Tuesday, 31 January 2012

The Wau Bulan Kites - A Traditional Kite from Malaysia

The Wau Bulan Kites  Malaysia

On many spring days I wish that I
Could be a kite flying in the sky.
I would climb high toward the sun
And chase the clouds. Oh, what fun!
Whichever way the wind chanced to blow
Is the way that I would go.

          Like the poet of this poem many of us wish to fly like a kite in the blue sky. Kites are the matter of Fashion, Passion and Dreams in many part of the world. Here I have got a beautiful tradition of kite making and flying from Malaysia. It has caught the eye of the kite enthusiast from the whole world. This article is having beautiful pictures and a detail documentary video about “The Wau Bulan Kites” of Malasyia. So if you love kites then I am so sure you will love to know and experience the traditional kites “Wau Bulan”

Wau bulan is an intricately designed Malaysian moon-kite (normally with floral motifs) that is traditionally flown by men in the Malaysian state of Kelantan. Indigenous to the people living in Kelantan and Terengganu, these kites are a special craft of West Malaysia. Making these kites is a tedious job and requires a great amount of patience.

Firstly, bamboo is used to make the frames for the kites, which keeps the kites sturdy and lightweight. Next, motifs are carved out of coloured paper and shiny glazed paper. The intricacy of the carvings is what sets a good kite maker apart from the others. The carvings are then meticulously glued onto the frames. Finally the kite is decorated with bright paper tassels. The motifs on the kites are normally flowers with vines. The flowers represent the man while the vines represent the ladies. After the harvest period, these kites are commonly flown over the paddy fields. This is a break time for all the farmers who had work hard through the rice-planting season.

Used As some Important Symbols - It is one of Malaysia's national symbols, some others being the kris and hibiscus. The reverse side of the fifty-cent coin of Malaysia (1989 series) features an intricately-decorated wau bulan with a hummer on top. The logo of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is also based on this kite.

Wau on Coin

Wau as the symbol of Airlines

Wau Flying Competition – in any regions, the Wau Flying competition happen during the spring and summer season , Feb – April . Many other countries also organise exhibition of the Wau Bulan Kites.

Decorative Use - Many tourists buy these beautiful kites for decorative purpose.  With beautiful design and colour Wau kites are surely serve the purpose of a beautiful decorative piece. It serve as a great gift to the loved ones.

There are many type of Wau Kites :-

Wau bulan or 'moon kite'
Wau jala budi or 'woman kite'
Wau kuching or 'cat kite'
Wau barat or 'leaf kite', also known as the 'morning kite'
Wau merak or ‘peacock kite’ which has a tail and is a local traditional kite of the Johor province

Main Places for the competition – Johore  , Bintulu ,Kelantan , Pasir Gudung - (ALL IN MALAYSIA )

How it Got Name - Wau bulan got its name from the crescent moon-like shape of its lower section (bulan means "moon" in Bahasa Malaysia). 'Wau', pronounced 'Wow', is an Arabic letter that looks something like the kite's shape.
Given the right colour, wau bulan apparently resembles a rising crescent moon when flown.Wau Bulans, Wau Kuching and other similar kites are constructed to fly in a figure of eight path so as to make the normally attached hummer give a constant noise.
The size of wau bulan is bigger than any other Malaysian traditional kite. The typical size is 2.5 meters in width and 3.5 meters in length. This makes the decorations painted on the kite's body to be visible when it is flown high in the air. To make it more distinctive, wau bulan is normally decorated with large, strong-coloured patterns.
So if you are planning to visit Malaysia then try to catch these kites and why not bring back one to decorate the wall of your home.

Video Documentary in English 
(a must watch )
Wau Bulan Kite - The traditional Kites of Malaysia 

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Valentine's Day Ideas In Romantic Paris

       What could be a better place than Paris to celebrate the Valentine’s Day with the someone you love and value so much. This city of Fashion, beauty and wonderful evening has many options to make your Valentine’s Day a very memorable one. Here are some of the best options given to you to make your day more special and plan for it.

Though February is not a tourist time for Paris but on Valentine’s Day the whole city turns in the city of love and light and it is highly recommended to make your hotel and travel bookings in advance and also try to book your place for the Valentine’s Day tour and attraction well in advance. Advance booking will also get you some discounts on the hotel price.

