Covid-19, Investing, Moneysmart

Should you start investing?

There is no denying that Covid-19 has impacted every facet of our lives and there is so much to learn from it.

The coronavirus pandemic causing a standstill for most economies and impacting the global stock market must be on everyone’s mind now. Even if the valuation is attractive, you are probably worried that the markets are looking shaky at the moment, and would prefer to wait for the “right time” before taking the plunge. Or perhaps you think you need to grasp the “holy grail of investing” before you can actually do anything with your money that remotely resembles investing.

One thing is for sure, it is a matter of time that the economy will recover. No time is good or bad for investing, it all boils down to grabbing the opportunity. Instead of thinking about how much value stocks are losing today, think about investing in the long-term.

The pandemic has taught us one lesson about creating multiple streams of income

A picture speaks more than a thousand words. The illustration table below is akin to the principle of sowing and reaping. The sooner you put your dollars to work, the more you will benefit in the long run. In fact, what you invest can have a greater impact on the size of your nest egg than the amount you invest.

Need proof? Let’s say you start saving $12,000 a year. If you are risk averse and choose to let your savings ride it out with the bank’s mediocre rate, you would have just over $120,000 at the end of the tenth year. Now, let’s say you want to be an investor and start to chronicle your personal investment journey. All else being equal and assuming an average 5% annual return, you could potentially have about $159,000 after 10 years!

Compounded Table

What are the investment options?

Saving money in your bank account is just the beginning of your investing journey. To stay ahead of inflation, you need to find investments that generate meaningful returns to stay ahead of inflation. There are various investment options to consider but we shall focus on the common ones such as stocks, REITS and ETFs. We will not get into the mumbo jumbo but delve straight into some salient features of these investment options.

Stocks or Equities

Equities refer to a stock of a company measured in number of shares. Shareholders earn returns when they receive dividends, which are paid out of the company’s profits. Instead of distributing their profits, some companies may choose to re-invest these gains into their business. Alternatively, when the current stock price rises above its purchase price over a period of time, shareholders can choose to sell the stock to lock in their profits.

The advantages of investing in shares include:

  • Capital Gain (Selling price is higher than purchase price)
  • Dividend Income (Share can pay us a revenue when we hold them)
  • Liquidity (Unlike real estate, you have the flexibility to buy and sell shares quickly and easily when we want)

It is important to do your own due diligence when it comes to investing in shares. While capital and volatility risks are inevitable, one way to hedge yourselves is to invest in blue chip stocks which are fundamentally sound and typically lower risk.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS)

How does it sound to become a landlord and collect rental income? When you invest in a REIT, you’re investing in the properties managed by that REIT. The revenues generated (primarily rental income) are normally distributed at regular intervals as dividend to REITs shareholders.

Notwithstanding the sharp sell-off of S-REITS due to Covid-19, they are generally perceived as defensive, income-generating investment that offer consistent and meaningful dividends. Investing in REITS is a good option when your motivation is planning for retirement or gaining passive income.

What are Reits

The broad categories of REITs you can invest in and the typical properties they own:

  • Commercial REITs – office buildings
  • Retail REITs – shopping malls
  • Industrial REITs – warehouses, logistics facilities and data centres
  • Hospitality REITs – hotels and serviced residences
  • Healthcare REITs – hospitals and nursing homes

Do keep in mind the risks involved which include:

  • Income Risk (Distributions are not guaranteed and are subject to fluctuations in the REIT’s income)
  • Leverage Risk (REIT needs to ensure it does not use too much debt to finance acquisition of its properties)
  • Land Lease Expiry Risk (The value of the REIT may be affected by the decreasing term or the expiry of the land leases, and this may result in a decline in the price of the units)

Exchange-Traded Fund

Another convenient way to diversify our investments is through Exchange Traded Funds (ETF). These are funds (or portfolios of company stock) that are bought and sold through the Singapore Exchange. ETFs are useful investment instruments for new investors who want stock diversification from relatively small outlays.

Some advantages of owning ETFs include:

  • Liquidity (Choose to buy and sell shares anytime you want)
  • Transparency (Price of the shares are made available for you to buy or sell)
  • Cost-Effective (Own a basket of stocks which would otherwise be expensive to buy them individually)

Your Covid-19 Survival Guide

If you have cash preserved for this crucial period and not knowing where to start off in your personal investment journey, Moneysmart’s Covid-19 Survival Guide is not just timely-introduced but also serves as a one-stop-destination to get necessary information about investing.

