Moneysmart, Personal Loan, Singapore blogs, Singapore Products, The Idea Box

Applying for a Personal Loan – What You Need to Know

Since the COVID-19 pandemic made a widespread impact around the world with the outbreak situation worsened rapidly, Singapore too, is not spared. According to news report, Singapore is heading towards its worst-ever recession in nearly two decades as the economy continues to feel severe strain from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The current situation here in Singapore amid COVID-19 times is, well, pretty grim for many of us. As essential businesses shut down and the country debates difficult years ahead, more Singaporeans have been impacted financially – furloughs, job losses and pay cuts. With no clear date of when things will return to normal and no easy prospects of finding further employment at this time, many are starting to worry about their financial situation.

Your financial health is important, just like your physical health. Doing a reality check to find out where your money is going and assessing how much you have (after scraping every option and minimizing expenses) can help you determine what adjustments you need to make in your life.

Questions like “How can I afford my bills?” and “How can I make ends meet?” are becoming all too common. With the pressure weighing heavily on you and finding yourself struggling financially, weighing your options on taking up a personal loan may not be a bad idea. Use in the right way, a personal loan can come in handy in managing your cash flow. Before taking it up, it is important to understand there are 2 situations where applying for a personal loan is not only a good idea, but might actually save you from further debt:

You are overwhelmed by high-interest debt

Credit cards are ubiquitous in our society. With the convenience of tapping into ‘future money’, it is tempting to spend as and when we want. However, when used unwisely, we will face the brunt of astronomical interest rates (up to 26% per annum!) when credit card bills are either left unpaid or only settle by minimum payment every month.

Consolidating and repaying such high-interest debt is one of the single best uses for a personal loan. The interest rate on a personal loan is far lesser than the interest rate on a credit card. By borrowing a personal loan to pay back your credit card debt, it makes more sense and relieve a lot more stress from you.

When some say comparison is the thief of joy, it is not exactly true.

For someone who is saddled with high-interest debt, he will never know how much he can save until a search for the best personal loan interest rates for 2020 at MoneySmart reveals the pleasant surprise.

Personal Loan

Of course, you will need to make sure you have a healthy credit rating so that you can qualify for a personal loan to make the consolidation worth your time and effort.

You are in need for an emergency fund

Emergency fund gives you a much-needed buffer in the event something significant happens financially that you cannot quick come back from. Some examples include:

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#1 Medical Bills

Medical emergency is one such event that can cripple your finances when a loved one, who is not sufficiently covered by insurance, is in need of medical care. The staggering healthcare costs in Singapore is something we cannot overlook and one can be prepared to shell out a lot of money for such expenses.

#2 Home Repairs

It is bad enough to be cooped up at home during the COVID-19 lockdown. Imagine spending warm and stuffy days at home plagued with air conditioner problems, it is certainly an experience you do not want to repeat. A personal loan could give you a much needed respite.

#3 Helping Out Someone in Need

Helping out your loved ones or someone floundering in deep water financially can be an event you can’t ignore. Be it for a medical reason or helping someone to tide through difficult moments in event of retrenchment could go a long way.

Getting a personal loan in Singapore is one way to meet your emergency needs – be it emergency medical bills, air conditioner repairs, or a financial misstep. With emergency funds, time is of the essence and it is always good to know there are personal loans in Singapore with the fastest approval and cash disbursement you can tap on.

A personal loan may not be for everyone

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Taking on debt in the form of a personal loan comes with making a conscious decision. Before you take the leap, remember these golden rules:

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  • Don’t borrow more than you can repay (Be certain that you have the ability to pay off the debt in full)
  • Don’t borrow to splurge on your ‘want’ (A want is temporal, while a need is essential)
  • Timely and regular repayment (Disciplined payment habit helps you to avoid late payment charges)

These pointers from MoneySmart sums up the understanding on personal loan. That being said, you should take up a personal loan only when you absolutely NEED to.

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.

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.

MoneySmart2

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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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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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.

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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.

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#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.

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#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.

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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) 66528470 (General Enquiry) – [Mon-Fri : 9am – 6pm]

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Habitat by Honestbee: Uniquely Shopping and Dining Experience for Family

Just by word of mouth is enough to draw us to explore Habitat at Honestbee. The newly-opened supermart prides itself as a multi-sensory, tech-meets-food grocery and dining experience like no other. See, smell, hear, touch and taste fresh flavours and food items from across the globe – all in one habitat by honestbee.

When we arrived, many curious and eager shoppers were crowding at the entrance, opening or setting up their “Bee Pass” to enter/exit habitat. Yes, first of its kind experience. You do not need to bring any physical wallets and there are no ATMs to be seen as well. Just your “Bee Pass” will do.

