Colours, Sights & Patterns At Kampong Glam

In the 19th century, Kampong Glam was essentially an ethnic district with a strong Malay-Arab influence. It was a place where locals patronized for their Arab-Muslim traditional foodstuff and merchandise...

Immersive 4K HDR Viewing Experience With Sony Projectors

Sony’s latest innovative laser light source projector is High Dynamic Range (HDR) compatible with native 4K resolution, creating an amazling clear lifelike experience, as if you are there yourself…

Back 30 Years To Upper Serangoon Shopping Centre

Iconic along this stretch of road is the rectangular block of a nondescript beige-tiled building. The facade of this building is blocked by an overhead bridge. And this is the front entrance to a shopping centre - the Upper Serangoon Shopping Centre… (USSC).

Monti - Singapore's Longest Brunch Every Sunday

Enjoy brunch by the bay concept, complete with stunning views of the Marina Bay and its surroundings, and a fabulous menu and music programme to match at Monti…

Where Freemasons Convene

In 1886, the Masonic Club was established to support Singapore freemasonry. Guess who was the first Freemason in modern Singapore?

Canton Paradise - Freeflow MSG In Dishes

On a trip to the North-East, Merlion Wayfarer recently went to the Canton Paradise at Compass One. Located at Level 3, it is situated in a row of eateries together with several other restaurants.

Wanting something warm and healthy, she decided to order the Double-Boiled Superior Chicken Soup, together with her usual outside favourite of Shrimp Dumpling Noodles. To supplement, she ordered a plate of Canton Style Kampong Chicken.

This is what came. OK, looks ordinary enough.

However, the taste was totally shocking.

Kampong Chicken
Being Kampong Chicken, we were willing to forgo the succulence for a healthier dish. However we never expected a totally dry dish with its highly-unappetizing dried-out colour.

Chicken Soup
Within the first mouthful, she could immediately feel the MSG stinging her lips. The strong MSG taste and high salt content made it difficult to finish the soup, even among 3 people. 

Shrimp Dumpling Noodles
The sauce over the noodles was likewise exceedingly salty, leaving us wondering if there's a promotion for salt on that day?

All in all, we had a totally unpleasant experience. After the dinner, one of us had swollen lips and nose, another had a bad migraine, and the third had abdominal discomfort.

What happened, Canton Paradise? 

ACM - A Trip Back To Ancient Civilizations

It's been the longest time since Merlion Wayfarer stepped into a museum. Recently, on one of her days off, she decided to venture along the banks of the Singapore River, and right into the museum at Empress Place.

The Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) showcases Singapore's diverse heritage by charting the exploration and history behind the people from around the region that have settled on Singapore's shores over the past two centuries. 

Being the only museum in the region devoted to exploring the artistic heritage of Asia, especially the ancestral cultures of Singaporeans, it was founded in 1993, and in its present building by the Singapore River since 2003. On the ground floor, the Trade and the Exchange of Ideas gallery houses artefacts and artworks that tell stories of Singapore’s history as an emporium for global trade. 

In the riverfront Khoo Teck Puat gallery, the famous Tang Shipwreck collection is located - A virtual time capsule of treasures from 9th-century China hidden from the world till its discovery in 1998. The adjoining Kwek Hong Png Wing houses the museum’s first contemporary art space. The third floor houses over 300 magnificent Chinese ceramics from the museum's collection. Other galleries in the ACM include the Ancient Religions Gallery and the Scholar in Chinese Culture gallery.   

Merlion Wayfarer spent the most time on Level 2, which houses Faith & Belief galleries. These galleries present their origins in Asia, their spread across the continent by land and by sea, and their localisation each step of the way. Here are some snapshots of the photo-worthy artefacts:

Model Stupa
Gandhara, 3rd or 4th Century, Schist

This beautifully carved stupa is decorated on the bottom tier with images of the Buddha seated in meditation and flanked by two attendants. The Corinthian columns show how classical Mediterranean art influenced Gandhara. The lotus petals that decorate the dome are symbols of Buddha. The finial on top marks the vertical axis of the stupa and the position of the relic chamber inside.

Head of Bodhisattva
Gandhara, Around 4th Century, Terracotta

The face and curly hair show the powerful influence of the West on the development of Buddhist art. Ancient Greece and Rome played a significant role in the development of Gandhara (in present day Pakistan and Afghanistan).

Bodhisattvas wear jewellery, and have beards and moustaches, which distinguishes them from figures of the Buddha. The jewellery seen here is typical of the Gandhara period. A circular indent on his forehead, called an urna, is a mark of nobility and illumination; it would originally have been inlaid with a precious stone.

The sculpture was modelled with wet clay that was then fired. This technique allowed deep indentations and free forms, as evident in the beard and hair. Terracotta (literally, baked clay) allowed large statues to be assembled from several places.

Gandhara, 3rd Century, Schist

In ancient Greek mythology, Atlas is a Titan who holds up the sky. Such figures were often placed with scenes from the Buddha's life. This shows how Western classical art was adopted to adorn Buddhist art in Gandhara.

Head of a Buddha
Thailand, Lan Na, 16th Century, Bronze

This Buddha, when it was complete, would have looked own serenely upon those who worshipped it. It was produced in Lan Na (Northern Thailand), a major bronze-casting centre, its prominent cranial bump (ushnisha) was originally lopped by a flame finial (now missing) similar to those on the two Sukothai Buddha images on display in this gallery.

As with Sukhothai, Lan Na was influenced by Sri Lankan Buddhism. Styles flowed between the various kingdoms, and Buddha images from Lan Na and Sukhothai share many similarities.

Influence also moved by less peaceful means : In the 15th century, Sawankhalok was captured by Tiloka, the Lan Na king, who then repulsed a number of attempts of Sukhothai to regain the city.

The Great Goddess
India, Madhya Pradesh, 11th Century (Paramara Dynasty), Sandstone

The Great Goddess has countless names and forms, though she is mostly depicted as Durga, the main focus of shakti worship (devotion to female power and energy). This ten-armed figure sits in the position of royal ease and is decorated with exquisite jewellery. The flying garland bearers indicate her divine status.

A remarkable example of art from the Paramara Dynasty (9th/10th to 14th century), the sculpture hails from Bijamandal Temple (now in ruins), originally dedicated to Charchika-Devi, a form of the goddess Durga.


Shield, Dayak of Kayan Tribe
Borneo, Early 20th Century, Wood, Pigments

The shield has an applied design showing the Tree of Life. Facing pairs of hornbills and crocodiles indicate the upper and middle spheres of the universe. The pairs of snakes top and bottom indicate the lower world. The handle on the reverse is surrounded by floral motifs.

Model of a Temple
Myanmar, Yangon, 1914, Silver

This model takes the form of a Burmese temple, showing how the British appropriated traditional forms to suit their own purposes. The base is decorated with scenes of logging and trading company buildings. The front plaque is inscribed:

"Presented to Berkeley John Byng Stephens Esquire by employees of the Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation Limited Rangoon on his retirement, December 1914"

At the time, the company was one of the largest in the region, with the concessions in colonial Burma, Java, Siam and southern India.



The Meanings of the Buddha's Hand Gestures

Bhumisparsha Mudra
This is the most common mudra for seated images of the Buddha in Thailand. When the Buddha is touching his right hand to the ground - bhumisparsha mudra - he is "calling the earth to witness".

Near the end of his long meditation, the Buddha calls the earth goddess to witness his right to enlightenment, and for her to help defeat the armies of Mara, the demon trying to tempt and distract him.

Seated Buddha, Sukhothai Kingdom (Thailand), 15th or 16th Century

Dharmachakra Mudra
The Buddha's hands here are in dharmachakra mudra. This gesture signifies the "turning of the wheel of Buddhist Law". All the teachings of the Buddha make up Buddhist Law, and thus this gesture shows him teaching.

Buddha Teaching, Gandhara, 3rd or 4th Century

Abhaya Mudra
This hand gesture - abhaya mudra - signifies fearlessness. Sometimes you see Buddhas with both hands in abhaya mudra.

Walking Buddha, Sukhothai Kingdom (Thailand), 15th or 16th Century

Dhyana Mudra
This Buddha sits serenely with hands in dhyana mudra, the gesture of meditation.

Seated Buddha, Thailand, 19th or early 20th Century

The ACM is located at 1 Empress Place. For more information, read its website here.

