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Planning a Holiday with Kids in Tow

Planning a holiday for just you and your partner is hard enough. You have to make the decision on the location, how long for, and what type of hotel you want to go for: It’s a long process of having to whittle it down to just one or two hotels, before you can finally pick something that you like the look of. So, imagine how hard it is to do this when you have a family in tow as well. There’s suddenly so many more factors for you to consider, some of you will know exactly what we mean. For others, this might be your first rodeo with something like thiks, so you’re going to need all the help and advice that you can get. Luckily, you have come to the right place, and we’ve got plenty of little pointers for you that should help you with the whole process. Have a read on to find out more.

Image Credit: http://www.theconsumervoice.co.uk

1. Evaluating the Cost

So, you might have gone into this whole booking process without realising how hard it is to actually book a holiday for you and your family due to cost. Cost really is a big thing, even if it was just for you and your partner to go. The only diffrrence is, with children, you can’t just take them whenever you want during the year. You have a responsibility to keep them in school, meaning you’re going to have to take them during the school holidays. This is a notoriously expensive time of year for a holiday, and the last thing that we would want is for you to miss out. So, why not consider taking out a personal loan. If you Google, ‘personal loans near me‘, you should be able to find plenty of companies willing to offer you the money. Taking a short term personal loan out doesn’t mean that you’re getting yourself into some sort of spiraling debt. But it does mean you’re going to be able to enjoy your family holiday, without worrying about the cost.

 

2. Evaluating the Location

The location plays a big part as to whether you’re actually going to have a good holiday. Some places are just too quiet, which when you’re taking a family, isn’t what you need. You need somewhere that has plenty of activities to do. They will get bored of just being around the pool, so outside activities should keep them entertained for a little while. The hotel as well is going to play a big part in your holiday happiness. If the hotel has no kids facilities, there is going to be nothing for them to do that would allow you and your partner to have an hour to or to yourselves. When you’re on holiday, it’s really important to take an opportunity like this to keep yourselves entertained or refreshed as well.

3. Evaluating the Effort

Sometimes a holiday is just effort. You have to worry about the whole packing process, and more importantly, the travelling process. Travelling on a plane with young children can either be completely fine, or you’ll have the devil child with you. So evaluate the distance of travel, and whether your children might be too young to tackle it.

 

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7 Cool Things to Do with Your Girlfriend in Singapore

Someone says that Singapore is a technology miracle, another one claims that it is the front window of Asia because it is an energetic and inspiring place, which has managed to become one of the best. Singapore is many-faced and magnificent like Ukrainian girls. You can choose many different epithets for the island-city-state of Singapore, but all of them will surely be vivid and not ordinary. Singapore remains one of the greenest cities in the world, having so many astounding futuristic buildings and attracting a big number of people from all over the world. So, what can you do with your girlfriend in Singapore?

1. Look to the Future

The future of science fiction movies will come in Singapore very soon when the first spaceplanes start landing in the airport Changi, and robots say, “Next in line, please!” You should surely look at the steel baobabs of the Gardens by the Bay. In the evening, the lights are turned on, and the magic garden begins to shimmer with colored lights, just like in the Avatar. At an altitude of 22 meters, supertrees are connected by the sky bridge, from which the domes of futuristic greenhouses are visible.

Image Credit: Great Eastern

2. Relax on the Beach

When the brain melts because of the heat, you can escape from the stone jungle to the beaches of the tropical island of Sentosa. You can visit each of them during the day because a free tram runs along the coast. If both of you prefer a relaxing holiday in the hammocks under the palm trees, go to Tanjong beach, and if you want to suf and play volleyball, go to the beach of Silos. You can also visit the mangrove thickets of the island of Pulau Ubin. In this Singaporean village, you can ride a bicycle through rubber groves, eat grilled shrimps and look out for rare birds from wooden bridges.

Image Credit: tanjongbeachclub.com

3. Update your Wardrobe

In Singapore, you can find ten boutiques per square meter because local people like brand-name things. Good dressers with packages of Chanel and Louis VUitton go from one showcase to another. If you do not have enough money to buy a Prada handbag, go to Bugis Street, and you will buy the same but from Chinese masters. tripadvisor.jp

Image Credit: tripadvisor.jp

4. Shake the Paw of the Lemur

The Singapore Zoo is one fo the most advanced in the world. More than 300 species of animals walk freely through the rainforest. Here, you can have breakfast with organutans, feed the giraffe or dwarf hippo during lunch, and watch the dinner of predators in the evening. Both of you will be excited like kids.

