Bangkok Shopping Spree (4D/3N)

Bangkok would have to be one of the places where things are cheaper, much cheaper than in Singapore and a shopping paradise for the shopaholics (who like to get things in the bulk and cheap) out there!

Singapore to Seoul: Ways to Maximize Your Cash When You DIY (Flight)

With the average flight to Seoul from Singapore costing about S$1200++ per person (and that’s just economy!) on Singapore Airlines, getting tickets on promotion are definitely worth it.

Volando Urai Spring Spa and Resort (馥蘭朵烏來渡假酒店)

Volando Urai Spring Spa and Resort (馥蘭朵烏來渡假酒店) is located in New Taipei City (Wulai), close to to the Wulai Town (and waterfalls).

Wulai Hot Springs Escapade Itinerary (3D/2N)

While this trip was a simple and short one, it wasn't necessary one of the cheapest: this trip was one meant to enjoy the hot springs and just take it slow (and basically be pampered).

Staycation: Club Room Stay at Rendezvous Hotel Singapore

Rendezvous Hotel Singapore was having a staycation promotion, so needless to say we grabbed the offer (which came with complimentary breakfast, wifii, drinks and snacks).

Travel Tips: EG (EverGreen) SIM Card and getting it at Changi Airport

There are many options for getting your SIM card fix when you are in South Korea. This post will just be on the EG SIM card, which is pretty tourist/traveler friendly and apparently one of the more affordable SIM cards available. There are promotions and events from time to time that either give away free SIM cards or extra credit, so do check out the website to keep yourself updated with the latest happenings and you might just be able to snag a complimentary SIM card. When I went to Seoul last year that is exactly what happened, I managed to apply (for a giveaway event) and get a complimentary SIM card that came with a 5,000 won (or was it 10,000 won? I cannot remember). The card was collected at the KBook Store at Exit 7 of the Arrival Terminal at Incheon Airport
 
Since last year, there have been many changes to the EG SIM website. Now you can not only register an account online (to update, purchase all things related to your SIM card), you can also purchase the SIM card online (with the option for delivery to your home country address, your South Korean accommodation address or self-collection at the designated places) and offline as well. [Buy Online
 
Getting your SIM card online and getting it delivered to you is all fine and dandy, provided that you want to fork out that little extra for delivery fees. Of course, you can also choose delivery to your Korean address, but there might be a chance for lost mail and miscommunication, particularly if plans and accommodation are not firm. Then there is the other option of self-collecting your ordered (online) SIM card when you arrive (to save a little money), but most of the places are only opened till 10pm while the others which are opened 24 hours might be a little out of the way.
 
So what happens when you arrive on a late flight and places that you can purchase offline/self-collect in South Korea either close by 10pm or might not be convenient (on the way) at all?
 
Option 1: Wait till the next morning and head out to the nearest (convenient) location get your SIM card. [Locations
 
Option 2: Travel a bit more to those places that are open 24 hours to get your SIM card upon your arrival [Offline Purchase | Self-Collection]

Option 3: If you reside in Canada, Hong Kong, or Singapore you are now able to purchase the SIM card before you leave for your trip! How cool is that?! Needless to say option 3 has got to be my favorite option for this trip. The SIM card is available at Singapore Changi Airport Changi Recommends Counter, Terminal 2, Departure Hall, Row 10 (Tel:+65-6764-6323). It costs S$38 and has 30 minutes worth of talktime and 500mb worth of data for a normal SIM, and S$47 for a nano SIM (for iPhones).

EG (EverGreen) SIM Card

Needless to day, I am going with option 3 this time round. Getting the EG SIM card at Changi Airport was simple and it even came with an 'empty' T-Money Pass! Apparently if no talktime is used, data is worth 1GB.

EG (EverGreen) SIM Card
 
 

From Singapore to Seoul: Ways to Maximize Your Cash When You DIY (Vouchers and Tax Refund)

Print ‘em Discount Vouchers!

Things in South Korea might not be the cheapest, but fret not there are duty free shops and discount coupons that tourists can use: from food to facial products all the way to admission fees and performances, even offers on SIM card and mobile phone rentals, with discounts ranging from 5-25%. The things that are discounted vary from year to year.

So don’t forget to head over to Visit Korea Committee and The Korean Tourism Board for updated coupons you can print out and enjoy during your trip!