Little Sheep Hotpot - Value Set Lunch

Little Sheep Hotpot recently launched a Value Set Lunch promotion. At just $15.80++, the Set Lunch includes:
  • Choices of meat platter (Signature Lamb, Kurobuta Pork or USA Beef)
 Pick your choice from the menu on a tablet...

Pork and beef platters here...
  •  Choice of beverage (Coke, Sprite or Lime Juice)
Consider booking a private room to enjoy majestic Mongolian wall art...
  • 18 types of hotpot ingredients, including Spinach, Luncheon Meat, Bean Curd, Fish Tofu, Meat Ball, Beef Ball, Mushroom, Fried Bean curd Skin, Dumpling, Cabbage, Rice Vermicelli, Corn, Black Fungus, Potato, Yam, Crown Daisy, Lotus Root and Noodles

 Noodles for that needed carbo boost...
  • Excludes soup base and sauces
Share a pot with your friends at just $9 for a single flavour...

Or opt for a double-flavoured pot at $15...

If you are less adventurous or prefer milder soups, choose the Mushroom or Tomato options...

The richer spicy or original flavours are definitely stronger in taste...

Dip your meat in the choice of sauces and garnishes available...

End off your meal with a delicious set of lamb skewers...

Or opt for a sweet finish with the soft-serve ice cream...

The Value Set Lunch is available from Mondays to Fridays (excluding public holidays), from 1100-1500 hours till 28 June 2019 at Little Sheep Hotpot's One Fullerton outlet.

Launch Of Experience And Xposure Programme (EXP2019) For ESports

In line with its mission to nurture youths and to provide them with the right opportunities to develop, grow and achieve their dreams, *SCAPE officially launched an esports Experience and Xposure Programme (EXP2019) recently for Singapore youths aged 15 to 25 years old.

"EXP2019 is the first-of-its-kind in Singapore where youths can learn about esports through a holistic programme. In addition to game skills, youths can also learn about the many exciting possibilities within the industry and talented youths will be provided with green lane access to our industry partners to pursue their passion in esports. Importantly, we aim to inculcate the right values and behaviours and mitigate any negative aspects of this popular youth interest such as cyber-bullying and gaming addiction."
--- Mr David Chua, *SCAPE Chairman ---

Designed with the help of industry professionals, EXP2019 offers specially-curated 3 day, 2 nights esports camps during the upcoming June school vacation that is centred on 3 focus titles - Mobile Legends Bang Bang (17 to 19 June), FIFA (24 to 26 June) and League of Legends (27 to 29 June). Camp activities include introduction to the whole spectrum of the esports landscape, esports challenges, team bonding exercises and outdoor learning that will foster social mixing and character development.

From July to December, there will be a total of 10 workshops for each of the 3 focus titles, and 10 workshops on online live streaming and commentary. Workshop modules range from in-game skills and tactics, to mental management, cyber-wellness, content creation, engaging online audiences and much more. Driving EXP2019 will be coaches and pro gamers from official program partner, Resurgence, Singapore’s most successful esports organization.

"EXP2019 is about providing aspirants and interested youths with an opportunity to be exposed to and to experience esports. Our goal is to cultivate responsible behaviours, while sharing with them our game insights and industry knowledge. I look forward to sharing my personal experiences and to advise these youths, based on the path I’ve taken so that they can make more informed decisions."
--- Samuel "Sequinox" Chan, former Raffles Institution student turned full-time professional gamer ---
In the months to come, *SCAPEesports will also be conducting school visits island-wide to educate youths about esports and EXP2019. Esports enthusiasts can also look forward to more community rallies, viewing parties and other events at *SCAPE.

"By learning and bonding with like-minded enthusiasts at *SCAPE, attendees can also play a future role in expanding the esports community at large and communities is the foundation for a strong esports ecosystem in Singapore."
--- Professional FIFA player Chiang "Hibidi" Wen Jun ---

For more information and registration details, visit


*SCAPE Co. Ltd is a non-profit organisation that supports youth, talent and leadership development. The organisation aims to motivate and empower youths to realise their potential, and seeks to be the home of enterprising youths committed to creating their own future. It was set up in 2007 in response to a call for more spaces for youth social, recreational, sporting, and community activities, and to showcase their talents.

*SCAPE offers a series of programmes for youths to learn new skills, harness their creativity, and create something impactful while cultivating an enterprising spirit. The 5 clusters are entrepreneurship, music, dance, media and esports.