spunktitud3

Musings on Travel, Fashion & Fun


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Gold Coast: A tick off the bucket list – Skydiving!

Skydiving in Gold Coast
I don’t even dare to take the rides at theme parks, so I don’t know how I found the courage for this impulse purchase – a skydive! My travel partner has been wanting to skydive for a long time, but everytime he was booked to do one, it rained. So he was understandly excited when he saw skydiving being one of the suggested activities in hotel guide at Halcyon House. Fate has it that Mauro, the hotel’s charismatic General Manager, was just as enthusiastic about skydiving, and promptly booked us for a skydive with Gold Coast Skydive.

Skydiving in Gold Coast
Fear didn’t strike me until the moment they suited me up and got on the plane.
Me: Is this the height we gonna jump?
My tandem partner Tom: Nope, this is only 3,000 feet, and we are going to jump at 12,000 feet. This is only a quarter of the height we gonna jump.
At that moment, I was praying real hard. What da f*** did I just get myself into, I said to myself.

The scariest moment of my life came when we started to jump one by one. There was no turning back.


Skydiving in Gold Coast
I SURVIVED! Gosh, I am so proud of myself LOL.
Skydiving in Gold Coast
The freefall was quite cool, and I felt like Superman. Tom was awesome and uber experienced, and made it more fun.
Skydiving in Gold Coast
Taking a moment to enjoy the scenery from above. I got to control the parachute for a while, though I got a little dizzy from the spinning when you pulled only on one side.
Skydiving in Gold Coast
My first thought when I landed on the beach: “I’m hungry.” Good, I am back to normal LOL. The parting humor at the skydive centre left a smile on my face. No doubt this would be an experience I will remember for the rest of my life. I am SO happy I checked this off my bucket list! :)
Skydiving in Gold Coast

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Night Festival Singapore 2017: Convolutions by EZ3kiel

Night Festival 2017 - Convolutions by EZ3kiel

The Singapore Night Festival returns for its 10th at the Bras Basah-Bugis precinct with a spectacular light projection, art performances and installations, and complimentary museum entry till midnight. The festival is spread amongst five zones – National Museum, Armenian Street, Cathay Green, Singapore Management University and Singapore Art Museum. New for this year, you can also go on a festival bike trail with bicycles borrowed from the National Museum.

This particular light mapping art installation on the facade of the National Museum by Frenchman Yann Nguema wowed many at the festival opening. It was one of the best light projections I have seen in Singapore. Titled Convolutions, the projection will be on for all nine days of the Night Festival. This particular piece was adapted from the artist’s iconic piece titled Evolutions that was show on Cathedral St Jean in Lyon, France, as part of the Fete des Lumieres (Festival of Lights), the world’s oldest and grandest light festival, last year. New elements added to the showpiece include a lion.

Night Festival Singapore 2017 takes places from 18 till 26 Aug, with most performances happening on 24-26 Aug (looking forward to Globe by Close-Act Theatre).

Night Festival 2017 - Convolutions by EZ3kiel

Night Festival 2017 - Convolutions by EZ3kiel

Otterly Cute

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Otters FeedingWas on my morning walk when I caught sight of a family of otters feeding on a huge fish – the little rascals had stolen a fish from the nearby fishing pond and dragged it to the adjacent river to for their feast. I have heard them stealing koi from ponds too, that must be their equivalent of fine dining lol. They are pretty noisy eaters!

Myanmar – Balloons over Bagan

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Balloons over Bagan


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Japan – Deer oh Deers! Nara’s Most Famous Residents at Nara Park

Nara DeersNo visit to Nara will be complete without meeting its most famous resident, the free roaming wild deers (シカ ‘shika‘ or 鹿) at Nara Park 奈良公園, which is also the location of many Nara’s attractions including Todaiji, Kasuga Taisha, Kofukuji and Nara National Museum.

Nara DeersNara Park is just a leisurely five-minute walk from Kintetsu Nara Station or a a 20-minute walk from JR Nara Station. The park can also be reached by bus. If you are ever in doubt, just follow the deers which are literally EVERYWHERE you can think of, like in the shrubs or even inside a drain.

Nara DeersConsidered to be holy messengers of the gods, Nara’s 1,200 deer have become a symbol of the city and designated as a natural treasure under the Cultural Properties Protection Law. According to local folklore, deers in Nara were considered sacred due to a visit from Takemikazuchi-no-mikoto, one of the four gods of Kasuga Shrine, who appeared on Mt. Mikasa riding a white deer. Killing one of these deers was a capital offense punishable by death up until 1637.

Nara DeersSo these deers literally do whatever they feel like. Including stopping traffic.

Nara DeersNara’s wild deer are super chill with people, although they can get a little pushy when you start feeding them. They can be quite a handful at times as well…

Nara DeersLike this one who happily trotted into the pond just outside the Nara National Museum for a dip.

Nara DeersAnd came to ask to be fed after its skinny dipping. Shika biscuits, which smelt just like the wafers we eat (I had to resist trying them myself), were sold at kiosks along the park at 150yen for a stack. Our hotel kindly prepared a little bag of biscuits and bottle of water for our little adventure.

Nara DeersWhile the deers are generally tame, just be cautious as they can get aggressive. Afterall, they are wild animals.

The deers are pretty intelligent, and have learnt to bow to ask for food.

Nara DeersOnce the deers see the biscuits, be prepared to be surrounded and nudged around like a superstar. They butt you with their heads when you don’t feed them quickly enough, and the one behind lightly bit my arse to get my attention.

Nara DeersSee the affection they show just to get their treats.

Nara DeersThis clever one went for the shortcut and simply stood in front of the deer biscuit stall :D

Nara DeersGreedy little fellas. They are also very practical – they leave you as soon as you run out of biscuits to feed them.

Nara Deers“No biscuits for me? Bleahhhhh.”

Nara DeersOnce they are well-fed, they pick a spot and start snoozing. Nothing you do will move them, not even putting a biscuit right under their noses. So come early in the day when they are still hungry.

Nara DeersWe caught some hotties in traditional costumes playing ball at the park too. There was a festival nearby as well, and I thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with the locals, both human and animal.

Nara DeersOne for the wefie album ;) It was quite an experience getting upclose with the deers after hearing so much about them. It was totally worth the trip, not to mention there’s so much cultural sights to visit in Nara. I will be back to visit my furry friends…with thicker pants.

 

Read more about my travels in Japan