Tax Refund

Who said it doesn’t pay to shop? If you spend 30,000 won or more in a receipt, you will be entitled to a reimbursement of the VAT tax. Participating stores are designated by the "Global Blue Tax Free" or "Global Tax Free" logo. So be sure to keep your VAT refund receipt when purchasing items. For more information about the tax refund process, read this.


Tip: When you are at the airport, remember to show the purchased goods to the customs officer and get the "All Goods Exported" endorsement on the refund receipt FIRST, before checking in your luggage.



Related Posts:

SilkAir MasterCard Promotion


Book by 15 October 2014  to enjoy this promotion.

http://www.silkair.com/en_UK/mi-special-offers/sgnatasbiz-14d0016/?utm_source=edmkf&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=tacticalsg22sep
http://www.silkair.com/en_UK/mi-special-offers/sgnatasbiz-14d0016/?utm_source=edmkf&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=tacticalsg22sep

Get ahead to 2015 with exciting early bird deals from Singapore Airlines


Sales period: Promotion ends 28 September 2014 or when fares are fully purchased

Travel period: 
    • Travel from 2 January to 27 May 2015  
    *Fares are higher during peak travel season for Japan, Australia and Europe.



    Visit singaporeair.com for a full list of destinations on offer.

    Terms and Conditions
    The advertised Singapore Airlines fares include the price of the air ticket as well as associated taxes and surcharges only. Fares quoted are subject to change due to currency fluctuation and are subject to seat availability. Tickets are non-refundable, cannot be used in conjunction with upgrade awards and are not interchangeable for travel on other airlines. Changes to flights and dates are not permitted. Flight restrictions and other terms and conditions apply.

    Travel Tip: Getting to Jeju on Korean Domestic Airlines

    If you are planning to head to Jeju island from Seoul and wondering how to get there, then continue reading on. Jeju (island) is an island which volcanic properties have resulted in some amazing natural formations such as Cheonjeyeon Waterfall and Manjang Cav (aka Manjanggul Lava Tube). It is south of (South) Korea that is often referred to as "the Hawaii of Korea" due to its semi-tropical climate with palm trees and the ocean surrounding it. And if you haven’t been watching much Korean dramas/variety shows, Jeju island is also one of the most popular (and somewhat wallet friendly) honeymoon location for South Koreans.

    Photo and credit: TravelerGirls
     
    While you can fly directly into Jeju on international flights such as China Eastern Airlines, Dragonair and TransAsia, there are also domestic flights which you can take (gives you the flexibility should you want to book flight tickets to Jeju on a spur when you are in South Korea). There are currently no direct flights from Singapore to Jeju, so domestic flights are a good option.

    Domestic flights to Jeju are available daily at hourly intervals (there is a flight in and out of Jeju almost every hour or so). Depending on the dates (peak season), timing (last minute booking) and destination (e.g. Seoul or Busan etc…), the average price per person on a domestic flight is around 150,000 to 170,000 won (that’s about S$185 to S$210).


    Getting to Gimpo Airport (Seoul)

    Gimpo Airport is connected domestically and internationally, while Incheon Airport only serves international routes. If you are heading to Gimpo Airport from Incheon Airport or downtown Seoul, the most efficient way to get to Gimpo Airport (and beat the traffic) is to take the AREX.

    Domestic Airlines

    There are at least 6 domestic airlines that fly to Jeju on a daily basis. Remember to look out for special offers or promotions, which will save you a lot (up to 50% or more). Do note that such good offers or promotions are snapped up fast, so you have to be fast with your booking and be early (the nearer you are to your intended travel date, the lesser the chance of getting it at the price you want and there might even be no availability if it is during peak season).

    For domestic flights, the baggage allowance for checked-in luggage is 15kg and 10kg for hand-carries. 
    Note: Before booking online, some of the airlines require to register as a member first, especially if you want to take advantage of the special fares.


    1. Air Busan - A subsidiary of Asiana Airlines

    Reviews:


    2. Eastarjet - A budget airline with budget friendly prices.

    Reviews:
    3. Jeju Air - Being of the budget airline variety, Jeju Air offers cheap airfare, but booking online via the website might be a pain, as payment with an overseas credit card doesn’t always work. But that is not an issue as the issue can be resolved by email or phone call. English language is available.

