This is the time of the year to get ready to grab the best travel deals from Travel Fairs for the coming year end school holidays. This year, one travel fair is held before the National Day and the other immediately after National Day. So this is going to be a very busy and exciting two weekends in a row with National Day cerebration sandwiched in between.
Once again, no entrance fee will be collected during the two fairs.
Do note the dates and venues for these two travel fairs as follows:
Travel Revolution Fair
4 – 6 August 2017 (Friday to Sunday)
11 am to 9.30 pm.
Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre,
Halls A & B
11 –13 August 2017 (Friday to Sunday)
10 am to 9.30 pm Daily
Level 4 Halls 401 – 406
Level 3 Concourse 1 – 4
Do your research and plan where you wish to visit in advance if you have the time. This will save you time when you check and compare prices and itineraries at different booths from various travel agents.
Like the past, most major travel companies will be participating in the fairs.
Expect travel companies dishing out freebies to sweeten the deal to secure your business as well as gifts from credit card issuing banks if you charge your purchase above the required amount.
Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance as well where steep discounts are expected during the fairs.
So happy tour shopping and travelling …
Chinese New Year Decoration in Chinatown
It is Chinese Lunar New Year again. Chinatown, the main venue for Lunar New Year celebration is all decked up for this coming event just two weeks away. It would be the year of the rooster this time so a huge and colourful rooster is installed at the main thoroughfare in Chinatown. This is much nicer than the Donald Trump version in China.
Colourful lanterns are strung across the roads and streets all over Chinatown. It would be quite a sight at night. Perhaps, this could rival Hoi An in Central Vietnam minus the river scene. It is very hot during the day but visitors are still present. Tourists were busy snapping up the festive Chinatown scenes from streets to streets and on the overhead bridge as well.
Festive Goodies on Sale
Shops and stalls are already set up and new year goodies are on sale. It wasn’t crowded during the day due to the heat. Come night time, especially nearer to New Year Eve, the streets would be packed. The famous Lim Chee Guan bah kwa shop along New Bridge Road was having a shorter queue when I walked past this morning. The queue is quite legendary so you may want buy your bah kwa early to save time.
Christmas was over just slightly two weeks’ ago. So it was interesting to see Santa Claus balloon displayed together with the Chinese god of wealth. Some tourists were amused and were taking pictures of this strange combination. Take a look this amusing sight at Smith Street if you happen to be there. Continue reading Chinese New Year Celebration at Chinatown
This is the time of the year where the famous Orchard Road Shopping Belt puts on romantic charms with amazingly eye-catching Christmas lightings. We usually drive through Orchard Road to enjoy the beautifully glittering lights during Christmas seasons. This time, we did it on foot. And we didn’t regret it.
Christmas lightings are best viewed during the night. For us, this adventure started with a nice lunch at the Ibis Hotel at Bencoolen Street. This is one of our favourite eating places downtown because we are Accor Plus members where we enjoy dining discounts.
After lunch, we went to do some shopping over at Bugis Junction. Bugis Junction is also dressed up for Christmas. The last time we visited Bugis Junction was during the Mid Autumn Festival. How quickly the deco is switched to the soothing romantic Christmas decorations over here.
With shopping done, we walked over to Bugis+ Mall that is connected with Bugis Junction via a shopping bridge across Victoria Street. This would reduce our exposure to the bright and unforgiving sun outdoor, not to mention, the high humidity here in Singapore. Over here at Bugis+, Uniqlo has a very big store taking up 2 floors in the mall. The main atrium here was rather busy with Coffee Bean taking centre stage where many tired shoppers stopped over for a cup of cuppa. A lot of young people hang out over here as well. Continue reading Christmas Shopping and Dining at Orchard Road
Singapore Changi Airport has been voted among the top three airports in the world over many years. Indeed Changi Airport is exceptional and anyone who has been to Changi Airport would agree that the service and facilities in the airport is top-notch. It is like roaming in a shopping mall within an airport where comfort and luxury are extended to visitors ensuring a great experience for visitors to have a lasting impression of the country.
It is such a great airport that one passenger who overslept and missed his flight made it a point to stay behind in the airport for 18 days until he was finally arrested. This is not a movie but an actual incident that happened recently. Strange but true and the way he went about surviving in the airport indulging in the comfort and luxury the airport provided is surely a case in point concerning the reputation of Changi Airport. Continue reading Overstaying in Changi Airport
The iPhone craze happens every few months when the latest iPhone model hits the market. As expected, iPhone lovers can’t resist the urge to be among the first to lay hands on the latest model of the much sought after iPhone. Queues would be formed overnight outside the stores of the official retailers.
