The Best Local Food Stalls in Singapore  

 

Despite its size, Singapore is a city large in food variety with numerous restaurants and food stalls to choose from. Singapore’s food variety is largely attributable to it being one of the melting pots of Asia with plenty of cultures mingling due to it being the busiest port in the world. For anyone looking to go on a food trip, Singapore is an excellent place to do so. However, a constraint to most trips is usually the budget. Adding the fact that Singapore is also an expensive city to live in makes it more difficult to binge for those who are on a budget. So, instead of listing down the best restaurants in Singapore, we’ve listed down the best food stalls because they tend to be a lot less expensive than restaurants.

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Fu Ming Shu Shi (Redhill Lane Food Centre)

The best dish to eat here is the Singaporean version of a carrot cake or chai tow kueh. However, it isn’t actually made out of carrots nor is it a cake. It is actually made out of radish and is considered to be dimsum. They have two varieties in Fu Ming Shu Shi. The black variety is fried with thick soy sauce until caramelized while the white variety uses lighter soy sauce. Both varieties are fried with plenty of garlic and with scrambled eggs. The food here is typically under S$6, which makes it a bang for the buck.

Heng Heng (107 Owen Road)

This stall specializes in what the Singaporeans and the Malaysians call bak kut teh. Bah kut teh is meat bone tea in English. Despite the name, there is actually no tea in the dish. They only call it such because it is traditionally served with oolong tea, which is believed to dissolve the large amount of fat in bah kut teh. Heng Heng can serve you the dish for an amount less than S$5.

untitled406Xiu Ji (335 Smith Street, Chinatown Complex Market)

You have to eat the yong tau fu in Xiu Ji. Yong tau fu is a dish consisting mainly of tofu that is stuffed with meat and served with vegetables. Xiu Ji can also serve it with fish balls and fish cake. Their version is served with noodles and a ginger dipping sauce all for a price under S$7.

Loo’s (71 Seng Poh Road, Tiong Bahru)

Hainanese curry rice is often considered as one of Singapore’s national dishes and one of the best and cheapest places to get it is in Loo’s. Loo’s serves their version with octopus, braised pork, and fried eggs among others all for a price less than S$5. The thick and sticky curry sauce on top of the dish makes it more flavorful a meal.

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Semakau Landfill: Where are We?  

 

There are Singaporeans who care about the waste disposal situation here. For these people, perhaps they will be relieved to know that the second phase of the development of Semakau Landfill has been accomplished. This is according to the Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA).

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The landfill’s second phase of development offers an additional capacity of sixteen million cubic metres (this is equivalent to more or less six thousand Olympic-size pools). This is said to be enough to meet the waste disposal needs of the country up to 2035 and possibly beyond.

The second phase converted the remaining 157 hectare of sea space into a landfill. The project boasts of lower overall construction cost because of minimizing the amount of sand used. It does not end there because there will be two engineering features that can help the efficacy of waste disposal.

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The first feature is the construction of a floating platform (about 200 metre). This platform will permit dump trucks to release burning ash unto the landfill ell. The other feature is the floating wastewater treatment plant. The wastewater treatment plant will meet the standards set by the Trade Effluent Discharge. It is crucial that the water will undergo treatment before it is discharged into the sea.

The second phase was spearheaded because the first phase of the landfill is expected to be fully occupied by year 2016. NEA did not allow the rich ecosystem and biodiversity of Semakau Island to be destroyed thus the transferring and transplanting of coral colonies to Sisters’ Island.

Now that we know where we are when it comes to Semakau Landfill, the least that we can do is to be conscious of our waste disposals and help protect our rich biodiversity.

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Security Measures for SingPass  

 

Even for a developed country like Singapore, we do not know for sure if our identification is secured. In the recent days, a number of users have received emails titled “SingPass account security info verification”. According to SingPass, this is a phishing email. If it is received, one should not click on the link and simply delete it right away.

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This incident paved way for SingPass to improve and enhance their features further. Actually, SingPass through Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore announced that the improved features were launched on July 5, 2015.

To date, SingPass serves more than sixty four government agencies. The users of SingPass are then allowed to access more than two hundred e-services which necessitate secure user identification. In 2013, SingPass transactions went up to fifty seven million. With this number of transactions, it is only fitting that the security measures for SingPass are improved.image008

The new security measure talks about two-factor authentication system otherwise known as 2FA. This system allows users to access crucial e-government transactions that comprise sensitive data. This is how it works: the administrator will send one-time password in addition to the log in process (that involves our SingPass ID and password).

The one-time password will be sent via our SMS. After receiving the one-time password, users will need to register for the new 2FA by logging to the SingPass website. For now, this is voluntary but come next year, it will be mandatory. Other improvements include customizing SingPass ID and resetting the passwords immediately through mobile phones.

Cheers to safer and more secure days!Emak-Singpass-040714e

Vehicles in Singapore to Adopt Euro Emission Standards

Singapore’s NEA (National Environment Agency) will have an initiative come September 2017. The initiative concerns Singaporeans who drive petrol vehicles. Let it be known that vehicles here will follow strict Euro VI emission standards. NEA stressed the importance of the emission standards in the improvement of air quality here.

