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The season of giving is upon us and RakutenSG is giving all of you an opportunity to WIN a trip to Japan!

In October, two of our Bloggeratis, Benjamin and Peishi, headed over to Central Japan, Kanazawa City for a scenic and cultural experience! You can head over to NuffnangSG’s Official Social Media accounts to take a look at our photos! :)

So many things to do, so little time to explore! We’ve listed down the 5 Best Things To Do At Ishikawa Prefecture, so read on to find out!

  1.   Pick your own fruits at Kaga Fruit Land

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In the Ishikawa Prefecture, the fields of different fruits like grapes, apples and strawberries are vast and beautiful. It was a one-of-a-kind experience as we had the opportunity to pluck and taste fruits directly from the branches. The fruits were extra sweet and fresh considering most of them were our handpicked pieces!

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You first choose the bunch of grapes that you like, take off the paper that wraps it, cut it off, and voila! Your very own bunch of fresh grapes! Enjoy your freshly plucked fruits on the slopes of the vineyard, and as the Japanese do, spit the grape skins and seeds into buckets.

Trivia: The Japanese don’t eat their grapes with the skin on! They usually spit out the skin along with the seeds.

If you haven’t gotten enough of the fruits, you can also help yourself to some fruit chips, fruit wine, jams and many other local produce at their store. You’ll find produce that you can’t find elsewhere in Japan but, only at the Kaga Fruit Land.

  1.   Be cultured at Yunokunino Mori, Kaga Traditional Cultural Amenity, Traditional Handicrafts Village

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From ceramicware to washi paper, glass-blowing workshops to chopsticks making classes, Yunokunino Mori offers many different types of traditional Japanese crafts. In the Ishikawa Prefecture, they are well known for their gold leafing- this was the place where we had a hands-on experience in creating our own gold leaf decor plate!

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There are many different ways of using the gold leaf, which we witnessed later on in our trip and it shows how innovative the Japanese can get. Everything from face masks, sweets to even a gold leaf tatami mat!

  1.   Kimono experience at the Geisha District (Higashi-chayagai District):

Kimono actually means “thing to wear” (source:Wikipedia), and it is worn during important festivals or formal events; a representation of courtesy and respect.

As some tourists like a taste of such cultural experience, many places rent out kimonos for a period of 2 hours to a full day to cater to their needs. Tourists can then wear a kimono for a day or two around Japan.

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Our kimono rental was in Kanazawa City, where Peishi and Benjamin both donned their kimonos and took a stroll along the Higashi-chaya District, one of the biggest tea houses there. These places are also known as the geisha districts.

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Arriving in the late morning meant there was already a crowd and it was difficult for us to take great photos. Nevertheless, as the area is maintained from its original glory, most tea houses were very photogenic and they make great photo spots!

Ben & Peishi (Rakuten events banner)

  1.   Kanazawa Castle Park:

The castle has been burnt down several times over the centuries and in the most recent fire in 1881, only two storehouses and the Ishikawa-mon Gate survived. The castle had a fort function with loopholes for matchlocks on the outer wall to defend the castle from enemies. (source: Kanazawa Tourism)

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The castle park is huge, although filled with tourists; there are many beautiful sceneries within the park itself. You can find ponds, water fountain and mini water falls linking from the castle to the park in a separate compound.

Breath-taking.

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  1.   Chirihama Beach Driveway/Rice paddy fields/Traditional Japanese Lodging House:

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Go for a car-ride on the Chirihama beach, the only beach in Japan where you can drive your car on. It’s made of tightly compacted fine sand making it firm enough for a pleasant drive. However, if you caught Peishi’s sapchat, you should’ve seen how we hit a pothole on the beach and everyone was thrown forward in the car.

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It was definitely a memorable and wonderful experience to enjoy a car-ride on the beach, stopping midway and enjoying the breeze, the sunset and the vast sea. Followed by a short eye-opening trip to Senmaida rice terraces to see it illuminated with the LED lights during the night.

