POSB Smart Buddy – FREE Watch with E-Payment for Schools and Selected Merchants

The POSB Smart Buddy programme / 储蓄银行智能伙伴计划 was launched in in 19 primary schools in August. This ground-breaking programme uses wearable tech (a free watch) to teach students how to save and spend wisely by helping them track their savings and spending habits digitally.

No automatic alt text available.
Image Credit: POSB Smart Buddy

What makes POSB Smart Buddy watch stands out is the function of e-payment. The watch helps children take an early step towards digital payments and also monitors their activity levels. Parents can in turn remotely pre-set their child’s daily allowance, send them emergency money, and monitor their kids’ spending, savings, eating habits and activity levels – all with an accompanying app.

The programme further creates a digital payments ecosystem within the school where the school’s canteens and bookstores are set up with digital payment terminals. Students can simply tap and pay with their free POSB Smart Buddy watches.

No automatic alt text available.
Image Credit: POSB Smart Buddy

During the demo session, we were given a first-hand experience to set up the Smart Buddy watch and made purchase on the spot.

Image may contain: 1 person, screen and indoor

Image may contain: one or more people

The steps to purchase were straightforward – basically, you would just select your orders and click “Pay Now” at the terminal.

Image may contain: 2 people, indoor

Image may contain: phone and indoor

Tap your Smart Buddy watch over the Nets machine and balance will be deducted.

Image may contain: phone

Parents can monitor their kids’ expenditure from the app, anytime and anywhere!

Image may contain: phone and drink

You can also use your Smart Buddy watch at any of these merchants.

Look out for the NETS contactless symbol when you pay.

Paired with a mobile app, you can instantly allocate allowances, check on savings or spending, and be informed of your child’s whereabouts with the bus tracker and in-school locator feature. Most of all, you get to do them all while on the go.

Photo

Image may contain: one or more people and people sitting

For more information on POSB Smart Buddy or requesting your child’s school (if they are not yet on board) to adopt this programme, click here.

Just family and such. Click here to follow Katong Kids Inc Facebook Page and stay tune for the next blog 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.

 

Advertisements

{Giveaway!} Travel to 九份 Jiufen @ Taiwan with Round Taiwan Round Custom Shared Tour

Sometimes when it sounds too good to be true, it is probably true. Round Taiwan Round, the number one online travel planning and tour site in Taiwan, is proud to be the only online travel planner that has the know-how to travel Taiwan from the heart, with their smart programming team to help visitors provide the most efficient way to travel.

Image may contain: outdoor, nature and water

The interesting part of Jiufen custom shared tour is that it only cost USD30 per person (without English-speaking driver). This is an example of the standard package tour costing USD30 to book which brings you to 5 attractions. Transport is included back and forth from your Taipei hotel!

No automatic alt text available.

If you decide to customize your tour, the best part of this is you can get to choose up to 6 attractions within Jiufen to visit all within a day! But to be practical, it is strongly recommended to keep your itinerary to around 4 or 5 attractions so as to get the maximum mileage of your anticipated trip to Taiwan. Here’s the list of the attractions you can choose from 🙂

Image may contain: 2 people, outdoor and nature

No automatic alt text available.

Image may contain: ocean, cloud, sky, mountain, outdoor, nature, water and text

Well, we have been there and with this great deal to choose from, there are even more reasons to pick beautiful Taiwan in your itinerary.

Here we are at Shifen Waterfall. Shifen Waterfall (十分瀑布) is the most renowned cascading waterfall in Taiwan. Although not nearly the tallest the island has to offer, it’s is certainly the widest at an impressive 40 meters. Because of its horseshoe shape and powerful flow, it is nicknamed the Little Niagara of Taiwan. Recessed within a beautiful forested mountainside setting, this waterfall often delights visitors with a bright rainbow on sunny days. Its colorful spectacle has also lent the waterfall its other nickname of “Rainbow Pond”.

