I have a dream

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A dream to travel. Travel to countless places, both big and small. In order to start making that dream come true, I started off with my recent trip to Singapore. You must read the gist of it here. In today’s post I’m sharing my trip in detail.

For starters, as much as Singapore seems like a small country, it is not! Even if you argue that it is, it’s definitely not one of those Asian countries that can be covered on a 5 day trip. There’s loads to do and many tourist attractions. I tried covering most of those places on my trip, yet there were a few I missed out on. It was like a fight against time.

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Tid bits about tourist attractions visited:

Night safari: If this is your safari debut, it will amaze you. Sitting in that beautiful animal printed tram, you get to look around at the animals that are just a few metres away. For you to understand more about the animal you’re looking at, there is a pre-recorded audio set in the tram to give you an idea and some interesting bits.
Like, did you know Snakes aren’t really sticky and wet? They just appear glossy but are completely dry.

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The Night safari is all about the experience. If you’re looking to bring back photos to show your dear ones back home, probably this isn’t meant for you. Flash Photography is strictly prohibited as it scares/annoys the animals. You don’t want to take a chance with them now, do you?

Universal Studios: Having heard quite a bit about the movie based rides here, it was obligatory to visit the USS.
On entering USS, you are transported to another world altogether. It’s difficult not to stop and take pictures as you walk through to the actual rides. Interesting looking little buildings, Workshops, candy stalls, meet and greets with movie characters, street dances, restaurants, chocolates and souvenir shops etc will catch your attention.

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You need an entire day to explore the USS. The movie based rides are the highlights. Also while you’re at it, might as well visit the Sea Aquarium which is just across the USS.

Sea Aquarium: It’s crazy not to get impressed looking at more than 100,000 underwater animals from 800 species, swimming in 45 million liters of water. Fish lovers, you will want to live here.

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If you’re lucky you will get to see the Octopus go through a whole maze. It’s outstanding!

River safari, Singapore zoo: Though they are 2 different attractions, they can be done one after the other.
The Indian Gharial is worth all the attention it gets.
The river safari depends on your luck as sitting on a river cruise you can’t do much but just hope the animals/ birds appear into sight. The amazon quest ride passes through some interesting species that are just at an arm’s distance away.

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Singapore zoo is a huge spread. There’s a lot of walking to be done, so it’s best to wear sneakers/ walking shoes. It’s easy to lose your way here and hence remember to carry a map of the zoo.

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Do not leave the zoo until you spot the Panda (there are 2 of them – Jia Jia & Kai Kai), the Polar bear and the white tiger.

Merlion Park: This isn’t really a park. Coming to Singapore and not seeing and posing with this fish-lion statue is like having an unaccomplished trip. You can spot the mighty Marina Bay sands Hotel, The domes of Gardens by the bay and even the Singapore Flyer from here. All these places look marvelous at nights, they’re well lit up and stand out.

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China town: In Singapore this is the street you need to visit for souvenirs. The cute buildings, the bright colors everywhere makes this market attractive enough for you to spend some time here. Shopping is an advantage.

Marina Bay Sands: Even if you want, you can’t miss it. This building stands 57 floors tall and it’s infinity pool is a dream! As if the view from the top isn’t enough, imagine swimming like you’re at the edge. It’s quite a high.. pun intended.

The hotel puts up a brilliant light and water show in the evening. It’s approximately a 11 minute show that will have your attention at the water.

Gardens by the bay: Walking into the flower dome, you will be greeted by a thousand plus different flower speicies from all over the world. Nature lovers will want to make this their home.
Besides the Flower dome, the Cloud dome is a surreal experience.

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The best time to go to these as well as walk the OCBC skywalk is during the light and sound show in the evenings. Standing amidst the supertrees is unexplained.

Alive Museum: Situated at the Suntec city mall, this museum will bring out the child in you. It’s 3D art is not just to be admired but makes you one with the paintings. It’s meant for people of all ages.

Hoping this list has given you a gist about the places you should visit while at Singapore.

Food in Singapore:

While I loved my fancy meals at The Black Swan, Loof, Me@OUE, Ce La Vie and KPO cafe, for the times I was out and about exploring, I preferred sticking to Mc Donalds/ KFC/ Burger King etc. The local Singaporean food seemed too strong for my taste buds. Although I went with an open mind to try out local delicacies, the use of fish oil in everything changed my mind. 7/11 was like home when there weren’t any of the above fast food joints available.

