Saturday, December 29, 2012

Platypus Family Kitchen @ Bugis Junction

Platypus Family Kitchen @ Bugis Junction

From Hippopotamus to Platypus, not of the animal variety but rather restaurants that serve up a western menu. Unlike the Hippopotamus Grill Restaurant which originates from France, the Platypus Family Kitchen @ Bugis Junction is a branch of the casual Mediterranean bistro, Platypus Test Kitchen, specializing in hand-made pastas and seasonal Mediterranean fare.

Happened to have dinner at this interesting restaurant over the weekend with a bunch of friends, and no, although it is named Platypus, there were no decorations of the sort. The interior décor was contemporary with warm colors and lighting, and comfortable chairs. The waiters/waitresses were friendly and service was prompt... Read more>>

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas is in the air - Snow in Singapore!

There’s only 3 weeks to Christmas and the festive mood is already in the air. It is that time of the year, (well one of the times in a year here in Singapore), that shopping malls contend for the title for the most creative and exuberant façade décor, filling their interiors with the season's themed events, shopping promotions (discounts galore!) and more - all for that memorable Christmas!

With Christmas songs playing in the shopping malls and even the supermarkets, it’s not hard to get into the festive mood; what more with the Christmas trees and pretty lights. One event that caught my attention is the ‘snow’ at Tanglin Mall. We finally have snow in Singapore... Read more>>

Alvin Choi (Lyricalight Photos) Christmas

Monday, November 26, 2012

FLYING - 1st Korean Sport Comedy

FLYING - 1st Korean Sport Comedy

Adding to my collection of dancicals is FLYING, the first Korean non-verbal sports comedy presented incorporating b-boying, gymnastics, cheer leading, and martial arts. It was an 80 minute performance that spanned from the past to the present. Held at the Esplanade Theatre, this time DramaQueen and I got to seat in Circle 2 instead of 3, so it was closer to the action. Thank goodness for the GV (Golden Village) card 10% discount!

FLYING - 1st Korean Sport Comedy Esplanade

Synopsis and Review

The story of FLYING starts off in the past during the Silla Dynasty where a goblin appears during a Hwarang martial art competition, causing mayhem. The scene opens with a girl dancing some traditional dance and... Read more>>

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sampan Rides (The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands Singapore)

While there is the famous gondola in Venice at the Venetian Macau where you get to have a boat ride with a gondolier that sings as he rows you down the Grand Canal. Singapore has its own version, well something similar but minus the singing – the Sampan Ride at the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands Singapore which is indoors and sheltered from bad weather. A sampan is a flat bottom small Chinese wooden boat and the name is derived from the original Cantonese (Chinese dialect) term for boats.

 Sampan Rides – The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands Singapore
The sampans making their rounds
A ride on the sampan in the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands Singapore's canal will take you along the Canal, the Shoppes and around the Rain Oculus (a 22-meter diameter acrylic bowl set on a 90-ton...Read more>>

Pont des Arts (Paris) - a bridge with meaning

Pont des Arts

On the way back from dinner one day in Paris, we stumbled across the Pont des Arts or Passerelle des Arts. The Pont des Arts or Passerelle des Arts is a pedestrian bridge that spans across the Seine River, linking the Institut de France and the central square (cour carrée) of the palais du Louvre.

According to Wikipedia, this nine-arch metallic bridge was the fist metal bridge in Paris built for pedestrians. The bridge served as a place for art exhibitions and is today’s platform for painters, artists and photographers who are drawn t...Read more>>

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Concert: The Blaq% Tour Taipei 2012

With the current Hallyu wave, it made us curious what all the hype was all about. Now it so happened that this concert was happening on the weekend we were scheduled to be in Taipei, so DramaQueen and I decided to have a look see...Read more>>

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Beitou and XinBeitou - Taipei (Taiwan)

According to Wikitravel, Beitou which is famous for its hot springs is located in the northern part of Taipei (Taiwan). Beitou consists of Beitou, where locals live and work and Xin (New) Beitou, which was developed as a hot spring destination during the Japanese era. The hot springs at Beitou consists of sulphur, so the smell of sulphur permeates throughout the air which might not agree with certain people’s noses much.