Shifen Old Street is a bustling hub for those eager to get a glimpse of an old railroad town which still retains the charm of yesteryear. Originally built to transport coal, the Shifen Old Street stop has now become one of the most popular on the Pingxi rail-line. It is easy to see why so many are drawn here – local food, souvenir shops and puffing trains add to the charm of this little gem, as well as make it a fantastic place for photography. A must try to light the lantern and fly it up to the sky!

At 九份 Jiufen Old Street which we blogged here.

Image may contain: outdoor

Houtong (猴硐), located in Rueifang District, is a mountain village in eastern New Taipei City. It was originally called Hou Dong (猴洞) because of a cave in the area that was once inhabited by a group of wild monkeys. The whole Houtong area is surrounded by mountains and located by the upstream portion of the Keelung River. A visit here will reveal a perfect scene seemingly handcrafted for the enjoyment of both photographers and landscape artists.

Image may contain: outdoor

Image may contain: outdoor

–> Link to Jiufen Tripool Tour: 

https://www.rtaiwanr.com/jiufen/jiufen-custom-shared-tour

—> Exclusive coupon code for our readers when they book on the site: KatongKids

GIVEAWAY!

Special thanks to Round Taiwan Round, they are giving FREE LOCAL TOUR GIVEAWAY to 3 winners.

<Congratulations to the 3 winners>

Goh Kai Sin

Shiling Choa

Oh Hui Peng

All you need to do is:

  1. Like our Facebook at Katong Kids Inc
  2. Share this blog post of the giveaway on Facebook to as many friends, remember to set it to public.

Terms & Conditions:
1.
The winner must be agreeable to provide his/her contact details to Katong Kids Inc.
2. Judges’ decision is final. Closing date: 20 Sep 2017.

 

 

Face to Face Noodle House (面对面) @ City Square Mall

Fans of Face to Face Noodle would not need to travel across the causeway to get a taste of the authentic Sarawak noodles. Riding on the success of its outlets in Malaysia, Face to Face Noodle has an outlet in City Square Mall.

Face to Face’s special noodle recipe traces its roots to Sarawak over 100 years ago. The story begins when the founder’s great-grandfather picked up the technique of making Jook Sing noodles, one of the rarest forms of noodle-making in existence. A decent stall selling fresh homemade noodles, it soon won the hearts and stomachs of many Sarawakians and the rest was history.

Image may contain: one or more people

It was one of the weekday nights that Big and Small M wanted to try something they like. Having an outlet here spared us the hassle of waiting for an opportune time to visit Malaysia to get a taste of it. The ambience here was very different to that of the Malaysia outlet we visited previously which you can find it here.

Image may contain: one or more people and indoor

Our orders included:

HOUSE SPECIALTY PAN MEE (DRY) – Homemade noodles in rich broth served with minced pork, crispy anchovies and onsen egg.

Image may contain: food

Genki Herbal Chicken Pan Mee (Soup) – Homemade noodles in traditional herbal soup served with tender chicken, enoki mushrooms and various herbs.

Image may contain: food

Creations Pork Pan Mee (Dry) – Homemade noodles served with minced pork, cooked in signature gravy, wantan crisps, braised egg and meat balls.

Image may contain: food

Traditional Sarawak Kolo Mee (Dry) – Springy homemade noodles served with minced pork, char siew, and fried wantans.

Image may contain: food

Overall, the broth was flavourful and the thick and flat noodles added extra texture which gave a good bite for a decent family meal. Click here to see their menu.

Address: Lot 02-23/24 City Square Mall, 180 Kitchener Rd 

Opening Hours: 11am to 10pm

Just family and such. Click here to follow Katong Kids Inc Facebook Page and stay tune for the next blog 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.

6 European Destinations the Kids will Love Exploring

Europe is full of wondrous sights and cities to explore – consider a break from the norm and head somewhere complete different this year. Here are six of the best European destinations that the little ones will find a bundle of fun.

Rome Italy

For a wealth of history, head to Rome. The Italian capital is full to the brim with ancient relics and magnificent architecture that is still impressive to this day, including the Colosseum, as recommended by the Secret Traveller. The jaw-dropping structure still manages to amaze thousands of tourists to this day. And that isn’t all it has to offer. Visit Vatican City, the city-state in the middle of Rome, to see St. Peter’s Square and the Basilica that stands in front of it, where to Pope address thousands of people. The food is just as glorious as the sights, too – don’t miss out on trying some of Rome’s famed carbonara.

