Category Archives: Travel

Singapore, Singapore – &Made Burger Bistro


Food – We went out for the afternoon. We walked down to the Ngee Ann City mall and spent a couple of hours in the Kinokuniya bookstore.

After that, it was time for an early dinner so we tried a place we had walked by several times, the &Made Burger Bistro. This a nice place very close by on Orchard Rd specifically at 260 Orchard Road, Robinsons The Heeren #01-40/#02-02/03, Singapore 238855.


This is another open-air restaurant. They do have shades to pull down when it rains, but that is all. The restaurant offers a fairly large menu to choose from.


I noticed the sayings shown above while we were waiting for our order. In particular, I like “Sleep ’til you’re hungry, eat ’til you’re sleepy“. I feel like I have been doing a lot lately.

My wife had the spaghetti and meatballs, while I had the Blue Moon burger (yes, that DOES means it had melted Blue Cheese on it!). It was a nice dinner and certainly filled us both up.

All-in-all this is another good place to eat along Orchard Rd. in Singapore.

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Singapore, Singapore – Ngee Ann City Mall and the Kinokuniya Bookstore


LocationsBookstores – A couple of weeks ago I walked over to the Ngee Ann City Mall. While I had been there a time or two before, I was going specifically to check out the bookstore I had seen there.


This is a very upscale mall with several well known high-end stores. The S$520 million building that houses the shopping mall also has two 26 story office towers.


The mall hosts 130 different stores and restaurants spread out over several levels.


As I mentioned, the purpose of my visit to the mall was to check out the Kinokuniya bookstore. Officially the address of the bookstore is 391 Orchard Road #04-20/20A/20B/20C/20E/21, Takashimaya Shopping Centre, Ngee Ann City, Singapore 238872. The #04-20 in that address indicates that the bookstore is on the fourth floor. In fact, it is immediately adjacent to the Crystal Jade Palace. That is how I noticed the bookstore. We had dinner at the Crystal Jade Palace a few weeks back. It didn’t look all that large from the outside.


The Kinokuniya bookstore in the mall is one of four outlets in Singapore. This is their flagship store and the second-largest bookstore in Southeast Asia. I only realized how large it was once I had gone inside.


I walked around the bookstore for a while and it is the largest bookstore I think I have ever been in.


Certainly, if I find myself searching for a paper book while I am in Singapore, I know where I will be able to find it. I will be going back and spending more time browsing through the shelves.

If you want a book in Singapore, I think that this is the premier place to go.

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Singapore, Singapore – The Curry Culture Indian Restaurant


Food – We have been to The Curry Culture on three occasions now, every one enjoyable. The Curry Culture consists of three different locations in Singapore. The restaurant we have visited is the Orchard Road location – specifically at 31 Cuppage Rd, Singapore 229456.


No, that address isn’t on Orchard Road but is just off of it in an area called Cuppage Terrace. This is a collection of restaurants in an open-air area, though it has a cover to protect you from rain if you are seated outside. That is an important consideration as Singapore enjoys rain an average of 167 days of the year. Much of the rain is heavy and produced by thunderstorms. The mean annual rainfall is more than 85 inches [1]. Though Singapore is fairly warm with an average temperature of 80F year round, the average high is 88F range and the low 73F [2]. With the ceiling fans over the tables, dining in the open in the evening is quite comfortable.


Each time I have been to The Curry Culture the food has been excellent. What you see above is a variety of naan bread, butter chicken and another spicy chicken dish that I didn’t note the name of. They have a fairly extensive menu and are very helpful.

If you are in the Orchard Road area of Singapore and want to expose your taste buds to Indian cuisine, The Curry Culture restaurant is a good choice.


  1. Climate of Singapore
  2. Singapore, Singapore: Annual Weather Averages

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So Where Exactly is Singapore, Anyway?

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Locations – Since I began telling people I was traveling to Singapore, and after some have read my articles I often get the question “So where exactly is Singapore, anyway?”. I thought it might be a good idea to create a post that answers that question. I have used Apple Maps to show where Singapore is located. The blue dot in these images shows my current location. The image above shows that Singapore is located North West of Australia, due South of Cambodia and West of Indonesia.

Thinking about it another way, here are some distances from popular cities to Singapore:

  • Singapore to Hong Kong, China 1604 miles
  • Singapore to Seoul, South Korea 2898 miles
  • Singapore to Tokyo, Japan 3299 miles
  • Singapore to Sydney, Australia 3910 miles
  • Singapore to Moscow, Russia 5234 miles
  • Singapore to Honolulu, Hawaii 6726 miles
  • Singapore to London, England 6748 miles
  • Singapore to New York, New York 9537 miles
  • Singapore to Austin, Texas 9840 miles

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Any way you look at it Singapore is a long ways from, well almost everywhere. It is certainly a long way from home in the Austin, Texas area. You would think with it being in Asia that it would be close to other major cities there, but not really.

