun Kaya Toast and us.

Yakun Kaya Toast and us.

After the worship, we went for lunch at a nearby Dim Sum restaurant, and the food was good~ Forgot to take pictures of the food though, I only have picture of our friends and Bigg.

With friends (of friend but now my friends :D) and Bigg on the rightmost!

With friends (of friend but now my friends :D) and Bigg on the rightmost!

After lunch at a nearby dim sum restaurant.

After lunch at a nearby dim sum restaurant.

After lunch, I had a some free time left before I had to go off to attend an event, so since both of us likes languages and reading, we decided to go up the National Library to the highest level we can, before we headed home.

View from 13th Floor of National Library. It was a little hazy.

View from 13th Floor of National Library. It was a little hazy.

We both had a rest for the night, and we met again on Monday night, when I decided maybe I could have him over at my place for a night, and head to have some local Indian breakfast the next morning. During his stayover, I learnt a lot about the Thai language, and now I have regained the confidence to tackle the difficulty of the language. The next morning, we headed to Alif Restaurant at Bukit Gombak for a big and filling breakfast, and again we had a very fulfilling discussion of many topics. While we were leaving the restaurant, we decided to explore the area, and we found ourselves at Little Guilin, which is located just beside Bukit Gombak MRT too.

Breakfast at the popular Alif Restaurant.

Breakfast at the popular Alif Restaurant.

Some time at the little gem, Little Guilin.

Some time at the little gem, Little Guilin.

And a few selfies to prove we were here. 到此一游。

And a few selfies to prove we were here. 到此一游。

After the little morning time out, we are now back at my house, and it is near the end of Bigg’s travel in Singapore. I have some idea of travelling to Thailand now to join him on some Thailand adventure. Will it come into fruition?

(Not the) Final farewell outside my abode.

(Not the) Final farewell outside my abode, with Bigg and a photo taken by me.

Let’s see….

Singapore Local Travel Guide

Hi fellow Earthlings,

About Me

A Singaporean wanting to become a local guide for foreigners looking for local experience. I am doing it for free.

Currently, I am able to guide English, Chinese and Korean speakers.

Why?

Over the past few years, I have traveled to a few countries, have had an semester exchange in POSTECH, Pohang, South Korea, and have met many international friends over the trips. With these new international friends, we talk about our cultures, our religions, our politics, our families, our stories.

I love listening to all the stories from another Earthling who spends his or her life on another part of Earth, because that will show me another world which I had not known about. My love for listening to such stories has inspired me to try this, because I would not only be a guide, but also a friend.

Also, being rather familiar with South Korea, during my 5 month stay in South Korea, I brought some friends around the country and some cities/towns, and when my friends are having fun, it brings me a lot of satisfaction.

Back in Singapore, I have successfully introduced Singapore to several friends by having a walk at a local market and having local food outside of the town area.

Brazilian friend having wanton mee and teh peng (tea with milk) at a hawker centre near my home.

Brazilian friend having wanton mee and teh peng (tea with milk) at a hawker centre near my home.

Brazilian friend at my home, and also tasting mangosteen for the first time.

Brazilian friend at my home, and also tasting mangosteen for the first time.

Showed my German friend around Marina Bay Sands for a little tour with 2 of my friends.

Showed my German friend around Marina Bay Sands for a little tour with 2 of my friends.

Brought the German friend to my place. This picture was taken at Yew Tee MRT station.

Brought the German friend to my place. This picture was taken at Yew Tee MRT station.

What do I do?

  1. Short tour around the “must go” places when visiting Singapore
  2. A trip out of the “must go” places to a Singapore neighborhood, for a walk or a meal as you requests or as I suggest
  3. Act as a great chatting companion during your travel

While I like to bring foreigners around Singapore, below are what I do not offer:

  1. Night life activities like clubbing and heavy drinking
  2. No personal transport
  3. No Accommodation

Languages

I can speak fluent English and Chinese, and enough Korean to understand half a Modern Physics lesson taught in Korean.

I have studied officially Level 1 (the most basic) Japanese and German. I am currently studying basic Russian. I can yet hold basic conversations with these languages.

Finally, I am looking forward to learning Spanish and French too.

Interested?

Travelling to Singapore and looking for a local guide for a more local experience? If you are interested, send me an email at xiurenyap@gmail.com.

In the email, let me know when you are visiting, and any interesting place you might want to visit, or a local food you want to try.

Singapore Neighbourhood Nightscape

Night view of Yew Tee MRT station and the neighbouring HDB flats and condominiums.

Night view of Yew Tee MRT station and the neighbouring HDB flats and condominiums.

To end this post off, I’ll pair it off with one of my favourite quotes from George R.R. Martin. Oh yes, I’m back in Singapore, and will be heading off to South Korea in a month for a semester exchange!

“There are many stories over there. There are people behind every light, and each person has a life, a story. Only they lead those lives without ever touching us, so we’ll never know the stories.” -George R.R Martin.

Flower Blossom in Singapore

Firstly, this isn’t exactly a travel post

since this place is just a 5 minutes walk away from home. However, due to the recent weather fluctuation that probably made the trees think its a winter to spring transition, almost all the trees and plants in Singapore have decided to bloom all at once, giving us a chance to imagine that Singapore finally has sakura flowers. Seeing this opportunity, I grabbed my camera and made my out out for a practice session.

First sight I saw entering the path.

First sight I saw entering the path.

Continue reading

Sungei Buloh

While walking toward Sungei Buloh if you took the bus 963 that doesn't stop right outside Sungei Buloh

While walking toward Sungei Buloh if you took the bus 963 that doesn’t stop right outside Sungei Buloh

Going there:

Firstly, going to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is not as simple simply because its located right out of civilization. You first have to take a the MRT to Kranji, then hop onto bus 925. 925 turns in and stop right outside Sungei Buloh on Sundays and public holidays, but it does not on weekdays and Saturdays. However, if you take 925 on a Sunday or public holiday, you will not be able to pass by gardens like the above by foot. Here is the “how to go” from the official website. Oh, the wait time/interval of the bus 925 is quite long, so don’t give up!

It was a Saturday when a friend and I went, so we the bus stopped a distance away from Sungei Buloh, and we walked in. It was a quiet morning walk at around 8am, so it was still considerably cooling. Trust me, its an enjoyable walk, and everyone should try it, unless it is between 10am – 4pm, then it might be too warm hot to be walking without shades.

The stretch of road to walk if going on weekdays or Saturdays.

The stretch of road to walk if going on weekdays or Saturdays.

Finally~

Finally~

Inside Sungei Buloh Nature Reserve

Once we entered the gates, there seemed to not be anybody else except for Continue reading