To get to Beitou, you would have to take the red line (Xindian-Danshui/Nanshijiao-Beitou). There is an information counter at the Beitou MRT Station which can advise you on the attractions and what you can do... Read more>>

Friday, September 28, 2012

Cash, Credit or Cheque

Before leaving for every trip, there is always that question of how much to bring and the medium it should be in (e.g. cash, credit card, Debit/ATM card or traveler’s cheque).


By via Flickr
Cash is one of the easiest mediums to bring along when traveling overseas, there are no additional charges using the cash you have exchanged. The only concern might be if you bring too much or have not enough..Read more>>

Friday, September 14, 2012

Themed Restaurants in Taipei - Taiwan

Besides being surrounded by beautiful mountains and luscious greenery and rivers (e.g. Danshui), Taipei is also known for its food. From the traditional night markets (e.g. Shilin Night Market) that sell the most interesting foods (e.g. stinky fermented toufu, ‘iron’ eggs etc…) and are cheap, to the interesting themed restaurants from Hello Kitty to Toilet Bowls and everything else in-between (hospital, classroo... Read more>>

Ximending, Taipei - Taiwan

Taipei - the capital of Taiwan - a modern East Asian metropolis that never seems to sleep. Although a city, Taipei is surrounded by beautiful mountains and luscious greenery and rivers (e.g. Danshui). It is the perfect combination for sight seeing, history, shopping and relaxing. One well-known area in Taipei is a neighborhood and shopping district known for its vibrant culture and shopping would be Ximending.

Ximending is Taipei ’s equivalent of Signapore’s Orchard road, just a lot livelier and bigger than its island... Read more>>

Friday, August 31, 2012

Digital Tour Buddy – Taiwan

If you are traveling to Taiwan from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2012, the National Youth Commission (NYC) is providing the Digital Tour Buddy: a free calling service for international backpackers. The Digital Tour Buddy purpose is to ensure the convenience and safety of international backpackers traveling in Taiwan, as well as facilitate experiencing Taiwan’s IT advantages. It saves you the hassle of getting a new SIM card, and seems like a pretty cool and handy resource.

There are two options for the Digital Tour Buddy:

1. Pre-loaded Mobile Phone for Loan
The amount should be NT$50-100. So with this you can make and receive calls, check on the train schedule or to make a reservation for dinner. A very convenient item to have on hand, with even speed dial (including hotlines for 24-hour Tourist information from Tourism Bureau; life information enquiry for foreigners in Taiwan; Taiwan Youth Hostel Association, Youth Travel in Taiwan, Taipei...Read more>>

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Youth Travel Card - Taiwan

The Youth Travel Card came about as a means to forge a congenial travel environment, and was introduced by the National Youth Commission (NYC) of Administration Yuan. Since 2006 the National Youth Commission (NYC) of Administration Yuan has released 2 versions of the card for those 15-30 years old: blue one with an ocean pattern for Taiwanese, red with an aboriginal tribe pattern is for international visitors.

So when you travel to Taiwan and happen to be between the ages of 15 to 30 years old, you can (and should) apply for... Read more>>

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Singtel Bridge DataRoam Pricing (w.e.f. 02 August)

Having applied for the Singtel Bridge DataRoam plan for 5 days when I went to Paris a couple of months ago, I decided to do the same for this upcoming trip to Taiwan to see how good it is. During the time in Paris, the reception was bad (or really near to almost non-existent) but I decided to give it another go again for an upcoming trip to Taiwan. France, being a non-bridge alliance country costs more than bridge alliance countries (such as Taiwan). For example, a 5 day plan for France was S$100 and Taiwan was $60. Well, it was S$60 until 02 August 2012.
With effect from 01 August 2012, the pricing for bridge alliance countries has increased. So now instead of having to pay S$60 for 5 days, it is now S$70 for 5 days. The pricing for the non-bridge alliance countries seems to be... Read more>>

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hai Nan Xing Zhou Beef Noodles

Beef Noodles
Dry version
If you ever visit this food center at Toa Payoh, you almost always see a long queue at this beef noodles stalls; especially during peak hours (e.g. lunch time) – it can take a pretty long time to get your bowl of noodles.

