Gardens By The Bay is a brand new attraction in Singapore.
About 1 year ago Singapore finished the construction of a garden with gigantic super trees and two fantastic flower domes.
The entrance to the garden is free, but if you want to either visit the flower domes or go on top of the super trees then you have to pay admission.
Tip: You get a discount when you present a Singapore airlines boarding pass at the ticket counter.
This is a must visit district in Singapore. Chinatown has a unique atmosphere. lots of little shops and restaurants. It can be conveniently reached by the SMRT on the North-south line.
Tip: Do a “Original Singapore walks” tour on Friday nights. It’s amazing!
The tallest Ferris wheel is not in London. It’s in Singapore! Welcome to the Singapore Flyer – the world’s tallest Ferris wheel. It’s located across the Marina Bay Sands hotel. On top you can enjoy a view of Gardens By The Bay, Marina Bay Sands, The Esplanade and the Singapore Skyline. Breathtaking views – worth the admission fee.
The Esplanade (Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay) is an amazing event location with indoor concert hall and outdoor theatre. The outdoor areas often feature free concerts and plays.
There are also retail and food spaces at the Esplanade Mall.
You can visit this place easily by SMRT, look for station CC3 – Esplanade. 10 minutes walking from there.
Singapore Changi Airport is one of the most awesome airports.
It features lots of leisure and business facilities. Also, you can dine and shop at over 300 stores and restaurants. All terminals have several gardens.
For example you can visit the butterfly garden in terminal 3. It contains more than thousand different butterflies.
Other highlights are free WiFi, phone charging stations, TV and entertainment areas, free movie theaters and a swimming pool on the roof of terminal 1.
Tip: if you have at least 5 hours, do a free Singapore city tour. Counters can be found in all terminals.
You may have read that I am going on a trip to Asia next month. To give this blog a much higher quality I was looking for a new camera.
I found the Sony NEX 5R, a brand new compact system camera combining quality of DSLR cameras and the small form factor of compact cameras.
This is the first part of my detailed review about this amazing camera. Part 2 will be a detailed live testing on my trip in Asia.
The Sony NEX 5R features an 16 Megapixels APS-C cmos sensor with hybrid autofocus system. The camera also records HD video with 1080p at 50 frames per second.
It also features an 3″ touch screen display with live view. The Sony NEX 5R offers the same options like a typical DSLR camera. You can set Aperture, EV, ISO, …
The Camera is able to shoot up to 10 frames per second. Another awesome feature is the integrated WiFi support. You can download “apps” like direct upload, photo effects
and much more.
The Sony NEX 5RK comes with a 18-55mm standard zoom lens. It has an average speed of F3.5-5.6.
The lens supports both constrast and phase detection autofocus.
It’s very light and compact, but it also offers an integrated optical image stabilisation.
[note color=”#FFCC00″]Newer versions of kits come with a 16-50mm (F3.5-6.3) power zoom lens, which is even lighter.[/note]
What do you expect from a camera with a DSLR sized CMOS sensor? Good image quality with without noise.
I’ve already shot several hundreds photos in different light conditions. The image quality is extraordinary. For low light / night photography I recommend a better lens than the kit lens.
I already ordered the Sony NEX 50mm F1.8 fixed lens. It is a portrait lens which is also a top choice for night photography. Stay tuned for part 2 of my review, in which I intend to give this lens a serious low light challenge.
This camera has an excellent autofocus, which is super fast and precise when Hybrid AF is enabled. Currently it’s only supported by a limited number of lenses.
The Sony NEX 5R produces photos with very natural colours.
The NEX line supports E-mount and A-mount (Sony DSLR) lenses with an adapter. Sony offers a bunch of standard zooms, fixed lens and macro lenses.
Also companies like Sigma, Tamron and others have a few lenses for the E-mount in their portfolio.
Stay tuned for part two of my review. Live from Asia.
Lets’s review my first Australian Contiki Tour. The Beaches and Reefs tour is part of the bigger Aussie Explorer tour in Australia.
If you’re interested in doing the Aussie Explorer tour this article maybe right for you, as it features about 60% of the tour you’re going to do.
Aussie Explorer is a 2 part tour. The East Cost from Sydney to Cairns and the second part from Alice Springs to Darwin (or reverse).
The Beaches and Reefs Tour goes from Sydney to cairns (or reverse). My first Australian Contiki starts in Sydney.
Day 1 An early morning. After filling some forms and handing our tickets to Justine (our tour manager), we loaded our baggage in the coach. Then we took our group photo in Sydney with the Harbour Bridge in the background. At lunch we headed to Port Stephens for a nice dolphin cruise. Then we enjoyed the afternoon at the Shoal Bay Resort and Spa. And yes, we had a room party 😉
Day 2 we drove to Coffs Harbour, stopping in Port Macquarie for lunch. At this place we stayed at a Surf Camp in little containers and had our first surfing class. Our container didn’t have a toilet, therefore we received a voucher worth 150 AUD for photos and a free T-Shirt.
Day 3 we headed to Surfers Paradise, stopping in Byron Bay for a few hours for lunch. On our way to Surfers Paradise, we stopped at Cape Byron which is Australia’s most eastern point. Then, we crossed over to Queensland and visited the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary where we pet kangaroos and took photos with Koalas.
Day 4 was a day for optionals and free time at Surfers Paradise. I spend the morning jumping out of a plane. Sky diving at the Gold Coast with a landing on a beach. It’s just amazing. In the afternoon I spent some time at Billabong and took lots of photos. Then we went out to Sin City with the whole group.
Day 5 we stopped at Brisbane, capital of Queensland for a few hours to experience the city. We also saw a presentations about opals. The we drove to Noosa, a trendy beach town.
Day 6 most of us booked the optional 4WD Fraser Island Day tour which took us all through the island’s sandunes, rainforests and freshwater lakes. Swimming at McKenzie Lake and a nice BBQ afterwards.
Day 7 After a night in bunk beds we headed to a country homestead in the heart of Queensland. Most of us dressed up in our western gear for our big roast dinner and then Karaoke night!
Day 8, 9, 10 involved sailing around the beautiful Whitsunday Islands on a racing sail boat. This was not the relaxing yacht ride that many of us thought we were in for. When we were sailing, the boat sat at a 45 degree angle so we would all have to sit at one side of the boat. Sailing included us hanging our legs over the edge, taking in the beautiful views of the islands. We also stopped at a few places where we got to snorkel and see lots of amazing fish. We enjoyed Whitehaven Beach. A few of us even tried sleeping out on the deck under the stars the first night, but it started to rain. The third day in the Whitsundays we stayed at Daydream Island. it’s a big island resort and spa hotel.
Day 11 we continued our journey to Cairns, stopping in Townsville on the way for lunch. It was also Australia day. Party time!
Day 12 started bright and early. A few of of our group (including me) headed to AJ Hackett for bungee jumping and Minjin Swing. I opted for the Minjin swing.
Day 13 the whole group went on an optional Great Barrier Reef cruise where we spent the day snorkelling and scuba diving the most beautiful reef. At night, we went out in Cairns to the Woolshed for our last night as a group.
Day 14 we made a stop to the rainforest village of Kuranda to see an Aboriginal Experience. We also got to throw a boomerang. Then we made our way back to Cairns Colonial Club Resort. We enjoyed some refreshing Australian beers and said goodbye to some tour mates in our group.
This tour is just awesome. You see so much from the East Coast of Australia and you also have fun at night with night clubs, Karaoke on a farm and a nice sleep under the stars.
My personal favourite is sailling between the Whitsundays and going Sky diving at the Gold Coast.
You have to do this tour!