Saturday, May 27, 2017

Toy Travel with Canon PowerShot G9X to Johor Bahru

How to make your travel photos more creative and fun? Toytravel (Nui-dori) photography is a growing trend where a toy or figurine is chosen to pose, imitating life and injecting lots of possibilities in your travel adventures.

During our recent drive-in to Johor Bahru, I brought alone a soft toy that has been with our family for many years. Say 'Hi' to Lucky Bear ["Heng" (王), our family's last name means lucky] who is 'born' in Hong Kong, Cute, soft, small yet cuddly.

I like to travel light and with the need to take better photographs, Canon PowerShot G9X camera fits the bill as it is compact and light. I can fit it in my bag and even pocket easily with our Lucky Bear. ^_^  Instead of a boring black casing in most cameras, this model has a silver and tan trendy look. 

Apart from using the dial to navigate through the functions, the touchscreen is a great help for me to make adjustments of the settings easily and comfortably. Particularly easier to move the autofocus point. I was also able to try out "bokeh" effect easily - Lucky bear is in focus and Gladys is blurry at the backdrop.  

Canon G9X's built in Wi-Fi functionality allows me to upload the photos that I have captured on the camera quickly to my mobile phone without the need of cables. I can share with my family and friends our travel shots on social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Instagram) conveniently! Let's start our Toy Travel with Lucky Bear now!

Lucky Bear Toy Travel - Johor Bahru 

13 May 2017 : Woke up at 5am and I was grabbed into the car without notification and without my passport. Wait...Do I have one? It was pretty exciting as this is my first oversea trip after I was brought back from Hong Kong. 

Thankfully, we crossed the custom fairly quickly and our first pit stop is along a street called Jalan Tan Hiok Nee. Yipee! I can stretch myself and breath in the morning air! Hmm.. starting to feel hungry and I smell food!  

The aroma from this cup of tea is good... I am grabbing this. 

Toast bread and buns!

Master... can I try some too?

After a heavy breakfast, they drove off again. This time I was brought to a cooler place. Luckily I got t-shirt on. 

Great...I had a group shot with a bunch of people that I don't recognise (excluding my master and mistress) and they look fierce and weird. One even had feelers on her head! Not too sure who is the hunk beside me though. 

After sitting in a dark and cold room for 2 hours, I was finally release to see the light again! Master and Mistress wish to read and I, too was dragged along. Not a bad idea either as I got to look at many beautiful pictures.

Gosh.. my eyes are getting tired. Time to rest a little. Master is so kind. Let me have some back support to lean against.

My favourite part of the day so far! Delicious dessert for all to share!

During this holiday, I realised my owners really LOVE good food. I have been well fed on this trip.

Korean BBQ for dinner

I even have my own personal seat!

More dessert for supper

More Food!

Not forgetting great companion and a comfortable bed to rest for the night.

Do you have a toy that you love to snap photos with and share too? Canon is running a competition to all who loves snapping photos of their toys. Showcase your creativity and tag #EOSM10adventure and #toytravel and you may just win a prize.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Recycled Craft - DIY Braided Rug from Old Fabric

Our family is pretty thrifty and we don't spend on new clothing unless ours are really worn out. Hence when Hubby handed me some of his old polo t-shirts that were torn and beyond salvage, I decided to google online to see how I can recycle them instead of cutting them into smaller pieces as rags or send them to the trash bin.

It turns out that many has transform these old fabrics into gorgeous braided rugs! Despite my limited sewing skill, the steps are fairly easy and simple for me to give it a try.

STEP 1 : Collect your old fabric (clothing, scraps etc)

STEP 2 : Cut the fabric into strips

STEP 3 : The fun starts here for me! Using 3 strips of cloth and braid them together. Gather and mix with different colour strip to make the braids colourful!

STEP 4 : Twirl the braided strand in circle and stitch them together.

This is the most time and effort consuming step as it took me weeks to stitch all in place. In the midst of sewing I pricked my fingers multiple times too. I guess it will be much easier if you have a sewing machine at home.

While I was painstakingly stitching away, Denver and Gladys were curious what I was doing. Some nice guesses include rope, coaster, toy etc. I thought coaster is a very good idea as I can make a smaller-sized version and am sure it looks pretty on the table.

Efforts finally paid off after completing my very first braided rug made from Hubby's old t-shirts. It adds a nostalgic feel in the house and I love to make more if time permits. If you have old fabrics, do not throw them away, you may just be able to turn them into a beautiful piece of art for your home.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

[JB] Teluk Sengat Crocodile Farm

It's a shame that we did not visit the Crocodile Farm along Upper Serangoon Road before it ends its operation in 2012. The only crocodile farm left in Singapore is Long Kuan Hong Crocodile Farm, situated at New Tiew Crescent and is not open to public.

Hence, during our drive-in to Johor Bahru last year, we decided to drop by Teluk Sengat Crocodile Farm to have an up close experience with the crocodiles. Housing more than 1000 saltwater crocodiles, including a 130-year old toothless crocodile, they are of different sizes and ages.

Many crocodiles are lurking within the lake in the centre of the farm, which explains why it is blocked off and visitors are not allowed to get close to the lake.

Prior to entering the crocodile farm, the friendly staff gave us a brief introduction and some fun facts about crocodiles. The muscles that help them to open their mouth is rather weak. Hence, a reasonably strong man can keep the mouth close with their bare hands. He also showed us how a little crocodile sounds like and look at those sharp teeth!