Image may contain: sky, cloud and outdoor

Andalucia, Spain

Steer clear of the bustling beach towns and overcrowded resorts in Spain’s mainland and explore the quiet heritage of Andalucia instead. There are many towns here that offer and abundance of beautiful buildings, including the cathedral of Seville that boasts being one of the biggest in the entire world. But there’s so much to do in Andalucia that you’ll be just as awe-inspired as the little ones. As they lose themselves in the wonders of the beaches, complete with wind and kite surfers out on the water, you’ll be basking in the luscious surroundings of sand dunes and dramatic horizons.

Image may contain: sky and outdoor

Zadar, Croatia

Labelled by the Telegraph as the country’s coolest city, Zadar is a growing hotspot in Croatia perfect for a fun family getaway. Head there in the summer to find a beach town full of revellers soaking up the beating rays, with a warm and vibrant atmosphere flowing in the air.

Head further into the city, though, and you’ll be intoxicated by the hidden history beyond the shore – the Old Town, for example, showcases a Venetian influence through its architecture. And don’t miss any of the town’s eccentricities, either – the solar-powered light-up dancefloor on the beach is a particular highlight.

Image may contain: sky, mountain, house, outdoor and nature

Crete, Greece

Your holiday will be awash with culture regardless of where you visit in Greece, and Crete is no exception. It’s a gorgeous, rocky island off the coast of the mainland, offering unparalleled opportunities to explore naturally stunning landscapes and scenery to no end.

Head to the redeveloped ancient town of Knossos for a taste of ancient civilisation that children can explore to their heart’s content. Where you’re done, the Heraklion Archaeological Museum showcases finds from Knossos that have been preserved, including the enchanting Snake Goddess.

Image may contain: ocean, house, sky, outdoor and water

Algarve, Portugal

The Algarve is a sprawling region in the very south of Portugal, but its scale beckons for a modest stint of travelling in order to see it all. For a laidback and relaxed vibe, head to the old town of Lagos, complete with cobbled streets for you all to stroll down and explore.

And when you’re wanting to get the energy flowing, Albufeira is the place to go. It’s teeming with tourists and locals alike, with incredible beaches, delectable restaurants and a lively atmosphere day and night. It’s here that you’ll also find the Zoomarine waterpark, with this YouTube video highlighting how you’re able to take a swim with dolphins.

Image may contain: one or more people, ocean, sky, outdoor, nature and water

Brittany, France

It isn’t near the coast, but taking the kids to Brittany makes for a very different type of family holiday. It’s here in the French town that you’ll be able to witness rolling fields, luscious greenery and genuine farmhouses to stay in, making the town a very low key and quiet affair – perfect if you want a quiet getaway.

There are beaches in Brittany to unwind upon if you wish, but there’s more to be had inland. The kids will love exploring the sleepy weekend markets that offer everything from homemade cheese to clothes, and the small restaurants you’ll find as you slowly stroll through the small towns offer some of the most gorgeous dishes to be found in the whole of France.

Image may contain: plant, tree, house and outdoor

Image may contain: mountain, sky, outdoor and nature

We love to travel! Click here to follow Katong Kids Inc Facebook Page and stay tune for the next blog 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.

The Changi Village Story: Eat, Play and Explore

Tucked away at the far eastern coast of Singapore is a small and yet well-known neighbourhood by name of Changi Village. Those who love photography, cycling and sight seeing would inevitably hop into a bumboat and head to Pulau Ubin. Even if you are not “that” adventurous, Changi Village can also offer you as the ultimate destination to experience some of the best-kept treasures in Singapore.

Image may contain: tree, table and outdoor

Just the mention of Changi Village Hawker Centre would remind everyone of some of the popular Nasi Lemak stalls there. Personally, I feel that the Nasi Lemak tastes largely the same and I have no preference of any particular stall to patronize.

