Colours Of Life
The Yongs' Pic Album since 1998
World Seva 2011
Robyn's Diary
About the Yongs


7th Year: 2005
- Robyn starts Primary One at De La Salle School
- Dining @ The Old Parliament House
- Tree Top Walk
- Bintan Retreat
- West Sumatra Adventure
- Fun at Botanic Gardens
- Birth of Cousin Skye Yong
- Robyn turns 7
- Geylang Serai Shop Closes
- X'mas @ Tg Sutera
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3 Jun 2005 - Creative Juice Holiday Camp

Robyn showing her frog prop

This is my frog prop which I made myself.

The 5-day Creative Juice Holiday Camp organised by the Practice Performing Arts Theatre was enjoyable and fun. We visited the Singapore River to find out about the story of early Singapore and the building of the Anderson Bridge.

Robyn performing with fellow 'frogs'

We formed into visual, music, acting teams and created an entire production using our creativity. We created our own props, movements and projection slides. And finally, we performed it before our parents. It was awesome!

Robyn learnt about the power of creativity, story boarding, the imaginative use of everyday things to create all kinds of sounds, the effects of lights and projection, and working together with others in teams.

Robyn and Chevonne showing off a prop that they made together

Robyn & Chevonne: "We made this ourselves!"

Robyn and Chevonne

Robyn and Chevonne

Creative Juice Buddies - Robyn and Chevonne


14-16 Jun 2005 - West Sumatra Adventure: Padang - Bukittinggi - Sianok Canyon

14 Jun
We flew Tiger Airways to Padang, tasted Minang food for lunch and stayed a night at Hotel Nuansa by the beach. Looking out at the ocean, we wondered about the possibility of tsunami...

15 Jun
We left early for Bukittinggi, a highland town that's supposed to be cooler and nicer. The shared Toyota Kijang we took negotiated the traffic and bends skilfully and the journey took only 2 hours.

Bukittinggi, West Sumatra

Jam Gadang, the clock tower at the town centre of Bukittinggi

The clock tower Jam Gadang ("Big Ben") is where the town centre is in Bukittinggi. People are seen sitting in the park around the tower throughout the day.

We love taking a romantic ride on a bendi - a horse-driven cart - around town. But you must always bargain as the asking price is set above the fair value.

Robyn enjoying a bendis

Market shopping

The market sells everything and is delightful to venture about. The stall sellers there are good mannered and never resort to touting.

Sunset mountain view of Merapi

Enjoying the sunset mountain view of Merapi from our Ambun Suri Hotel balcony.


16 Jun
Sianok Canyon is a spectacular 4km long and over 100m deep canyon. We decided to venture into the canyon bed to explore around and walk in the flowing streams there.

Sianok Canyon

Alvin and Robyn on a suspension bridge, hanging over the canyon

Alvin and Robyn on a suspension bridge, hanging over the canyon.

Buffalo idling around

Friendly companions at the canyon bed...

Robyn in the canyon

After some searching, we found our way down to the canyon bed.

Wading in the river down at the canyon


Apple time!

It was a perfect place to munch apples...

Alvin and Robyn doing some sketching

It was a perfect place to do some nature sketching.

Alvin, Robyn and Jin walking in the cold flowing stream down at the canyon. It was a most refreshing way to soak in the beautiful place and enjoy Mother Nature.
The Yongs at the Sianok Canyon
Panoramic view at Minang farmland

Today was a wonderful day. We met another Singaporean family - Uncle Koh, Auntie Mavis and Gordon - during breakfast at the hotel. They decided to join us for the Minangkabau Cultural Tour for the day.

Avis was our friendly guide and Il was our mini van driver.

Koto Laweh - Sawah Parit Tabek Patah - Sungai Tarab - Pagaruyung - Batusangkar - Balimbing - Ombilin River - Lake Singkarak - Pandai Sikek

Bargain over bananas

After a long negotiation, Uncle Koh could stand it no more and showed his karate chop...

Tasting local pancake at a market

Trying out pancake at a local market. It was delicious but a bit too oily.

Robyn and Gordon at a local coffee factory

We visited a local coffee processing and packing factory. Mmm, nice coffee aroma...

Robyn and Gordon at the King Palace, Pagaruyung

The King Palace at Pagaruyung was a cultural highlight for the day.

The King Palace has a majestic Minangkabau architecture. We learnt a great deal about the Minangkabau culture and history here, and toured the various rooms in the palace where the last king once lived.

We learnt that the ancestors of Minangkabau came from India and they were Hindus and Budhists before they were converted to Muslim.

The King Palace

Mosque at the King Palace premise

A mosque in the King Palace premise.

Jin, Robyn and Alvin at the King Palace

Jin, Robyn and Alvin at the King Palace.

Robyn and Gordon enjoying Minang food for lunch.
Robyn and Gordon digging into Minang lunch

Minang padi

Padi, padi everywhere, giving us a serene, peaceful and idyllic feel.