Despite its lack luster appearance, the beef noodles are (particularly the soup and sauce for the dry version) is very tasty: it has a nice beefy flavor without the strong taste of beef (to me at least). The difference between this beef noodles and ...Read more>>

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Popiah is a Fujian/Chaozhou-style fresh spring roll that is common in Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Burma/ Myanmar. The skin of the popiah is usually made of flour, it is a thin (and soft) paper-like crepe or pancake is used to wrap cooked sliced vegetables (e.g. grated carrots, slices of Chinese sausage, thinly sliced fried tofu, chopped peanuts or peanut powder – there are slight variations), eaten together with sweet sauce and (optional) chili sauce.
Once the sauces and ingredients are placed on the popiah skin, the skin is wrapped into a roll – all the yummy ingredients nicely tucked inside. The roll is then sliced into 5-6 pieces. Just think of popiah skin as an extremely thin version...Read more>>

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Easy Card (悠遊卡) - Taiwan

Easy Card (悠遊卡) is Taiwan’s version of the EZlink Card, which can be used for transportation (e.g. buses and trains), as well as make small purchases. Using it is simple enough, you just have to swipe (tap) it like the EZlink. Fares paid with the Easy Card would be cheaper than buying tickets for single rides.

For adults, the Easy Card costs NT$500 (NT$100 is the deposit and the remaining NT$400 to use). You can top up the value when you run low and can get refunded for your full balance and deposit with a charge of NT20 termination fee (for cards used less than 3 months), as long as your card is still in good condition. Cards that are damaged in any way (i.e. bent or scratched) cannot be returned and the deposit... Read more>>

Saturday, August 11, 2012

British Breakfast Tea (Artisan Selection)

Traditional blend of select Ceylon, Assam and Kenyan teas creating a strong, malty brew
Full bodied with mid amber liquor

Exquisitely smooth with sweetness to match.  

Pair with a traditional hearty English breakfast. Perfect with milk chocolates and hard cheeses

This is the final tea from my staycation at Capella Singapore earlier this year. The tea is encased, as with all teas from Gryphon Tea Company, in a silken tea sachet which allows the tea to permeate the boiling water; bringing out the flavor. I found the British Breakfast Tea to be the least exciting amongst the previous two that I tried: it was not as interesting as the Pearl of Orient and less 'exciting' than the... Read more>>

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Basics of Booking Hotels Online

online booking
With the advancement of technology and accessibility of the internet, booking accommodation for
your trip has never been easier. Especially with the discounts or promotions that various third party websites as well as the hotels’ own website have to offer, booking and communication have never been easier.

HotelsCombined is a good place to start looking for hotel deals. It is a good site for comparison of prices as it pulls the data from various third party websites and gives you an overview of the various rates. Besides...Read more>>

At the Movies in Paris

When I was in Paris, I managed to watch two movies, Ice Age 4: Continental Drift and Snow White and the Huntsman. Both of which were in the original language (VO), else I would have to have someone translating it for me. The cinema we watched both movies was at Cinéma Gaumont Parnasse.

The experience was interesting and different from that in Singapore. For one, the cinemas are of a smaller scale and don’t have air-conditioning. Unlike Singapore where you are allotted your seats, in Paris you get to choose the seats. The ticket in Paris (at least the one we went to) entitles you entrance...Read More>>

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Pizza Vesuvio – Italian Restaurant (Paris)

1, Rue Gozlin, 75006 Paris, France 
After a morning of walking along St Germain for shopping, we headed to Vesuvio for lunch. It is a quaint little restaurant decked out in Italian décor with a ‘lively’ atmosphere of engrossed diners and busy waiters. The menu had a variety of pastas, pizzas, starters and desserts. The pizzas are handmade and backed in a wood oven, giving it that unique... Read more>>

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Research and Travel Style

No matter the accommodation type and rates, there will always be someone complaining about something on a review site or forum. It is amusing to read some reviews or posts for budget hotels where people complain about the small rooms, cleanliness, service and what not, save for the ‘perfect’ location. But you get what you pay for (in most cases), no? If the previews reviews state that the room has no windows and a are small, or that there is no view, what is there to get all surprised and upset about? The best approach would be take an overview of all the reviews of the performance of the business (in general) and be wary of postings from reviewers with only one review and little... Read more>>

Singtel Bridge DataRoam 5 Days Plan for France (Paris)

SingTel has 2 plans for its Bridge DataRoam Unlimited: the monthly fees and the one that you need to activate for the amount of days or hours that you need it for, from 0000 to 2359 of the end date regardless of what time it is activated. But it seems that the rates have gone up, if you compare it with last year.
Singtel Bridge DataRoam
 Singtel Bridge DataRoam Plans as at 2012
Not wanting to incur an exorbitant handphone bill when I went to Paris late last month, I applied for Singtel’s Bridge DataRoam plan for France. It was S$100 for unlimited 3G access for 5 days on... Read more>>

Friday, July 27, 2012

Earl Grey Lavender (Artisan Selection – Blend 086)

Earl Grey Lavender
This blend consists of high grown Celyonese black tea that is delicately fused with lavender blooms and oil of bergamot, creating an Earl Grey tea with finesse.