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While browsing the MoneySmart Covid-19 Survival Guide, the website comes forth as a useful resource for new investors who had little or no clue about where to start in investing. The browsing experience has been intuitive and the articles are concise, easy to read and most importantly, offer practical suggestions.

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Instead of running helter-skelter, the Covid-19 Survival Guide is a life-saver. It provides easy to navigate, current and practical suggestions before you make the conscious decision to invest. You would know which site to bookmark and make a visit the next time you need information on finances.

At MoneySmart, you may not find ALL the answers – but you can at least get some advice on how to plan your finances responsibly to get through this.

We definitely are in an unprecedented point in history but we will all get through it together.

 

The ideas expressed in this blog should not be construed as an enticement to buy or sell securities, commodities or assets. The accuracy or completeness of the information provided cannot be guaranteed. Readers should carry out independent verification of information provided. No warranty whatsoever is given and no liability whatsoever is accepted for any loss howsoever arising whether directly or indirectly as a result of actions taken based on ideas and information found in this blog.

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Universal Beauty Hacks Inspired from Our Favorite Celebs

Beauty is something every girl adores and that’s why people apply makeup, to enhance their features and achieve optimal grace. However, not every product might do justice to both your skin and look as each of the product tend to be different from another. While using a whole bunch of products make you look still the same, using two-three products can make you look like a star. Yes, we can too look like stars in no time but, for that, you need to have appropriate information and nu skin enterprises is where you can get it all. The next mentioned are the top beauty hacks exclusively revealed by the most-happening celebs. 

 

Beautiful face of an attractive model with blue eyes. Woman with beauty long brown hair and natural

  • According to Joan Smalls, running out of blush won’t do much harm to your makeup as lipstick is all you need, just make it your cream blush and shine on.
  • Curling your eyelashes was never easy until Miranda Ker shared her secret of doing it with a spoon. Yes, with a warm spoon after getting it blow-dried, this can just add a little action to the eyelash curling process.
  • Learned from her makeup artist Linda Cantello, Emma Watson used the easiest way to eliminate mascara from the face. You just need a cotton ball and dip it into some foundation and this way you can remove mascara and conceal the area at the same time.
  • In case you want to have long and full eyelashes, follow Kim Kardashian’s basic beauty hack of brushing off some baby powder on top of the mascara and this would give extra fullness to your eyelash.
  • Big eyes are the major attraction for many and, can easily make your heart go-round. Candice Swanepoel shares her secret of gorgeous eyes by achieving it through a cream pencil and using it under the waterline to make her eyes pop and noticeable.
  • We all must have drunk Coca Cola and probably it would be your favorite cold drink. However, for star Suki Waterhouse that’s even the best shampoo for your hair. Rinsing off your hair from Coca Cola can give you an easy tousled wave look.
  • Though coconut oil can be used in several ways and has been the biggest beauty hack for ages. Even the star celebrities like Eva Mendes, Shay Mitchell, Olsen twins, and Khloe Kardashian swear by the wondrous effects of applying coconut oil on their hair locks.
  • Crissy Teigen says, keeping your eye cream frozen and using it later makes way for less puffy eyes. While the cream is inside the freezer and the cooling effect is on the process, the cream later works by tightening the blood vessels and making your eyes dark.
  • Sugar is a great substance for exfoliation and anti-aging and, Kim Kardashian sticks to that note. Every time she is up for a body bath, she never forgets to add sugar to her body wash and use it as an exfoliating scrub.
  • Both yogurt and turmeric have exceptional beauty benefits and Priyanka Chopra is one of the famous celebs that makes the most out of these beauty ingredients. According to her, the mystery of getting soft and radiant skin can be easily unlocked with the yogurt and turmeric face mask.
Paul Immigrations Reviews - Katong Kids Inc | Singapore Travel & Lifestyle Blog

Paul Immigrations Reviews: Become a Singapore PR!

When some say the grass is always greener on the other side, it is probably true. A cosmopolitan city in the heart of Southeast Asia, Singapore has become one of the best places to live and work abroad. While re-locating oneself and living in this country as a Permanent Resident (PR) can be a daunting experience for some, it can also bring enriching experiences with new discoveries every day – culture, language, food, transportation and people, amongst others.

Key benefits of becoming a Permanent Resident (PR) in Singapore

Obtaining a permanent residency in the lion city is highly-valued. The benefits that PRs stand to gain are plenty. This is something that non-citizens could not enjoy.