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The standards will significantly reduce the emission of detrimental NOx (Nitric Oxide and Nitgrogen Dioxide) and other fine particulates. At present, the city-state is following the Euro IV standards which were implemented in 2006. Apart from Euro VI, NEA will also accept cars that meet Japanese emission standards. After the declaration of the new standards, NEA also announced Singapore’s pledge to decrease carbon emissions in 2020 by 11 percent below Business-as-usual levels.

What is with this Euro emission standard? For starters, you must know that Euro emission standards comprise of different stages and legal framework. The stages are referred as Euro 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. The roman numerals are representations of heavy duty vehicles standards. You also need to know other emission standards. Here are some ideas:

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  • Emission standards for passenger cars: For petrol cars, under Euro 1, the emission standard of CO (Carbon Monoxide) is 2.72 and 0.97 for HC + NOx (Hydrocarbon + Nitrogen Oxides). For Euro 2, the standard of CO is only 2.2 and 0.97 for HC + NOx. For Euro 3, the emission standard for CO is 2.3, 0.20 for THC (Hydrocarbon) and 0.15 for NOx. For Euro 4, the emission standard of CO is 1.0, 0.10 for THC and 0.08 for NOx. For Euro 5, the emission standard of CO is 0.50, 0.10 for THC, 0.068 for NMHC (Non-methane Hydrocarbons), 0.060 for NOx and 0.005 for PM (Atmospheric Particulate Matter). For Euro 6, the emission standard of CO is 1.0, 0.10 for THC, 0.0068 for NMHC, 0.060 for NOx and 0.005 for PM.
  • Emission standards for light commercial vehicles: Light vehicles that are use petrol also has sets of emission standards. For Euro 1, the emission standard of CO is 2.72 and 0.97 for HC+NOx. For Euro 2, the emission standard of CO is 2.2 and 0.5 for HC + NOx. For Euro 3, the emission standard is 2.3, 0.20 for THC and 0.15 for NOx. For Euro 4, the emission standard of CO is 1.0, 0.10 for THC, 0.0068 for NMHC and 0.005 for PM. For Euro 5, the emission standard of COis 1.000, 0.100 for THC, 0.068 for NMHC, 0.060 for NOx and 0.005 for PM. For Euro 6, the emission standard of CO is 1.000, 0.100 for THC, 0.068 for NMHC, 0.060 for NOx and 0.005 for PM.

The implementation of these standards will undoubtedly benefit the whole city-state.

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Top International Meeting Countries

It is not every day that international meetings happen in a specific country. Here in Singapore, holding international meetings is not new. In fact, the Singapore Tourism happily revealed that for seven consecutive years, the city is considered to be the Top International Meeting City. As if it is not enough, Singapore is also considered as the Top International Meeting Country for three consecutive years.

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What does this tell us? This tells us that Singapore passed the criteria stipulated by Union of International Associations (UIA). One of the criteria is that meetings should be supported by international organizations. For your information, UIA is mandated by the United Nations. Headquarter is in Brussels, Belgium. It was founded by Henri La Fontaine (a Nobel Peace Prize laureate) and Paul Otlet.

If you want to know other countries that are included in UIA’s 2012 list of Top International meeting countries, you can refer to the list provided below:

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  • Japan: In Japan, there were about seven hundred thirty one international meetings conducted by the end of 2012. Japan’s percentage of all meetings is 7.3%.
  • USA: In USA, there were about six hundred fifty eight international meetings conducted by the end of 2012. USA’s percentage of all meetings is 6.6%.
  • Belgium: In Belgium, there were about five hundred ninety seven international meetings conducted by the end of 2012. Belgium’s percentage of all meetings is 6%.
  • Republic of Korea: In Korea, there were about five hundred sixty three international meetings conducted by the end of 2012. Korea’s percentage of all meetings is 5.6%.
  • France: In France, there were about four hundred ninety four international meetings conducted by the end of 2012. France’s percentage of all meetings is 4.9%.
  • Austria:  In Austria, there were about four hundred fifty eight international meetings conducted by the end of 2012. Austria’s percentage of all meetings is 4.6%.
  • Spain: In Spain, there were about four hundred forty nine international meetings conducted by the end of 2012. Spain’s percentage of all meetings is 4.5%.
  • Germany: In Germany, there were about three hundred seventy three international meetings conducted by the end of 2012. Germany’s percentage of all meetings is 3.7%.
  • Australia: In Australia, there were about two hundred eighty seven international meetings conducted by the end of 2012. Australia’s percentage of all meetings is 2.9%.

Singapore is the trusted venue for international meetings. In Singapore, there were nine hundred fifty two international meetings conducted by the end of 2012. The country’s percentage of all meetings is 9.5%. We should keep it that way and continue to be number one for the years to come.

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Flowers in Full Bloom

Flowers give us a sense of happiness when we see it. The recent dry spell here in Singapore halted the blooming of flowers but the rain showered the land with blessings. People now see the beauty of flowers surrounding Singapore. It is indeed a nice sight to marvel. Flowers should be considered because of its beauty.