Among those in the queues were young and old who were not buying the iPhones for themselves but for someone else. This somewhat validates the often joke about queuing as the national pastime of residents in Singapore.
Overnight Queues for New iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
However, not everyone seems to be a fan of this queuing game as a national sports event that happens from time to time. One couple planned to beat the game by buying iPhones at Changi Airport. This landed them in trouble and they were arrested. Continue reading Buying iPhone at Changi Airport
Other than Chinese New Year, another good time to visit Chinatown is during the period of Mid Autumn Festival. Right now, Chinatown has been dressed up for the occasion with lanterns and decorations hanging all over town. Of course, this whole area of Chinatown would become very lovely at night, much like Hoi An in Vietnam, albeit, a much more modern version of a similar attraction with plenty of Chinese old buildings, shops and cultural activities.
Unlike Hoi An, the surrounding area of Chinatown is fenced up with skyscrapers. Old and new shopping malls and hotels are sitting around the area. The central business district is just next to Chinatown at the Raffles Place and Shenton Way area. From Upper Cross Street, one could walk all the way into the busy business district.
Besides many bus services, Chinatown can be reached easily via the MRT Station from the North-East and Downtown Line. Different exits would provide visitors access to different parts of Chinatown without having to expose much to the external elements, especially during a hot and humid day or a raining day. Continue reading Mid Autumn Festival at Chinatown (September 2016)
Yesterday, we were running errant downtown so we happily hopped in to Ibis Bencoolen Hotel for lunch. We like the local food served there and we ordered Hokkien noodles and Nasi Lemak at just $12 each. We could top up with either a Western or Chinese soup and coffee or a selection of tea ranging from Earl Grey to English Breakfast that comes in a teapot for just $6. The small piece of garlic bread that came with the soup was very good. As Accor Plus members, dining for two attracts a 50% discount which is exceptionally good.
As usual the food was great and as expected, of higher quality than the usual hawker centre fare. Of course we enjoyed our meal. The restaurant is really a convenient place to have a quick meal in air-conditioned comfort in the city and as Accor Plus members, we are paying food court prices for a nice lunch.
After lunch, we walked over to the open area outside OG Departmental Store and the Albert Court Food Centre. The place was a hive of activities during this time of the year where Mid Autumn Festival is just next week.
This place is like a mini Chinatown but with a vibes of dynamic young people from the office crowd downtown. The whole area is full of stalls selling all and sundry, especially goods related to the coming festival. Lanterns are on display and pomelo and moon cakes are on sale. A tent is also set up for cultural activities with a moon fairy statue right in the middle of the open area. It was a hot day but the whole place was busy with visitors and office crowd out for lunch during our visit.
Continue reading Mid Autumn Festival at Bugis (September 2016)
After a good night sleep, we pondered where to go for breakfast. We were not very interested in the hotel’s buffet breakfast as we didn’t feel like eating too much. Another option was Chinatown nearby to feast on our favourite local food. Finally, we decided to head down to McDonalds for breakfast. It was so convenient.
When the children were much younger, having breakfast at the McDonalds was almost a weekly affair during the weekend. So it was quite a few years since we had breakfast together at McDonalds again. We ordered our usual breakfast sets and indulged in some nostalgia feasting on our favourite meals. The restaurant wasn’t crowded early Sunday morning. Those who hung out late the previous night were still in bed.
Shops in Liang Court Shopping Centre were not opened yet. So the mall was rather quiet. Clarke Quay of course was quiet as well but with occasional joggers running along the Singapore River. It was a peaceful and pleasant morning outdoor.
Across the road over at Fort Canning Hill, the park was welcoming morning joggers as well. Some liked to stroll along the hill to enjoy the sight of the downtown area. When I was much younger, I preferred to jog up Mount Faber and I enjoyed the surrounding views, especially to watch sunrise. I could look across the sea over to Sentosa Island. The view from Fort Canning Park was no less inspiring too.
The swimming pool was not crowded this morning. It was rather peaceful with hotel guests enjoying their breakfast at The Square Restaurant overlooking the swimming pool. It was partly cloudy this morning and was still as windy as the day before.
Continue reading 2 DAYS 1 NIGHT WEEKEND STAYCATION AT NOVOTEL CLARKE QUAY HOTEL – Day 2 (JUNE 2016)