Potted plants for sale after entering Habitat.

We read that Habitat occupies the space of slightly larger than a football field. Upon stepping into the compound, we were greeted with so many shoppers (probably their first time).

A long queue was forming at the coconut stall. Amazing, each fresh trimmed coconut was selling for only $0.95! No wonder they are the best sellers. We thought it’s a worthy buy, at least not spending more than $4 on bubble tea.

Big & Small M made a beeline to take a mandatory photo with the friendly bee when it came by.

Exploring the section near the entrance before our hunger pang strikes. According to Honestbee, the produce were sourced directly from farmers and established producers from across the globe.

Cute cup noodles from Korea and Japan.

If you are observant enough, you get to see peoples’ orders are packed quickly and transported by these conveyor belts.

 Dining here is akin to having design thinking, digital marketing and digital awareness coming alive right in front of you.

And so, we had our lunch here. To order our food, we can’t order direct from the stalls. The only way to order is through your Honestbee app under “Habitat”. E-receipt is emailed to you and via the app, you can track your order and receive notification that your food is ready to collect.

Honestly, Habitat wasn’t as big as we thought it was. Probably much of the space was taken up for storage or collection/packing. It would be good if Honestbee can introduce stationery or some electronic items in the future to make the shopping experience more fulfilling.

Finally managed to find seats after waiting for quite a while. This is Little Neck Clams and Bacon.

Milk Made: Frozen shakes & bakes.

Tiger Beer battered fish & chips.

Crumble Vairhona Chocolate.

Poofy Pancakes served with vanilla chantilly cream, maple syrup and fresh berries.

Australia Grass-fed Flank Steak. Served with roasted chat potatoes, roasted plum tomatoes, herb salad.

Cute and shiny utensils. They are actually made of plastic 🙂

We have a soft spot for fresh bakes.

Free tasting at the Lazy Loaf counter.

Exploring the remaining sections. Fresh seafood are a hit with shoppers. The best part was that you can pick your seafood and the masterchef will cook it for you.

While almost everything is automated, we still need human assistance to help us figure out how to complete our purchase.

Scan our order and the trolley will check out and be automatically rolled into the packing area.

In case you are wondering whether you need to “rush” to the collection point after checking out your trolley, there is no need to. You can still dine or shop additional items and when ready, just proceed to the collection point to collect your honest purchase.

At the collection point, served by robot courier!

Shuttle bus is also available between Harbourfront to Habitat at Honestbee.

Address: 34 Boon Leat Terrace S(119866)

Bus: 10, 30, 30E, 51, 143, 175, 176, 188, 188E

MRT: Labrador Park, Pasir Panjang

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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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Family Friendly Activities: Explore Qian Hu Fish Farm

This was our first trip to Qian Hu Fish Farm at the far west of Singapore. This place offers a beautiful, rustic feel that provides a great escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. When we arrived, there were many families here to get an insight into farm life and have some fun.

If you are not aware, Qian Hu is an integrated “one-stop” ornamental fish service provider where fish lovers  can buy ornamental fish as well as aquarium accessories.

The sound of air bubbles and sight of fishes have such therapeutic effect where it makes one feel happier just by gazing at these ‘water friends’.

Qian Hu Fish Farm also provides group tours as well which you can check out here.

Reminisce the good old kampong days.  Remember when families got together and children were out playing and enjoyed netting fishes from the canals and streams?  Bring your kids down to Qian Hu and let them experience the same excitement and joy of catching their own fishes, bringing them home and caring for them.

Longkang fishing over here for your little ones? A fun activity for families and children where kiddos sprint into action to scoop fishes from simple fishing nets.

Catch of the day! These fishes are live-bearers.

For those who are interested to buy some fishes back, head into the Fish Gallery.

Stacks and stacks of ornamental fishes displayed neatly along the aisles.

Beautiful albino guppies!

Different varieties of cichlid fishes.

Betta corner. A good choice for those who do not want the hassle of setting up fish tank and filtration system.

Bettas, also known as “Siamese fighting fish”, are popular pets recognized for their aggressiveness, interactivity, and low cost for care and maintenance. You do not need air pump to maintain them. They are sturdy and beautiful to look at. The better grades do not come cheap though.

Open-net fish farms.

Clumsy-looking Ranchu Goldfish is popular throughout the world. It originated in China and was further developed in Japan in the late 1800s. With its round, broad body and large bulbous head, it is also known as the Buffalo-head Goldfish, especially in Asia.

Little corners for families and kids to chill out.

