Thursday, January 31, 2013

Dedicated Malay Movie Channel Dunia Sinema On Demand by StarHub TV

On 1 February 2013, 9am, StarHub will launch Dunia Sinema On Demand, the first dedicated Malay movie channel available in Singapore. On the same day, StarHub will also introduce two new TV bundle packs - Impian Pack and Thangam Pack, to expand the entertainment options available for Malay and Tamil viewers.

Dunia Sinema (StarHub TV Channel 120)

Dunia Sinema On Demand will offer viewers access to 15 Malay blockbuster titles every month, which they can enjoy anytime at their convenience. The movie line-up will comprise a good mix of both new titles and older ones. Viewers can look forward to 10 titles for the first month, with five titles refreshed every month subsequently.

To give viewers their entertainment fix on the move, Dunia Sinema On Demand will be made available on StarHub Internet TV service, TV Anywhere, via at a later date. It will be the first ethnic On Demand channel to be offered on TV Anywhere. Viewers can look forward to movies produced by some of the top producers from Malaysia including MIG Pictures. MIG Pictures is the production house from Malaysia that epitomises quality Malay movies. Some blockbusters viewers can look forward to include 3 Temujanji, Cuti-Cuti Cinta, Nongkrong and Sekali Lagi.

Impian and Thangam Packs

The Impian Pack and the Thangam Pack will offer a robust line-up of Malay and Tamil channels respectively. To cater to an increasing demand for Korean content by Malay and Indian customers, these two packs will include Korean channels – aired in original language with English subtitles, as well.

The Impian Pack, for Malay viewers, will comprise seven channels - the new Dunia Sinema On Demand (Channel 120), KBS World (Channel 115), KBS World HD (Channel 875), MNC Business (Channel 121), MNC International (Channel 122), Sensasi (Channel 123) and ONE (Malay) (Channel 124).

The Thangam Pack, is made up of six channels, will offer KBS World (Channel 115), KBS World HD (Channel 875), Sun Music (Channel 134), Sun TV (Channel 133), Vijay (Channel 135) and Vannathirai (Channel 136).

Ms Lin Shu Fen, Assistant Vice President of Home Solutions & Content, StarHub said, “StarHub has always strived to offer quality content for our customers. With the launch of Dunia Sinema On Demand, our Malay customers can look forward to a suite of excellent entertainment options at their convenience. We are equally excited to roll out our two ethnic packs, the Impian and Thangam Packs. We recognise that more and more of our ethnic customers are watching Korean content, therefore we have added in popular Korean channels amongst a slew of Malay and Tamil channels respectively, at a very reasonable price.”

Existing StarHub TV customers can either subscribe to Dunia Sinema On Demand as a standalone channel for a monthly subscription of $8.56 (including GST), or purchase it as part of the Impian Pack. The Impian Pack and the Thangam Pack are available at a monthly subscription of $16.90 (including GST) each. For more information on StarHub TV, visit is all-new Internet TV Platform. This portal offers streaming of StarHub TV Channels and On Demand Videos to any Internet-enabled device via a web browser. Users can also view a full online programme guide on

LUX* Resorts hosts Underwater Festival on 15-21 April 2013

LUX* Maldives will host the second edition of the internationally recognized  ‘Underwater Festival’, from 15 to 21 April 2013. Activities will include underwater photo and video courses, on-the-beach themed film screenings, film editing coaching sessions, as well as free diving and apnea courses. Courses will be led by experts including BBC film director Neil Lucas, television documentary editor Frank Spencer, free diving world record holder Sara Campbell and members of leading diving company Eurodivers.

LUX* Maldives is an active supporter of marine life conservation. For the last two years the resort been leading an extensive whale shark database program through its Marine Biology Centre and has initiated a successful research program within the South Ari Marine Protected Area (SAMPA).

UK-based photographer and BBC film director Neil Lucas will run daily introductory classes for guests to improve their photography skills and learn new underwater shooting techniques. Neil will be joined by Britain’s foremost underwater cameraman Michael Pitts, helping attendees translate their photography into an underwater reportage.

Top television documentary editor, Frank Spencer, will work closely with attendees from their first cuts, through to the rough cuts, music and sound. Participants will be able to identify the key stories, learn ‘fill and flood’ lighting techniques, shooting disciplines as well as sequence skills through storyboards and creative editing.

LUX* Maldives
Freediving expert and four-time world record holder Sara Campbell will offer insights into breath holding and apnea techniques. Capable of diving unassisted to depths over 100m, Sara will oversee freediving classes, focusing on participants’ inner ‘sleeping dolphin’ through simple breathing techniques, which aid relaxation and mind control.

General Manager of LUX* Maldives Dominik Ruhl said: ‘The Maldives is the perfect place for this underwater festival and we are very proud to welcome such a brilliant panel of experts. With this festival and our Island Light concept, we look forward to offering our guests a different way of celebrating island life. We want to offer participants the opportunity to explore the marine life of our Atoll through a lighter learning experience’ Rethinking the concept of an island holiday experience, LUX* Maldives will contribute photo and video material from the festival to SAMPA’s on-going research programs.

Partnering with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) one the world´s oldest environmental organisations and a leading authority on the environment and sustainable development, LUX* Maldives also supports activities carried out within the South Ari Atoll through its newly appointed Marine Project Officer.

Crystal Cruises announces Crystal Adventures online for its 2014 World Cruise

Japanese luxury cruise line Crystal Cruises has just set sail for 2013 World Cruise, has also early released Crystal Adventures online for its 2014 World Cruise,  marking the voyage’s earliest-ever availability of guests’ outing options. More than 200 shore excursions are now described in detail and offered for pre-reservation at The carefully-curated experiences, ranging from half a day to several days each, will take guests to some of the most awe-striking natural marvels and historically significant landmarks from LA to London, via the Pacific Islands, Asia, Africa, and more. The annual World Cruise, which is considered by cruisers to be the ultimate of luxury travel experiences, sails for 89 days aboard the award-winning Crystal Serenity, starting January 18, 2014.

“So many of our World Cruisers are early planners, committing to the cruise months and years in advance.  2013 was a record-breaking year in that respect, and 2014 and 2015 are shaping up to be similar record-breakers,” says John Stoll, vice president of land and port operations.  “By allowing guests to explore, and pre-reserve, their shore options now, they can begin connecting with their World Cruise experience all the sooner, planning all the places they’ll visit, and growing more excited about their trip ahead with each adventure booked.”

In 2014, World Cruise guests will be able to:

  • Helicopter over Hawaii, Hong Kong, and Cape Town.
  • Safari for native African wildlife, from gorillas to elephants.
  • Explore cultural microcosms from Geisha life in Kyoto to Ghandi and Indian sub-culture in South Africa.
  • Stay overnight off-ship in several countries, including Vietnam and Cambodia.
  • Indulge in hands-on culinary treats, from blending one’s own wine near Cape Town or learning traditional tea preparation in Hong Kong to local market shopping and hands-on Creole cooking in Mauritius.
  • Visit pivotal WWII Pacific Theatre sites from Tinian to Oahu, including a private lunch with captain of the USS Missouri.

Crystal Cruises unveiled 2014 World Cruise.
Crystal’s 2014 World Cruise is comprised of five, 12 to 22 day segments visiting ports in California, Hawaii, Guam, Mariana Islands, Japan, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Principe, Ghana, Senegal, Morocco, Portugal, and England.  Full World Cruisers receive special perks, such as a bon voyage pre-cruise gala, complimentary chauffeured pre- and post-cruise transfers, first class air transportation, souvenir gifts, special shore-side event participation.

Guests booking the entire World Cruise by February 28, 2013 will enjoy savings of $3,900/person and all-inclusive fares starting from $39,280/person.

BlackBerry 10 in Singapore

RIM has finally BlackBerry 10 unveiled its new BlackBerry 10 Operating System (OS) and 2 new devices: BlackBerry Z10 And BlackBerry B10. Although the devices had one of the best-reviewed moves by RIM yet, BlackBerry's release of the BlackBerry Z10 may have not garnered the same type of hype that other tech releases. Market also did not react very positive to the announcement as the company shares slid 12 per cent in a day.

The problem is although the announced BlackBerry 10 products are good, they do not look compelling enough to make majority of the customers, already became loyal users of iOS and Android to switch back to BlackBerry.

BlackBerry 10 devices are set to launch in Singapore on February 21 2013.