Image may contain: 2 people, food and indoor

If you get to travel to this far eastern side of the country, remember to come with an empty stomach. The lure of irresistible Nasi Lemak – rice cooked in coconut milk, mixed with some slices of cucumber, fried ikan bilis and peanuts, fried egg and chicken wing or drumstick and lastly, smeared with delicious sambal is sure to win everyone’s heart.

Image may contain: food

You can call this place super ulu but it is not going to stop hip cafes and eateries from opening here. Chocolate Origin specializes in chocolate cakes and confectionaries. It uses the finest ingredients to get the cakes tasting oh-so delicious, ensuring all goodness when you take a bite.

Image may contain: indoor

Crepes & Puffs is a quaint cafe boasting a wide range of delicious confections for all taste buds. On weekdays, it even attracts loyal customers dressed in their office attire who come for its artistically created crepes, puffs, pastries, cakes and other treats.

No automatic alt text available.

Delicately prepared by Shanghainese chefs, Tang Tea House is famed for the freshness and authenticity of its halal dim sum ranging from chicken pau, har kow, siew mai and steamed chicken dumplings.

Image may contain: sky, house and outdoor

Stepped into the corridors of these blocks you can find traditional shops selling…

Image may contain: cloud, sky, house and outdoor

Chap Huay Tiam certainly brings us back to the old school days. Myriad of tidbits, old school biscuits and customized goodie bags for all occasions are what you can find here.

No automatic alt text available.

Image may contain: food
Photo Credit: chaphuaytiam
No automatic alt text available.
Photo Credit: chaphuaytiam

Not heading to Pulau Ubin? Try renting a bicycle here and explore the vicinity!

Image may contain: bicycle and outdoor

ST Bakery serves a variety of fresh bread and cakes. The prices are reasonable and affordable too.

Image may contain: food

Johor Bahru Pau / Tim Sum [新山手工包點]  selling unique assortment of delicious paus which includes black sesame pau, chicken, pork big pau, braised pork pau, Amy Yi’s Jumbo Pau, Sured-Win Jumbo Pau and other dim sum items.

Image may contain: indoor

More shops around the blocks.

Image may contain: tree, sky and outdoor

Image may contain: outdoor

Image may contain: 1 person

Image may contain: tree, sky, plant and outdoor

If you are feeling adventurous, take an exploratory trip down at Changi Point Coastal Walk which stretches 2.2km.

Image may contain: plant, tree, outdoor and nature

Also referred to as the Changi Boardwalk, you may even catch views of the waters out towards Johor. Last but not least, remember to bring along your insect repellent and sunblock when you are here!

Image may contain: sky, cloud, tree, boat, outdoor, nature and water

Image may contain: outdoor

We love to travel! Click here to follow Katong Kids Inc Facebook Page and stay tune for the next blog 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.

 

Phuket Luxury Hotel Stay @ MAI HOUSE Patong Hill

 Ensconced in the lush tropical hillside overlooking Patong Beach and the sparkling Andaman Sea, MAI HOUSE Patong Hill’s exotic 79 rooms offer peace and tranquility to every guest.

In this trip to Phuket, our family planned to “travel less and enjoy more”. We were not keen to do much walking along the streets (as we have been to Phuket before) and wanted a hotel that is away from the hustle and bustle of Patong streets. It is no wonder then that MAI HOUSE Patong Hill become the accommodation of choice for us.

To make it even sweeter, MAI HOUSE Patong Hill is a new hotel that opened in Apr 2017.

Image may contain: outdoor

Image may contain: plant, house, tree, sky and outdoor

Mai Lobby – A Sanctuary of Light and Retreat

As we entered the hotel, we were warmly welcomed by the peaceful atmosphere of the lobby. Subtle traditional touches such as the round sofa with wooden furnishings reminded us of the hotel’s locality. Checking in was a smooth and pleasant affair. It was a nice touch by the hotel manager who came out and reminded us not to leave our belongings in the taxi when we arrived from Phuket International Airport.

No automatic alt text available.

We were impressed that MAI HOUSE thoughtfully created ample thick and luxuriant sofas within the lobby area and harness the natural lights to allow guests to chill out and relax while enjoying their privacy.

