Business Travels: Park Regis Hotel Singapore

I checked in to Park Regis on Saturday afternoon. Original check in time is 3pm but the front desk was kind enough to check me in earlier and I managed to get my room almost immediately (kudos to them for the flexibility).

My room is on the 2nd floor which is also the same floor as the pool. The room itself is cozy with the soft lighting and I love the large window with the natural sunlight flowing into the room. It also makes a nice spot for reading a book or simply relaxing by the window. It has all the basic needs expected from a 4 star hotel. However an extra touch was the complimentary mobile phone with data. You can freely use it outside of the hotel. But of course you’re expected to take care of it well as there are charges for damaged/lost phone. They also have complimentary wifi in the room as well.

The queen size bed was super comfy and gave me a good night rest after a whole day of walking. One feature of the room that you would have noticed is the unique position of the wash basin and vanity area right there in the room itself. The actual shower and toilet are in separate cubicles behind frosted glass.

My room also included complimentary breakfast at the cafe situated on the 3rd floor. It has the basic toast, omelette station, yoghurt, juices and some mix of local (porridge, rice, etc) and international menu (sausages, baked beans, etc). The spread isn’t very big and could use a little more variety. But it was alright for a quick bite.

The hotel is situated in a strategic spot near the Central Business District (CBD) where my office is situated and also walking distance to the lively tourist spot of Clarke Quay. In fact the nearest MRT station is the Clarke Quay MRT station (purple line) which is just less than 5mins walk from the hotel. You can easily access the entrance to the station via overhead bridge right next to the hotel upon exiting the concierge area.

Through the MRT station underpass, you can also easily access The Central mall which is just directly above via escalator. You can find lots of good Japanese restaurants and other eateries here. There’s a food court downstairs where you can find food on the cheaper side. As you walk outside of the mall, you’ll see the riverside itself which is a great place for a relaxing stroll in the evening.

Overall it was an enjoyable stay here and being centrally located, it made a great spot to set as my base ground.

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Singapore: Airbnb at Tiong Bahru

Last week I made a trip back to Singapore. It’s been about a year since my secondment and i’m back again but this time for a company training session. Since the training is on a Monday and Tuesday, I figured I might as well spend my weekend in Singapore as well. I spent a night at an Airbnb before moving to my hotel. The Airbnb was a cozy studio apartment located in Tiong Bahru.

The place is in a nice quiet neighbourhood not too far off from the Tiong Bahru mrt station. I took the MRT directly from Changi Airport. Simply follow the signs to the the MRT and catch either side of the trains as both of them head towards Tanah Merah. Once you reach Tanah Merah, get off the correct side (towards Jurong East). Then it’s just a direct ride all the way to Tiong Bahru. The train ride itself takes about 40mins or so. Then it’s a quick walk from the station to the apartment. Took me about 15mins walk from the station and it’s reasonably sheltered throughout most of the way. However if you’re carrying a lot of luggage, it would probably be best to take a cab there as I initially got lost and ended up walking a lot more than I thought while lugging by bags with me. But after a while, you get more familiar with the place and it’s a pretty direct route.

Above the Tiong Bahru mrt station is a small mall where you can grab a quick meal or get some necessities before you continue off to the apartment. The apartment itself is above P.S Cafe Petit which is a smaller scale version of the popular P.S Cafe restaurant (you can see my blog post on the branch at Harding Road here). They have a nice selection of cakes, pizzas and breakfast choices. They’re also open until pretty late (last order at 10.30pm).

The place was rather secure with two points of security (electronic access pad for you to enter the passcode) before you reach your room. Also take note that the place is one floor up a flight of stairs. So keep that in mind if you’re carrying huge luggage. But it wasn’t an issue for me as I was just traveling with a small luggage bag. It’s generally a very small space (quite common in Singapore), but it had everything I needed in one space. As you can see from the pictures, it’s complete with a queen size bed, tv mounted on the wall, small cooking area with electric stove, washing machine, fridge, basin, and a table for two. It also comes with complimentary wifi. The bathroom was also small but had the basic things I needed including towels, hair dryer, facial tissue, hand soap and body wash.

Overall it was a great stay and definitely value for money. You can check out the listing here. Also if you haven’t tried Airbnb before, do give it a try! First time users get a discount if you sign up through my link which you can find in the sidebar. ;)

 

 

Expat Life: Week 13 – Yacht Cruise at One 15 Marina Club, Sentosa Cove

Sentosa Cove is just a quick 15mins drive from my place in Tanjong Pagar. It’s known by the locals as the place where the “elites”, rich and famous hang out at….consider it as Beverly Hills or something. The reason for our trip down here was to try out the yacht cruise at One 15 Marina Club. The drive there was pretty nice and scenic especially with a sunroof in our car and the lovely weather that day.

We reached there around noon and had a buffet lunch at the clubhouse. Other facilities at the club was a sea-view gym upstairs and lounge.

The toilets also had shower rooms so if you feel sticky after a long sail, you can freshen up here. After lunch and freshening up, we all met our yacht Captain who greeted us on a segway. She led us over to the pier where our yacht, Annette was parked.