Get a gleams of the Romantic Paris at Night 

Council takes part in the holiday atmosphere by putting in the public disposal all the bulletin boards allowing the Lovers to radiate love phrases in lighted up texts. The usual Romantic attractions of Paris get a special shine on this Day of Love.
Before we go ahead with the information here is the link of the important website:-

Official website of the Convention and Visitors Bureau -

Weather on February in Paris – Usually Chilly with some rain so must pack your warm cloths and an umbrella.

Let’s check out what is on the card for this day in the Lovely City Paris –

Moulin Rouge -  The Moulin Rouge, temple of French Cancan, is a Parisian cabaret built in 1889 by Joseph Oller et Charles Zidler. It's situated on the Clichy avenue in the 18th arrondissement, at the foot of Montmartre. Its style and name have been imitated by cabarets in the whole word.

Enjoy a wonderful dinner show at the Moulin Rouge for the Valentine's Day –

Your night includes access ticket to the cabaret to attend the show and a pleasant dinner with a special valentine's menu. To make easier your evening, we recommend a pick up and drop off anywhere in Paris, before or after the revue (optional). Let's get to a fairy tale night with the Moulin Rouge !

Schedule :-
Valentine's Day Special on 11, 12, 13 & 14 February 2012
Dinner from 7:00 p.m.
Special Valentine's Menu
Moulin Rouge show from 9:00pm to 11:00pm
Price – 200.00 Euro
For Booking

Cruise Dinner

-Bateaux Parisiens- For Valentine’s Day, enjoy a magical and romantic evening in the heart of Paris by Night. Boarding at the foot of the Eiffel Tower from 7.30pm for a departure at 8.30pm. Return at 11.00pm and end of service at midnight. Live band animation onboard

-Bateaux Mouches - Board at Pont de l'Alma for the most romantic cruise of Paris.
Boarding from 7.50pm for a departure at 8.30pm and return at 11.00pm.
Pianist and violinist animation.

-Marina de Paris – Bercy - Valentine’s Day Dinner Cruise “One Heart for Two”. Two services are proposed for this cruise with boarding from Port de Solferino, at the foot of Orsay Museum: First service – Discover Menu: welcome from 6.15pm for a departure at 6.45pm and return at 8.00pmSecond service – Saveurs Menu: welcome from 8.50pm for a departure at 9.15pm and return at 11.15pm Soul live singer as animation.
For more information and booking

Panoramic Bar  

Enjoying dinner on the beautiful setup of this restaurant will surely be an evening to remember, enjoy the romantic dinner with the lovely view of the city Paris.

Le Jules Verne Restaurant -  (On the second level of the Eiffel Tower) – 

It’s a life time experience. A very romantic and special place to be on Valentine’s Day.
But I prefer Panoramic Bar because it gives the gleams of the Eiffel tower as well.

 Hot Air Balloon – 

Fly with your love on Hot Air balloon with champagne. See the lovely city.
Book in advance

Oysters and Wine at Le Baron Rouge

Candlelight, soft music and a quiet table in the corner ! There 's nothing more intimate than being crammed against each other in a cozy wine bar, jostling with the friendly locals and market stall-holders from the neighbouring  Marché d’Aligre  for a glass of Burgundy and a platter of cheese and charuterie. On chilly winter weekends the jovial crowd spills out onto the sidewalk for fresh oysters and Sancerre .

Le Baron Rouge
1, rue Théophile-Roussel (12th)

High Tea at the Ritz

If you’re going to do High Tea, do it in style in one of the most posh settings in Paris, surrounded by sparkling crystal, priceless antiques, and polished silver. Your gourmet tea (or an amazingly thick hot chocolate) is served with a tower of delectable pastries, tiny sandwiches, and scones with cream and jam.

Paris Ritz
15, Place Vendôme (1st)
Tea served from 4-7pm.

Kitsch Cocktails at the Blitz Tequila Bar

The über-exclusive Black Calvados Bar (aka BC) has been taken over by Blitz, the first European brand of tequila from the Black Forest of Germany. Try and imagine the black lacquered walls and black leather sofas of the BC decorated with glowing mushroom lamps, a cuckoo clock, kitsch 60s record sleeves, and your barman dressed in real authentic lederhosen.There are 41 different kinds of tequila and amazingly tasty cocktails that will convert even the most adamant tequila-haters into (rather inebriated) raving fans.

Blitz Tequila Bar
40 Avenue Pierre Ire de Serbie (16th)
Open from 10pm.