Image may contain: people sitting, table, plant and indoor

A perfect spot to chill out while gazing out over the tropical report pools and out to the distant horizon. We loved to plonk ourselves on these couches while awaiting for the hotel’s shuttle service.

Image may contain: living room, table and indoor

The Opium Den or “Libation Lair” is the heart of MAI HOUSE. Inspired by the Opium dreams of Hokkien pioneers of Phuket, this open-air sanctuary of relaxation and refreshment is where we love to while away during the day.

Image may contain: living room, table and indoor

These vintage fans provided much cooling for us when we returned to the hotel!

Image may contain: indoor

It is often said that the first impression last. What we admired about MAI HOUSE was the warm professionalism of its staff. While exploring the picturesque lobby, we were provided with warm towels and welcome drinks to freshen up.

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting, table, indoor and food

Image may contain: 2 people, people sitting and indoor

Image may contain: 1 person, indoor

We noticed MAI HOUSE has thoughtfully designed the hotel to be child-friendly. There is a baby-changing room in the lobby area that also comes with a toddler toilet bowl which is not often you can find in most hotels.

Image may contain: indoor

Mai Family Room – Our Abode

Our accommodation was The Family Room, a spacious 34 sqm chic and whimsical-themed room. Specially designed to easily accommodate 2 adults and 2 kids, Big and Small M’s eyes brightened up when we stepped into the room. Thrills and excitement added to the atmosphere as they explored the room with much expectancy.

Image may contain: bedroom and indoor

The Family Room consists of a king-sized bed and 2 x bunk beds. Each bunk bed was tastefully placed with colourful pillow, enough to draw the little ones to dwell there peacefully before they ran riot. In between was a colorful bean bag suitable for kids to chill out.

Image may contain: bedroom and indoor

Our king-sized bed was huge and comfortable. Lying down on it was akin to sleeping on clouds!

Image may contain: bedroom and indoor

We have stayed in many hotels and the beds in MAI HOUSE are one of the best we have experienced thus far.

Disney channel coupled with such comfortable bed was total heaven for them! They loved to snuggle up in the bed and watched cartoons all day long.

Image may contain: 2 people, table and indoor

A mini kitchenette that comes with microwave oven.

We thought the cups were really cute and eye-catching!

Image may contain: indoor

Coffee-addicts would be happy to brew HockHoeLee’s coffee – Phuket’s first & historic coffee roaster, with a coffee-maker. HOCKHOELEE masterfully roasts its own coffee on island for Phuketians for decades. Using premium coffee bean in the country, HOCKHOELEE craftly create a unique, rich and beautiful coffee.

Image may contain: food

As part of our hotel package, all the drinks (soft drinks, fruit juices, beer and milk) in the fridge are free for guests to consume. They are replenished on daily basis for free.

Image may contain: plant

Although bathtub was not built in The Family Room, it was made up with a rain shower, which was Big and Small M’s favourite. Toiletries and basic essentials are also sufficiently provided.

With such a beautifully furnished Family Room, who doesn’t want to stay for an extra night?

No automatic alt text available.

Mai Grand Deluxe – Our Abode

Our next few nights is to stay at Grand Deluxe Suites with connecting rooms. 🙂

Image may contain: indoor

The size of each Grand Deluxe consists of 35 sqm of earth-toned luxury that can accommodate up to 3 guests. As MAI HOUSE is a relatively new hotel, every feature we see is just so sparkling clean and new. This room also comes with a writing table, relaxing rain shower, free-standing bathtub and an outdoor balcony.

Image may contain: one or more people, bedroom and indoor

We have the option to choose from twin beds or a king-sized bed. Either of which still assures you to a restful slumber.

Image may contain: bedroom and indoor

Image may contain: indoor

Since we had 2 connecting rooms, Big and Small M also got to enjoy their own mini-pool in the form of this jacuzzi tub, all in the comfort of our own hotel room.

Image may contain: people sitting

The opium daybed became a little sanctuary for us to watch TV together.

Image may contain: indoor

Stepped into the balcony and it gave us the view of the Mai Sky (sky desk) and hilltops.