Coupled with the amazing views, Peishi and Benjamin ended the day at Mangetsu Ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn. You can expect a shared toilet, public bath (for all guests) and the best handmade food including soba. Despite being secluded from convenience (the nearest 24hr store was about 15-20mins walk away), it was one of the best stays we’ve had.

It definitely marked off as one of the best experiences we had in Japan. We agreed that Japan is a country that you wouldn’t go to on a first choice (unless you’re really into Japanese culture), and if you’ve visited Japan once, you’ll ALWAYS want to return. The culture, courtesy, cleanliness and delicious delicacies of the country are what pulls us back.

Our adventure in Japan was such a memorable one as we learnt and understood more about the Japanese culture and what they had to offer at the Ishikawa prefecture. If you would like to go on a similar trip to ours, we have good news on how you can have the chance to WIN a trip to Japan!

This trip was made possible thanks to all our partners:

RakutenSG 

Check out the link HERE, where you can simply spend above $50 in a single receipt on Rakuten and stand a chance to win a trip to Japan!

For a limited time only, simply leave a comment on why you want to go to Japan with ANA on their Facebook page and 2 lucky winners will win a trip to Japan!

Be sure to take part before the promotion ends on 27th December!

All Nippon Airways (ANA)

We had an enjoyable flight experience thanks to the seamless transit and the pleasant in-flight comfort and service by All Nippon Airways (ANA), the 2nd largest airline in Japan that services both domestic and international destinations.

Not forgetting the hospitable team from Ishikawa prefecture for giving us the liberty to have a private car and a guide and translator, Yuko-san, to help in all the little translations required.

Phillip Insurance

As with all travels, come insurance, which we had little to worry about because we were all covered by Phillip Insurance.

Having partnered with more than 10 General Insurance partners, PhillipCapital would be your one-stop customised solution for all your insurance needs.

You can easily reach them at 6531 1555 or walk-in to any of their 12 Phillip Investor Centres.

VisionData

Lastly, being in the media industry and having our lives revolve around networking, we were kept connected through the trip with VisionData, we were glad to be able to update on the go, and share with everyone what was going on during the trip!

Finally, thank you everyone who made this memorable and amazing trip possible for us.

Check out their videos below for a concise summary of their experience in Japan!

Madeline Chin
Nuffnang Community Team

As we zoom into to the week of #NUFFNANGBLOGCON, we’re now down to just THREE days to the actual event! As all the effort is coming to fruition, we are excited share about our official partners of whom this event wouldn’t have been made possible!

So… who are they?

Official Venue Sponsor – Hotel Jen Tanglin

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(Photo Credits: Hotel Jen Tanglin)

We are privileged to have Hotel Jen Tanglin as our Official Venue and Food Sponsor for our FIRST EVER #NUFFNANGBLOGCON!

Hotel Jen Tanglin is recently underdoing a major revamp. Their new look will be unveiled on 5 December 2015, where a new modern and contemporary feel of the hotel will defiintely surprise you – a vast difference from the previous traditional and business look it’s previous image, Traders Hotel once was. Hotel Jen Tanglin is bound to give you a unique local experience with #ThatJenFeeling! What’s more exciting is that we will be having a major staycation as a treat for all bloggers and staff!

We can’t wait to laze in their huge king-sized bed for the night!

 

Official Tech Sponsor

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Dell Singapore offers innovative products at outstanding value for everyday computing needs at home and at work. As one of the global technology leaders in the industry, Dell Singapore is coming on board with us at #NUFFNANGBLOGCON as a prize sponsor!

There’ll be a photo contest during the Conference, where our bloggers will put their skills to use and try to win themselves a brand new Dell laptop!

Prepare to be awed by their generosity through attractive prizes they have sponsored for this conference.

 

Official Product Sponsor

BBW

Bath & Body Works specializes in fragrances, soaps, home candles and body care products. In conjunction with the Festive Season that is around the corner, Bath & Body Works will be giving out exclusive products from their Christmas Edition that isn’t even in the market yet. Our bloggers will get to try first-hand from their new collection!