 Champagne at Flûte -

This tiny venue hidden on a tiny side-street just off the place de l’Etoile was once a “gentleman’s bar”, and still has an illicitly naughty feel to it. Take a seat on the red velour banquette next to the fireplace with a Champagne cocktail, or find a quiet alcove upstairs for a more intimate tête-à-tête. And despite the location and quality bubbly, the prices are more than reasonable, and if you go on Tuesday for Happy Hour (5-8pm) you get two drinks for the price of one. Dozens of Champagnes available by the glass, gourmet appetizers for les petits faims(little appetites), and live jazz on Wednesday nights.

Flûte l’Étoile
19, rue de l’Étoile (17th)
Open Mon-Sat from 5pm.

Cocktails and Wagyu Burgers at Prescription Cocktail Club

An anonymous black façade gives no indication of the stylish speakeasy-style cocktail bar hidden inside. Which is just the way the jeunesse dorée of Paris like it. But despite the confidential private club feel (reinforced by the stern-faced doorman), the welcome is warm and sincere once you’re inside.The décor has an elegant 1930s style, with Magritte-inspired bowler hats used as lampshades and comfy upholstered sofas. Come for apéritifs –the creative cocktails are made with ingredients like ginger beer, elderflower liquor, or Japanese whiskey – but if you find it hard to tear yourself away for dinner, their divine Wagyu beef mini-burgers made with foie gras will fill you up without slowing you down.

Prescription Cocktail Club
23, rue Mazarine (6th)
Open Mon-Sat from 7pm-2am (4am on weekends)

Vin Chaud on the Seine

A bottle of red, some cheese, and the Pont des Arts…summertime romance in Paris is easy,but it’s been a rather brisk winter, so keep warm and cozy by sipping from a thermos of vin chaud while wrapped in a thick and fuzzy blanket. Views from the quays of the Île St-Louis are always fabulous at sunset, and the high walls will help shelter you from the freezing winds.

Dinner at the Dame du Canton

Add a bit of gypsy-themed romance to your evening on this vintage wooden péniche (barge) formerly known as La Guinguette Pirate. Most people come here for the live World music, particularly gypsy jazz “Manouche” (think Django Reinhardt), but below deck you’ll find a cozy, lantern-lit restaurant serving traditional French dishes. Reserve the cushion-filled, shag-pile-carpeted nook in the back for the most privacy. Just make sure your date isn’t prone to sea sickness…or the gentle rocking of the boat may end your evening prematurely!

La Dame du Canton
Moored permanently on the Left Bank of the Seine just east of the Passerelle Simone de Beauvoir, Port de la Gare (13th).
Open Tues-Sat from 8pm.

 A Chocolate Massage at the Four Seasons

Instead of the traditional box of chocolates, impress your sweetheart with a decadent, “All about Chocolate” spa treatment at the Four Seasons George V hotel. A chocolate-mint body scrub is followed by a Swiss chocolate and toffee body wrap, and finished up with a deep tissue massage using cocoa oil. In short, two and a half hours of pure bliss…without the guilty calorie counting.

Spa at the Four Seasons George V
31, Avenue George V (8th)
2.5-hour treatment €350

Romantic Walks in Paris – As it is said “What not romantic in Paris” so both of you can just take a romantic stroll over here. Some suggestions are :-

1. Try ambling around the narrow streets of the Marais neighbourhood, especially Place des Vosges or Rue de Turenne, for a quaint romantic stroll.
2. The banks of the Seine always ooze with romance. Try getting off at Metro St Michel and strolling on the left bank, or on the Ile St Louis around Notre Dame Cathedral. If it's warm out, stop for a picnic. You can also consider taking a Paris boat tour and then a stroll around Notre Dame, the Pont d'Alma or other spots along the Seine, depending on where your boat tour departs from.
3. Exploring the charming nooks of Montmartre will inspire arty romance that any 19th-century poet would approve of.
4. The Latin Quarter, with its hidden passageways, antique bookstores, old-world cafes and elegant gardens, is always a romantic place to amble in Paris.

Interesting Sidewalk Cafes 

1. De la Contrescarpe - It is located in the 5th district, atop the quaint Rue Mouffetard. There are a couple of sidewalk terraces to sit at there, and the view is great.

2. Les Chevaux de Marly – It has I.M. Pei's Pyramid on its left, and is built inside the wing which borders Rivoli Street (if you look towards Place de la Concorde, this is the right wing of the museum). The place offers a selection of snacks, and a nice warm chocolate. Its terrace is relatively protected from the wind and rain, which makes it a good spot in wintertime.