Image may contain: mountain, sky, outdoor and nature

Mai Kids Play

MAI HOUSE has a range of activities to keep us occupied throughout our stay. One of the first games that aroused Big and Small curiosity in the lobby was the shuffleboard. They were amused as they had never seen such games before. Table shuffleboard  is a game in which players push metal-and-plastic weighted pucks (also called weights or quoits) down a long and smooth wooden table into a scoring area at the opposite end of the table.

No automatic alt text available.

Knowing how to play the game was so easy and parents wouldn’t need to fuss over how to teach them to play correctly. We lost count how many times Big and Small M played the shuffleboard. They were simply crazy over the game and kept running back and forth to restart a new game after each ended.

Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling, people sitting and indoor

MAI HOUSE has its own infinity pool and a toddler pool. Lush views of Patong Hills and sweeping views of the Andaman Sea coupled with surroundings of flora and fauna made our swim ever more relaxing.

Image may contain: outdoor and water

The jacuzzi section is in the toddler pool area.

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting, pool, tree, table and outdoor

The toddler pool was not deep and we felt safe relaxing by the poolside watching them frolicking. We were blessed that the weather was not scorching. In fact, it was quite cooling when we were in Phuket and we wouldn’t mind dipping longer in the pool!

Image may contain: outdoor

The infinity pool was deeper and we, too, had more serious swims there.

Image may contain: tree, sky and outdoor

Big and Small M had a whale of their time playing frisbee in the infinity pool as well.

Image may contain: one or more people, outdoor and water

While they were playing in the pool, I headed back to the hotel room to retrieve few cans of beverages 🙂

Image may contain: drink

Head over to the “Pirates’ Playhouse” that has indoor and outdoor spaces designed especially for lively kids (4-12 y.o.). Featuring scheduled arts and crafts activities, climbing wall, sandpit of buried treasure, the pirate fort and much more!

Image may contain: 2 people

A play area with slide and climbing feature suitable for younger children below 6 years.

Image may contain: one or more people, plant, tree and outdoor

There is an indoor kids’ club that is air-conditioned and child-friendly. It also comes with a TV screen that kids can catch their cartoon shows. Big and Small M were having a ball of time playing.

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting and indoor

The fitness room is more suitable for adults but Big M is now old enough to have a decent round of exercise on the threadmill.

Small M was amused with the boxing gloves and both of them were training for err…MMA?

Image may contain: one or more people and people standing

We also visited the Four Elements Spa for Big and Small M to experience…

No automatic alt text available.

Menicure and Pedicure.

Image may contain: 3 people, people sitting, table and indoor

The kids having a whale of their time styling their hair and trying out bracelet braiding.

Image may contain: 2 people, people sitting and living room

Mai Breakfast

One of our favourite past time is indulging in the breakfast buffet. The presentation was lovely, however buffet spread could have been better…

Image may contain: people sitting, food and indoor

It has a cold dish section.

Image may contain: table and food

Pastry section for the sweet tooth.

No automatic alt text available.

Image may contain: food

Cute cylinders used as beverage dispensers.

Image may contain: one or more people, drink and indoor

We love the aroma of gourmet coffee prepared by the friendly hotel staff.

Image may contain: coffee cup and indoor

Yummy pork porridge.

Image may contain: food

Our favorite egg omelette.

Image may contain: food

Image may contain: food

All in all, our stay at MAI HOUSE Patong Hill couldn’t have been better. See you soon, Ms. Patong.

Image may contain: bedroom and indoor

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting, shoes and indoor

Click here to get connected to the Facebook of MAI HOUSE Patong Hill

Click here to get connected to the main website of MAI HOUSE Patong Hill

Click here to book your accommodation.

MAI HOUSE Patong Hill
5/5 Phrabarami Road
Patong, Kathu,
Phuket 83150
Thailand

Phone: +66 (0)76 637 770
Skype: maihousepatonghill
Email: info.patonghill@maihouse.com

We love to travel! Click here to follow Katong Kids Inc Facebook Page and stay tune for the next blog 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.