Home

About Us

Reports

Blogs

Guest Map

  • People who know us, know we attend New Creation Church in Singapore.  The main Pastor is Joseph Prince, who is well known internationally, taking the message of Grace worldwide through his books and broadcast ministry. His latest book, Grace Revolution, was released today and we were able to get a copy signed by the man himself!

    Grace Revolution 1 Grace Revolution 2 Grace Revolution 3

    It took a long queue, for a very short time signing, but Teddy is happy to have his booked signed!

  • This is just the two of us, rather than the wider family - but it still counts! On Good Friday, as we had a day off school, we decided to do something different.  We booked ourselves into i-fly, an indoor wind-tunnel that mimics sky-diving. The Singapore centre apparently has the largest such wind-tunnel in the world!  The website for further information is http://www.iflysingapore.com.

    ifly logo

    We had lots of fun, although the time 'in the air' is very short.  The three flights each have been woven into the short video below.  Enjoy!

     

  • Summer 2009 proved to be another busy summer. With the Beijing job not working out as hoped, we accepted positions in Singapore, but my official starting date was to be the 13th July. As I had already booked to finish a course in London, and also a chance to see Mum, we agreed with the new school to start on the 27th July.

    PTC certificateSo, the summer began, as last year, with me completing my certification in order to become a school principal. The two courses this year were 'Instructional Supervision - Planning and Assessment' and 'Leadership and Group Dynamics'. Once again, I got to meet Shanhong's new boss, also on the course with me, and also a colleague from Thailand was also on the course. Both courses went well, and I now have a nice plaque! The decision now is whether to attend more courses in the next few years to qualify for the advanced certificate, or to finish there; particularly as my current role has no management responsibility whatsoever!

     

    As last year, Shanhong took the opportunity to see a few shows... I managed to see Oliver, Peter Pan and Sister Act with her, but the rest she saw on her own - getting half price or day tickets each day. She also picked up another free CD when she visited Hillsong church at the Dominion Theatre.

    We then went to Shrewsbury to stay with mum - she's still doing well - getting out to visit members of the family, walking to the shop or post box, there are even rumours of her dancing at a church event and testing a bouncy castle. The physiotherapist has said that in another 6 weeks or so she should be walking much more confidently and normally - so we hope for continued improvements. We'll be back at Christmas, so will see how things have moved on by then, but really hope to get mum out to Singapore sometime - it's a place she says she has wanted to visit for some time.

    friends of teddyWe did a bit of shopping - both in London and in Shrewsbury - nothing very important, but some new clothes, some nice chocolates and an unbelievably cheap coat for Shanhong. Trouble is, with the weather like it is here, I really cannot see us needing coats at all! You can see from the photo on the left that teddy was with us as normal throughout the summer - he got a new top from the Build a Bear Workshop in Covent Garden. He made some new friends too, as Harrods and Hamleys both had sales in the toy department.

     

     

    Our New Home

    We arrived in Singapore late on Wednesday evening, and checked into a hotel for a week. The hotel was in a great central location - but a long way from school. Thursday we met with a housing agent and viewed 11 different apartments. Some we liked, some we didn't! It certainly looked like we were leaning towards the larger apartments - but after weighing up other costs, and distance from school for the daily commute, there were pros and cons to them all. The agent took us to see two further apartments in the evening and we decided to go for one of those. A few negotiations later, it was all signed Monday evening and we checked out of the hotel Tuesday morning and moved in. Our shipping then arrived from China on Saturday, so we've been unpacking, sorting and making this 'home'.

    The apartment is quite small, on the eighth floor of one of a pair of towers, just 10 minutes from school, and even less distance from the nearest metro station and shopping mall. The towers have good security, and some good shared facilities including a small gym, sauna, tennis court, barbecue pits and most importantly, a rather nice swimming pool. We've been down for a quick swim every night and hopefully, as well as being enjoyable, it may help with the lack of fitness and excess weight!