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Singapore, or more formerly said the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign city-state and lies immediately South of Malaysia. Singapore is made up of one main island, and 62 smaller islands. Together these give Singapore almost 279 square miles of land, and more space is being added through land reclamation projects.

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If you want to learn more about Singapore, I suggest that you look at the Wikipedia page on Singapore. That contains the history as well as political and socio-economic information.

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Singapore, Singapore – Fort Canning and the Battlebox

WWII – Near where I am living in Singapore (Where is Singapore?) is Fort Canning Hill. It is not a very tall hill, less than 160′ in height. A fort was completed on top of the hill in 1861 to defend the harbor. In the early 1900s, the fort was torn down and a 30-room bunker system dug into the hill. The bunker complex was completed in 1938. The bunker served as the headquarters for the British during the defense of Singapore. After the British surrendered to the Japanese, they used the bunker system as well.

Today, Fort Canning Hill has become Fort Canning Park and the bunker system opened in  1992 as the tourist attraction, “The Battlebox”. About the only things left from the old fort are the entrance and one of the old cannons.

As it turns out, the park is a short walk from our apartment in Singapore. I walked over there a short time ago and purchased tickets for the Battlebox tour and spent a little time wandering around the park. The park is 180,000 square meters (a little less than 0.07 square miles).

There are several walking trails through the park and as with everything in Singapore, it is very green.

While walking through the park makes you feel like you are outside the city, you are in the center of southern Singapore.


My original reason for going to Fort Canning Park was to check out The Battlebox. The Battlebox is located at 2 Cox Terrace, Singapore 179622 inside of Fort Canning Park. The tours last about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Tickets are $18 and $9 for children 7-12 (those rates are in Singapore dollars). The Battlebox is considered to be one of the top museum destinations in Singapore.

I have to say that I enjoyed the tour. Unfortunately, they do not allow photos inside the bunker itself. Above are two of the entrances to the Battlebox complex. As you might expect, the bunker was much cooler than the outside air. Temperatures in Singapore during the day typically range 80-90F. The humidity though is usually around 60% or higher. It was a pleasant relief to enter the bunker.

While I could not take photos, I did find that were photos of the Battlebox without restrictions for use via Google search. I am including some of those above to show what the bunker currently looks like. Several manikins are in place in uniforms of 1942. Several are made up to closely represent the officers that were present just before Singapore was surrendered to the Japanese.

The surrender of Singapore to the Japanese so early in World War II (February 15, 1942) was a great blow to the British. With the surrender, 120,000 men – the largest capitulation in British military history – became prisoners of war.

If you are ever in Singapore and have a couple of hours to spare, I recommend taking the Battlebox tour.

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If you are a student of the World War II era in history, you may find my pages “World War II Sources” (a collection of museums, websites, Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds with information on the World War II era in history) and “World War II Timeline” of interest.

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Singapore, Singapore – ABC Artisan Boulangerie

ABC Artisan Boulangerie

Food – Our apartment only offers breakfast service on weekdays, so on the weekends we have gone out looking for a place in Singapore (Where is Singapore?) for breakfast most days. My wife had eaten at ABC Artisan Boulangerie before and we walked over there for our first breakfast together here in Singapore.

This is a local chain with a few different locations. We have been visiting the location on #01-01, 118 Killiney Road, Singapore 239555. We have had breakfast there three times so far and it has been very good.

The last time my wife had the omelet and I had (for the third time) the ABC Big Breakfast and a large cup of Coffee Americano. The restaurant has plenty of space and several tables are near electrical outlets if you need to plug in your computer.

The staff has been very courteous and the food very tasty. So far, while the restaurant has been busy, we have not felt rushed to clear our table. It has been a nice place to eat and relax. It is a location which I am sure we will visit many times while we are in Singapore. The menu is a little more Western and we noticed that several Western expats were customers.

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150 of the Most Beautiful Libraries in the World

Books – With National Book Lover’s Day coming up on August 9th, I think that this is a great list of libraries we will want to visit. When I travel I try to visit interesting libraries and post on my blog about them as well. This is a wonderful compilation and now gives me even more places to put on my visitation list.