As a Singapore PR, you can:

  • Be the sponsor for your children of single status, under the age of 21, and spouse in the PR application. If you plan to enrol your children in the local school, they get to enjoy being on the priority list, behind citizens, to enter public schools.
  • Have your parents or foreign spouse stay longer with long-stay visas
  • Hold on to a re-entry permit that allows you to leave and enter the city-state without hassle. The validity of the permit may vary from person to person, but it is usually a validity of up to 5 years. Application for separate Singapore visas to work or travel would not be required with this permit. Do note that renewal upon expiry is subject to regulatory approval.
  • Enjoy the financial and tax benefits. If you are employed, a monthly minimum amount would be contributed by your employer and yourself, to your pension fund. This fund can be used for healthcare-related purposes, funding your new HDB flat, family protection and even growing your assets in this city-state.
  • Avoid risking delay or rejection of Singapore work permit reapplication each time that you change employment. If you hold a Singapore visa for work and want to change jobs, you’ll have to cancel your permit and reapply for a new one.
  • Purchase property and be in a higher priority compared to non-PRs. PR holders are also eligible to buy second-hand units of government Housing Development Board’s flats.
  • Enjoy the same rights as locals after you successfully apply for Singapore citizenship. You are eligible to do so after holding the permanent residence status for several years.

With so many applications, what are the chances of obtaining a Singapore PR?

From the below chart, we can see that every year since 2010, about 30,000 foreigners are granted permanent residency on a yearly basis. Sounds good? But taking a closer look at the chart, we can see that since 2008, there was more than double the amount of PR status granted. What this means is that Singapore’s immigration can only get stricter every year.

Chart

While the government welcomes people to take up PR option to contribute to the economy, it is important to note that no one has an automatic legal right to the PR status.

We believe there have been multiple cases where applicants, even for those who are highly qualified, have seen their applications being rejected. The government’s PR decisions are entirely to their discretion. In fact, they do not disclose the assessment processes and evaluation criteria or broad generalities, such as long-term citizen population-related targets.

So, how do I know if I am eligible to apply to be a PR and what is the application process like?

 Make no mistake that these benefits sound great. However, before imagining a move to this city-state, it is important to know your eligibility based on these criteria:

  • Spouse of a Singapore citizen (SC) or Singapore permanent resident (PR)
  • Child aged below 21, unmarried, and born within the context of legal marriage of SC or PR
  • Child aged below 21, unmarried, and legally adopted by, a SC or PR
  • Student studying in Singapore
  • Holder of an Employment Pass or S Pass
  • Aged parent of a SC
  • Foreign investor in Singapore.

All permanent residence applications must be submitted using Immigration & Checkpoints Authority of Singapore (ICA) e-Service and applicants have to read through the explanatory notes and review submission requirements before preparing the supporting documents.

A S$100 non-refundable processing fee is also payable for each applicant at the point of submission of PR application.

Although the application may sound straightforward, more often than not, this process may be administratively cumbersome and result in applicants overlooking to submit certain essential documents. This is a common situation faced by first-time applicants.

The general processing time will take between four to six months. Once it is completed, you will be scheduled for an appointment at the ICA building for interview and submission of documents. If the submission is not in proper order, be prepared that the process will be delayed significantly or worse still, rejected.

Engaging professional help will make a big difference

With this in mind, assessing your chances of gaining PR may leave you feeling run down and stress out. As time is of the essence, you can always make it a lot smoother and increase your chances by engaging the services of an immigration consultancy firm.

Paul Immigrations Reviews

Since being established in 2016, Paul Immigrations has built a strong track record of serving over 15,000 satisfied customers in their applications.

They stand out as the consultancy firm that is not just equipped with the expertise, but also the experience to guide and increase your chances amidst thousands of other applications.

The firm’s consultants are meticulous in ensuring that your application is submitted according to the prescribed guidelines by the ICA. Did we mention that they will also craft a professionally written cover letter to help your application stand out from the crowd?

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With such dedication, it comes as no surprise that the firm has been receiving these good reviews:

“The consultants at Paul Immigrations were very patient. They provided detailed explanations to my queries too. I’m so happy to have them handle my submission & even more so now that it is approved!”

Priya Darshini, 27, accountant

 

“So glad that I finally got my approval in 5 months! Thanks to the consultant and team of Paul Immigrations, the troublesome applying process is so much less stressful for me! Kudos to the team!

Yap Khai Wen, 32, Corporate Communications Executive

 

“Booked a consultation with Paul Immigrations after knowing about them from a friend who engaged their professional service. The process was so much easier than trying to do it on my own!”