Who doesn’t love some nice-smelling body lotions? Mm mm!

 
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Ministry of Print

Ministry of Print is a Singapore based T-shirt printing and corporate gifts company. They offer a wide range of services other than T-shirt printing, including making customized bottles, cups and bags. Ministry of Print is proud to be part of #NUFFNANGBLOGCON as our Official Product.

We’ll be having specially customized notebooks and pens for all our attendees, making it easy for them to take notes!

 

It is definitely going to be an exciting and eye-opening Saturday for all bloggers and attendees. Not only will you get to mingle and forge new friendships, you get to learn about the changing landscape in the ever-changing digital world we are in.

If you’d like to be part of it, we’ll be having a LIVE twitter Q&A with our esteemed panel of speakers! All you have to do is tweet any burning questions with the hashtag #NUFFNANGBLOGCON and tag us @NuffnangSG, and we just might pick your question to address it in front of all our bloggers!

Stay tuned to LIVE updates on all our social media platforms on Saturday! We can’t wait!

 

Facebook

Instagram

Dayre

Twitter

Winnie Soh
Nuffnang Community Team

Hello Nuffnangers!

For the very first time, Nuffnang SG brings to you the Nuffnang Blogger Conference!

This conference was initiated with the thought and intention to update and educate bloggers on the changing landscape of the digital world.

Here are 5 reasons why this is THE conference to attend:

  1. FIRST EVER Nuffnang Blogger Conference

Being the first Blogger Conference, it is beneficial for bloggers to educate themselves and gain further insights in this industry.

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  1. Meet Experts and Professionals Face-to-Face

Professional speakers will be there to talk about tips and tricks of taking a good photograph, SEO blogging knowledge and how you should tackle it. At the same time, you’ll be able to learn the different ways to carry yourself better in front of cameras and clients.

  1. Interact with top-tier bloggers.

Have you ever want to meet your favourite bloggers? This is your chance! Not only do you get to see them in real life, but also, you will get to interact and know more about how they work, and who they are as a person.

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  1. Networking Opportunities

This is a place where you get opportunities to mix and mingle, form new relationships, and strengthen existing ones. At #NUFFNANGBLOGCON, you will get to meet and find out more about how blog advertising work, and how digital marketing is up and rising.

  1. New Tips & Tactics

With everyone moving digital, we are constantly on our phones. With the web being so convenient, we almost feel like we have everything on our fingertips. However, there is an overwhelming amount of information that we cannot understand, or keeps us from having the best knowledge. Thus, this conference is here to help us curate new ideas to improve and help cut through the clutter to deliver the best content possible.

With so much said, it is nothing if you do not attend and experience it yourself. So, Nuffnang SG is inviting FIVE lucky winners to join us at this Blogger Conference!

NUFFNANG POSTER

Here’s all you have to do to win invites to the event and stand a chance to win a night’s stay at Hotel Jen Tanglin*:

1)      Blog about why you’ll love to join us at the First Ever Nuffnang Blogger Conference
2)      Title your blog post with “I want to be part of #NUFFNANGBLOGCON at Hotel Jen Tanglin”

Submit your blog entry permalink and your personal details in the form below by 4 November 2015, 2359! Shortlisted winners will be contacted on 6 November 2015!

*Hotel stay is valid for the night of conference (21 November 2015 – 22 November 2015)  

Get your heads cracking and tell us why you want to come for #NUFFNANGBLOGCON!

#NUFFNANGBLOGCON Blogging Contest

We would love to hear from you! Please fill out this form and we will get in touch with you shortly.

Hope to see you there!

Christina Lau
Nuffnang Community Team

The year-end holidays are around the corner and if you are fretting on where to go for your next trip, you’ve come to the right place!

