Flight Review: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Economy (SIN – AMS)

It’s been a busy year for me as I’m doing my new business venture. Thus, may have not been touching much with blogging. So here I am, after 2 months since my last trip to Europe, to do a flight review for my trip to Amsterdam with one of the mightest blue planes in the world – KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

This is my first time flying with KLM, and it always excites me when I get the chance to fly with an airline I’ve never flown with. So, onto my flight review from Singapore to Amsterdam.

KLM flies one flight daily from Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 to Amsterdam. I’ve been visiting Changi Airport Terminal 1 frequently and looking at Jewel Changi Airport slowly coming into shape, and opening soon… I’m so so excited about it!!!

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FLIGHT DETAILS

Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 – Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Flight Time: 13 Hours 35 Minutes

Departure Time @ 1:35am, Arrival Time @ 8:00am

Economy Class

KLM does not have huge Airbus A380 like other airlines (e.g. British Airways, Air France), thus it utilizes the Boeing 777-300ER for this route. This particular model features 2 different travel classesWorld Business Class and Economy Class. The Economy Class is being further divided into normal Economy seats and Economy Comfort seats.

The Business Class contains a total of 34 seats with 2-2-2 seating configuration. The Economy Class has a majority seating configuration of 3-4-3, with 40 Economy Comfort seats at the front, while the remaining seats are for the rest of Economy passengers.

The seat pitch for Economy Class isn’t stingy with legroom of 76cm to 81cm, seat pitch of 31-inch and a recline of 9cm, their ergonomically designed seats are rather pleasant for long-haul flight! Want more recline? Pay more to be seated in the Economy Comfort seat that features an increased recline of up to 18cm and a seat pitch of 34-inch. As for Business Class, you will get up to 207cm of legroom, a seat pitch of 63-inch and features a 180-degree recline flat-bed with 17-inch of personal entertainment screen.

The entire flight with KLM wasn’t that bad, I was lucky to not get any neighbour sitting beside me, thus I’ve managed to get some quality rest during the flight. The seat was quite comfortable and clean. Blanket & headphones were given out for free. The only thing that wasn’t as good compared to other airlines was their in-flight meal, which wasn’t very tasty and the food was rather (what I call…) not-suited-for-Asian-tastebud.

The personal entertainment system was not bad, loaded with some of the latest available movies and soundtracks from Taiwan, US and Singapore. Service staffs were quite friendly too!

Overall, I’m quite pleased with my flight with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines from Singapore to Amsterdam. Would definitely recommend flying to Amsterdam with KLM if you think Singapore Airlines is too overpriced!

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4D3N Ho Chi Minh City Travel Blog + Itinerary

On the first weekend of November, a day after my birthday, I made a short trip to the capital of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City with my family (of 7 pax)Click HERE to read my flight review on Vietnam Airlines (SIN – SGN)!

Shall start off this blog post with some history. Ho Chi Minh City is located in the South-Eastern region of Vietnam and was originally known as Saigon.When and why did they change their name? (According to Wikipedia) It happened immediately after the communist took over South Vietnam in 1975, where the provisional government renamed the city after Hồ Chí Minh (a late North Vietnamese leader).

Ho Chi Minh City is pretty much similar to Bangkok but with the huge amount of motorbikes zooming around in a havoc way. Ho Chi Minh City uses Vietnamese Dong (VND). Conversion rate is around SGD$1 = VND$16,877. The weather is quite similar to Singapore, with the Dry Season happening from December to April, while the Wet Rainy Season happens from May to November.

Upon arrival at Ho Chi Minh City’s only airport – Tan Son Nhat International Airport, you will realize that the airport isn’t as crowded (or as busy) as compared to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport or Kuala Lumpur’s KLIA, which is a good thing! Clearing customs and baggage collection can be done smoothly, quickly!

Leaving the Arrival Hall, you will see tons of different counters trying to sell you SIM cards and airport transfers. We managed to get unlimited-data SIM card for VND$150,000 (~SGD$8), and also booked their airport transfer to our hotel for VND$230,000 (~SGD$13) per 7-seater vehicle. However, I highly recommend booking airport-transfer to your hotel through GRAB!

We stayed in a Japanese-brand 5-star hotel situated in the outskirt of District 1 – Hotel Nikko Saigon. My hotel review can be found HERE.