Qian Hu Fish Farm Trading
仟湖鱼场贸易 

71, Jalan Lekar, Sungei Tengah
Singapore 698950
Tel: 65-6766 7087 (10 Lines)
Fax: 65-6766 3995
Contact: Andy Yap
Email: fishexport@qianhu.com 
Website : www.qianhufish.com

 

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Affordable Western Food You Must Try at Katong Point: STREETS OF LONDON

The Katong restaurant and cafe scene never stops to attract hungry food lovers. While there are many eateries to choose from, we would like to recommend a wallet-friendly cafe (important consideration) offering no-frills, authentic dining experience right at Katong Point.

Streets of London cafe offers a scrumptious menu that includes fresh and delicious dishes and hey, talk about Instagram worthy food!

A peek at the menu which will definitely pique your interest. The spread includes the ever popular Fish and Chips, Pasta (with seafood option), Baked Fish, Babyback Ribs, London pride IPA Chicken and many more. What a way to experience communal dining in Katong without spending a bomb.

Driven by his passion for food and cooking, Chef Thomas takes pride in delivering freshly-prepared comfort meals for customers to indulge everyday.

We thought Streets of London has a very beautiful and large interior that bodes well for a good family (kids’ friendly) and friends’ gathering, not to mention a suitable go-to-spot for the Millennial to hang out. The decor looks cosy, calm and hip to customers.

Cute miniatures all the way from London just made it hard for anyone to resist whipping their phone out to take a quick picture. For the Instagrammers, Streets of London cafe certainly meets the criteria to be one of the most instagrammed place in Katong (Joo Chiat Road).

A healthier choice – Baked Fish ($12.80).

Mid-joint wings  marinated with a touch of Green Devil IPA, an American IPA style beer (7 pc for $8).

Did we forget to mention you can enjoy fabulous food and drinks at Streets of London with no GST and no service charge? Yup, you don’t need a silver fork to enjoy great food – all at the Streets of London cafe!

STREETS OF LONDON

Address: 451 Joo Chiat Road Katong Point Mall 01-01 Singapore

Contact Info: 9754 7716 | streetsoflondon.co@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Streets-of-London-305385316190806/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/weibinthomas/

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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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Harbin 哈尔滨 Travelogue – (Part 3): Russian Town, Harbin 哈尔滨植物園, Ji Le Temple 极乐寺, Confucius Temple 哈尔滨文庙 and Teresa Teng Music Restaurant

A brand new morning, a brand new experience. We hopped onto a cab outside our hotel after agreeing to a fare of CNY240 for a day trip. The Harbin of today is still very much influenced by its Russian past. Due to the strong decades’ presence of Soviet Russians, it is not uncommon to see glimpses of Russian style in architecture, education, art, food, clothing, language and more aspects of life.

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Our first stop was to visit the Russian Village which was located near to Sun Island.

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The river was literally frozen.

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Russian Village

Russian Style Town or Artist Village in Harbin Sun Island by the north bank of the Songhua River, is a Russian architecturally-styled village with small detached houses within. During winter, this place seemed more like a ghost town albeit with curious tourists coming to explore the vincinity and experiencing Russian foods and products.

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We were discouraged from entering the Russian Village by our driver as this attraction was quiet and nothing much exciting to explore. He did, however, drove us around the outskirts of the Russian Village to take a view from the outside.

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Some sights at the entrance…

Food vendors selling sweet potatoes, sausages and Bing Tanghulu Candied Hawthorn Stick or 冰糖葫蘆.

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Bicycle rental available.

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Address: China, Heilongjiang, Harbin, Songbei, Pingyuan St, 平原街

Harbin 哈尔植物園

It was a weekend and the traffic was quite bad in the morning. It took us one hour to reach the next destination which was appealing to Big and Small M. What’s in store here?

Visitors who want to visit Harbin 哈尔滨植物園 definitely have to come with reserved transport as after entering, you would need to drive up to 1km before reaching the spot with fun-filled activities.

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This is the only restaurant here for us to catch a lunch.

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Our order – a tad salty and not very appealing though it did fill our stomaches.

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And we had fun after that! Building a snowman 🙂

 

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During winter in Harbin, the temperature is usually below 20 degrees. One of the most popular activites is the winter swimming event which is a physical activity showing off the strong physique and iron of local Harbin people. Over here, the swimming pool was dug for winter swimming.

The performance takes place every hour. We were standing in the freezing cold awaiting for the show to start.

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Would you dare to try this? Certainly not us!

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Dog sledding but we did not try as we would need to pay extra (which we didn’t know after paying an exorbitant price for the tickets). We had no regrets not trying dog sleeding as the dogs did not look excited to run at all, so unlike of our experience in Finland where every husky were given a name, trained to perform a specific role in sleigh-ridding and much more excited to run.

Pony ride.

