Friday, September 9, 2016

How To Spend 4D & 3N In Singapore

I just came back from a fruitful and very lovely trip from Singapore!
No doubt that Singapore is one of the best city in the world and I totally agree with any other articles that rated Singapore as one of the best country in the world.

The trip was decided a month ago, kinda last minute decision you can tell.
So I quickly made some research online to see what are the attractions that can attract me.
I always thought that Singapore is not my place of interest because of the exchange rate and also because it is a big city.
I'm kind of a boring person, what attracts me most are those ancient and exotic places like Cambodia, Chiang Mai and etc. I love to visit those temples, ancient ruins or museums to understand about the local culture and religion, to see how people live in the past and how was the country in the past.

Never I have thought that Singapore is so interesting and I got pretty excited after my visit. 
Below is my own journey that I planned for the 4days and 3nights, do enjoy reading and feel free to ask me any questions on the comment section, I will answer them if I know the answers. 

Day 1
I flew direct from Penang to Singapore (Changi Airport Terminal 2). I bought my flight at below RM100 only, I got this cheap deal during their promo period. You may book your flights direct from http://www.tigerair.com/ or you can also compare with Airasia(http://www.airasia.com/) or Jetstar(http://www.jetstar.com/)

I arrived at Changi Airport Terminal 2 and took the MRT(Downtown Line) to Bugis station, the journey was $2.30.
You will be given a card that you can reload and reuse it, u can also get $0.10 discount for the 6th trip with MRT too. Alternatively, you can grab a piece of Ez-link Card at $12(with value of $7) and all your trips with public transports can be cheaper. (Note: Every minimum reload is $10)
The MRT & LRT System in Singapore is very systematic and all the trains are very punctual. The trains are clean, fast and secured as they are well equipped with CCTVs all around. Singapore is also one of the safest countries on earth that the crime rate is very low. 
(click to enlarge)

Once I arrived at Bugis MRT Station, which was the Bugis Junction Mall. Almost every MRT stations are linked to malls to make it easy for the locals. Pretty convenient I shall say. 

National Museum of Singapore
Entrance fee: $10(Adult) | $5(Child), FREE for PRs and Singaporeans.
Opens daily from 10:00am to 6:00pm
I'm the kind of person that loves to explore about the history, culture and blend into the locals wherever I visit. So first thing I will add into my itinerary would be those iconic museums and temples.
I'm really impressed by how well Singapore can take care of their museums. The moment I step into the museum I was welcomed by the receptionist and started to give me more information before I purchase the ticket.
 
There are even guided tours during certain hours but I've missed it. The building went through major renovation and reopened in year 2006 to showcase the history of Singapore all the way from 12th century until today.
The museum exhibits numerous antiques as well as well preserved artefacts. I'm amazed how well they were taken care of and how well they were protected under then hand of Singapore government. P/S: Photography is allowed without flash as it will destroy the artifacts and antiques. 
More info: http://www.yoursingapore.com/en_my/see-do-singapore/history/history-museums/national-museum-of-singapore.html
The museum is fully furnished with history, culture, religions and all the past stories that made Singapore so tough and strong today.  I'm also surprised to find many similarities in between Singapore and Malaysia. There museum is also very interactive and well furnished with some past videos, audios and many more. You will be surrounded by darkened areas that filled with many videos from the past or story telling videos that gives you a brief about all the Singapore history including the influences of Malay, Indian and Chinese community as well as the colonial era from British.
You can walk around the 3 storey buildings to visit all the different galleries with different theme.
More photos of National Museum of Singapore please refer to my Photobucket album below:


Tour around in Haji Lane

Haji Lane is located near Bugis area.
To get there you can get down from the Bugis station with MRT (Downtown Line) and walk from Bugis Junction for about 10 minutes to get there.
This place is pretty popular among tourists and locals as the whole area is full of art & craft stuff, fashion, cafes, restaurants and many more. Haji Lane is kinda art influenced as you can see a lot of streets arts around the area.

I've also sat down at a local cafe named Stateland Cafe that was apparently kinda popular among the locals. A decent cup of latte is only selling at only $5.00 and the waffle with additional scoop is at $16.00 + $4.00
S'mores Waffle
with home-made chocolate sorbet, liquid marshmallow and caramelized biscuit crumbs.

