Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Last Morning in Muju Deogyusan Ski Resort

Our tummies begging for food after one hour refreshing ourselves in hot tubs at St Hue Club jjimjilbang. (Vera Lee)
Grabbed some gimbap, bread and banana milk... (Vera Lee) 
from big convenience shop at Muju Festival Street. (Vera Lee)
After had our breakfast, we slowly stroll back to hotel
 to get our luggage and check out... (Vera Lee)
Muju Wine Gallery (Vera Lee)
Calm and chilly morning view from Kookmin Hotel. (Vera Lee)
skiing slopes blanketed with white snow~! (Vera Lee)
Welcome Center looks like European-style castle. (Vera Lee)
You have to Check-in and Check-Out here during off-peak seasons. (Vera Lee)
Super love the high ceiling with the big chandelier lighting
and still Christmas atmosphere although it's already Feb ^^ (Vera Lee)
Grand and good quality of wooden furniture
and long and big staircases... (Vera Lee)
 Weather Forecast at Receptionist Area.

But, were quite disappointed with Kookmin Hotel, as the room is really small and squeezy. We hardly have place to walk after laying 2 mattresses and our 2 luggage. 

The room with super simple desk, wardrobe, small TV and fan. Small bathroom with shower head and toilet bowl. No toiletries provided except for 2 towels and toilet rolls. Therefore, I didn't take any photo because it's totally different from the photo from their website.

The room is with ondol floor, but when you on the ondol it's so stuffy and I'd to wake up to turn on the fan... but still not helpful that I woke up again to slightly open the window to supply fresh air to the room.

I don't recommend this hotel... The plus points only the location inside Muju resort and easy online room reservation and they accept foreign credit card (most of the online booking only accept Korean credit cards or bank transfer).

But, frankly this is the worst room that we ever stayed in Korea. However, because we opted for Winter Wonderland package, we enjoyed some discounted rate for ski equipments rental, free ski lift and sauna.

Actually with the rate you can stay in Minbak or pension houses with nicer bigger rooms and more amenities. We saw few pension houses on the way from Muju bus terminal to resort, which you can consider if you're not going there for skiing. Or choose other hotels inside this resort with the package if you're going for winter activities, so you can save on rental of equipments and ski lift. (Vera Lee)
Hhhmmm... Reindeer and Santa's 'Sliegh' bus?!

We're waiting for the taxi outside the reception area, after we asked the receptionist to call the taxi driver that drove us here as he gave us his name card. (Vera Lee)
Let me drive you to Muju Winter Wonderland with this 
X'masie bus ^^ (Vera Lee)
하나... 둘... 셋... 김치~!^^ (Vera Lee) (Vera Lee)
 Let's check whether the taxi is here already? (Vera Lee)
 Leaving Muju Deogyusan Resort around 10:30 am. 안녕~!!!

Wish everyone a Happy New Year!
새해 복 많이 받으세요~!^^

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Friday, 26 December 2014

[Gardens By The Bay] - Magical Garden Rhapsody and Christmas Wonderland

We landed at Supertree Dining and had our dinner at Hill Street Coffee Shop before we embarked on a night journey through rainforests of the magical world with Garden Rhapsody's "Rainforest Orchestra" at the giant SuperTree Groove. (Vera Lee)
Singapore local delights: Nasi Lemak, Prawn Noddle Soup
and Seafood Fried Rice. (Vera Lee)
 SuperTree Grove from Cloud Forest Dome

These uniquely designed vertical gardens of 25 to 50-metres (about 16 storeys tall) have large canopies that provide shade in the day... (Vera Lee)
 They come alive when the sky turns dark... (Vera Lee)
  with an exhilarating display of light and sound. (Vera Lee)
 Marina Bay Sands and SuperTree.

They can be found all around the Gardens - twelve at the Supertree Grove, and the remaining six are placed in clusters of threes at the Golden and Silver Gardens. (Vera Lee)
  Providing scale and dimension to the Gardens while marrying 
the form  and function of mature trees...

