Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Niche Profit Classroom review

I have registered to Niche Profit Classroom (NPC) a couple of months ago after a friend of mine recommended it to me. I am usually in favor of making authority sites like Asia Singapore but exploring other online money making opportunities like niche web site creation was on my to-do list so I gave it a try. Niche Profit Classroom is very easy to try, they offer $1 trial for one month to explore what it offers. There are no obligations and hidden cost with this membership and you can cancel it anytime (although I have not experience cancellation process because I was quite happy with the material and went for full membership). They pay you back your money if you cancel your trial without any questions asked. So if you think it is not for you, you can simply discontinue which makes NPC highly worthwhile to try on your own.

First, let me explain what is NPC? Niche Profit Classroom (NPC) is one of the most popular internet marketing educational sites which is membership-only program and is run by Adam Short. NPC provides detailed video training classrooms on different ways to make money online through internet marketing as well as methods and tools to help the members to make money as fast as possible.

NPC does not deviate from the simple proven formula of making money online through niche online marketing. Steps are same:

  • Select profitable niche topics.
  • Create rich, search engine friendly and informative web sites around these topics.
  • Use Search Engine Optimization  to create organic traffic to this web sites
  • Use affiliate marketing (physical or digital) and/or CPC advertisements to generate income from these sites.

The difference is the "methods" NPC provides to execute each step right. There are many ways to do each of these steps "wrong" and waste a lot of time and money, and there are a "few" steps to execute them right. Although on job training is a valuable experience, you should not try to invent the wheel again but instead go for proven methods. Buying a book on the topic and following it is a way to go. But NPC provides much more.

NPC comes with step-by-step video training on how to create a profitable website from scratch and exclusive software and tools, including the Market Profiler, Niche Profit Press Website Builder, MoneyWord Matrix Keyword Tool, 15-Minute Sales Letter Wizard, and 15-Minute Newsletter Wizard, and the Niche Profit Control Panel.

Step-by-step video training is quite comprehensive and detailed and well suits for a complete newbie as well as moderately experienced people in internet marketing. And the software tools are simply addictive. When you start to use them, you will feel surprised how you have survived before (if you have survived) without them.

Although NPC is more on niche web site creation, the material significantly benefits those who create larger online marketing contents like blogs or authority sites. And what was addictive most about the site is the group of software tools which reduced my manual online search tasks significantly (main reason I have stayed as a member).

Take Keyword Analyzer. You can do what this tool offers completely manually using free services like Google Keywords Tool in combination of search but it will take hours to get some valuable results for each keyword. Keyword Analyzer on the other hand automates almost entire process.

What I liked most about NPC is quantifying each selection process (which topics, which keywords, which domain names, etc ...) in a way that you simply end up with almost like a mathematical formula to qualify and disqualify niche web site ideas. And these formulas are embedded into software suites like keyword Analyzer and Market Profiler so you save a lot of time.

NPC membership looks expensive at a glance. But if you apply what they teach to action, it will be a fraction of what you can earn online so ROI is still very high. What I like about the NPC courses are although in the marketing videos Adam Short sounds a little like one of those get-rick-quick gurus, the material he provides is "no-nonsense" and hard working guy type of stuff. The message is simple: If you execute these steps with a disciplined work, you will make money.

One more thing: Although I have not tried it yet, they are offering several valuable resources like Niche Packs, which are ready-made niche businesses. They also have a pro membership where NPC provides all resources (even writers) you can outsource all your online business creation job.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Flights to Adelaide from Kuala Lumpur by Air Asia X

Are you looking for budget flights to Adelaide (South Australia)? Then the good news is that one is starting from Kuala Lumpur this year. On 30th October 2013, Malaysia based long-haul budget airline Air Asia X will start flights to Adelaide from Kuala Lumpur which will be operated by Airbus A330-300 aircraft with a seating capacity of 377. With the launch, Adelaide will be Air Asia X's 5th destination in Australia after Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia and the fifth largest city in Australia. With a population of 1.23 million, Adelaide is the financial and government center of South Australia and houses many financial and public institutions.

“We are thrilled to announce that AirAsia X is finally jetting into Adelaide, which means now every Adelaidian can fly to South East Asia and beyond and vice versa,” said AirAsia X CEO, Azran Osman-Rani. “Australia is one of our core markets where AirAsia X will see its wings expand and the Adelaide route has been a priority. Our goal since launching our first Australian service on the Gold Coast in 2007 was to operate in the five major states, and we are proud to have accomplished this within six years ... We are very excited to finally touch down in South Australia and bring some much needed competition to the skies.”

AirAsia X will increase its flight frequencies to daily services during peak periods between December and February from Kuala Lumpur. AirAsia X is the medium and long-haul operation of the brand AirAsia, which is Asia's largest low-cost carrier.

Flights to Adelaide from Kuala Lumpur by Air Asia X
An Air Asia X Airbus A330-300 like the one seen here in Melbourne Airport will serve
Kuala Lumpur - Adelaide route.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Qatar Airways flights to Perth

Situated beside the Swan River, Perth is Australia's only capital city where you can enjoy the beach lifestyle, relax in natural bushland, sample world-class local wines and watch an ocean sunset within just 30 minutes of the city. Perth is also the sunniest state capital, averaging 3,000 hours of sunshine per year and boasting a string of 19 beautifully clean and uncrowned beaches, from iconic Cottesloe to the surf hotspot of Scarborough.

It has been more than a year since Qatar Airways has launched scheduled flights to Perth., the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia. Flights between Doha and Perth were 3 times a week that time but later the flight frequency has increased to 7 times a week.

Perth is the fourth most populous city in Australia, with an estimated population of 1.9 million living in Greater Perth. Laid-back, quiet and safe like many uncrowned beaches along its coastline, Perth is Qatar Airways’ second gateway in Australia after Melbourne. The airline started Melbourne route in early 2009.

Qatar Airways flights from Doha to Perth, QR 900, departs at 01:50 from Doha 7X weekly and arrives to Perth at 17:55.  Flights from Perth to Doha, QR 901, departs at 23:00 same day and arrives to Doha at 05:20 next day. Flights are operated by airline’s flagship long-haul Boeing 777 aircraft.

Tourism is the major economic driver in Western Australia and Qatar Airways arrived at a time when tourists and business travellers are looking for greater travel options. With these services, people of Perth and Western Australia now have great travel options to more than 100 destinations worldwide, including Venice, Istanbul, Kigali, Nairobi, New York, London, Paris, Johannesburg, Zagreb, Athens, Sao Paulo and many, many more.

Qatar Airways flights to Perth
The Perth skyline, viewed from Kings Park
Qatar Airways flights from Doha to Perth takes 11 hours 05 minutes covering 9,281 km.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Jetstar flights departing from Singapore Changi Airport

Singapore based low cost carrier Jetstar Asia, together with Jetstar and Valueair, operates more than 500 flights per week throughout Asia. Jetstar Asia(including JetStar Airways , ValuAir) flies from Singapore to 25 cities in 13 countries throughout Asia. Jetstar Asia operates services to regional destinations in Southeast Asia to countries such as Burma, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. It also flies to regional routes in East Asia such as Japan, Taiwan and China including special regions like Hong Kong and Macau.

Jetstar Asia and Valuair have formed a code share partnership with parent Qantas, effectively making them the regional feeder lines for the Australian carrier, similar to the role SilkAir plays for Singapore Airlines.

Jetstar Asia departs from Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 (T1) to many destinations. Here is the list of these destinations and frequency of budget flights offered by Jetstar Asia

(One tip: If you are planning to fly to Kuala Lumpur from Singapore with a budget airline, Jetstar Asia can be a good option since it lands to main KLIA terminal instead of low cost terminal which is quite far from KL Express Train):

From Singapore to Bangkok - 4X Daily Direct
From Singapore to Guangzhou - 4X Weekly Direct
From Singapore to Haikou - 4X Weekly Direct
From Singapore to Hangzhou - 4X Weekly Direct
From Singapore to Ho Chi Minh City - 3X Daily Direct
From Singapore to Hong Kong - 2X Daily Direct
From Singapore to Kuala Lumpur - 7X Daily Direct
From Singapore to Manila - 2X Daily Direct
From Singapore to Osaka - Daily Through Manila or Taipei
From Singapore to Penang - Daily Direct
From Singapore to Perth - 2X Daily Direct
From Singapore to Phnom Penh - 3X Weekly Direct
From Singapore to Siem Reap - 3X Weekly Direct
From Singapore to Phuket - 2X Daily Direct
From Singapore to Shantou - 3X Weekly Direct

Valueair (which has merged with Jetstar Asia in 2005) also operates 5X Weekly flights from Singapore to Bali and 3X Daily flights to Jakarta.

Jetstar Asia flights departing from Singapore Changi Airport

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

3D2N Weekend Cruise Onboard Superstar Virgo

Looking for a weekend getaway from Singapore without the hassle of flights and hotel bookings? Staycation is not your only option. You can take Star Cruises' Superstar Virgo cruise ship from Singapore to depart and come back to Singapore again. This very large floating resort offers everything you would want from a 5-Star hotel and endless fun, entertainment and activities.

Better is a deal on this fantastic cruise ship with 37% discount. There is currently a cruise deal from Singapore on these weekend cruises from Singapore. 3 Price Options Available:

  • Twin-sharing (BC Cabin – Deck 9, Ocean-view Stateroom with Balcony) - Only $695 per pax instead of $1120 (Min 2 Pax)
  • Triple-sharing (BC Cabin – Deck 9, Ocean-view Stateroom with Balcony) - Only $568 per pax instead of $920 (Min 3 Pax)
  • Quad-sharing (BC Cabin – Deck 9, Ocean-view Stateroom with Balcony) - Only $500 per pax instead of $820 (Min 4 Pax)

The cruise package includes luxurious accommodation, up to 6 meals daily at selected F&B restaurants, world-class entertainment and pampering experience.

Weekend Cruise will be on 13 December 2013. The itinerary is:
Fri – Depart from Singapore at 2000hrs (boarding start at 1530hrs onwards)
Sat – High Seas
Sun – Arrive in Singapore at 1100hrs

Weekend cruise deal from Singapore

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cruises to Brunei with SuperStar Aquarius starting November 2013

Asia Pacific's leading cruise line Star Cruises will take visitors on a voyage of discovery to Brunei’s Bandar Seri Begawan, a land of majestic opulence and traditional respect. SuperStar Aquarius will be commencing her seasonal homeport deployment from Kota Kinabalu, the city capital of Sabah, Malaysia, for the first time from 6 November 2013 to 30 March 2014.

The 51,309-tonne cruise liner will sail to Seri Begawan and Sarawak’s Bintulu every Sunday. You may also immerse in another dimension of cruise fun and entertainment on SuperStar Aquarius’ 1-night high sea experience from Wednesday to Saturday.

Brunei, a Muslim country well known for its vast wealth, is also known as the “Abode of Peace”. It is a refreshing tourist destination offering a rich diversity of natural and centuries-old majestic heritage and an exciting contemporary side. Visitors on 4D3N cruises to Bandar Seri Begawan and Bintulu will get to choose from a variety of exclusive shore excursions and explore local attractions in these exotic domains.

A Look into the Royal Life
Brunei-Muara is the district housing Brunei’s capital, Bandar Seri Begawan. One can admire the magnificent Islamic fused modern architecture—Jame Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque, where gold-topped domes tower over artfully landscaped gardens and fountains. The mosque was built to commemorate the 25th anniversary of His Majesty’s reign and to capture the wide angle view of the biggest residential palace in the world—Istana Nurul Iman Royal Palace—from Damuan Park. The 1,788-room lavish residence is the home of the nation’s revered monarch, His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei.

Visitors can get a glimpse into the life of the Sultan of Brunei when they tour the Royal Regalia Museum. The galleries display sultanate artefacts which serve as a glorious symbol of the unique Bruneian Monarchy. Take a close look at the Royal Chariot, which was established in 1992 to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of His
Majesty’s accession to the throne.

World’s Largest Water Village
Join River Cruise and board on an open deck local wooden boat to sail along the Brunei River and experience the contrasting sceneries of the modern, rapidly developing capital city of Brunei versus the nostalgic serenity of the largest Water Village in the world.

Another choice is to take a short water taxi ride to visit the Water Village where centuries-old web of houses, markets and mosques, along with schools, clinics, police and fire stations are built on stilts in the Brunei River. You can get an insight into the water village life while enjoying local cakes and tea during the trip.

SuperStar Aquarius
Walk on the Wild Side
Get into the exotic wilderness Brunei has to offer at Mangrove Safari where visitors can meet wild animals up-close. Keep an eye out for mudskippers, small red kingfishers, white egrets and night herons as well as rare endangered primate species—the proboscis monkeys—which can only be found on the island of Borneo and Sumatera of Indonesia.

The Royal Experience
One does not normally relate polo to Asia, nor to a tropical climate, but surprises run deep in Brunei! His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei is an enthusiastic and accomplished polo player, known for his precise skills on the field. Running a country allows His Majesty little time to play, but it is not uncommon for foreign
dignitaries or other members of the Royal Family to join him on one of the three magnificent fields found in Polo Grounds and the Polo Club. The extensive number of stables accommodating a superb collection of horses would be make any horse enthusiast envy. It is also a perfect opportunity for connoisseurs to sample authentic Bruneian delicacies prepared by a team of internationally acclaimed chefs.

SuperStar Aquarius, currently homeported in Keelung, Taiwan, will embark on a special 8D7N cruise, departing from Kaohsiung on 29 October 2013 with stops at Hong Kong, Manila, Boracay and arriving in Kota Kinabalu on 6 November 2013.

Source : Embark on an exploration journey to Brunei with SuperStar Aquarius starting November 2013

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Costa Victoria Cruise Year End Package

Costa Victoria cruise ship is ending 2013 with a fantastic 4D3N Malacca / Penang cruise deal which will immerse you in a relaxing and luxurious cruise with your family this year-end holiday. Designed to reflect the spirit of Italy, Costa Victoria features panoramic Concorde Plaza, an indoor pool, the ultramodern Pompei Spa, and the seven deck Planetarium Atrium.

For cruise dates of 4, 11 and 18 December 2013 and minimum 2 passengers, this Costa Victoria cruise deal comes in 3 price options:
  • Quad Cabin (2 Adult + 2 Children under 18 Years Old) Stay – Only $231 per persons instead of $649 (Min 4 people)
  • Balcony Classic + Inside Classic Cabin (2 persons  er cabin) Stay – Only $344 per persons instead of $649 (Min 4 people)
  • Twin Sharing Stay – Only $347 per persons instead of $649 (Min 2 people)

Children below 4 years old travel for free.

The cruise package includes inside classic cabin & balcony classic cabin (for option 2), all meals throughout the day (breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and supper), Gala nights, on-board entertainment shows and activities and Children’s Squok Club. Spa treatments, saloon services, and items are not included in this cruise fare.

For the details of this cruise deal and fine print visit this cruise deal page

Crystal Cruises 2104 : More cruises in Asia

Japanese luxury cruise line Crystal Cruises will offer more Asian Cruises in 2014. According to the cruise line, cruise offerings in China, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei in 2014 will be expanded to 34 cruises compared to four cruises in 2012. These cruises in Asia willbe ranging from 5 to 29 dayson two ships Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. In 2014, Crystal also will offer its first ever cruises from Bangkok to Bangkok and 2 week round trip cruises from Singapore. There will be four cruises beginning or ending in Bali, two more than in 2013.

Crystal Cruises's new destinations for the 2014 season are Malacca in Malaysia and Lombok, Makassar / Ujung Pandang and Surabaya in Indonesia. The expanded cruise programme also features less-visited ports of call, including Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei, Jakarta and Komodo Island in Indonesia, Yangon in Myanmar, Samui Island in Thailand, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, and Okinawa and Tokyo in Japan. A new cruise - round-trip Bangkok - will celebrate New Year’s Eve with a light show in Hong Kong.

In the 2014 cruise season, Crystal will also offer shorter cruises at 5 days and starting from US$1,520 per person. There will also be more overnight stays and port time, with every 2014 Crystal Asia voyage featuring at least two overnight stays - many of these in destinations like Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh, Yangon and Shanghai.

All-inclusive, Book Now fares for Crystal’s 2014 Asia voyages begin at US$1,520 per person if booked by 30 August 2013. Bookings up to this date can also enjoy new 2-for-1 airfare add-ons with select Crystal Symphony voyages.

Crystal Cruises 2104 : More cruises in Asia
Crystal Cruises Crystal Serenity
Crystal Cruises is notable for its two medium-sized, high-end ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, which each hold about 1,000 guests. The Crystal Symphony is the smaller of the two, holding 940 passengers. The Crystal Serenity can hold 1,050 passengers and about 650 crew.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Cheap Business Class and First Class Deals to Singapore

Fly First, a leading luxury travel specialist, has announced cheap business class and first class deals to Singapore with significantly reduced prices. These new air fare deals apply to luxurious first class flights and spacious business class tickets to Singapore, subject to availability. The discounted fares offer savings as high as 45 percent and are valid on flights booked by August 26, 2013, for travel anytime.

The savings are obviously the most for first class tickets to Singapore. First class deals start from $4,580 which translates into $8,000 savings on most publisher first class air fares to Singapore. For example a regular first class fares to New York City and San Francisco range from $12,800 to $13,100.

Business class deals to Singapore are also eye-catching. FlyFirst offers fares as low as $3,480, pending availability. A regular business class flight from New York City to Singapore is $6,980, so the FlyFirst fare saves travelers more than $3,000. Business class travel regularly includes access to well-appointed airport lounges, expedited boarding queues, on-board personal entertainment systems, high-end cuisine and spacious seats designed to accommodate working and resting.

FlyFirst's new, reduced fares are available on a variety of top airlines, including the highly acclaimed Singapore Airlines. Consistently ranked in the top three best airlines in the world, Singapore Airlines offers a variety of upscale amenities. Its new first class cabins showcase extra-wide seats that convert to the largest beds available, a fresh and extensive gourmet menu and the sky's widest personal LCD screens for on-demand entertainment.

FlyFirst offers cheap business class and first class deals to Singapore on airlines like
Singapore Airlines.
"We are thrilled to offer these new discounts on premium travel to Singapore," says Julia Graft, FlyFirst PR manager. "An increasing number of people are traveling to the country for business and pleasure, and these new FlyFirst fares make it affordable for travelers to make the 19-hour flight to Singapore in the luxurious comfort of first and business class."

Opportunities abound for those who travel to Singapore and the Malay Peninsula. One of the original Four Asian Tigers, Singapore boasts the fourth largest financial center in the world, a vibrant shipping industry, more than 7,000 international corporations and the fifth busiest shipping port in the world. As a result, business and corporate travel to the island nation is at an all-time high.

Singapore also attracts millions of pleasure travelers to its city-state each year, enticed by its dynamic casino resorts, plentiful shopping and robust medical tourism industry. "Our new business and first class fares to Singapore are especially appealing to pleasure travelers who might ordinarily travel in more-crowded coach class," Graft says. "The deeply discounted fares open luxury travel to an entirely new group of travelers, even families with children who would benefit from the extra space and services."

For more information about FlyFirst's discounted fares to Singapore and other international destinations, contact FlyFirst by telephone at (888)347-7817 or online at http://www.FlyFirst.com.

Johnnie Walker Bruce Lee Advertisement

It has been 40 years since legendary Chinese American martial artist and filmmaker Bruce Lee took Equagesic (a painkiller) and went to take his eternal sleep. Expert said he has died from an allergic reaction to the muscle relaxant (meprobamate) in Equagesic, some said he had a delayed reaction to a Dim Mak strike he received several weeks prior to his collapse. Whatever the reason, as Linda Lee's voice over in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story says, it is better to discuss the Dragons's life instead of his death.

And The Dragon (Lee was born in both the hour and the year of the Dragon) still lives on. So it would not be suprising to see "him" looking over Hong Kong's impressive 21st century skyline in a recent advertisement. But still it gave my spine chills to watch Bruce Lee in the new advertisement for Johnnie Walker.

Watch Johnnie Walker Bruce Lee Advertisement for yourself below. If you do not (somehow) know Lee you would probably not realize that the "actor" is in fact an impressive 3D CGI work. The video is a promotional work created with the sponsorship of Johnnie Walker for its Blue Label product. The CGI work is done by visual FX company The Mill in 9 months. Details are impressive. To catch the life like charm and soul of Bruce Lee, the director has consulted Bruce Lee's daughter Shannon Lee.

I think Shannon Lee forgot to tell these guys that Bruce Lee has never drank alcohol during his 32 years of life. For this reason, the video got some criticism on using The Dragon in a whiskey advertisement but the director Joseph Kahn explains:

"This spot isn't about drinking, nor does Bruce Lee ever pitch, hold, talk about it. It's a short inspirational film sponsored by Johnnie Walker. Those making comparisons of "water" to "alcohol" are literalists & wrong. Last thing alcohol wants to be is water. It's a metaphor for life. It's his metaphor in his actual words. I spent a year living and breathing this man, thinking about him every day. For me, it's not an ad. It's an exploration & celebration of him. This is a sculpture in a different medium, paid for by a different church. I stand behind it."

This is a very well crafted sculpture.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

No more cheap Monster Products from Amazon in Singapore?

If you are eyeing to buy those Monster Products like Monster Diesel VEKTR and Monster iSport Victory much cheaper than their Singapore retail prices, hurry up.Monster's managing director for the Asia Pacific, Mr. Robert Fong, told Singapore's Digital Life that "the contract between Monster and Amazon is supposed to be for the US market only. We are going to stop Amazon, that is the only way."

Amazon offers much lower prices compared to Singapore retail prices and the online retail giant has just added Singapore alongside India to global locations where it ships products for free. Since Amazon free shipment to Singapore was announced, consumers in Singapore have been flocking to Amazon.com to buy electronics.

Monster Products for example are much cheaper on Amazon compared to Singapore prices. On Amazon, Monster Diesel VEKTR On-Ear Headphones with ControlTalk is priced ad US$229.95 (S$290). But after Amazon's deep discount, price goes down to US$199.99. Same headphones in Singapore cost $500 from retailers. Another example is Monster iSport Victory In-Ear Headphones: It is US$149.95 on Amazon but sold for a price of $309 in Singapore stores.

Monster Diesel VEKTR On-Ear Headphones with ControlTalk
Monster Diesel VEKTR On-Ear Headphones with ControlTalk
Monster's headphones are famous for their stronger bass levels.

Bangkok Holiday - From Singapore to Bangkok

I have traveled to Bangkok from Singapore last weekend. This was my first time in Bangkok since 2010. I have a friend staying there in a hotel (he is there for business) so I have had a chance to stay free for 4 nights (I arrived to Bangkok on Thursday and left on Monday).

As usual, I took a budget flight from Singapore to Bangkok. I booked a Jetstar Asia plane with no check-in luggage on flight to Bangkok and no seat selection and insurance (I usually buy it separately). The ticket price for return flight from Singapore to Bangkok was 211 USD, which is not bad at all. And this was for a booking done just 4 days prior to flight.

Of course Jetstar Asia is not the only cheap flight option between Singapore and Bangkok. Scoot Airlines (flies with large body Boeing 777), Tigerair and AirAsia also operates budget flights between these two cities. I usually fly with Jetstar so I again chose them.

Flight from Singapore to Bangkok takes 2 hours to 2 1/2 hours depending on air traffic. It was a smooth ride. Jetstar Airbus A320 seats are quite narrow (you can buy a wider one for 20 SGD extra) but still enough to watch movie on my way from my laptop. I even had chance to write some posts.

I suggest you to take a flight going to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport instead of Dong Muang Airport. The reason is the fantastic Airport Rail Link which I will review here briefly.

How to go to Bangkok city center from Suvarnabhumi Airport?
You can go to Bangkok city center from airport by taxi, bus and airport shuttle. But all these have one problem in common: terrible Bangkok traffic! As the new government implemented a subsidiary to help first time car owners to buy a car, they say 1 million new vehicles have hit the roads in recent years and made the traffic situation worse.

But now there is a very good (and the best indeed) alternative to go to Bangkok city from Suvarnabhumi Airport: Airport Rail Link. This new system goes to both BTS Skytrain and MRT. There are 2 types of trains. Express directly goes to Makkassan (for MRT) and Phaya Thai (BTS Skytrain). It comes in every 30 minutes and if you have luggages it has enough space for them. It costs 90 bahts from airport to Skytrain line by Express.

City Link trains (second option) stops in every station from airport to Phaya Thai. It is cheaper (45 bahts) but slower and does not have enough space for big luggage.

I took City Link from airport to Phaya Thai. From Phaya Thai to airport I took Express. Express cars are like intercity train cars (large space for you and your luggage) and City Link cars are like metro cars.

Below is the current rail systems in Bangkok. The pink one is Airport Rail Link, the greens are BTS Skytrain lines and the blue one is MRT.

Bangkok Mass Transit Map
Bangkok Public Rail Systems
Source -top-travel-bangkok.com

I stayed in ALoft Hotel Bangkok which is walking distance away from BTS Skytrain Nana station. So for me the route was:
  • City Link (45 baht) to Phaya Thai. 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Here I walked to Skytrain Sukhumvit line and took a car in Bearing direction (30 baht).
  • Left at Nana and exit station from Exit 3.
  • Took Soi 11 and arrived at ALoft Hotel in 10 minutes
If you are planning to travel to Bangkok from Singapore for holiday, do not forget to check our Bangkok from Singapore package deals entry for some great packages.

For the Spanish version of this article visit Vacaciones en Bangkok – De Singapur a Bangkok.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Hot Korean gymnast Shin Soo-ji's incredible acrobatic first pitch

After Girls Generation's Tiffany's terrible first pitch, South Korea seems more careful to choose the young ladies performing the ceremonial throw.

Korean rhythmic gymnast Shin Soo-ji (신수지) gained global fame for the gymnastic-style ceremonial first pitch she threw at a baseball match between the Doosan Bears and Samsung Lions at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul, which went viral on YouTube.

The acrobatic first pitch at the Korean professional baseball game made it onto MLB Network's International Talk show on Monday, much to the surprise of U.S. viewers. Shin Soo-ji's incredible acrobatic move as well as her perfect figure displayed in tight yoga pants stunned viewers in the stadium and than around the globe.

Born in 1991, Shin Soo-ji became a gymnast and a member of the 2008 Korean Olympic squad. After retiring from competitive gymnastics, Shin worked as a commentator at the 2012 London Olympic games. Shin has also appeared on a number of Korean television shows and she has been romantically linked to Korean comedian Heo Kyung Hwan.

In the below video, you can watch Shin Soo-ji's famous first pitch.

First Ever Barbie Live! Musical makes Worldwide Premiere at Marina Bay Sands

Barbie Live! the musical comes to the Mastercard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore for one week only! This brand new multimillion dollar production featuring a cast of 19 wonderfully talented dancers and singers will bring Barbie and her friends alive on stage. Featuring amazing sets that will transport audiences into Barbie’s Magical World!

The stage is about to get a makeover! See Barbie live on stage in this all-new musical production filled with contemporary and energetic song and dance. Set on a Hollywood sound-stage, Barbie™ is shooting her latest film with her best friend and costar Teresa™. When Teresa™ doubts herself, Barbie™ uses the lessons learned from her Princess movies - - Swan Lake, Princess and the Popstar, and Mariposa - - to teach her best friend to be brave, believe in herself, and embrace the power of true friendship. Join Barbie™, Ken™ and their friends as they ‘get their sparkle on’ in this dance-inspired musical that is sure to engage fans of all ages.

The musical will premiere its worldwide tour here in Singapore and then travel throughout Asia, Australia, Europe and the United States.

The shows between 10 - 14 September 2013 have ticket prices ranging from $35 for D Reserve seats to $125 for VIP tickets.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Aloft Bangkok Sukhumvit 11 Hotel Review

For Spanish version of this article visit Opiniones sobre el hotel Aloft Bangkok Sukhumvit 11 de Bangkok.

I have travelled to Bangkok this weekend and this time I have stayed in Aloft Bangkok Sukhumvit 11 Hotel. I always prefer Sukhumvit hotels because BTS Sukhumvit Line virtually makes everywhere accessible without a taxi ride. Since the new Airport Rail Link from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport to Bangkok city center is opened, you even do not need to take a taxi and start your trip with awful Bangkok traffic.

Airport Rail Link goes from airport to  BTS Skytrain. All the trip from airport to the door of the Aloft Bangkok hotel took around 45 - 50 minutes. But if you have one or two heavy luggage to carry, I should warn: Skytrain Stations do not have escalators in the down directions.

I took City Line train on Airport Rail Link from Bangkok Airport to BTS Phaya Thai Station. There is also an Express one which comes every half an hour so. Express train is not significantly faster but City Link stops in every station while Express directly goes to Phaya Thai (BTS Skytrain).

After BTS Phaya Station I took train to BTS Nana Station. Taking Exit 3 and going into Sukhumvit Soi 11 plus a 5 minute walk will take you to Aloft Bangkok Sukhumvit 11 Otel.

Soi 11 is a nice place with plenty of restaurants and nightlife dotted with some famous clubs and bars. There are many hotels on this road so is quite popular but relatively expensive to dine.

Aloft Bangkok Sukhumvit 11 Otel

I have stayed on 32nd floor. Hotel rooms are very clean, comfortable, convenient and very luxurious compared to the price range. There is a clean toilet, shower (there was no bath tube in mine) and the bed was great. There is an LCD TV and they provide HDMI connection so if you have an HDMI enabled laptop or device you can use LCD to watch movies or shows. The hotel is quite popular for both leisure and business travelers.

The hotel room was priced at 90 USD per night (you can check some latest price deals and last minute discounts on this hotel here). Before I used to stay at Four Wings Hotel which is quite good. It was 60 USD per night but Aloft Bangkok Four Wings Hotel is better located, nicer and newer.

Aloft Hotel breakfast is OK and they offer a bar and a restaurant with decent prices comparable to surrounding restaurants. Laundry kind of extras are quite expensive so check prices before you use any extra. A friend of mine stayed here and he told me that the full laundry he gets (have some work jackets and trousers inside) took around 150 Singapore Dollars each time!

The pool is quite OK and it has a nice gym next to pool. The pool area  on the 10th floor is also a very nice place to hang out.

For another nice hotel which is reviewed by a friend of mine look at this blog post : Two Nights at Hotel Mermaid Bangkok. For places to stay in Bangkok, you can check our where to stay in Bangkok post.

Aloft Bangkok Sukhumvit 11 Hotel is a 4-star hotel on 35 Sukhumvit Soi 11, Klongtoey-nua, Wattana, Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand.

Air Swimmers RC Flying Shark and Clownfish

I have seen this remote control flying shark and clownfish in Bangkok on a road side stall in Sukhumvit. These amazing fish are not for outdoor use but provide hours of remote control indoor fun in even the smallest of rooms. They require only four AAA batteries (one in the body, three in the controller) and have complete up, down and 360 degree turning control. Air Swimmer Remote Control Inflatable Flying Shark is remote infra-red controlled and will respond to your inputs moving up and down most importantly left to right with fish like tail movement.

The helium filled fish body is made from durable nylon and with appropriate use will stay inflated for weeks depending on altitude. The fish are from William Mark Corporation which was formed when Mark Forti, then a junior at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, invented the X-zylo™ for a marketing project. The product's performance amazed everyone who saw it. After stumping his physics professor as to why the object flew, Mark took it to his father, William, who worked in the aerospace industry. When William's aerodynamicist friends could not explain how it flew so far, William and Mark filed for patents and formed the William Mark Corporation.

This toy does not work outside, because there are too many air currents, and the slightest breeze will send this large balloon flying out of control. It does not work in small apartments or small rooms, because it is too darn big. You need a decent sized house, or an auditorium, church or basketball court to use this. Our house has normal 8-foot ceilings, and a big family room-kitchen area, which works great. Make sure there are no fans running. And it's a bit too delicate for little kids!

Any store that sells helium balloons can fill this for you. It stays inflated for a long time, then the store can top it off. I bought a tank of helium for this, and my guess is I have a lot of refills remaining. It hasn't deflated appreciably since we got it. The good news is, you use putty (included) to adjust for the amount of helium remaining (neutral buoyancy), so you won't have to refill often.

Below is a video showing Air Swimmer Remote Control Inflatable Flying Shark and Air Swimmers Remote Control Flying Clownfish.

Below is the introductional video to Angry Birds Air Swimmers Turbo - RED Flying Remote Control Balloon Toy.

Hong Kong deals to travel by discounted packages

Hong Kong is one of the most popular destinations for Singaporeans. As one of Asia’s top holiday destinations, Hong Kong offers amazing cultural heritage sites, vibrant hot spots, stunning cityscapes, soaring mountains, and extensive green countryside. It has many attractions like Victoria Peak, Victoria Harbour, the Giant Buddha and the fishing village of Aberdeen.

One can enjoy the scenic beauty of Deep Water Bay and Repulse Bay, or shop ‘til they drop at Stanley Market for bargain-hunting souvenirs and replete within the comfort of Rainbow Hotel after all the exploring & shopping.

Hong Kong travel packages can be expensive. But they are one of the most popularly listed travel items in group buying sites and sites like DEAL.com.sg regularly offers Hong Kong travel deals in their travel deals sections.

Take a look at this example (if it has expired you can search something similar in travel deals listing): 4D3N Free & Easy Stay in Hong Kong not only includes accommodation in Rainbow Hotel, Hong Kong but also includes return flight, return airport transfer, free half-day city tour and so on. It comes with 43% discount and is only S$398 per person (instead of usual price of S$699).

Many travel deals in group buying sites comes with several options. In this case, 2 options available (min 2 pax): (1) twin sharing / child with bed - only $398 per pax instead of $699 or (2) child without bed - only $258 per pax instead of $559.

4D3N Free & Easy Stay in Hong Kong
Hong Kong skyline

Car Rental deal in Singapore

For redemption periods of 10 July 2013 to 10 October 2013, Hirva Car Rental is offering a rent a car deal in Singapore where you can enjoy 45% discount on 1 day car rental. The deal offers 1500cc / 1600cc and 2000cc / MPV cars. You can rent a Nissan Sunny, Honda Fit, Toyota Vios, Toyota Axio, Toyota Altis, Mitsubishi Lancer, Mazda 3, Honda Civic, Subaru Impreza, Honda Airwave and Toyota Allion in 1500cc/ 1600cc category or Nissan Cefiro, Hyundai Sonata, Nissan Teana, Toyota Camry, Nissan Sylphy, Hyundai Azera, Toyota Wish, Honda Stream, Toyota Picnic, Honda Odyssey, Mitsubishi Grandis, Toyota Forturner and Toyota Estima in 2000cc / MPV category.

So with this car rental deal in Singapore you can ravel in comfort with a vehicle to call your own for a few days. You can avoid the needless morning exercises such as "rushing on the escalator" or the endurance testing "free standing". What's more, you can head on out for a short getaway to Malaysia (additional charges apply for travels to Malaysia and you should enquire directly with merchant) with friends or family and enjoy that much needed short break.

There are 6 price options available:

Option 1 : 1 Day Car Rental 1500 / 1600 CC – Only $48 instead of $88
Option 2 : 3 Days Car Rental 1500 / 1600 CC – Only $135 instead of $264
Option 3 : 7 Days Car Rental 1500 / 1600 CC – Only $300 instead of $616
Option 4 : 1 Day Car Rental 2000 CC / MPV – Only $88 instead of $128
Option 5 : 3 Day Car Rental 2000 CC / MPV – Only $234 instead of $384
Option 6 : 7 Day Car Rental 2000 CC / MPV – Only $476 instead of $896

Car Rental deal in Singapore
Car Rental deal in Singapore

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Costa Cruises cruise promotion 2013: Costa Victoria

Sky-class cruise ship Costa Victoria has 5D4N cruises to Phuket & Langkawi and  Kuantan & Koh Samui with a great deal attached to them. Costa Victoria offers a varied choice of cruising option and destinations which provide a fascinating blend of history, culture, adventure and scenery, ranging from the idyllic beaches of Phuket, Koh Samui and Langkawi, to the temples and pagodas of historical Kuantan. Passengers can savour culinary delights, discover great shopping and soak in the sounds and sights of these exotic destinations.

Costa Victoria cruise ship reflects the spirit and warmth of Italy where each passenger decks are named for some of the world's most passionate operas, and you'll fell the passion, too, the moment you step aboard. A stunning seven-story atrium reveals a boldly sophisticated ship avant-garde in design and opulent in style. Here, every comfort and convenience awaits you. The Pompei Spa, with its tranquil indoor pool and mosaic-tile columns, is the ultimate in elegance, featuring a sauna, Turkish bath, gymnasium and luxury spa treatments. The sleek Festival Show Lounge is a great place for exciting entertainment. From the breathtaking Concord Plaza to the state-of-the-art Rock Star Disco, from the Orpheus Grand Bar to the Monte Carlo Casino, the Costa Victoria has it all.

There are 5 price options with this cruise deal departing from Singapore:
  • Option 1 : Departure on 11, 15 OR 19 Nov 2013 (2 Adults + 2 Children) – Only $312 per pax instead of $824 (Min 4 Pax)
  • Option 2 : Departure on 30 Nov 2013, 7 OR 14 Dec 2013 (2 Adults + 2 Children) – Only $344 per pax instead of $824 (Min 4 Pax)
  • Option 3 : Departure on 11 OR 19 Nov 2013 (Twin Sharing only) – Only $406 per pax instead of $824 (Min 2 Pax)
  • Option 4 : Departure on 30 Nov 2013, 7 OR 14 Dec 2013 (Twin Sharing only) – Only $447 per pax instead of $824 (Min 2 Pax)
  • Option 5 : Departure on 15 Nov 2013 (Min 2 Pax) – Only $468 per pax instead of $824

Costa Cruises cruise promotion 2013: Costa Victoria
Costa Cruises cruise promotion 2013: Costa Victoria
Here is the cruise schedule:
Day 1 - Cruise from Singapore at 19:00
Day 2 - Cruise to Kuantan arriving at 08:00 and same day departure at 13:00.
Day 3 - Cruise to Phuket arriving at 13:00 and same day departure at 19:00.
Day 4 - Cruise to Singapore
Day 5 - Arrival at Singapore at 09:00

Day 1 - Cruise from Singapore at 20:00
Day 2 - Cruise to Phuket
Day 3 - Arrival at Phuket at 08:00 and same day departure at 18:00
Day 4 - Cruise to Langkawi arrival at 08:00 and same day departure at 14:00
Day 5 - Cruise to Singapore arriving at 14:00

For the deal, read more details and the fine-print here. You can visit here for other Asian Cruises.

9 of the coolest hotels in Rome that offer rooftop patios

Asia’s leading hotel booking site Agoda.com, is getting ready to enjoy the summer to its fullest with a list of 9 of the coolest hotels in Rome that offer rooftop patios. As anyone who has visited can attest, there are few things nicer than a good meal and refreshing drinks on a breezy, moonlit night while looking out across the Italian capital’s historic skyline.

Italian summers are generally hot and dry during the day, but it’s during the evenings that one can really get a feel for the people and the energy that the city has to offer. When the sun sets, Romans come out in huge numbers to dine, drink, talk, argue and catch up with old friends in one of the thousands of outdoor cafes and restaurants that spring up at sunset. Whether it’s to gorge on some tender saltimbocca (wine-marinated veal), share a serving of grattachecca (shaved ice with fruit juice) with a loved one at dessert, or down some strong espresso over debates with friends, the outdoor dining culture in Italy is one of the best parts of visiting.

To help travelers get the most out of their trip, Agoda.com has prepared a list of 9 hotels that offer a superb rooftop drinking/dining area for guests, where one can gaze across ancient rooftops to iconic monuments many hundreds of years old and enjoy the simple pleasure of a relaxing evening outdoors. Why battle the crowds at street level when one can simply head up to the roof? Take a look at the list and see what sounds most appealing.  Book a trip before the summer sun starts to fade!

H10 Roma Citta Hotel
101 Pietro Blaserna Street, Eur & Garbatella, Rome, Italy 00146

Located in the lively area of Rome, this 4-star hotel has great access to all the historical sites of town. The H10 Roma Città offers an elegant rooftop pool ringed with comfortable sofas and dining areas where guests can look out across the city.

Enjoy Agoda.com’s Best Price Guarantee!

Forum Hotel
25 Tor de'Conti Street, Rione Monti, Colosseum & Foro Romano, Rome, Italy 00184

The Forum Hotel’s Rooftop Restaurant serves full selections for breakfast, lunch and dinner with most of its organic ingredients sourced largely from Italy, perfectly paired with a fantastic view! Stay for a minimum of 2 nights and enjoy 5% off. Expires December 31, 2014.

Stay for a minimum of 2 nights and enjoy 5% off. Expires December 31, 2014.

Hotel Palazzo Manfredi – Relais & Chateaux
Via Labicana 125, Colosseum & Foro Romano, Rome, Italy 00184

The Hotel Palazzo Manfredi offers a rooftop terrace with a magnificent view across to the Coliseum, the Imperial Forum and the Domus Aurea, while Chef Giuseppe Di Iorio creates amazing food creations.

Enjoy Agoda.com’s Best Price Guarantee!

Bernini Bristol Hotel 5*
The rooftop terrace restaurant L’Olimpo is what really shines, with a gorgeous view across the lights of Rome, a huge wine selection and a lunch or dinner made from specially-chosen ingredients.

Stay for a minimum of 3 nights and enjoy 15% off. Expires December 31, 2014.

Residenza Paolo VI
The Residenza Paolo VI offers a rooftop restaurant where guests can dine while taking in a fantastic view across to the dome on St. Peter’s Basilica and the Apostolic Palace.

Book at least 5 days before check-in and enjoy 20% off! Expires December 31, 2020.

Albergo Cesari 3*
Overlooking the Piazza di Pietra and the Church of St Ignazio di Loyola, it’s hard to find a nicer place to finish the day with a great meal.

Early bird special! Book 30 days in advance for a minimum stay of 2 nights and enjoy 8% off! Expires December 31, 2013.

Hotel Pulitzer 4*
The rooftop Garden Bar at the Hotel Pulitzer offers a view of the city lights in an elegant and relaxing setting, while you sip a drink and plan for the days ahead.

Stay a minimum of 3 nights and enjoy 15% off! Expires September 30, 2013.

Orange Hotel 4*
Located only steps from Vatican City, guest can gaze out to the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica while enjoying a meal and looking out across the rooftops of the surrounding neighborhoods.

Stay a minimum of 3 nights and enjoy 5% off! Expires August 31, 2013.

Radisson Blu es. Hotel Rome 5*
Located across from the central Roma Termini train station and next to the historic Diocletian Baths, the Radisson Blue s. Hotel Rome is a gorgeous addition to the list. Its rooftop restaurant, Zest, boasts a stunning view of the surrounding city and serves delicious, fresh cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.

Book 5 days before check-in and enjoy 15% off! Expires December 31, 2014.

Sex bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee offensive Selamat Berbuka Puasa greeting

Sex bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee have uploaded a Selamat Berbuka Puasa 'greeting' photo depicting them eating bak kut teh (a pork dish) and describing it as 'wangi, enak, menyelerakan' (fragrant, delicious, appetising).

Alvin Tan later told that there is no specific reason for uploading the picture and it was (he guesses) just a joke. But Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission took the picture quite seriously and is investigating it under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998. The Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek called the greeting "unacceptable".

Netizens slammed the duo for their insensitivity. The post has earned over 500 comments, mostly chiding the couple for their insensitivity and since then they have removed their offensive posting and uploaded a picture of them eating ketupat, rendang and curry puffs instead. "Nah, come enjoy real halal food now," the caption on the updated photo reads.

Sex bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee Selamat Berbuka Puasa greeting
Photo - liputan6.com
The couple is since forced to apologize and called the bizarre "greeting" their "stupidest stunt". They have uploades a 1:22 minute video on their youtube channel SexcussionsAlvivi:

"We are recording this video to ask for forgiveness for offending Muslims in this holy month of Ramadan," said Tan in the video. "We sincerely regret offending religious beliefs and sensitivites in multi-cultural Malaysia," he added, speaking in Malay.

According to Asiaone in a twitter post @AlviviSwingers, the couple tweeted "I think this "halal pork for Ramadhan" stunt was the stupidest one we ever pulled. Even I had to admit it. We, were, wrong."

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Kovan Murder

Update: The trial of the police officer accused of the Kovan murders, Iskandar Rahmat, will probably take place after March next year as "large number" of exhibits have been sent for DNA analysis. Iskandar has been assessed to be of sound mind and fit to plead.

Police has arrested a 34-year-old man on Friday at 11.30 pm in connection with the double Kovan murders. The suspect is a police officer, Iskandar bin Rahmat, wıth the police force for 14 years:

The Police have brought into custody Iskandar Bin Rahmat (Singaporean male, 34 years), a police officer attached to Bedok Police Division. He will be charged for the brutal murders of Tan Boon Sin and his son Tan Chee Heong that happened three days ago at Hillside Drive .
The car, a Toyota Camry, which is suspected to be used in July 10 grisly double Kovan murder has been found parked at Eunos Ave 7 in the Eunos Industrial Estate.  The 67-year-old victim in the suspected Kovan murder has been identified as Tan Boon Sin, the owner of a car workshop at the Autobay @ Kaki Bukit centre on Kaki Bukit Ave 6.

About Kovan Murder case

It was a shocking view: a man with his face down was being dragged underneath a silver Toyota Camry. All the cars around honked for the car driver to stop but he or she did not. The body, who's belt appeared to be struck to the car, was dislodged outside Kovan MRT Station. The Toyota Camry then drove away.

What the eye witnesses saw there was only the half of the shocking Kovan murder. Police followed the long blood trail backwards to a terrace house in Hillside Drive and found the body of a 70 years old man. Two men were father and son and the Toyota Camry (licence plate SGM 14J) belonged to the father. The body of the younger man in his 40s was dragged 1 kilometer from the house to the Kovan MRT Station.

At Hillside Drive, one of the neighbours told Yahoo! Singapore that the deceased older man and his wife lived there for 10 years and were a nice couple. The couples son did not live with them.

In the night at around 2 am, the body of Kovan murder victim was removed by police from the house. In the morning at 08:15 am family members and friends of two suspected Kovan murder victims arrived at the mortuary to identify their bodies.

Kovan murder victim found near Kovan MRT Station
One of the Kovan murder victims was dragged 1 km from a terrace house
to Kovan MRT Station by a Toyota Camry.
Police are looking for the driver of a silver Toyota Camry with car licence plate SGM 14J in connection with the two bodies found in Kovan on Wednesday evening. In case you do not know how Toyota Camry looks like here is a photo: Toyota Camry.

Anyone with information on the driver or the case may call 1800-255-0000.

Singapore hotel deals by Agoda for Singapore Grand Prix

On September 20-22 2013, Singapore's city center will be closed and converted to a 5 km race track for Singapore Grand Prix F1 2013 and its fans. The race is a night race for European viewers to enjoy it at a convenient time.

The event takes place in Singapore on the Marina Bay Street Circuit and was the first F1 night race and the first street circuit in Asia when it was added to the calendar of the FIA Formula One World Championship . The Singapore Grand Prix will remain on the F1 calendar through at least 2017, after race organizers signed a contract extension with Formula One Management on the eve of the 2012 event.

It’s not only cars and drivers that are a draw for the thousands of fans who will head to Singapore – some truly world-class entertainment has been planned as well. From local favorites such as Weish and The Great Spy Experiment to international acts like Waiora and Daby Toure to headline-grabbing artists like Rihanna, Tom Jones and Justin Bieber, the event will boast a major dosage of talent. In addition, a variety of parades, performances and games will make sure that there is something for everyone, even if they’re not a fan of racing!

If you are not into this super noisy event, it is the worst time to visit Singapore since all hotels are almost fully booked during those days. On the other hand if you are coming around this time, it is important to find good hotel deals since they are expensive during F1.

Online hotel reservation site Agoda.com now offers Singapore hotel deals for the Singapore Grand Prix F1 2013.

BIG Hotel 4*
Limited time offer – USD $185! Offer expires September 22, 2013.

Carlton Hotel Singapore 5*
Book at least 14 days in advance and save 20%! Offer expires September 22, 2013.

Orchard Hotel Singapore 5*
Book at least 14 days in advance and save 20%! Offer expires September 22, 2013.

Fairmont Singapore 5*
Book between July 10-17 for a minimum 3-night stay between September 19-22 and enjoy complimentary breakfast!

Singapore Marina Bay Street Circuit
Singapore on the Marina Bay Street Circuit
Swissotel The Stamford Hotel 5*
Book between July 10-17 for a minimum 3-night stay between September 19-22 and enjoy complimentary breakfast!

Peninsula Excelsior Hotel 4*
Exclusive deal – book on July 10 to stay September 19-22 and get 15% off!

Swissotel Merchant Court Hotel 5*
Book between July 10-12 & stay between September 19-22 and enjoy complimentary breakfast!

Rendezvous Grand Hotel Singapore 4*
Exclusive deal – book on July 10 & stay September 19-22 and get 25% off!

To connect with Agoda.com for special deals on hotels worldwide, please visit our website at www.agoda.com. Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/agoda or follow us on Google+ at http://plus.google.com/+agoda   

Monday, July 8, 2013

Jetstar promotion 2013: Buy now or cry later sale

You know what they say about regrets. Budget airline Jetstar thinks if you miss their amazing flight ticket sales to many awesome Asia destinations are must buy or must regret.

