Bangkok - Damnoensaduak Floating Market & Maeklong Railway Market

This is a monthly post on 'Educational Places'. Every 4th week of the month I will post on local educational places we have brought AJ to.  However, in this post, the place covered is not in Singapore but in Bangkok.

Jan - The Coins & Notes Museum
Feb - The NEWater Plant
Mar - Gardens By The Bay - The Cloud Forest
Apr - Gardens By The Bay - The Flower Dome
May - The Changi Museum
Jun - Human Body Experience & Nature's Design Exhibition @ Singapore Science Centre
Jul - Literary Trail: In Search of the Missing Heirloom in Katong


AJ seldom steps into local wet market because the mummy here doesn't go too.  I buy grocery from supermarket, heehee.

But the 2 types of market here in Bangkok are worthy visit.  I understand that there are a few of these in Bangkok, we chose those that offered us good tour deals.  We booked ours at S$26/pax. You may book your trip here.

Damnoensaduak Floating Market
Damnoenssaduak was the name of the canal dug in the reign of King Rama IV.  In those days without rivers & canals, transportation was almost motionless.  Most people live densely along both sides of the canal from one end of the canal to another.  The majority of them are agriculturists.  They grow several different kinds of fruit & vegetable.  Day in & day out from about 8am to about 11am, the Floating Market is routinely crowded with hundreds of vendors & purchasers floating in their small row boats selling & buying or exchanging their goods.  What they purchase are particularly food, fruit & vegetable which mostly brought from their own orchards. They usually travel on their small row boats.

Now, it is more commercialised, so you will get to see vendors selling souvenirs as well.  But it was a great exposure for AJ.  This is the 1st time he rode on a small row boat along a canal & 1st time experiencing the ancient style of trading.




The ride on the boat can be hot! Remember your hat/cap & sunscreen!



Maeklong Railway Market
This railway became famous for its route through the Maeklong Railway Market, which means the 'Umbrella Pulldown Market'.  It is 1 of the largest fresh seafood markets in Thailand, & is centred around the Maeklong Railway's track.  Whenever a train approaches, the awnings & shop fronts are moved back from the rails, to be replaced once the train has passed.  It should be an amazing sight, unfortunately, we didn't get to see it because the train broke down.  So it didn't come, what a waste!  Please search youtube video for it if you are interested.


The train scheduled to arrive at 9.45am broke down.  But we couldn't wait for the next one at 12.05pm


The collection of food items they sell

The bottom pix shows bbq frogs!

This is a half day tour, visiting 2 exquisite markets.  In view of the heavy traffic in Bangkok, the tour van picked us up at 7am.  The journey on the road to 1 of the markets was 2 hours (we went to Maeklong Railway Market 1st).  After a short tour, the van brought us to Damnoensaduak Floating Market, which was about 15mins drive away.  By the time we reached our hotel, it was near 2pm.  If you intend to visit these 2 markets, do take note of the time needed & pack light snack for your little ones.


AJ read <Bangkok Guide for kids by kids> before we left for this trip.
We stayed in Glow Pratunam Hotelvisited Madame Tussauds and Safari World.

An Interview With Mother & Baby Magazine





I have let the cat out.
Please read with an open mind, & please don’t judge us.




We believe that raw intelligence & high potential are not enough for a person to succeed.  Having higher IQ than the rest does not guarantee that the child will grow up to be a fine, well-mannered, filial, & most importantly, God-fearing gentleman/lady.

Traditionally, intelligence has been interpreted as a measure of the “cognitive abilities’’ of an individual. Psychometric tests have been used to test the general intelligence or cognitive ability of an individual but these tests do not factor in other abilities like creativity & emotional quotient (EQ).

If you are familiar with the theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI), you might have already discovered that your child(ren) is/are having some of these intelligences:


Picture Credit

In the sense, every child is gifted in some areas.  For all you know, you could have a genius at home too!  As parents, it is our duty to unlock the full potential of our children.  As long as it is within our means, we will provide the necessary resources & create the environment to better nurture them.  

It happens that AJ possesses a few of these intelligences & they also fall into the parameters of the psychometric tests that qualify him to be in the club.  Sure, in terms of academic & musical performance, his learning curve is less steep.  But he also has areas in which he is not even on par with his peers.  Sounds fair?  What we do know is that the road ahead for the child is still long.  How he would turn out to be is our responsibility, yet completely in the Hands of God.  We can only do our part, & let God lead the way.





Rise & Shine Expo recently shared an article on MI, you may like to read it here.


SG50 - Singapore Turns 50 Next Year



This is the SG50 logo.  It represents the little red dot that we’ve come to know as home. It celebrates our Singapore spirit & dreams which is much much bigger than, & not limited to, the physical size of our island nation.

Whenever I see this logo, my heart is always overwhelmed with emotion.  I don't know how will I live through 2015, but the thought of my country celebrating its Golden Jubilee next year simply caused me to choke with emotion.