Medium bodied. Brisk Liquor with bergamot taste

Light citrusy-floral on the nose

Excellent with pastry, chocolate and dessert

Time for tea again! It has been a long time since I last tried the tea from my staycation at Capella Singapore earlier this year. For those new to Earl Grey, the intensity of the bergamot is as the description says, delicately fused into... Read more>>

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Paris Plages 2012 - A Summer Event

Paris PlagesIf you want to go to Paris between the 19th July to 20th August 2012, avoid taking your car because during this period is the Paris-Plages event going on! ...Read more>>

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hippopotamus Grill Restaurant (Paris)

1 Boulevard Capucines, 75002 Paris, France

Started in Paris (France), the Hippopotamus Grill Restaurant features a wide selection of cuts such as sirloin, tenderloin rib steaks, all the way to the rare hanger and skirt steaks. Thankfully despite its name, the restaurant does not sell hippopotamus meat. Apparently the restaurant’s founder saw a Hippopotamus during one of his voyage trips and left an impression on him, enough to actually start a restaurant using the animal’s name!

The Hippopotamus Grill Restaurant was established in Paris 1968, and grew to over a hundred restaurants mainly in the French regions before... Read more>>

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Paris to Singapore on Singapore Airlines: The Economy and Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal 1 Experience (Review)

Checking-in online and printing out the boarding pass for the return trip back to Singapore was as easy as the trip from Singapore to Paris. The only constraint is that you can only check-in online (at most) 48 hours before the flight actually departs.
  • Getting to Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal 1 via taxi
As the flight was departing at 12 noon, I left Paris at 0830 in the morning and it took about 45 minutes by taxi to the Charles de Gaulle Airport. The taxi fare was 58.90€.

  • Checking-in Luggage at Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal 1
Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal 1
Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal 1 Singapore Airlines Counter
Fortunately for me, although the queue at the check-in for Economy Class was long it was completed within 15 minutes. By the time I was in the queue, the people were starting to pile up and the line behind me was only getting longer and longer. Having a printed boarding pass and checking-in onlin...Read more>>

Friday, July 13, 2012

Plaza Gardens Restaurant Disneyland Paris (France)

Plaza Gardens Restaurant Disneyland ParisPlaza Gardens Restaurant Disneyland Paris
Plaza Gardens Restaurant Disneyland Paris
Although there were at least 3 other buffet options when we were at Disneyland Paris, we decided to have an international buffet lunch at Plaza Gardens Restaurant (off Main Street) for 26.99€ per person (adult) with drinks included. It was worth it (especially if you are hungry and/or can eat a lot)! Children can eat at the buffet at 11.50€, while if you want to save some money on drinks it costs.. Read more>>

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Walt Disney Studios Park (France)

Walt Disney Studios Park (France)
Walt Disney Studios Park (France)
Walt Disney Studios Park (France)
Outside Walt Disney Studios Park (France)
After surviving the queue at the entrance, our adventure started at Walt Disney Studios Park early in the morning. Fortunately it was not really quite the school holidays and a weekday, so the crowd and waiting time at the rides were not too bad (around 30-50 minutes). Walt Disney Studios Park is a relatively small amusement park which has some great rides such as Crush Coaster.

Once you past security at the entrance, the only way to get inside at Walt Disney Studios Park is to go through Studio 1 which is an interesting place as it is the main walk-through where all the shops... Read more>>

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Getting to Walt Disney Studios Park & Disneyland (France)

Disney Village
Disney Village
Walt Disney Studios Park and Disneyland (France) are side by side and can be completed within a day, if you are focused on the more exciting rides and don’t get distracted with meeting the characters, parade shows, souvenirs and kiddy rides. The last time I was in France I did not get to visit, so I made it a point to visit this time round with my cousins as the guides. Getting to the parks from the city center (Paris) takes about 2 hours by metro/RER and was relatively easy. If you want a more leisurely time at the parks, I guess two days should be enough.