BlackBerry's Z10, Samsung's Galaxy S III and Apple's iPhone 5 Comparison

Singapore Resort World Sentosa teams with Iron Chef Cat Cora

Cat Cora, the first and only female Iron Chef from Iron Chef America is set to join Resorts World Sentosa’s outstanding line Restaurant by Cat Cora.

Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora, which is situated in the S.E.A Aquarium, part of the world’s largest

oceanarium, will be the Iron Chef’s first restaurant in Asia. It will feature many of her signature dishes which have Mediterranean-Californian influences with an Asia flair. The restaurant also follows the chef’s farm-to-table philosophy on ingredients, which makes her food truly authentic and sensational.

On opening her first restaurant in Asia and working with Resorts World Sentosa, Chef Cora said: “Resorts
World Sentosa is an incredible world hotels, from entertainment to F&B, and I’m ecstatic to be able to call RWS my new home”.

“The menu I have created for Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora is characterised by light, simple and heal
dishes, using the freshest produce from around the region.

“Studying the Asian palate,  I have incorporated some local elements and ingredients in one of my signature dishes, the Coq Au Vin Asia with Roasted Ginger accompanied with Thai opportunity to be involved with this spectacular restaurant with such a unique setting. I look forward to introducing myself to Singapore through my food”.

Guests can also look forward to other comes with sustainable caviar; prosecco pear crushed almond, vine tomato jelly and garden cress the ‘After Eight’ Mint Variation with Chocolate Mandarin with habanero glaze accompanied with specially created by Chef Cat Cora for Ocean Restaurant.

The restaurant uses sustainability sourced seafood which echoes the Marine Life Park’s mission of ensuring a healthy future for vibrant and sustainable marine, coastal and freshwater ecosystems.

“Cat Cora’s simple, light and healthy cooking style fits perfectly with what we had in mind for the restaurant.   We searched the world for the best dining concepts and chefs to bring to RWS, and Cat Cora is a great addition to our line-up of celebrity chefs. The restaurant will certainly add to the variety of F&B options that we currently offer,” said Greg  Allan, Resorts World Sentosa’s Vice President of Rooms and F&B.

Cat Cora, the only female Iron Chef, was in town for the opening of the new
Ocean Restaurant at Resorts World Sentosa.
Located inside the S.E.A. Aquarium, alongside the Open Ocean habitat, guests get to enjoy a full view of the marine life whilst eating, creating a truly memorable dining experience. Designed by Sydney-based design firm Diana Simpsons Design, the colours and materials in the main dining room echo the deep sea palette.  The underwater theme is reinforced through the midnight blues and design of the carpet which resembles deep sea jelly fish and anemones, the interior lighting domes that are inlaid in pearl shell, the columns in opalescent mosaic tiles, and  fabrics that are in shimmery sea foam and deep aquamarine.

Special consideration was taken to ensure all guests in the 63-seater restaurant will have a good view. For instance, the walls above the banquettes have angled mirrors reflecting the aquarium for guests seated facing the opposite direction and dining chairs were custom made with concealed swivel mechanisms so that guests can spin around from all angles to marvel at the marine life.

Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora is open daily for lunch and dinner from 11am-10.30pm (last order at 10pm).  From 2 to 7 February, diners can catch the Iron Chef herself at the restaurant where she will offer a specially created 5-course set dinner menu at S$158++.   For reservations and enquiries, you can call 6577 8888.

Cat Cora Experience

Feb 2 – Feb 28 2013 

Sous Vide 48°C King Salmon,  
Sustainable Caviar & Prosecco Pear Crushed Almond, 
Vine Tomato Jelly and Garden Cress  
Vongole of Manila Clams with Spicy Fennel Sausage, 
Black Garlic Broth and Toasted Sesame Croutons 
Sakura Shrimp Risotto 
Morel Mushroom-Ikura, Cress and Black Truffle Butter Seared Hokkaido Scallop

Grilled Basque Wagyu Striploin with Leek Bread Pudding  
& Roasted Sesame-Coriander Vegetables 
Arctic Char Mandarin with Habanero Glaze,  
Meyer Lemon Cous Cous and Micro Cilantro 
‘After Eight’ Mint Variation with Chocolate
Coffee or Tea

Penang-Phuket-Krabi-Penang Cruise deal on SuperStar Libra

There are some cruise deals out there and there are some hotel deals as well. What about a deal for a getaway on both land and sea with the 5D4N Fly & Cruise Vacation for only $760? And you will also stay at the Flamingo by the Beach, a 4-star hotel strategically located in Tanjung Bungah - alongside the luxurious beach of Penang's northern coastline. The hotel is a short drive away (15 minutes or less) to the fantastic hawker food paradise of Gurney Drive, Gurney Plaza, Botanical Garden, Island Plaza, Penang Heritage Trail, Komtar, Time Square & Prangin Mall, just to name a few. As to the famous Batu Ferringhi Walk (night market) it's only a 10-minute drive away.

For travel periods of 13 Apr 2013 & 27 Apr 2013, 11 May 2013, 8 Jun 2013 & 22 Jun 2013, 6 Jul 2013 & 20 Jul 2013, the deal includes a return flight from Singapore to Penang, 3-Night on Board SuperStar Libra Penang-Phuket-Krabi-Penang Cruise, and 1-Night Stay at Flamingo by the Beach Penang Hotel.

Owned and operated by Star Cruises, SuperStar Libra is designed to meet the changing needs of today's passengers, challenging the conventional model of cruising by providing a more relaxed, resort-style cruise, complete with flexibility and non-intrusive services of the highest standard.

5D4N Fly & Cruise Vacation including 3 nights on SuperStar Libra
The deals Itinerary is as below:
Day 1
Saturday - Upon Arrival at Penang airport , please look for PYO representation for pick up transfer to Hotel by sharing vehicle and proceed for check in.

Day 2
Sunday - After Breakfast, will pick up and transfer to Penang Pier for cruise boarding. Depart Penang Pier at 1700hrs. High Tea / BBQ Dinner. Cruising on board - Sail away party with welcome barbeque dinner. Enjoy specific entertainment activities on board.

Day 3
Monday - Arrive Phuket Island at 1200hrs. Free and Easy or you may choose optional tour to join shore excursion. (Breakfast  / Lunch / Dinner / Supper). Depart Phuket at 0100hrs.

Day 4
Tuesday - Arrive Krabi at 1000hrs. Free and Easy or you may choose optional tour to join shore excursion. Gala Dinner. Dinner Dress Code: Elegant or Smart Casual wear is highly recommended. Depart from Krabi at 1900hrs.

Day 5
Wednesday - Arrive Penang @ 1200hrs. Transfer to Penang Airport by sharing vehicle.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Scoot's new ScooTV will stream blockbuster movies and popular television shows to their your Wi-Fi devices

Singapore-based low-cost long-haul airline Scoot has announced the launch of ScooTV, Asia’s first inflight entertainment system that allows passengers to stream content to their own Wi-Fi devices!

ScootTV is developed by Gogo, a leading provider of in-flight connectivity and wireless in-flight digital entertainment solutions and features buffet of blockbuster movies and popular TV shows that guests can stream to their own laptop or tablet at their own convenience during the flight.

Said Campbell Wilson, CEO of Scoot, “Scoot is excited to be the first airline in Asia to offer this innovative inflight entertainment option. Going wireless keeps our aircraft lighter, our costs down and our fares cheaper. And better yet, ScooTV empowers our guests with even more entertainment options.”

Campbell Wilson said the airline would offer blockbuster movies and popular television shows on flights from Singapore, Sydney, Gold Coast, Bangkok, Taipei, Tokyo, Tianjin, Qingdao and Shenyang. Refreshed every second month, ScooTV currently features Black Swan, Jackie Chan’s life-risking stunts in Shinjuku Incident, to a range of TV favourites.

Singapore-based low-cost long-haul airline Scoot
Singapore-based low-cost long-haul airline Scoot offers inflight streaming to your
mobile devices.
Of course streaming is not available for free. Passangers in the Economy class seats need to pay S$15 (pre-purchase) or S$16 (onboard purchase) per flight. ScootBiz guests can do so for free. For those without their own device, Scoot also offers a Rent-a-Tablet service available at S$20 (pre-purchase) or S$22 (onboard purchase).

Resorts World Sentosa Chinese New Year 2013

Resorts World Sentosa is celebrating its fourth Lunar New Year since its opening in February 2010 and will once again be abuzz with festivities as it welcomes the year of the Snake. Singapore’s first integrated resort, which celebrated its Grand Opening last month, will be decked out in festive decorations throughout the Lunar New Year, whilst key attractions Universal Studios Singapore and  Marine Life Park will  line up special offerings, including  ang pow giveaways at Southeast Asia’s premier theme park and extended opening hours at the S.E.A. Aquarium.