Sandra Liu Hua, 35, lead engineer

 

It is good to read the testimonials from these people but nothing beats experiencing it for yourself. If you are a PR-hopeful, you can assess your PR eligibility by clicking HERE!

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Paul Immigrations

Contact: +65 6206 6390

Address: Suntec Tower Two, 9 Temasek Boulevard, #13-01/02/03, Singapore 038989

Monday to Friday: 9.00am to 6.00pm (do note that it is strictly by appointment only)

China, Diary of a Foodster, Dongmen Food Street, Eat, Food, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, The Idea Box, Vacation

Shenzhen Travelogue – (Part 3): What to eat and explore in Dongmen Food Street

What a way to ring in the Lunar New Year with the outbreak of coronavirus, which was bit disheartening. However, we made it back to Singapore before the outbreak came a month later. Despite this, one can’t deny that Shenzhen, adjacent to Hong Kong on the Mainland China border, is an affordable, convenient and fun destination to travel.

Airbnb

Shenzhen’s imposing urban sprawl and cloud-piercing towers can make it an overwhelming destination at first look. Accommodation in Shenzhen is much cheaper than Guangzhou and this Airbnb stay came at half the cost. We were pleasantly surprised that we found this gem which was so much better than our stay in Guangzhou.

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Nevermind that we have yet to explore every corner of this loft apartment. Small M is definitely contented with the interiors.

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The local school is located next to our building and it is not surprising to hear the children clamouring during their breaks.

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The loft unit is expansive and does not compromise when it comes to comfort.

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Dongmen 东门 food street is the place to satisfy your food cravings

Dong Men (东门, which translates into East Gate) is a large labyrinth of shops selling not just clothings and apparels but also delectable food. If you are taking the train, alight at Laojie station and exit D.

Image Credit - Travel China Guide

You will pass by a shopping street before arriving at the food street.

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We were bombarded with lots of street food options the moment we stepped into this place.

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Eat to your heart’s desire. Shenzhen’s local cuisine in the form of beef sticks, stinky tofu, grilled squid, takoyaki, and, for the adventurous, shellfish.

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Pork blood jelly is abundantly popular in Chinese cooking. It was widely sold during our younger days but has since been banned in Singapore due to food hygiene.

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Grilled Skewered Squid stuffed with meat fillings.

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A popular street snack in Asia. Stinky tofu (chou do fu) that has been fermented and smells like it has gone bad. Do you dare to eat it?

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Everyone is no stranger to Taipei Shilin Night Market 士林夜市, one of the largest and most popular night markets in Taiwan. 蚵仔煎 oyster omelette is found here too.

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We know that Tiger Sugar 老虎堂 has garnered a large fanbase in Taiwan and Hong Kong. This is how Tiger Sugar get its name – the moment when dark brown sugar syrup interacts with the thick milk in the cup. Getting a hold of it in Shenzhen without waiting in a long queue is certainly a bonus!

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We are feeling peckish and these local seafood looked really appetising!

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This plate of flower crabs and big prawns cost about SGD$17.

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This tiny pizza store is probably Shenzhen’s best kept treasure. We were initially sceptical of the pizza’s quality as it only cost SGD$2.

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But the queue did not cease and we saw how the pizza were freshly made and baked in front of you.

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It comes with a solid-looking crust and glistening cheese and tastes great.

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We find ourselves back in the queue for a second order even before we finished eating the pizza!

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Also, we settled for this piping-hot grilled fish which this is sure to satisfy any fish-lovers cravings. It looked really damn good. The fish is first grilled before allowing it to poach over a fire in a rich broth alongside other ingredients such as vegetables and an assortment of other aromatics. A big NO to chilli for the kids.

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Hungry for more? You should visit Shenzhen one day!

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Just finding joy in the little things. Click here to follow Katong Kids Inc Facebook Page to stay tune on the next travel post.

All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Black Sesame Paste, Canton Tower, Chimelong Paradise, China, Diary of a Foodster, Eat, Food, Katong Kids Inc, Photography, Playground, Ruxuan Seafood Congee, Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street

Guangzhou Travelogue – (Part 3): Chimelong Paradise, Canton Tower, Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street Black Sesame Paste and Ruxuan Seafood Congee

Wrapping up our stay in Guangzhou. Today we brought Big and Small M to Guangzhou Chimelong (长隆) Paradise which is one of Guangzhou’s top tourist attraction.

Chimelong Paradise

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We chose a weekday to avoid the crowd and it was a good move!

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The park wasn’t the scale of Disneyland and we thought the some of the rides were too kiddish for us. To maximise our time, we took repeated rides for some of the thrilling stations.