 

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Everything mentioned is from my personal experience and I encourage you to have your own. Do share them with me. Reading anything about Singapore makes me happy and brings back good memories.

Lots of love,

The Silent Hummer,
Franchua D’Souza

 

 

I am blogging about my dreams and passions for the Club Mahindra#DreamTrails activity at BlogAdda. You can get a Club Mahindra Membership to own your holidays!

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Desert Rose

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Floral exhibition

When was the last time you visited a garden? Even if you did, were you there to just stand and admire it’s beauty? Did you stop by to smell the flowers? Did you notice how the birds flock around particular types of plants and trees? It’s exactly these things that make venues like gardens so peaceful and calming.

If you have read the previous post, I had mentioned that I’d visited a beautiful flower exhibition over the weekend. This was solely to see and admire the blossomy beauty. The entire corporate complex in South Mumbai, was full of over 10,00,000 flowers (no exaggeration) varying in colors, sizes and structures and uses. Little gardens were set up to particular themes ranging from the Rajasthan desert garden , the Portugal garden, St. Nicolas’ garden, to the Victoria Orchid Hunter’s garden etc. Not just that, they even had a sparrow garden, which actually had sparrows happily flying around it.

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Up for a climb

There were huge installations which were marvelous. My favorite flower installation was the Tea- set, I mean you have to see it. The quarter plate even had biscuits and sugar cubes! Simply marvelous.

Cuppa anyone

It is impossible to name all the flowers I’d seen but just the names of a few that I recognized are Asters, Carnations, Chrysanthemum, Daisies, Hibiscus, Lilies, Marigold, Orchids, Roses.

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My tram ride

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I had pre-decided to take just a few pics at the floral exhibition, but it was challenging to not capture everything. The garden, the water fountains, the navy band, the trams.. everything was spectacular and click worthy! Who wouldn’t be mesmerized, I wonder. I’m glad Nolasco had accompanied me, I didn’t have to bother at all about photography or the quality of my pictures. He’s such a pro, I didn’t even have to tell him what to click or at what angles I want my pictures. He’s fab at what he does. Glancing through the pics, I’m certain you will agree.

This exhibition was beautiful enough to make us feel like we were out of Mumbai on a mini vacation. Sadly this vacation got over quicker than we would have wished for.

Let me know if you enjoyed reading the post or simply liked Nolasco’s photography of my floral experience. We would love to know what you think.

Lots of love,

The Silent Hummer,
Franchua D’Souza

Roses are red my love

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Who wants gola

Roses are red, yellow, orange, pink, black and what not! Flowers are beautiful, there’s no denying. They smell lovely is an added incentive. Frankly I’m not quite a floral person when it comes to gifting them, as it’s disheartening that they last for just a few days. I’m more into practical gifting. However as I mentioned, flowers are beautiful no doubt and even a bunch of them make can make some peoples’ day bright. They have the ability to turn a dull day into a romantic one and a depressing day into a motivating one. Imagine what happens when you see a complex full of flowers everywhere, like literally. That too in Mumbai!

Over the weekend, a few of us accepted an invitation to attend a flower exhibition put up in town. If you’ve lived in Mumbai, you’d know that unfortunately we are not lucky enough to see nature in all it’s glory. So the invite seemed too lucrative to be ignored. The complex that hosted the exhibition had about 35 gardens with different floral set ups, each one-better-than-the-other. The organisers did everything possible to make this event grand. They set up the place like a dream- the flowers were the stars, they got 1853-style trams to take us around all the gardens, and they even got the navy band to perform live. Refreshments were served at a few corners so even the 4pm heat couldn’t do much to bother us. Looking at all this beauty, we completely forgot that we were still in Mumbai and realization only struck after exiting the complex.

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SheepJust chit chatting with the bird inside

My pics are just a glance of the weekend that was. I bet you will have to return to see the actual flower display. It’s going to blow your mind!

In the mean time you can check the previous time I posted about my floral experience.

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram. I’ve even joined Roposo- @franchua  recently, I’m yet to learn it, but join me there too!

Photography credits : Nolasco Alphonso, he’s the best.