Just last month, 8 of our Bloggeratis headed over to East Java, Indonesia for an out-of-this-world experience! You can head over to NuffnangSG’s Official Social Media account to take a look at our photos! :)

  1.   Discover the magnificent view at Kawah Ijen / Ijen Crater

To the locals, Kwah Ijen is believed to be one of the easiest mountains to climb in Indonesia. Think: easy climb for well seasoned locals but probably not for most city dwellers. Unless you’re into regular hiking activities, the climb will actually be challenging, especially for first-time climbers.

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We recommend some pre-trip work out sessions to better prep one for the climb!

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(Photo: Purple Light Visuals)

At the halfway mark of our trek, we were already covered in dusty volcanic ash from top to toe. The strong gusts of wind brought gathered chunks of ash which were blown constantly in our direction. It was difficult trekking against the grain, but this did not stop us from continuing on our expedition.

All the effort immediately became worth it when we greeted by the sight of the renowned blue volcano flame and the spectacular turquoise sulfur lake.

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(Photo: Andy, Sengkangbabies)

“Kawah Ijen is best known for its blue fire. This blue glow, unusual for a volcano, isn’t the lava itself, but is due to the combustion of sulfuric gases in contact with air at temperatures above 360°C.”

Bloggerati boggers Sheila, Charlene and Evonne also shared their insights as rookie climbers at Kawah Ijen. Check out their posts!

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Here’re some of our quick tips on climbing Kawah Ijen:

  •         Bring/rent a gas mask as sulphuric gas might be blowing right in your face! Otherwise, at least use a N95 mask.
  •         Wear clothes and shoes you don’t mind dirtying because it’ll be tough getting everything clean after the climb
  •         Bring along a backpack and use headlamps- you’ll need your hands free while you’re climbing to feel around rocks and ensure you don’t fall

Despite having to climb treacherous terrains, we had little to worry about because we were all covered by ACE Insurance.

For your benefit, we’ve worked out a deal with them and they now have a promotion for all travel enthusiasts! You can get 20% off Single Trip Plan* and 10% off Annual Plan at www.acetravelinsurance.com.sg/nuffnang, valid from now till 13 October 2015! (*Not applicable to Basic Plan for Malaysia/ Batam/ Bintan)

  1.   Catch the Sunrise and Crater at Mount Pernajakan (better known as Mt Bromo).

“Mount Bromo is part of Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park covering a massive area of 800sq kilometres. The views there are spectacular with the pictureque landscape surrounding the vantage point on Mount Pernajakan (2,770 meters above sea level).“

It was a short drive from Jiwa Jawa Resort (our hotel for the night) to Mount Pernajakan but we left as early as 2.30am. We headed for our secret spot (as told by our guides), away from the main crowd at the observatory shelter and camped for the sunrise from 4.30am.

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As the vantage point is usually overcrowded, our guides gave us tips on other good spots to catch the sunrise too!

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After the beautiful sunrise, we were brought to the other end of Mr Bromo. It was where we hopped onto a pony tagged to their guides and were brought across Tengger Caldera, Java’s largest barren desert-like sea of sand that is almost 10km long. We sat on the ponies to the foot of the stairs to see the crater of Mount Bromo.

Catch Zoe‘s travelogue for her personal experience and tips on beating the cold while watching the breathtaking sunrise at Mount Pernajakan, and Randy’s picture perfect journey in East Java!

Quick tips on watching the sunrise at Mount Pernajakan:

  •         Have a good wind breaker, wear some heat tech and bring some heat packs because it’s cold all year round, and particularly so during the end of the year
  •         Have protective gear against sand in your face i.e. face mask/scarf, glasses/sunnies
  •         Bring a tripod to capture picturesque landscape photos (the sunrise lasts about 30mins and more)
  1.   Uncover the truth behind Teletubbies Hill and Whispering sand

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Teletubbies Hill is inspired from the children’s show, Telebubbies! They have hills similar to where the Telebubbies stayed. And we definitely agree how uncanny the similarities were!

