MS. ULB

a Mother in Search of the Unbearable Lightness of Being


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Port of Lost Wonder @ Palawan Beach

Our family has an obsession over water theme parks so when we were back in Singapore for the past few weeks, we decided to check out the Port of Lost Wonder (POLW), located on Palawan Beach in Sentosa.

We loved everything about it! It was great for kids 12 years and under and perfect for our water baby who was almost 2. We went on a weekday and it was a mere $10 admission charge for Olive and Olive only! Free for accompanying adults. The water park was spacious and clean and complete with a restaurant, Port Belly, which was actually pretty decent in terms of taste and price. And the best part? It’s right on Palawan Beach, so we could go get our dose of vitamin sea and sand whenever we felt like it.

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Olive’s face lit up the moment she entered the POLW.

The Pirate Ship
The center of the attraction.
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Hip hip hurray!

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The Play Den
Featuring blue foam blocks that are always a hit with the boys!
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Curiosity Island
We didn’t quite check out this area but there are daily activities for kids all the around vicinity.img_0114

The Deck
The obvious place of choice for us to have our lunch ordered from Port Belly restaurant.


Palawan Beach
Beach please! For the beach bums!
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Do you wanna build a sandman?


Nauti-Potty 
The shower rooms are equipped with hand held shower heads and warm water for me to shower Olive with ease! Look who came out of the bathroom fresh and happy!

POLW is definitely going to be one of our go-to places whenever we are back in Singapore.

Port of Lost World
Opening hours: 10am-6.30pm daily
Admission fee: $10/kid for weekdays, $15/kid for weekends and holidays; Accompanying adults enter for free.


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Playeum, Children’s Centre for Creativity

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Olive ‘holidaying’ with her 6th Grandaunt again.

Off we went to Gillman Barracks for a playdate at the Children’s Centre for Creativity operated by Playeum Ltd, a not-for-profit organisation that curates and facilitates art experiences designed for children aged 1-12. The exhibition changes with time and the current exhibition, which will last till 30th October 2016, is titled ‘Hideaways – Creating with Nature’.

It was our first visit there and to be honest, I was half-expecting a play space where I could just sit by the side and watch the kids do their own thing, like when we visit an indoor playground. I was, however, dead wrong with my assumption. This is a creative centre where most, if not all installations require hands-on participation directed at experiential learning through art and play. It means that the adults will have to help facilitate and ignite the children’s ideas for the various activities.

Chalkboard Wall
One of the few areas for self-directed play. Parental guidance not required. Just pick up the crayons and doodle on the wall.

Welcome to My World
By The People’s Atelier, Dr Adeline Seah & Andy Yang 
& Sounds of the Earth: Nature’s Ensemble
By Shogun Creatives
These two installations provided plenty of natural materials such as bamboo sticks, rope ties, egg cartons, leaves etc. for children to construct shelters for insects. Coconut husks, array of beans, sticks, twigs, and more dried leaves were also provided to create musical instruments. These activities were too high-level for 21-month young Olive. It was more sensory play for her where she went around touching the natural materials and moving them from one place to another.IMG_1738Not quite sure what the outdoor space was about but it seemed to me like an extension of the ‘Welcome to My World’ & ‘The Sounds of the Earth’ exhibits. Whatever it was, Olive had so much fun playing with the bamboo sticks, tapping it on the ground and striking the wooden boards dangling from the dome structure. IMG_1896

She got to water the plants and wet the floor outdoors too.

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Make-believe Hideaway
By Madhvi Subrahmanian
An installation that invites children to build imaginary habitats using clay. Both Skye and Olive enjoyed this activity. Playdoh, or its equivalent, never fails to keep children engaged. Plus, they each got a pencil to poke holes on the clay. Who doesn’t like poking at things? Even Facebook has a poking function for the serious pokers out there! Poke poke! Poke poke!

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Knock Knock! Who Lives There?
By Isabelle Desjeux & Team
This installation was really fun too! The kids got to use magnifying glasses and torchlights to check out all sorts of creepy crawlies. There was a projector to project the insect specimens on the wall, which totally piqued their interest.

Creature Cave
By Bartholomew Ting & Playeum
Olive was pretty drawn to this cave too and it was the most infant and toddler-friendly area.IMG_1974
We probably missed a couple other exhibits but we had a fulfilling morning at the Children’s Centre for Creativity, especially when there was so much to explore and learn through play.IMG_1994IMG_2003

Will definitely bring Olive there again for Playeum’s next exhibition, titled ‘Stories’.

Playeum: Children’s Centre for Creativity
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10am-6pm
Admission fee: $20 for child and free for one accompanying adult; $10 for additional adult. We got 20% off using Safra card.
Check out Playeum’s website for more details and other card/membership promotions.


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Go! Wet or Go Home

It has been more than a year since I have relocated to Indonesia. I spent the first 9 months trying to adapt to an entirely new lifestyle, from a FTWM (Full Time Working Mum) to PTWM (Part Time Working Mum) to a SAHM (Stay At Home Mum). And from Singapore, a country of comfort and convenience to a suburb off Jakarta city centre where the infrastructure is pretty basic. Friends back in Singapore either thought that I was crazy or applauded me for my “bravery”. Even my Indonesian friends, most of whom are abroad or back in Indonesia from their overseas stints, were shocked to hear where I am based at.