    The following pictures will give you an idea of what the apartment is like inside. We have two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a small kitchen and a small living/dining room. Not big by any means,(around 750 sq ft or 75 sq m), but fine for us, especially given the location - and we still have a spare room for visitors.. anyone interested?

    Just one word of warning for anyone who is thinking of visiting... you are very welcome, but start saving! Of course we are not going to charge you for staying, but Singapore is proving an expensive place to live. We are finding that typical supermarket prices here are dearer than London - and about 4 or 5 times what they were in Beijing. Having said that, there are plenty of food courts - and prices are reasonable - so we've been eating out a lot - including Indian, Korean, Chinese and 'Fish & Chips' - something for everyone!

    Keep in touch!

    Trevor, Shanhong & Teddy

    xx

  • Having had a fantastic trip to Israel, it was time to get ‘back to reality’ in Singapore. We decided it was time to enjoy some local delights, and to visit some of the more touristy places in Singapore. Our first stop was the Chinese and Japanese Gardens, easily reached by MRT (this is the subway or metro or underground – depending on your country!). We took along a picnic lunch, and had a nice day in the sunshine enjoying the gardens.

    Inside the Chinese Garden is the world’s largest turtle museum, and it was great to see so many of these lovely creatures. Teddy certainly made a friend, and I have memories of one kind of turtle in particular who seemed to ‘salute’ permanently!

    Another weekend we went on the 'Duck Tour'. The 'Duck' is a remodelled WWII amphibious Vietnamese war craft that doubles as a tour bus and a tour boat. Starting on land, the tour takes you past some famous Singapore landmarks, towards the river, where the craft literally drives down an embankment into the water where it continues as a boat. Having sailed past a few more waterside landmarks, it climbs back up for the return journey on land.

    The tourist bug continued as we also went on the Singapore Flyer (like the London Eye, only taller) and went to the top of the new Marina Bay Sands resort where they have built a 'Skypark'.

    Singapore Flyer

    The Singapore Flyer, standing at 165m is the height of a 42 storey building and is the tallest observation wheel in the world. As the wheel turns you have a 360 degree view over the island of Singapore, and well as across the bay to the Indonesian and Malaysian islands. There are 28 capsules in total (the number represents 'double prosperity' in Cantonese) including a diamond encrusted capsule that offers in-flight dining. That particular capsule was of course well outside our budget, but the views are certainly impressive.

    Marina Bay Sands Skypark

    The Marina Bay Sands Skypark is an awe-inspiring engineering wonder. This unique structural masterpiece, designed by visionary architect Moshe Safdie, floats atop the three soaring hotel towers 200m in the sky (taller than the Singapore flyer!). Stretching longer than the Eiffel tower laid down, or four and a half A380 Jumbo Jets, the Sands skypark has 12,400 square metres of space and can host up to 3900 people. The gravity-defying cantilever is one of the largest of its kind in the world and hosts restaurants, swimming pools, gardens and observation decks.

    That's all for today but there are more touristy bits of Singapore to come in the next report. Take Care!

    Trevor, Shanhong & Teddy xx

     

     

     

     

  • One of the advantages of living in Singapore is the number of long weekends, and the cheap airlines that serve a lot of local destinations. So, obviously we took advantage of this! The first of our local trips was to Bintan, one of the largest of Indonesia's enchanting Riau islands in the South China Sea. The island is reached by modern ferry, and the journey takes just one hour. We were entertained in style with Tom and Jerry cartoons in Chinese for the whole crossing!

    We stayed at the Bintan Lagoon resort, which is part of the 'Bintan Resorts' complex, the area on the northern coast of the Indonesian Island of Bintan. Here there are five independently owned and operated beach resorts, four designer golf courses, as well as a range of other recreational facilities and attractions. Our resort had a lovely spa, so we had planned to take a massage - but unfortunately it was at 'resort prices' and hence beyond our budget. Shanhong had taken along some 'Dead Sea Mud' though, so had her own 'treatment' in the bathtub! As you can see from the pictures below, this became a weekend of relaxing by the pool and walking along the coast, together with some really good food. Needless to say I came back 'beetroot' from too long in the sun.