Image Credit: visitsingapore.com

5. Take a Photo on the Edge of the Abyss

Only a lazy person did not see the pictures of the hotel Marina Bay Sands on the Internet. Three 200-meter towers, crowned with a gondola, perfectly fit into the landscape of Singapore’s space harbor. Many people go here to take a photo in the famous swimming pool on the roof, here the water seems to pour over the sides to the abyss. What a stunning view of the bay you will be able to enjoy there!

Image Credit: dailymail.co.uk

6. Look at Singapore from a Height

To see whole banana-lemon Singapore at your feet, don’t miss a chance to ride the Ferris Wheel. From the height of a 55-storey building, you will be able to distinguish even the Indonesian islands on the horizon. In the evening, the city lights up with millions of light bulbs, and you feel like superheros on top of the world. If you have a special evening, you can book a separate booth with champagne and dinner for two.

7. Try “Star” Noodles on the Street

Chinese rice with slices of duck is friend in soy sauce on every corner of Chinatown, but you need to stand a kilometer line to try noodles with chicken from the street chef Chan Hong Menga, his street tent has been awarded a Michelin star. If you are fond of spicy chili, go to the Indian city block.

Image Credit: tripadvisor.com

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Sleepwiz Eye Mask: Sleep Better Effortlessly

One of the most useful essentials that one should have would be the eye masks. It is known that poor sleep can interfere with every aspects of our life but with SleepWiz™ eye masks, you can sleep as soundly on a brightly lit environment as you would at home in your comfy bedroom.

SleepWiz™ eye masks are specially designed to create the ideal environment for us to get some good rest so that we can wake up relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated. Making a name for itself, SleepWiz™ was also featured in BuzzFeed and The Huffington Post as a recommended hack to fall asleep quickly.

For the Side Sleepers

Everyone has a propensity toward one position or another, but side sleepers are the most common of the variations. It is not common for side sleepers to find themselves tossing and turning more than back sleepers which could lead to poor sleep.

SleepWiz™ has introduced an eye masks for the side sleepers which include:

Luxiere™ 100% Silk Eye Mask for Side Sleepers

Image Credit: SleepWiz

For the Back Sleepers

SleepWiz™ has introduced an eye masks for the back sleepers which include:

ErgoDream™ 3D Ergonomic Eye Mask for Back Sleepers

Image Credit: SleepWiz

Why Sleepwiz?

We had the opportunity to try and after using for 2 nights and we felt it was comfortable for the following reasons:

 A restful night to feel refreshed the next day – The luxiere boosts melatonin levels naturally without the use of pills or chemicals while the DreamWeave technology makes the eyemask impenetrable to light, allowing for longer deep sleep phases, while retaining the natural fibre’s luxurious softness

            Comfort and practicality – by using thin dual straps that ensures the mask stays in place which is useful if you’re a side-sleeper or tend to move a lot when you sleep. The extra wide design also makes it adaptable to faces of different sizes.

                    100% mulberry silk – to ensure your skin stays hydrated and reduce fine lines 

SleepWiz™ eye masks are light, flexible and practical. It certainly doesn’t take up much space. Hey, did we mention this makes a good travel essential items during your road trips? Free shipping within Singapore is provided. You should get one too!

SleepWiz

Websitehttps://eyemask.sg/

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/OfficialSleepWiz/

Instagram: hello@eyemask.sg

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The Best Places to Introduce Your Kids to Thai Food in Singapore

There’s something quite charming about eating Thai cuisine. In Thailand, dining is a family thing. All dishes are shared at the table at once, allowing brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers to enjoy the fragrant flavours of Thai cooking together. On the whole, Thai food relies heavily on its combination of spicy and sour flavours. Of course, there are many other ingredients that add further subtle dimensions and aromas, but Thai food is certainly considered some of the spiciest in south-east Asia. If you’re thinking of helping your children become acquainted with delicious Thai food, you’ll be pleased to know there are many fantastic Thai restaurants throughout the Lion City.

Thai J泰J花園泰式創意料理065” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by 羽諾

One major bonus for Thai over other Asian cuisines such as Chinese is that it’s easier for youngsters to eat. Traditionally, Chinese food is eaten with chopsticks, which can be somewhat off-putting for little ones that can’t get to grips – quite literally – with their new found eating devices. Meanwhile, Thai food is more often eaten with forks and spoons, with chopsticks only used to eat noodle-based soups and broths. Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best family-friendly Thai restaurants in Singapore.

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum” (CC BY 2.0) by kewl

Jai Thai Restaurant, Purvis Street

If you’re looking for a wide range of dining options, look no further than Jai Thai’s extensive menu offering over 100 Thai dishes. They also offer individual set menus for families that aren’t overly fussed about sharing different plates. The restaurant’s specialities include Pandan Chicken and a mesmerising Thai Green Curry that goes down perectly with a side of sticky pineapple rice.