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And they had fun!

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We thought if you’re not hard up to visit an amusement park, probably you can give it a miss. It cost about SGD50 per pax which is quite pricey for the quality of the rides inside.

Guangzhou Chimelong Tourist Resort is mainly composed of Chimelong Paradise, the Xiangjiang Safari Park, the Water Park, the International Circus, the Crocopark, and the Golf Center.

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Canton Tower

The Canton Tower stands at the intersection of Guangzhou’s new urban central and the Pearl River scenery zone. It is the tallest TV tower in the world with a total height of 600m. The bubble tram on top of the tower is a must do as you will experience the best views of the city from there.

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Having a meal at Canton Tower!

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Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street

On our last night, we explored the other side of Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street and found one of the best black sesame paste (芝麻糊).

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Zhi ma hu is grounded black sesame seeds made into a sweet pasty dessert. Drawing onlookers.

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Customers can mix different flavours into the same bowl without charging extra price.

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The street is filled with many eateries…

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We love this place! The street is vibrant, cool and happening. Well worth a visit when in Guangzhou.

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Ruxuan Seafood Congee

This restaurant is famous for the seafood congee served in clay pot. Ruxuan is a Guangzhou based chain, and serves Cantonese congee and other Guangdong style dishes.

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We had one of the best meals here in Guangzhou before leaving for Shenzhen.

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Just finding joy in the little things. Click here to follow Katong Kids Inc Facebook Page to stay tune on the next travel post.

All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Baiyun Mountain, Beijing Road, Blogger, Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, China, Food, Growing Up, Guangzhou, Guangzhou Pearl River, Shopping, Singapore, Singapore blogs, Singapore Parent Blogger, Singapore Travel Blog, The Idea Box, Travel, Travel Blog, Vacation

Guangzhou Travelogue – (Part 2): Baima Clothing Wholesale Market, Beijing Road, Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, Baiyun Mountain and Pearl River

Guangzhou is safe and suitable for family to travel. We visited the bustling Baima wholesale market and the items were, but not overly cheap.

Baima Clothing Wholesale Market

This wholesale market is located at the Guangzhou Railway Station. You will know it’s the right place when you see people lugging big plastic bags of clothing.

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The whole place was made up of various buildings/malls and basically they are selling clothings and accessories at wholesale prices.

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With such a big crowd, food stalls will inevitably exist to cater to the hunger pangs.

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We felt the weather at 22 degree was warm but still, the locals were out in their thick coats.

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Try shopping in the wholesale markets and find good bargains. New stock arrivals…a common sight.

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The prices are marked up when quoted to you so spend your time bargaining in your shopping spree.

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 Address: No.16, Zhannan Road, Yuexiu District; close to Guangzhou Railway Station
 Opening Hours: 8:30 – 17:30
 How to Get There:
1. Take metro line 2 and line 5, and get off at Guangzhou Railway Station.
2. Take bus Business Line 1, 2, 3 and bus line 5, 238, 290, 301a, 518, 543, Gaofeng Rapid line 25, Night 88, and get off at Zhannan Road Station. Then walk to the north for about 250 meters (260 yd).

Beijing Lu Pedestrian Street

Beijing Road is located in the center of Guangzhou and is probably the busiest street. The whole stretch is about 1.5km so can imagine there are so many attractions to explore.

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Not even peak hour but look at the crowd!

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Big and Small M trying out the Christmas special soft-serve.

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Eating is an important part of Chinese culture. The street foods sold by the operators were better than we expected. Not only they are clean, super yummy as well!

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But street food is the way to go and to satisfy the taste buds.

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1. Take metro line 6, and get off at Beijing Road Station. Leave from Exit B.
2. Take metro line 1 or line 2, and get off at Gongyuanqian Station, and leave from Exit D and then walk to east for about 800 meters (880 yd).
3. Take City Sightseeing Bus Ancient City Line and Xiguan Style Line and get off at Beijing Road Station.
4. Take bus line 10, 183, 190, 1, 219, 3, 541, 544, 66, B8, Night 1, Night 32, Night 36, Night 39, Night 69, Night 8, and get off at Beijing Road Intersection Station.

Chen Clan Ancestral Hall

The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall or Chen Clan Academy is an academic temple in Guangzhou, China, built by the 72 Chen clans for their juniors’ accommodation and preparation for the imperial examinations in 1894 in Qing Dynasty.

