Oct 15, 2019

FIRST LOOK: The Bubble Tea Factory Wonderland is FREE to visit for one day only!

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BUBBLE TEA FANS - I'm looking at my own monkies - it's time to up those sugar levels to 100% because the Bubble Tea Factory is set to be a feast for all the senses... without having to ingest any calories of course. ๐Ÿ˜†


Sprawled over 7,000 sq ft at *Scape from 19 Oct to 18 Dec 2019, the quirky exhibition that will have ten multi-sensory and visually-stunning installations: from upside-down bubble tea trees and visually stunning installations, to creative and delicious bubble tea-inspired treats.


Expect plenty of photo-worthy opportunities which will beautify your Instagram feed instantly.


Because one cannot wrong with sweet pastel colours, photo-worthy, which should perk up the ears of all you Instagram fanatics. Think sweet pastel shades, nenon lights, a huge Pearl Pit and swinging on a giant pearl a lรก Wrecking Ball. Basically, boba-themed EVERYTHING!


As part of the bubbly experience, each visitor will be given a Boba Booster Pack upon entry which consists of a set of limited-edition collectible cards that feature interactive challenges to make it even more fun. Oh, and don't forget to claim your FREE cup of bubble tea at the end of it all!



Ready to get all suagry high? Here's what to expect from the Bubble Tea Factory's interactive zones:

BOBA-VERSE

Visitors get a first taste of all things cutesy in The Factory, then find themselves walking through a mystical forest of illuminated straws in the Enchanted Forest.


You will enter the Blue Coral Utapioca next, where you can pick your fave tea-scented upside-down boba trees to lounge under!


THE SECRET

See the small hole in the photo above? Crawl through that and you will be transported into the Wrap Zone where everything is metallic and shiny.


Push aside the green curtain and you'll be able to live it up like a true Boba Ballin' celebrity - only on Instagram of course.



But wait, be sure to look for a mirror because behind it lies a ??? hidden galaxy... or if you prefer, a definite IG-worthy moment. ๐Ÿ˜‚


BOBA LAB


Here, the experiential nature goes up a notch with free smells of different bubble tea aroma at the Smells like Tea Spirit section.


Then, improve your IG game at the various photo booths - swing on a wrecking ball pearl at Taro-bly Wreck, pose with a BBT IV drip at Boba-jection and finish off by trapping yourself in a larger-than-life boba cup at XXL BBT!




And don't forget to use one of your Power Cards here at Experimental Treats to collect your free sample of either Bubble Tea flvoured popcorn or Brown Sugar borad beans!

PEARL-DUCTION LINE

Personally, this is my most fave section of the lot.

Because who can resist a BALL PIT, no???


Kids (and adults) will delight in diving into a giant 'pot' of balls which resemble taro-bly cute pearls at the Pearl Pit.




Want some hidden fun? Open one of the doors at the Pearlsonality Chamber for a great photo opp!


I won't tell you which one though!


And while learning some fun facts about all things boba at Ode to my Pearl, kids can have a go at see-sawing with a giant BBT.


Which obviously I am too heavy for. Must be all the BBT. ๐Ÿ˜


Don't forget to use your Power Card here too, to collect your free cup of bubble tea drink at the Drinks Collection counter!


MILK-TEA WAY

The final zone places visitors in the Tea Terminal, where they will commence boarding on Air BBT to head to the exit. But don't fret, you will be able to enjoy one final (or a few) IG-worthy shot within the Air BBT aeroplane!


See what I mean? LOL.


Finally, end your visit by leaving some words on the Happiness Wall.


If you wish to take a slice of BBT fun back home, there are also exclusive BBT merchandise on sale. Some of them are really just too cute.  YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!



The Bubble Tea Factory will only be open for 2 months, beginning from 19 October 2019 so all BBT lovers, you know where to go for your sugary high fix!


But wait, there's a super promotion for all... for one day only!

FREE Entry for all

Strictly for ONE DAY only, the Bubble Tea Factory will be open to the first 1,000 visitors for FREE on 19 October 2019 from 12pm to 6pm! Don't say I never jio okay - this is your only chance to experience the whimsical Boba Wonderland for FREE!





Useful Information

The Bubble Tea Factory
Date: 19 October to 18 December 2019
Time: Weekdays - 4pm to 10pm; Weekends - 10am to 10pm
Venue: *SCAPE (2 Orchard Link, Singapore 237978)
Ticket prices: $24 on weekdays, $28 on weekends/PH/eve of PH
Get your tickets at www.thebubbleteafactory.co


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Oct 11, 2019

Go look for Ruins of an abandoned Hainan Village at the new Thomson Nature Park

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There is a new nature park in Singapore and even though there isn't a playground for kids, Thomson Nature Park is home to the ruins of an old Hainanese village that was there from the 1930s which offers adults and kids a glimpse into life in a Singapore kampung back in the 1960s.