I brought AJ to WE: Defining Stories exhibition in National Museum during June school holiday.  As we strolled through the exhibition hall, I stopped by some significant photos & explained to him a little on the history of them.  I choked on my words when I saw these photos:


These were taken when MM Lee (Prime Minister then) had a talk with the people of the Malayan.  The negotiation failed.  The Malayan did not want Singapore to be part of them.  It was when Lee Kuan Yew tear-ed.

So we had to be on our own feet.  On this land where we have no natural resources, how did we manage to be a blooming country?

It is of no doubt that he has all my respect.  He built this nation from scratch.  Sure, he has his flaws in ruling this country, but who is perfect?  How difficult it is to rule a country, but he turned it from a country of nobody to a country of somebody.

So in 2015, Singapore will turn 50.  How many 50s could I have? Probably only 1.  But our next generations may witness this Golden Jubilee & probably even Centennial.  As much as we should celebrate, we should also reflect on what we’ve gone through, our shared experiences & our dreams for the future with the next generations.

SG50 celebrates 50 years of our independence since 1965, all the hardship & tears, smiles & joy, standing together, helping one another, 50 years of friends, family & communities regardless of race, language or religion, our innovative & pioneering spirit, our rich & diverse cultures & 50 years of 'US'.  It is a whole year round of celebration.

We will be celebrating SG50 the whole of 2015!

But in 2014, we are already having a prelude for SG50.  SG50 will be having a roadshow in Northpoint Shopping Centre this weekend.  Come!  Visit the roadshow to better understand the SG50 campaign & know how you may participate in the Celebration!

If you show that you're a fan of SG50 Facebook fanpage,
you can collect a gift from the friendly mama shop uncle.
Behold!  I have told you so!

Now you can keep yourselves abreast with the activities lined up.  Simply follow these social media platforms to get the latest updates on the SG50 movement:
Like SG50 on Facebook at facebook.com/sg2015.
Follow SG50 on Twitter at twitter.com/singapore50.
Subscribe to YouTube at youtube.com/ilovesingapore50.
Submit a celebration idea at singapore50.sg.

Check out the previous two SG50 roadshows that you have missed!  I'm sure you won't want to miss this one at Northpoint after watching this clip!




What is my wish for SG50?
I wish Mr Lee Kuan Yew will celebrate it with us.


Bangkok Guide For Kids By Kids

This is a monthly post on 'Book or Web/Mobile Application for Children'. Every 3rd week of the month I will post on a review on books that AJ has read or web/mobile application that he has tried on.

Jan - Sherlock Sam & the Missing Heirloom in Katong
Feb - UpToTen (Boowa & Koala) Online Educational Website for Pre-Schoolers
Mar - Sherlock Sam & the Vanished Robot in Penang
Apr - How To Think Like A Scientist
May - The Rock & The Bird
June - 君伟上小学
July - Young Scientists Reader - Integrated Thematic Science Series
Aug - JJ's Science Adventure: Magnets


I must commend the father for being very resourceful when it comes to coaching AJ.  Somehow, he got hold of this book before we went Bangkok during the September school holiday & AJ had been able to understand Bangkok more.


This book has been useful to AJ as it introduces practical tips & places of interest in Bangkok from a child's perspective.





We would probably give Tuk-Tuk a miss because weather was hot & the roads were dusty if AJ didn't insist that we must take 1.  Without reading this book, I wouldn't have known that there is Motorcycle Taxi in Bangkok as well!



The boy had his wish granted.  We were in the tuk-tuk, on the way to Madame Tussauds.

So, if you are heading to Bangkok with your children, do borrow this book from National Library Board for them to read.  It is a perfect way to hype up the tour, build up the enthusiasm & know more about the city.


We went to Bangkok in September & we stayed in Glow Pratunam Hotel (read review here), visited Madame Tussauds, Safari World and the Floating & the Railway Markets.

My Birthday But Another Ordinary Day

August is my birthday month, it is also my wedding anniversary.  Yes, my wedding anniversary is also my birthday.  As usual & as expected, no celebration, no surprises from the father.  Last year he even forgot about it.  The boy didn't know it was my birthday until the father told him.  But kids being kids, they usually do not initiate anything until they are being prompted/encouraged by the adults.  So, yea, nothing from both of them.  In case you wonder, no, no, no soreness over it because this is how the father is being brought up.  He may not be a good lover, but he is a good father.  But I am determined not to let AJ follow his footstep :)  , the boy should learn when there is a need to call for celebration..

Instead of lamenting over the no-celebration, I turned my eyes on the freebies that both NTUC & Popular bookstores provided for me & have the celebration myself.


I went for Aromatherapy Body Massage at Body Wellness. Oh boy, what a torture, instead of a blissful, relaxing massage as claimed here.  The masseur used all her strength & might (九牛二虎之力) on me.  Even though I told her to "小力一点" (aka to be more gentle) because I have not been for body massage for ages, she didn't seem to register. 

I literally felt like this during the massage session.
Think I will sucumb to the sales speech & sign up for the package?