The Critiquing Chemist

(Suzzallo Library; Seattle Washington; Photo by Priyaranjan Pattnayak)

I’m beyond thankful that the Critiquing Chemist has celebrated two very exciting milestones in one week! Last week was my blogging anniversary, where I observed having been posting for over three years. I celebrated in true analytical fashion with a compilation of statistics, including a variety of pie charts.  This week I reached a milestone that The Science Geek has been predicting I would eventually reach all along! The Critiquing Chemist broke 4000 followers! Reflecting back on my beginnings as a blogger, I’m blown away and immensely grateful with the attention and support my blog has received over these fast flying years! Thank you everyone for your wonderful encouragement, as your interactions have made my day on a routine basis. As I started to near the 4000 follower mark, I started brainstorming as to an appropriate post to highlight…

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Singapore, Singapore – marché Mövenpick

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Food & Locations – We had never heard of the marché Mövenpick until we came across it in the 313@Sumerset mall the other day. On the main floor, it looks like a coffee shop and bakery (it has some very nice breads and rolls). If you go downstairs though you find a full, very large restaurant.

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This restaurant is one of 80 around the world (only two in North America, and unfortunately they are both in Toronto, Canada), though I have never come across them before. They seem to be very family friendly and even offer birthday packages for kids.  These packages start at $29.90 SD (Singapore Dollars) per child with a minimum of 10.

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When you enter the restaurant, you are given a card, much like a credit card. As you wander about the floor you choose the items you want to eat. You hand the cook/server your card and they electronically record your selection. You do have to be careful or you could easily run up a pretty hefty bill.

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When you are done eating, you exit through a cashier who scans your card and then prepares a bill based upon your selections. I was happy to find that Apple Pay was accepted here.

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We tried marché for dinner one night, then again for breakfast. The food was very good and, for the most part, prepared to your order. It is a little expensive, but then Singapore (Where is Singapore?) is an expensive city to live in. Shown above is the daily special of “White Asparagus Savory Crepe” at $19.90 SD or about $14.80 USD at today’s exchange rate. You do get a good meal for your money. That Crepe is about 14″ long and about 3″ in diameter and comes with a side salad.

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There is a station (shown above) where you can have a pasta dish prepared.

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There is also a salad station where you choose a small, medium or large plate, then fill it with your choice of salads and vegetables.

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There is a selection of meats and fish that you can have prepared to your taste. About the only difference we saw between the dinner and breakfast menu was the availability of omelets and waffles during breakfast. The omelet was good, but the ingredients were fixed – onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms.

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There is a dessert station where they have ice cream and baked goods. After our dinner, we tried a couple of their desserts. A Vanilla Marange and a piece of Praline Chocolate cake. They were both very good.

Would I come back to marché? – definitely, though I am not sure if I would come for breakfast again. If you are in the Somerset MRT (subway) Station area in Singapore, this is a place I would recommend.

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Travel tip – Always carry a ‘Cheater Plug’


Tech Tips – On my international travels, I have stayed in hotels that, for the convenience of travelers from the US, have 110 V. outlets installed. These are really great to have, but generally, they are only non-grounded receptacles. This was the case recently when I was in Tokyo, Japan. I was traveling with my MacBook and the power cable includes a ground pin making it incompatible with the provided 110V outlet.


This is where having a ‘cheater plug‘ can save the day. The ‘cheater’ is simply a 3-prong to 2-prong adapter that allows grounded plugs to be used in non-grounded receptacles. Having heard about Akihabara Electric Town, we dropped in while out exploring Tokyo. After asking in a few shops we found and purchased a few of these adapters to add to our travel kit.

Back in the States, we could easily have picked them up almost anywhere. Looking at them on Amazon they are about $4 or less each. If you are going to be traveling with any electronics that has a 3-prong grounded power plug, adding one of these ‘cheater plugs’ to your travel kit may be just what you need to keep yourself in operation.

Japan, Tokyo – Akihabara Electric Town

I read about the Akihabar area of Tokyo in one of the tourist brochures. This area of Tokyo can be found near the Akihabara station on the JR rail line. The area established itself as the place to find electrical goods for the home in the years after World War II. Today the area is the shopping district for video games, anime, manga, and computer goods.

In addition to the electrical/electronics products that can be found there, the area is considered by many to be an otaku (a Japanese term for people with obsessive interests, commonly towards the anime and manga fandom) cultural center.  As you can see in the video clip above, icons for anime and manga are on the buildings throughout the area. Many cosplayers can be found on the streets handing out ads for area shops. Prominent of these are those advertising the ‘maid cafés’.

The area has several ‘maid cafés‘ and ‘cosplay cafés‘. We saw several young Japanese women in front of shops dressed up in the ‘maid’ costumes. I did not realize why they were dressed up like they were until I started researching for this blog post. As one might expect, the area was crowded and most of that crowd was made up of young men.

We just past quickly through the area looking. I could easily have spent hours looking through the shops.

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