    Unfortunately, while getting to the island was pretty cheap, the costs 'per meal', 'per activity', 'internet per hour' etc made it pretty expensive, so I guess we will not be going back. No problem though as there are plenty of other options, just, as the Tiger Airways ad puts it, a 'nap away' from Singapore. Still, it was a good trip, and Teddy got another stamp in his passport.

     

    Another weekend trip saw us go to Phuket in Thailand - a part of Thailand I had not been to before (and would not go to again!). It became another lazy weekend at the beach - but more like Blackpool, overcrowded with tourists! Hence, we headed into town and found a musical fountain show to watch in the middle of a shopping mall, and had our feet nibbled by some hungry fish. The hotel was good - and gave us ideas for the apartment - we may well copy the window between bath and bed - and the red colour may be prominent too! Of course, the only thing that really matters is the food - and it was as good as always!

    So, there you have it, a couple of our weekends away. Future plans include Resorts World Sentosa with Universal Studios, Chiang Mai, Cambodia, Hong Kong and the Philippines! We'll let if you know if and when any happen. Take care and write soon!

    Trevor, Shanhong & Teddy

  • Last report, I wrote about how easy it was to get a weekend away outside of Singapore, but what I neglected to mention, is the beautiful places to visit here in Singapore. Although it is possible, I am sure, to traverse the island using only underground connections from MRT/Subway to and shopping centre and then from mall to mall, if you do pop your head above ground level, outside of a shopping mall, it is quite a beautiful island! We are starting to go out for walks on Saturday mornings, and the last two trips took us to MacRitchie Reservoir and to Telok Blangah Hill / Mount Faber Park.

    MacRitchie Reservoir

    MacRitchie is a man-made reservoir, constructed in 1867 through a private donation to supply water for the population of Singapore. The reservoir still feeds into the water supply, but is mainly used now as a popular spot for nature lovers and exercise enthusiasts. Shanhong and I could never be called exercise enthusiasts, so we ignored all the fitness corners and exercise benches, laughed at all the joggers, and simply admired those kayaking on the reservoir itself. Firmly associating with the nature lovers, we took one of the many trails that led through the park, and soon found ourselves in the middle of forestry with not a skyscraper in sight! We were treated to monkeys and lizards, however!

    Telok Blangah Hill Park

    Telok Blangah Hill Park has a history that few other parks can boast about. The park has long been a place of gathering for trading communities which flourished at the site since the early nineteenth century. The park now connects to Hort Park and Kent Ridge Park via Alexander Bridge, but we took the forest walk up the hill and toward Mount Faber. The forest walk is an elevated walkway that climbs the hill, giving excellent views of the surrounding area, and out to sea. From the top of the hill we took the path across 'Henderson Waves'.

    Henderson Waves

    Henderson waves is a 274metre-long pedestrian bridge connecting the two parks, and the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore. An architectural wonder, the wave-like ribs double up as shelters - and the bridge has become a popular spot for wedding photography.

    Mount Faber Park

    As you'll have noticed, Mount Faber is one end of the Cable Car - the other being on the small island of Sentosa, home of Universal Studios and the few beaches of Singapore. The 'Jewel Box' cable car is a famous part of Singapore's heritage and has won many awards, including the first glass bottomed cable cars in the world, the only company to have a full sized lego cable car, the first to offer sky-diving in the cable car, and this year, the first to have a seven-star VIP cable car encrusted with Swarovski crystals both inside and out.

    We didn't ride the cable car this time, but Shanhong did check out the award winning toilet facility!!

    Take Care,

    Trevor, Shanhong & Teddy

    xx

     

  • Not too much has happened since the big trip to the US, so this report may be a little ‘bitty’, but at least it will fill some gaps and keep you up-to-date.