Joe’s Kitchen, Bukit Merah Lane

As casual, laid-back Thai restaurants go, Joe’s Kitchen must be up there with the best. Established for more than a decade, Joe’s Kitchen has become a go-to eatery for families looking for authentic Thai snacks at reasonable rates. Joe and his team can also tailor the spiciness in each dish depending on the tastes of you and your bambinos. Their stuffed chicken wings are the ultimate fun Thai-style finger food!

Aroy Dee Thai Kitchen, Middle Road

Specialising in north-eastern Thai cuisine, Aroy Dee Thai Kitchen offers a great-value hawker centre-style dining experience. Lots of Singaporean and Thai families like to convene here, with their generous portions, as well as extensive starter and main options. Better still, you’re more than likely to get change from $10 per head here.

E-Sarn, Ridgewood Close

Nestled away neatly in a quiet cul-de-sac near North Buona Vista Road is the casual family-run E-Sarn Thai restaurant. At the front of house, mother Neng and son Guy are extremely accommodating when it comes to recommending dishes and adhering to requests on levels of spice. If your family are fish fiends, they’ll love tucking into the steamed sea bass, topped with toasted coconuts, lime and fried baby shrimp.

Of course, an alternative option would be let your kids experience Thai food and flavours in the comfort of you family home first. Deliveroo deliver restaurant-ready Thai food to homes across the city state. This allows your children to sample the dishes they do and don’t like without the trauma of going out to eat in a busy restaurant. Once you’re aware of their likes and dislikes, it will make ordering out at your favourite Thai joint that much easier – and cost-effective too!

As Singapore is in the same peninsular as tropical Thailand it’s unsurprising that the Lion City specialises in Thai flavours. Who knows, if your children fall in love with Thai cuisine just as much as you do, it could transform extra-special occasions in the future.

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Explore Singapore: Experience Nature and Heritage in Pulau Ubin

Taking a break from the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle? Try exploring Pulau Ubin, an island northeast of mainland Singapore. A one-way boat fare cost $3 per person and it takes about 15 minutes to reach the beautiful island.

Visitors are greeted by the tranquil island offering untouched nature. Take a pause and keep a lookout for wildlife in the mangroves.

A must-do activity in Pulau Ubin is to rent a bicycle and get off the beaten track to enjoy the views of traditional kampong villages, nature trails that weave through old rubber plantations and discover the island’s mangroves. It is not uncommon to encounter abundant wildlife like jellyfish, kingfishers and sometimes, even pink dolphins!

House 363B has a rich historic background and it was owned by Mr Chew Teck Seng, a local provision shop owner from 1970 to 2005.

The house has since been conserved and refurbished as a model Chinese kampong house. The original architecture was retained and minimal changes were made to conserve its rustic charm. The house now serves as an immersive “museum” that takes guests back in time to life on Pulau Ubin during the 1970s. Many items in the house, including furniture, appliances, kitchen utensils and photograph were donated by past and residents, as well as friends of Pulau Ubin.

Those who are interested to take a look at this house will be pleased to know that it will be open on the 2nd and 4th weekend of the month and public holidays, from 10.00am – 2.00pm. Teck Seng’s Place is currently one of the highlights in NParks’ Kampung Tour, held on every third Saturday of the month.

We took a walk along the Sensory Trail. If the scorching heat is not a show-stopper, you should take a walk through the backyard planting of the Pulau Ubin village home where nature-lovers will love to see tropical fruits trees of different varieties. It takes about 1 hour to complete the trail.

Related image
Image Credit – Habitatnews – NUS

Some kampong houses may look dated but they still retain their rustic charm. It was learnt that the National Parks Board (NParks) will be restoring kampong houses on Pulau Ubin to their former glory.

The first of its kind in Singapore, Ubin Fruit Orchard is a one-hectare site that showcases fruits such as rambutan, lychee, logan and others.

Further into the island, visitors get to see kingfishers, magpies and native birds inhabiting along the mangroves of the Chek Jawa Wetlands. Travelers to Singapore, mark Pulau Ubin down during your visit!

From National Parks Board.

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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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Harbin 哈尔滨 Travelogue – (Part 3): Scoot Off to The Wintriest Harbin with Kids!

Nothing lends whimsy and mystique to a picture quite like a snowy day. Frosty weather is not uncommon in Harbin during winter. First-timers to Harbin 哈尔滨 ought to take a pause and experience the local scene in its originality. It might be 7:30am in the morning but the city had already taken a life of its own.

