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California Travelogue – (Part 4): Golden Gate Park, California Academy of Sciences, Facebook, Googleplex, Stanford University, Big Sur and Solvang Village

Time passes so fast, it would have been a year before we complete our US travelogue. We had a magical experience visiting the Golden Gate Bridge the day before.

And we were ready to leave San Francisco, but not before collecting our rental car.

We had 5 pieces of luggage and were told that we had to take a Buick Enclave to fit our family inside..

Wasting no time after the car collection, we hit the Golden Gate Park.

The San Francisco Botanical Garden is a living museum within Golden Gate Park where it houses landscaped gardens containing over 8,500 different kinds of plants from around the world.

A short distance away is the California Academy of Sciences. We heard that it’s a must to check out this discovery centre as by far, it’s an educational experience that every kid will never forget.

The California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park has three combined attractions where we could explore the aquarium, planetarium, and a natural history museum.

Our first time seeing a white alligator, one of the rarest in the world!

There was a school excursion and many curious kids are here at the rainforest exhibit.

The building just offers endless fun! We spent about 2 hours here which was rather short before hitting the road.

We drove along the Pacific Coast Highland where there are 13 incredible stops on your visit to California. Well, we tried our best but it was challenging to visit every single attractions.

We stopped by Silicon Valley to visit Facebook Headquarters and Googleplex.

Continue our journey and checked Stanford University.

Hit the road again..

We passed by Santa Cruz, Monterey and on our way to Big Sur, cattle feeding on the hills.

Taking a breather and had our lunch before moving to our next accommodation.

Finally arrived at our Airbnb!

The landlord provided instruction how to retrieve the keys.

A big house where we stayed together with the landlord.

The next day, we hit the road again (as usual) where we covered about 450km per day.

Stopped at rest points to have our meals.

After driving about 300km, we finally reached Denmark. Did we hear correctly? More than a 100 years ago, a group of Danes settled in a corner of this idyllic place.

The beautiful Solvang is a city in Santa Barbara County, California. This charming Danish village is nestled in the Santa Ynez Valley that looks and smells like Christmas year-round.

Every spot is so tempting for us to pause by to take photos.

Yummy! We were seized by the delicious scent of freshly-baked pastries.

Small M was thrilled to see the famous windmill!

Solvang town where visitors will see all kinds of shops and bakeries, as well as windmills, which everyone loves.

Just one of their growing up years.

It was a perfect day to sit out and map out our Solvang plans for the day.

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

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California Travelogue – (Part 1): San Francisco Cable Car, Powell Street and Fisherman Wharf

After our New York trip, we took a 6.5 hour flight to San Francisco.

San Francisco, in northern California, is a hilly city on the tip of a peninsula surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay. It’s known for its year-round fog, iconic Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars and colorful Victorian houses.

Our first impression of San Francisco was its cleaniness. The tram was really clean and a big contrast to NYC in which it was not crowded.

Thanks to our friends staying in California, we were recommended to take the BART train to Powell Street.

So clean and fresh!

We would be staying at Axiom Hotel, which was just located above the Powell Station. It took about 2 to 3 mins walk to the hotel.

The reason we chose Axiom Hotel was it’s close proximity to the train station. The place was centralised to every tourist activities but we were cautioned that it was near to the Tenderlion neighbourhood where the streets were shady and you wouldn’t want to bump onto people you wouldn’t want to meet. Glad that there was a right soul who walked up and told us not to cross the street, else we would be venturing into the neighbourhood. Yes, the google map did fail us at times.

Cute robot to attend to our needs.

Burger King was beside our hotel.

We were glad that the cable car station was outside our hotel. During peak hour, the queue could linger till late into the night. The ticket cost $7 each.

We are going to the Fisherman’s Wharf. Fisherman’s Wharf, on the northern waterfront, is one of the city’s busiest tourist areas. Souvenir shops and stalls selling crab and clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls appear at every turn.

The streets of San Francisco was just amazing. It would take a lot of energy just to walk up the slopes and they were appearing at every junction we stopped.

Slopes again. How to survive without owning cars here?

No experience is more uniquely San Francisco than a ride on a cable car. A must-try experience here!

It’s convenient to travel here and we don’t really need to drive.

The Ross store is a great place to find cheap stuff.  

Love these laundry buckets so much (only $13) but how to bring back home 😦

The crab meat and prawns were very juicy. It cost about US$70.