Key highlights of this year’s festive decorations include two huge topiary snakes which  form the centerpiece of FestiveWalk, dancing alongside a golden dragon, blessing guests with harmony and prosperity while ushering in the Lunar New Year. Drums of Joy (欢腾蛇鼓) and lucky charms with snake motif will also deck out FestiveWalk, The Forum, and The Bull Ring to bring forth the festivities with well-wishes for visitors.

Universal Studios Singapore and Marine Life Park

Visitors to Universal Studios Singapore will be greeted with a special red packet giveaway during eight days of auspicious cheers from 9 to 16 February 2013. Guests will stand a chance to win prizes including  Annual Pass  giveaways  and  discounts on Annual Pass upgrades; Universal Studios Singapore Day Pass giveaways and discount on online purchase of  Day Pass; Universal Express giveaways and discounts on Universal Express; as well as complimentary Incanto tickets.

For the very first time, selected characters at the theme park – Woody, Winnie and Elmo – will also don customised Chinese New Year costumes, greeting park guests with well wishes. Guests can also look forward to the  Hollywood Dreams Parade every weekend. The park will extend its opening hours to 10.00am to 8.00pm every Saturday, starting from 9 February 2013, allowing guests to end their day  in splendour with  Lake Hollywood Spectacular, a pyrotechnic display held  on  every Saturday at 7.30pm.

The Marine Life Park will extend  the  opening hours of  its  S.E.A. Aquarium. The world’s largest aquarium will open from 10.00am to 8.00pm daily, starting from 9 February 2013 (Lunar New Year’s Eve) to  24 February 2013 (15 th day of the Lunar New Year), to  cater to  an expected increase in visitors. The operating hours of the Adventure Cove Waterpark remain unchanged.

Resorts World Sentosa Chinese New Year 2013
Resorts World Sentosa Chinese New Year 2013
Lunar New Year F&B Delights

Lunar New Year will never be complete without festive delights. To herald the festivities, guests can
look forward to delectable reunion dining options for the entire family. For the first time, Forest 森, helmed by celebrity Chef Sam Leong, will offer two special reunion set dinners and a seven-course Reunion Deluxe Tasting Menu serving Chinese cuisine infused with Thai elements.

Satisfying differing taste palates, guests will  also  be spoilt for choice with  a gamut of the most extravagant Cantonese cuisine and festive goodies at Feng Shui Inn in Crockfords Tower as well as two Lunar New Year menus at Hollywood China Bistro in Universal Studios Singapore, on top of the extensive dinner buffet at Starz Restaurant in Hard Rock Hotel, Singapore.

The traditional dish of abundance – ‘Lo Hei’ (捞起/鱼生) – will feature prominently on the festive menu too. Chefs at Feng Shui Inn have created the Flambé Salmon ‘Lo Hei’ – a medley of refreshing flavours and colours combined with thinly sliced fresh salmon infused with Chinese wine, presented in a colourful orangey burst of flames. For those yearning for something lighter, they can also opt for a new unique vegetarian creation filled with healthy greens and fresh fruits such as dragon fruits, kiwis and strawberries — Vegetarian ‘Lo Hei’.

Special arrangements have also been made for public transportation at the Resort during the festive period. RWS 8 will extend its service from 11.45pm to 2am (outbound to Vivo City only) on Lunar New Year’s Eve (9 February 2013). During the first three days of Lunar New Year (10 to 12 February 2013), the frequency of RWS 8 will also be ramped up to four-five minutes interval between 11am and 11.45pm.

Source : Resorts World Sentosa Ushers in the year of the Snake

Monday, January 28, 2013

Singapore Permanent Resident Status 2013 and beyond

Singapore  immigration framework was tightened in 2009 and according to a newly released population white paper, the current levels of relatively tightened immigration framework is to stay here. For example, after peaking at 79,000 new Singapore Permanent Residents in 2008, number of Singapore PR intake is sharply reduced starting from 2009. Singapore Population White Paper says that there will be no increase in the number of PR intake in the near future. The paper, which outlines a target 6.9 million population in Singapore by 2030 and a 15,000 and 25,000 new Singapore citizens intake each year, says that current pace of about 30,000 Singapore PR intake per year will be maintained:

Permanent residence is an intermediate status through which foreigners take up citizenship. It is meant for those who have a long-term stake in Singapore and intend to sink roots here. We have tightened up significantly on the number of PRs granted each year. We have come down from a high of 79,000 new PRs in 2008 to about 30,000 each year currently. We plan to maintain the current pace. This will keep a stable PR population of between 0.5 and 0.6 million, and ensure a pool of suitable potential citizens.
The white paper also highlights target population composition:

With this controlled immigration rate, the citizen population is projected to be between 3.6 and 3.8 million by 2030. Together with the PR population of 0.5 to 0.6 million, this gives a resident population (comprising citizens and PRs) of between 4.2 and 4.4 million in 2030, depending on birth rates, immigration and life expectancy.

The white paper defines Singapore Permanent Residency as an intermediate step towards Singapore Citizenship:

Permanent residence is granted to those who have a long-term stake in Singapore and who intend to sink roots here. It is an intermediate step through which foreigners take up citizenship in Singapore. As with Singapore citizenship, applicants for permanent residence are comprehensively assessed. Since the immigration framework was tightened in 2009, we have significantly reduced the number of PRs granted each year, from a high of 79,000 in 2008. We have been taking in close to 30,000 new PRs in each of the last 3 years, and plan to continue at this calibrated rate.  This will keep the total Pr population stable at between 0.5 and 0.6 million, and ensure a pool of suitable potential citizens.
See the whole white paper here: A sustainable population for a dynamic Singapore - Population White Paper.

Star Cruises wins top cruise line accolade again in India

Star Cruises, the leading cruise line in Asia-Pacific, was voted by thousands of Indian holidaymakers as “Favourite Cruise Company” at Outlook Traveller Awards 2012.  This follows Star Cruises being voted the “Best Cruise” at Travel + Leisure India & South Asia’s Best Awards last year.

Outlook Traveller Awards, organized by the travel publication authority  Outlook Traveller,  is credited for setting the benchmark for consumer preferences in the travel industry since inception in 2010. The awards drew on the results from Outlook Traveller’s specifically-designed survey that garnered readers to provide unfiltered assessment of travel and tourism experiences across 18 travel-related categories. Research agency IPSOS oversaw collection, collation and analysis of the voting.

Other contenders in the "Favourite Cruise Company" category include Royal Caribbean, Costa Cruises, Cunard Lines and Princess Cruises, amongst others.

Mr William Ng, Chief Operating Officer, Star Cruises, said, “We are delighted that  once again Indian holidaymakers voted us ‘Favourite Cruise Company’. This accolade validates our understanding of the Indian market as well as our dedication in turning Indian passengers’ holiday ideals into realities.”

Star Cruises SuperStar Gemini
He continued, “From 2008 to last year, the number of Indian passengers jumped 45% fleet-wide at Star Cruises. This success is most prominent in SuperStar Virgo, homeported in Singapore, which embodies Star Cruises’ signature warm hospitality, and wide variety of F&B, entertainment & recreational offerings. We thank our travel agents in India for working tirelessly with us to achieve this, and together we will strive to further strengthen our foothold in the country.”

Star Cruises has recently stepped up its cruise offering in the region with the launch of SuperStar Gemini, which  has commenced her series of inaugural sailings in Singapore and Penang recently. She will be homeported in Sanya (Feb and March) and Shanghai (April to October) offering an array of idyllic itineraries, calling at top destinations in the region.

Source : Star Cruises wins top cruise line accolade again in India

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Prettiest university student of China is Milk Tea Girl (奶茶妹妹) Zhang Zetian (章泽天)

Well do not ask me why someone bothers to list the prettiest university students in a country of 1 billion+. For some reasons, chinese-language website does this to help some young ladies to start a more colorful modelling career instead of heading straight into a boring job. The top spot in the list, known as 校花 (school flowers) in Chinese, now belongs to Internet celebrity Zhang Zetian (章泽天) also known as “Milk Tea Girl” (奶茶妹妹). She earned this interesting and not-so-cool nickname because of a photo of her holding a cup of milk tea. The photo was posted by her admiring classmate to Baidu and quickly made the rounds on the Internet. That was in 2009.