    Immediately on return from the States, we moved into our new ‘work apartment’. The big difference is we no longer have a pool, which is a pity, but we do have nice views, and the apartment itself is a little more quirky and more comfortable.

    Eagle-eyed observers will have noticed the address on ‘Shrewsbury Road’ and the barbecue cooking nicely!

     

    We went back to China for Christmas this year – the first time in 5 years – and spent some time with Shanhong’s parents. We did a little construction work on the apartment we have bought there, but after much discussion – have decided not to finish it – but leave the bare concrete as an investment – and hopefully in a few years, sell for a little profit.I did see the perfect apartment while I was in Beihai, so my dream now is to be able to afford that one – it is smaller by far – but a view to die for!

     

    Anyway, being Christmas, we had to put up the decorations, and we had a few friends of Shanhong’s mum and dad come to visit too, so I got to show them off.

     

    As you can see, Teddy dressed up for the occasion, in his new Santa Suit from the Bowen’s – thanks guys! The last picture is nibbles – a gingerbread house and a chocolate house – they may not sell Turkeys but Chinese supermarkets don’t miss out completely on the chance to make some extra cash! Our Christmas meal was not traditional, I couldn’t find anything so we ended up gathering friends and heading out to a Mongolian restaurant for a good meal.

    I had to come back to Singapore on the 1st January, and was in school on the 2nd, but Shanhong got to enjoy a couple of extra weeks in Beihai.We are both back now, and already getting into the routines of the new school year.However, it was Shanhong’s birthday last week, and it was Chinese New Year yesterday, so we needed to do something to celebrate. So, Friday night saw us enjoying the Singapore version of Wicked! and yesterday we spent the full day in Universal Studios. The following pictures are all from our day out.

    For anyone thinking of visiting, the secret is to be there as it opens. We managed the 4 main roller-coasters in the first 20 minutes of arriving (although we did then need a break while our stomachs recovered!). It was a good day out – tiny compared to the Disney parks in Florida, but still enjoyable.Now it is back to work for a few weeks, until March, when we head back to Israel on a school trip, and then UK in April.

     

    Take care and keep in touch!More photos on the website.Trevor, Shanhong & Teddy xx

     

     

     

  • I'm not sure if we'll be able to keep up 'a report a month' but, being new to the island, we certainly wanted to get out a little more and see a few things, and so, up to this point, we've had a bit of an explore, and have had two major 'tourist trips'. The first was to Jurong Bird Park. Established in 1971, it is one of the first public parks dedicated to conservation of different bird species - very similar to Loro Parque in Tenerife for those of you who have known me for some time!

    The exhibits include penguins, free flying African birds in the world's tallest aviary (with the world's tallest man-made waterfall inside an aviary), free-flying parrots, flamingoes, storks and plenty of other birds I cannot remember, together with fish and turtles. Do visit the website www.birdpark.com.sg for more details.

    We 'made friends' with one set of birds - mainly because we had their favourite food - but one bird in particular really seemed to want to have a conversation - we got quite a few amusing photos of this one!

    You'll have noticed Teddy featuring as always... he is enjoying himself in Singapore. Our other 'tourist visit' was to the Singapore Night Safari www.nightsafari.com.sg. Owned by the same group as the bird park, this trip offers the chance to visit the Singapore Zoo at night, and see some of the nocturnal animals while they are awake and active. Again, it's a nice place, and a good trip, but unfortunately my cheap camera does not take night pictures, and so we don't have any evidence. This row of photos is courtesy of the internet.

    The other photos are relatively random images of Singapore from our early exploration. It is a very well-organised country, clean, easy to get around, with endless shopping opportunities. Unfortunately it is also very expensive. My brother will appreciate the pineapple rice - food here is superb - and food courts reasonably priced at around $6 (GBP 3) a meal, so we are eating well. Only one meal in a proper restaurant so far though, when Shanhong met an ex-student, and that was over 50 pounds - London prices!!

