Earth Month X MAPFEST 2018

The Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) Selangor Branch’s Photogroup is participating in the Earth Month at Publika, Kuala Lumpur by holding an exhibition from Friday, 23 March to Friday, 6 April 2018. The exhibition features 72 curated images by 16 photographers that highlight the beauty of nature, as well as the problems that plague our environment today. The organising committee curated 6 of my photos for the exhibition.

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A photo taken of me with 2 of my flower photos on display. Left: Gerbera daisies. Right: Purple water lily.

 

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The other 4 of my photos on display

The exhibition is located next to Paparich in Circle, Level A3, Block A. It is right at the entrance where cars drop people off to walk in.

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The exhibition panels on the right of the entrance
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The exhibition panels on the left of the entrance, next to Paparich

Khor Hui Min
A little card placed next to my photos

 

 

 

 

Do come to visit the photo exhibition if you are coming to Publika. There will be other activities held in conjunction with Earth Month here as well.

 

 

 

 

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Gardens by the Bay: Cloud Forest

Gardens by the Bay is a breathtakingly beautiful, well-planned and excellently designed garden complex full of surprises suitable for the whole family. We only had a few hours to visit this place, so we bought tickets to view the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. The ticket price is S$28 for both attractions combined. To read up more about Gardens by the Bay, visit their official website.

After exploring the Flower Dome and its Tulipmania display, we went over to the Cloud Forest, which encompasses 0.8 hectares (approx. 1.5 football fields).

Cloud Forest @ Cool-Moist Conservatory
Cloud Forest @ Cool-Moist Conservatory

The Cloud Forest is essentially a 35-metre tall man-made mountain covered in lush vegetation. On its face plunges the world’s tallest indoor waterfall.

Cloud Forest @ Cool-Moist Conservatory
Cloud Forest @ Cool-Moist Conservatory

It showcases flora from tropical highlands or montane habitats, up to 2,000-metres above sea level.

At the top of the mountain
At the top of the mountain

Since we were in Singapore, attractions were safe and hygienic. So, we all lined up to take the elevator to the 6th floor, walked up to the 7th floor, which was the mist-shrouded pinnacle of the mountain, and slowly walked down in a spiral.

Take the lift up to the 6th floor and walk down slowly
Take the lift up to the 6th floor and walk down slowly

Two walkways were artfully constructed to provide the best aerial view of the man-made mountain and the mountainside.

This was my favourite plant in the whole Cloud Forest! The tiny orchid is so cute.
This was my favourite plant in the whole Cloud Forest! The tiny orchid is so cute.

The Cloud Forest, also known as the Cool-Moist Conservatory, offers a learning opportunity – visitors can discover the unique biodiversity and geology of cloud forests. They are also educated about the environmental threats that plague these habitats.

Attractive montane flowers
Attractive montane flowers

The landscape on the mountain top was beautiful. As we walked down, we could see a bird’s eye view of Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Eye, as well as the surrounding gardens.

Red-topped pitcher plants
Red-topped pitcher plants

There were many beautiful flowers, and pitcher plants, ferns and orchids figured very prominently on the mountain top and mountainside.

White-topped pitcher plants
White-topped pitcher plants
Beautiful orchids
Beautiful orchids
Pink and red highland orchids
Pink and red highland orchids
Stalactites and stalagmites
Stalactite and stalagmite display inside the man-made mountain

Related articles:
Gardens by the Bay: Flower Dome
– Gardens by the Bay: Tulipmania

Gardens by the Bay: Flower Dome

The Flower Dome is part of the Gardens by the Bay, Singapore. As the name suggests, the whole garden is enclosed in a beautiful glass house and the temperature inside is kept cool with air conditioning (see the following two photos).

Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

It is a world of perpetual spring, and features plants from the Mediterranean and semi-arid subtropical regions.

Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

The following photo features the gigantic and magnificent Agave guiengola, which is commonly known as Maguey Plateado in Mexico.

Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

The Flower Dome is one of the icons of Bay South Garden, with its beautiful design. It replicates the cool-dry climate of Mediterranean regions like South Africa, California and parts of Spain and Italy.

Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

The Flower Dome houses a wonderful collection of desert plants from all over the world, showcasing the special adaptations of plants to dry and harsh environments, such as the blooming cactus flower in the following photo.

Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Meanwhile, in the colourful Flower Field, changing displays reflect different seasons, festivals and themes.

Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

One can lose track of time engrossed in taking photos of the lush and brilliant blooms, as I did.

Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Tulipmania @ Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

To find out more about the Flower Dome and the Gardens by the Bay, visit the official website.

Related articles:
– Gardens by the Bay: Tulipmania
Gardens by the Bay: Cloud Forest

Gardens by the Bay: Tulipmania

Gardens by the Bay is a unique garden complex that is envisioned by its creators to capture the essence of Singapore as the premier tropical garden city. From conceptualisation to completion, each step was taken with care. It started in January 2006, with an international master plan design competition. The objective of the competition was to seek world-class design ideas for Gardens by the Bay – over 70 entries were submitted by 170 firms, from over 24 countries, including 35 from Singapore. Eight teams were shortlisted and two winners were selected (one for Bay East, and the other for Bay South) by an 11- member jury of local and international experts. To read more about Gardens by the Bay, visit the official website.

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

The Gardens offer guided tours, audio tours and self guided trails. There is even a Gardens by the Bay Mobile App available for download. Get ready to spend a whole day there, and stay till after sunset for the spectacular lights.

I was fortunate to arrive in time for the ‘Tulipmania’ showcase, which put on show 20,000 colourful bulbs from over 40 varieties of tulips. ‘Tulipmania’ is the second of six chapters in Gardens by the Bay’s storytelling journey in 2015. I visited the tulip floral display on 2 May 2015, which was 8 days before the end of the showcase. 🙂

Tulipmania @ Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

The whole display revolved around fairytales, such as Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, the Snow Queen, Hansel and Gretel, etc. The Snow Queen display is featured in the next photo.

Tulipmania @ Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

The pure white Tulipa cv. ‘Foxtrot’ is featured in the next photo.

Tulipmania @ Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

The following photo shows Hansel and Gretel’s candy house surrounded by a riot of colourful tulips.

Tulipmania @ Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

The next photo shows an elaborate interpretation of Cinderella’s carriage.

Tulipmania @ Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

‘Tulipmania’ is an annual floral display in the Gardens by the Bay. It opens in March and closes in May. The following photo features the pretty pink Tulipa cv. ‘Charming Lady’.

Tulipmania @ Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

This third edition touted an even wider selection of tulips – over 40 varieties in a myriad of hues and forms, including attractive blooms such as the scarlet ‘Red Riding Hood’, the ‘Purple Prince’ and the ‘Orange Princess.

Tulipmania @ Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

‘Tulipmania’ runs from 20 March to 10 May 2015. The opening hours are from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. You can feast your eyes on the beautiful tulips via the Garden Trail, but ticket charges apply. A free trail map will be provided with the purchase of every conservatories ticket, while stocks last.

Tulipmania @ Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Tulipmania @ Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

The following photo features the bright orange Tulipa cv. ‘Pako’.

Tulipmania @ Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Tulipmania @ Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Tulipmania @ Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Related articles:
Gardens by the Bay: Flower Dome
– Gardens by the Bay: Cloud Forest

Vie & Reach

For this week’s Ronovan’s Weekly Haiku Challenge #39, I have decided to write something inspirational. 🙂

How’s the A to Z Challenge coming along, people? LOLz. It’s like a marathon…

Vie & Reach

White flowers at Yangmingshan National Park, Taipei, Taiwan. Photo taken on 13 March 2015.
White flowers at Yangmingshan National Park, Taipei, Taiwan. Photo taken on 13 March 2015.