In 2011, innocent looking Zhang Zetian was accepted by Tsinghua University, the top university in China, to study their humanities program. She was so famous at that time that she has briefly caused a sensation again when she, wearing a one-piece skirt in red and purple checks, showed up at the campus of Tsinghua University at 9:30, Aug. 18 to sign up.

Milk Tea Girl (奶茶妹妹) Zhang Zetian (章泽天)
“Milk Tea Girl (奶茶妹妹)” Zhang Zetian (章泽天) became famous when
her friends posted a photo of her holding a cup of milk tea.
“Milk Tea Girl (奶茶妹妹)” Zhang Zetian (章泽天)
In 2011, so called innocent looking Zhang Zetian was accepted by Tsinghua University.
This 2009 photo is the reason Zhang Zetian became famous and nicknamed
“Milk Tea Girl” (奶茶妹妹).

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Jetstar Japan adds Oita, Nagoya and Kagoshima to its network

Budget domestic Japanese airline Jetstar Japan has just started flying in July 2012 but it is growing fast to be one of the biggest domestic low-fare airline in Japan. In addition to its existing Tokyo, Osaka, Okinawa, Fukuoka and Sapporo flights, the airline will start flying twice daily return services on Tokyo-Oita, Fukuoka- Nagoya and Sapporo-Nagoya routes from 31 March 2013 with return flights to Kagoshima from Tokyo and Nagoya starting on 31 May.

“The popularity of our low fares in the first six months of flying highlights just how much Japanese travellers have embraced low cost flying,” said Jetstar Group CEO Jayne Hrdlick. “Our new services to Oita, Nagoya and Kagoshima will help stimulate demand by making air travel more accessible to more passengers in these areas and also encourage tourists to visit the regions.”

In addition to offering services into new destinations, Jetstar Japan will also operate another three return trips between Tokyo and Sapporo. Jetstar has been flying to Japan from Australia since 2007 and operates daily services to Tokyo from Cairns and the Gold Coast. “These new destinations give Australian travellers an even greater opportunity to explore more of Japan with Jetstar,” Ms Hrdlicka added.

Jetstar Japan is owned by Qantas, Japan Airlines, Mitsubishi Corporation, and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation. The airline has started with just 3 planes but to support the increased flying schedule, the airline is taking delivery of two A-320s and currently has a fleet of seven A320s. This number is planned to grow to 24 aircraft in the next few years.

Jetstar Japan plans to fly from Nagoya to Fukuoka and Sapporo

Low-cost domestic Japanese airline Jetstar Japan started flights in July 2012. Using a fleet of seven new Airbus A320 aircraft (and adding more every 4-5 weeks), the budget airline operates to five destinations, with Osaka, Sapporo, Fukuoka and Okinawa to be served from the carrier's main base at Tokyo Narita Airport. According to Routes Online, the budget airline is planning to add new links from Nagoya to Fukuoka and Sapporo from March 31, 2013 and to Kagoshima from May 31, 2013, operating on a daily or twice daily basis. Jetstar Japan is also set to open a new operational base at Nagoya Chūbu Centrair International Airport in 2013:

"The domestic market at Nagoya Chūbu Centrair International is dominated by All Nippon Airways (ANA) which held a 71.6 per cent share of last year’s flight capacity, followed by Japan Airlines with a 14.9 per cent share and Skymark Airlines with a 7.0 per cent share.  The markets of Fukuoka and Kagoshima are already flown from Nogoya Chūbu by ANA through its mainline and Air Nippon and IBEX Airline partners, while Sapporo is served by ANA, JAL and Skymark Airlines.  It is understood that AirAsia Japan is also considering expanding its network to Nagoya Chūbu and could announce its own network plans in the coming weeks."

The budget airline concept is rapidly emerging and having a big impact on the Japan domestic market. Recent new start-ups AirAsia Japan, Jetstar Japan and Peach don’t actually make it into the analysis of the top ten carriers by capacity in 2013 with just 0.6 per cent, 0.5 per cent and 0.5 per cent shares but these operators will begin to influence the local market significantly in future years.

Jetstar Japan is owned by Qantas, Japan Airlines, Mitsubishi Corporation and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee SexcussionsAlvivi Youtube channel

Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee are back and this time with a YouTube channel named SexcussionsAlvivi where they will share sex tips online! The youtube channel of our young and restless sex gurus, which has a very hardcore logo, is described as a weekly show where they will talk about anything and everything related to sex.

On their channel, they write: "We feel that sex is extremely important yet under-discussed, especially sexual health, sexual identity, sexual morality, and of course sexual happiness. Thus we hope to inspire Malaysians and Singaporeans to open up more not just on sex but also other issues close to heart."

The couple caused a big storm in late 2012 when they have uploaded their hard core experiences on a blog as photos and videos. The blog was since taken down but they have milked their fame for more than a month by interviews, video Q&As and other stuff.

Alvin and Vivian have recently been spotted at Sentosa Island talking about vaginas!

It seems like everything they have done and released were planned beforehand. The YouTube channel for example is opened on October 11th 2012 before the Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee scandal broke out. They currently have several videos uploaded such as "7 Foreplay Tips to Inject New Fun into Your Old Sex Life".

Sexcussions with Alvivi #3 - Malaysians Talk about Their Sexual Preferences

Singaporean actor and Getai artiste John Cheng You Nam (Ah Nan) dies of heart attack

Singaporean actor and Getai compére John Cheng You Nam, known in entertainment circle as Ah Nan or Ah Nam, has died of a heart attack according to AsiaOne web siteJohn Cheng debuted in acting in the 1998 film Money No Enough, and the following year he was cast in Liang Po Po. He is best known for portraying thuggish, brutal types prone to violence, as a homage to his alleged past career as a loan shark. Cheng was more active in the getai scene as a compere, along with other part-time actors like Lin Ruping and Wang Lei.

According to AsiaOne, John Cheng's death was reported on Lian He Wan Bao's facebook page Jan 22 morning. The 52-year-old died of apparent heart attack on 21 January 2013 following a performance in a nightclub in Chinatown:

"The 52-year-old collapsed backstage following a performance in a nightclub in Chinatown, according to his wife. She spoke to the organisers of a Chinese New Year concert he was scheduled to perform at on Feb 12." Source : The Straits Times

According to AsiaOne, John Cheng joked about his heart, weight and cholesterol problems during a performance at the Esplanade in November last year. Before singing his Hokkien song, the actor, better known as 'Ah Nan' jokingly said: "I have heart disease. I have three arteries and one has been cut."

Photo : Stomp

After his dead, a photo of Ah Nan's body has been making its rounds online which shows him lying face up and partially covered by a white sheet. The photo is believed to have been taken at the mortuary when his family, relatives and friends went to identify his body. John Cheng's friends said the photo is 'disrespectful'.

Video of lorry collision with motorcycle in Singapore goes viral

In the video towards the 2nd minutes, the lorry is clearly and dangerously tailgating behind the motorist. He then side-swips the motorcyclist while trying to overtake and hit the motorcyclist.

The video appears to be taken from a windshield-mounted camera. It is uploaded to internet and shared many times.Singapore Police told The Straits Times that "they received a call requesting for assistance on the PIE towards Changi Airport, near lamppost 926 at about 1.35pm on Jan 19. They confirmed that an accident involving a lorry and motorcycle had happened at the location."

According to the uploader, the lorry driver was quite remorseless after the accident:

"Being a stranger to both the road bully and injured motorist, I stayed very neutral and look at this road accident as a mishap where nobody wants it. While waiting in the scorning afternoon for the ambulance and traffic police to come, I took an umbrella to shade the injured motorist who is still lying on the road. This road bully took over my umbrella and I thought he wanted to redeem his mistake. Absurd action of this road bully, he took my umbrella to shade himself from the sun! Needless to say, his remorseless action has change my perception of this accident. On site, his statement with the traffic police mention that the motorist has knock into his vehicle. This has really stir up the heat in me to uphold justice and bring the right punishment to this road bully. "

Video clip of collision between lorry and motorcycle goes viral

Saturday, January 19, 2013

From Chennai to Singapore by budget airline IndiGo

Low-cost Indian airline IndiGo will start a direct flight between Chennai and Singapore from March 1 2013. "With rising business and tourism stemming from the region, IndiGo is determined to provide the best travel experience to all those who wish to fly to Singapore from the southern part of the country" said IndiGo president Aditya Ghosh in a statement released by budget airline.