Then we also settled our dinner at Bugis Junction in Menya Musashi Takatora that is famous for their ramen. The price is normal restaurant price at about $18 - $25 depending on what you order. Look at the portion of the ramen and the size of the meats!
Yakibuta Ramen $19.90,

Day 2
It was a lovely day with lovely weather that I started my day with full itinerary.
I walked to Bugis Junction MRT[DT14] and took the Downtown Line to Chinatown[DT19]. It took me only about 10 minutes to get there and I really like MRT in Singapore, so punctual, so clean and very convenient, accessible to all areas.
It is near Mid Autumn Festival hence why there were beautiful set ups.

I got down from the station and walked to the Chinatown which was just right in front of the station. This place is kind of a touristy place with lots of stalls selling food, goodies and many more.

Try the Michelin Starred Hawker - Liao Fan
I took a quick around the area and headed straight to my destination, the Michelin Starred hawker in Chinatown, Liao Fan that is located at Chinatown Complex.

Too bad it was closed during my vist and I was greatly disappointed as the uncle went back to hometown for a week. I heard that the queue was crazily long so if you plan to visit, please be here at 8:00am to 9:00am just to queue up.


Anyway I've tried the Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Noodle from another stall(02-165) behind Liao Fan and find that it wasn't bad too. The chicken was really tender and juicy together with the delicious char siew. This plate of noodle is only at $4 and portion is quite big. Totally pocket-friendly.


See The Sacred Buddha Tooth Relic (佛牙)
Free Entrance, shorts & caps/hats are not allowed. 
Then I went visit the grand Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum which was located right in front of Chinatown Complex. Honestly this was one of the best temple and museum that I've ever visited.
More info: http://www.yoursingapore.com/see-do-singapore/culture-heritage/places-of-worship/buddha-tooth-relic-temple-museum.html


The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum is a 4-storey Tang Dynasty architectural style building that houses one of the  sacred Buddha tooth relics that was found in a collapse stupa in Myanmar in year 1800 then delivered all the way to Singapore in year 2007.
Every floor of this building exhibits different stuff from wax statues, artefacts, relics and many more.
There are also history about Buddha, the Buddhist religion itself, and also a relic gallery that exhibits different types of relics in this building. This place is well maintained and very beautiful I shall say.
More photos please refer to the below


I've also added Chinatown Heritage Centre into my itinerary but in the end I didn't go into that museum because I was running short of time and also I find that museum kinda similar to all the old houses in Penang that basically talks about Unesco Heritage Houses like those houses in Penang.
Also, the admission is not cheap, $15 for admission with Multimedia Guide and $20 for admission with guided tour, opens daily from 9:00am to 8:00pm(Closed on every 1st Monday of the month).
More info: http://chinatownheritagecentre.com.sg/
So in the end I gave up and proceeded with my next plan.

MUST VISIT: Gardens By The Bay Singapore
Entrance fee: $28.00(Adult) | $15.00(Child) [For 2 conservatories]
I've purchased my tickets from www.sgskyline.com that my friend introduced to me, I got my tickets for 2 conservatories at only $17.00 and got my e-ticket on the same day I purchased the ticket.
When I was first planning my itinerary, the first thing I added to my list was Gardens By The Bay Singapore. I'm someone who is very much into gardening hence I would never want to miss visiting this kind of places. Gardens By The Bay Singapore has been added into my "Places To Travel Before I Die" list long ago.

The 2 conservatories were kinda chilly that was perfect for a walk and to counter the heat outside. The Flower Dome has won the titled of "The World's Largest In-door Dome" in 2015 Guinness World Record.

I didn't grab much info about this place when I was first planning to visit. I plan to just explore this place by myself and to visit the 2 great conservatories (Flower Dome & Cloud Forest Dome). What I can tell you is, I didn't regret my decision to come here! I was so happy to be surrounded by all the greens and healthy plants.

To be honest, I'm really happy for all the healthy plants that well taken care at this place. There are a few themed gardens including Chinese Garden, India Garden, Super Trees and the amazing Cloud Forest Dome & Flower Dome that features different types of flower exhibitions throughout the year. For every different season, you will get to see different exhibitions at the Flower Dome.