As much as I pride myself as being adaptable and resilient, this life-changing experience did take its toll on me. I don’t even remember how many times I almost treaded on the line of depression but I just kept on reminding myself to snap out of it, man up, and deal with the circumstances. I was constantly urging, almost threatening Oska to go on a holiday because I knew that was the only way I could keep my sanity. Travel makes me happy. Being out there everywhere makes me happy. Even when I was back in Singapore, I jumped at every opportunity to be elsewhere through internships, working overseas, and of course through traveling. That was probably one of the reasons why I decided to take the leap and relocate to Indonesia anyway. Such irony.

My breakthrough came in December 2015 which coincided with not one, but two overseas trips. It was no coincidence though. The trips healed me, energised me, and gave me space and time to reflect. As dramatic as it sounds, I could finally breathe. I was finally at peace with myself.

So now that I’m back, the ‘me’ who is ready for more challenges ahead, and the ‘me’ who is willing to start from zero countless times has decided to go on a mission to conquer Jakarta and beyond. Since we will be based here for a good part of our lives, I am going to make the best of our time here. I intend to start off by checking out all the fun places in and around Jakarta with Olive and document our experiences here on this blog.

Mission is underway, so let me first introduce you to our favourite weekend hangout at Go! Wet Water Adventure Park.

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Are you ready for some water play?

Go! Wet Water Adventure Park
Go! Wet is a fairly new water theme park opened in February 2015, boasting 6 water slides up to 12 meters in height, 2 water playgrounds for kids big and small, a wave pool, a lazy river pool, and a normal pool just to hang around. The waterpark is spacious and clean, and suitable for all ages. We have been there thrice so far, and Olive’s first visit was at 9 months small.

Address: Grand Wisata Bekasi, Jl. Southern Boulevard Kav. 1
Opening hours: Weekdays 10am-8pm; Weekends & Public Holidays 9am-8pm

Entrance & Ticketing 

Remember to check out the GO! Wet website for on-going promotions. They collaborate with various banks (e.g. Bank Mandiri, BCA) and mobile operators (e.g. Telkomsel) to offer some superb deals. There is also a shop next to the entrance in case you forget some swimming essentials like swimsuit, floats etc.IMG_2243

Food Court
Meals are easily settled at the food  court within the compound and our go-to stall is Old Town. We usually pack lunch for Olive because the food choices aren’t the most healthy or suitable for toddlers.
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Locker/Shower/Toilet
Our first stop is always to the rental counter at the entrance of the lockers and toilets, where we could rent a gazebo at Rp150.000.
IMG_2087I would highly recommend securing a gazebo so that you can (1) store your belongings in, provided you have someone to help watch over them, (2) get a nice shaded space all to yourself, (3) eat and laze in.

Go! Boomer, Go! Round!, Go! Fun, Go! Play, Go! Spray
Water playground for younger children with several sliding attractions around and a water bucket that dumps water once it is filled to the brim. With the 30cm water depth in this area, Olive was able to walk around and explore without being held on to, under our watchful eyes.IMG_2177IMG_2178

Go! Splash
An even bigger water playground for older children with tunnels, taller slides, and another giant water bucket. We brought Olive on the slides here when she was 1 year and 1 month old and our little brave-heart loved it. It was thrilling even for Oska and I as the slides were fast and we had to protect her from banging her head on the sides as we wound down the course.IMG_2193

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Hello! Are you convinced enough to join me yet?

Go! Wave
Every time the siren sounds, most people would grab the tubes and rush to the wave pool  to experience the waves. This is probably the best time to try out the mega slides as the queues will be shorter with people flocking to the wave pool instead.
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Go! Lazy
Oska’s favourite attraction has got to be the lazy river pool where he could laze on a float and be carried away slowly by the undercurrents. The only grouse I had was that this lazy pool did not have sufficient shade so we would burn under the scorching sun while meandering along the “river”. But really, nothing could stop us from relaxing in the river pool.IMG_2184

Go! Fast, Go! Speed, Go! Sprint, Go! Flash
4 mega waterslides up to 12 meters in height. Pretty fun but sliding down the closed tracks in total darkness gave me headaches.IMG_2189

Go! Twist and Go! Spin
Go! Twist is the yellow slide where you will end up spinning around a giant water funnel before crashing into the pool. Go! spin is the purple python-shaped slide which requires 3 persons to be on a raft. Lucky for Oska and I, we managed to convince a lone ranger to take the slide with us. Turns out, 3 was a good crowd after all.

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Go! Sport
Just a pool to chill in, with more shade than the other pools.IMG_2191

Some tips: Bring sunblock, lots of it. Wear rash guards to protect yourselves from the sun. Bring floats for babies/toddlers. Life jackets are provided for free. Bring your shower essentials (towels, shampoo, soap etc.).
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Look who had the most fun!

Time to Go! Wet if you haven’t already done so! We will definitely be back as often as we can.