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It is situated near to our Airbnb so it is a must-go attraction. We are not big fans of museums so didn’t spend much time there. However, the wood carvings and paintings are examples of super workmanship and certainly present an eye-opener to tourists.

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But it does offer good spots for photo-taking.

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Had our lunch here at this restaurant near to the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall.

 

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While the rest of the dishes were so-so, the steamed fish was fantastic.

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Guangzhou Baiyun Mountain

Baiyun Mountain (also known as “white cloud mountain”) offers spectacular views.

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You can either choose to walk/hike, take a buggy ride or cable car. We chose the latter.

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We spent half a day at Baiyun Mountain not because of enjoying ourselves but time wasted in taking the buggy rides at different points to reach the cable car station. You have to alight from the buggy at one point and queue up again to buy tickets to hop onto another buggy.

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Our advice is to take the cable car from the ground instead of going up the Baiyun Mountain to find the cable car station.

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Opposite the Baiyun Cableway is a food street.

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Freshly made Guangzhou-style rice rolls.

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Chee cheong fun or rice noodle roll. The stuffing of the salty rice noodle roll mainly includes pork, beef, shrimp meat and pork liver.

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A walk in the neighbourhood after our dinner.

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Guangzhou Pearl River

One can not be considered to have visited Guangzhou if he hasn’t cruised the scenic Pearl River. We wanted to try the river cruise where during the ride we could catch attractions such as Haiyin Bridge, Canton Tower and such but too bad we didn’t make it in time.

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But still, walking around the Pearl River wasn’t that bad either.

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What a beautiful Guangzhou.

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Just finding joy in the little things. Click here to follow Katong Kids Inc Facebook Page to stay tune on the next travel post.

All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Alipay International Version, Baiyun International Airport, China, Guangzhou, Photography, Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street, Shopping, Singapore blogs, Singapore Parent Blogger, Singapore Travel Blog, The Idea Box, Travel, Travel Blog, Vacation

Guangzhou Travelogue – (Part 1): ICC SIM Card, Baiyun International Airport, Alipay International Version, Dim Sum Spot and Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street

In deciding to explore other parts of China, we chose Guangzhou and Shenzhen this time round.

Guangzhou is also known as Canton and is the capital and most populous city of the province of Guangdong. Before the trip, we purchased SIM cards from Qoo10. Note that ICC Cards allow us to avoid the “firewall of China”.

Buy ICC Card from Qoo10

We only need to plug-and-play the SIM cards into our mobile phones upon arrival at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and we are ready to go. You can use in Hong Kong and Macau too.

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Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport

Adorable children having an excursion at the airport!

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Guangzhou Metro is located within the airport. Look at how the airport interiors are beautifully furnished.

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Guangzhou is conveniently connected by metro so we would not need to take any taxi. We felt it’s more worthwhile to buy one-trip tickets instead of 3-day pass which cost us RM50 per pax.

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Use Alipay Tour Pass from now on

Our first time using Alipay International e-wallet and all goes well!

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This is the metro “card” or token.

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Remember to download Guangzhou Metro Map app.

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Our Airbnb is located near the Chen Clan Academy Station which is a metro station on Line 1.

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The hassle of staying at Airbnb. The host will only inform the location upon arrival so we need some time to locate the place.

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A street peddler selling novels. For a moment, we thought the novels looked like “wu ling mi ji“..

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A shame not trying the food at this restaurant. It was jam-packed throughout the day. Look at the queue outside!

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Our Airbnb

So, this is our Airbnb building.

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This will be our abode for the next few days. The place is not so fantastic – weak / non-existent wifi, dusty and water heater not working well.

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But hey, we are staying next to a shopping mall!

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The place was bustling with activities early in the morning.

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One of our favourite bakery where we bought egg tarts every day.

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Yummy egg tarts for breakfast and supper. Only SGD1 per box of 4!

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Guangzhou Dim Sum is just thumbs up

It was said that the modern form of dim sum is believed to originate in Guangzhou (or Canton) and later transmit southward to Hong Kong. So we are at the right place to taste one of the best dim sum.

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Dim Sum in Guangzhou is cheap when compared to Singapore or Hong Kong. Per steamer basket is about SGD2 as compared to SG of about $3.50.

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We actually over-ordered. Did not expect the steamer basket to be “JUMBO” size…next time we will be aware.

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Here is our order. We spent over an hour trying to finish the food to fill up our small tummies.

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One do not need to pay an astronomical sum for good food. Here in Guangzhou dim sum food-hunting is one of the best finds.

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Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street is the place to go

We did our research before the trip. It seems everyone was raving about shopping in Beijing Road. We discovered that Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street is much better in terms of price and variety.