Save on your hotel - HotelsCombined.comIt was kind of a last minute thing and thankfully my cousin managed to find an online offer which was about 12% less than the original pricing for the tickets per adult. We had wanted to stay overnight, but as it was kind of last minute most if the hotels were already booked. So if you want to spend more time and stay at the hotels it would be best to actually start booking online really early on to get your preferred hotel and dates.

Tickets should be bought online (if possible), because that would save you the time at the queue. If you decide to buy your tickets when you arrive, be prepared for lots of queuing: there is a queue for you to purchase the tickets, than there is a queue for visitors into the park - those... Read more>>

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Singapore to Paris on Singapore Airlines: The Economy Experience

The booking process on the Singapore Airlines website for a return trip to Paris was a breeze. You can choose your preferred seat when booking online as well. Navigation around the website was fairly simple enough and payment was a breeze, with the simple input of the credit card number and a click of a button. When payment was confirmed, the itinerary and receipt was sent to my email.

Checking-in can be done online and only at least 48 hours before the flight takes off. As I had input my mobile number, a SMS was sent to inform that I could check-in online. The process was easy, and after checking-in I was able to print out my boarding pass and (any) necessary documents. Being able to select your preferred seat, checking-in online and printing out the boarding pass really saves a lot of time... Read more>>

Monday, July 09, 2012

Pearl of the Orient (Gryphon Tea Company)

Pearl of the Orient (Gryphon Tea Company)
Description: This jasmine tea is accentuated with rose oil to produce an exquisite sensual aroma of floral bouquet.

Character: Light bodied. Bright golden liquor with a sweet finish

Aroma: Soft and floral

Goes well with fish and other white meat, served without milk.
Pearl of the Orient (Gryphon Tea Company)

Finally, after a long while I am trying another tea which I had the opportunity to come across when I was on staycation at Capella Singapore earlier this year! Like the TWG Company, the Gryphon Tea Company is a Singapore company with a mission to make high-quality, gourmet teas accessible to discerning tea drinkers seeking new... Read more>>

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Starbucks Singapore Coffee Appreciation Class

We got to taste 3 different types of coffee, from the mild subtle Blonde (Starbucks Veranda Blend), the Medium (Kenya), to the Dark (French Roast). With each of the coffees, we were introduced to foods that complimented each type.
Coffees in this category have a light body and mellow flavors. We got to try the Starbucks Veranda Blend which has delicate nuances of soft cocoa and lightly toasted nuts. Gracious and flavorful, without being overly bold. The Almond Butter Cake went with the Starbucks Veranda Blend, and the... Read more>>

Friday, June 15, 2012

Paradise Inn (Bedok Point)

Part of the Paradise Group, Paradise Inn is yet another restaurant under this company. Although it may be cheaper than the other Paradise Group restaurants, Paradise Inn can be considered one of the pricier Chinese restaurants. A simple meal for 2 can, if you are not careful, cost more than S$50 or you get less for the same price at some other restaurant (e.g. Soup Restaurant). But it is more affordable and better (in terms of quantity) to Casscida at Capella Singapore, to me at least. No matter, it is an experience not to be missed if you like trying different types of floral (chrysanthemum, jasmine, osmanthus or dried longan) or fruit-infused teas (eclectic lemongrass, passion fruit iced tea etc...) that are served either hot/cold, or want an different...Read more>>

Jellyfish - A Chinese Delicacy

Jellyfish come in all shapes and sizes and can sting. Moreover they are not pretty creatures to look at and some species are pretty deadly. Aesthetics and toxicity aside, there’s another thing you can do with jellyfish beside admire or avoid them, and that is to eat them! Yes, jellyfish (the non/less toxic kind) is a delicacy that is very popular in China that is usually served shredded, chilled, and tossed with soy sauce, sesame oil, and sesame seeds.