Spent the afternoon exploring the streets.

If In-N-Out Burger comes to Singapore, it will beat all the fast food restaurants hands down.

Our favourite pasttime. Buying a loaf of cheap bread when visiting the harbour to feed the birds.

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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.

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New York Travelogue – (Part 3): The High Line, Chelsea Market, Subway, Brooklyn Bridge and Times Square

This was our final day at New York City. Our main goal was to cover two attractions. Some say The High Line is a must-go attraction and we shouldn’t give it a miss.

The High Line is a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side.

Saved from demolition by neighborhood residents and the City of New York, the High Line opened in 2009 as a hybrid public space where visitors experience nature, art, and design.

Elevated 30 feet in the air, this former railroad has taken in a form of a beautiful stretch of pathway.  The walk is about a mile and a half in length and takes you from Gansevoort Street up to 34th. We arrived just when the sun was setting and took some beautiful shots.

The Chelsea Market was near to The High Line. An indoor food hall, most of the shops in Chelsea Market were food related.

A suitable place for cafe hoppers also, not to mention there was a variety of shops selling gifts, spirits, groceries and more. The building was formerly used to be a biscuit factory, which was why much of the interior and aesthetic was a reminiscence of its past.

Intrigued to see the Youtube office here..

Not surprising to see the Google’s office here as Manhattan’s Chelsea Market building was bought over by them.

So, that wrapped up our New York vacation. We hope to have more time to visit Pennsylvania and Washington DC. Maybe we will do it next time 🙂

Ending our Big Apple vacation with some memorable pictures.

Definitely not to our liking, we were still figuring out how to take the subway in NYC before we left. Absolutely confusing.

Big M at the vibrant Manhattan’s Chinatown, where when you are in food hunt, you know you will never go wrong with dumplings, pork buns and hand-pulled noodles.

You have all the reasons to walk the famous Brooklyn Bridge. It is likely to be crowded but hey, who cares? We are talking about the epitome of Big Apple.

 Who says you can’t find pockets of spaces to connect with others in one of the most densest cities in the world?

Dazzling with lights all day long, there’s a magnetic pull about Times Square. One of the most visited places in the world with over 360,000 pedestrians daily, we just loathe this place, wondering why Singapore can’t replicate it. This little adventurer was totally mesmerised. The next part of our journey would see us at the west coast of America – California where we would see San Francisco, Big Sur, Monterey, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

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New York Travelogue – (Part 2): Brooklyn Bridge, Charging Bull, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Washington Square, Times Square and Bryant Park

Our stay in New York City – Club Quarters Hotel at the World Trade Center. Beautiful view of the city’s skyscrapers at the skydeck. The hotel’s snack bar has unlimited flow of canned soft drinks, coffee, nuts and snacks for guests.

The hotel was located near to the 9/11 Memorial and the vicinity was not as congested with human crowds as Times Square. The skydeck overlooking the reflecting pools.

And so we took a 3km walk to the Brooklyn Bridge. The Brooklyn Bridge is a hybrid cable-stayed/suspension bridge in New York City. It connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn, spanning the East River.

Popular pop-up food stalls in New York City.

The kids soaking themselves in the sights and culture on each stop.

Travelling to New York on a budget. It doesn’t have to be an expensive trip if you kno whow to avoid paying too much money. Avoid pop up stalls selling simple food we thought it was expensive. Instead of signing up for guided walking tours, we thought it would be better to explore by ourselves using google maps.

At the start of the bridge walk. The bridge is a quite popular tourist attraction the best time to be here is early in the morning so that we can avoid the crowds later in the day.

There was a bike lane at the bridge in which a steady steam of cyclists never fails to utilise that lane. We were blessed that the weather was about 15 degrees else we would be sweating by the time we finished our walk.

This is the best place to catch sunrise and sunset. Photo-taking was a challenge as the crowds began to build. We chanced upon a camera team recording MTV.

Just to note that the pedestrain walk is made of wood. Reality is often different from what you see from social media where tourists dressed in tip-top costumes and high heels just for sake of taking the insta-worthy pictures. Hope the heels did not get stuck! We would suggest to forgo vanity for practicality when walking the Brooklyn Bridge.

Charging Bull, which is sometimes referred to as the Wall Street Bull or the Bowling Green Bull, is a bronze sculpture that stands in Bowling Green in the Financial District in Manhattan, New York City. It is the symbol of the US Stock Market.