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Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street, or simply as Shangxiajiu, is a commercial pedestrian street in Liwan District, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.

Promoting mobile phones and attracting street onlookers to have a time of e-game!

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Yummy taro pie from McDonald’s.

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This street is awesome to find clothing stores, snacks and restaurants. The stretch of Shangxiajiu is more than 800 meters long and you can see many Lingnan style balcony buildings here.

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Many tourists here all the year round finding cheap buys.

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When night falls, the street comes alive.

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There are many traditional snacks of Guangzhou for us to taste.

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Just finding joy in the little things. Click here to follow Katong Kids Inc Facebook Page to stay tune on the next travel post.

All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Blue Seal Ice Park, Eat, Education, Food, Japan, Katong Kids Inc, Kids Activities, Kokusaidori, Okinawa, Orion Happy Park, The Idea Box, Travel, Travel Blog, Traveler Wifi, Urasoe Park, Vacation, Wifi Router

Okinawa Travelogue – (Part 6): Urasoe Park, Blue Seal Ice Park, Orion Happy Park and Kokusaidori Yataimura

The Urasoe Park has arguably the longest slide in Okinawa. Every kid who visited the place will definitely fall in love with the amazing slide that takes about over a minute to complete.

Urasoe Park

The speed was limited by rollers and we wished we could go faster. But nevermind, the fun part could not be taken away.

It does look fun and thrilling. Something that we can’t find back at home but a word of warning that too long a slide could hurt the buttocks.

Just a short drive up from Urasoe Park is another playground where kids can indulge in flying foxes and long slide, again!

Fun, fun and endless fun…

Address: 115-1 Iso, Urasoe, Okinawa 901-2132, Japan

Blue Seal Ice Park

Blue Seal Ice Cream originates in Okinawa and has now branches all over Japan. Beside selling yummy delicious ice cream and Japanese style crepes, we discovered that it allows visitors to join in ice cream making workshop.

The blue seal ice park is where you can experience making your own original popsicle. It’s a popular tourist destination close to Naha-city.

Beside ice cream making, they also provide soft serve for us.

Address: Japan, 〒901-2300 Okinawa, Nakagami District, Kitanakagusuku, アワセ土地区画整理事業区域内4街区

Orion Happy Park

We don’t fancy beer but it is still a good experience to watch how delicious Orion beer is made at Orion Happy Park.

The tour is free and starts every 20 minutes. We get the chance to enter the beer production site to see the manufacturing process.

Beer tasting is part of the take away.

Address: 2 Chome-2-1 Agarie, Nago, Okinawa 905-0021, Japan

Kokusaidori Yataimura

Kokusaidori Yataimura, otherwise known as Kokusai Street Food Village, is the must-go-to place to taste Okinawa’s authentic dishes.

At our final evening in Naha, we walked down the main shopping street Kokusaidori. The Yatai Mura has a nice atmosphere at night with all the lights and lanterns.

Several food outlets offering not too pricy food selections. Array of kanji characters scrawled across chalkboard signs and restaurant menus.

Kokusai Street paved the way for the revitalization of Naha as a cosmopolitan blend of different cultures and backgrounds.

Any reasons to love Okinawa? We found plenty of them.

Address: 3 Chome-11-16,17 Makishi, Naha, Okinawa 900-0013, Japan

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Blogger, Growing Up, Joo Chiat, Katong, Katong Kids Inc, Kids Activities, Marine Parade, Photography, Road Safety Community Park, Travel, Travel Blog

Road Safety Community Park at East Coast

The Road Safety Community Park is open to the public. Apart from imparting traffic rules and safety through role play to children, it also brings fond memories to those from earlier generations.

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Since its early beginnings in the 1950s and then after its refurbishment in 1981, the Road Safety Park has taught us how to be safe road users.

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The Road Safety Community Park has has lost much of its lustre but still, it exudes charm from the yesteryear.

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This is the place where we were taught the importance of following traffic rules in Singapore and what precautions to take before crossing the roads.

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And what follows are the mini SHELL service station..

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Bike Air Pump station where cyclists can take a breather and pump their bicycles’ tyres.

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Reading road signs and knowing the rights of a pedestrian are inevitably one of the important lessons of life.

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The VICOM Inspection Centre.

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A beautiful weather and what a way to relive our childhood!