This wonderful city offers lots of events, activities and attractions, I am sure it won’t let you go disappointed.
Have a nice time !

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Olympic Park flythrough January 2012 - Get the Glims for the Great Event

Get the view of the Olympic 2012 Park

La Tomatina , Spain -The famous funful Tomato Fight Festival of Spain

La Tomatina , Tomato Fight for Fun , Spain -
Buñol ,Valencia 

If you want to enjoy a total “let go” Festival, which is nothing but a pure fun then La Tomatina is the festival for you.
La Tomatina is a Spanish festival of Tomato Fight held on the last Wednesday of the month August  in the town of Buñol of the Valencia region in Spain .Thousands of participants come from all over the world to fight in a harmless battle where more than one hundred metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets.
It’s a really Funful festival. The weeklong festival features music, parades, dancing, and fireworks. On the night before the tomato fight, participants of the festival compete in a paella cooking contest.
It has recently caught limelight in south east Asia because of its apperence in the Hindi movie
"Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara" 
Check out the Cool Video of 
La Tomatina

History of La Tomatina

The tomato fight has been a strong tradition in Buñol since 1944 or 1945. No one is completely certain how this event originated. Possible theories on how the Tomatina began include a local food fight among friends, a juvenile class war, a volley of tomatoes from bystanders at a carnival parade, a practical joke on a bad musician, the anarchic aftermath of an accidental lorry spillage. One of the most popular theories is that disgruntled townspeople attacked city councilmen with tomatoes during a town celebration. Whatever happened to begin the tradition, it was enjoyed so much that it was repeated the next year, and the year after that, and so on. The holiday was banned during the Spanish State period under Francisco Franco for having no religious significance, but returned in the 1970s after his demise.

The Festival : - La Tomatina

Approximately 30,000 people come to the tomato fight, multiplying by several times Buñol’s normal population of 9,000. In preparation for the dirty mess that will ensue, shopkeepers cover their storefronts in order to protect them from the carnage.
At around 10 AM., the first event of the Tomatina begins. A ham is placed upon a cockaigne pole It is called as the "Palo Jabyon"(a large, greased pole), and the tomato fight can begin only when someone is able to climb to the top and bring it down. People struggle against each other, climbing atop one another, in order to be the one to pull down the ham. With this victory, the tomato-throwing begins.
Several trucks throw tomatoes in abundance in the Plaza del Pueblo. The tomatoes come from Extremadura, where they are less expensive and are grown specifically for the holidays, and they are of inferior taste
The signal for the beginning of the fight is firing of the cannon, the firing the water shot in the air happens in the beginning and trucks make their entry. and the chaos begins. Once it begins, the battle is generally every man for himself. Those who takes part  in this event are strongly encouraged to wear protective safety goggles and gloves. In addition, they must squish the tomatoes before throwing for safety precautions. Another rule is that no one is allowed to bring into this fight anything that may provoke someone into a more serious brawl, such as a glass bottle. It is highly frowned upon to tear someone else’s clothing. Somewhere between an hour and two hours, the fighting ends and the cannon is fired once more to signal the end. At this point no more tomatoes can be thrown. The estimated no. of tomatoes used are around 150,000 i.e. over 90,000 pounds. The cleaning process involves the use of fire trucks to spray down the streets, with water provided from a Roman aqueduct. The participants use hoses that locals provide to remove the tomato paste from their bodies. Some participants go to the pool of “los peñones” to wash. After the cleaning, the village cobblestone streets are pristine due to the acidity of the tomato disinfecting and thoroughly cleaning the surfaces.

Travelling Tips

There are not many accommodations for people who come to La Tomatina , and thus many participants stay in Valencia and travel by bus or train to Buñol, about 38 km outside the city.
Most people come for the day, arriving on the morning train from Valencia and heading back in the afternoon. But if you want the full La Tomatina experience, stay for the week-long celebration, which involve music, dancing, parades and fireworks. The night before the fight, a paella cooking competition is held where women traditionally dress in white, and men forego shirts altogether.