Supertrees are made of four parts: reinforcement concrete core, trunk, planting panels of the living skin, and canopy. (Vera Lee)
These Supertrees also create height to balance the tall 
developments in the Marina Bay area. (Vera Lee)
  The Supertrees are joining in the festive celebrations. (Vera Lee)
 and adding to the magical atmosphere at Gardens by the Bay 
with a Christmas Edition of the “Garden Rhapsody”. (Vera Lee)
 Be entertained by familiar Christmas tunes as the towering vertical gardens come to life
 every evening in a specially choreographed 12-minute music and light show. (Vera Lee)
This festive edition runs from 17 Nov to 1 Jan, 
twice nightly at 7.45pm and 8.45pm, at the Supertree Grove. (Vera Lee)
 Do check out "The Luminarie" Italian Sculptures of Light.
All the pieces are delicately handcrafted and flown in from Italy. (Vera Lee) 
Stunning Spalliera Luminarie standing 17m tall and 31m wide. (Vera Lee) 
  Based on original drawings from Baroque architecture 
in the 16th and 17th century. (Vera Lee)
These sculptures of light are full of form, dramatic intensity and emotions.
 The Luminarie makes spaces grand, intimate and magical! (Vera Lee)
Couldn't mange to capture the whole crown-shape of Spalliera,
so this is 360 view it :P (Vera Lee)
Blizzard 'Snow' Time inside Spalliera! (Vera Lee)
Though it's not real snow... just foam bubbles, 
but everyone was happily playing with it including us ^^ (Vera Lee)
White sparkling 'snow' on night sky!
White Christmas came true in Singapore. 호호호~!!!
 after the snow ended in 10 minutes...
the hanging snow on the wires look like constellations. (Vera Lee)
 A mini Capola - Cassa Armonica. (Vera Lee)
This eight-metre-tall beautifully illuminated gazebo 
will play host to a special line-up of carolers every 
Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the festival. (Vera Lee)
 Mini Frontone of 14.4m at the entrance into the Supertree Grove. (Vera Lee)
 The Arrival Arches consisting of one Frontone of 15.65m and six Arches. (Vera Lee)
Guardian Lions and Arches welcome visitors at both ends of the Supertree Grove

Chinese guardian lions are always presented in pairs, with the male on the right, with its right paw playing with a ball that represents “power” and the female on the left, with a cub under her left paw, which symbolizes the cycle of life. 

According to the Taoist philosophy, the paired lions are also a representation of yin (female) and yang (male), which are the two contrasting and fundamental elements of the “Way”. While the male lion guards the entrance, the female lion protects the interior of the dwelling. (Vera Lee)
Super Tree and Christmas Tree! (Vera Lee)
Click this link for more information of Christmas Wonderland
at Garden By the Bay. (Vera Lee)
There are still left out many spots in this Gardens... Will be back!!!
Next time, we'll take a stroll along 128-metre long OCBC Skyway~^^ (Vera Lee)
 Merry Christmas & Happy New Year~!

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Thursday, 25 December 2014

[Gardens By The Bay] - Waterfall in Cloud Forest

After had our hand stamped with re-entry pass, we walked to Cloud Forest Conservatory which is just opposite Flower Dome.

Tadaa~! This is the highlight of this dome! (Vera Lee)
35-metre tall man-made "Cloud Mountain"
 shrouding the world’s tallest indoor waterfall.

Yes, you'll be greeted with a little bit of splashing water from the fall and chilly air once you open the glass door to Cloud Forest. (Vera Lee)
Welcome to the mysterious world veiled in mist;
entirely different from the Flower Dome. (Vera Lee)
Vintage car covered in lush vegetation. (Vera Lee)
It looks like Tuk-Tuk car in Thailand
 or Bemo (Becak Motor) in Indonesia. (Vera Lee)
Come~! Let's hike up and climb to explore Lost World!

Hah~?! but how if you don't any mountain climbing or hiking experience?! Sorry... sorry, I mean take lift to Level 6 then climb the stairs to Lost World. :P (Vera Lee)
Lost World, the highest point of the mountain, 
 replicates the cloud forest vegetation at around 2,000m above sea level. (Vera Lee)
  Soothing splashing Waterfall from the top of the mountain. (Vera Lee)
Awesome fantastic views of  Marina Bay Sands and... (Vera Lee)
Marina Bay Waterfront skyline from Cloud Bridge. (Vera Lee)
Can you find any carnivorous plants such as pitcher plants 
and the Venus Fly-catcher here? (Vera Lee)
Closed-up view of the of epiphytes plant species that clad the side of the mountain. (Vera Lee)
Squeeze and smile everyone~! (Vera Lee)
After stroll one round, take escalator down to the next lower level... (Vera Lee)
 You will be surrounded by the many interesting shapes of 
real stalactites and stalagmites at Crystal Mountain. (Vera Lee)
Happy 'Mogu' Cheerry to find Mushroom-shaped stalagmites.

You can also learn about geology on how the continents formed, the age of earth, and the importance of fossils in understanding our planet’s past. (Vera Lee)
Treetop Bridge is at the same level with Crystal Cave. (Vera Lee)
Spotted Morning glory instead of carnivorous plants such as 
Pitcher plants and the Venus Fly-catcher on Treetop Bridge railing. (Vera Lee)
Monster Me or Mini Me at Treetop Bridge. (Vera Lee)
 My tummy said this Cloud Bridge looks like 'Pretzel' heart-shape :P (Vera Lee)
So difficult to take family photo using monopod because
it kept turned down as Samsung Galaxy Note 4 too heavy.
Thanks to the garden staff helped us to take this nice shoot ^^ (Vera Lee)
Lovely green mountain and the Falls from
Waterfall viewing balcony.  Isn't it cool?!

But, it's even cooler because there's no pillars to support this Dome. 
Even the bridges are supported from the man-made mountain!!! (Vera Lee)
 Small waterfall at Secret Garden.

Do visit Earth Check to understand more on underlying concept of Gardens By The Bay. A concerted effort made to design for sustainable cycles in energy and water. 

At this special lab will find facts, figures and amazing statistics for a unique view of the state of the earth today and the problems we are likely to face due to climate change and habitat loss. Check the video below on cycles of nature, cycles of air, cycles of green energy,... (Vera Lee)
Pale Crocodile - Secret Garden

Cloud Forest and Flower Dome Conservatories are a statement in sustainable engineering and apply a suite of cutting-edge technologies that provide energy efficient solutions in cooling, ensuring at least 30% savings in energy consumption compared to conventional cooling technologies.

The conservatories' structure is fitted with spectrally selective glass  and light-sensor operated shades that allow optimal light in for plants but cut out a substantial amount of heat to minimise energy costs. (Vera Lee)
 After that, take escalator and go down to +5 Degrees.

You will virtually experience the effect of temperature increase around the planet. This interactive voyage through time and space allows you to see the world from a different perspective, unlocking a new dimension of visual experience. (Vera Lee)
  Secret Garden

End your journey in the Cloud Forest at the foot of the mountain. Go on a stroll through a gorge that will take you close to plants that belong to families that were once growing in abundance on earth, yet are increasingly rare today. (Vera Lee)
 Secret garden view from Cloud Bridge.

My eyes really thanks for soothing and relaxing green therapy from these two conservatories. (Vera Lee)
The exits of Flower Dome and Cloud Forest 
will bring you to Garden Gift Shop. (Vera Lee)
 Paintings of Supertree Grove and two conservatories 
in Gardens By The Bay.
(Ok, let's go to Supertree now~^^) (Vera Lee) 
 Entrance to Cloud Forest - Upright Totems

 Do wear long sleeves if you're visiting Cloud Dome by night
especially in the rainy season ^^

 Please check this link for more information, how to get there,
purchase tickets, and maintenance schedule of Cloud Forest.

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