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All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Busena Marine Park, Busena Underwater Observatory, Cape Maeda, Cape Manzamo, Car, Japan, Katong Kids Inc, Lieta Nakayama, Nago Pineapple Park, Okinawa, Okinawa Fruits Land, Okinawa World, Todoroki Waterfall

Okinawa Travelogue – (Part 5): Okinawa Fruits Land, Busena Marine Park, Busena Underwater Observatory, Cape Manzamo, Cape Maeda and Todoroki Waterfall

Okinawa by far, is one of the best Asia destinations to visit. You can also check out Touristsecrets.com – https://www.touristsecrets.com/category/destinations/asia/

a travel blogging site that gives advice and tips on how you can travel better, cheaper, and smarter so you can explore the world.

Lieta Nakayama is the second hotel we stayed. It was indicated as a 3 star hotel but the apartment was very spacious and all amenities were provided. Located beside to Okinawa Fruits Land, there are plenty of parking lots and it is near to Busena Marine Park.

Leita Nakayama

Byggingin sem hótelið er í
Image Credit – Booking.com

We were greeted by this view from the balcony.

Okinawa Fruits Land and Nago Pineapple Park are just beside the hotel.

And so is the convenience store.

Brekkie on the go for us, knowing that it would be more expensive to eat inside the Fruits Land.

Okinawa Fruits Land

Another rainy day! Out of the 2 attractions, we chose the Okinawa Fruits Land.

The only reason why we are visiting the Fruits Lands was it’s close proximity to our hotel. It doesn’t have much to offer and we struggled to find proper fruits or butterflies for photo-taking.

Probably one of the few entertainments we had here.

Busena Marine Park

The Busena Underwater Observatory is worthwhile to visit if you would like to get an underwater view of fishes in their natural habitat without getting wet.

Before exploring the underwater observatory, we hit the beach.

The water is crystal clear!

We knew it was a matter of time before Small M took a dip in the cooling waters.

There is a free shuttle from the ticket counter to the undersea tower.

So windy that Big M’s hair was messed up!

Fish shoaling in open waters before we reached the underwater observatory.

Kids and adults are all drawn to the fantastic underwater world.  The underwater observatory sits 170 m (558 ft) away from the coast, submerged at a depth of 5 m (16 ft), and offers sights of a sea grass habitat.

The observatory is pretty small and we had to wait for our turn to enter. It was a time well-spent as we discovered a world of vividly colorful tropical fish and beautiful coral reefs.

Cape Manzamo

Cape Manzamo is our next stop, about 13km from Busena Marine Park. We are going to see its  scenic rock formation on Okinawa Island, Japan. It is located near Onna Village in the Kunigami District of Okinawa Prefecture. We had to park and walked about 10 mins to the hilltop.

Many tourists came by to catch this natural beauty.

It was said that the grassy plain is so spacious and beautiful that you might feel like sitting there forever. Quite true.

On closer look, the limestone cliff is shaped like an elephant’s trunk which was formed when a coral reef rose.

These beautiful views can be enjoyed as great photo shooting spots.

Cape Maeda

We continued to drive south and reached the next Cape – Cape Maeda, which is about 14 km from Cape Manzamo.

Map from Cape Maeda, 469-1 Maeda, Onna, Kunigami District, Okinawa 904-0417, Japan to Cape Manzamo, Onna, Kunigami District, Okinawa 904-0411, Japan
Image Credit – Google Map

Cape Maeda is known for its coral plateau located on the west coast of central Okinawa. Popular with the locals as a soul-healing spot, this is the best snorkeling and scuba diving site in Okinawa.

An observatory deck where we can see gorgeous view of the stunning ocean.

Crystal clear water and stunning view of the cape, what more can we ask?

Spectacular and breath-taking landscape is truly a sight to behold!

Todoroki Waterfall

On our way back to the hotel, we discovered Todoroki Waterfall by chance. It lies in the Sukata District just south of the Highway 329 and Highway 58 intersection.

It was about to close in 20 mins and we managed to buy our tickets.

It is not a popular tourist attraction and we hardly find any review in the internet. We thought this is an amazing place to have breakfast (so long as there are no mosquitoes)!

It was a short hike to the waterfall. It might not be that imposing but the sight of it was awesome, at least to us.

Needless to say, scenic attractions are what we were looking for.

Capturing memories for them to remember when they grow up…

The word “Todoroki” in Japanese means to “roar” or “rumble”.

This is a small waterfall but we can also feel the vibration of the thundering water as it splashes to the surface.

A soul-healing spot, we like!

Time, will You please stand still?

Just finding joy in the little things. Click here to follow Katong Kids Inc Facebook Page to stay tune on the next travel post.

All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.