I've spent about 4 hours at that place and I still think that it is not enough. If it wasn't for my own plan, I would have stayed longer until the night lights performance of the Super Trees.
This is a place that I will definitely come back! If you think that this is a place for people who loves Gardening only then you are definitely wrong! This place is more than what you could have ever imagine. It's been an award winning attraction since and became a MUST visit place in Singapore. Not only because of the exhibitions that they could offer, the best thing here is Gardens By The Bay Singapore encourages sustainable sources and they harvest rain water & uses solar energy to maintain their whole Garden including the lighting up the Super Trees with solar energy.
This place definitely live up to its reputation and could have deserve more awards for sure!

More photos below


More info: http://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/

Watch The Light & Water Show @ Marina Bay Sands
Daily 8:00pm & 9:30pm (additional 11:00pm show every Fridays & Saturdays)
Shopaholic must not miss this one of the best shopping malls in Singapore that houses a lot of luxury brands as well as the world's iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel, several museums and many more.
Marina Bay Sands is directly connected to Gardens By The Bay hence it is reachable via walking(approximately 10 minutes) with linked bridge.

If you have time, please stay until late and walk around the area. The famous Singapore Merlion Statue is just right opposite Marina Bay Sands. Walk over to the opposite site in the evening time and wait for the breathtaking light & water show specially presented by Marina Bay Sands that runs every evening.

Trust me, below shots are not easy to take at all.
Please do not copy any of them, all rights reserved.





Visit The Famous Landmark Merlion 
A must in Singapore!
The grand Merlion statue is a well known icon in Singapore. It is a mystical creature that has a lion's head and fish's tail.


The body symbolises Singapore's humble beginnings as a fishing village when it was called Temasek, meaning 'sea town' in Old Javanese.
Its head represents Singapore’s original name, Singapura, or ‘lion city’ in Malay.
Today, you can glimpse this legend at Merlion Park. Spouting water from its mouth, the Merlion statue stands tall at 8.6 metres and weighs 70 tonnes.
This icon is a ‘must-see’ for tourists visiting Singapore, similar to other significant landmarks around the world.
Built by local craftsman Lim Nang Seng, it was unveiled on 15 September 1972 by then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew at the mouth of the Singapore River, to welcome all visitors to Singapore.
source: http://www.yoursingapore.com/see-do-singapore/recreation-leisure/viewpoints/merlion-park.html



Dinner @ Makan Sutra
Located at the same area around Marina Bay Sands, there's a food court named Makan Sutra that sells local food like Chili Crabs, Fried Radish Cake, Char Koay Teow and many more.
Honestly, the food here are not impressive at all. Then I was told by the locals that this place is usually visited by tourists and the food is not nice compared to a lot of local eateries.



Check Out All The Happenings In Singapore
I was pretty lucky that during my travel dates there were Singapore Night Festival happening around the city. Singapore Night Festival is something similar to George Town Festival where there will be several performances including theater shows, site specific play, music, arts and many more. But compare to Penang, you can definitely feel that Singaporeans has a much stronger appreciation towards arts than Malaysians.

The show we watched in front of National Museum of Singapore was pretty impressive!
Only we don't know what language they were speaking, hahahahahaha!!!

Have Fun @ Universal Studios Singapore
Entrance fee: $74.00(Adult) | $56.00(Child)
Express Pass @ additional $70.00 on top of entrance ticket(You can skip the queue)
Remember, you can always check online for cheaper tickets for such theme parks. I got my tickets much cheaper than the official website or buy on the spot. I got mine from www.klook.com at only $60.00(About RM180.00) which is much cheaper than the original price.
The one and only International theme park in Singapore is the Universal Studios Singapore that features a total of 7 theme parks within the ground. The theme parks are pretty impressive I should say, and I kinda like the how the parks were designed with all the little details.


[To be continued.....]









Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Aromas Cafe @ 4th Street Club, Lebuh Tye Sin Penang

Secretly hidden in a not-so-popular corner of Penang, Aromas Cafe recently opened its door at the Lebuh Tye Sin which located at George Town yet not so popular compared to those well known areas.
Aromas Cafe is the newly joined tenant at the 4th Street Club, a new row of shophouses located at Lebuh Tye Sin. The menu in Aromas Cafe features an interesting fusion menu which consist of dishes from different regions. But most importantly and what attracted us the most are their homemade cakes that were lovely and presentable.



The cafe looks really cozy and with pretty classic setting. You can indulge yourself and I'm sure it bring back some memories if you are born in the 80s or 90s.

Some delicious looking cakes displayed at the counter

Drinks menu.