Television programme: "TELETUBBIES" Picture Shows: The Teletubbies on top of the Tubbytronic Superdrome in Teletubbyland TX:BBC-2 Weekdays and Sunday omnibus edition COPYRIGHTED IMAGE FROM BBC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED...0181 225 8399 Unmanipulated picture Weekdays and Sunday

(Photo: Google, BBC)

“The Savana, (also known as Teletubbies Hill) is a place out of the world. If you go at the right time of the year, you’ll be amazed by the green landscape that greets you. It’s the best place for poetic photographs of you and the scenic background.”

Next up!

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(Photo: Jessica, Tippytapp)

The fine grains of the volcanic ash make up the whispering sand – black shimmery powder that glitters in the sun. The whispering sand gets its name from the swooshing, whispering sound when gusts of wind pick up the sand. How interesting is that!

Quick tip for the 2 places:

  •         Have protective gear against sand in your face i.e. face mask/scarf, glasses/sunnies

Our bloggerati,  Jessica also shared her experience at the Savana and Whispering sand, check out what she love about the places!

  1.   Rekindle the inner child in you at Jatim Park 2, Malang City!

Jatim Park 2 is a one-stop-attraction for both recreation and education, where we explored the wildlife kingdom at The Batu Secret Zoo.

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The Batu Secret Zoo is not your typical zoo as it presents a unique collection of animals such as endangered white tigers, white lions and rare reptiles. The best part of it all is that you get be up close and personal with the animals through feeding and intimate photo taking sessions.

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How often do you get to feed a giraffe?

Jatim Park 2 is an all-in-one combination of a zoo, a bird park as well as an underwater aquarium! It definitely brought out the inner child in us as we all had a great time exploring and learning about the wildlife.

Being a father of 4, Andy ranked Jatim Park 2 as one of the TOP places to go in East Java. Shenny on the other hand enjoyed her chance to get up-close and personal with the many animals in the zoo. Check out their upcoming posts!

Quick tips on a day out at Jatim Park 2:

  •         Apply generous sunscreen on your face, neck and body to avoid sunburn
  •         Keep your hands free and have a go at petting the animals or feeding them
  •         Jatim Park 2 is H U G E so be sure to spare a full day to cover this wildlife park
  1.   Explore Museum Angkut

Museum Angkut is a modern transportation museum, first of its kind in Indonesia and Asia, that is a fair mix of art and culture. For all transportation lovers (be it air, land or water), be prepared to be wowed by the scale of the museum and and kinds of transportation they have!

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We felt like we time travelled from the beginning of time as we saw old transportation devices and watched them evolve as we walked through the museum to recent motor vehicles.

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The attraction also includes a Museum Angkut Plus Movie Star Studio which showcases various landscapes and exotic building models replicated from across continental Europe to the Americas.

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One can look forward to settings from Las Vegas, Hollywood, London and even the United States White House!

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Quick tips for a visit at Museum Angkut:

  •         There is a fee of 30,000RP for per camera (DSLR, digital camera and even gopro or action camera equivalent) in Museum Angkut. To save cost, just use 1 camera among everyone visiting! Just be sure to have enough battery to last the whole day
  •         Allocate at least a day to complete the place as there are many things to explore

Our adventure in Indonesia was such a memorable one as we ventured to off-the-beaten-track locations in East Java. If you would like to go on the same trip with us, we have some good news!

Garuda Indonesia 

Garuda Indonesia has extended this wonderful Indonesia air ticket promotion to all our readers. At only SGD$350 (all inclusive), you get to travel via Garuda Indonesia like we did.

The flight to Indonesia will be as follows: Singapore – Denpasar (Bali) – Banyuwangi, and the return flight will depart from Surabaya – Singapore. Booking period is from now till 31 October 2015 and travel dates run from now till March 2016!

Here’s how! Simply quote, “GANuffnang” when booking at Garuda ticketing office (101 Thomson Road #12-03 United Square) or via the reservation hotline 6250 2888 J Be sure to book your tickets before the promotion ends!