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Many people here in Singapore wish that they can have a garden but that takes a lot of space. If you want to witness the beauty of flowers, you should go to parks and other nature reserves. The good news is that you can easily marvel over flowers in full bloom this season because they are just around the corner. There are variety of trees (including other plants) that you can consider. Here are some flowers and trees in full bloom now:

  • The Trumpet Tree: Trumpet trees belong to the Bignoniaceae family. Its common name is roble. Trumpet trees can grow up to 25 metres. It is broad and pointed. It is called trumpet tree because of its trumpet-shaped blossoms. The blossoms can either be pink or white. Trumpet trees are found in North Buona Vista Road and Robertson Quay.
  • Golden Penda: Golden Penda belongs to the Myrtaceae family. It is a popular plant that shows off its yellow blooms. Golden Penda can grow up to 15 metres. It is famous for its golden-coloured blossoms. Golden Pendas are found along Braddell Road.
  • Golden Shower Tree: Golden shower trees belong to the Fabaceae family. Golden shower tree is famous because it can either be an ornamental plant or herbal medicine. Golden shower tree can grow up to 20 metres. Golden shower trees are found in Geylang and Guilemard Road.  243817_2146687513266_5879112_o
  • Flame Tree: Flame trees belong to Fabaceaa family. It can grow up to 25 metres. The flowers are yellow. Flame tree is an ornamental tree and its wood can be used for cabinet-making and other furniture. Flame trees are found in Commonwealth Avenue West, Kallang Road and Jurong West Street.
  • Cat Claw Ivy: Cat Claw Ivy belongs to Bignoniaceae family. It can grow up to 25 feet. It is a clinging or a climbing vine. Its flowers are bright yellow that are funnel-shaped. Cat Claw Ivies are found in Holland and Havelock Road.

You can spread the joy of flowers by sharing your photographs. The National Parks Board are encouraging Singaporeans and visitors to share their picture and join in the competition. You can simply tag your photos in Facebook or Instagram using #sgblooms. The competitions will be until April 30, 2014. What are you waiting for? You should send your entries now.

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History of Tampines New Town

The present day Tampines New Town was formerly home to swamps, forests and sand quarries. Ironwood trees, commonly referred to as tempinis once grew in abundance in the area, hence it was given its present name. The district is a portion of a military training area up until 1987.

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The new town was founded in 1978. Construction began for Tampines Neigbourhoods 1 and 2 in 1983 and was completed in 1987; the construction process still took 3 years even though they were given priority. The construction of Neighbourhoods 8 and 9 was initiated in 1985 to 1989, which was followed by the construction of Neigbourhhod 5 which was completed along with Tampines Town Centre. Construction of Neighbourhood 4 was completed along with the new Tampines North Division. Construction of Neighbourhoods 3 and 7 was fully completed in 1997.

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Modern construction techniques sped up the development of the town’s overall infrastructure. Utilizing prefabricated house components, a block of tall flats could be constructed within just a month. More attractive motifs, polishings and colours were integrated into Tampines. The HBD (Housing Development Board) managed the assembly of the town until 1991, when the management was handed over to the Tampines Town Council.

The Building and Social Housing Foundation (BSHF) of the United Nations gave the Word Habitat Award to Tampines which was chosen as a delegate of the country’s new towns on October 5, 1992. The award was bestowed in acknowledgement of a significant contribution to human settlement and development.

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Tanjong Pagar District

The Tanjong Pagar District (also spelled as Tanjung Pagar) is an antique are that is situated within the Central Business District of the country, located beside the Downtown Core and the Outram Planning Area under the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) urban planning areas.

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The name “tanjong pagar” is a Malay term which means “cape of stakes”. The name represents its roots as a fishing village which is located on an area which was once a peninsula.  It has been deduced that the resent name was inspired by the presence of offshore enclosure fishing traps made out of woodens takes and cross pieces (kalongs) that were put up along the stretch of coastal area from the vilae of Tanjong Malang to the present day Tanjong Pagar. It was surmised that the name was possibly a debasement of the earlier name which was Tanjong Passar.

A far more attractive and charming account of the naming of this portion of the coast came from the scope of a local myth. According to the Malay Archives, there was a period when the villages that were located along the coast of the country suffered from savage attacks from groups of swordfish. Following the advice of a notably smart individual named Hang Nadim, the Sri Maharajah constructed a barrier made out of banana stems along the coast which successful protected the villages by way of trapping the attacking swordfish by their snouts as they soared from the waters.

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There are also accounts that claim that the original name of the area was Salinter which means “a fishing village”. In 1864, the Tanjong Pagar Dock Company was established because of the significant growth of shipping activities in the 1850s. The term “tanjong” means “cape” or “peninsula”; pagar on the other hand means “enclosed space” or “fence”. The present name of Tanjong Pagar possibly refers to the location of PSA GATE 3 near Victoria Dock. The area around the district were former mangrove swamps which were filled in with earth extracted from surrounding small hills, Mount Palmer in particular for the extension of the quay up to Telok Blangah.

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