Robyn and Alvin at Lake Singkarak

Taking a break and a boat ride in beautiful and peaceful Lake Singkarak.

Pandai Sikek farmland

Robyn, the farm girl.

Pandai Sikek farmland

Dining at Guide Avis' home

Uncle Avis invited us to his home for dinner at the end of the tour. We met his wife, Sri, and his two beautiful daughters, Friska and Vista.

The Yongs, the Kohs and the Avis in Bukittinggi

The Yongs, the Kohs and the Avis in Bukittinggi Three families in Bukittinggi - the Yongs, the Kohs and the Avis.

We spent 3 wonderfully relaxing days at Lake Maninjau, staying for 2 nights at Hotel Pasir Panjang and the 3rd at Hotel Tan Dirih.

The lake is a volcanic crater lake surrounded by high ground on all sides, and it's one fourth the length and width of Singapore island.

Lake Maninjau

Fishing at dawn in Lake Maninjau

Fishing at dawn in Lake Maninjau

Fisherman at work in Lake Maninjau
Fisherman of Lake Maninjau in the early morning...

Daddy, Mummy and I love Lake Maninjau.

We spent many reflective moments sitting by the lake and reading messages from the lake, the surrounding mountains, the clouds in the sky and the golden sky during sunset...

Robyn at Lake Maninjau

The Maninjau motorbike gang

The Maninjau motorbike gang

Jin pillion riding Alvin and Robyn

Jin pillion riding Alvin and Robyn, vroomed round the lake

Upon arrival at Lake Maninjau, we decided that the best way to experience it was to rent a motorbike and ride around the entire lake... so the Yongs and the Kohs took to the road on vroom!

Robyn and Jin infront of the padi

The green padi made a beautiful background...

The Kohs and the Yongs at Lake Maninjau

19 Jun
The next morning, the Kohs left straight from Lake Maninjau for Padang to catch a return flight to Singapore. Robyn missed her playmate, Gordon.

Robyn, Peli and little Afdal outside the Simple Cafe.

Food wise, we found the Simple Cafe run by hubby-wife team, Peli and Pitri, to be good. They were very friendly and shared many stories and information with us freely.

R: Peli, Pitri and Afdal

Peli, Pitri and Afdal

Robyn and Jin going out to Lake Maninjau in a sampan

We rented a sampan from Peli to paddle out to the lake for fun, to appreciate the shoreline and for a swim.

Jin and Robyn swimming in Lake Maninjau

A refreshing cold dip in Lake Maninjau

Robyn and Alvin at Lake Maninjau

Robyn and Jin reading story book at Hotel Tan Dirih

Reading, relaxing, reflecting... at Hotel Tan Dirih

Harau Walley, where high cliffs reign

Harau Walley, where high cliffs reign

Tigress Robyn

From Lake Maninjau, we travelled to Harau Valley. Our guide was Jack of Bagoes Cafe at Lake Maninjau. He helped book us into Echo Homestay, the only hotel available at Harau Valley.

We learnt that there are wild tigers at Harau Valley. That got our tigress Robyn excited because her roar is fiercer than any tiger!

The gorges runs for kilometres

Set against the high gorge cliffs, the Echo Homestay blends nicely into the tough yet beautiful natural setting.

Echo Homestay at Harau Valley

The lodgings at Echo Homestay were really beautifully designed and situated. We fell in love with the place immediately.

The restaurant hangs out of a cliff with a fantastic view of the canyon valley. We spent many hours sitting there dining and enjoying the view.

A lodge in Echo Homestay
Jin and Alvin
Jin and Robyn appreciating the majestic canyon
Alvin trying his hands on a climbing route

We learnt that there were many rock climbing routes set on the cliff walls so we went in search of them. We found many bolted routes and my, they are definitely routes with severe diffculty levels! Indonesian climbers are good and daring.

Robyn and baby fern tree shoot

Baby fern tree - looked like an alien furry chick from afar... really weird!

Waterfall at Harau Valley

Waterfall at Harau Valley

Guide Conti, Jack's friend, showed us some waterfalls. They are really high falls and the water just sprayed downward like a huge shower. As it was dry season, the water volume wasn't fantastic. We could imagine the power of the falls during rainy season.

Robyn and Jin in a waterfall pool

Cold mountain water for a refreshing leg dip.

Guide Jack

Guide Jack of Bagoes Cafe, Maninjau.

The base of the waterfall at Harau Valley

Notice how tiny Jin and Robyn were in contrast with the place?

Harau Valley

23 Jun
We left Harau Valley at 7.30am direct for Padang to catch our flight home.

It'd been a most memorable outdoor adventure in West Sumatra. We experienced mountains, lake, gorges, forest, waterfalls and a most wonderful people of Minangkabau.

We'll be back...




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