A Walk on the Streets

Freezing cold at -24°C. Infamous for its very cold winters, bring more clothes than you will think you will need to Harbin so that you can layer.

Food of Harbin has so many kinds of specialities around Central street and Hongbo Century Square that even if we want, we could not finish trying all of them.

 One of the best street food, the sweetness and piping hot sweet potatoes will make you fall in love with Harbin.

We explored the side alleys of Central Street and had our simple breakfast in this restaurant.

Broccoli, tofu, rice cake, egg tart and glutinous rice made up our breakfast. We were holding back from ordering more dishes so that we could reserve our stomach for other delicacies.

Guandong Ancient Lane

We met an unfriendly taxi driver who refused to alight us outside Guandong Ancient Lane, which was one of our much anticipated attraction in the itinerary. We were told to walk by ourselves which would take us about  3 mins. We read from a blog that visitors would need to pay but that wasn’t the case. Entry is FOC.

Full of traditional delicacies, Harbin Guandong ancient lane displays culture of the ‘Guandong migration’ period, which refers to the historical period when people migrated  from the central part of China to the Northeast. How majestic is this building!

Everything here is indoor. The place displays an ancient feel and there is a sense of unhurried-ness. With a myriad of different dining options and picturesque spots, this might be one of the few places in Harbin where visitors can snack and relax at the same time.

 

Many pictures taken and will let them do the talking.

Russian chocolates.

We tried peanut candies!

Dragon’s beard candy (or Chinese cotton candy) is a handmade traditional art of China. It is also a traditional Chinese sweet similar to floss halva or Cotton candy.

No idea what this is…

There is a foodcourt selling classic Chinese dishes.

A great food haunt where dishes are freshly cooked in front of you. We have to admit that they look really appetising.

What A Big Catch!

Located right beside Guandong Ancient Lane is a huge shopping mall. Our first impression was akin to The Paragon where everything would be expensive but after some exploring we thought this mall was a place for bargain hunting.

More than just fashion shops, the mall is a suitable hangout for families with kids.

Plenty of pop-up cafes to have a drink and just chill.

Located at the basement was a huge marketplace for shoppers to shop for groceries and dine.

Freshly squeezed fruit juice with cute bottles.

What a big catch! We were pleasantly surprised that we could order seafood and had them cooked on the spot for us to dine. What till we see the price 🙂

Here’s our order – a lobster (CNY50 = SGD10)

Seabass (CNY30 = SGD6)

皮皮虾 (CNY31 = SGD6)

The chef ushered us to this cosy dining area while we waited for the food.

The restaurant exhibited a homely feeling which made it a favourite place for shoppers to have a respite and enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee. The decor and furnishing were contemporary and inviting.

Everything was hot and fresh! Our seafood craving was satisfied in the most economical way.

Including the cooking cost, the total bill came to CNY137.90 = SGD27.60.

Hey, did we mention our food hunting continue after savouring the seafood?

Big and Small M trying the soya bean milk.

Crispy chinese pan fried dumpling (鍋貼).

Chinese flat bread (发面饼).

Cute animal buns!

Time Kingdom

If your little ones enjoy KidZania, they will surely fall in love with Time Kingdom. Akin to KidZania theme style of play, Time Kingdom is also an interactive city made for 3 – 15 year old kids who can immerse themselves into lots of fun through realistic role-play in Harbin.

The Wintriest Harbin

Harbin 哈尔滨, which is nestled in the heart of China’s historical Manchuria region, is still a place less travelled. Apart from its freezing weather during winter, taking a walk in the back alleys allowed us to see these visually pleasing buildings that transported us to a place where time seemed to have been frozen for 40 years, a flashback to a simpler and more peaceful time.

In a mood for supper? Zhongyang Dajie 中央大街 has no lack of eatery options.

Small M was wondering why the chef had to use such a big pot to place the dish.

A thriving late-night dessert culture has taken grasp of Harbin especially among the youngsters. We were surprised that Harbin offers one of the best places to be tempted by decadent desserts.

While Small M trying in vain to search for free Wi-Fi amidst the Great “Wall” of China…

Big M knows it is still possible for a selfie.

Sweet dessert for us! It would be blasphemous to talk about cafe hopping without including them during your visit to Harbin.

We have tasted the wonders of Lapland and in our first trip to China and Harbin, this trip was nothing short of amazing. The locals are warm and approachable and Harbin is safe with a lot of securities. All thanks to Scoot introducing the direct flight to Harbin, we came and captured the raw beauty of this ‘Ice City’. Harbin 哈尔滨, we will be reunited soon!

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