In Singapore, there isn’t that much of a difference in the seasonings, just perhaps the ratio of the seasonings, and/or variations at the various places you can eat this delicacy. Most often than not, if you ever attend a Chinese wedding in Singapore, jellyfish is served as a cold dish for starters. It is something almost all Chinese wedding dinners serve for...Read more>>

Friday, May 25, 2012

St Games (Singapore’s First Video Games Café)

St Games
St Games is Singapore’s first video games café located at the Cathay (directly located opposite the Dhoby Ghaut MRT station). It is a gaming café that offers you the experience of console gaming for Playstation 3, Xbox 360 (Kinect) and Nintendo Wii; a perfect solution for those who want to try or cannot afford the space and game consoles.
I had the opportunity to visit St Games when my friend planned a day out for us. The decor of the cafe was okay, the lighting was a little dim, and pretty crowded as it was a weekend. Good think my friend had booked via phone the day before. For a first timer, it did look a little intimidating, but once you get past the exterior it was all fun. The staff would patiently explain to you how to use the equipment and how to play. While we were there, a family was celebrating a child’s birthday in the...Read more>>

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Soup Restaurant (Century Square)

If you are looking for some comforting Chinese food, the Soup Restaurant is one place you should visit. I usually go to the outlet at Century Square and Suntec, but I think the other branches should be just as good. This restaurant is known for its double-boiled soup and homely Chinese fare.
Not to mention that if you are there, you cannot miss the signature Samsui Ginger Chicken! The Samsui Ginger Chicken is one of the highlights and eaten with lettuce leaves and the restaurant own made ginger sauce, which is simply delicious and doesn’t have that strong ginger aftertaste. The restaurant even sells bottles the ginger sauce for you to take home!

Samsui Ginger Chicken
Samsui Ginger Chicken with the ginger sauce
Samsui Ginger Chicken with lettuce
Samsui Ginger Chicken with lettuce, before it goes into your mouth!
The Soup Restaurant's menu has a variety of dishes with that homemade feeling: meats, fish, seafood, toufu and eggs, vegetables and boiled soups, all in various sizes to suit your party. It is not exactly cheap but the prices are affordable and food nice enough...Read more>>

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

TWG Emperor Sencha

My first encounter with TWG’s (The Wellness Group), a Singapore-based tea company, tea was really when I was on a staycation at Moevenpick Heritage Hotel Sentosa. TWG’sParis-Singapore Tea was the first tea that I tried from TWG. It wasn't my favorite but I like trying out...Read more>>

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Roti Prata

his flour-based South Indian delight can be found in Singapore in all shapes, sizes and flavors (cheese, onion, banana, red bean, chocolate, mushroom, egg or ice-cream). The word roti in “roti prata” means “bread” in Malay. Malaysia’s version is called roti canai.
Egg Roti Prata
Egg Roti Prata with fish curry
Plain Roti Prata
Plain Roti Prata with fish curry
Roti prata is made from dough and prepared by flipping the dough into a large thin layer before folding the outside edges inwards. When flipped and folded, it is then typically cooked over a flat grill and served with either a vegetable or meat based (fish or mutton) curry, eaten with sugar or..Read more>>

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Capella Singapore Sentosa Apr 2012 Overview

Capella Singapore
The Capella is a (5-star) hotel located on Sentosa and exudes discreet elegance and charm without being ostentatious. Catered towards both tourists and locals who want something near nature and away from the maddening crowds and bustle of the city. With 112 rooms spanning over a large property, you will not really experience the sometimes-noisy crowds at hotels. It is really a totally different experience and though you have to splurge a bit (or a lot depending on your budget), it is definitively worth the experience! Capella's architecture is a clever mix of traditional colonial building with an ultramodern semi-circle where the rooms are located.

Finding the right hotel just got a whole lot easier - HotelsCombined.comWith my birthday around the corner, I decided on another staycation after reading the reviews on Tripadvisor. Now I didn’t get the most expensive room, just the Garden Premier room with on average costs S$700++. Good thing I managed to find an offer that was about 10% cheaper. You can read more about my staycation experience here.

I must say that the Tripadvisor reviews were pretty accurate: the place was nice and the service was a little more than your usual 5-star hotel, and yes they even managed to remember my name during my short stay there. Getting to the Capella was a little more challenging than the Mövenpick Heritage Hotel Sentosa as it is located some distance away from the Imbiah station on the Sentosa Express. I should have just called to made transport arrangements, but lesson learnt. We ended up taking a taxi on Sentosa...Read more>>

Prata Wala (Tampines Mall)

Serving up North and South Indian delights, Prata Wala is not your average coffee shop or food court stall that serves Indian delights such as roti prata (pancake), naan and biryani (a rice dish cooked with spices). Instead, Prata Wala is located in shopping malls with branches in almost all corners of Singapore:

