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This is an archive of our old Students' blog entries. Check out the new blog here: https://www.saimia.fi/blog/en/

Spectacular view of Singapore

Good day to all!

Chinese New Year celebration in Singapore was quite generous to me. It has brought several surprises and discoveries. Besides free admission to all of its museums during the festive period, discovered a spectacular view of Singapore – a view of its skyline and Marina Bay vicinity. All by chance, as I decided to take an evening walk as the alternative of staying in the dorm did not really appeal to me.

Whereas the majority of observation decks have quite an entrance fee to pay ranging from fifteen to thirty-five euros, the one that I discovered was once again for free, or, better say, for a song, as you still had to make you way there on a public transport. This, I would admit, was just a mere lack – both that I discovered the place and that it was free on that particular day.

I didn’t really feel like staying at home and dying from boredom. Neither did I want to go and see a movie in a movie theatre, as other exchange students did. Why didn’t I join them? Simply because I was sure Singapore has rarer and more stunning sceneries and experiences than any movie would give you, and I can, after all, leave the movies for the latter. It proved to be the right believe.

As I was walking past the National Museum of Singapore, I noticed that there were people on the rooftop. I decided to check it out, as the admission was still free due to the celebrations. The view turned out to be absolutely spectacular.

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No, it is not a UFO landed in Singapore. It is the building of the Supreme Court of Singapore.

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I stayed there until late in the evening, as I simply couldn't get enough of the view.

For all coming to Singapore, I recommend this place. If you can come to see the National Museum of Singapore during weekend or public holiday – do it. It will take quite a period of time – perhaps until early in the evening - to go through all the exhibitions they have on offer. Once you are finished, you can head to the top floor where you can enjoy lovely food or a drink while contemplating the beauty of Singapore during sunset. A great pastime, I would say! Not only would you see the exhibitions, but also enjoy an amazing view.

This is all for today.

Have a great day and see you soon J

An absolute must see in Singapore - the National Museum

Good day from Singapore!

I have been quite busy for the past several days, as many things have been happening on both scholarly and pastime fronts. Whereas scholarly front didn’t bring anything but some routine assignments, pastime one was indeed interesting and very exciting at times. All thanks to Chinese New Year, which turned out to be very generous with presents and surprises in Singapore. The Lunar New Year was just around the corner, and I started to search for festivities and ‘things to do during CNY’ in Singapore. A host of options appeared! First, and most pleasantly for me, all of the Singapore’s museums were operating as open houses during the Chinese New Year holidays, which meant free admission to all of them. What a great coincidence, given that I was just about to start visiting them. Well, museum tickets would not have broken the bank, but saving is always pleasant, isn’t it? It is even more so when I realize that it would have totaled fifty something euros given the number of times I was visiting them. You already know that I visited Asian Civilizations Museums, National Gallery and the Battlebox Museum. As for me, the Battlebox Museum and the ACM were more interesting, as I am more keen on history than art, but the National Gallery also had some worthy collections on the history of Singapore. My all-time favorite here, however, was the National Museum of Singapore.

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You would not believe, but I went to see it three times in two days. It’s collections and exhibits were so interesting and well-arranged, that I simply couldn’t get enough of that place. When I went there the first time, I got lucky and was able to join a free tour on the part covering the history of Singapore. It was so fascinating and enthralling that I was listeningas carefully and attentively as never before.

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I learned more about the WWII in the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre. This is what, for instance, besides tanks and armored vehicles, allowed the Japanese to be very mobile and advance quickly towards Singapore.

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Here is an attribute from Singapore’s more remote history. They were first brought here in 1880 and were used for almost as long as 70 years. An extremely physically demanding job.

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This is how they partied in the early times of Singapore.

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You could even try how it is like to watch a movie in a drive-in theater in the old times…

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…and trace the history of Singaporeans’ everyday life to the more modern times by visiting a typical Singapore’s household several decades ago…

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and how it was rapidly transforming into the financial hub if Asia.

What shall I say? Very interesting and educative exhibitions, and one of the best museums I have ever seen. A definite must-see in Singapore.