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Family-friendly rides that we get to enjoy here.

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Alas, we wished we could stay longer to maximuse the ticket value but the temperature was really overwhelming today at -24°C. Our bodies were smarting from the cold. We had to cut short our fun and returned to the car.

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Ji Le Temple 极乐寺

Who says visiting Harbin is all about ice and snow?

Ji Le Temple or Temple of Bliss is located at the end of Dongdazhi Street, Nangang District in Harbin. It is the biggest Buddhist building complex in the Heilongjiang province. The entrance gate, Hall of Heavenly King, Grand Hall, Sacred Hall, Sutra Depository, Bell Tower, Drum Tower and the Seven-storey Buddhist Pagoda are the main buildings.

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The entire building of Temple of Bliss is magnificent, elegant and dignified, retains the style and features of temple architecture of China. Before reaching here, our driver brought us to his neighbourhood to buy a winter coat for Big M. It was a good buy as the price was almost half of what we need to pay at shopping malls. It was about 4pm when we reached here and the temple was already closed, unfortunately.

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We thought it is a lovely temple that offers a peaceful break from the busyness of the city where one can soak in its tranquility and understand more about Chinese Buddhism. Big M wearing her new winter coat 🙂

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Along the streets were lined with shops selling Buddhist wares.

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Address: 9 Dongdazhi St, Nangang Qu, Haerbin Shi, Heilongjiang Sheng, China, 150001

Harbin Confucius Temple 哈尔滨文庙

Harbin Confucius Temple was built in 1926 and completed in 1929. The temple ground occupies an area of 25,000 square meters and its construction area is 5,674 square meters. In 1996, the temple was listed on the key historical sites under state protection.

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The temple’s symmetrical structure consists of three courtyards dotted with old trees and rare flowers. Due to its likeness to the Imperial Palace, it has earned the moniker “the Forbidden City of Harbin”.

heilongjiang confucian temple
Photo Credit: Harbinice.com
inside the Confucian Temple
Photo Credit: Harbinice.com

Address: 25 Wenmiao St, Nangang Qu, Haerbin Shi, Heilongjiang Sheng, China

Harbin Food at Its Best

Night falls and we were craving for food. The best time to try chinese hotpot is during winter and our driver brought us to this restaurant.

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Great service – the staff opened the door for us when he saw us walking up the stairs.

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Chinese hotpot 火锅 , also known as Chinese fondue, is one of the most popular meals in China. It consists of a simmering metal pot with broth at the center of a table, and all raw ingredients placed beside the metal pot, so people can add and cook whatever they like in the broth.

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A hearty meal for us after a long day out!

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The spirit of Northern Chinese cuisine lives on the wholesome goodness at Lao Beijing Roasted Duck 老北京明炉烤鸭. We took a stroll at the streets and caught the sight of a chef roasting the duck which inevitably drawn us into the store.

 

Specially-bred and fattened ducks are glazed and hung in a wood fire to roast until the browned skin is crisp and the meat succulent.

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Noticed the QR code below? Everyone is using e-payment in China now. The presentation of the duck was just like any other chinese restaurant in which the chef carved the duck in front of us.

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Heavenly goodness at its best.

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The price of a whole duck including the wraps and sauces – SGD 12.

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The Heart of Harbin

Not to be outdone by the likes of bigger stores such as Mykal Supermarket, the supermarkets in the heartland are possibly one of Harbin’s best-kept treasures. It was a pleasant experience browsing through the store products and discovering the local produces.

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Most of the product prices were much cheaper compared to those in the shopping malls.

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Salted promfret fish.

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Mantou, often referred to as Chinese steamed bun, is a type of cloud-like steamed bread or bun popular in Northern China. The name mantou is said to have originated from a tale about Zhuge Liang.

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Some sights during our walk.

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Bing Tanghulu Candied Hawthorn Stick or 冰糖葫蘆. These two guys were shouting at the top of their voice to attract customers to their store. A nice try. We stopped and bought one to try out.

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Teresa Teng Music Restaurant

We blogged about Teresa Teng during our trip to Taiwan 金寶山 Chin Pao San which you can read it here. Our Harbin trip brought us back to the memory lanes where Teresa Teng Music Restaurant allows fans to reminisce the evergreen hits of 邓丽君that bring you back to the 70’s and 80’s.

 

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Dine, wine and enjoy live performance of her songs.

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Harbin’s charm lies in the way it yields glimpses of a timeless China. Our experience thus far has been magical. Planning to visit China? Try Harbin 哈尔滨.

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Diary of a Foodster, Food, Products, Review, Shopping, Singapore, Travel

Is It Worthwhile to Shop and Eat @ Bugis Street?

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