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We had an enjoyable flight experience thanks to the seamless transit and the pleasant in-flight comfort and service. Garuda Indonesia is an award winning airline with the World’s Best Airline Cabin Staff’ in 2015 and 2014, ‘World’s Best Economy Class’ in 2013.

Of course, you might be skeptical in travelling alone with no prior experience in climbing mountains. We got that covered for you! :)

Ministry of Tourism, Republic of Indonesia 

On top of the flight promos, you can get a full land tour package like ours, sit back and relax leave your worries to the guides, you can get them by contacting Trisno from Diorama Travel Management at trisno@dioramagroup.net.

Finally, we would like to thank everyone who made this memorable and amazing trip possible for us.

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Madeline Chin
Nuffnang Community Team

As we celebrated Teacher’s Day earlier this month, we would like to thank all teachers in the world for their wonderful patience, guidance and contribution. We have invited and interviewed few of our bloggers to share their thoughts and experience during their school days.

1. If you could change one thing when you were schooling back then, what would it be? 

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Sheila: Definitely a computerized teaching system would have been so convenient; we don’t have to lug heavy textbooks around!!

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Jayne: I don’t think I would change anything. I got into most of my schools not by choice and at that point of time, I would have wished that I was in another school but looking back, I wouldn’t want that. The schools that I’ve attended helped shape the person I am today. If I hadn’t gone down that road, I can’t imagine a different life.

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Nadnut: I would want to pay more attention back in school and stop reading storybooks in classes! HAHA

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Andy: I will be more hardworking, never leaving homework to the last minute. Fortunately, I did not flunk any major exams.

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Mongchin: To be honest, school was and still is something I look forward to because I loved being around my friends and knowing that I can reach them easily. I also loved school for the cheap canteen food hehe!

So if I were to answer you, there’s probably nothing I would change back then because I believe that everything happens for a reason. And who knows? I wouldn’t be here today if I hadn’t made the decisions and went through the things I went through back then :)

2. What’s your fondest memory in school? 

Sheila: Can I say it’s the National Track & Field Meet in 2004 because that’s when I met my current fiancé? Kidding, it was ironically the late night cramming of A Math formulas for O Level’s and the ultimate satisfaction upon receiving my results. I’m definitely not a Math person and even flunk my prelims (F9?) I mugged so hard after that, I eventually got A2 for O’s. Not too shabby aye?

Jayne: I had the best time of my life in secondary school! It was pretty carefree and fun. I guess it would have to be all the camps I attended in school. As much as it’s very sian, I was secretly very happy because it was a different experience and I got to spend time with my bestest friends!

Nadnut: I loved going trekking and mountain climbing with my fellow NPCC mates! It was fun roughing it out! I was such a tomboy back then!

Andy: Playing soccer (from Primary and Secondary) and upgrading to billiard and bowling (in Poly).

Mongchin: Definitely having my closest friends with me all day! I saw them more often than I saw my own family, and we were really like sisters. The number of times we played mischief and got caught for it, those memories were priceless!

3. What is one thing that you definitely will/do not miss from school?

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Sheila: Hanging out with my friends all day everyday and the mandatory recess period everyday. Oh! Don’t get me started on student discounts

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Jayne: I definitely miss the fact that I do not have to pay for a single bill and my only worry in school was how to just finish my homework. I do not miss detention :x hahahaha

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Nadnut: I will miss how carefree we were!  Studying was definitely one of the best times!

Andy: The weekly hair and nail checks. Those who flout the rules were trimmed on the spot!

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Mongchin: This is a tough one… Haha I think I’m the only weirdo out there that loves being in school so much.

Probably the restrictions with my school uniform? I enjoy playing dress up and picking my outfit everyday is something I look forward to every morning. I definitely wouldn’t miss wearing the same old thing everyday!

What about you? What are some of your memorable experiences in school? Do share it with us too!

Lastly, HAPPY TEACHER’S DAY!

Till the next time, everyone. Stay tuned!

Winnie Soh
Nuffnang Community Team

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