Courtesy of Martial House
Congratulations and welcome to Singapore!
If you are somebody who traveled thousands of miles to arrive on our sunny tropical shores, you may have hundreds of random thoughts in your head right now.
How can you enjoy yourself in Singapore without spending a bomb? Especially if you have a family with kids in tow?
A lot has been written about the high cost of living in Singapore.
They include a recent study by the Economist Intelligence Unit which ranked Singapore as the world’s most expensive city to live in, a clarification by our Finance Minister that living costs are higher for expatriates (as opposed to locals) due to the strong Singapore dollar.
Oh dear! Customer satisfaction has dropped this year, according to a survey done by the Institute of Service Excellence (ISES).
Johor Bahru (JB) can be fun for families who watch their budgets. With our rising Singapore dollar and the high costs of air travel (taxes and fuel surcharges particularly), there are more reasons than ever to consider a Malaysian holiday.
On a whim and a fancy, we hopped over to Johor Bahru (JB) when school closed last Wednesday. Like previous visits back in 2011 and 2013, we went via mostly buses and opted to go on a weekday.
What are Johor Bahru’s (JB) malls like? Do they really offer great value for shoppers?
Recently, my wife and I decided to revisit JB’s shopping malls after hearing positive things (mainly how cheap it was to buy books from Popular) about our closest neighbouring city from friends. As we’re pretty time-starved, we chose to focus on two malls – City Square and KSL City.
“안녕하세요 (Annyeong Haseyo)!” greeted our tour guide Colin every morning, rowsing the weary coach-load of travellers during our recent holiday in Korea. With an action-packed itinerary packed into 7 days, one could hardly consider Korea as the “Land of the Morning Calm”.
Squeezing a population of 50 million packed into 100,000 square kilometres of mostly mountainous space, South Korea is both an economic and cultural miracle. With a GDP of US$1.164 trillion (2011), the “Miracle on the Han River” is fast overtaking Japan in global prominence. Korea’s tremendous influence on popular culture in terms of K-Pop and soap dramas is also unprecedented.
Courtesy of Royal Caribbean International
Launching its maiden voyage from the new Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore, Royal Caribbean International’s Voyager of the Seas weighs 137,276 tons and can carry a staggering 3,840 guests at full capacity. At 1,020 feet long with 14 passenger decks, the colossal vessel is Asia’s largest luxury cruise ship, serviced by an international crew of some 1,176 staff.
Scoot’s staff Captain HC Rohan, Head of Flight Operations/Chief Pilot; Campbell Wilson, CEO, and Ng Ju Li, Head of Cabin Services with a model of their plane (courtesy of Scoot)
Thanks to Alvin, I participated in a special blogger’s preview event of Scoot, a new low cost carrier in Singapore. Held at the Singapore Flyer, we checked in at the Service Lounge, went for a flight in the pod-like “cabins” and had a sumptuous dinner at the Singapore Food Trail.
So what is Scoot all about?
Recently, I participated in a briefing comprising Singapore’s attractions industry and technology companies. The idea was for these IT and web solution providers to develop industry-wide initiatives that can boost productivity, marketing and visitor experience for museums, zoos, theme parks, aquariums, and other attractions.
As the session went on, I realised that there is a gap between what technology vendors wanted to pitch for and what tourists may be willing to embrace. The differences can be rather shocking at times.
There is nothing quite like a trip to Bangkok to revive, refresh and rejuvenate one’s jaded senses. From ultra-modern shopping malls, colourful street markets, health giving spas, larger-than-life shows to fabulous culinary delights, one is never spoilt for choice. Indulgence became our middle names as we soaked in the Sun – and rain – splashed pleasures of Asia’s “Sin City” during a short 3 Day 2 Night trip there.
What can one do in this city that never sleeps? Plenty of course! Let me count the ways…