IndiGo is already flying between Delhi - Singapore and Mumbai - Singapore. IndiGo introduced flights to Singapore in September 2011 as part of its expansion into international markets.  It initially introduced flights from Delhi but supplemented them from October 2011 with a link from Mumbai.  Both routes are served using a 180-seat Airbus A320 with a daily schedule and India’s fastest-growing carrier will offer a similar operation on this new route from Chennai.[1]

Consumers already have several choices to fly from Chennai to Singapore: Singapore Airlines (SIA),  SilkAir (SIA's regional subsidiary), budget airline Tiger Airways, Air India and Air India's low-cost airline Air India Express. Although there is a tough competition in the route, IndiGo is apparently looking to repeat its success at  Delhi – Singapore and Mumbai – Singapore routes. IndiGo had secured 24 per cent and 16 per cent shares of the O&D traffic on the routes  In the first twelve months of serving the Delhi – Singapore and Mumbai – Singapore.

An IndiGo A320
An IndiGo A320
According to the media in addition to Chennai - Singapore route the airline is also looking to fly Hyderabad - Singapore (currently served by SilkAir and Tiger Airways) and Bangalore - Singapore (currently served by SilkAir, Singapore Airlines and Tiger Airways) routes.

IndiGo is a private, low-cost carrier based in Gurgaon, Haryana, India. Other than flying domestic routes in India, IndiGo also flies to Bangkok, Dubai, Kathmandu, Muscat and Singapore.

[1] - IndiGo to boost Indian links to Singapore

Friday, January 18, 2013

"The Grandmaster" is first Gala Premiere at Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands, in collaboration with Shaw Organization and Mei Ah Entertainment, debut Wong Kar-wai’s highly-anticipated film "The Grandmaster" at the Grand Theatre on 23 January. The Gala will give opportunity to the fans to get the rare opportunity to get a glimpse of their favorite stars as they walk the red carpet on 23 January in The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.

Wong Kar-wai‟s “The Grandmaster” is a Hong Kong-Chinese action drama film based on the life story of the Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man. The film stars Hong Kong superstar, Tony Leung, and Chinese film actress and model, Zhang Ziyi.

Mr.  George Tanasijevich, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marina Bay Sands said, “Marina Bay Sands is pleased to host our first movie premiere. The debut of „The Grandmaster‟ is a perfect way to unveil our theatres as the newest movie premiere location in Singapore.”

Famed Hong Kong actor Tony Leung has won nine Hong Kong Film Awards and the Cannes Film Festival Best Actor award for his role in Wong Kar-wai's 2000 film “In the Mood for Love”. He will be playing the role of “Ip Man” in “The Grandmaster”.

“The Grandmaster”  has been widely acclaimed  by  critics and  well-known artistes in the film industry. It was also a big success at the Hong Kong box office, raking in US$2million in 4 days,and US$28million in 7 days at the China box office. “The Grandmaster” sneak previews begin in Singapore 25 January in all theatres and opens on 31 January.

Marina Bay Sands is fast  becoming a hotspot for international superstars and world-famous athletes, having previously hosted  PSY, Jennifer Lopez,  Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber,  Tiger Woods, Zhang Ziyi, Katy Perry, Rain, Shah Rukh Khan, boxing phenomenon Manny Pacquiao, ATP players Janko Tipsarevic and Kei Nishikori, football legends Pele and Eric Cantona, Liverpool FC players and NBA player Kobe Bryant.

Pipeline Supply of New Residential Units by Expected Year of Completion in Singapore

"Some 200,000 new housing units will be constructed – 80,000 private properties, 10,000 ECs and about 110,000 public housing. This is equivalent to the building of four new Ang Mo Kio towns by 2016!   And we are still building more", said  Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan in his blog post named "Enough Homes for All".

Indeed, according to a chart published in the blog post (below), total number of new residential units by 2016 will be 197,559! Most units are expected to be completed in 2016 with 42,318 HDB flats will be ready in that year.

In May 2011, new Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan changed almost a decade old practice of BTO (Built-to-Order) in public housing to Build-Ahead-of-Order. Since than around 25,000 public housing units are built each year.

In the same blog post Khaw Boon Wan also defended the latest and most comprehensive to date round of Singapore property cooling measures:

"Last week’s package of property cooling measures is necessary to soften the market.  The alternative of doing nothing, allowing the prices to run beyond economic fundamentals, will only invite a large and serious price correction in the future.  That will not do anyone any good.

The package was carefully formulated to protect first-timers. Investors buying additional properties may be disappointed but I hope they will in due course come to accept that the package will also be good for them.  In any case, many of the new measures are counter-cyclical in nature, to be lifted when the market regains its balance.

The market is temporarily not in balance because of under-building in the past, and high investment demand today.  But we have been ramping up supply and in 2, 3, and 4 years’ time, supply will have caught up with pent-up demand."

From Kuala Lumpur to Jeddah by AirAsia X

Malaysia based long-haul, budget airline AirAsia X has announced a new route to Jeddah Saudi Arabia from its Kuala Lumpur hub which will commence operations on 16 February 2013. 3 flights weekly route to King Abdul Aziz International Airport, Jeddah from Kuala Lumpur will increase its flight frequency to 4 flights weekly from 1 May 2013 onwards.

“AirAsia X is delighted to announce the launch of Jeddah, which is the fourteenth destination in our network. With Jeddah being the gateway to Holy cities of Madinah and Makkah, we are delighted that our services will provide more affordable travel for our Muslim guests in Malaysia and throughout the region to perform the Holy pilgrimage of Hajj and Umrah,” said Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of AirAsia X.

“Similarly, guests from Saudi Arabia will have the opportunity to travel across our extensive network in South East Asia and beyond. We believe that AirAsia’s wide network and favourable fare structures make cultural, heritage, recreational and shopping destinations across Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia and other countries in the Asia Pacific region more accessible to guests and thus will create new travel demand from Saudi Arabia.”

To celebrate the new route, AirAsia X is offering promotional fares from as low as MYR399 (SAR499) in Economy, and from as low as MYR1599 (SAR1999) for a Premium Flatbed from Kuala Lumpur to Jeddah one way. AirAsia X Fly-thru destinations on offer concurrent with the promotional campaign include destinations from Jeddah to Australia (Melbourne) from SAR1,238, Indonesia (Jakarta, Medan, Surabaya, Bali) from SAR712 and Singapore from SAR620. The Fly-thru service allows passengers to purchase two flight sectors and seamlessly transit via Kuala Lumpur for their next destination.

An AirAsia X Airbus A330-300 taxiing

Jointly with AirAsia, AirAsia X was named World’s Best Low Cost Airline in the annual World Airline Survey by Skytrax for four consecutive years in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. On top of that, AirAsia X was also awarded the Airbus Top Operational Excellence Award 2010-2011, for being the world's best Airbus A330-300 operator (small fleet category) excelling in operations, maintenance and safety systems.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

PARKROYAL on Pickering Now Open

PARKROYAL on Pickering,  the flagship PARKROYAL hotel under the PARKROYAL Hotels & Resorts portfolio managed by the Pan Pacific Hotels Group, opens its doors in the heart of Singapore on 16th January. Designed by award-winning architectural firm WOHA, the hotel adopts a hotel-in-a-garden concept and incorporates energy-saving features throughout the property. Its sustainable project design and green efforts have earned it the BCA Green Mark Platinum, Singapore’s highest green rating, as well as the Solar Pioneer Award for its innovative solar energy system.

The new PARKROYAL on Pickering is also offering opening promotions. You can be among the first to stay at our hotel-in-a-garden, and get ready to explore our dedicated wellness floor with infinity pool, spa and a walking track high above the street level.

At only S$278++, you can enjoy overnight accommodation in a Superior room with daily breakfast and complimentary Wi-Fi. The promotion is valid on Fridays to Sundays from 22 January 2013 until 31 March 2013.

Strategically located at the key gateways to Singapore’s central business district, Hong Lim Park and bustling Chinatown, the 367-room hotel provides an urban oasis in downtown Singapore, with convenient access to waterfront entertainment and dining options along the Singapore River as well as cultural gems across the island. PARKROYAL on Pickering is ‘Your Trusted Local Companion’ in Singapore.Designed by internationally acclaimed local architectural firm WOHA, PARKROYAL on Pickering boasts over 15,000 square metres of lush four-storey tall sky-gardens, reflecting pools, waterfalls, planter terraces and cascading vertical greenery, amounting to twice its land area.