    So, there you have it, our first three weeks in Singapore. We are already both busy at work, so our free time is limited, but with the slightly unusual holiday schedule, there seems to be lots of opportunities for going out. We have booked a trip to Bangkok for the end of August/beginning of September, and we'll be seeing 'Michael Learns to Rock' (or MLTR) in concert on the 4th September. We hope to go back to our house in South China in October, and maybe even look at apartments in another area. Then, the main Christmas holiday should see us back in the UK.

    Do keep in touch. We are using the school address for mail, you should see an address sticker on the other side. Let me know if you want some stickers sending - you can use them on the envelope and save some writing!

    Love n Hugs

    Trevor, Shanhong and Teddy

     

     

     

  •  

    It has been a busy month or so! March saw us leading a school trip to Israel. We mainly covered the same places as our tour in 2010, so I won’t be creating lots of reports – you are welcome to go back and view the old ones – but I can update you with a few new photos. We did get to one or two new spots – such as the seaside of Tel Aviv, the city of Joppa and the Hula National Park.

     

     

    The trip was a great success, so much so that school has agreed to build it into the calendar as a biennial trip, and so plans are already in place for Israel 2014 with an even better itinerary including Petra in Jordan.

     

    We got back from Israel late one evening and the following evening we were back on a plane travelling to the UK to visit mum and the family in England. As always it was nice to see everyone and to catch up with news and gossip. The biggest news is that mum has moved in with my brother and the old family home will be put up for sale. This led Shanhong and I to have a look around for a new base, and we did find a nice small apartment just six minutes from my brother’s house. So, a few forms later and a small mortgage, and we have a home in Telford! It is a new-build and won’t be ready until November, but we hope to be back for Christmas and so will be able to take photos then. Until then, here is the outside view – ours is the top floor on the right-hand side. The other photos are from Ironbridge, a rare day out looking at another possible apartment!

     

     

    We flew back to Singapore to arrive Sunday evening, and on Monday we were back at school! As you can imagine, we needed a bit of time to get back into normal routines – but are now very much busy at school with all the day-to-day events and activities.

     

    Tuesday this week was ‘Labour Day’ a national holiday here in Singapore, so we decided to do something a little different, and went out to one of the parks on the Eastern side of the island. We hired bikes, and took advantage of the Parks Connection Network (PCN) to visit a number of the parks in the East. The PCN is a great example of the organisation in this country. Cycle paths have been set up between parks which are well signposted and it is possible to pick up a bike in any park – and return it to any other – so there is no need to backtrack. We started in Sun Plaza and cycled via C, D, E, and F back to East Coast Park.

     

     

    That’s all for now. Take Care! Trevor, Shanhong and Teddy xx

     

  • Summer 2012 started with a one-week course in Miami, ‘Instructional Supervision – The Teaching Process’. Lots of great material, good networking, and fantastic breakfasts – but, unfortunately, no time to explore the city – I didn’t get any further than the local supermarket! A stopover in Singapore to change cases, and I was off to join Shanhong in China.

    We started with a few days in Shanghai. Shanhong’s brothers both live there and Shanhong’s mum and dad had stayed on a little longer for us to arrive, so it was a good chance to get the family together. We had a nice day out in "Thames Town" a very ‘British’ compound just outside of Shanghai and a celebration of her parent’s golden wedding anniversary followed by a posh 5-star hotel meal! I also had a chance to meet up with some of my ex-colleagues from when I worked in Shanghai.

    Then, it was back to Beihai for two lazy weeks in our own home. For those who don’t know, Beihai is on the South Coast of China, still quite undeveloped with long beaches… and home is a pretty spacious house full of teddy’s friends! Of course, one thing we always do well in Beihai, is eat well!

