Singapore

It was the second time I visited Singapore, and this time it was with the family. I always loved the way the country has transformed to the current state from a fishing village. Anyone would get inspired by the work they have done to make themselves a financially strong nation in the world, and once you land in the nation, there are glimpses of those efforts clearly visible everywhere you see. The city itself has been transformed every year to the next level to cope with the competition with the other developed nations. It is obvious that as a traveler from a developing nation would see things differently than the ones who travel from developed nations. But I feel the efforts and attitudes which have caused the nation to plunge forward shouldn’t be neglected.

It was a short four-day visit, and mainly to relax from the usual daily jargon. Main purpose was to enjoy the time being there, by visiting theme parks and to enjoy the other leisure activities. Nobody would doubt the way they have created those to attract foreigners from the neighboring countries, and those parks have become main foreign income sources to the country. The quality of those should be appreciated as well, where they have successfully managed to let the visitors forget about their personal problems for a while, soon after they entered inside of those places. The main target was the children and teenagers, but there was always something for the adults to indulge in the scene, and some opportunity for them to go back to their younger ages to experience the memories once again.

Universal Studios was one of the great places of attraction by the tourists, and there are various rides created to various themes, such as, Sesame Street, Transformers, Ancient Egypt, Treasure hunters, Shrek, Puss in Boots, Madagascar etc. I loved the transformers ride above all, as that made me to live in the middle of a battle between autobots and decepticons. It was truly a ride worth of waiting one hour in the queue, and the experience was remarkable.

Another magnificent experience was the Gardens by the Bay. They have made a heaven of flowers by artificially simulating weathers of five continents, and the plants and flowers of those countries could be seen under one gigantic roof. Flower dome was truly a miracle, and the visitors are made to roam through a jungle of flowers from different countries. It was a heaven for nature photographers as well, and majority of the visitors try to capture a perfect photograph of almost each and every bush of flowers. Next to it was the Cloud Forest where they have created the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. Another miracle for sure, where visitors were given a chance to climb an artificially made mountain. (Via elevators and cloud walks) The main purpose of it was to display wide variety of plants, mainly from rain forests, even the plants from pre-historic period were amazingly preserved and they have made separate sections to display those.

So, Singapore is planning to create another surprise by 2020, by opening up doors to a rain forest within the country by combing the bird park. It will be a definite visit once that’s open for public.

 

 

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Office – OBT

Last couple of month I couldn’t gather myself to write something here, and now I regret it a little. Anyway, it was a busy couple of months with work and assignments. As usual, little bit of a breathing time at the end of the year, and almost all of us have lighter schedules toward the end of the year, mostly preparing plans for the next year.

Anyway, this is about the three-day OBT and annual trip from the office. We thought of changing the traditional way of going on the annual trip from the office, and added some adventure this time. Pushing ourselves to extremes in life is something I believe a lot, and this time we tried some of that, which we haven’t done or have happened to be forgotten for a long time. As kids we loved adventures, and we used to see some exciting things more regularly with the curious minds. But with time, we embrace quite a lot of responsibilities and bundle our lives with work and hardly find to time to explore the world, more importantly, explore ourselves.

 

 

So, first we head up to the mountains, for canoeing and then 3-hour trekking through the jungle. That sounded amazing, and we all were eager for the whole programme. Even though it got half an hour later to get there, we managed to get everything in order not to skip anything from the schedule. Since some rain was expected in the evening, we decided to do canoeing first and then the hike, as it would be even more interesting and challenging in a wet weather.

It was not an usual rowing exercise,  the canoe itself was so narrow that we could hardly fit into it. After a little bit of struggle, we managed to row in to the reservoir. It was pretty exhausting after an hour of fun in the lake, and by the time we came to the shore, a lot of energy has been drawn out from ourselves. But that couldn’t stop us from the next adventure.

It was the most thrilling experience I would say. Creeping through jungle bushes, and to make it more interesting, the beautiful Belihuloya stream crossed our path several times. We dipped our feet in icy cold water a few times, and felt the energy rising back up inside us again to head toward the end. The scenery was breathtaking as well, as most of the central hills were visible through the mist which covered most of the peaks of them.

After a hectic three hour journey through the jungle, we settled for a late lunch and relaxed ourselves in the tents in the evening. Dinner was a BBQ night with a campfire, and we had a pretty joyful time doing games and sharing funny stories.

The rest of the trip was to relax ourselves a bit in Udawalawa, where we stayed in Grand Udawalawa Safari resort. We played some cricket in a local school playground and in the next morning went to safari in the national park. On the way back home, we couldn’t miss out one of our favourite sports, which was carting. The track looked the same and the feeling was the same. Even though the ten minutes of speed and twisting our bodies with sharp turns made the body-pains even worse, the pure thrill of the event could soak up all of that at the end.

After three days of adventure, we managed to arrive at homes before the sunset, and it was something I would definitely try again next time, and may be, add a little bit of more time to spend in the wilderness.