Tom Yam Maggi Soup (RM9.00)
A very pocket friendly dish with generous amount of seafood used in the dish. The spiciness and sourness of the tom yam is pretty perfect that got me rather addicted.

Kimchi Fried Rice (RM9.00)
Aromas Cafe is some regular cafe that can be a best lunch place!
The fusion menu will make you get rather undecided and you just feel like trying them all.


Spaghetti Carbonara (RM18.00)
A pretty creamy sauce base with crispy bacon added, this pasta is pretty good to me. Only I find the texture was a bit hard. You could be very full if you have the whole plate with the garlic breads provided.

 Other than hot dishes, there are some some dishes available for sharing too.
We tried the Pizza Hawaii(RM20.00) with a rather big portion and you could order this if you are coming with your friends for hang out.

What we really liked were their homemade cakes that got us quite surprise!
Pandan Layer is selling at RM18.00 and the size of the cake is simply good for sharing. The texture was perfect it is not too sweet too. Perfect to my liking!

Another cake that got me quite addicted was their Nutella Cheesecake (RM18.00) with generous amount of Nutella used in their cake. The cake was rather cheesy as blended well with the Nutella. One could be impossible to finish it alone so I would suggest you to share it with your friends.

Oreo Cheesecake (RM18.00) is one of the most common favourite and yet Aromas could get the taste just right for us. We like the cheesy cake with cookies crumbs that made every bites crunchy and yet so smooth, even perfect to wash it down with a sip of coffee!

If you always hang around in Penang cafes, you would feel strange to find Cempedak Cheesecake(RM18.00) here. Honestly I have yet to try any other Cempedak Cheesecake yet but I find the one Aromas Cafe did was quite good and perfect to my liking. I didn't know Cempedak could blend so well with cheese until I tried it here!

Last but not least, we tried the Durian White Chocolate Cake that is pretty limited as they only get fresh durian to prepare it.
Though the cake texture was a bit hard, but we like the combination of white chocolate and durian that made every bite tasted so smooth and great. 

We washed down our meal with their signature Slow Press Juice (RM13.00 each).
Each type of juice has got different functions, there are Anti-Oxidant, Detox and Energy Plus. We were told that they prepare their juices fresh daily and they do not add any sugar or ice into their juices. Healthy and great!

Aromas Cafe @ 4th Street Club
Address: 38A, Lebuh Tye Sin,10300 Penang.
Contact no: 016-4109084
Business hours: Sunday to Thursday 12:00pm - 12:00am, Friday & Saturday 12:00pm - 1:00am(Closed on Mondays)
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/aromapenang/
GPS: 5.391549,100.304974
Map

Google Street View

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The North Banquet (鸿宴) 2016 by CHT Network & Ichi Media

The North Banquet 2016 - The Hosts & The VIPs is the very first Red Carpet Gala Dinner in Butterworth that ambitiously organised by CHTNetwork in collaboration with Ichi Media for the first time, established to identify the influential personalities as hosts and provide them a platform to invite their VIPs to this momentous Red Carpet Event in Butterworth, hence further promote various business industries such as tourism, manufacturing and hospitality to strengthen the economy and business opportunities both local and abroad.

The North Banquet 2016 was held on 30th July 2016, Saturday at Sunway Carnival Convention Centre with great support from fellow sponsors :- Rado, Shiseido Professional, Lamborghini Kuala Lumpur, Sunway Hotel, Royals Blue and Airmas Group. Other supporting sponsors included GST Group, Gartien, Starbucks, Redbox Karaoke, One East Museum, Passionis and DCOVA. Over 300 leaders and guests from various industries together with the media attended this Prestigious Red Carpet Event.

*Many thanks to Ichi Media for extending the invitation*

It is my pleasure to be able to attend to this event as a part of the media team.

The gorgeous lady, Ling Tze and I

Rado HyperChrome Automatic Chronograph Match Point - a limited edition of tennis-inspired plasma high-tech ceramic watch with only 999 pieces available in the whole world. It is also the official watch of the Kremlin Cup by Bank of Moscow and the Erste Bank Open (ATP Vienna).
The design is pretty impressive too and one that wears it could show their status and wealth, I believe every men who love watches will fall for it. It is a limited edition hence will be very valuable in the future.
This lovely piece was auctioned at the event and sold to a gentleman that could pair with it perfectly.