The jetty was a short walk from the Charging Bull. With the tickets we purchased from 9/11 Museum, we would be taking ferry to the Liberty Island.

It was freezing cold! Visitors could opt to sit at the balcony or the sheltered basement.

Getting closer to the Statue of Liberty..

It was not a wasted trip. We thought of the possiblity of viewing Statue of Liberty from the mainland but decided to pay a visit to the island. It wasn’t expensive and by getting near here would mean we could take decent pictures.

It was also a perfect place to view the Big Apple from another angle.

To our pleasant surprise, we did not know that our tickets also included a visit to the Ellis Island. The Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration is located in the Main Building of the former immigration station complex and tells the moving tales of the 12 million immigrants who entered America through the golden door of Ellis Island. Today, the descendants of those immigrants account for almost half of the American people.

We learned about the history of early immigrants. Actually we were not big fans of museums.

Once we returned to the mainland, we hopped onto the subway to Washington Park.

This place was basically an outskirt from the busyness of the city. Not much attractions but it would be a charming place to immerse ourselves with the life of locals.

And we were being interviewed by the college students who were doing a social experiment.

We tried McDonald’s 🙂

Some said NYC is a city of endless possibilities. We were amazed upon reaching Times Square. It was so beautiful!

Located in the heart of New York City, Times Square is home to some of the most famous attractions New York has to offer.

We were just trying to find sweet spots for photo-taking.

Exploring the stores.

Macy’s Herald Square is the flagship of the Macy’s department store chain; it is located on Herald Square in Manhattan, New York City.

Big M got what she has been looking forward to.

Amazon Books located on 34th Street (Manhattan).

The prices were not cheaper than online. In fact they were priced the same.

The Empire State Building is a 102-story Art Deco skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. We did not go up as that would mean paying for expensive tickets.

Located in Midtown Manhattan between 7th and 8th Avenues from 31st to 33rd Streets, the Madison Square Garden is situated atop Pennsylvania Station. If one were to wonder why it is so famous, this is the home ground of the famous New York Knicks.

Up next is the Bryant Park. Surrounded by skyscrappers, Bryant Park is Bryant Park is visited many people each year and is one of the busiest public spaces in NYC.

The ice skating rink would come to life during Christmas. What an atmosphere!

There’s no better place to chill out other than Bryant Park.

Next to the Bryant Park was the Whole Foods Market which offered a full range of high-quality and natural food. It is overlooking the beautiful Bryant Park and the New York Public Library.

At 43,000 square feet, the store has two levels of retail space that will host a full range of high-quality natural and organic goods, as well as the “News Agency,” a coffee and juice bar, which will pay homage to the look and feel of the city’s classic newsstands. Here’s our order. Microwave ovens were provided for diners to warm up their food.

We love the Big Apple!

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New York Travelogue – (Part 1): 9/11 Tribute Museum and Memorial, Manhattan Chinatown and Little Italy

An experience like no other, we took an 8 hour flight and headed to the Big Apple. We were looking forward to bunches of cool attractions at the amazing NYC!

We heard it would cost about $70 to take taxi from JFK International Airport to World Trade Center. It was the peak hour when we arrived and it took us about 1.5 hr just to clear the customs which everyone had to undergo stringent checks. Nonetheless, we opt to take the airtrain.

Strangers to NYC, we were trying to figure out how to buy the airtrain tickets.

Using our Traveler Wifi Router, we googled how to make our way to World Trade Center.

Our stay in New York City – Club Quarters Hotel at the World Trade Center.

This was the Standard Room that we booked which was rather squeezy but we had to manage our expectations as hotel lodging did not come cheap.

One of the most important stops in NYC was none other than the 9/11 Tribute Museum. Before this trip, we had educated Big and Small M on the history of 911 and why it was such a big thing to visit NYC.

The 911 Tribute Museum was near to our hotel and it became our first stop naturally. Visitors could get to experience the events of 911 from artifacts to personal stories. A big plus over here was that we could also purchase ferry tickets to visit the Statue of Liberty.

The Museum offers visitors the ability to learn factual information about the events of 9/11, the unprecedented rescue and recovery operation and the rebuilding of both Lower Manhattan and of people’s lives.

Video clips of the terrorist attacks.

The day when the whole NYC come to a standstill. Many stories were left untold.

Down the streets was the National September 11 Memorial Museum. The Museum occupied about 110,000 square feet of exhibition space, telling the story of 9/11 through multimedia displays, archives, narratives and a collection of monumental and authentic artifacts. The ticket prices were $26/Adults and $20/Young Adult. We did not enter though as we thought the exhibits were more or less the same.

The 9/11 Memorial is free of charge and open to the public daily from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Honoring the lives of those who were lost. Occupying eight of the 16 acres at the World Trade Center, the Memorial is a tribute to the past and a place of hope for the future.

The two reflecting pools are the center piece of the 9/11 Memorial’s design, a work titled “Reflecting Absence” by Michael Arad. The pools cover the exact footprints of the original Twin Towers. Each is about an acre in size and together they make the largest man-made waterfall in North America.

The names of every person who died in the terrorist attacks of February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001 are inscribed in bronze around the twin memorial pools.

We took a stroll down the streets of New York City.

This was our first day at the Big Apple and we seemed to have lost way.

We spent the evening visiting Manhattan Chinatown. This was the neighbourhood where Chinese immigrants brought their traditions and culture to the lower east side of New York City.

Manhattan Chinatown is a densely populated neighborhood that draws foodies and tourists to its many Chinese and Southeast Asian restaurants for dumplings, pork buns and hand-pulled noodles.

We really loved the peanut dumplings and soya bean milk here that we patronised twice.

Passed by this noodle house and we gave it a try.

Clearly, their noodles wasn’t disappointing. The bone broth soup filled with dumplings. Every dumping was meaty and packed with salty goodness to make it a homey meal in this winter day.

Always remember to include tips when dining in the States.

After our dinner, we headed down to explore Little Italy. Little Italy’s streets are lined with restaurants serving Italian staples on red-and-white checkered tablecloths.

It was pretty small and we covered the place within 15 mins. It was a long day but our hearts were full!

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London Travelogue – (Part 1): Gatwick Airport, Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, Chinatown Gate and Trafalgar Square

This is our first trip to London and we were told that it is an extremely expensive city for vacation. All this while, we thought it wouldn’t be possible until we discover some London hacks that made our trip a reality.

For once, we realised apart from travelling with the usual prominent airlines there are actually options to travel with budget airline to London for an affordable price of $1.1K in total for 2 adults / 2 childs (one way) – Norwegian airline.

Journey to London

Norwegian airline offers a direct flight from Singapore to London without any stopovers. To ensure further comfort, inflight entertainment are available. Ear phones were not provided.

The inflight meals were simple and nothing fanciful.

As we booked the flight early, we managed to get the best seats which gave us more room.

The 14-hour flight was surprising smooth without any turbulence and we arrived at London Gatwick airport by 5:40am.

If you are travelling to London Zone 1 or 2, we would recommend you not to take the express train which cost about $20 per adult. Our travel from Gatwick to Islington/Highbury was horrid as we needed to change platforms during the morning peak hours.

Towing 4 big luggages with us up and down the subway stairs without elevators and waiting for multiple trains before squeezing in was no joke. The weather was about 10 degrees but we were already perspiring. We would recommend booking the airport transfer (Blackberry cars) instead as the price was almost the same with no hidden charges.

The train ride brought us to the Victoria station where we would need to buy Oyster cards to travel in the London Underground, or the “Tube”. In simple terms, this is a version of our MRT. London is segmented by 9 zones with the touristy areas being in Zone 1 and 2.

Image result for london map zones
Photo Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_fare_zones

The morning crowd at Victoria station were beginning to build up.

We had our breakfast here before continuing our journey to the Airbnb.

This was already the third train ride. We were tired.

Finally arrived at Highbury & Islington station.

But not before taking a 5 min bus ride and another 2 min walk to our Airbnb apartment. For all the hassle, it would be wiser to take Blackberry cars next time.

Covent Gardens

Covent Gardens is one of the ultimate Instagram spots in London. An iconic area with thriving street arts, we heard that it is usually crowded with tourists. However, it was not that bad.

The streets were easy to explore and it was not uncommon to take a pause every now and then to soak ourselves in the historic architectures. Covent Garden is a popular tourist spot such that Din Tai Fung has recently established an outlet here.

Something similar we have seen back home.

The locals love coffee so much and very often cafes would be packed with people. The scent of fresh coffee permeated the cafe and we couldn’t help but to order a cup.

Address: 13 Floral St, London WC2E 9DH, UK

Leicester Square / Piccadilly Circus

As Covent Garden is located centrally, it is near to Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus. Google maps may not be reliable. Having these street directories made it easier for us to find our way around.

We were in for a treat during winter as Leicester Square Christmas Markets was up and running.

Not a fan of shopping but food tasting was our theme during this trip. Unlike the States, Christmas markets are common throughout Europe and UK.

Didn’t stay too long in the Christmas markets as some strangers kept looking at our belongings. We decided to leave and go into M&Ms World for safety reasons.

Address: 1 Leicester Square, London WC2H 7DE, UK

Have you been to M&M’s World? It is situated directly opposite Leicester Square Christmas Markets.

The bright, colorful storefront would inevitably draw anyone in. The staff were friendly and helpful, even if you are not buying anything.

Abbreviation familiar to a tween.

Address: Leicester Square, 1 Swiss Ct, London W1D 6AP, United Kingdom

London Chinatown is close to Leicester Square. The nearest underground stations to Chinatown are Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus. Bus available are 14 / 24 / 27 / 29 / 134 / 168 / C2.

Eat all you can for $10.50.

We dined here over the next 2 days as the price was cheaper compared to other restaurants. Some restaurants open till 3am.

Address: 10 Wardour St, London W1D 6BZ, UK

Our jet-leg started to kick in. One final stop at Trafalgar Square before we ended the day. The attraction here is surrounded by museums, galleries, cultural spaces and historic buildings.

Trafalgar Square is a public square in the City of Westminster, Central London, built around the area formerly known as Charing Cross. Its name commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar, a British naval victory in the Napoleonic Wars with France and Spain that took place on 21 October 1805 off the coast of Cape Trafalgar.

Address: Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN, UK

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Recommendation – Why You Should Rent Traveler WiFi Router for Overseas Travel

Our overseas trips have been much dependent on buying SIM cards at airport terminals or tapping into free wifi connection at hotels or cafes. In our recent travel to UK and the States, we decided to rent a portable WiFi router from Traveler Wifi to give it a try for the first time and after trying it out, we are very impressed and will definitely tick it as a travel essential in the future.

These are the top 5 reasons why you should be using Traveler Wifi:

#1 – Hassle Free with Worldwide Connection

Traveling across different continents require us to purchase multiple SIM cards which can be a hassle as it could only be tagged to a mobile device. With Traveler Wifi, it offers secured global coverage which support 4G networks. We are looking for hassle free and plug-and-play connection. All we need to do is to switch on the wifi router and it can automatically be detected in the network after keying in the password provided.

#2 – Long Battery Duration

We were told that Travel Wifi router offers up to 15 hours of connectivity. Based on our experience during the trip, it could easily last 13 hours without a single charge (with 3 mobile devices connected) before we returned to the hotel which we will change to hotel’s wifi. The pocket router could also be charged from a powerbank when we are on the go.

#3 – Cost Savings

The wifi router can connect up to 5 smart devices at the same time! It offers unlimited data with fair-use policy. If daily data usage exceeds 500 MB, router speed will slow down but can still connect and use. Data usage count is reset on daily basis. This provides cost savings when comparing to purchasing a SIM card which can only connect to 1 smart device and not forgeting you may need to figure out how to activate the SIM card.

#4 – Multiple Service Counters to Collect

To make collection easier, Traveler Wifi has different service counters conveniently located at the following locations:

Service Counters Islandwide: 

(NO reservation required; customers can rent Wifi Routers directly at any of the retail service counters)

  • Orchard Road
    • Lucky Plaza, 304 Orchard Road #B1-108 (Perfumes & Cosmetics Gallery: 11:30am-9pm daily; Friday 12.30pm -2pm – Closed)
  • Chinatown
    • People’s Park Centre, 101 Upper Cross Street #08-19 (Incredible Odyssey: 11am-6pm; Sat & Sun – Closed, Public Holiday – Closed).
      [you may message 91065688 before coming to Chinatown service counter]
  • Lavender
    • 322 Lavender Street (Gap Year Hostel: Daily 8am-8pm)
      [Please note only for Singapore WiFi routers rental/return at Lavender service counter]

#5 – Happy Memories

Big & Small M were probably the biggest beneficiaries of this trip. With Traveler Wifi router, they were allowed to use our mobile phones during the long road trips to keep themselves occupied.

We drove from San Francisco – Silicon Valley – Big Sur – Solvang – Santa Monica – Las Vegas – Los Angeles which we will blog about the journeys later so stay tune. These would not be possible without the wifi router which was certainly a life saver as it provided us with google map directions during the long, long and long drive.

And we went places before hitting the books after the holidays.

From London Bridge and Tower Bridge.

To New York – Statue of Liberty.

To San Francisco – Golden Gate Bridge.

To Silicon Valley – Googleplex.

To Las Vegas – Bonnie Springs Ranch.

And Los Angeles – Hollywood Boulevard.

Enough said. First time using wifi router and we were convinced of it’s convenience. Planning your upcoming trip soon and need a wifi router? Do not forget to check out Traveler Wifi!

 

Traveler Wifi

Website /  Bookinghttp://traveler-wifi.com/cms

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/travelerwifi/

Service Locations: http://traveler-wifi.com/cms/service-locations

Call for Enquiries) –

(65) 94877330 (General Enquiry) – [Mon-Fri : 9am – 6pm]

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Brotzeit German Bier Bar and Restaurant

First time dining at Brotzeit and fell in love with the food.

CRISPY OVEN-ROASTED PORK KNUCKLE

PAN-SEARED BARRAMUNDI

Pan-seared sustainably farmed Barramundi fillet on a bed of fresh German egg noodles, with lemon herb cream sauce.

GRILLED PORK SAUSAGES

A firm German favourite, and one of Brotzeit’s signature dishes, the sausages are hearty and packed with flavour. Served with mashed potato and sauerkraut, and best enjoyed with a pint of our premium German draught beer.

BREADED CAMEMBERT

Three nuggets of oozy cheesy goodness, a decadent choice for cheese-lovers. Served with cranberry cream.

BREADED PRAWN

Enjoy the golden crunch – deep-fried breaded prawns with home-made tartar sauce.

MEDLEY OF SPREADS

Sliced premium multi-grain bread served with four traditional German spreads: Obatzda (German cheese spread), Griebenschmalz (bacon spread), Leberpastete (liver paté), and Kartofel Käse (potato cheese spread).

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Why Any Millennial Will Feel At Home In Singapore

Western millennials are having a huge impact on modern life. They aren’t expected to live the same sorts of lives their parents did as the world has become freer and technologically advanced. The major narrative of a generation home ownership. However since the populations of every city in every country have skyrocketed since the 70s and 80s, that is one prospect the younger generation may have to wait for. Thankfully, governments are adapting to this, some quicker than others. This is allowing millennials all kinds of options on where to live but most of all, work. People in their 20s and early 30s are more concerned with living, rather than settling. Their appetite for travel, experiencing new cultures and leading different lives is their driving force. With these things in mind, where could you see yourself living if not for where you are right now? This question is always an odd one to answer, but it you could pack your things up and move to a foreign land, where would you go? If you want a nation that is modern, aspiring, readily invites in young people, where cutting-edge technology plays a huge role, careers are nurtured and developed by employers and there are lots of leisurely things to do, look no further than that faraway city-state of property, Singapore.

Forging Your Own Path

Singapore is the financial gateway into Asia. Its remarkable power to attract businesses, companies, banks and financial firms to it’s small but robust city has long-since been respected by all the major economies. Hence why, although it only has around 5.7 million people and curates around 555 billion in GDP, it has been invited to attend the G20 summits where the heads of government and state, discuss the global economy. So, if you are young, want to be an entrepreneur and start your own business of any kind, want to work in the financial industry, in marketing, sales, technology or tourism, Singapore is ready to welcome you with open arms.

Many companies offer apprenticeships as they wish to keep themselves stocked with the brightest and best talent from all over the world. Rest assured that if you have a degree in business and or some kind of financial discipline such as accounting or investing, then any of the top financial corporations would be your best bet to get a job. By 2020 at least 1/3 of the workforce will be a millennial, which will be staggering since the population of the city-state isn’t that large. This just shows that any young person with the determination to succeed in one of the aforementioned fields, can and should see Singapore as a safe haven where they will be desired by the top recruiters.

A Place To Call Your Own

Moving thousands of miles from home should be worth it as your new residents should be somewhat similar as that you could have found in your own country right? Well, Singapore is perhaps the most Westernized country in all of Asia, and perhaps only rivalled by Hong Kong in this respect. There are lots of options for a young couple or a single bachelor. The skyline is known all over the world for being on of the best and that’s not just because of the financial district where many headquarters are. Malaysia and Singapore have worked together to make sure they are offering all kinds of good, affordable properties to people from all over the world with varying money situations.

Look at one of the portals of iproperty and you’ll find some excellent styles of renting and buying options. Bear in mind that the high-rise buildings that have been designed and built for a large tenancy community also have some of the best services around. Condominiums are perhaps for the more affluent that have a good salary making it easy to pay for their own place in a somewhat closed community. However, if you are someone that wants to live modestly you can get a room or flat to rent in the high-rise estates. Expect to get your own room, shower room and share an open plan kitchen and dining area. It’s advisable that you learn about the different areas of Singapore before you plant your flag. Each district has its own characteristics, such as being in the heart of the city, as opposed to further into the countryside. Garnering the distances to and from your work is vital for the daily commute.

A Day Out to Leisure

When you’re young and have cup-fulls of energy, you need to live somewhere where there are like-minded people around you. If you are considering moving to Singapore, then you need to know what it has to offer in terms of leisure. Sentosa Island is an island resort where there are roller coasters, restaurants, hotels, spas, events and a great nightlife.

Mega Adventure Park is near Mount Imbiah and features a tall zip line that participants in the park must get to after a series of challenges. One must traverse through the park, that is situated among vegetation. You laterally navigate through climbing rope and using your daringness and balance to get to one station to the next. At the end there is zip wire that you travel back down toward the start and finish line. Great fun for a group of friends that want a challenge for the day.

Universal Studios on the island has a Jurassic Park, with dinosaur models and tours that show this time period in a fun but educational manner. Of course there are also roller coasters to ride as well as water rapid rides that soak you as you plunge through the water. There’s also a luge and sky ride that has you get on a small go-kart-like vehicle and race to the end of the track against your friends.

Artify Studio is where you can discover if you have some shade of talent regarding painting and artwork. Anyone can come and try at one of the sessions. Great for groups or to go by yourself in order to hopefully meet some new people and make friends. Here you’ll learn about portrait painting and using all the colors in the rainbow, with good effect. The studio in which you do your painting is large and neutral, so it’s rather calming and homely.

Moving with Movements

Millennials have one thing that sets them apart from their parents mostly, and it’s about politics and social issues. The younger generation is much more active in political and cultural problems because of social media. We’re not bombarded with all kinds of information so we learn about things that would have to seek out, just by being online. Singapore is no different and since it is an autonomous city-state, it must look after itself. The Sustainable Singapore Movement deals with just this as, environmental and green energy issues are at the forefront and main purpose of this group.

You can become involved and start to do you bit. By attending different meetings and talks, you can learn about what kind of problems are facing the millions of people that live in Singapore. Although the mainstay of the economy is the financial services aspect, lots of businesses such as in retail and technology sell physical products. This means that there is an intake of plastics, metals and different materials that are not quite naturally mined and drilled for by Singapore. As well as disposing issues, clean water is another hot topic that should be of concern, especially to the millennials. Feeling as if you need to be involved somehow in the wider-reaching issues in Singapore once you have landed and situated yourself, you can go on group-events that tackle issues of littering and a lack of knowledge among local people about green energy etc. Recycling initiatives are high up on the agenda as they are key in developing a sustainable Singapore.

Eating and Cuisine

You’re in Asia, or just at the front door anyway. Therefore you’ll be surrounded by spices, sourness and hot flames. Like many East Asian food cultures, seafood and rice are the main foods consumed by the populace. For anyone new, they should know that rice and seafood is relatively inexpensive in grocery stores so you can expect to not spend a lot of money on the weekly shop.

Restaurants have indeed adapted to the Western palate but mostly, have keep to the traditions of cuisine that loves spices and herbs. You can find just about any kind of food you like here. From diner-style American, classic British, or good wholesome hearty Cantonese food. Since Singapore is bordered by Malaysia, there are lots of different influences in the food such as curries, noodles, grilled meats and fish broths.

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Singapore is going to be one of the most desired destinations for millennials because it’s becoming more and more affordable. There are lots of career opportunities for someone who is young and ready to learn while climbing the corporate ladder. On the other hand you can, of course, start you own business, working in a business or apply to work in the tech industry. Singapore has lots of things to do for fun as well, with areas of the city-state dedicated purely to leisure and entertainment. Renting or buying, you have different options of properties to make your stay enjoyable and flexible.

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Making the Most of a Short City Break

City breaks are a brilliant way to see more of the world. A short city break can be much cheaper than a long holiday, you’ll also need less spending money and less time off work, and because flights are so readily available now, you can get to many places within just a few hours travel time. If you’ve got kids or other responsibilites and commitments, a short city break is a chance to get away on your own, with friends or your partner without having to take time out or drag your family across the world.

A short city break is a perfect chance to explore a new location, hitting museums, restaurants and galleries, taking in some of the cultures and having a bit of a blow-out. But, one problem people often find with city breaks is that they just don’t have enough time to fit it all in. When you are visiting one oft he best cities in the world, you can easily come up with a list of things to do, that’s longer than both of your arms and legs. There are museums, galleries, restaurants, bars, zoos, farms, clubs, theme parks, and there’s architecture to admire and parks to take in. People live in these cities full time and still don’t manage to take everything in, yet you are trying to do it all in a couple of days. Many of us return home with plans to return in the future to tick off more of our to-do list.

So, how do you get more out of your stay? How do you manage to do as much as you can, so that you can return home feeling satisfied and fulfilled?

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Research Online

If you are only staying somewhere for a few days, you don’t want to spend one of them finding your feet and finding out more about what there is to see and do. You want to go armed with this information. So, as soon as you book your trip, or even before, start researching your destination. Old fashioned travel guides are excellent, and still have their advantages, mainly that you can travel with them. But, nothing beats online research for up-to-date information. Check out the most popular attractions at your destination, but also look for those smaller venues and attractions that the locals love, but tourists don’t know about. Learn some necessary language skills, understand the currency and learn about your public transport options.

Prioritise

Once you’ve started your research, you need to start writing a list of things that you’d like to do. While it would be great to do it all, it’s important to realise that you might not be able to fit it all in confortably, and the last thing you want is to find yourself running around, not getting to fully appreciate the places you visit because you need to rush off to your next spot almost as soon as you get there.

So, prioritise your to-do list. Write the things that you are desperate to see or do, those things that you couldn’t bear to miss, at the top and make sure you fit them in. See anything else as a welcome bonus.

Book in Advance

Booking tours like one from The Paris Guy, as well as tickets to events and attractions online before you travel, can be an excellent way of saving time and money. Tickets purchased online are often cheaper, and you’ll save time queuing. It also means that you know you’ll do these things, which can help you plan and prepare.

If you don’t know your destination well, a tour can be a fantastic way to see lots of sights quickly. You might find some that you’d like to go back to in the future.

Leave Room for Change

Planning and organising your time is brilliant. It can save you time, help you to fit more in, and ensure that you get to see those things that you really don’t want to miss. But, too much structure could be a bad thing. It’s important that you also leave room to be spontaneous. So that if you see something that you fancy while you are exploring, you’ve got time to go. Try to see your plans as more of a guide that you can be flexible with. Don’t end up missing out on something that you could love, just because you feel tied down to a plan.

Take a Break

When there’s so much to do and see, and you are only away for a couple of days, the idea of taking a break and getting some rest might not seem very productive. But, sometimes, it’s what you need. When you work hard at home, you need to get some rest on your days off to avoid burnout and stress. It will also help you to do more. Give yourself an afternoon to relax. Sit in a coffee shop, read a book and enjoy a coffee and you’ll feel better. Your energy levels will be raised, and you’ll be able to enjoy the rest of your time.

Get Plenty of Sleep

It can be tempting to stay up late into the night enjoying the nightlife of your destination, and if that’s how you want to spend yout time, go for it. But, if you’d prefer to make the most of your days and fit more in, get to bed early and get a good nights sleep. Then, get up early, enjoy your breakfast and start your day. Remember, there is more open in the mornings than at night.

Eat Well

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If you want to spend your time on the go fitting lots in, it’s essential that you take care of yourself. As well as getting lots of sleep and some rest, you should be careful about what you eat. Introducing too many different foods quickly can cause illnesses, and fatty and greasy foods can leave you feeling fatigued and sluggish. Instead, opt for healthy and filling meals with slow-release energy that will keep you going. You should also take a bottle of water out with you when you go out and keep stocked up on healthy, energy-boosting snacks.

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