The yacht was just perfect for a group of us (about 12 of us). It’s equipped with a small cooking area and toilets in the cabin area. Whereas the deck was perfect for us to hang out in the cool breeze. We cruised for about 40mins before reaching a nearby island (Kusu Island).

The Island itself is pretty deserted and empty. I guess it’s just a nice spot to park your yacht and have a BBQ party. Saw a bigger yacht doing just that. However we decided to just take a quiet walk round the island and snap some pics. After we’re done stretching our feet, we boarded the yacht again and set sail for another 40mins or so before heading back. The whole time we played charades and chilled by the deck. It was pretty amusing when we hit a bumpy wave and splashed with water along the way (adds to the whole experience). Overall it was a fun experience and I would definitely do it again to watch the sunset next time!

This day also marked my last day on work assignment in Singapore and the team definitely made it a memorable one. After the cruise, I dashed back to my friends apartment, freshened up and headed to Changi Airport for a night flight back home. It was definitely a memorable and great 3 months in Singapore! So that’s the last of my Expat post. But look out for more of my travel posts in the future~

Expat Life: Week 12 – Night Safari

My friends and I decided to check out the Night Safari just for the unique experience. So one day after work we all took a cab from Raffles Place. The cab ride took about 40mins and costed us around 40 dollars or so. The cab seemed like the best way to get there since the place is quite isolated. The Night Safari is clustered together with the Singapore Zoo and River Safari. If you have the whole day to spend, I would recommend going to 2 or more of the attractions as they tend to have a lot of good combo deals. But since we only had a few hours to spare, we only went to the Night Safari. One good tip would be to buy the tickets online as they offer up to 15% discount with certain credit cards.

The Night Safari opens at 7.30pm and the “Creatures of the Night” show also starts at that time. We arrived at around 7.45pm and decided to just grab dinner before going in. The F&B area outside the gates had a nice seating area where you can watch the “Thumbuakar Performance” (fire-eating show). So we bought our food and enjoyed the show from our seats (show starts at 6.45pm, 8pm and 9pm).

After the amazing fire performance, we headed into the park at around 8.15pm and immediately saw the huge line for the tram ride. The queue winds a whole long way and this was a weeknight (Thursday Night). I can’t imagine how much longer it would be on a weekend or public holiday! Anyway thankfully the line moved fairly quickly. We waited for about 15mins before it reached our turn.

The tram ride itself was a nice experience. There was a voice guide explaining all the various animals throughout the ride and stopped momentarily at certain areas for you to have a good look at the animals. It’s pretty dark and strictly no flash photography allowed so don’t expect any nice photo opportunities (hence why I don’t have a single photo of the animals in this post). Some of the animals I remember seeing were Hyena, Elephant, Tiger, Hippo, Giraffe, Rhino, Bear, Babirusa, Dears, and many more. All of which only had a ditch separating us apart from these wild animals. At some moments I really do wonder if the tiger could have just jumped over and pounce at us. But I kept reminding myself that the people probably would have thought long and hard about that and I should be safe.

The tram ride itself was about 20mins long and you have the option to hop off midway or make a full round back to the main entrance. I would recommend making one full round and then start your walk at the nature trail. Along the trails you’ll see all kinds of creatures such as wallabies, flying squirrels, foxes, armadillo, crocodiles, and etc.

We ended up staying there until around 11pm (park closes at 12am). Then we took the last bus which headed towards Ang Mo Kio train station. If you depend on trains to get back (especially if you require switching between lines), make sure you leave the park by 11pm. Otherwise you will most likely miss the last train back. Lucky for me, I made it back just in time for the last train on the green line. All in all, it was a really enjoyable trip and definitely something different. The next day we headed out to Sentosa Cove for a yacht cruise. I’ll cover that in my next post~

Typo Online Sale – Stationary Galore!

For these past few weeks, my colleagues and I went a little crazy with the Typo sales. We’re major fans of pretty stationary. So when we saw these crazy deals, we bundled our orders together and had the items shipped over to the office.

First Round

Two boxes came in with our stuff. Check out the goodies in the box!

I got the 2015 A5 planner in Blush Pink and the Tiffany Blue A5 Journal for only SGD5! That’s only 2.5 dollars each! Original price for the pink planner was SGD24.95 while the tiffany blue journal was SGD17.99. I saved a total of SGD37.94!!

I also bought these two staplers for SGD5. And again only 2.5 each! Original price were SGD14.99 each. So I saved SGD24.98 for these two items.

Total Original Price: SGD72.92
Total Price Paid: SGD10
Total Savings: SGD62.92


Round 2

With such a great deal during the first round, we decided to get more stuff. But this time with more people and we ended up with 10 boxes shipped over to the office! I only ordered two items though which was a travel journal and a tape dispenser. Both items for only SGD10. Original price of the journal was SGD24.99 while the tape dispenser was SGD17.99.