    Reviews:

    4. T'way Airline - Another budget airline. English language is available.

    Reviews:


    5. Jin Air - A subsidiary of Korean Air. English language is available.

    Reviews:


    6. Korean Air - With an average of 20 or so daily flights fly in and out from Seoul to Jeju Island,  you would definitely be able to a preferred departure time. The website is available in English, so that helps with the booking. Since this is a full-service airline with all the frills, the only disadvantage of this airline is that the price is not really budget-friendly for those on shoe-string budget.

    Reviews:


    7. Asiana Airlines - As with its Korean Air counterpart, is a full-service airline with all the frills, so prices for the airfare might not too budget friendly (sometimes costing almost double the average airfare on other airlines). However, there might be promotions and offers you can look out for.

    Reviews:


    Click here to read some Quirky Inconveniences of Booking Domestic Flights


    So there you have it, the lowdown of getting yourself to Jeju island from South Korea. Happy planning!

    *Promo Alert* British Hainan Lunch Special: TGIF value set lunch




    British Hainan

    75 Carpmael Road (S) 429812
    Tel: +65 6336 8122
     Facebook (They update their Facebook page pretty regular, so do like their Facebook page if you want to get the latest news on promotions and specials!)


    Operating hours: 
    Dinner Daily 6-10pm (Except Tue Closed)
    Lunch (only on Fri & Sat) 12-3pm

    Teo Heng KTV Studio (Rendezvous Hotel Singapore) [Guest Post]

    This post was brought to you by DramaQueen


    It was a fun and memorable birthday celebration for me. After settling at Rendezvous Hotel, iceprinxess and I decided to go for some activity after dinner at Plaza Singapura. Therefore, the ideal place was either the movie theatre or KTV studios. I had done some research on the internet and knows that Teo Heng KTV is located at Rendevous Hotel. At the hotel room, I called the KTV studio to asked about the pricing rate and to see if we could book a room. Otherwise, alternatively we could go for a movie at Plaza Singapura. Surprisingly, there was a lot of sound distraction at the other line. I could not hear what the staff is saying.

    We decided to check it out at the place before we head for dinner. Indeed, Teo Heng KTV Studio is located at level 2, Rendezvous Hotel Gallery. The signboard was easily spotted at the hotel lobby. Although the exterior looked plain, it looks like a family budget KTV studio. We find the place comfortable and have a short discussion. In the end, we decided to go for KTV since it is more economical than watching a movie during weekends. We make our decision fast, considering how fast the bookings went and there were an ongoing crowds coming in to book their time slot.

    Since it is peak hours on a weekend basis, we paid $36 for a room cater for a maximum of four. It would be even cheaper during weekdays with a group of friends. Simply check their website for the various outlets in different parts of Singapore and make your booking by phone. The Teo Heng staff suggested 11-1am and we accepted their offer. Interestingly, they manually used a marker to note down our timing at the whiteboard which was placed behind them. We paid on the spot to guarantee a room and they took down my phone number on that particular time slot room number. 

    It was considered a good bargain if you can gather four friends and spilt the cost among yourselves. After calculating, it will cost $9 per person for 2 hours of singing session. It will be cheaper if you drop by during weekdays at the KTV outlets which you can check at their website. However, you would need to prepare your own snacks and drinks. Not to worry, you can still buy some drinks and tidbits for $1-2 each depending on the items you intend to purchase at the entrance. They do not store a wide range of tidbits at the low shelf and they only have some soft drinks in a small refrigerator.

    With our booking confirmed, iceprinxess and I went for our dinner merrily. After dinner, we even have time to do some shopping at the basement supermarket. Since we can invite two more people for the mini party, I decided to call my sister and her boyfriend to join in the fun. We brought some drinks and snacks for the KTV session before heading back to the hotel room for some rest. Soon, my sister and her boyfriend reached the hotel and we still have some spare time to rest our feets and prepare ourselves before we head down to the KTV. 

    It was merely a 5 minutes walk from the hotel and we reached there 10 minutes before 11pm. My sister and her boyfriend decided to buy some plastic cups across the street at the 7-eleven store to pour our drinks. Please note that there is a sign at the entrance that discourage customers from bringing strong alcoholic drinks to the KTV room. On the other hand, iceprinxess forgot to bring her jacket and she decided to head back to the hotel room to grab her jacket. 

    In the end, I was the only one standing at the counter to wait. There were only two people attending at the counter while the crowds at this time keep streaming in, with some of them just like us had earlier booked a room. There were still some walk-in customers to book a room, however priority were reserved for those who booked the room earlier. Eventually, this group of people have to wait while the staffs check for vacancies in the rooms at the desk. 