Some important tips and Must Follow Rules of the Festival :-

1. The tomatoes have to be squashed before throwing to avoid injuries.
2. No other projectiles except tomatoes are allowed.
3. Participants have to give way to the truck and lorries.
4. The festival doesn't allow ripping off T-shirts.
5. Wear clothes that later you throw away as you will never get it clean again!
6. Make sure you take a change of clothes for the return bus journey – there are some public showers in Buñol near the river. You cannot enter the bus with the dirty clothes! (throw it away or bring a plastic bag with you if you want to keep it as a souvenir!)
7. Bring goggles (or protect your eyes but don´t wear glasses). Tomato on your eye can be really acid!
8. Wear shoes that have a decent grip.
9. You must not take any bottles nor any kind of object that could cause any incident.
10. Be careful with lorries going through the village.
11. Cameras are seen as positive invitations to pelt the owner.
12. Women should be aware that a wet T-shirt competition is an unofficial part of the day.
If you don’t fancy being showered with soggy tomatoes, you can watch the spectacle in dry 13.comfort on Canal 9, Valencia’s local TV channel.
14. For more info visit www.latomatina.es (in Spanish).
15. After the second shot indicative of ending the tomato hurl, no tomatoes should be thrown.
For Hotel Booking and downloadable maps and Information of the City Valencia ( Buñol Valencia -La Tomatina ) Please Visit :- 

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Valentine’s Day Popular Events In London : Choose , Plan and Enjoy

London , the city of prince , princess , poets and artists . Certainly it is one of the most romantic city in the world . Now when the Valentine’s Day is approaching , this city has lot to offer you.
Here your travel guide has chosen from the various sources the top events in London .
Choose and make plan according to that to avoid disappointment. Apart from these events  every park , hotel , restaurant , pub and club is going to celebrate this day with their own lovely ideas. So there are plenty to enjoy here in London and make your love one feel very special

Love Letters Straight from Your Heart
This astonishing performance piece from Bristol-based company Uninvited Guests was wreathed in praise at the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe, but no London transfer was forthcoming. It finally comes to the capital in February 2012 for a two-week stint that, appropriately enough, culminates in a Valentine's Day performance. In it, the audience are invited to a banquet, hosted by performers Jess Hoffmann and Richard Dufty. What actually happens - or at least, how incredibly effective it is - is hard to describe, but in essence Hoffman and Dufty sequence and stylize a series of anonymous dedications to loved ones - the living, the dead, the missed - into a conflagration of emotion that inevitably reduces the room to tears. If anything else in 2012 is half as moving, it'll be a very good year.
When and Where : Feb 2-14 Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London, SE1 8XX
Theatre: West End

Valentine's Cupid Capsule On London Eye

This Valentine's spoil your loved one and experience the stunning skyline in a romantic Private Capsule, with Champagne, red rose, and luxury chocolates.
The Valentine's Cupid's Capsule includes:
·         Priority boarding
·         Private capsule for 2 people*
·         Bottle of Pommery Brut Royal Champagne served by your host
·         Box of Charbonnel et Walker pink champagne truffles
·         One red rose per couple
·         Complimentary View 360 Guide per person
·         10% online discount
·         A Rose Champagne upgrade is also available.
This package is available from Saturday 11th to Monday 13th February from 11.00am to 8.30pm every half hour, and on Tuesday 14th February from 11.00am to 10.00pm every half hour.
For more details : Check http://www.londoneye.com/

Fly On Hot Air Balloons
When love is in the air then why not fly . Enjoy the hot air balloon. Remember Balloon flights are totally depend on the weather condition so please check it beforehand .
For more detail : Check  http://www.adventureballoons.co.uk/

Evening with the Stars Valentine's Day Special
For a truly unique experience, book a place on a unique observing session. The programme includes a planetarium show, some time on the prime meridian with a glass of bubbly and astronomers to hand, and a chance to look through our 18-tonne Victorian telescope at whatever the night sky has to offer. A single red rose is provided for each couple.
Ticket Price : £28 per person
When and Where : Tue Feb 14 Royal Museums Greenwich, Romney Rd, London, SE10 9NF

Valentine's Day Red Rose Experience
Taking place every half hour during the evening of Valentine's Day, the experience includes a red rose and mini box of chocs for couples and an activity pack for kids.
When and Where : Tue Feb 14 London Eye, South Bank, London, SE1 7PB
Torture Garden Valentine's Love Boat
The massive fetish event returns for another gargantuan gropetastic affair for Valentine's weekend. Kicking things off it's a low key boat party with four areas to play in for its dedicated bevvy of show-offs, goths, industrial punks, burlesque beauties and circus freaks. Dress in your latex, fantasy, drag, burlesque, medical, uniform…finest and prepare to explore.

