Experience · singapore · Travel

Mid-Autumn Wonderland at VivoCity

It’s end of August! Which means the time for mid-autumn festival. I’ve been looking for information about the event this year (only yesterday actually 😅) but couldn’t find anything.

Today, I went to Vivocity to collect my ezcharm from Golden Village (GV) cinema. I’m not familiar with the mall layout and ended up at 3rd floor where I saw a sign about VivoCity’s Curious Adventures and it is about Alice in Wonderland lanterns!! I walked excitedly to the SkyPark and there it is! The lanterns 😍

curious adventures vivocity mid-autumn lantern festival
curious adventures vivocity mid-autumn lantern festival 2019

I was there from 5.20pm to 5.30pm. Didn’t take too many photos because I thought it would be better if they are on. I left the park and continued with my original plan. Go to GV cinema. Once I’m done, I had dinner in one of the resto there. The whole time I was eating, I was contemplating between going home and waiting for the evening sky. After further consideration (and some suggestions from my friends), I decided to wait until it’s dark (or at least until the lantern is on. I went up to the SkyPark again around 6.30pm and sat near the pool.

At 7.00pm, they turned on the lantern!! Soooo pretty ❤ I only have my Samsung phone with me and the first few shots were not that good because all I can see is the lights inside the lantern individually, not as one whole object. Hence, I switched the mode to Pro mode. There I could set the ISO to 100, and set the apperture so I could balance the lights. And voila, here they are :

curious adventures vivocity mid-autumn lantern festival 2019
curious adventures vivocity mid-autumn lantern festival 2019

Since I was there already, I decided to wait for a little while until the sky darker and took another round of photos. Still using pro mode on Samsung phone.

curious adventures vivocity mid-autumn lantern festival 2019

This mid-autumn lantern will last until 22 September 2019 at VivoCity Mall. If you want to visit, come at or after 7.00pm when they have turned on the lanterns. There is another event as well related to this Wonderland, you can read more here.

Where to go for my next mid-autumn lantern obsession? Maybe Gardens By The Bay!

Thank you for reading. Happy shooting the pretty lanterns 😉

Experience · Travel · Vietnam

Ninh Binh Trip Diary – day 2

I woke up at 7am because I forgot to turn off the alarm. Doh! then we had breakfast at the homestay. Their food is pretty good. While waiting for the food and after the meal, we made plan on what to do today. We heard about the big festival that is going on at the old capital. It is only about 6 km driving. I couldn’t drive motorbike so the daughter of homestay owner offered her cousin to take me there and back. The cost was 100k vnd for that service one-way and I thought it was too expensive because the cost for renting a motorbike is 150k vnd per day. Ugh..

morning view from our hotel ninh binh vietnam
morning view from our hotel

The brother of the girl asked me to try the motorbike and see if I can drive it. I was scared because I never really drive a motorbike before. I did learned a little bit when I was in high school. Only on a small street and my brother used to make fun of my speed because I drove like a snail. But after a trial with the guy (he sat on the back, and me driving), apparently, I can drive a motorbike! In the end, we rented 2 motorbikes. My friend with her son. and me alone. We drove together and slowly to the old capital city.

There are a lot of people who asked us to stop for parking on the way to entrance. We picked the last parking spot and the lady said 20,000 VND. We didn’t agree, and the lady reduced the price. 5,000 VND it is! Luckily, the guy from our homestay told us the price for parking there. Thank you, Em!

ninh binh old town vietnam entrance
Entrance to Ninh Binh Old Town
festival boat ninh binh old town
Boats
Celebration of 1050 years
boats festival ninh binh old town
Ducks taking shower near boats
Entrance to a temple in Old Town of Ninh Binh
ninh binh old town festival

We strolled around the old capital. Taking A LOT of photos, especially when we found out that there is an event in one of the temple there! Many people wearing traditional dresses and there was a ceremony as well. I don’t know what ceremony was that but it was very interesting. We didn’t stay until it finished though.

On the way out, we stopped by at an ice cream place. 20k for celano ice cream. It was lunch time but my friend didnt want to eat there because of the previous food poisoning case she had on her trip to another cities in vietnam so I just hoped that ice cream would make my tummy calm until we found food! We walked a bit to the other gate, and on the outside of the palace there are many small stalls. I found an interesting water bottled brand in one of the stall! I thought it was Aquafina because it has the same design and color, but it wasn’t. It was Aquatoka! I don’t think they are from the same company…

Vietnam Calligraphy
Vietnam Calligraphy

We continued walking until we found a small pagoda. It looks new but still we took some photos there anyway. After we looked around a bit, we walked back to our motorbike and went back to the hotel to have lunch there.

In the afternoon we just stroll around the village riding a motorbike to take some photos. Then my friend’s son need a rest so we went back to the hotel and returned the motorbike.

Later on, my friend and I walked to the street next of the homestay. We met some people who said hello to my friend on the way, including a boy who passed by in a bicycle and showing us his middle finger while smiling! Whaaat?! I wonder if he understand the meaning of what he just did..

Ninh Binh Vietnam

When we were about to take a photo of abandoned boat, a small girl said hello to us. Her name is Yen, and she is 12 years old. She lives nearby. She was so happy to meet us because she’s been wanting to practice her english. And her english is great by the way. When I was 12 years old, I couldn’t speak English at all lol. She was taught since 5 years old by her mom, through youtube! And now at school she is learning English as well. She was so excited to show us around and didn’t want to leave us. I asked her if she needs to go home and do homework, she said no need, she just want to speak english. Cute! There were 2 of her friends joined us as well but their english is not as good as hers so they only responding in Vietnamese.

She asked us if we want to visit her school and we said yes, so she brought us to her school! What a unique experience! Haha. I’ve never been to a local school. It looked awesome though. I missed my school day just by looking at it. When it was the time to say goodbye, she desperately wanted to chat more but we couldnt. We really need to go back for dinner with the boy (who were asking where is his mom, been away for some time while he was sleeping lol).

We were having dinner together at the hotel when the owner lady joined us and she explained about her plants. In Vietnamese. We used google translator by voice and communicate very well with the lady. Very convenient! We decided not to go to the festival to see fireworks and it was the right decision. The daughter said it would be traffic jam and packed with people there. Her mom (the owner lady) turned on television and we could see the ceremony of the festival live! There were a lot of people at the old palace. I felt like we made the rigth decision by not going there. Not that keen to be in a crowded place. The lady also treat us an ice cream! I picked coconut ice cream and it was so good! Its texture was more like sorbet but sweet like ice cream. Delicious!

We finished eating ice cream by 10pm then I need to stay awake for awhile to digest this but I dont think I can do it, too sleepy. Better sleep now. Good night!