    After Beihai, we spent the last week in Dalian, at the home of Shanhong’s mum and dad. I hadn’t been there for six years – so we became very touristy, with visits to the Forest Zoo (just at the bottom of the hill from where they live), to Dalian Discovery Kingdom (a Disneyesque theme park), to Lao Hu Tan (a Sea World style park) and of course, to the beach, and the shops (including IKEA – a Shanhong favourite!).

     

    Dalian Forest Zoo

    Dalian Discovery Kingdom

    Lao Hu Tan

    Well, there you have it. I am already back in Singapore and back at school. Shanhong has a few more days in China before coming back and starting in her new school.

    Take Care and Keep in Touch!! Trevor, Shanhong & Teddy. xx

     

  • Since getting back from China, Shanhong and I have started a new habit of going for a walk each Saturday – partly simply to get out a little more, rather than sitting in front of the DVD player, and partly to get at least a little bit of exercise in the week! Although Singapore is small place, the government have heavily invested in a series of parks and ‘recreational areas’ for locals to enjoy a ‘Garden City’.

    Our first trip took us to the ‘Gardens by the Bay’, one of the newest parks which opened in late 2011. Designed by a British company, the park covers 54 hectares and cost over $1 billion to create and covers some prime land in the newly redeveloped Marina Bay development; the map and web photo below show the impressive design of this park. Incidentally, this is just the first stage of a three stage development in this area, so there is much more to come!

    The photos below are all from our own trip to the park, and include the ‘skywalk’ between the ‘supertrees’ and visits to the two main greenhouses.

    As can be seen, it is a pretty impressive place. My brother will be impressed that we queued for over an hour to go in (yes, me, queuing for an hour for tickets to a garden!!). Of course, we also had some very nice Bratwurst for lunch at one of the cafes in the park – and ice-cream too – and Shanhong bought me a lovely polo shirt which she is wrapping up for Christmas!

    The second of our walks since getting back took us to Labrador Park, and a walk along the beach and around part of the coastline. This is another area that is being redeveloped with high-quality condos and a marina. Very nice to look at, but with a price tag of around 1.5 million pounds for a 2 bedroom apartment, and over 10 million pounds for the penthouse, I am guessing we won’t be moving in very soon.

    Finally, for this report, we also walked through the Hort Park. The Hort Park is a gardening hub, but forms part of a walking trail that includes a history trail and a treetop canopy walk. It also rather handily ends next to IKEA, which meant we could call in and plan some furniture for the apartment in England, as well as enjoy some Chicken Wings!!

    More walks to follow! Take care and Keep in Touch, …… Trevor, Shanhong and Teddy xx

     

  • Autumn/Winter 2013 was a quiet time. Shanhong started her new job in the Canadian International School and found herself instantly more busy that she has ever been. Her role there includes teaching Drama and teaching a band programme (Flute, Clarinet, Trumpet and Trombone) in Middle School, so it’s certainly very different to her last school – no more tiny kids! I have also been busy at my school with exams and a new online learning environment. I also started a Law Degree – so there is always plenty to be done.

    I made a few applications in the summer as my contract as SJI is up for renewal, and one application led to me being flown out to Kazakhstan, a part of the world I have never been to before – so that was a nice trip – but did not lead to the offer – and so the pictures below will be the only view of Kazakhstan for a while!

    I went home in September to visit my parents, and Shanhong had a trip back to China in October to visit hers – but very little of great excitement happened until Christmas, when we got the keys to the apartment we had bought in the summer! We bought it from a diagram as a new build – so this was the first time we got to see exactly what it looked like. I was back ten days before Shanhong, so it was my job to get all the furniture in place before she arrived. So, here are a few ‘before’ pics.

    I think the result is pretty good – we went with a very simple ‘black & white’ theme!

    Shanhong made a lovely video of the house which I’ll be loading up to our website – so if you really want to look around, that’s the place to go – or else come visit! It’s certainly nice to have our own place close to mum and my brother and sister – very easy to visit everyone when we’re in the UK.