Jurong Point
#01-71/72/73/74 JP2
T. +65 6795 2530

nex@Serangoon Central
T. +65 6634 2910

Tiong Bahru Plaza
T. +65 6270 0113

Tampines Mall
T. +65 6789 1237

We happened to pass by the branch at Tampines Mall one evening and well, the smell was just too tempting! It has been ages since I last ate roti prata. Compared with other similar stores, the pratas are...Read more>>

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Beach Road Scissors-Cut Curry Rice

Scissors-Cut Curry Rice
Situated at the junction of Kitchener Road and Jalan Besar Road, lies Beach Road Scissors-Cut Curry Rice which serves up its version of Hainanese curry rice: rice dosed with (sticky and gooey) curry gravy. Why is it called scissors-cut curry rice? Well, that’s because they use a scissors to cut up the meat of your choice, served with other dishes (e.g. vegetables), place it on top of the rice and drizzle that unique curry gravy (made up of 3 sauces, one of which is dark soya sauce, I think).

Don’t bother reading future if you are not the adventurous sort. The final result is not that appealing visually (with its reddish and brownish hue), and the shop in which the stall resides is a little worn, and not well renovated (it might even be shabby by some standards). But it is worth a try if you are...Read more>>

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Boat Asia 2012

Boat Asia

Boat Asia is Asia’s longest and largest running boat show, with a unique concept of integrating boating and lifestyle elements. The event offers networking opportunities for boating enthusiasts and businesses to showcase their products and services. It is also is packed with activities that will also cater to...Read more>>

Lunch at the Knolls (Capella Singapore Sentosa’s Mediterranean Restaurant)

The Knolls at Capella Singapore outdoor seating
The Knolls @ Capella Singapore
The Knolls is Capella Singapore’s Mediterranean restaurant, with friendly service and pleasant setting near the main infinity pool with a nice view of the sea. The Knolls not only serves up Mediterranean dishes but also offers local Singapore fair (e,g. Nasi Goreng, Lasksa etc…) as well. Reservation to the Knolls was a quick call to the service desk by dialing ‘0’ on the hotel room phone. Upon arriving at the Knolls, we decided to sit outdoors to enjoy the...Read more>>

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Skiing in France

France is known for its beautiful slopes which are perfect for skiing. The Alps is the most famous chain of mountains, where ski stations and companies find most of their clients in winter. With good snow (which is powdery and normal - perfect for skiing), good tourists services, good weather and high : that is what the Alps offer. People say you can also ski in the Pyrénées mountains in the South of France, but most of the people go to the Alps.

La Plagne resort
La Plagne resort
Each year, I go regularly to ski either during the Christmas period or Easter Holidays. I usually go to the Alps in the ski station La Plagne. Many ski resorts have found their fame and possess their own kind of charm, attracting a different type of crowd. To name a few are Courchevel , Meribel, La Plagne, Tignes, Val d'Isere... Read more>>

Capella Singapore Sentosa Cascading Infinity Pools

Capella Singapore Sentosa View from Cascading Infinity PoolsThe infinity pools at the Capella are unlike those I have come across in Singapore: they are layered and spread (cascading) over a wide area giving you that secluded and tranquil ambiance. The sun beds found at the pool side are big and comfortable. On a clear sunny day, the pools would be the perfect place to hang out and relax. 

The three pools are positioned perfectly to take in the surrounding flora and fauna, with glimpses of the beach and sea with ships in the... Read more>>

i Light Marina Bay 2012

Marina Bay Night View i
i Light Marina Bay, first started in 2010, is Singapore’s as well as Asia ’s first sustainable light art festival that serves as the regional platform for exchanging ideas and technology, artistic expression and public engagement through light art works which emphasize on intelligent light usage and sustainable use of energy. i Light Marina Bay 2010 celebrated Marina Bay 's nightscape with a showcase of 25 dynamic and innovative light art installations along the 3.5km waterfront promenade.... Read more>>

Sunday, April 01, 2012

4 Tips to an Affordable Vacation

Image: dan /
Planning is always a good start to your vacation, and it never hurts to get more for less right?
1. Budget
Having a limit or idea of your budget gives you boundaries and ideas when searching for that ideal vacation spot and activities that you can do without burning a hole in your pocket when you come back. The budget should not only include accommodation, but flight fees, food, shopping and any other miscellaneous spending (e.g. shopping, water sports, admission fees etc…) you may incur. Setting a budget also helps you to maximize your dollar and most probably get more out of it.
2. DIY vs Tour Groups
With the many options available for traveling these days from tour agencies which already have an itinerary in place for you (saving you the effort and time) to DIY holidays. Even DIY holidays have further options for you to choose from, there are 3rd party websites (Zuji, Expedia etc…) that offer the option to bundle your flight booking, and accommodation at a special rate, or you could...Read more>>

Citibank Clear Platinum Card – The Social Credit Card?

