Singapore: the sun, the beach and the jellyfish! – Part 1

The hatching of plan

Sometime in January, I felt the insurmountable yearning for a camping trip at the seaside (I hate leeches in the tropical jungles!). I tried to organize one in Penang but in vain. Colleagues quoted, “Why can’t we just sleep in the chalet?” SG declined, “I’m really not keen.” Boo… Besides, it is a saddening fact that Bolehland is no longer safe to go and camp anywhere and anytime we feel like to.

I manja to Shirely about my camping desire and she straight away said yes to the plan! But it had to be a delayed gratification though: after Chinese New Year, the next long weekend available would be in May and it would be at East Coast Park, Singapore! I then approached another favorite partner of crime of mine, Sue. Not only did she agree to camp with me, she also suggested taking up windsurfing course at Changi Coast Walk! Hooray! From there, we mustered more and more people to join the trip.

The preparation

One can camp in the 5 parks and Pulau Ubin in Singapore. We chose Area G over Area D of East Coast Park since it’s close to our windsurfing centre and we expected it to be less popular so that we stood better chance in securing our BBQ pit and camping permit on a public holiday! (Haha! In Singapore, you have to be kiasu!)

After doing some mock-camping permit internet application, we found out that one could start applying for the permit approximately 2 months before the scheduled date of camping (to be exact, on June 1st, one could apply for permit to camp from 9am on July 30th to 9am the following day. We intended to camp on start date=May 24th and end date=May 25th, so we could start applying for permit on March 26th). One problem surfaced though: the permit application requires one to enter IC number or FIN which means one needs to have permanent residence or a long-term visa for Singapore!

I decided to drop an enquiry email to National Parks of Singapore, asking if foreigners are allowed to do camping in Singapore. I have to like the efficiency of Singapore government for I received replies on the next day stating that “Overseas visitors are still permitted to camp in the parks, however we’ll just need to approve it manually”. I received my permit on the same day that I furnished the required details and documentation via email, epitome of efficiency!

Next, I went on to scout for my tent. The price variation was too much and all the specifications looked almost identical to me… I was too busy and too lazy to research online on how to choose the better tents, I just knew I only needed a 2P tent for the time being and I wanted my tent to be as light as possible to reduce lugging effort. I was also hoping that I could get a pink one! So how to choose? I decided to go with my zombie belief that famous/branded manufacturers like Coleman =a guarantee of product of decent quality.

Eenie meenie miney mo! Which one to choose?

Eenie meenie miney mo! Which one to choose?

HIppo: Good tent! Good tent!

Trial set up at home.
Hippo: Good tent! Good tent!

Part 2: taking train | Part 3: the sun and the beach! (a), (b) | Part 4: -ing SG!


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