Located to the east of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve (CCNR), between Old Upper Thomson Road and Upper Thomson Road, Thomson Nature Park complements existing nature parks including Springleaf and Windsor Nature Parks to extend the green buffer for the CCNR.

This 50-hectare buffer park is unique for its rich cultural heritage as the site of a former Hainan Village as well as housing a rich array of biodiversity and is notably a key conservation site for the critically endangered Raffles’ Banded Langur.


There are a total of five walking trails spanning 3.8 km around the former village's road network - Ruins & Fig Trail (1.5km), Stream & Ferns Trail (1.4km), Rambutan Trail (0.4km), Langur Trail (0.15km) and Macque Trail (0.35km). All of them are relatively short distances which means kids will be able to go on them pretty effortlessly!


Credit: NParks
The trails have been specially curated to provide visitors insight into the ways of life during the kampung days as well as into the variety of floral and faunal species found in Thomson Nature Park.

Personally, I think the Ruins and Figs Trail is the most interesting trail of the lot because it will bring visitors along a trail where there will be plenty of abandoned and old buildings to spot, giving them a chance to experience the heritage highlights of the Hainan Village through carefully conserved ruins.

If you love nature, then go on the Stream and Ferns Trail which enables visitors to appreciate the freshwater habitat in Thomson Nature Park and observe the great diversity of ferns and aquatic animals present.


But for the most of us - and especially for kids - the thrill will be trying to spot the remnants of a Hainanese village which will take them past building foundations, still-standing walls, abandoned wells and even old road networks. Yes, there were two real actual roads in the form of Lorong Pelita and Jalan Belang which connect the village to the main road in the past.



Hainanese immigrants established the kampung in the 1930s and by the 1960s, there were close to 100 residents who lived there. But come the 1980s, the residents started moving out due to housing development plans, and the village was eventually covered by secondary forest.

And look at some of the stuff they left behind!



FUN FACT: The founder of Han's Cafe & Cake House previously lived in the village. Mr Han Choon Fook first set up a small bakery along Upper Thomson Road in 1978 and eventually expanded it to become the Han's cafe chain that we are now familiar with.

As mentioned, the Ruins and Figs Trail is only 1.5km and is in a loop so it is extremely doable for families with kids. The terrain is relatively straight-forward, with a few gentle slopes along the way. Oh, and do note that bicycles, skate scooters and all form of wheeled transport are not allowed on the trails.


Along the way, there are plenty of ruins to keep a lookout for.


I love how information boards have been placed along the various sections of the trail, to let the visitors in on the history of how the villagers lived and who they are.


And for some houses, you can still even see some parts of it still standing.


Can you spot the staircase and low wall in the photo below?


There are many abandoned wells to spot along the trail too, even a SQUARE one!


 It's really quite something seeing these ruins right before my very eyes - things that we don't really get to see often in modern Singapore.




And if there is one particular ruins site that one should not miss, it will have to be this.


This is probably the most "well-preserved" building of all the ruins in the park. You can still clearly see the different rooms of the house as well as the courtyard. This ruins site is also the one that one can get closest to - in case you are wondering, all of the ruins are out of bounds to visitors.


I have marked the site of two ruins which you should not miss in the map below.


Oh, and do keep an eye for this still-standing sprical staircase, which was part of a two-storey house - one of the only houses with two floors in the village and owned by the Eurasian Fox family. The head of the Fox family used to drive a mobile library and he helped to bring a wealth of knowledge to the residents and children in the village.


And in case you must know, the park has a few Instagram-worthy spots as well. ๐Ÿ˜†


The other trail worth going on is the Rambutan Trail which is on the other side of the park. This short 400m trail is on the actual site of Han's Rambutan Garden which was once owned by Mr Han Wai Toon who embarked on a quest to cultivate trees that would yield the perfect rambutan.


The farmhouse occupied a vast piece of land and from the stairway that still remains, I can only imagine how beautiful the farmhouse must have been in its heyday.


One can even still see the actual staircase that leads to Mr Han's master bedroom.


Amazingly, the water source which irrigated the rambutan garden is still around - I can hear the trickling sounds of the spring water!


For sure, Thomson Nature Park is unlike your usual nature parks in Singapore. The presence of an abandoned Hainanese village with its ruins scattered throughout the park definitely makes it an intriguing day out with the kids, giving them a glimpse of what life was like there in the past.

There are limited parking onsite, as well as rest shelters near the entrance too. As for toilets, the nature park has them too.


๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ I'm only kidding. There are modern washroom facilities at the entrance of the park.


Useful Information

Thomson Nature Park
Address: Off Old Upper Thomson Road
How to get there:
By bus: 138, 138A, 167, 169, 860, 980 - Alight at Upper Thomson Road (Aft Tagore Dr, Bus stop ID: 56061) OR 138, 167, 169, 860, 980 - Alight at Upper Thomson Road (Bef Tagore Dr, Bus stop ID: 56069)
Opening Hours: 7am – 7pm daily (entering or remaining in the park after 7pm is not allowed)
Carpark charges: $0.60 per 30 min


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