This is all for today. Have a great day and see you soon J

Chinese New Year Celebration @ The Float

Hello everyone! J

The weather insists that I stay in the dorm, as it is raining cats and dogs outside. They call it monsoon season, but for me it pretty much looks like a natural cataclysm. Our apartment is on the second floor, so I don’t think I should be worrying too much.

School stuff is done, so is the planned gym exercise, and I have now sat down to write another blog entry, as there is quite a lot to share with you. As I promised recently, I was going to write about the Chinese New Year celebration. It seems that the time has come and I have to put my money where my mouth is, and write the blog.

Shortly speaking, it was a very cheerful and colorful celebration.

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The entrance was promising an evening full of colors and new experiences.

Preceding the highlight of the program – the much awaited firework displays – was a concert with traditional songs and dances performed by local artists – a show worth seeing. The Chinese thematic was all novel and unusual to me, but I definitely enjoyed it.

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At the same time the cheerful crowd got to enjoy the tasty treats served by numerous stalls thereat, participate in one of the exciting contests, rides and game stalls, or just contemplate the lively decorations of the so called “Float”, where it all was organized.

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Don’t ask me why there are robots. I have no idea.

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The Lion and the Rooster make much more sense J

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Following and crowning it all were firework displays. Well, they were far from those displayed at midnight of the 31st of January, but still an enjoyable thing to contemplate. Better than staying at a dorm.

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I managed to get higher to capture it. sry for the quality.

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All in all, I would say that it was a very interesting experience, as I haven’t seen any celebration close to this in terms of thematic, decorations and shows. I definitely enjoyed it, and it made my weekend.

This is, however, all for today.

Have a great day and see you soon!

Asian Civilizations Museum

Lovely day to all!

It is Saturday, January 28th – do you know what it means? It means that it is Chinese New Year! How great it is that I can actually have two new year celebrations in one months. This is how advantageous your exchange could be if you study at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences. For those of you, my friends and readers, who celebrate Lunar New Year, here’s wishing you and your family happiness, good health and best fortune in the year of the Rooster.

In Asian Culture Lunar New Year is traditionally an occasion for reunion and celebration with families and friends. It is a time when people immerse in the blessings of togetherness, love and harmony. As for me, being far away from home and unable to reunion and celebrate with my family and closest friends, it is an occasion to immerse myself in the Asian Culture and the tradition of this wonderful celebration. What could make a good beginning? I think I managed to come with the best one – I went to see Asian Civilizations Museum.

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I particularly like this contrast of the predominantly colonial style of the museum, the greenery and the skyscrapers. There is a host of such in Singapore.

By this image of contrasts alone you can say that Asian civilization has progressed very significantly. It seems even more unthinkable as you enter the Museum and explore the numerous exhibitions it has on offer. From Ancient Religions traced thousand years back in time and the ideal of scholar in Chinese Culture to the more modern-time Trade exhibitions and, no matter how controversial it would sound, futuristic Contemporary Art.

For me it was particularly interesting to see how Singapore looked more than a century ago, and how it was transforming and developing over the decades.

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It was very interesting indeed to learn more about the Asian Civilizations in the midst of the main celebration breaking out. If you ever happen to come to Singapore, this is a must-see if you want to get to know Asian culture closer. It is a full immersion, as the sound and light effects, as well as furnishing make the exhibition resemble the past times.

I am ending this blog here and now heading to Marina Bay to see the New Year festivities with large scale dazzling lantern displays, fireworks, traditional crafts and many more. They are sure to be spectacular and colorful! Stay tuned and you will find out how it is like to celebrate the Chinese New Year in Singapore.

See you soon!

Visiting the National Gallery of Singapore

Good day from Singapore.

The reason why I have been so eagerly waiting for Lunar New Year and the following holidays is not just the holidays and festivities alone. I knew weeks before that when the holidays will start, almost all of the museums in Singapore will be open for visitors, and the admission to all of them would be absolutely free of charge – not a bad way to spend your holidays while saving around 10-15 euros on each of the museums, and a much more considerable amount in total. Why not use this brilliant opportunity and head to explore them while they are all free?

Having searched the web, I found out that the National Gallery of Singapore has a free admission already today, so why not make it there?

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The National Gallery of Singapore is predominantly located in the left part of this building. On the right side is City Hall – the place where the Japanese officially surrendered in 1945 to end the World War II in Singapore.

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This building in itself is another sight of Singapore.

In the museum there are numerous exhibitions on art in Singapore since the 19th century, colonial past, ceramic works dating back centuries ago, and many more. I most of all enjoyed the exhibition on the highlights of the Singapore’s Constitutional Documents, where I got to see the copy of the Proclamation of Singapore commemorating the separation of Singapore from Malaysia in 1965.

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There it is under the glass.

Know I know that if I had to pay, the gallery would have been worth the money as it was very educative and interesting. With this I am finishing my todays blog. To all those coming to Singapore for a holiday or exchange, my advice would be to check out the coming public holidays and find out whether there are some free admissions to museums or other attractions. Most probably there would be something and you will be able to save some money, which is always a pleasant thing, as I, for instance, went to the Sentosa beach for free before the New Year, and got to visit most of the museums free of charge. As the saying goes, “Penny and penny laid up will be many!”

Have a great day and see you soon!

Meeting four kind enthusiasts from SIngapore

Good day to all reading this blog J

The rule that the best things in life are free has proven itself once again. Saying it I do not mean the more primitive material things like a timepiece or a lottery gift. I am speaking in terms of more important values such as friendship, kindness and sincerity.

As you might remember from one of the previous blogs, I promised to explore Singapore to the fullest in the remaining one and a half months. Feeling that I had to put my money where my mouth is, I decided to go for a city tour. Being honest with you, what lured me in to that activity was that it came for free to anyone who just appeared at an appointed meeting place. The advertisement on the web page looked trustworthy and the tour promised to be interesting, so I joined without much hesitation.

Our tour was organized by a group of four – all students of Nanyang Technological University and members of Tourism and Hospitality Management Club.

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Here we are J The four tour guides or, better say, kind enthusiasts, are taking the front row. I couldn’t help but join them.

What can I say? They must be very good students and exceptionally passionate of what they do, as the tour was amazing. Shortly speaking, it was a very thorough walking tour filled with facts and jokes. What I liked most about the tour itself, is that we got to hear the story behind the main sights of the city in a very interesting manner.

In the early times of Singapore, Raffles Place, for instance, was a place where people would come to find out the latest news. It is now surrounded with three tallest buildings – 280 meters each.

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Here is one of them - the Republic Plaza.

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The name for this sculpture is First Generation. Do you want to know the story behind this? In the early days of Singapore there was only one bridge nearby to get on the other side of the river, and one could only cross it for a fee. Unable to pay, people had to jump into the water and swim to get on the other side.

On the first photo of this blog you can see Marina Bay Sands hotel. There is a casino at the underground levels of the hotel. Our tour guide explained us that the form of the MBS resembles a hieroglyph – three vertical lines with one horizontal crossing them on the top. If I got it right, it is somehow associated with the fact that money will not leave that place – that the money is actually enclosed in the building, which is bad for the gamblers and good for the casino owners. I think it is all a matter of probabilities, but this was a very interesting coincidence indeed J

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I made friends with these nice people and had some fun.

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They invited us for a dinner, and we were very glad to join J

They were so kind that actually tried to treat us a dinner, which was too kind of them already. They made our evening, and that alone was more than enough!

I am so glad I met these wonderful people and got to know Singapore a little bit closer. It was a great evening with in a very nice company. We have agreed to meet with them again, so I think more is yet to come.

This is, however, all for today J

Have a great day and see you soon!

High up in the clouds at ION Orchard observation deck

Good day to all J

The best things in life, as we all know, are often for free. This rule seems hardly credible and slightly ridiculous in Singapore, which is considered one of the most expensive countries in the world. Despite all of these, this rule is legit here too.

Holiday in Singapore would certainly come cheaper to anybody who is determined and patient enough to find bargains, or free excellent opportunities that occur every now and then. You can, for instance, get on the top of Marina Bay Sands and see Marina Bay vicinity from one of the best observation decks, enjoy the beaches of Sentosa island, and experience world-class car stunt performance first-hand – all for free, if you keep an eye out for arising opportunities, of which, trust me, there are plenty.

Even now that I have taken advantage of handful of such, they continue to appear, and I am more than willing to grasp them, as there is just little over a month left before the end of my exchange. I am legally obliged to make the most of the remaining time here in Singapore, and I have started to bring it to life.

One of the many things I cannot get enough here in Singapore is its captivating skyline. It acts as a magnet, and I often find myself dazing at the magnificent skyscrapers. At times, I even get overwhelmed with a sudden desire to see it. This is precisely what happened yesterday, and had no other way but to go there. It luckily coincided with me discovering an interesting place with a view on my precious. It was before long that I headed there.

The place I discovered is called ION Orchard. It is a huge shopping mall with a high-rise 55+ floors residential condominium. It turned out that there is a spectacular observation deck on the 55th floor, and the admission is free of charge. Elevator takes you there so fast you get your ears clogged for a moment!

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55th floor, as you understand is cloud-high. So high you can see neighboring country of Indonesia from there.

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Off in the distance is one of the several Singapore ports – Jurong Port, if I am not mistaken. As you might remember, during our university trip to Jurong Port Academy I got to operate one of those cranes on a simulator.

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To assist you in your exploration of the city there are these state-of-the-art telescopes – the first telescope of its kind in Asia. They guarantee you the best views, rain or shine, in the day or at night.

The view is simply breathtaking, and you can see everything in small details. Even though the weather was a little bit dull on that day, I got to enjoy it pretty much. I think I will make it there once again when the nature will present us with a sunny and clear day.

This is all for today, but more is yet to come as I am going to explore Singapore with an even greater zeal as the exchange timer is running.

Have a great weekend and see you soon J

The Battlebox Museum

Good day to all reading this blog!

After a week of uninterrupted rains, the weather in Singapore has changed for the better, which means that I can now travel around the city freely without the risk of getting soaking wet. I am very glad that rain and gloomy sky have changed for sun and the blue, because Chinese New Year is just around the corner. It first and most importantly, means extended weekend for students and, secondly, and not least significantly, a lot of spectacular festivities which I will be experiencing, capturing and sharing with you later in this blog.

Some of the Singapore’s high-rise views are, undoubtedly, spectacular, captivating and breathtaking but this morning I decided that I will do something new for a change than rising myself above the city. The change I took was radical. I went under the ground – not yet as deep as local underground, but the place itself was much more uncommon than the so often taken subway. As you can see from the title of this blog, I went to the Battlebox Museum. Constructed in the late 1930th, this Battlebox in Fort Canning Hill will become an underground command center during the WWII.

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The main entrance to the bunker. There is, of course, a back door on the other side of it, to which you have to take a cat ladder.

The bunker lies nine meters under the ground, has 29 rooms, and used to accommodate up to 500 hundred people.

Perhaps the most momentous decision taken in this bunker, and actually the reason why it is so valued, is the decision to surrender Singapore to the Japanese in 1942. Inside the bunker there is an installation of that historical moment when 11 army people took that critical decision.

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The surrender discussion was held in this room on the morning of Feb 15, 1942. It took 16 minutes for them to decide as they had been cornered by the Japanese across land, air and see.

Besides this, I got to see telephone exchange and fortress commander’s rooms, air filtration facility, and even the center for aircraft defense where the British mapped out the locations of friendly and hostile aircrafts.

All in all, this tour was very interesting and educative – one of the best I have ever taken. You somehow get immersed into the atmosphere of the war time as you go nine meters down under the ground into the bunker, and all the furnishing is as it was 75 years ago. If, following my path, you will come for an exchange to Singapore and get an opportunity to visit the Battlebox, I strongly recommend you take advantage of it.

This is all for today J

Have a great day and see you soon!

Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park - discovering the hidden gems

Good day to all!

As the weather has slightly improved here in the afternoon, and it is no longer raining cats and dogs, I eagerly search for another place to explore in Singapore, since there is only one month left until the end of my exchange, and a short while ago I promised myself to escape from the dorm at every earliest opportunity. Now I feel that I am pretty much obliged to put my money where my mouth is, and I should come up with something new and different for every day! It is by no means a problem, as there is still a whole host of places yet to explore in Temasek.

The weather is sunny and rain-free, so I should definitely take advantage of these rare hours and go outdoors, as the forecast says there won’t be much of such pleasant weather in the coming days. In close proximity – about 2km walk – there is a wonderful green Bishan - Ang Mo Kio park. Why not make it there?

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The park, being one of the largest in central Singapore, has spanned over 62 hectares of unique waterways and greenery. Beautiful and clean - it is a true pleasure to explore.

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Towering above the greenery on the side of the park is Tse Tho Aum Temple.

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As you walk further in the park, you run across peaceful waterways

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and more and more jungle-like sceneries

Singapore does not seize to amaze wherever you go. Even this park turned out to be a gem, and a very good exercise, as the walk was about 10 km in total. Tired but with a feeling of fulfillment and happiness I head home.

This is all for today. Have a great day and see you soon J

Seminar from a former Goldman Sachs' trading pro.

Lovely day to all reading this blog, and to all those not reading it too!

The weather is just wonderful here in Singapore – with rare waterfall-like rains. It seems that the period of uninterrupted good weather has finished, and the monsoon season has eventually come into force. Thanks Singaporeans there are covered paths to almost any destination – the most relevant piece of infrastructure to any country lying somewhere near the equator.

Actually, it doesn’t matter for me that it is raining cats and dogs here, because I anyway get to enjoy my exchange. No, it is not because there are covered paths all the way to McDonald’s. This is because my agenda here is like living the dream. The nerd student’s dream – one might say J It was precisely so, before I attended the Singapore Motorshow 2017 and had a different kind of pastime and experience for a change. Singapore does not cease to amaze me with an abundance of exciting events. No day is alike here, nor should it be. When two days in a row I was chosen as a volunteer for the Russ Swift stunt show, I thought that my pot of luck was deemed to have emptied, and the series of unthinkable events should have stopped. Nothing of the kind. It keeps happening to me. Here is a little story to it.

As you might have already noticed, I have been interested in economics and finance lately. Besides this, I have been researching on trading, investment and speculation – spheres contrary to each other. So contrary, that the proponents of both were, at times, about to put up a fight in disputes. To learn more and to somehow satisfy my interest, I have been searching for the information everywhere: I have been reading books, articles, attending seminars at the SGX and watching documentaries. Referring to the last, I have recently watched a British reality television series called “Million Dollar Traders”. Featuring in the series is a famous former Goldman Sachs’ Pan European equities trader Anton Kreil, who was mainly specializing on pharmaceuticals and chemicals. Do I even need to say that he is a real pro? That reality show stirred my interest even more, and I wanted to find out whether he has written any books on trading. It turned out that he hasn’t, but what I found was not less interesting and exciting. It turned out that he moved and is currently residing in Singapore.

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Here he is his office in Singapore.

What a coincidence! How great it would be to meet him in person – I thought. Believe it or not, but I later found out that he has established Institute of Trading and Portfolio Management, and is running seminars and giving speeches every now and then. And where do you think he does that – yes, in Singapore! Next seminar is in few days’ time, and there are only few tickets left. I could not believe my luck and started to question my eyesight. No, everything is correct and I am not day-dreaming. I bought the ticket and started to look forward to the seminar’s date.

The day has come. In a nutshell, it was a great evening. I got to see and listen to an inspirational trading pro with a very extensive experience background. During the seminar he was talking about the worst and best retail traders’ traits, traders’ habits and the institute itself. It was very interesting and educative to learn what habits should be quit and what should be get into. He drew a common thread of behavioral patterns that retail traders display, and supported that with the up-to-date statistics from the institute. All in all, a good session on understanding yourself better and learning your potential weaknesses – an invaluable knowledge for someone seeing his future in trading.

It seems that there are even more seminars coming up, and I very much feel like attending those, as the price/value ratio is ridiculously low. I am also considering the courses they are running at the institute, but there are some obstacles to that. Let’s see what future brings!

This is all for today. I trust that you have days as fulfilling and exciting days as mine.

Have a great day and see you soon J

Arkisto

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