Vie & Reach

Strive, reach for the stars
Vie, be the best you can be
You know who you are

Ya, it’s you! I’m talking to the fella looking at the screen, reading this. 😀

An original haiku by
Khor Hui Min
12 April 2015

 

39-challenge

C is for Cherry Blossoms

On the third day of the A-to-Z Challenge, I wrote a photo essay on cherry blossoms in Taiwan. Hope you like the flowers as much as I did. 🙂

 

C is for CHERRY BLOSSOMS

The cherry blossoms of Taiwan

Every spring, Taiwan’s cherry blossom varieties bloom from February to April. Flowers range from white to yellow to pink. Some varieties have five petals on each flower, while other varieties have twenty petals or even a hundred! To read up more on cherry blossom varieties, click here.

There are a few favourite cherry blossom viewing locations in Taiwan, including Yangmingshan National Park of Taipei, Wulai and Alishan Mountain. I decided to visit the nearest viewing place, which was Yangmingshan National Park. The park can be reached via public bus Red5 from the Jiantian MRT station. That was the bus I got on.

 

Yangminshan National Park, Taipei
Yangmingshan National Park, Taipei

 

The Yangmingshan Flower Festival stretches from 26 February to 28 March.  Visitors to the park can spend the day exploring its 90 hectares of beautiful Chinese-style gardens, complete with walking trails, fish ponds, fountains, buildings and pavilions.

Cherry blossoms
Five-petaled yoshino cherry blossoms

 

Yoshino cherry blossoms are common in Yangmingshan National Park and produce slightly pink, almost white, five-petaled blossoms. They are particularly eye-catching because their fresh leaves do not emerge until after the peak of the flowering season.

 

Butterfly in the cherry blossom tree
A butterfly in a yoshino cherry blossom tree

 

Cherry blossoms
Yoshino cherry blossoms

 

I loved the cherry blossoms. I did not know that cherry blossoms were common in Taiwan, until I did some research online in preparation for this trip.

 

Cherry blossoms
Cherry blossom trees

 

Cherry blossoms in Yangminshan National Park, Taipei
Cherry blossoms in Yangminshan National Park, Taipei

 

Another variety of cherry blossom common in Taiwan is the Formosan cherry, which is also known as the Taiwan mountain-cherry tree. Its bright pink flowers can light up the skyline when blossoming in tandem, and are considered by many to be the most beautiful.

 

 

Pink sakura
Pink formosan cherry blossom

 

Cherry blossoms with more than five petals  are called yaezakura varieties. They are usually the last trees to open their flowers, with blooming periods about two to four weeks after most five-petaled species have flowered.

 

Multi-petaled cherry blossom
Yaezakura cherry blossoms

 

 

 

Beacon & Field

I just came back from a 10-day trip to Taiwan last Friday, and returned with over 820 photos taken with my trusty Canon 60D. I just love the photos taken with this camera, and the fast shutter speed is just awesome. I’m not into taking ‘selfies’ or ‘wefies’, but opt instead for nature, scenery and macro shots. In the city, I like to dabble in a bit of street photography to showcase the hustle and bustle of metropolitan life. More often than not, my photos remind me not only of the place, time and people, but also evoke some of the feelings from that point in time.

For RonovanWrites Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt Challenge #36, the prompt words were Field and Beacon. I was inspired by springtime in Taiwan and the many beautiful flowers blossoming in profusion to write this week’s haiku. In fact, it stars the famous daffodil. 🙂

Photo taken on 13 March 2015 at Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan
Photo taken on 13 March 2015 at Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan

Daffodils

Like beacons in fields
Snowy white with yellow lips
Heralding springtime

A springtime haiku by
Khor Hui Min
22 March 2015

Photo taken on 13 March 2015 at Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan
Photo taken on 13 March 2015 at Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan

My favourite daffodil poem from my student days is by William Wordsworth (1770-1850). You can read the poem here. I find it remarkable that the poet could make the scene come alive and the daffodils dance with his prose.

Photo taken on 13 March 2015 at Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan
Photo taken on 13 March 2015 at Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan