Thursday, October 31, 2013

Singapore Staycation Hotels Reviews

Staycation in Singapore is an increasingly popular way to make holiday for Singaporeans. It is a popular way to celebrate birth dates and anniversaries. Hotels in Singapore have also noted the demand and offers many Staycation Deals to Singapore residents. Not only hotels, you now go to any Travel section of a group buying site, you will see one or more staycation deals.

Staying in a hotel which is near your house might look strange to you. But once you experience it you will realize that it may be more convenient.

Capella Singapore Hotel Staycation Review
When you are in Capella Singapore on Sentosa Island, it is quite easily forget that you are just 10 minutes away from the business, shopping and entertainment districts of Singapore. The luxurious Sentosa Island resort sits peacefully on a knoll residing on 30 acres of lush tropical forest.

Blogger Kristen Juliet had a staycation in Capella Singapore Hotel and shares her experience in her Beauty Sorority blog:

"Overall, the staycation was definitely a very rejuvenating and pampering experience, and I will certainly recommend it for those who are craving for a short getaway. And since Capella is located in Sentosa, it means that you’re really away from the hustle and bustle and be able to really take a break from city life. What’s more with the integrated resort, beaches and other holiday spots in Sentosa, it means that you’d not be bored by inactivity."

See more at Review: Staycation at Capella Singapore

Marina Bay Sands Staycation Review
The largest and one of the most crowded hotels of Singapore in the middle of the city, iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel, may not look like a good option for staycation but your blogger milleplateaux has stayed in Marina Bay Sands for a staycation back in November 2012 and shares his experience:

Marina Bay Sands hotel is a 5-star hotel and if you have the money, it is worth to stay here. As a staycation destination, it can be tried for once for the sake of its SkyPark, Infinity Pool and the lovely view towards Gardens By The Bay. I am satisfied with it as a hotel and one time staycation hotel in Singapore but I will choose a more resort like hotel, maybe one on Sentosa Island, for the next time.

See more at Marina Bay Sands Hotel Singapore Staycation.

Mövenpick Heritage Hotel Sentosa Staycation Review
Moevenpick Heritage Hotel Sentosa is ideally located within walking distance to Universal Studio Singapore and you can easily access VivoCity, the largest shopping mall in Singapore and Harbourfront Cruise Center by Sentosa monorail express which is opposite the hotel.

One of the most common occasions for a staycation in Singapore is to celebrate birthdays. Some Singapore hotels even offer birthday staycation deals to enjoy. Singaporean blogger Beverly has celebrated her 32nd birthday with a staycation in Mövenpick Heritage Hotel Sentosa:

"In Singapore, a “staycation” means staying in a hotel, whilst you’re still in the same country. When I describe it, it sounds positively silly. And I’ve never really been an advocate for them. But in reality, it’s actually really nice! You don’t feel the ‘urgency’ of day to day life, you really do feel like you’re on holiday, and you don’t have the usual distractions like tv/computer/etc."

See more at Sentosa Staycation for my 32nd birthday.

Four Seasons Hotel Singapore Staycation Review
Four Seasons Hotel Singapore is located Orchard Boulevard which runs parallel to Orchard Road and the Four Seasons Hotel Singapore is on a parcel between these 2 roads. It is just behind Hilton Singapore which is on Orchard Road. The location is quite central and prime and many high end shopping malls on Orchard Road such as ION Orchard, Wheelock Place, Tang Plaza, Takashimaya Shopping Center are within walking distance away from the hotel.

Janine Clements has shared her staycation experience in Four Seasons Hotel Singapore in her 21stcenturymummy blog:

"Over the Summer, I have been having fun doing some fab one night ‘staycations’ at some luxury family-friendly hotels in Singapore.

The first family-friendly hotel was at Four Seasons Singapore right by Orchard Road. As a travel writer I love taking my family away on holiday, but it was nice to go somewhere only a ten minute taxi away for a change. No long car journeys or flights. Hurray!"

See more at Fun family ‘staycation’ at Four Seasons Singapore.

Grand Park Orchard Hotel Singapore Staycation Review
Shopping heaven Orchard Road also houses very nice hotels. Grand Park Orchard Hotel Singapore just behind the fashion retailer Abercrombie & Fitch is one of them. Shirley Tay of Luxury Haven was hosted with her family for a staycation in their lavish Park Suite, complete with their exclusive Crystal Club privileges: Staycation At Grand Park Orchard Hotel Singapore.

Village Changi Hotel Staycation Review
Village Changi Hotel is one of the best hotels in Singapore to getaway from Singapore without living the country. Overlooking Pulau Ubin at the forested edge of Singapore, it is an ideal staycation location for those who want to getaway.

Natalie Lim shares her staycation in Changi Village Hotel in Asia One:

My family has been on staycations since I was little, and we always stayed at a hotel near or at Orchard Road for easy access to shopping malls. After awhile the novelty wore off, so the idea of going to Changi Village for a staycation sounded exciting. 

My mum and I booked a night's stay at Village Changi Hotel, previously known as Changi Village Hotel. It is located conveniently opposite the bus terminal, and is less than five minutes' walk from the popular Changi Village Hawker Centre.
Read more at Nostalgic escape at Changi Village staycation

Village Changi Hotel pool
Crowne Plaza Hotel Changi Airport Singapore Staycation Review
Staycation is a true Singaporean style birthday celebration. Singapore blogger nadnut has spent her husband's birthday at Crowne Plaza Hotel Changi Airport and shares her experience here in a sponsored review: Singapore Staycation Crowne Plaza Hotel Changi Airport:

I have tried many staycations in Singapore before. We had a girly staycation, birthdays staycations and even just staycations just for fun! Needless to say, when considering for a staycation in Singapore, here are some of the key points that is really important to me:

  • Convenient location
  • Good food
  • Bathtub
  • Swimming pool
  • Club lounge facilities

What are your criteria when selecting a staycation?
Did Crowne Plaza met my very high expectations? Let’s see!

Flights to Chiang Mai, Lombok, Langkawi and Lijiang from Singapore by Tigerair

Tigerair is flying to Lijiang (3 times every fortnight), Chiang Mai and Langkawi (4 times weekly) as well as Lombok (3 times weekly) from Singapore starting on 29 October 2013 in conjunction with its 9th  birthday celebrations this month.

Together, these four destinations comprise a rich palette of heritage sites and natural attractions that promise to charm even the most seasoned travellers. Take for example, the 800-year old city of Lijiang located in Yunnan Province, China. Lijiang is home to the enchanting Old Town, China’s most well-preserved ancient town which is today, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has also earned a reputation for its breathtaking snow mountains and crystal clear streams that add to the city’s splendor.

Chiang Mai is another historic city that boasts a diverse blend of deep Thai traditions and popular culture which charms over five million visitors each year. Chiang Mai’s natural beauty has also garnered it a spot as one of Trip Advisor’s ‘25 Best Destinations in the World’ to visit for 2013.

Langkawi offers its visitors many opportunities to explore its natural, picturesque landscapes, and provides for a variety of activities for travellers to indulge at their own pace and budget with its wide range of resorts, golf courses, hotels and backpacking accommodation options.

Located two-and-a-half hours by air from Singapore, Lombok, otherwise known as the ‘unspoiled Bali’, has become a welcome respite for busy city dwellers attracted to its well-preserved and uncrowded environment, including the beautiful white sand beaches of Kuta, surfing and scuba diving hot spots in the south, as well as attractions such as Narmada Park and Mayura Park.

“History and nature together play a big role in re-enchanting the seasoned cosmopolitan traveller,” said Mr Alexander Knigge, Chief Commercial Officer at Tigerair, “Our latest offering of four new destinations combines both of these elements particularly well, and stirs the traveller’s imagination. I’m confident that our
customers will discover something uniquely special for themselves in one of these offerings, for a truly memorable experience.”

Concurrently, Tigerair will also be increasing the frequency of its Surabaya-bound flights from seven to 13 times weekly starting 15 November 2013. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Hotel Mermaid Bangkok Review

When I visit Bangkok, I stay at Sukhumvit Road. This area is easily accessible from Bangkok Airport (see Bangkok Holiday - From Singapore to Bangkok) without a taxi and also thanks to SkyTrain it is easy to access anywhere in Bangkok from here. Moreover there are many restaurants, bars, shopping malls, etc. on the road for your pleasure and convenience.

Last time I was in Bangkok I have stayed in Aloft Bangkok Sukhumvit 11 Hotel near Nana SkyTrain Station and was quite happy with the hotel and the location which offers a nice night life options (no I am not talking about Nana Entertainment Plaza and boogy nights but Soi 11 itself, bars and restaurants :)). I have also performed a 1 day Bangkok Tour starting and ending in ALoft Bangkok which you can read here: Bangkok Holiday - 1 Day Itinerary.

2 weeks ago, a friend of mine came to Singapore from Istanbul and flew from Singapore to Bangkok. She wanted some hotel recommendation and I have sent her the booking link for Aloft Bangkok Sukhumvit 11 Hotel and told her check out other Sukhumvit Hotels also if the price is high. She ended up booking this Hotel Mermaid Bangkok on 6 Soi Sukhumvit 29. Here are her reviews on the hotel (I have not stayed there).

Hotel Mermaid Bangkok is accessible by Asok or Phrom Pong BTS Skytrain Stations. Asok looked near to me so I have left there and took a short tuk-tuk ride to the hotel. If you have a backpack you can also walk but the area is very crowded in the night and it is hard to walk.

This is my first time in Bangkok so I cannot compare it to the other hotels in Bangkok. But overall, I really enjoyed staying in Hotel Mermaid Bangkok. The price was very right (booked through Hotel Mermaid Bangkok Agoda page and stayed there for 2 nights for a total of 70 USD) and the hotel was quite comfortable. My advise is book online for cheaper rates :)

My friend living in Singapore told me that a 4-Star hotel in Bangkok or Thailand is equivalent of a 3-Star hotel back in home so do not judge it by its stars. In fact Hotel Mermaid was quite nice and comfortable. The room was high quality, large and new. I think hotel is also quite new. And the WI-FI in the room was very satisfactory. I booked a studio room and it was small but enough.

Hotel Mermaid Bangkok Pool
The pool at Hotel Mermaid Bangkok. A pool is a must after a hot and humid Bangkok day.
In this price range, the breakfast was also quite OK, nothing to complain. I really give top marks to staff who were very helpful. Location is actually not that near to BTS Skytrain but still walk-able. But this relatively long walk also makes the price reasonable I guess. Accessing BTS Skytrain easily (for me it was OK) makes you almost entirely bypass terrible Bangkok traffic. Sukhumvit MRT Station was also accessible which makes public transport easier.

The hotel is walking distance away from two nice shopping malls: Emporium and Terminal 21. Terminal 21 is a very nice place to dine.

Overall the staff is nice, the location is great, the room was good and the hotel's pool and restaurant were decent. I recommend Hotel Mermaid Bangkok to those who would like to visit Bangkok.

Taiwanese Travel writer Ya Ruo Lin predicted her own death in Facebook

"Before I go cycling SOLO through the desert in Australia, I would like to share this photo which was taken in 2009 by FHM magazine. In case I die in the desert, you guys can use this photo for my funeral." These were the English words written by a Taiwanese flight attendant-turned-travel writer, Ya Ruo Lin, in her Facebook account just days before she has died after being hit by a bus in Australia.

31 years old Lin Ya-ruo was hit by a tourist bus owned by EMU Run Tours. She was cycling at 09:00 pm on a highway in Australia's Alice Springs. She has written "Camping in the desert during the night, if I were eaten up by animals, bitten death by spiders or hit by a car, at least people get to see this 2009 photo by the FHM magazine" under the same photo.

Ya Ruo Lin has worked as a flight attendant on Taiwan's China Airlines before leaving the job to be a full-time travel writter.

林亞若魂斷異鄉 志工不捨
Ya Ruo Lin has uploaded this photo to her Facebook account before she died in a bus accident
in Australia. She wrote: "I would like to share this photo which was taken in 2009 by FHM magazine.
In case I die in the desert, you guys can use this photo for my funeral."
Source : 林亞若魂斷異鄉 志工不捨

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Jetstar Promotion 2013: Take a Friend for Free to Melbourne

Budget airline Jetstar offers budget flights to Melbourne. And they sometimes do better: they offer flight promotions to Melbourne as this one now open to booking until 1 November 2013. By Take a Friend for Free to Melbourne promotion, for every passenger who books a specially marked sale economy Starter fare to Melbourne, you will receive another economy Starter fare to Melbourne for free!

Economy Starter fare comes with carry-on baggage only but checked baggage can be purchased with additional fees.

For details of the promotion see : Take a Friend for Free to Melbourne.

The flights are from Kuala Lumpur via Singapore to Melbourne and for the travel period between 6 November and 26 November 2013.

Jetstar Promotion 2013: Take a Friend for Free to Melbourne
Jetstar Promotion 2013: Take a Friend for Free to Melbourne 

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Palms on Kamala Beach Hotel Phuket

Many people stay in 3 most famous beaches on the west coast of Phuket when they holiday in this paradise island: Patong, Karon and twin beaches of Kata. Patong is the sin city in Phuket, it is the most developed and many still prefer to stay there. The long Patong Beach is suprisingly good indeed but for families and those who would like a more calm holiday the second most popular beach of Phuket, Karon to the south of Patong is not the only option. Kamala Beach which is located to the immediate north of Patong is also a nice one to consider.

If you are looking for a nice Phuket hotel for a family stay, The Palms on Kamala Beach Hotel Phuket is a very nice option. The hotel is just 2 minutes away from the beach and on the family friendly south end of Kamala Beach but the best thing about it is the hotel's condominium like setting where you live in apartments rather than hotel rooms but have the hotel facilities and services like breakfast and dinner buffets.

Yes, The Palms on Kamala Beach offers only 36 apartment units on 4 story building: 30 units of 2-Bedroom suites which is best for families up to 2 kids and 6 units of 3-room penthouses which is best for larger families. The 2-bedroom suites come with a master bedroom with a bathroom and king size bed, a common room with 2 single beds, a kitchen, a common living area, a dining table and a balcony. The 1st floor suites open to the swimming pool which is quite nice for many but not a good feature if you want "privacy". The WI-FI in the rooms were quite fast and reliable.

Yes, the stay is like a luxury apartment stay but this is still a hotel. The Palm has 2 swimming pools, a pool bar, fitness center and offers breakfast buffet and dinner as well.

Location, the south of Kamala Beach, is quite good. The Beach Road here offers a village like atmosphere where you can find several nice seaside restaurants to enjoy food and the sunset on Andaman Sea. There are also several small bars here and if you want more shopping or night life, Patong is very near. Kamala Beach also houses infamous FantaSea Phuket Park which is especially a great activity for younger kids.

Phuket Oteli The Palms on Kamala Beach
The Palms on Kamala Beach

Overall The Palm is very clean with fantastic facilities and rooms and located on a very nice beach to enjoy with your family.

  • It should cost 750 Baht from Phuket Airport to Kamala. You know, knowing the price and behaving like that almost always prevents overcharging in Thailand.
  • Phuket FantaSea is a must.
  • Patong is your destination if you want some shopping malls and naughtier night life. If naughty night life is not for you avoid Patong or at least Bangla Road in Patong in the night.
For a detailed guide about accomodation locations in Phuket, you can refer to our where to stay in Phuket post.

Watch Trouble Maker There Is No Tomorrow (Now) video - '내일은 없어 (Now)' M/V

Hyuna or HyunA and Hyunseung back with K-pop group Trouble Maker and released a new music video for the "There Is No Tomorrow (Now)."  Trouble Maker is a group formed by 4Minute's HyunA and Beast's Hyunseung and first appeared in 2011 with an EP.

"There Is No Tomorrow (Now)" music video is inspired by the movie "Bonnie and Clyde" and the Korean pop idols play thiefs full of passion and youth maddness. Hyunseung drinks a lot of alcohol, fires to floor and probably getting more than alcohol because he is having clown hallucinations in the music video. HyunA is mostly in her underwear throughout the clip.

Kim Hyuna, also known as Hyuna or HyunA, is a South Korean idol, singer, songwriter, dancer, rapper, designer, model, and a member of the Korean girl group 4Minute, and duo Trouble Maker under Cube Entertainment. Jang Hyun-seung  or more commonly known as Hyun-seung, is a South Korean idol singer and dancer. He is best known as the lead vocal of the boy band Beast, under the label Cube Entertainment.

Trouble Maker is the first official sub-group of South Koreans groups 4Minute & Beast, formed by Cube Entertainment in 2011. The sub-group is composed of Hyuna & Hyunseung.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

VivoCity - The largest shopping mall in Singapore

Singapore is a country of shopping malls. Every corner of the city-state is occupied by a large shopping mall and in a country which is a shopping addicted Asian tourist magnet and where shopping is almost a national sport, more and more shopping malls are opened. I must admit, in my six years in Singapore, I have also became a shopping mall dweller. Especially after my daughter is born. It is hot and humid outside and not very baby-friendly so you are pushed into these malls anyway.

The largest shopping mall in Singapore is VivoCity and surprisingly this beautiful mall is not in Orchard Road area. It is a waterfront facility in Harbour Front right next to Harbour Front Center. It is also the best shopping mall in Singapore not only for its facilities but also for its surrounding. VivoCity is my favorite among all especially after the opening of Sentosa Boar Walk which allows a nice and sweet walk to Sentosa Island from VivoCity right into Resort Worlds Sentosa.

And of course there are many stores in VivoCity.

For bags and shoes you have ALDO, Bata, Camomilla Milano, Charles & Keith, ck Calvin Klein Accessories, Coach, Crocs, Crumples, DC Shoes, ECCO, Feb 29, Footin, Galleria Italiana, Geox, Gripz, Guess Accessories and Shoes, In:Famous, J West, Kipling, Mitju, Mondo, Pedro, Skechers and STACCATO;

For fashion and fashion accessories Aimer,  A|X Armani Exchange, bebe, Ben Sherman, Benjamin Barker, Bershka, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein Underwear (opening soon), Cotton On, Crocodile, DC Comics Super Heroes, dENiZEN™, Desigual, Domanchi, ESPRIT, Forever 21, Forever New, G2000, GAP, Giordano, H&M, Hang Ten, Hush Puppies, iROO, Joop, Kiss Jane, kitschen, Lacoste, La Senza, Lee Cooper, Levi's, Levi's Lady's, Lowrys Farm, m)phosis, Mango, Man Studio, Mark & Spencer, MDS, Michael Kors (Opening Soon), Miss Selfridge, Morgan de Toi, Mugigae, Natural Project, nichii, Onitsuka Tiger, Pull & Bear, Rare Attitude, Red2, Springfield, Spring Maternity, Tally Weijl, TANGS, Ted Baker, Timberland, T.M.Lewin, Tommy Hilfiger, Topshop/Topman, UNIQLO, Warehouse and Zara;

Jewellery and watches:  C Square of City Chain, Casio G-Factory, CITIGEMS, City Chain, Dejewel Galleria, Emporio Armani Watches & Jewelry, Goldheart, Invicta, Love & Co., SEIKO, Sincere Fine Watches, SK Jewellery, Solvil et Titus, Soo Kee Jewel Pavilion, The Diamond Atelier, Watches of Switzerland and ZAPWatches.

There are many food outlets, restaurants and fast food chain stores as well as food courts in VivoCity. Some restaurants I like here are Brotzeit® German Bier Bar & Restaurant (German and European food and superb imported German beer), La Viva Spanish Tapas & Bar (have a lovely view of Sentosa Bay), PUTIEN (winner of the Best Chinese Restaurant and listed in Singapore's best 50 restaurants) and Poulet (French cuisine).

Other restaurants in VivoCity includes Akashi Japanese Restaurant (popular Reserve California Roll (vinegared rice envelopes the seaweed skin) and the King Prawn Grilled with Miso are must try), BeiShanChuan Spicy Steamboat Restaurant, Korea's leading chain of authentic BBQ restaurants BORNGA, Bosses, Central, Crystal Jade Dining IN, Crystal Jade Jiang Nan, Dian Xiao Er, etc.

Entertainment in VivoCity
Golden Village VivoCity (GV Vivocity) is has 15 screens under one roof and 4 cinema types across 2 floors. GV VivoCity sets a new benchmark for multiplexes in Singapore by introducing a sophisticated club ambience, with a 5-star food and beverage menu available (including a top wine list) and a private dining room. VivoCity also has a karaoke club Party World KTV and for gaming Timezone.

How to get to VivoCity?
VivoCity has direct underground connection to Purple Line's (NorthEast Line's) HarbourFront Station. If you are coming from Green Line you need to transfer at Outram Park. Do not take Harbour Front direction on Circle Line if you are in the city center. That is a big loop around the central and western Singapore to Harbour Front. Take Purple Line.

There are also many bus services going to VivoCity:  10, 30, 30e, 57, 61, 65, 80, 97, 97e, 100, 131, 143, 145, 166 and 855.

Hotels Near VivoCity
There are several hotels near VivoCity. Bay Hotel Singapore is the nearest hotel to VivoCity and is also a very good alternative for those who want to stay near Sentosa Island but do not want to pay for the expensive hotels on the island. Hotels of Resort World Sentosa such as Hard Rock Hotel, Hotel Michael and Festive Hotel are also quite near with a monorail ride away. If you are staying on Sentosa Island, VivoCity is the best shopping mall for you.

9D8N Turkey Tour from Singapore

Turkey is the 6th most popular tourist destination in the world which has become a popular destination for for culture, spa, and health care tourism as well as its traditional offerings such as seaside resorts on Mediterranean coast and magnificent history of Istanbul. It is also a popular destination from Singapore as many companies provide leisure and religions Turkey tours from Singapore.

This 9D8N Turkey Package from AIR Broker comes with 4 options and starts from only $1344 per person instead of $2189 which translates to 30% discount. The package includes 8 nights accommodation in standard room (Twin/Triple sharing) in Turkey with tour to capital city of Ankara, magical Cappadocia, mystic Konya, unreal Pamukkale, seaside resort Kusadasi, Canakkale and magnificent Istanbul. It includes daily breakfast, 8x lunch, 7x dinner, English speaking tour guide/driver and round-trip airport/hotel/airport transfer in Turkey (via Seat In Coach).

But be careful, the deal does not seem to include return flight from Singapore to Turkey which can cost around 999 SGD ++ (this was cheapest in Qatar Airways when I last checked).

4 Options for this 9D8N Turkey Package available are:
Adult Twin/ Triple - Only $1344 per person instead of $2189
Adult Single - Only $1764 per person instead of $2498
Child With Bed - Only $1232 per person instead of $1987
Child With No Bed - Only $1020 per person instead of $1788

Central Anatolian city of Ankara is the capital of Turkey and offers several attractions such as the the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk named Anitkabir.

Anitkabir (Memorial Tomb) in Ankara
Meaning "the land of beautiful horses" Cappadocia offers a unique alien-planet like terrain which is best enjoyed by a hot-air balloon.

Meaning Cotton Castle Pamukkale offers hot springs and travertines, terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flowing water.


Cruises in Southeast Asia and Arabia by Windstar Cruises

Yet another cruise line debuts in Asia cruise scene: Windstar Cruises, notable for its modern computer-controlled sailing ships, will debut in Southeast Asia and Arabia on its new 212-passenger power yacht, Star Pride. The new Asia cruises are now open for sale and feature five unique itineraries exclusive to the all-suite yacht, highlighting small ship ports throughout Asia, Arabia, and India. The inaugural Southeast Asia & Arabia season will begin on October 30, 2014. Voyages start at $3,999 per person.

“Small ship cruising is an incredible way to explore this part of the world. There are tremendous experiences to be had from the ancient cliff city of Petra to the colorful Ho Chi Minh City,” said Hans Birkholz, Windstar Cruises’ chief executive officer. “This is our first journey beyond Europe, South Pacific and the Caribbean, and we are delighted to announce Star Pride’s Southeast Asia & Arabia deployment.”

Star Pride’s 2015 Asia cruises include:

Wonders of Arabia 
Follow the legends of Lawrence of Arabia, Cleopatra, and Moses across the dunes to the Nile and Mount Sinai on this 18-day voyage from Athens, Greece to Dubai, UAE. Ports of call include Suez Canal, Hurghada, Sharm el Sheikh, Luxor, Egypt; Aqaba, Jordan; and Salalah and Khasab, Oman. The voyage showcases the Red Sea, the Nile, and the rose-colored ruins of Petra.

Pearls of the Indian Ocean 
Sail through some of the Andaman Sea’s most breathtaking islands and bays and explore the colonial Old Towns, ancient cave temples, and melting pot cities on this 15-day voyage from Dubai, UAE to Singapore. Star Pride visits Mumbai, Mangalore, Cochin, India; Phuket, Thailand; and Penang, Malaysia. This itinerary highlights everything from India’s colorful cities to the tranquil beauty of Thailand’s beaches.

Singapore & the Malay Peninsula 
Discover Malaysia and Thailand’s most spectacular gems on this 10-day round trip voyage from Singapore. This voyage visits Penang, Langkawi, Pulau Pangkor, Kuala Lumpur, and Malacca, Malaysia; as well as Phuket, and Ko Yao Noi, Thailand. Guests can enjoy long days in port and blissfully beautiful destinations.

Treasures of Southeast Asia 
Cruise in private yacht style on this 14-day voyage from the haute couture of Singapore’s legendary Orchard Road to French-flavored Ho Chi Minh City (the former Saigon) and the monuments of Hanoi. The voyage starts in Singapore and visits Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, Qui Nhon, Da Nang, Hanoi (Haiphong), and Halong Bay, Vietnam before ending in Hong Kong. UNESCO World Heritage Sites are everywhere on this voyage: the ancient trading city of Hoi An, My Son Sanctuary, Hue, and Halong Bay.

Vietnam Unveiled 
Vietnam combines beauty and culture in one perfect experience on Windstar’s 10-day voyage from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to Hong Kong. Ports of call include Nha Trang, Qui Nhon, Da Nang, Hanoi (Haiphong), and Halong Bay. Guests can visit Imperial Hue, ancient Hoi An, breathtaking Halong Bay, and amazing Ho Chi Minh City.

Launching in May of 2014, the 9,975-ton Star Pride is the first of three new power yachts to join Windstar’s fleet.

On each of these new voyages guests will experience the secluded coves and hidden harbors offered by small ship cruising, as well as the local culture brought to life on board in Windstar’s unique style. Local entertainment, authentic cuisine, intimate and personal shore excursions are all a part of the in-depth enrichment experience offered at Windstar Cruises.

Launching in May of 2014, the 9,975-ton Star Pride is the first of three new power yachts to join Windstar’s fleet. With a guest capacity of 212, the all-suite yacht will undergo several upgrades and changes in design and décor to align with Windstar’s casual contemporary style. Star Pride will showcase many signature Windstar experiences, including the line’s famous Sail Away party, yacht deck barbecue gala, and Open Bridge policy.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Malaysia bans Ke$ha concert

Malaysia bans Ke$ha concert after deciding it would hurt cultural and religious sensitivities. American singer-songwriter and rapper Kesha Rose Sebert known by her stage name Kesha was scheduled to give a concert in Kuala Lumpur Stadium Negara today as a part of her Ke$ha's Warrior Tour

Concert organiser Livescape said it received a letter about the decision. Livescape Asia, in a statement Friday, claimed that the decision from Puspal, which issues performance permits came at the eleventh hour, despite the agency producing documents to assure authorities that its guidelines were adhered to.

Why Malaysia banned Kesha concert is not elaborated:
The Ministry of Communications and Multimedia said separately that it was rejecting the application for Ke$ha to perform for reasons of religion and culture. The ministry's statement did not elaborate. Ke$ha, whose hits include "Tik Tok" and "Die Young," has songs that make explicit references to sex and liquor. 
Last month, Malaysian officials also barred a performance by American metal band Lamb of God, accusing the Grammy-nominated group's work of being blasphemous. Ke$ha and her team had previously agreed to modify their planned show in Malaysia, including making changes to her song lyrics and wardrobe, to comply with the government's general guidelines for performers, Livescape said in its statement.
Source : Malaysia bans Ke$ha concert over culture clash
 Kesha, who is openly bisexual and is a strong advocate for LGBT rights,is most famous for hit songs like Tik Tok, Your Love is My Drug and We R Who We R, which usually centres around themes involving alcohol, partying and romance.

Hong Kong Disneyland Iron Man Theme Area will open in 2016

Hong Kong Disneyland (香港迪士尼樂園) announced a new themed area based on Iron Man, which will take guests on an epic adventure of a lifetime as they join Tony Stark in a battle against alien invaders across the city of Hong Kong.

“Since Marvel became part of the Disney family, our Imagineers have been dreaming up new ways for our guests to experience their favorite Marvel characters and stories,” said Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “We’re thrilled to bring this first Marvel attraction featuring Iron Man to Hong Kong Disneyland."

As the story unfolds, Tony Stark – also known as Iron Man – has brought his Stark Expo to Tomorrowland at Hong Kong Disneyland where guests have the opportunity to see firsthand the progression of Tony’s Iron Man suits and many other Stark innovations. The anchor of the attraction is the Iron Man Experience itself, where guests will be able to take flight with Iron Man on an epic adventure that not surprisingly pits Iron Man, along with guests, against the forces of evil.

Even more, this first-of-its kind, E-ticket attraction will include a storyline that takes place in the streets and skies of Hong Kong.

Set to open in late 2016, the experience will also include an area where guests can meet and take photos with Iron Man, as well as a Marvel merchandise location.

“Combined with Toy Story Land, Grizzly Gulch and Mystic Point, this new themed area underscores commitment to and confidence in the continued growth of Hong Kong Disneyland,” Staggs said.

In the past two years, these new areas have increased the size of the park by about 25 percent, bringing the number of attractions and entertainment offerings at Hong Kong Disneyland to more than 100.

“The new Marvel-themed area will give guests visiting Hong Kong Disneyland even more reasons to visit,” said Andrew Kam, Managing Director of Hong Kong Disneyland. “We are pleased to see the momentum of growth continue at Hong Kong Disneyland benefitting both our resort and the entire Hong Kong tourism industry.”

Iron Man is one of some 5,000-plus characters that are part of the Marvel universe. Over the last 70 years, Marvel has continued to be one of the most prominent character-based entertainment brands. The Walt Disney Company purchased Marvel Entertainment in 2009.

The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands mall is one of the signature attractions of Marina Bay Sands Casino complex with close to 800,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands is Singapore's first large-scale luxury shopping mall in the heart of the Central Business District.

There are shops of many luxury brands in The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands: a.testoni, Alfred Dunhill, Bally, Balenciaga, Blancpain, Boss Hugo Boss, Bottega Veneta, Breguet, Brioni, Bulgari, Burberry, Cartier, CH Carolina Herrera, Chanel, Chaumet, Chopard, Chow Tai Fook, Coach, De Beers, Dior, Emporio Armani, Ermenegildo Zegna, Escada, Fendi, Franck Muller, Furla, Gucci, Hermès, Hermès Watch Boutique, Hublot, IWC Schaffhausen, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Jimmy Choo, Kwanpen, La Perla, Lana Marks, Leviev, Loewe, Longchamp, Louis Vuitton, Luk Fook, Mikimoto, Miu Miu, Mondial, Montblanc, Mulberry, Omega, Parmigiani, Patek Philippe, Paul & Shark, Piaget, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Richard Mille, Rimowa, Roger Dubuis, Rolex, Saint Laurent, Salvatore Ferragamo, Santoni, Sarcar, Shanghai Tang, Sincere Fine Watches, Stefano Ricci, Tiffany & Co, Tumi, Ulysse Nardin, Uomo Collezioni, Vacheron Constantin, Van Cleef & Arpels, Versace, Vertu, and Zilli.

A canal runs through the length of the Shoppes, in the same style as the Venetian in Las Vegas. Sampan rides on the canal are available for guests and shoppers at the shopping mall, similar to the gondola rides available in the Venetian. Also housed within the Shoppes are the five of the six Celebrity Chef Restaurants – Cut (by Wolfgang Puck), Waku Ghin (by Tetsuya Wakuda), Pizzeria and Osteria Mozza (by Mario Batali), Guy Savoy (by Guy Savoy), DB Bistro Moderne (by Daniel Boulud).

How to get to The Shoppes Marina Bay Sands?
You can refer to our How to get to Marina Bay Sands? article for details.

7.3 Japan earthquake offshore Fukushima

10 at around 2:00 am on the 26th, Fukushima Prefecture has Earthquake in the offing, the prefecture Koriyama and Miyagi Prefecture Ishinomaki , Mito City , Tochigi Prefecture Moka to observe the shaking of seismic intensity 4 in the 14 municipalities of four provinces, such as However, Hokkaido were recorded seismic intensity 3 in a wide range of Tokai from. Japan Meteorological Agency According to the depth of the epicenter about 10 km, indicating the scale of earthquake magnitude at 7.1 (M), the Great East Japan Earthquake is seen as aftershocks.

Japan Meteorological Agency in 14 minutes 2:00 am to 4 minutes after the earthquake, the Fukushima Prefecture announced a tsunami advisory in but, Iwate Prefecture and Miyagi Prefecture warning to such as the 50 minutes was the 2:00 of 40 minutes after the occurrence was. The actual tsunami, Iwate Prefecture Ofunato was observed in 54 minutes the 2:00 the first wave.

JMA According to initially seismometer from swinging width of the maximum magnitude since it was estimated to be (M) 6.8, tsunami Fukushima was seen only with but, M7 when calculated on the basis of the magnitude of the fault is shifted, It was as high as 1. There was a margin of tsunami to reach distant epicenter, that it has expanded the scope of the warning after scrutiny.

After you have changed to encourage the evacuation in a concise representation of how the announcement tsunami prediction in March this year, it was warning the first time.

Keiji Doi, earthquake prediction information manager said, "it was time for the arrival of the tsunami, but must be checked for the timing of the announcement" he said.

Tohoku "When. tsunami was slow is assumed, and to expand the scope to those who examined the improvement of the method for estimating the scale of the earthquake is good," said (tsunami engineering) Imamura Fumihiko professor of disaster science International Institute talking.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Thailand Hotel Deals by Agoda for Loy Kratong is "The" hotel booking site when it comes to Asia or particularly South East Asia. Born in Thailand, this leading hotel booking site has strong presence in South East Asia and negotiates great room prices with hotels here for you to enjoy good discounts.

Agoda also regularly released themed discounts. For example they are not offering great hotel deals for travelers who would like to experience Loy Kratong, long one of Thailand’s most popular festivals, and widely considered its most romantic and beautiful celebration.

On November 17th this year, the night of the 12th full moon on the traditional Thai calendar, celebrants will head to Thailand’s many rivers, lakes and canals to take part in a tradition that’s hundreds of years old. Honoring Phra Mae Khongkha, the Goddess of Water, the festival gives people a chance to pay respect and give thanks for a (hopefully) bountiful year past, and to ask for continuing good luck in the coming one. Thailand, as a culture with a heavy reliance on agriculture, has long had a deep and vital tie to the availability of water, so it’s no surprise that Loy Kratong is still seen as an important event.

The name of the festival is unique in that it describes – in Thai – exactly what participants are expected to do. Around most any large body of water throughout the country are dozens of vendors offering a huge variety of round little boats – or kratongs – that range from small and simple to large and ornate. Made from wood, bread or cross-sections of bamboo and banana trees, they are often adorned with flowers, leaves, candles, incense and other decorative items. After choosing a kratong, participants head to the water, say a prayer, and float – or loi – their kratong away from shore. For an extra bit of karma, some even include a fingernail clipping or a few strands of hair to symbolize new beginnings.

But it’s not only the water that gets the attention – floating lanterns are also released in great numbers. Called khom loy, these oversized rice paper bags use hot air provided by a candle to float upwards until they are nothing more than an orange dot in the night sky. One alone is pretty, but the sight of thousands – especially in Chiang Mai – is an incredible scene to witness. And of course, like any Thai festival, there is endless food, fireworks, and extra-vibrant street scenery.

When celebrating Loy Kratong, please try to avoid any kratongs that are not biodegradable. In years past, Styrofoam or plastic were popular, which clogged up rivers and caused a huge mess. If possible, always buy kratongs that are made from natural products.

The festival is celebrated throughout Thailand, but it’s most intense in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. In Bangkok, Lumpini Park, Benchasiri Park, Benjakiti Park, or anywhere along the Chao Phraya River are popular locations to take part, while those in Chiang Mai head to the Ping River or simply to the ancient moat that surrounds the inner city.

Rawee Waree Resort Chiang Mai
Rawee Waree Resort
To get the most out of this beautiful Thai holiday, make sure to check out’s hotel deals below, and have a great time!

The Forest Resort, Chiang Mai 3*
Save USD $13 per night on your stay. Expires 31 October, 2014.

The Balcony Chiang Mai Village 4*
Enjoy 35% off your stay. Expires 30 November, 2013.

Rawee Waree Resort, Chiang Mai 5*
Stay for at least 2 nights and enjoy 15% off your stay. Expires 28 February, 2014.

Star Hotel Chiang Mai 3*
Enjoy 50% off your stay. Expires 30 April, 2014.

Khum Phucome, Chiang Mai 3*
Book at least 14 days in advance and enjoy 5% off your stay. Expires 30 April, 2014.

Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Bangkok 5*
Enjoy 25% off your stay. Expires 31 December, 2013.

Ramada Plaza Bangkok Menam 5*
Enjoy 25% off your stay. Expires 30 November, 2013.

Peninsula Bangkok Hotel 5*
Stay for a minimum of 3 nights and enjoy 33% off your stay. Expires 15 December, 2013.

Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort and Spa 5*
Book at least 3 days in advance and enjoy 15% off your stay. Expires 30 November, 2013.

Chatrium Hotel Riverside Bangkok 5*
Enjoy 72% off your stay. Expires 30 November, 2013.

Ten Budget Hotels in Singapore below US$100 per night

Both business and leisure travelers are looking for more ways to save their money on upcoming travel to Singapore and one of the best way to do that is to stay in a budget hotel in Singapore to cut cost on expensive hotel room prices., a Singapore hotel guide platform specializing in budget hotels in Singapore, has recently released a list of 10 hotels with below US$100 per night room rates. These Singapore budget hotels are also located near the city center and within walking proximity to MRT train stations and with their affordable room rates are a boon to both business and leisure travelers.

These budget hotels are shortlisted based on pricing, followed by guests’ feedbacks and amenities. Many of these hotels are also located near the city center and within walking proximity to MRT train stations.
“We want to help travelers pinpoint the most affordable hotels that fit any vacation style and budget,” said Danny Lee, founder of “While some travelers may feel a little shell-shocked because of increased airline fees and expenses, they can take relief that there are still cheap hotels to be found in Singapore.”

Check out the ten Singapore hotels below US$100 here:

1) Big Hotel 
A three-star Scandinavian-inspired hotel located in downtown Bugis district and under 10-minute walk to Bugis MRT train station. Room rates in Big Hotel start from US$89 per night.

2) Porcelain Hotel 
A chic-boutique hotel in Chinatown district and short walking distance to Chinatown MRT station. Guests can rest in Porcelain Hotel from US$90 per night.

3) Hotel 81 Bugis 
A clean and no-frills hotel that is very popular with budget travelers for its city center location. Daily room rates start from US$90 in Hotel 81 Bugis and the Bugis MRT station is a short 10-minute walk away.

4) Venue Hotel 
A unique hotel with strong colonial features in eastern part of Singapore. The nearby Paya Lebar MRT train station is within walking distance and 25-minute by train from Changi Airport. Rooms in Venue Hotel are available from US$60 per night.

5) Marrison Hotel
Located in central Bugis district, this modern hotel is popular with tourists who use it as a base to explore Singapore. The Bugis MRT station is just 5-minute walk away and rooms in Marrison Hotel can be booked from US$90 per night.

6) Fort Canning Lodge
This budget hotel with spacious rooms is favored by shopaholics who prefer to stay near Orchard Road. Dhoby Ghaut MRT station is 5-minute walk away and the rooms in Fort Canning Lodge can be booked from US$90 per night.

Santa Grand Hotel Lai Chun Yuen
Santa Grand Hotel Lai Chun Yuen 
7) Santa Grand Hotel Lai Chun Yuen 
The only hotel in the list with an Oriental theme and rightfully located in the cultural Chinatown district. The themed-rooms in Santa Grand Hotel Lai Chun Yuen can be booked from US$80 and the Chinatown MRT station is just one block away.

8) Kam Leng Hotel 
Kam Leng Hotel  is located near historic Little India and the Mustafa Center, the only 24-hour shopping mall in Singapore. It is 15-minute walk from Lavender MRT train station and rooms are from US$80 per night.

9) Bliss Hotel 
This budget hotel is well-liked by past staying guests for its convenient location and friendly hospitality. Bliss Hotel  is a stone throw from Chinatown MRT train station and room rates start from US$90 per night.

10) Amaris Hotel Singapore 
Located in a strategic location that straddles Bugis Junction and Suntec City Convention Center, Amaris Hotel Singapore is less than 10-minute walk to Bugis MRT station and daily room rates start from US$90.

Source : Top 10 Hotels below $100 in Singapore

Pipeline Supply of New Residential Units in Singapore

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan has posted the below chart in his Facebook. According to the post 204,461 units of residential property will be ready for occupation in 2014, 2015 and 2016. This is is 3.4% larger than the earlier projection of 197,559:
We are making good progress in our ramp-up of home building programme. The number of new public and private residential units ready for occupation in the next three years is increasing. Our earlier projection (197,559) has been outstripped. The new number now is 204,461. For this year, more than 21,000 residential units have already been built; another 9,220 units will be ready by year end.
Source : Khaw Boon Wan's Facebook Page
According to the graph 65,383 units of private residential properties, 10,435 units of Executive Condominiums and 97,551 units of HDB's will be completed in the next 3 years. Most of the flood is expected in 2016 where 73,628 units of properties will be completed.

It seems like a flood of property supply will come to the Singapore market. The Facebook post followed the news that HDB Resale Price Index (RPI) fell by 0.9 per cent in the third quarter of this year. This was a slightly bigger drop than the flash estimate of 0.7 per cent released earlier this month. The last time resale flat prices dipped was at the start of 2009, when the recession hit. Prices have been on the upward trend since and reached a peak in the second quarter of this year, when prices went up by 0.5 per cent.

Pipeline Supply of New Residential Units in Singapore
Pipeline Supply of New Residential Units in Singapore new deals end 2013

Resorts World Sentosa on Sentosa Island offers many attractions like Universal Studios Singapore, Adventure Cove Waterpark, S.E.A. Aquarium and many dinning options. Although its main existence reason and attraction is a large casino, RWS can be visited and enjoyed without doing anything with gambling., a Singapore based group buying site, has recently started a section devoted to Resort World Sentosa deals. Many of these deals are not discounted at all but they let you earn deal points which can later be used to purchase other deals.

X-Mas Travel Deals on the other hand, comes with many deep discounts like a 68% discount for Bali villa stays or 54% discount for holiday in Orlando & Miami with Cruise To Bahamas.

Established in 2010 offers has become Singapore’s Number One online shopping platform Singapore at Half the Price.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Ashley Madison in Singapore

Ashley Madison,  a dating site for people already in relationship, has recently announced its plans for a launch in Singapore in 2014. The Canada-based website (whose slogan is "Life is short. Have an affair.") is already in Asia with launches in Japan and Hong Kong.

The reaction for plans, which may well be publicity stunt because it seems like nobody in Singapore knew its existence until the news broke, were naturally negative. Many people would be cheerful indeed but they will naturally not celebrate the news openly.

The news created buzz on the net and on Wednesday "Ashley Madison" was the most searched term in Google Singapore with 10,000+ searches. Today, Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing has posted his opinion on the dating site on Facebook:

Saw media reports on Ashley Madison, a dating website targeting married spouses, which has plans to launch in Singapore next year. 
I do not welcome such a website into Singapore. I’m against any company or website that harms marriage. Promoting infidelity undermines trust and commitment between a husband and wife, which are core to marriage. Our marriage vows make it clear that marriage is a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman. This includes staying faithful to one another.  
I’m heartened by the responses of many Singaporeans who also spoke up against such website. This reflects the significance we all place in commitment and fidelity in marriage. 
Previously a Singapore based Facebook group called "Block Ashley Madison - Singapore" was formed which has gathered 11,300 likes up to now. Trish McDermott, a consultant who helped found, accused Ashley Madison of being a "business built on the back of broken hearts, ruined marriages and damaged families". Biderman responded by stating that the site is "just a platform" and a website or a commercial will not convince anyone to commit adultery.

Ashley Madison slogan : "Life is short. Have an affair."
By the way, if you wonder who Ashley Madison is, the answer is no one. The name was created from two popular female baby names "Ashley" and "Madison".

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

iPad Air in Singapore

Apple has announced its new iPad line of tablets. iPad Air, the 5th generation of iPad, will be equipped with new A7 processor and is just 450 gram. iPad Mini Retina Display, 2nd generation of iPad Mini, will be equipped with A7 processor and retina display.

iPad Air release date in Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Japan is November 1st 2013. Although Apple kept iPad as a pretty expensive tablet, expect long lines of queues for the new device and an overwhelming demand.

iPad Air Specifications and Prices
240 x 169.5 x 7.5 mm iPad Air will weight just 469 grams and come in silver, space gray and aluminum colors. 9.7 inch and 2,048 x 1,536 pixels screen will hide a 64-bit A7 processor behind and a battery powering the device for 10 hours on Wi-Fi. iPad Air still comes with 5 megapixels camera.

iPad Air prices for only Wi-Fi version are US $499 for 16 GB, US $599 for 32 GB, US $699 for 64 GB and US $799 for 128 GB models. For Wi-Fi plus cellular iPad Air prices are US $629 for 16 GB US $729 for 32 GB, US $829 for 64 GB and US $929 for 128 GB models.

iPad Mini Retina Display Specifications and Prices
200 x 134.7 x 7.5 mm iPad Mini Retina Display will weight just 331 grams and come in silver, space gray and aluminum colors. 7.9 inch and 2,048 x 1,536 pixels screen will hide a 64-bit A7 processor behind and a battery powering the device for 10 hours on Wi-Fi. iPad Mini 2 comes with 5 megapixels camera.

iPad Mini 2 prices for only Wi-Fi version are US $399 for 16 GB, US $499 for 32 GB, US $599 for 64 GB and US $699 for 128 GB models. For Wi-Fi plus cellular iPad Air prices are US $529 for 16 GB US $629 for 32 GB, US $729 for 64 GB and US $829 for 128 GB models.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sentosa Hotels

Singapore's Sentosa Island is the most expensive island in South East Asia to stay according to TripAdvisor’s TripIndex Island Sun 2013. According to findings, a one-night stay in a four-star hotel, a two-course meal, beers, massage as well as rental of bicycles and snorkel equipment for two on Sentosa will cost US$856. Hotel rates make up the lion’s share of the TripIndex basket items.