Pleasure Garden Ball
An evening of dancing, drinking and decadence for Valentine's Day in honour of the Georgian pastime of strutting your stuff in the pleasure garden. Write Queer London provides saucy poetry, there's a chance to design a masquerade mask and listen to an eighteenth-century girl band. Booking essential.
For More details check :  http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/

Valentine's Champagne Cruise
Valentine's cruises include a glass of Champagne; chocolates and roses can be purchased on board. Tickets do not include a flight on the London Eye.
When and Where : Feb 11-14 London Eye, South Bank, London, SE1 7PB

The Food of Love
Valentine's Day-themed talks, tastings and demonstrations, featuring food connected with love.
When and Where : Sun Feb 12 Keats House, 10 Keats Grove, London, NW3 2RR

Valentine's Day Cruise on the London Eye Barracuda
A cruise along the Thames on the 'Barracuda' for Valentine's Day, departing from the London Eye Pier. Tickets include a Champagne and canapé reception and a three-course dinner. Tickets for the London Eye are not included.
When and Where : Tue Feb 14 London Eye, South Bank, London, SE1 7PB

Valentine's Disco Skate
Why not treat your sweetheart to a skate across the ice in our romantically themed session.
When and Where :  Sun Feb 12 Lee Valley Ice Centre, Lea Bridge Rd, E10 7QL

Die Freche Muse Valentine's Special
Promising decadent cabaret, burlesque performers as well as jazz and swing DJs and singers, your host, the Baron Von Sanderson, invites you to this chic soirée located at a fifteenth century tavern in east London to celebrate the most love-filled of all days. He asks that you observe a strict '20s-'40s dresscode (no jeans/trainers), but otherwise you're free to jump, jive 'n' wail to your heart's content.
When and Where :  Sat Feb 11 Clubs: Dress up and dance 373 Commercial Rd, London, E1 0LA

Bedtime Stories
The dress code is strictly pyjamas and nightgowns at these decadently themed storytelling evenings from professional storytellers, curated by 40 WiNKS's David Carter and Miss Rachel Rose Reid and held in Carter's flamboyantly decorated home/hotel. Tonight, it's the first of three deliriously romantic nights to celebrate Valentine's, 'Tales of Love, Lust and Longing', not just for those who have already found love, but also for those who are still yearning for it, and in need of a bit of gentle encouragement. Find it here with mischievous performers Sally Pomme Clayton and Xanthe Gresham. Booking and the dresscode is essential and the ticket price includes nibbles and fruity gin cocktails.
When and Where :  Wed Feb 8 40 WiNKS, 109 Mile End Rd, E1 4UJ

Love Hand Made? Valentine's Fair
A designer-maker fair hosted by Craft Guerrilla with a Valentine's theme. Lots of lovingly made handicrafts and potential Valentine's gifts. Plus a workshop hosted Etsy where you can make your own love tokens. The workshop begins at noon and is free but spaces are limited so arrive early.
When and Where :  Sat Feb 11 Vestry House Museum, Vestry Rd, London, E17 9NH (Its Free Event )

Love Stories Tour
In honour of Valentine's Day, Ben Street leads a tour through the National Gallery in search of stories of love. Suitable for children aged eight and over, accompanied by an adult. Places are limited and allocated on arrival. Meet at Pigott Education Centre Foyer.
When and Where :  Tue Feb 14 National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN ( Its Free Event )

Romantic restaurants
London has many very romantic restaurants here are the follow the link and discover some of the lovely places

5 Day Weather Forecast - UK Weather Map - Netweather.tv

Follow the UKs weather ...
5 Day Weather Forecast - UK Weather Map - Netweather.tv

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Pulau Ubin - Close to Nature ,an Island in Singapore

Sometime you just want to be close to nature. So if you are in Singapore and quite tired of visiting well organised and highly urbun places with every modern facility possible then why not try Pulau Ubin
Pulau means island. Pulau Ubin is a small island (10.19 km²) situated in the north east of Singapore, to the west of Pulau Tekong. With few hundred villagers , its one of the last rural area left in Singapore. It was famous for its Granite Quarry. It shows the real picture of a tropical island with its natural vegetation and features.
Pulau Ubin is a great day trip spent walking or pedaling through rustic roads under swaying coconut palms, exploring shady trails in overgrown rubber plantations, checking out secluded beaches and flourishing mangroves, a chance to see the mangrove life closely. On Ubin,  air is fresher and sights and sounds so soothing to the soul.