    We did, of course, visit a number of family members when in the UK, and had visits from others in our own home, so if you haven’t met them – the next few photos are the English side of the family!

    We also had a trip out to see a Musical we hadn’t seen before, so that also meant trying the food at the German Christmas Market in Birmingham.

    Very little else to share, except for the fact our church moved into its new premises in January. The new venue seats 5000 in each service, and we still need four English services each Sunday (there are separate Youth, Chinese and Korean services!). I think you’ll agree the venue is impressive, although I know it will not be my mum’s idea of what a church should look like!

    Well, that’s all for this report! Our regular Saturday walks restart soon – so I will be able to share some lesser known parts of Singapore. Take care and keep writing! Trevor, Shanhong & Teddy xx

  • Now the New Year has begun and we’ve settled into school, it was time to reinstate some traditions such as the Saturday walk! For the first walk, we knew we wanted to be in the Chinatown area for some Chinese food shopping, so we chose a city walk through Ann Siang Hill Park.

    A short MRT ride and walk brought us to Telok Ayer Green – home of some early religious establishments. Thian Hock Keng Temple is the oldest Chinese temple in Singapore. Also known as the ‘Temple of Heavenly Happiness’, it was completed in 1842 with materials brought from China.  Almost next door is the Nagore Durgha Shrine, a house of worship for Indian Muslims since the 1820s – and further down the street is the Al-Abrar Mosque, built in the mid-1850s with an Indian-Islamic theme. It is not unusual to find places of worship of very different religions so close together in Singapore – Shrewsbury Road, where we live, houses a Hindu Temple, a Buddhist Temple and a Christian Church, all in a row! Singapore has done much to promote racial equality and harmonius living.  

    Cutting through the temple brings us to Telok Ayer Green, a very small park – a perfect retreat for office workers at lunchtime, and again marked by cultural statues that reflect an Indian Milk trader and a Chinese lantern procession. From here we climbed Ann Siang Hill, stopping to look at the Tamarind and Breadfruit trees, and the Nutmeg and Cinnamon Trees. The other end of Ann Siang Hill path brought us to Chinatown, and just a short stroll to the tourist shops, and to the Chinese food stalls and supermarkets. Here we loaded up with goodies for the evening meal, and made our way back home!

    Legoland, Malaysia

    We both had a long weekend for Chinese New Year, but having left it too long to book any flights, it was a case of checking out what was available by land! The winner was a coach trip to Legoland, Malaysia. Situated just over the border from Singapore (where land prices are about half!), Legoland, Malaysia is the 6th Legoland in the world, and the first in Asia. It opened only last year, and will grow year on year, with a waterpark being added in 2013 and a hotel in 2014. It certainly doesn’t have the high-speed rides of Universal Studios Singapore, and is much more family-orientated – but we still had fun! It is also only around an hour on the bus from the Singapore flyer. 

    Word to the wise – don’t eat inside the park. Leave the park to the adjoining shopping centre, which is basically a collection of great restaurants and fast-food joints. You can have your hand stamped when you leave the park, so can go straight back in after you’ve fed. The following photos were all taken in Legoland.

    Well, Chinese New Year is over, Shanhong is back at school tomorrow – I have the rest of the week off, but will also go in to school and get some work done. Time to write more essays for my course too! No more holidays until Easter – and we’ll be back in Beihai. My nephew and his wife are coming out in April to visit Singapore and then we’ll be in both China and the UK for the summer. We may be changing our apartment in Singapore in the summer too – looks like the rent might go up too high for this one. No posh holiday this year – we have the UK apartment to pay for, but we’re already talking to the tour agent about Israel 2014 – another school trip!