On the other hand, if you can afford, Sentosa Island offers some very nice and quiet resort island stay options which is also very near to Singapore's busy central business district.

Resort World Sentosa Hotel
Resort World Sentosa is a large casino sugar-coated with attractions such as Universal Studios Singapore, Adventure Cove Water Park and SEA Aquarium. The "integrated resort" also offers high end 5-Star hotels inside.  Festive Hotel is perfect for family with young kids. Hard Rock Hotel has fantastic facilities with a very large pool. Equarius Hotel is scenic, tranquil and a wonderful place to stay. And Resorts World Sentosa Beach Villas offers beach-front villas without a beach on Sentosa Island. The facilities also have Ocean Suites which has floor-to-ceiling glass wall to view SEA Aquarium.

Other Luxuries
Capella Singapore Hotel offers great romantic stay amid lush tropic vegetation which will make you forget that you are actually right next to one of the most densely populated city centers on the planet. W Singapore - Sentosa Cove is one of the newest additions to Sentosa Hotels and introduces the famous 5-star "wow" factor of W-Hotels to Singapore.

Capella Singapore Hotel on Sentosa Island
Shangri-La's Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa is for guests who wants a clean nice beach in addition to 5-Star facilities.

Other Sentosa hotels are Moevenpick Heritage Hotel SentosaONE15 Marina ClubAmara Sanctuary ResortSiloso Beach Resort Sentosa and The Sentosa Resort and Spa

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Qatar Airways Promotion : Buy one Business Class ticket and get the second one free

Qatar Airways is celebrating its 10 years of service in Singapore by flights to Europe starting from 1010 SGD and several special deals. With Buy one Business Class ticket and get the second one free promotion, your joy of flying Qatar Airways Business Class just doubled. Fly between 10th October 2013 and 31st March 2014 and your companion flies with you for free.

The sales period for the promotion is 6th November 2013 and the offer is valid for travels from Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Korea, Kuwait,  Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Turkey, UAE, Vietnam, and Yemen.

The passengers must travel together to enjoy the deal and the final destination should not be Doha, Qatar Airway's hub and center.

Qatar Airways, partnering with American Express also offers exclusive savings on flights out of Singapore for American Express Card members.

Qatar Airways Promotion : Buy one Business Class ticket and get the second one free
Qatar Airways Promotion : Buy one Business Class ticket and get the second one free
For more promotions and latest fares and deals visit Qatar Airways deals from Singapore. Qatar Airways was recently voted as “Best Middle Eastern Airline” at the TTG Asia Travel Awards held in Thailand’s capital city of Bangkok, 3rd October.

Cruise to Boracay Island by SuperStar Aquarius

On 4 November 2013, Star Cruises' cruise ship SuperStar Aquarius will cruise to Boracay, one of the best islands on the planet earth. She will cruise from Kaohsiung (Taiwan) to Hong Kong and then Manila before arriving to Boracay.

Boracay offers white sandy beaches which are among the best of the world, plenty of swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving and water sports activities as well as very nice hotels and a colorful night life. In this unique cruise excursion to Boracay, Star Cruises offers a Boracay Land Tour visiting Mount Luho D’ Talipapa seafood market (from where you can buy fresh sea food and go to a restaurant to make it cooked for you) and a visit to D’ Mall, the largest shopping center in the area. The cruise also offers an Island Hopping Tour visiting Crocodile Island and Crystal Cove and A Leisure Day at Shangri-la Boracay Resort & Spa One of the first deluxe resorts to open on the island. This last tour package includes access to resort facilities (beach & pool), round-trip speedboat transfers between Cagban Jetty and Shangri-la Resort, 2-hour international barbecue buffet lunch at beach area from 12:00 Noon to 2 P.M.

After Boracay Island stopover, SuperStar Aquarius will end its journey in Kota Kinabalu Malaysia on 6 November, 2013. SuperStar Aquarius is currently home ported in Keelung Taiwan, will embark on a this 8D7N special cruise. Cruising from Kaohsiung on 30 October, 2013, she will stop in Hong Kong, Manila and Boracay before arriving in Kota Kinabalu on 6 November, 2013.

The cruise ship itself offers  a multitude of gourmet cuisine, world-class entertainment and great relaxing options that appeal to a whole range of holidaymakers be it families, honeymooners, senior citizens and even incentives and business groups.

Below is a short promotional video introducing Star Cruises' SuperStar Aquarius cruise ship.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Cheap flights to Krabi by AirAsia

Budget airline AirAsia is adding direct budget flights to Krabi from Singapore starting from 25 November 2013. With these new flights departing from Singapore, AirAsia will be the second airline offering cheap flights to Krabi from Singapore after Tiger Air. These daily Krabi flights will depart daily from Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 at 1.25pm.

AirAsia is also offering all travelers an introductory fare of only S$10 base fare, one way, on any of its daily flights into Krabi.  The promotion is available for booking until 20 October 2013 for travel from 25 November 2013 to 5 August 2014.

New Krabi - Singapore flights are response to the increasing demand for destinations in Thailand among Singaporean travelers, the AirAsia said in a statement on Thursday.

Known for its beaches and islands, Southern Thailand province of Krabi  abounds with countless natural attractions that never fail to impress tourists. White sandy beaches, crystal clear water, fascinating coral reefs, caves and waterfalls, as well as numerous islands draws many visitors to the province and is one of the most popular destination in Thailand.

Krabi International Airport is about 10 km from the Krabi Town limits, 15 km from the city centre, 40km from Ao Nang and 23km from Had Yao.

60-year-old Freddie Aguilar dates16-year-old girlfriend

One of the most talked about person in Philippines is music icon Freddie Aguilar. 60 years old has admitted he is dating a 16 years old teenager according to a report by Ervin Santiago, INQUIRER Bandera entertainment editor. Freddie Aguilar was seen with the girl while attending the 5th Star Awards for Music on Sunday at Solaire Resort & Casino in Pasay City:
The news started when he was seen with the girl while attending the 5th Star Awards for Music on Sunday at Solaire Resort & Casino in Pasay City, wherein he was given a special recognition for his contribution to local and international music. 
He admitted to the media present that indeed, the girl is his girlfriend. Aguilar had a disclaimer that he didn’t know the age of the girl when he courted her. It was too late because he already fell in love with her when he learned of her actual age. He requested the media not to mention the name of the girl. 
But Aguilar said there’s nothing to worry about since the parents of the girl have approved of the relationship, only with a warning that she should be careful because Aguilar is known to be a ladies’ man.
Source : Freddie Aguilar courts controversy with 16-year-old girlfriend
The news, especially his plans to marry the girl, was greeting by mostly negative comments. Some said Freddie Aguilar's most famous song, Anak, can be dedicated to the girl. Anak means child or more accurately my son or my daughter in Tagalog.

Meanwhile photos of Freddie Aguilar and his girlfriend showing the couple kissing found their ways to internet:

Freddie Aguilar kissing16-year-old girlfriend
Freddie Aguilar kissing16-year-old girlfriend
Amid the social media frenzy over Freddie Aguilar’s admission that he is deeply in love with his 16-year-old girlfriend, photos of the legendary folk singer and a young woman who may or may not be the unidentified girlfriend (see above) surfaced online on Thursday.
 Two of the photos show the 60-year-old singer and the young lady kissing. The third has them looking directly at the camera.
Source : Photos of Freddie Aguilar and young lady who may be 16-year-old girlfriend surface online

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tiger Air Ticket Promotion 2013: Bangkok & Phuket Air Tickets 30% off

Singapore based budget airline Tiger Air and are collaborating for this latest Tiger Air promotion. For travel period between 1 November 2013 to 4 November 2013, Bangkok and Phuket air tickets are offered with 30% discount. You can either choose Singapore-Bangkok-Singapore Tiger Air flights for only $245 instead of $350 or Singapore-Phuket-Singapore Tiger Air flights for only $275 instead of $550. These ticket prices are taxes included and comes with 10kg hand-carry luggage.