How to Get There : Pulau Ubin is off Changi Point, accessible via Changi jetty (public bumboats) and Marina Country Club (guests of Ubin Lagoon Resort).
Take a bumboat from Changi Jetty (now called Changi Point Ferry Terminal), which is near the Changi Village Hawker Centre.
To get to the bumboats, go down the stairs at the Terminal. This Terminal also serves those going to Penggerang, Johor. So be sure to join the correct queue for Pulau Ubin.
Cost of the bumboat: $2.50/person Maximum 12 passengers. Just join the queue and the boats will leave when they have 12 persons. If there are less than 12 persons, you might have to wait a little while until enough people turn up. Or you can pay $30 and go straight away.
Bumboat operators run from sunrise to sunset. You can make special arrangements with the operators for trips after dark.

Getting Around:

Strolls : Ubin is ideal for leisurely strolls. There are well-marked roads and trails to explore. Stop by the NParks Information Kiosk near Ubin jetty for a free map and information on the latest happenings.

Cycling: (Recommonded) The best way is to enjoy Ubin is throw cycling. People bring their own bikes here through boat but if you don’t want to carry you bike then need not to worry you can just hire bikes there. You will get the rental shops for bike just after getting down from the boat. he friendly bicycle rental people can tell you more about Ubin and advise you on where and how to go to various places of interest.

Taxi: Taxi or cabs are also available for hire . Taxi ,comprising panel vans that can take up to 12 persons. As well as passenger cars for 4-6 persons. During the weekends, plenty of drivers wait at Ubin jetty for potential passengers. These can be hired by the hour as well as for specific destinations. Many of the drivers are experienced and can bring you to special places or to look for special things. Rates are negotiated before the journey begins. Van drivers will give you their name cards so you can call or page them on your handphones when you are ready to go home, or you can pre-arrange a pick-up time upon your arrival.
But I will not advise the younger people for this as i told you bike is the best way

What to See :

Get down from boat and rent a cycle (bike) for yourself. Take some guidance from the shop itself if you have any question in mind. Go to information centre first and take the free map.
The island is safe.. The ride is suitable especially for those who are clueless about Ubin. Don't worry if you're a novice cyclist. As long as you can balance yourself on a bike, you can certainly join the ride!
With maps, Signboards and information you can easily explore the island.
But you can also ride with a trained guides to discover the nature and heritage of Ubin , else , Information and map are enough.

Attractions :

Bin Jetty: Your first stop with a good view of Ubin Town,Chek Jawa to the east. Stop by the NParks Info Kiosk at the exit to get a free pamphlet of Ubin and advice from the friendly NParks officers on how to spend your day on Ubin.

Ubin Town: Has eating places, bicycle rental shops and provision shops that stock almost everything you could possibly need on your daytrip. Highlights include a wayang stage with a colourful history and a little shrine.

Heading toward North: The Chek Jawa boardwalk is now open any tide. Also explore farms, fruit plantations, kampongs, rubber plantation being taken over by the forest to the two beaches on the northern shore of Ubin.

 Heading toward East: sensory trail, mangroves before rejoining the northern route.
 Heading toward West: quarry views, bukit puaka and mangroves.

Chek Jawa :  
Chek Jawa is called as the jewel of Ubin. A previous coral reef 5,000 years ago, Chek Jawa can be said to be virtually unspoilt, with a variety of marine wildlife comparable to other islands, such as sea hares, sea squirts, octopuses, starfishes, sand dollars, fishes,sponges, cuttlefishes and nudibranches.
The beauty of Chek Jawa is that several different ecosystems can be seen in one small area. These ecosystems and the plants and animals found there are no longer common in Singapore. They are also fast disappearing elsewhere in the world.

Coastal Hill Forest
The hill overlooking Chek Jawa is covered with trees and plants that shelter and feed a variety of animals. Many plants and animals in this coastal forest are no longer commonly seen on mainland Singapore. Some of the rare birds you may spot include the Oriental pied-hornbill and the Red junglefowl. The liquid bubbling song of the Straw-headed bulbul is often heard. Among the beautiful and unusual trees you may see are the Critically Endangered Delek air tree and the Seashore nutmeg. The new tower gives a panoramic view of Chek Jawa.