Citibank’s Clear Platinum Card allows its users to enjoy 5x the rewards for Online Shopping, Nightspots, Cinemas and Cafes, and like all Citibank credit cards you can redeem your rewards with your Citi$. Out of all Citibank’s credit cards, the Clear Platinum Card has one of the lowest annual fees of S$160.50 (inclusive of GST).

According to AsiaOne, the Clear Platinum Card has gone through a re-vamp, card members are now going to be engaged through three ways...Read more>>

5 Tips for Picking the Perfect Luggage

Image: Victor Habbick /
As affluence grows and technology advances, not only has the mode of travel become more affordable, the choices for luggage (e.g. material, size, and designs) have also increased. Traveling has become common for the average person (not including business trips) wanting to just relax, get away from the usual hustle and bustle of life, or simply to experience something different. The start of stress-free travel would be to have to right luggage for the occasion, to avoid the minor tragedies like a broken or torn luggage/duffel bag.

Unlike before, there a plenty of options for your luggage these days, and they are not limited to suitcases. Even what used to be your ordinary backpack now comes with retractable handles, wheels and/or straps. You can now find luggage of almost every color and various designs. So which luggage is suitable for you?

1. Soft-case vs Hard-case luggage 
Depending on your budget and needs, you might go for the soft-case luggage which is usually made out of nylon, polyester or fabric. This type of luggage is usually more...Read more>>

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fashion Steps Out - Orchard 2012

Image by Alvin Choi via Facebook
Fashion Steps Out @ Orchard is an annual six-week fashion extravaganza with a slew of fashion and shopping related events on a mission to promote fashion for everyday use. This event showcases the latest Spring/Summer collections from participating brands Vivienne Westwood, Dsquared2, Dip Drops, Rosebullet, iCB, J.Press, Robinsons, Marks & Spencer, Just Cavalli, Paul & Joe and Maria Grachvogel around the globe. It is not just for the fashion industry and insiders, but for the ... Read More>>

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pasir Ris MRT Stop

The Pasir Ris MRT stop is located in the central part of Pasir Ris New Town, one of the many residential areas in Singapore which comprises of many high-rise residential dwelling blocks. This stop can be considered a relatively quiet stop, but it does have a shopping mall called White Sands Shopping Centre, where you can do a bit of shopping and grab a bite.

If you want a little more ‘excitement’ at this stop, you could head down to NTUC Downtown East, an entertainment hub in its own right, albeit one of the not so exciting ones (if compared to Orchard Road or Resorts World Sentosa). It does, however, provide entertainment for families with young children and youths at a much affordable price.

NTUC Downtown East
At NTUC Downtown East, you would be able to find E!Hub, a 5 storey leisure/entertainment hub where you can do things like eat, bowl and catch a movie, and even do some (more) shopping. There is also a 25-metre Ferris Wheel indoors, which is more for children and those children at heart I suppose.
Image by Alvin Choi via Facebook
Then there is Wild Wild Wet, Singapore's largest water theme park, which features 9 distinctive...Read more>>

Saturday, March 17, 2012

La Mian (Noodles)

La Mian is a type of Chinese noodles that is usually hand-made by stretching and folding the dough into long strands. There are various types of la main (ramen) and the thickness all varies. La mian stalls are plenty in Singapore, and almost every food court has a stall selling this noodles in various soups (tom yum, pork/ikan bilis broth etc…) or dry. But this is my first time eating la mian noodles that are not only hand made, but of different thickness.

la mian hand made noodles

洪鹏杠拉面 located at Food Park
I had to opportunity to try the la mian at 洪鹏杠拉面 located at Food Park (a food court) located at Tampines St 81 Blk 823A. Located in the suburbs, this food court is not equipped with any air-conditioning, but the food is worth sitting through the heat (if it unfortunately happens to be a hot day). You might think that it is not that popular a store as there is no queue, but it turns out that they have a unique ordering system of getting the customers to come back later to collect their noodles instead of standing in queue and just waiting till the food is done. Usually in Singapore, if you see a long queue, especially when it comes to food, there can only mean two things: either the food... Read more>>