Be it a vacation with family, friends or your better half, Phuket and Bangkok have always been the top picks. The decision to get that deserved vacation is usually stunted by hefty air fares. With today's DEAL, you can make that decision at the blink of your eye as the fares just got a lot cheaper!

Booking must be done latest by 22 Oct 2013. For more details and fine-print visit Tiger Air Pro Page on

Below are the Tiger Air flights you can choose from:
Singapore - Bangkok - Singapore
TR2106  01Nov  SINBKK  1240/1410
TR2113  04Nov  BKKSIN  1940/2310

Singapore - Phuket - Singapore
TR2152  01Nov SINHKT  0925/1010
TR2159  04Nov HKTSIN  2000/2245

Tiger Air Ticket Promotion 2013: Bangkok & Phuket Air Tickets 30% off
Tiger Air Ticket Promotion 2013: Bangkok & Phuket Air Tickets 30% off
For more travel deals from Singapore, visit Travel deals page.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Takashi Yanase manga artist behind Anpanman passed away

One of Japan's most beloved cartoon characters, Anpanman, lost his father renowned manga artist Takashi Yanase. Takashi Yanase has passed away at the age of 94 because of heart failure. Anpanman is not widely recognized abroad as other Japanese characters like Hello Kitty but it is one of Japan’s most widely beloved children’s characters. Created in 1973, its anime adaptation Soreike! Anpanman (それいけ!アンパンマン?, Let's Go! Anpanman) is one of the most popular anime series amongst young children in Japan.

Takashi Yanase, who served in an artillery unit during the Second Sino-Japanese War, says that the hellish conditions he faced during the war directly inspired his most beloved character. Yanase has said that, while he was never in danger from enemy combatants, he was often on the brink of starvation during the war and would dream about eating anpan. Much later in life, he would parlay those dreams into the creation of the benevolent superhero, Anpanman.[1]

Anpanman is a superhero with the head made of anpan, or bread filled with red bean paste, a typical snack in Japan. In the cartoon, the round-faced, smiley hero, clad in a red suit and long cape, fights his archrival Baikinman, or a germ man, while rescuing the weak.[2]

The self-sacrificial hero, who even allowed starving people to bite into his head, rose to stardom in Japan in a picture book series that started in 1973, racking up sales totalling 68 million copies over the past 30 years. The Anpanman television cartoon series started in 1988, and has spread across Asia, where is also popular in places like Hong Kong and Taiwan.[2]

Takashi Yanase
Takashi Yanase manga artist behind Anpanman.
Takashi Yanase is known for his pacifist messages. He also wrote poems and lyrics for children's songs.

[1] - Anpanman creator Takashi Yanase dies at age 94
[2] - Takashi Yanase, creator of Japanese cartoon character Anpanman, dies at 94

Monday, October 14, 2013

Bangkok Holiday - 1 Day Itinerary

I had a day free in Bangkok recently so I tried to do some compact Bangkok tour in a single day. I have been to Bangkok many times but most in the last 4 years were for business and I have not visited any attractions in Bangkok.

I have checked some guides online and I have found this One Day in Bangkok article in WikiTravel and I have decided to follow it. But since I am quite familiar with Bangkok, I did not closely follow the advises.

First step is to take a canal boat to Bangkok's old city center, Rattanakosin Island. Many arrive to Rattanakosin by a combination on train ride and boat ride on main river or taxi, but few knows that there are also boats running in smaller canals of the city. It is a relatively short ride on a speed boat but an authentic experience to try. These speed boats are heavily used by locals to travel around Bangkok.

The first step is to reach SkyTrain Ratchathewi station. I stayed in Aloft Bangkok Sukhumvit 11 Hotel on Sukhumvit Road so I took BTS Sky Train from Nana station to Ratchathewi station.

I took exit 1. Just walk down and turn 180 degrees and walk down the street. There is a bridge over Saen Saeb canal and when you are walking on it you will probably see the boats and the pier. You should walk down the stairs near elephant heads sculpture and then reach this small pier called Saphan Hua Chang. You will take a boat which is heading left as you stay on the pier and your face is pointing the canal. Quickly jump to the next one. It is only 10 bahts and you will witness backyards of Bangkok while riding on the smelly waters of a canal.

Step 1 - Klong ride in the backyard canals of Bagkok 
I have disembarked at the Phan Fa Lilat pier (this is the last pier) near the Golden Mount. Just simply walk through any "helpful" locals and "tourist police" to not start your Bangkok old city tour with a scam!

To your left, you'll see a small bridge with oncoming traffic, and a large bridge with multi-lane traffic. Cross the large bridge, pass the white Mahakan Fort. Now original itinerary guides you to the Wat Ratchanaddaram. This is one of Bangkok's unappreciated temples according to the article and it says climb into the tower for a bird's-eye view of Rattanakosin. I have followed it but I would advise you to head to Golden Mount which is much more interesting and offers a better view from its roof!

Step 2: Golden Mount

After Wat Ratchanaddaram the original article advises to take taxi to Wat Pho. The distance is walkable but since you will walk a lot around Wat Pho, Grand Palace and Wat Arun, it is better to take a taxi. I have not seen Khaosan Road for ages and it is quite near to Wat Ratchanaddaram. So I have walked first to Khaosan Road and then from there I have walked to Grand Palace.

The original itinerary has skipped Grand Palace but it is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions in Bangkok and you should definitely visit there. Ok, the entrance is expensive in Bangkok standards but there are many things to see inside.

Step 3 : Grand Palace
Ok Grand Palace then Wat Pho is a little a lot of walk but doable.Wat Pho houses the world's largest Reclining Buddha and the rest of the large complex is also interesting, I suggest you first to go to Grand Palace and than wat Pho because there is a very famous and good massage school at the eastern side of the temple grounds and it is a definitely must. Lie down there for half an hour plus to recharge while enjoying Thai Traditional Massage at its best.

Step 4: Wat Pho
I have exited through the west gates behind the Reclining Buddha and went to pier of Tha Tien to cross the river to Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn). A little ferry will take you there for 3 baht. I have climbed up Wat Arun for a bird-eye view of  Rattanakosin Island. The last part of the climb is very steep and climbing down is more difficult then climbing up.

Step 5: Wat Arun
After crossing Chao Phraya river to Rattanakosin side I have headed to the Chao Phraya Express Boat dock. Once upon a time these boats were relatively unknown and offered a very relaxed and nice ride on the river. But thanks to online sources, they are extremely popular and as crowded as Tokyo Metro cars! I could not board the first Orange Boat and had to wait 15 minutes plus under sun on the dock to take the next one!

The original itinerary also recommends to stop by famous Bangkok riverside hotel Mandarin Oriental and enjoy a drink on its riverside bar named Bamboo Bar. You can do this but after a long day like this, I preferred to head to my hotel (the boat will take you to  Saphan Taksin BTS station) and drink there after a shower.

Step 6: Chao Phraya River Express
Since I have added Grand Palace to my itinerary I did not have time to shop in the afternoon. Anyway, I had 2 more days there.

In the night, I took a taxi to the State Tower (the riverside building with the golden dome) and went to Sirocco and Sky Bar, the world's tallest rooftop bar/restaurant with mind-boggling nighttime views of Bangkok below. Drinks are 400 baht and up, with a live jazz band for free. There is a dress code: no shorts or sandals. Eating there is very expensive so eat before heading to there.

and view from State Tower