From now till 12 July 2013 (11 am Singapore Time), unless sold out prior you can buy promotional budget flights from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Ho Chi Minh City, Phuket, Haikou, Hong Kong and Taipei.

Following are the ticket prices (one way economy starter class) in Singapore dollars as well as travel period for each destination:

  • Flights from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur: $34. Travel period 23 Jul - 1 Aug 2013, 20 Aug - 12 Dec 2013, 6 Jan - 22 Jan 2014, 11 Feb - 26 Mar 2014
  • Flights from Singapore to Penang: $48. Travel period 23 Jul - 1 Aug 2013, 3 Sep - 14 Nov 2013, 6 Jan - 22 Jan 2014, 11 Feb - 26 Mar 2014
  • Flights from Singapore to Ho Chi Minh City: $68. Travel period 20 Aug - 14 Nov 2013, 6 Jan - 22 Jan 2014
  • Flights from Singapore to Phuket: $78. Travel period 3 Sep - 26 Sep 2013, 8 Oct - 12 Dec 2013, 6 Jan - 22 Jan 2014, 11 Feb - 13 Mar 2014
  • Flights from Singapore to Haikou: $88. Travel period 27 Aug - 26 Sep 2013, 8 Oct - 14 Nov 2013, 6 Jan - 22 Jan 2014, 18 Feb - 13 Mar 2014
  • Flights from Singapore to Hong Kong: $128. Travel period 3 Sep - 26 Sep 2013, 8 Oct - 14 Nov 2013, 6 Jan - 22 Jan 2014, 18 Feb - 13 Mar 2014
  • Flights from Singapore to Taipei: $148. Travel period 23 Jul - 1 Aug 2013, 20 Aug - 14 Nov 2013, 6 Jan - 22 Jan 2014, 18 Feb - 13 Mar 2014
This is not a complete list of destionation in this promotion. For more visit Jetstar special offers page.
Jetstar promotion 2013: Buy now or cry later sale
Jetstar promotion 2013: Buy now or cry later sale

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Fred Hayes Asiana San Francisco plane crash raw video

A raw video of San Francisco plane crash, taken by Fred Hayes, has emerged showing the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 approaching runway 28L low and then crashing the treshold of the runway. You can watch the video below. Fred Hayes video of Asiana Jet Crash At SFO already went viral.

According to flight data recorder (FDR) Asiana Boeing 777's speed was significantly below the target approach speed of 137 knots (253 km/h). The pilot in charge of landing the Boeing 777 was in training for flying that model of jet, and that this was his first flight into San Francisco at the controls of a 777, the Associated Press reported.

The sound of the stick shaker, a mechanical device  to rapidly and noisily vibrate the control stick of the aircraft to warn the pilot of an imminent stall, could be heard approximately 4 seconds prior to impact on the cockpit voice recorder. The FDR also showed that the pilot advanced the throttles a few seconds prior to impact and that the engines responded normally. The pilots of the plane call for a "go-around" 1.5 seconds prior to impact but as you can watch below, it was too late.

The video, captured by Fred Hayes, shows Asiana Airlines aircraft approaching when another plane was on the ground. 20 seconds into the video the Boeing 777 hits the end of the runway and  the fuselage and wings travels through 2000 feet more on the ground, after spinning in the air, in a tick smoke and dust. The video shows thet it is a real miracle that most of the passangers and crew survived the crash without major injury.

Fred Hayes seems to be able to capture the only video of the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashing at San Francisco International Airport.

Here is also an animation video of Asiana Airlines crash landing.

2 teenage girls died in the crash 17 years old Wang Lin Jia (王琳佳) and Ye Meng Yuan. On Wang Lin Jia's Weibo home page (a Chinese version of Twittermourners have left thousands of messages.

San Francisco plane crash animation video shows how the accident happened

UPDATE : A raw real footage video of San Francisco plane crash emerged showing the crash landing of Asiana Boeing 777. Unlike animation below, the plane spins in the air before coming to rest.

An animation based on eyewitness accounts re-creates the dramatic San Francisco plane crash of the Asiana Boeing 777.

Asiana Airlines Flight 214 was a scheduled transpacific passenger flight operated by Asiana Airlines from Incheon International Airport, near Seoul, South Korea, to San Francisco International Airport, in San Mateo County, California, in the United States. On July 6, 2013, a Boeing 777-200ER serving the flight crash-landed upon approach at San Francisco International Airport killing two people. There were 291 passengers and 16 crew members aboard. Among the passengers were 141 Chinese, 77 Korean, and 61 American citizens. This was the first fatal crash involving the 777.

2 teenage girls died in the crash 17 years old Wang Lin Jia (王琳佳) and Ye Meng Yuan. On Wang Lin Jia's Weibo home page (a Chinese version of Twittermourners have left thousands of messages.

The National Transportation Safety Board has begun an investigation and sent a crew to the scene. Asiana CEO Yoon Young-Doo said, "Currently we understand that there were no engine or mechanical problems." He could not say whether the wheels or landing gear were functioning properly. The preliminary indications suggest the plane came in too short and hit the seawall as it attempted to land.

Also watch Fred Hayes video of Asiana Jet Crash At SFO here. It is probably the only raw footage of the accident.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

AirAsia X increases flights to Gold Coast from Kuala Lumpur

Malaysian long haul budget airline AirAsia X will increase its flights from Kuala Lumpur To Gold Coast from 5 flights a week to 7 flights a week starting from 24 November 2013. Gold Coast was the airline’s first Australian port and AirAsia X, the long-haul, low fare airline affiliate of the AirAsia Group, had invested heavily in the city from the start. In fact, Air Asia X's first service flew from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia, to Gold Coast Airport in Australia in 2007. Other than Gold Coast, Air Asia X flies to Melbourne and Sydney in Australia.

“We hold a special place in our hearts for this vibrant city which has strongly supported us since our launch in 2007,” Mr Osman-Rani said. “Passenger movements between the Gold Coast and Kuala Lumpur have been consistently strong with an increase on average passenger load year-on-year for the past three years. This has given us confidence to increase capacity to seven flights a week. AirAsia X is very much committed to the Gold Coast and we have been active in the community by supporting events such as the Gold Coast Airport Marathon. AirAsia X has wonderful backing from industry partners such as the Queensland Government, Gold Coast Airport and tourism bodies, and will continue our strong involvement with the Gold Coast for years to come.” AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani said.

The State Government has established an A$8 million Attracting Aviation Investment Fund to help secure new aviation business into Queensland.

An AirAsia X plane in Melbourne.
“The State Government, through Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ), will work in partnership with Gold Coast Tourism, Gold Coast Airport and Tourism Australia to develop marketing activities to support these new daily flights,” said Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games, Jann Stuckey. “In the year to March 2013, Queensland welcomed more than two million international visitors to the state, a 5% increase compared with the year prior. Gold Coast Airport welcomed 91,880 international passengers in 2012 which was a 31.2% increase on 2011. Our goal is to double annual overnight visitor expenditure from $15 billion to $30 billion by 2020, and aviation access will be key to achieving that goal.”