    Take care and keep in touch,   Trevor, Shanhong, Teddy xx

     

  • It has been some time since the last report was written as there has been nothing ‘major’ to report on. Weekends have seen us take some short walks and holidays have seen us back in China, and UK, but all have been reported on before –nowhere new. So, this report will try and bring us a little more up to date – but it will be a little ‘bitty’. The first pics are from Beihai, where we have our family home.

    In the summer, as well as visiting Beihai, we had a few days in Shanghai, a few days in Telford, UK, and a week in London where I was doing a course. Shanhong and Teddy also got to Korea with her parents! The following photos are all from those summer trips, including meeting our newest Goddaughter, Ella, and a meal at the Thai restaurant in Shanghai where we had our very first date.

    We also had a visit in Singapore from my Nephew and his wife – nice to see them! Their itinerary gave us ideas for many trips to come! We did manage to go with them to the Bird Park – one of my favourite places in Singapore, and it was a great excuse to pig out on Pizza!

    In the summer we changed apartment. The old one was great – but unfortunately the landlord wanted to put the rent up higher than we were prepared to pay – so it was time to change. We found a nice one-bedroomed flat in a fantastic location – complete with small swimming pool and it seems to be working very well! Here are a few photos of the new place! Visitors will need to sleep on the sofa though – sorry!

    Recent Saturday walks have included checking out the new ‘River Safari’ at the Singapore Zoo, Fort Canning Park and the Istana – home of the Singapore President, and today we took the Cable Car over to Sentosa and the beach. All very enjoyable – Saturday walks are here to stay!

    Anyway, that brings you up to date with some of the visits of the last few months. Should be a nice report soon, I’ll be in Hong Kong next week for the first time, and we are having a trip to Cambodia in October!

     

    Love and Hugs,  Trevor, Shanhong & Teddy xx

     

  • We recently had a long weekend from school, and took the opportunity to finally visit Siem Reap, home of Angkor Wat, a place that had been on my list of places to visit for many years. Flights all worked very smoothly, and we had a lovely hotel – even had a bathtub on the balcony (and yes, we did use it!)

    As you can imagine, the main ‘event’ was visiting Angkor Wat – it really is as beautiful as it seems! 

     What I hadn’t realised is that Angkor Wat is just one of many, many, many temples in Siem Reap! The first day we signed up for an official temple tour – and were taken around in a minibus with a guide. Interesting – but, to be honest, a little too much. The second day we hired a tuktuk with driver and no guide and just enjoyed taking photos – and enjoyed it a lot more – even when the storm came and we got soaked! Although there are obvious similarities – every temple is very different – and well worth a visit on its own. My favourite is almost completely taken over by tree roots!

     Of course there is more to see than just temples. One morning we took a boat trip out to the floating village…

     … and another afternoon we went quadbiking through the countryside!

     Of course, one thing we are exceptionally good at, is finding good food wherever we go – I can highly recommend a restaurant on Pub Street called Sanctuary!   You also remember I said we had a nice hotel?, here are a few hotel and food shots to finish.

    That’s all for this trip – we enjoyed our long weekend – got to plan another one nowJ. 

    Take care and keep writing!   

    Trevor, Shanhong & Teddy (who got a Cambodian Stamp in his passport!).

     

  • After the success of the Cambodia trip in October, we booked another long weekend for Chinese New Year, this time to Bali, a destination that has been on my ‘must do‘ list for some time! It was a nice weekend – but, unfortunately did not live up to expectations – maybe because of a wrong location?

    I took advantage of an Air Asia special – and we had a nice villa in the Kerobokan region – miles from anywhere – so every trip out required a taxi. We didn’t see any beaches until we had a trip out to a temple which was built on a rock jutting out into the sea, and actually the best view of the sea we had was from the airport! Never mind! As you can see, the villa was quite nice with our private pool.

    On our arrival day we took a taxi to the nearest mall area – but didn’t really find anything special, no night market, no ‘bar street’ so we ended up in a Thai coffee chain for an evening meal, and made the decision to book a trip for the next day! So, day two we were picked up early to go cycling in the countryside.