    There were obviously a lack of staffs as I observed the two staffs at the desk checking the rooms while a staff was in charge of clearing the rooms. I begin to feel impatient and anxious when the clock strike 11pm and they still did not allocate a room for me. It would be alright if we have more time to sing but we were only singing for two hours and the KTV close at 1am. In fact, there were many people coming in during this time and the staffs were busy serving these customers. 

    In terms of service wise, there were some room for improvement. In my opinion, there seems to be some confusion in allocating the rooms and it does not seems like they have a proper 'order' or 'procedure' in allocating the rooms to the customers as soon as possible. I understand there were only a few rooms and the staff need to clear the rooms and usher the customers out as fast as they could. The staff at the counter asked me to wait while they clear the room. 

    However, I did not feel assured since the staffs seem to neglect my presence soon after when they handle the other customers. I have to ask them twice before they reply me. It was good that the staffs were at least polite and apologetic for the delay, however i felt that arrangement should be done at a faster speed.

    The next moment. I was told to walk into the corner KTV room by the counter staff. They apparently just cleared the things in that room and sprayed some air freshener before I step in. I do not have high expectation for the sound system but I can hear the people at the room beside us singing very loudly. Anyway, I think that the room is clean and I like the long leathered couch which look quite comfortable. They have a simple interior design concept and there were a few musical instruments such as maracas and trampolines placed at the long couch. 

    Unlike K-box or some other KTV outlets, they did not provide services such as ordering of snacks and drinks. You just take whatever items you want to purchase near the entrance and pay the cash at the counter. Nobody explain how to use the KTV equipment in the dim light KTV room. It was all up to us to explore and the staffs were busy with their own duties. Fortunately, the equipment was easy to use and I quickly mastered how to operate the system. 

    If you frequently visit KTV, you would find this system easy to handle. A few tips for people who seldom go KTV, simply slide through the pages of the screen to look for your favorite singers and select the songs which you want to sing. Remember to adjust the microphone and music volume by tuning the sound system. Sometimes the echo can be too loud, simply adjust the sound system and move the two microphones further away. You can take your time, seat on the chair in front of the equipment and explore the functions. 

    There were a wide range of songs selections which were pretty updated. They sort the singers and languages by categories and you would need some time to find the singers or songs which you like. Fret not if you cannot find the song that you want to sing, you can simply select the 'pin yin' by typing the initial of the singer name and a list will appear onscreen. At the end of the day, they can still organize the songs and the singers better. Perhaps, they could classify the singers from different countries in each category. Giving more options enable the customers to find the songs easily after all. 

    For your information, the songs were categorize in new songs, female singers, male singers, group and languages. It is not that hard to select a song if you don't mind the hassle and is willing to explore the different functions. It helps that there are pictures of the singer beside the name. If you want to record your voice and go for PK with the other people, you can choose to press the option on the screen. 

    We had a great time selecting a range of Chinese songs to English songs and finally our finale were Korean songs! Yes, we selected these popular singers - Alin, Jam Hsiao, A-Mei, Stephanie Sun, Elva, Tanya, Faye Wong, Adelle, Jay Chou, Big Bang, 2NE1, Kim Jong Kook and K.Will songs. Most of the Korean songs, we interlock for original singer voice since we really are not that familar with Korean songs. Feeling a little experimental, I tried Ailee - I will show you without the original singer voice. I was impressed that most of the songs we selected have the original MTV. 

    However, I was very disappointed with Kim Jong kook song - One man. To my dismay, they did not have the original MTV of Kim Jong Kook and the song is a mixed up with another song which I don't know. At least, I can find another song song - How come you don't know. During the two hours singing session, we tried to save as much time as possible by pressing the next song button. 

    While we were having fun, time passes by very fast. They automatically switched off the system exactly at 1am to refrain us from selecting another song. We listen to the new song of 2NE1 while helping to clear up the place and throw some of the rubbish away. The KTV room was private and cozy, surprisingly the air conditioner was not too cold. As a mean to promote their equipment, they placed a poster on the wall promoting their equipment and stated the prices. In conclusion, I would recommend Teo Heng KTV studio for people who wanted a budget, family KTV style studio that is not too fancy. Just lower your expectation to the amount of money you paid for and you will enjoy a satisfying experiences. 





    The equipment and sound system


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