"The Heirloom" By Royals Blue
A lovely piece of jewellery that specially crafted and designed to celebrate the success story of The North Banquet. It was auctioned at a very high bid price at the event and fell into the hand of a lovely lady.

Relationship, a bronze sculptures from One East Museum’s Founder Ch’ng Huck Theng’s were also auctioned at the event. It is one lovely art piece that is perfect for collection.

Shiseido Professional is also part of the sponsored teams that made the event so successful with their products and also hair shows that presented in front of all VIPs.

The event was held at the Sunway Carnival Mall Convention Centre that can caters to big groups with their comfortable and spacious grand hall.

Beautiful set up at the VIPs table.

I kinda like the theme of the event that made the night looks grand and elegant.

The North Banquet 2016 - The Hosts & The VIPs

Menu for the evening

Welcome treats by Passionis. There are 2 pralines that was perfect for a sweet treat!

Speech by Ch'ng Huck Teng, the founder of CHT Network.

The event featured a spectacular Hair & Fashion Show (Theme: Evolution of the 60s) collaborated by Shiseido Professional, Signature Hair Expert and renowned fashion designer Richard Rivalee. It showcased the vogue and elegant vintage 1960s hairstyle with stunning and dramatic impression, using huge smooth high and low bun techniques.

I have to say that it is really impressive and amazed to see all the beautiful garments specially crafted for the event, not forgetting the beautiful hairdos and the live hair show that made the night rather special and interesting!

Meanwhile, Petr Feher, a European-born Celebrity Chef with over 20 years of culinary experience who is also the Executive Chef at Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok and the Fine Food Consultant of GST Group has designed the fine dining menu for the gala dinner.

Hokkaido Scallop Carpaccio
Black Caviar, Spicy Orange Shallot & Coriander Vinaigrette
Featuring the freshest flavours from the fresh seafood supplied by GST, this dish made a great starter and perfectly fit for the elegant event with such luxurious dish.


Glorious Roasted Pumpkin Soup With Cheese Stick
A rather smooth and creamy in texture and every spoonful made me felt so hearty.

Blue Crab Meat & King Crab Leg
Marinated raw & cooked vegetables & beetroot lemon sauce
Another refreshing dish that can bring out the freshest taste of seafood and blended well with the sides and sauce.

Lemon Sorber with Mint Leaves
Simply refreshing and get you ready for your mains!

The unique coffee table book featuring both sponsors and the hosts was unveiled on the night to commemorate this important event and the books were distributed to every guest to achieve maximum exposure for the sponsors and hosts.
On the stage are all the influential members and award winners for the night. Their amazing performances at respective industries have made them great people with great reputations.

Two Combinations
Poached Black Cod Fish & Stuffed Chicken and Fine Leaves Served with Mango Salsas Sauce, Green Tea Puree & Neutral Juice
A flavourful combination that features surf and turf on the dish that beautifully crafted for the event. This special 5-course menu are specially prepared only to serve the VIPs for the event.

Double Chocolate Hazelnut Praline
A perfect sweet treat to end the night with. Chocolate lovers would not want to miss this lovely dessert. It is something you wouldn't want to miss even though you are pretty full from the previous courses. 

13 Influential Captains from different industries ranging from manufacturing to hospitality were honoured as The Hosts of the night. This one-of-its-kind Red Carpet Gala Dinner provided them with an evening of extensive networking to develop new customer prospects, reward their key clients and friends with a VIP experience and connect with the most influential personalities.


ABOUT THE ORGANISERS

CHT NETWORK
CHTNetwork with the motto “Where All Good Things in Life Meet...”, founded by Ch’ng Huck Theng, is the host of CHT Awards, iNPenang Awards and PIE Awards. All the past events were very successful and were covered by all major press and news networks in Malaysia, such as NTV7, 8TV, The Star, The New Straits Times, etc. CHTNetwork has also worked with many high brands such as MATRADE, Ulysse Nardin, Rado, Fujifilm, Kollektion, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Amee Philips, Lamborghini Kuala Lumpur, Nasim Carpets, etc.

ICHI MEDIA
Exclusive Luxury, Enriching Life. Ichi Media promotes the fabulous and luxuries in life, while being the frontier of branding and creating competitive platform for the best. With diversified strategies, Ichi Media also promotes cross-platform branding where publishing, digital and business networking come in one to achieve optimum results.