Upon entering the crocodile den, we must observe the safety guidelines. It is definitely not wise to wander off from the dedicated path and put yourselves and others into unnecessary dangers.

Teluk Sengat Crocodile Farm is considered to be the largest crocodile farm in Malaysia. Hence, we are surrounded by many crocodiles. Thankfully the walkways are well maintained and covered. Hence, we can take our time to take pictures and observe the reptiles.

The weather is hot and I believe the reptiles really enjoy their 'shower time'.

Working at the crocodile farm is not an easy task. I break into cold sweat after witnessing how the staff feed the crocodiles where their sizes are as big or even bigger than humans. If you like to see how the crocodiles are fed, simply pay RM20 for 3 chickens.

Feeding Time - check out how the hungry crocodile gets its feed.

The older crocodiles are located in the inner area of the farm. You get to see more than 155 years old crocodiles and they are really huge! Though not as mobile , their size already inject an aura of fear to its visitors.

Before leaving the farm, we have to give the Crocodile Herbal Soup (rm30) a try. :)

Another must try is to touch and hold the crocodiles with our bare hands and take pictures with them. (separate fees chargeable). All of us took turn to be up-close with the reptile.

Brave Hubby get to hold a bigger sized crocodile and we quickly snapped some pictures. Noticed that the crocodile's mouth has been taped for safety reasons.

It was an eye-opening experience and we spent about 2 hours touring the crocodile farm. Nice place to consider visiting if you are planning for a staycation in Desaru.

Crocodile Farm
Address:Lots 1289 & 1290, Jalan Sembilan, Kampung Belading, Teluk Sengat, 81940 Kota Tinggi, Johor, Malaysia
Entrance Fee: RM8 (adult), RM4 (child)
Opening hours: 9am - 6pm

Sunday, April 16, 2017

[SG] Guided Walk: What's in my mangrove? @ Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

15 April 2017

It has been some time since we go for nature walks. Hence, for year 2017, we are committed to bring the family back to the nature and learn more about biodiversity once again. Yesterday, we joined the free guided walk by NParks - What's in my mangrove? There are many free activities organised by NParks and you can check them out and sign up for the various events at the following link -

Outdoor shot at one of the Dragonfly Pod overlooking the wetland reserve.  

Our guide for the day is Mr Yap - a volunteer guide with NParks. We started our walk with an introductory tour at Mangrove Gallery at Kranji Way Entrance @ Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.

This section is part of the new extension of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve since 2014. Visitors can take on three new nature trails namely, Forest Trail, Mid-Canopy Walk and Coastal Trail.

Mr Yap shared many information about mangroves and the importance of its existence in the ecosystem. Mangroves can absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide that help to control greenhouse gases. Mangrove trees filter out harmful pollutants in the water and improve water quality and nothing in the mangrove forest is wasted as the parts of the mangrove trees are food for creatures.

Currently, the main mangrove sites in Singaproe includes Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Admiralty Park, Chek Jawa, Pulau Semakau, Pasir Ris Park and Berlayer Creek near Labrador Nature Reserve.

Learn more about mangroves through the exhibits at the gallery

Identify the various types of mudskippers and observe how the roots of mangrove trees differ from the other trees.  

Upon exiting the gallery, you will find gigantic sculptures of Mudskippers. Moving further ahead is the Little Heron Deck for birds observation and a lookout point over the sea. 

We took on the Coastal Trail and Mr Yap introduces us to the various plants that are commonly found in Singapore. One of which is the Elephant Ear Plant with leaves that are big and wide like the elephant's ear.

We spotted another interesting plant and our guide shares that its fruits are used to make Po Chai Pills commonly used in TCM to treat indigestion and stomach discomfort.

Apart from floral plants, keep a look out for dragonflies, spiders and crabs! We spotted many big spiders within the wetland reserve and I could only go so 'near' to take a close shot of the 8-legged creature. Thankfully, I brought along Canon G9X camera to spare me the ordeal and managed to get a pretty clear shot.

I must say taking photographs with Canon G9X definitely makes a difference compared to those taken with my mobile phone. I was able to capture clearer and brighter pictures and upload it online still! Plus Canon G9X is small and compact, making it easy and convenient for me to put inside my bag and even pocket.

This is indeed a spider lair as we spotted 6 - 8 big spiders at one spot!

It is pretty dim in the mangrove and not easy to spot crabs but we managed to find a couple and I was able to take pretty clear shots of the crabs with Canon G9X. :)

Moving out to the coastal boardwalk is a welcoming view of the Kranji waterfront overlooking Johor Bahru (Danga Bay) at the opposite end. 

The tide is fairly low and we spotted shore birds along the way.

A clear view of the roots of the mangrove trees. 

After the guided walk, we continued exploring the wetland reserve by taking on the Mid-canopy walk through an elevated, 120m-long boardwalk. Visitors will be immersed in the understory of a secondary forest and if you are lucky, you can spot birds and insects that reside in the mid-canopy region and forest floor.

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve resides on the northwestern end of Singapore and it is the first ASEAN Heritage Park in Singapore and one of the two first Nature Reserves to be gazetted. We will be back again to explore the other zones @ Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Visitor Centre: 
60 Kranji Way, #01-00, Singapore 739453

Wetland Centre:
301 Neo Tiew Crescent, Singapore 718925

Opening Hours: 7am to 7pm daily
Park Size: 202 hectares

Photographs taken by Canon G9X


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