The hotel breaks new ground by introducing the state’s first solar-powered sky-gardens. Amongst its other energy conservation features are the use of automatic light, rain and motion sensors, rain harvesting and NEWater (recycled water). Nature-inspired materials and textures such as light and dark wood, pebbles, water, and glass are used throughout the design of the hotel. The 367 elegantly furnished guestrooms and suites offer spectacular views of the city and the hotel’s sky-gardens. A soothing colour palette of calm greens and natural wood, accented with abundant light, provides a relaxed and tranquil atmosphere for the guests throughout their stay. All rooms feature complimentary hi-speed Internet connectivity, in-room amenities and a well-stocked executive bar. Depending on room category, other guestroom highlights also include Nespresso coffee machines, rain showers, bathtubs and designer ergonomic chairs.

PARKROYAL on Pickering
PARKROYAL on Pickering
Lime, the hotel’s signature open-kitchen concept, all-day dining restaurant serves up a diverse range of Asian flavours and contemporary international favourites in lively theatrical fashion. Housed within the restaurant is a street-level bar, an ideal place to relax and unwind with a variety of classic cocktails, specialty wines and tapas-style snacks.

Set outdoors amidst landscaping and waterfalls, the fifth floor is a dedicated wellness space which incorporates fitness and recreational facilities including an infinity pool overlooking the city, jacuzzi, fitness centre, outdoor terrace and a 300-metre garden walk. Colourful birdcage-shaped cabanas are positioned around the pool area, providing comfortable chill-out spaces. The award-winning St. Gregory spa, which will be launched in March, offers signature therapies and a wide range of luxurious body and beauty treatments.

The exclusive Orchid Club Lounge, located at the top level of the hotel, commands 360-degree views of the city skyline. Equipped with private meeting spaces and dedicated Club Concierge service, guests staying on the handsomely furnished Club floors will also enjoy a host of privileges such as champagne breakfast, evening cocktails and canapés, all-day refreshments as well as priority check-in and check-out service.

PARKROYAL on Pickering offers conducive meeting and events spaces, with flexible configurations for up to 800 guests. The pillar-less William Pickering ballroom, with elegant floor-to-ceiling glass walls, provides a beautiful natural-light filled setting for weddings and other special events.

General Manager David Sullivan says, “Our team of knowledgeable and passionate associates are excited to build upon the green architectural foundations of PARKROYAL on Pickering to promote sustainable hotel operations and management practices in Singapore. At the same time, we aim to provide the distinctive PARKROYAL style of hospitality that delivers upon our brand promise of being ‘Your Trusted Local Companion’ to everyone who walks through our doors.”

PARKROYAL on Pickering is a PARKROYAL Collection hotel, a further expression of the PARKROYAL brand. A PARKROYAL Collection hotel is distinguished by its unique architecture and design elements while embodying the intrinsic PARKROYAL characteristics of modern comfort, uncomplicated service and authentic local connections.

For its innovative and sustainable design, PARKROYAL on Pickering has been awarded the BCA (Building and Construction Authority) Green Mark Platinum, the highest rating for green buildings in Singapore. It is also the recipient of the Solar Pioneer Award as one of the first in the country’s hospitality sector to use a solar energy system.

The 16-storey property is strategically situated at the gateway of Singapore’s Central Business District, between Hong Lim Park and bustling Chinatown. Located minutes away from entertainment and waterfront dining areas along Singapore River and vibrant nightspots at Clarke Quay and Boat Quay, and within close proximity to various modes of public transport, PARKROYAL on Pickering offers a convenient base for guests to explore the city.

Crystal Getaways 2013 by Crystal Cruises

 Japanese luxury cruise line Crystal Cruises' 2013 “Crystal Getaways”, 5- to 11-day segments that pack a tremendous amount of luxurious value into convenient, shorter itineraries, provides big savings. Ten voyages aboard the award-winning Crystal Symphony offer shorter versions of published cruises from January through May.  Due to the enormous success of the “Crystal Getaways” launched for fall 2012 Europe sailings, the ultra-luxury line is expanding its offerings to cruises worldwide, including options in Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, Canada, Alaska and New England, USA.  Each shorter segment features at least one overnight stay in some of the regions’ most beloved ports, and fares start as low as $1,365 per guest if booked by December 28.

“The ‘Crystal Getaways’ have proven to be a great way to welcome new Crystal cruisers to the luxury nuances, extraordinary service and value of the Crystal vacation,” says Jack Anderson, senior vice president of sales and marketing.   “The new Crystal cruisers were either travelers with busy schedules who couldn’t take longer vacations, travelers who moved up to luxury to celebrate a meaningful occasion, or travelers who wanted to combine Getaways with their own land programs.  What has been gratifying and consistent is the high level of re-booking from these new Crystal converts.  We know that travelers who try a Crystal cruise are strongly inclined to come back for more.”

Here is the lists of “Crystal Getaways” for 2013 itineraries:

5-day sailings:
January 29, $1,725 – Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington
March 7, $2,365 – Singapore, Bangkok
April 24, $1,470 – Seward, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan, Vancouver
May 23, $1,630 – New York City, Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, Halifax

6-day sailings:
January 5, $1,365 – Melbourne, Adelaide, Hobart
January 11, $1,365 – Hobart, Sydney, Brisbane

Crystal Cruises
7-day sailings:
March 23, $3,235 – Hong Kong, Xiamen, Shanghai
April 5, $3,080 – Shanghai, Pusan, Nagasaki, Kōbe

8- and 11-day sailings:
February 3, (8 days) $2,755 – Wellington, Picton, Christchurch, Dunedin, Sydney
March 12, (11 days) $5,200 – Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Chan May, Hanoi, Hong Kong

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Raffles Hotel in Singapore is the top rated hotel for 2012

When choosing a hotel to stay within your budget and requirements, looking at online hotel booking site reviews can save you a lot of money and headache. Customers of these site review and rate their stay in particular hotel which goes into the hotels overall rating.

One of the best online hotel booking sites for Asia,, has taken a look back at 2012 and compiled a list of its twelve highest rated hotels for the year as graded by customers. The reviews on are an important record of a customer’s actual experience at a hotel. Free from PR spin and embellishment, reviews that appear on the website are written by actual customers only after they have completed their stay, and as such are an accurate reflection of an average visit.

When customers review a hotel, they are asked to rate their stay based on various criteria, including value for money, location, staff performance, cleanliness, comfort, and food. These scores are then averaged to get that customer’s overall rating of the hotel. To find the top-rated hotels for 2012, took the sum of all customer ratings on a particular hotel and divided that by the number of reviews to get the hotel’s final ranking.

Here, in order, are’s 12 highest rated hotels for 2012, based on reviews written from January 1 – December 31, 2012:

Raffles Hotel, Singapore
Score: 9.506
“Without a doubt the best accommodation we have ever experienced. We were treated like family and their breakfast is something you have to experience to believe. If you are staying in Singapore do yourself a favor and stay at Raffles.” – Robert, Australia.

Luxurious Raffles Hotel in Singapore is the top rated hotel in 2012 based
on customer reviews and ratings
The Chedi Chiang Mai, Thailand
Score: 9.467
“We really enjoy everything, the hotel is wonderful, the service, the accommodation, everything that we need to have an excellent experience in Chiang Mai.” – Luis, Mexico

Komaneka at Bisma Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Score: 9.445
“Komaneka at Bisma is an amazing place to stay. The views are breathtaking as is the hotel itself. The staff could not be more helpful and pleasant.” – Clare, Australia

The Imperial Hotel, New Delhi, India
Score: 9.442
“The Imperial is a piece of history and while staying here I felt like I was back in time with the grandeur of the colonial times. Amazing service and a warm welcome made our stay perfect.” – Alexandre, Belgium

Komaneka at Rasa Sayang Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Score: 9.416
“The Komaneka at Rasa Sayang set such a high benchmark for accommodation during our trip to Bali that it was almost impossible for any other places we stayed to compete with.” – Andrew, UK

Essence Hanoi Hotel, Hanoi, Vietnam
Score: 9.408
“This is one of the nicest hotels I have ever stayed at. My suite was lovely with a fantastic walk-in shower. The staff were very helpful, even going through a map of places to see. It was walking distance to all the major sites.” – Susan, Canada

Kajane Mua Villas, Bali, Indonesia
Score: 9.378
“Kajane Mua Villas was truly one of the best resorts we have ever stayed at. Staff was amazing and helpful. The resort was wonderful for a family with children. Truly central location in Ubud. Beautiful villas with pool. Perfection.” – Wallace, USA

Jeevaklui Hotel, Lombok, Indonesia
Score: 9.365
“From check in until check out it was a pleasure to stay here, enjoy the beach and the view, and get completely relaxed. The spa with a wonderful massage was to die for! This was my 5th time, and it won't be the last!” – Jacqueline, Netherlands

Hanoi Elegance Diamond Hotel, Hanoi, Vietnam
Score: 9.362
“The hotel was everything we'd hoped for and more - welcoming staff, informative map, and a great location complimented by the beautifully appointed rooms! The breakfast was also great - a huge buffet spread and individual menu items all included in the room price.” – Catherine, New Zealand

The One Vacation Home, Malacca, Malaysia
Score: 9.361
“This is a family hotel, and its owner is very nice. He gave us a map with marks of restaurants offering delicious food, which was very useful. The hotel was a two-floor villa with clean and comfortable rooms. It really felt like home.” – Quan, China

Kuredu Island Resort and Spa, Maldives
Score: 9.346
“Had the most wonderful stay at Kuredu. Even though our room was just the garden bungalow it was comfortable and spacious. Really loved the open shower concept and we had a great time at the spa as well. The resort also had great staff and efficient service.” – Marliyana, Singapore

Apsara Centrepole Hotel, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Score: 9.328
“I loved this hotel, it ticked all the boxes. It is the friendliest staffed hotel you could possibly go to – they are so welcoming and thoughtful. It was a delight to stay there.” – Sean, UK

Chinese New Year 2013 packages by Singapore Flyer

The Singapore Flyer, a giant Ferris wheel located in Singapore, offers a flight of prosperity in Chinese New Year 2013. Visitors of this Giant Wheel of Fortune will have popular Signature Auspicious Trail between 1 – 28 Feb 2013 which includes:

* A Singapore Flight ticket to embark on the Signature Auspicious Trail
* A prosperity bag with a chocolate ingot
* A prosperity card with a 4D number *and a chance to win $888, a Lo Hei reunion dinner with Mediacorp DJs and many more!

And there are more packages for the Lunar New Year 2013.

Sky-Land-Sea Prosperity Flight Package
For price of $68 nett per adult and $54 nett per child (age 3 – 12), this package is valid between 1 – 28 Feb 2013 and includes:

* 1 Singapore Flight to embark on the Signature Auspicious Trail
* NEW! 1 River Taxi ride along Singapore River and Marina Reservoir (worth $7)**
* 1 FunVee open top city Adventure Hop-On and Hop-Off bus tour OR 1 FunVee open top night tour (includes Chinatown Chinese New Year street light up tour) (worth $19.90)**
* 1 Lo Hei platter^ (worth $8)
* 1 prosperity card with a lucky 4D number and a chance to win $888 and more
* 1 limited edition Singapore Flyer gift (Fengshui keychain) – for adult
* 1 limited edition Singapore Flyer Kid’s Fun Pack – for child

Singapore Flyer Chinese New Year Sky Dining Flight Package
Chinese New Year Sky Dining Flight Package

What about dining in the tallest observation wheel of the planet? This package worth $288++ per couple ($1,888 nett for private capsule up to 10 guests) and is valid from 8 – 24 Feb 2013 (exclude 12 – 14 Feb) between 7:30 pm & 8:30 pm. Your flight will include:

* 4-course fine-dining menu (which includes prosperity Lo Hei)
* 2 flight rotations (1 hour)
* In-flight butler service
* Exclusive check-in (Express boarding)
* Access to Flyer Lounge (Subject to availability)
* Free admission to Journey of Dreams interactive gallery (optional)

Singapore Flyer Happy 2013 Promotion

Singapore Flyer, the giant Ferris wheel located in Singapore, welcomes 2013 with a special promotion. From January 1 to January 31st, if you purchase a full-priced Singapore Flight ticket and enjoy a choice of:
  • FunVee open-top bus city tour** (worth $9.90) OR
  • A pair of limited edition Singapore Flyer mascot plastic mugs (worth $8) OR
  • A glass of Flyer punch mocktail (worth $9.90)
Full-priced tickets apply to counter purchases only. Please say the catchphrase “Happy 2013″ at any of our ticketing counters to be entitled to the voucher to exchange for a gift. For online purchases, you are entitled to a 10% discount and also the gift (choose the Singapore Flight + Bus/Mug/Drink option when you book). Please bring your e-tickets or show your mobile tickets at any of our ticketing counters or Guest Services Lounge at Level 1 to be entitled to the voucher to exchange for a gift.

FunVee open-top bus city tour is for point-to-point transfer only. You will not be allowed to disembark and embark again on another ride.

Singapore Flyer Happy 2013 Promotion
Singapore Flyer Happy 2013 Promotion
Singapore Flyer is an observation wheel according to its operator and is the  tallest Ferris wheel in the world.  Singapore Flyer offers broad views of the city centre and beyond to about 45 km (28 mi), including the Indonesian islands of Batam and Bintan, as well as Johor, Malaysia.

7 Months of Scoot : 44 Destinations, 500,000 guests and counting

Singapore-based low-cost long-haul airline Scoot has announced a substantial expansion in the number of destinations on sale, with the addition of 19 new cities taking the total offered to 44. The expansion arises from the addition of more sectors operated by Tiger Airways Singapore, and the addition of partner airlines.

Bearing testament to its rapid growth, Scoot yesterday celebrated its 500,000th guest! The lucky guest was Mr Roland Teh travelling together with his wife Mrs Queenie Teh and daughter Miss Annabelle Teh to Gold Coast. Mrs Teh and her daughter were instantly upgraded to ScootBiz and the Teh family was given another three round-trip ScootBiz tickets to any of Scoot’s destinations, on the house.

Said Campbell Wilson, CEO of Scoot, “It’s another great milestone for Scoot that we’ve grown from nothing to having carried half-a-million guests in such a short period of time and with just four aircraft! Today’s dramatic expansion in the number of cities on offer is also great news for the traveller. More destinations, more great value and more choice, all with a touch of Scootitude. And with the great facilities of Changi Airport, plus our facilitated transfer option Scoot-Thru, there’s no reason to stay on the couch!”

“But we’re not done yet! We’ll be announcing new destinations – some that we’ll operate ourselves and others that we’ll offer with new partners – very soon, so that your dollar takes you even further,” added Campbell.

Fares (for FlyBag) on the joint itineraries originating from Scoot’s destinations (except Singapore) are available for booking at or through the call centre, from 15 January 2013 (Tuesday) until seats sell out.

Travel can commence immediately on itineraries operated by Tiger Airways, and from 1 April 2013 for those involving other partner airlines.

Scoot destinations

Scoot-Thru, offered in conjunction with Changi Airport Group, saves time and hassle. Guests who have purchased Scoot-Thru can remain in the transit area of Singapore Changi Airport and collect their onward boarding passes, obviating the need to clear customs, collect baggage and re-check in. Scoot-Thru is available online at for just SGD16 per person per flight connection, or to walk-up customers at Transfer desk at Transfer E, Changi Airport Terminal 2 for SGD20.

Countries Operated by Scoot Operated by Partner Airlines
Singapore • Singapore • Singapore
Australia • Sydney
• Gold Coast
• Melbourne
• Perth
Bangladesh • Dhaka
Brunei • Bandar Seri Begawan
Cambodia • Phnom Penh
China • Tianjin
• Shenyang
• Qingdao
• Guangzhou
• Haikou
• Hong Kong
• Macau
India • Bangalore
• Kochi
• Hyderabad
• Chennai
• Thiruvananthapuram
• Tiruchirapalli
Indonesia • Balikpapan
• Bandung
• Denpasar (Bali)
• Jakarta
• Lombok
• Medan
• Palembang
• Pekanbaru
Japan • Tokyo
Malaysia • Kuala Lumpur
• Kuching
• Langkawi
• Penang
Philippines • Cebu
• Manila
Sri Lanka • Colombo
Taiwan • Taipei
Thailand • Bangkok • Hat Yai
• Krabi
• Phuket
Vietnam • Hanoi
• Ho Chi Minh City

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Thai AirAsia Promotions 2013

Thai AirAsia, a joint venture of AirAsia which serves AirAsia's regularly scheduled domestic and international flights from Bangkok and other cities in Thailand, has launched its latest promotions available for booking between 15 and 20 January 2013 and for travel between 20 August 2013 and 9 February 2014. There are 1 million promotional seats with all-in-fares from as low as THB 107 one way to domestic destinations in Thailand.

The domestic destinations in Thailand covered by this promotion includes Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Udon Thani, Nakhon Phanom, Ubon Ratchathani, Krabi, Phuket, Trang, Surat Thani, Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Hat Yai and Narathiwat.

The flight promotion also covers international destinations starting from fares of THB 920 one way for Phnom Penh, Yangon, Mandalay, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Bali, Macau, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Kolkata, Xi’an, Chongqing, Chennai, Shenzhen, and Wuhan.

Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of Thai AirAsia said, “AirAsia is proud to be the ‘sky bridge’ that connects the communities of this region with our extensive route network which covers over 20 countries and over 77 destinations. Those who have travel plans in late 2013 and early 2014 will be happy to finally be able to book their flights.”

"There is no better way than to start the year with a million free seats for everyone! AirAsia is proud to be the ‘sky bridge’ that connects the communities of this region with our extensive route network which covers over 20 countries and over 77 destinations. Those who have travel plans in late 2013 and early 2014 will be happy to finally be able to book their flights, and enjoy free seats too.”

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Flights from Singapore to Chinese Cities Qingdao and Shenyang by Scoot

Scoot, Singapore based mid to long-haul low cost carrier, has launched the first and only low-cost flights between Singapore and Chinese Cities Qingdao and Shenyang. Qingdao is Scoot's eight and Shenyang is the ninth destination.

“With Chinese New Year just around the corner, it’s a great time for Scoot to be launching the first non-stop flights between Singapore and Qingdao, and the first same-plane, wide-body service to Shenyang. Scoot’s super value airfares, empowerment to choose the frills you want and onboard Scootitude make Qingdao or Shenyang unbeatable locations to usher in the Year of the Water Snake”, said Campbell Wilson, CEO of Scoot.

Reiterating the reasons for choosing these cities, Campbell stated, “Qingdao and Shenyang are very exciting additions to Scoot’s fast-growing network. Qingdao, a coastal city of nearly 9m world famous for its great beer, is regularly judged China’s most liveable city. Its mix of historic German and modern architecture, seafood and proximity to Lao Shan, the mountain considered one of the birthplaces of Buddhism, offers something for all. Shenyang, at 13m the largest city in Northeast China, is the spiritual home of the Qing Dynasty and, in addition to being an important shopping and business destination, is a strategic gateway to North East China.”

The thrice-weekly service operates on a Singapore–Qingdao–Shenyang–Qingdao– Singapore routing at the following timings:

Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 Depart 1.30am
Qingdao International Airport Arrive 7.30am / Depart 8.30am
Shenyang Taoxian International Airport Arrive 10.15am
Shenyang Taoxian International Airport Depart 11.20am
Qingdao International Airport Arrive 12.50pm / Depart 1.50pm
Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 Arrive 8.00pm

Scoot operates medium and long haul no-frills flights between Singapore and Sydney, Gold Coast, Bangkok, Tianjin, Taipei and Tokyo, Shenyang and Qingdao by a fleet of Boeing 777-200 aircraft.

Friday, January 11, 2013

New Singapore Property Cooling Measures announced

Singapore Government has announced 7th round of property cooling measures with a joint press release issued by the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of National Development, Monetary Authority of Singapore and Ministry of Trade & Industry. These new property cooling measure will take effect on 12 January 2013:

Additional Measures To Ensure a Stable and Sustainable property market[1]

The Government announced today a comprehensive package of measures to cool the residential property market. It also introduced a Seller’s Stamp Duty on industrial properties for the first time, to discourage speculative activity in the industrial market.

Cooling Measures for the Residential Property Market

The Government has implemented several rounds  of  measures to cool demand and expand supply, so as to moderate the increase in housing prices. While these measures have dampened speculative buying, the  demand for residential property remains firm and prices have continued to rise.

The continued buoyancy of the property market reflects the very low interest rate environment and continued income growth in Singapore. These factors supported a record level of housing transactions last year, particularly from investment demand. Housing prices have also shown signs of re-accelerating in recent months, in both the private residential and HDB resale flat markets. Price increases, if not checked, will run further ahead of economic fundamentals and raise the risk of a major, destabilising correction later on.

The Government has  therefore decided to implement a further set of measures to cool the private and public housing markets.  These measures are calibrated to be tighter on property ownership for investment, as well as on  foreign buyers. To discourage over-borrowing, financing conditions for housing have also been tightened. In addition, structural measures have been implemented to strengthen the policy intent of public housing and executive condominiums.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam said: “The reality we face is that interest rates are extraordinarily low, globally and in Singapore, and continue to add fuel to our property market. We have to take this further round of measures now, to check recent market trends and avoid a more serious correction in prices further down the road.”

Minister for National Development Mr Khaw Boon Wan said: “A large supply of public and private housing – up to 200,000 units in total – will be completed in the coming years. Coupled with the new measures, we will be better placed to ensure that housing remains affordable to Singaporeans.”

Measures Applicable to all Residential Property

The following measures will take effect on 12 January 2013:

a) Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) rates will be: i) Raised between five and seven percentage points across the board. ii) Imposed on Permanent Residents (PRs) purchasing their  first residential property and on Singaporeans purchasing their  second residential property.

b) Loan-to-Value limits on housing loans granted by financial institutions will be tightened for individuals who already have at least one outstanding loan, as well as to non-individuals such as companies.

c) Besides tighter Loan-to-Value limits, the minimum cash down payment for individuals applying for a second or subsequent housing loan will also be raised from 10% to 25%.

The measures listed above will not impact most Singaporeans buying their first home. Some concessions will also be extended to selected groups of buyers, such as married couples with at least one Singaporean spouse who are purchasing their second property and will sell their first residential property.

These  new ABSDs and loan rules are significant, but  they are  temporary. They are being imposed to cool the market now, and will be reviewed in future depending on market conditions.

The details of the ABSD measure are set out in Annex I, and the housing loan measures, in Annex II.

Measures Specific to Public Housing

The Government  is  also  introducing measures to  further  moderate the demand for HDB flats, instil greater financial prudence among buyers, and require  owner occupation  by PR buyers. The following measures will take effect on 12 January 2013:

a) Tighter eligibility for loans to buy HDB flats: i) MAS will cap the Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR) for housing loans granted by  financial institutions at 30% of a borrower’s gross monthly income. ii) For loans granted by HDB, the cap on the MSR will be lowered from 40% to 35%.

b) PRs who own a HDB flat will be disallowed from subletting their whole flat.

c) PRs who own  a HDB flat  must sell their flat  within  six months  of purchasing a private residential property in Singapore.

Details of these measures are in Annex III.

An additional measure will take effect on 1 July 2013 to tighten the terms for granting HDB loans and the use of CPF funds for the purchase of HDB flats with remaining leases of less than 60 years  (details of this measure are in Annex IV).

Measures for Executive Condominium Developments
The Government will introduce measures specific to new EC developments to ensure that ECs continue to serve as an affordable housing option for middle income Singaporean families.

The following measures will take effect on 12 January 2013:
a) The maximum strata floor area of new EC units will  be capped at 160 square metres.

b) Sales of new dual-key EC units will be restricted to  multi-generational families only.

c) Developers of  future  EC  sale  sites from  the  Government Land Sales programme will only be allowed to launch units for sale 15 months from the date of award of the sites or after the physical completion of
foundation works, whichever is earlier.

d) Private enclosed spaces and private roof terraces will be treated as gross floor area (GFA). The GFA of such spaces  in non-landed residential developments, including ECs, will be counted as part of the ‘bonus’ GFA of a residential development and subject to payment of charges. This is in line with the treatment of balconies under URA’s current guidelines. Details of this measure are at

Cooling Measure for the Industrial Property Market: Seller’s Stamp Duty

Prices of industrial properties have doubled over the last three years, outpacing the increase in rentals.  In addition, there has been increasing  speculation  in industrial properties:  in 2011 and the first  eleven months of 2012,  about  15% and 18% respectively of all transactions of multiple-user factory space were resale transactions carried out within three years of purchase. This is significantly higher than the average of  about 10% from 2006 to 2010.

The Government is introducing Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD) on industrial property to discourage short-term speculative activity which could distort  the underlying prices of industrial properties and raise costs for businesses.

The following SSD rates will be imposed on industrial properties and land bought and sold within three years of the date of purchase:

a) SSD at 15% if the property is sold  in the first year of purchase, i.e. the property is held for one year or less from the date of purchase.

b) SSD at 10% if the property is sold in the second year of purchase, i.e. the property is held for more than one year and up to two years from the date of purchase.

c) SSD at 5% if the property is sold in the  third year of purchase, i.e. the property is held for more than two years and up to three years from the date of purchase.

These SSDs will apply for industrial properties and land bought on or after 12 January 2013.

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) will be releasing an E-tax guide on the circumstances under which SSD is applicable and the procedures for paying SSD. The E-tax guide will be available at

[1] - Additional Measures To Ensure a Stable and Sustainable property market