The mangroves of Chek Jawa have many interesting plants and animals. Mangrove trees have unusual shapes and properties as they are adapted to being covered in seawater at high tide and to grow in soft mud. The new boardwalk into the mangroves bring you close to these trees as well as the marvellous Nipah palms. Fiddler crabs and mud skippers are the highlight of a visit to the mangroves.
Rocky shore
Chek Jawa is among the few places left with a natural rocky shore, gravel beach and other interesting rock formations. At low tide, we can have a closer look at some of the strange animals that live here, including barnacles, crabs and fierce shell-drilling snails. Under the rocks are even more amazing animals such as living cowries, sea stars and fast flat crabs.

Sandy shore and sand bar
The sandy shore teems with tiny crabs which, if undisturbed, go about their amusing antics at low tide. The sand bar is the backbone of Chek Jawa and provides a home for all manner of intriguing creatures. The Common sea star is a must-see with visitors, and fortunately, it is plentiful on Chek Jawa. Sadly, it is no longer common elsewhere in Singapore. The sand dollar is another intriguing creature to examine. The sand bar is also a popular rest stop for shorebirds that fly in from as far away as Siberia. Overhead, majestic birds of prey hunt for fishes in the sea.

Seagrass lagoon
A calm, shallow lagoon lush with seagrasses and seaweeds form behind the sand bar. In the seagrass meadows, a rich variety of marine creatures shelter during the low tide. First-time visitors are often stunned by the carpet anemones which are bigger than your face and come in a stunning variety of colours. At some times of the year, the sea grass may be dotted with colourful sea cucumbers. Other sea grass dwellers include secretive crabs and snails. A lucky visitor may also encounter sea hares, squids and mantis.

Coral Rubble Area
The coral rubble area near the front beacon is probably the richest part of Chek Jawa and also the most fragile. Rarely exposed, even at low tide, this area shelters delicate sea creatures that prefer to be submerged most of the time. The big red Knobbly sea star is a favourite! Others include sponges in bewildering shapes and colours, delicate fan worms and even living corals! Octopuses, seahorses, branches and colourful flatworms are some of the other amazing residents of this special part of Chek Jawa.

No poaching please
Please do not remove any wildlife from the shore. Poaching of hard corals and other sealife threatens this precious shore.
No cycling on the Chek Jawa boardwalk as the 'planks' are made of concrete and cycling will fracture them. Bicycles are to be parked at designated bicycle park area near Punai Hut about 50m from the Visitor Centre (ask for a bicycle lock if you are renting your bicycles on Ubin)

What to do:
1. Leisure Stroll
3.Mountain Biking - Pulau Ubin is home to one of Singapore's best mountain bike trails, Ketam Mountain Bike Park which was built in 2007. The trail is approximately 8 kilometers long and features a wide range of terrain ranging from open meadows to thick jungle. There are numerous steep but short climbs and descents. The trail is well-marked with signs indicating the difficulty level of each section.
The vast majority of the mountain bikers that ride this trail bring their own bike, although the rental bikes on the island can also be used.
4. Discovering the unique life of Chek Jawa
5.You can bring your picnic with you as there are several picnic huts you will find on your way.
6.Ubin are also enjoyed by sailing and canoeing enthusiasts.
7.Stargazing – Because of the clear sky its famous among stargazers. They camp there sometime.
8. A nice place for Photographers and painters.

Travelling Tips:-
1. Wear light cloths – as you will feel the heat and sweat after cycling .if you are too prone to sweat then you can keep a spare T-shirt.
2. Sun Screen – keep you sun screen lotion or cream,
3.Cap and Sun Glasses
4. Lock for bikes – though the island is very safe and the rent shop people will say you to leave your bike at the stand without lock while site visit but its better you keep locks with you.
5. Mosquito Repellent Cream/lotion – It is a must thing to pack with you before heading for Ubin as this island is having tiny mosquitos because for its wilderness.
6. Keep some small food bites and water with you as while biking you might need some refreshments
7. Wear sports shoes.
8. You can keep umbrella .Though you can find plenty of shelters around the Ubin.
9. In case of rain avoid taking shelter under any tree to avoid Thunder stroke danger . 
10. Remember to come back at the boat boarding point on time in the evening. As the last boat operates till sunset. If you are planning to stay there for longer time then make your own arrangements, Though there are not much to do after sunset, if you have not planned any special activity for the dark hours of the day.
11. Great with Friends :  Last but not the least , It is the place good for enjoying with the group of friends. So make the group of 3 or more friends and hit the island.

Enjoy your special day out  with nature , away from the urban life in  Pulau Ubin