I have not been for a proper facial for the longest time ever.  Since it was given to me as a compliment, why not?  It wasn't too bad, neither was there any to shout about.

I also opt for the Foot Reflexology & I was so glad that I did!  It has to be 1 of the best foot massages I ever had!



Then I went for the yoga classes.  I have never tried yoga before, & because of the origin of yoga, I am careful not to choose those classes that incorporate meditation.  You may like to read about the origin of yoga here.

I went for 1st of the 3 complimentary classes this morning & this was what I posted in my Instagram account.


So this was how I celebrated my birthday month myself.  Hopefully next year would be more exciting?


An Extraordinary Mother, Pamela Lim

This is a monthly post on 'Inspiring Individual'. Every 2nd week of the month I will post on individual who has crossed our path & how we were inspired by him/her.

Jan - The Music Conductor, Adrian Tan
Feb - Investor, Entrepreneur, Author, Success Coach - Ismail Gafoor
Mar - 儿子的华文老师 - 颜清碹老师
Apr - Man of God - Rev. (Dr.) Prabhudas Koshy
May - 新加坡教育界的杰出华人 - 张美香校长
Jun - Trading Master, My Mentor - Robin Ho
Jul - Top-tier Remiser & Stock Trainer, Collin Seow


I don't think she needs much introduction.  She writes frequently on her Facebook Fanpage, sharing her view on educational stuff (mainly). 

Photo taken this year in Aug at Rise & Shine Expo. Was surprised that she still recognises me!

When I first came to read about her sharing on her facebook (FB) fanpage about a year & half ago, honestly, I wasn't too impressed.  I thought they were a little too boastful, I doubted their credibility.  I 'liked' her fanpage regardless, because I wanted to read what she wrote.

At around last year July/August, she held some seminars & she promoted them on her FB fanpage.  I didn't know what motivated me to sign up, but I did.  So that was the 1st time I met her, face-to-face, & heard her in person.

Oh boy, was I glad to have attended! 

My perception of Pamela changed 360 degrees, from 1 extreme of the spectrum to the other.  In that seminar, I experienced how sincere she was, how helpful she was & how intelligent she was.  How wrong I was to be so judgemental of her.  I was so ashamed of myself!  I thank God that He has enabled me to see the real Pamela.  How fortunate I was to discover the truth.  Through her sharing that day, the father & I had a better idea how we might help AJ in his educational path ahead.

This year, when Rise & Shine Expo organised another seminar conducted by her, I decided to attend again.  To me, it was another opportunity to learn from an experienced mother who has put her 5 children through accelerated education programmes.  She has done it 5 times over, who else could be better to impart the knowledge & share the experience.

To my delightful surprise, she remembers me even though I haven't met her for a year.  & again, I learned something valuable from her that day.

To Pamela, I just want to say 'thank you' to you for your selfless sharing & taking time & effort to reply to my countless messages.  I look forward to reading more of your sharing on FB!


Bangkok - Madame Tussauds

Given a choice between Kidzania Bangkok & Madame Tussauds, AJ chose the latter.  He asked if Kidzania Bangkok is similar to the one he went in Kuala Lumpur & the Baby Boss in Taipei, he got an affirmative yes from me. Am I not glad that he understands there is an opportunity cost to everything?

We, adults, also prefer him to go to Madame Tussauds because it is an opportunity for him to know who's who, though not in real life, but in life size wax figures.

Currently, Madame Tussauds is in London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Hollywood, Las Vegas, New York, Washington DC , Bangkok & Vienna.  They are coming to Singapore real soon!

The wax figures are categorised into 8 sections, namely, History, Art & Science, Leaders, Sports, Music, Film, TV & Red Carpet.  When taking photos with the wax figures, do try to be as comical as possible.  After all, they are not real figures, & we are there for fun!

Celebrity - Film, TV, Red Carpet & Music

Obviously, the boy is not a born dancer!

Another evidence


I didn't know Bruce Lee was that skinny!

Don't ask me why Doraemon is there too

This one he must know, since he sings quite a few of her songs :)






History, Art & Science

He looks like a magician than a musician!


Another one that I don't know why 'he' is there

Sports




Leaders

The father knows how to act cool!

I wanna kiss him, just like what Zoe did to the then PM!





The boy had quite a lot of fun posing with those figures.  There are more photos which I didn't post up here.  Do try to purchase the ticket online as they would be cheaper.  You may buy direct from Madame Tussauds website or google for cheaper ones.  Or you may get your tickets here.

Madame Tussauds is at the 6th floor of Siam Discovery Centre, nearest BTS being Siam station, is within walking distance.  This tour is about an hour only, so you may want to consider bringing your children to Kidzania, which is at Siam Paragon, if they are keen. To give you a better picture of the location, these 3 shopping malls are just next to each other: Siam Paragon (Kidzania), Siam Centre, Siam Discovery Centre (Madame Tussauds).  


We stayed in Glow Pratunam Hotel (review here), visited Safari World and the Floating & the Railway Markets.
The boy read this book <Bangkok Guide for kids, by kids> to help him understand Bangkok.