Total Original Price: SGD42.98
Total Price Paid: SGD10
Total Savings: SGD32.98

Expat Life: Week 11 – Ramadan Bazaars & Flea Markets

Ramadan Bazaars

This post is a little late by a few weeks. Hence why i’m still blogging about Ramadan Bazaars even though it’s already Raya. Well better late than never! Throughout my stay in Singapore i’ve been to two of the popular bazaars here (one in Arab Street and the other in Paya Lebar).

First up is the one in Arab Street because it’s the closest for me. This one is situated right next to the Sultan’s Mosque and is pretty small to the usual bazaars that I get back in Malaysia. Most of the stalls here were selling Ramly burgers, kebabs, briyani rice, hotdogs, and some fried snacks such as karipap (curry puffs), pisang goreng (fried banana fritters) and etc. I tried not to compare with the variety that I get back at home, but I still couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed in this one. I was hoping to get the more rare kuihs such as tepung pelita, seri muka and etc. Also I was craving for murtabak (some kinda meat pancake?) and nasi tomato (tomato rice). Not sure if it’s just that particular day, but while I was there, there were only like a few stalls and selling similar things.

Next was the bigger bazaar situated right next to the Paya Lebar mrt station. This one was huge and well planned. All the stalls are located under big white canopies which were set up specifically for this event. So rain or shine, it’s business as usual. I was a little too excited to see the huge canopies and hence raised my expectations. Unfortunately among the huge numbers of stalls only a few sections were catered for food. The rest were for clothes, shoes, and other Raya prep stuff. Since I went there for the food and not for shopping, it was a bit of a let down as I still couldn’t find my nasi tomato and murtabak! Most of the food stalls were again kebabs, Ramly burgers, fried snacks and etc. They did have more variety compared to the one in Arab Street. Other than the usual stuff mentioned earlier, I also saw char kway teow, otah-otah, grilled squid, coney dogs, pizzas, mixed rice and a variety of drink stalls. I went ahead and got the grilled squid, coney dog and sugar cane drink.

Although I didn’t manage to find what I was craving for, it was still a fun and festive experience. If I had to recommend a bazaar, it would definitely be the one in Paya Lebar. Especially if you’re looking at doing some Raya shopping as well. There were a lot of stalls selling baju kurung, baju melayu (traditional malay outfits) and Raya cookies.

Flea Market at *Scape

Singapore has plenty of flea markets around and one of the more “hipster” flea market was at *Scape which is just a short walk from the Somerset mrt station. I went there towards the evening where there was a live band performing. In terms of stalls, it’s quite small scale. But i do love the items on sale. From phone & laptop accessories, to necklaces, custom charm bracelets, clothes and my fav was the vintage watch stall. This particular shops assembles their own watches with a vintage style. I got mines for around 40 dollars and it comes with warranty too!

Other than the stalls outside, do check out the shops inside the building as well which hosts a lot of items sold by young entrepreneurs.

Expat Life: Week 10 – Maison Ikkoku, Makansutra & Coconut Icecream at Esplanade

Maison Ikkoku, Kandahar Street

I stopped over at this cafe for a cup of coffee after walking along the streets of Haji Lane. The place is located along the same road as the Malay Heritage Centre and also pretty close to the Sultan Mosque. So finding the place wasn’t really difficult. I managed to navigate my way there at night and I would admit my sense of direction is pretty bad. So for me to find it effortlessly would mean that it’s definitely not difficult for everyone else.

The cafe is located on the ground floor while the the other floor above is apparently a bar according to their website. I didn’t venture upstairs but settled in nicely at a table near the door. I loved the fact that this place is not overcrowded even on a weekend. I tend to travel with my laptop and park myself at a table for a couple of hours. So it’s great to find a cosy and quiet spot. Another plus point is that they play some really nice chill music in the background. Some of the tracks playing that night was the likes of Ed Sheeran and Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World”.

I initially ordered the French Toast with Berries. However they noticed that I was Malay and helpfully pointed out that this contained alcohol and suggested the Banana Caramel French Toast instead. Plus points for the helpful tip and also for noticing that i’m Malay (people somehow always mistaken me as a different race). The Banana French Toast itself was a nice sweet treat to compliment my latte.

Makansutra & Co+Nut+Ink Coconut Ice Cream at The Esplanade

I had a friend visiting from KL so I asked my colleagues around for some good spots to have dinner which led to Makansutra (also known as  Gluttons Bay). The place is located near The Esplanade and home to a couple of local style stalls and seafood. We settled for the the seafood stall furthest to the end near the river. Ordered the sambal grilled fish, clams and a plate of stir-fry vege in garlic sauce to go along with a bowl of white rice. We also had whole coconuts for drinks. The seafood was alright but I’ve had better at a fraction of the cost back in KL. Still worth a visit if you’re not from this side of the world and wanting a taste of some asian flavors by the river.

After dinner we took a walk along The Esplanade and stopped for some coconut ice cream at Co+Nut+Ink (yes more coconut goodness!). I ordered the one with Red Ruby (Sago) and it was really refreshing and light with a mild tinge of sweetness from the sago. Coincidentally the light show was also starting up and we got to enjoy our ice creams with an amazing view.