Lots of love,

The Silent Hummer
Franchua D’Souza

The Pink Panther

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Maxi dresses. I’ve often wanted to wear them and know if I could pull them off gracefully. The only thing that deterred me from doing so was the thought of where I would actually wear them. I do not attend many formal occasions anyway.

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Last week as I browsed through Jabong , something that has become a habit now, I filtered my search specifically for maxi dresses just to see if my admiration for maxi dresses still existed. The next thing I knew, all the angles of this particular pink floral maxi by Athena were screened quickly and within no time it was in my cart, the credit card details seemed to appear automatically in my head and my fingers punched in the details like there was no tomorrow! It was even more exciting as they had a sale going on! We all love sales now, don’t we?

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If you’ve seen my previous posts, you’d know I’m not that much into the color pink. I mean it’s a beautiful color and the diverse variations of the color look yum. I just had my reservations about the color going with my skin tone.This time I couldn’t resist the attempt to break these mind blocks and decided to try this bright fuchsia pink outfit. Even on wearing the dress, I still wasn’t convinced and asked the people around me for opinion. What finally persuaded me was when I saw the pics myself. I absolutely love the maxi dress and have no qualms about the color anymore. Though I still have to figure out where to wear it or maybe create an occasion to wear it 🙂

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For a hassle free online shopping experience, I definitely recommend Jabong.com .This is my second review for #Jabong, the previous one is here .

Let me know if maxi dresses are your kind of thing or you’ve got some inhibitions about them.

Hope you all enjoyed reading this post. I know I was delighted posing for the pics and drafting my experience.

Photography: Nolasco Alphonso

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram as I’m very active there. For Blogger collaborations, reviews, guest posts or any other enquiries contact me : thesilenthummer@gmail.com

Lots of Love,

The Silent Hummer
Franchua D’Souza

Please don’t stop the music

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It’s no surprise that I enjoy music. Right from my “About me” page to giving every new post a title using lyrics, it may be very clear. If not all of this, the fact that my blog name is The Silent Hummer should give this fact away! How else can I express it?
Last evening I received my first blogger invitation, a proper formal email invite, to attend a #Blogadda event. An invite I gladly accepted.

“I am blogging to share my experience of the #YSS2 i-genius Young Singing Stars Season II in association with Blogadda.”

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Today Max Life insurance’s I-Genius Young Singing Talent (Season 2) had it’s Grand Finale. It was held at Taj Vivanta, Mumbai. The event was scheduled to begin at 11:00am, and the punctuality freak that I am, I made sure to reach on time. After a couple of calls to the organizers, a cup of coffee and introducing myself, I got a seat just behind the judges, In the second row. Psst..I had this little *proud moment dance* in my head when I saw “Reserved” on my seat as those seats were for the media and bloggers..
Blogger Life- wohooo!

There were 5 junior contestants and 5 senior.
Juniors : Kirtana, Chelsy, Tannishtha (Junior category winner), Pranjali & Harmanpreet
Seniors: Arth, Maithili (Senior category winner), Chirag, Chahat & Sonakshi

 

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Tannishtha Puri- Junior category winner

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I know in today’s world kids are talented, but I honestly did not expect this level of talent here. However one by one as they took to the stage, they were such a surprise!! All of them were disciplined, not only in behavior but also their singing. In fact, one of the contestants Pranjali not only sang a song well but later revealed she was the composer of her song “Maayere” too. Truly one better than the other. I’m sure their gurus and parents are extremely proud of them.

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Maithili Thakur- Senior category winner

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It’s easy to say the judges Salim Merchant, Shraddha Sharma & Devraj Sanyal had such a lovely time judging this finale. Their smiles, the foot tapping, the recording on their phones said it all. Shraddha sang beautifully for the audience and when Salim went on stage, his very voice took over the mood there! He sang his popular songs like “Khudaya Ve” , ” Ishqwala Love” and the audience enjoyed every bit of it!

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The Jury and the winners

Also, as I mentioned earlier, I had reached the venue on time and saw Salim Merchant rehearsing with the band. During his little break I got him to pose with me for a pic, here check this! Reward for punctuality!

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Thank you @Blogadda for this wonderful experience. It’s obvious I enjoyed myself and had a great day!

You may check the i-genius website to know about the wonderful things they do.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Instagram

Lots Of Love,

The Silent Hummer
Franchua D’Souza