This trip to HCMC is supposed to be a relaxed sightseeing family trip (away from the bustle and hectic Singapore). Thus, I did not book any trips out of the city (e.g. day trips to Cu Chi Tunnels or Mekong Delta) which is highly recommended if you wanna get the most out of your HCMC trip and have more days spent in the city.

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1. BEN THANH MARKET

Ben Thanh Market is a huge marketplace in the heart of HCMC, that’s listed as number one virtually on every travel guides and is definitely the first recommendation you will get from anyone. And true enough, Ben Thanh Market is a great place to interact with locals, bargaining to get your best price.

Ben Thanh Market has 4 main entrances and 12 gates. Within this huge market, you can find local handicrafts, branded goods, Vietnamese art, souvenirs, fresh fruits, and vegetables, jewellery, electronics, and even cooked-food!

2. WAR REMNANTS MUSEUM

The most-visited museum in HCMC is the best place to understand and know about the history of The Vietnam War. Half a million visitors visited this three-floors museum every year, to understand the pain and horror of war, the tortures being experienced during the war and to learn from the past.

The entire walkthrough of the museum will take about 2 hours if you visit every single exhibit. Some images are quite disturbing, but that’s what war is, horrible and torturous. The museum also features the infamous “tiger cages”, special cells built by U.S Army in Con Dao Jail. Each “tiger cage” measures only 2.7m x 1.5m x 3m but were used to imprison up to 14 people!

A ticket cost VND$40,000/person, and the museum opens from 7:30am to 6pm daily.

3. INDEPENDENCE PALACE

10 minutes walk from the War Remnants Museum will bring you to the Reunification Palace (also known as Independence Palace). It’s one of the most important places in HCMC. This exact location marks the end of the Vietnam War when the Viet Cong tanks breached into the palace’s gates.

We didn’t go in as it was closed for an event on the day. But I’m sure from reviews around the web, it’s definitely worth a visit!

4. SAIGON CENTRAL POST OFFICE + NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL OF SAIGON

Both of the building is just the opposite of one another, and you will know this a must-visit destination once you arrived. You could see tons of tourist flocking this area, snapping photos with the unique French architecture and the stunning interior!

You could write a letter and send a letter from the post office! However, the cathedral was closed when I was there, and the exterior was partly covered up for renovation.

Both buildings were walking distance from the Independence Palace, Ben Thanh Market and shopping area… So it’s very convenient!

5. SHOPPING TIME IN HO CHI MINH CITY

There may not be as much shopping opportunities as compared to Singapore or Bangkok, but there still exists several opportunities for you to spend your Vietnam Dong! First up, it’s Ben Thanh Market which I’ve talked about earlier. For air-conditioned places, you could visit the Saigon Centre, where you will find Takashimaya and several other branded stores! A short walk away could bring you to Vincom Center and PARKSON Department Store! And let the shopping begins!

6. SAIGON SKYDECK @ BITEXCO FINANCIAL TOWER

One of Ho Chi Minh City’s visible landmark upon arrival at the airport would definitely be the Bitexco Financial Tower, where it housed Ho Chi Minh City’s first Skydeck – Saigon Skydeck! Saigon Skydeck is located on the 49th floor, where you can enjoy a 360 degrees view of Ho Chi Minh City.

There’s also a The World of Heineken Experience located on the 58th – 60th floor! It features a 4D VR ride and a hands-on training session by Heineken-certified draught master!

So after a day of sightseeing and shopping, this is a great place to relax and see HCMC from the top!

The above-mentioned places were where I’ve gone during my trip to HCMC! I definitely will return to HCMC, to experience the friendliness, the culture and I’m so in love with Vietnam, this untouched gem in South East Asia! Hope you guys did get some knowledge about where to head to when you’re in HCMC!

Hotel Review: Hotel Nikko Saigon

On my recent trip to Ho Chi Minh City with my family, I’ve booked us into Hotel Nikko Saigon, a 5-star hotel run by Nikko Hotels International (a subsidiary of Okura Hotels). This hotel is commonly awarded as one of the top hotels in Ho Chi Minh City.

The hotel is about 25 minutes drive away from HCMC’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport. The hotel is located in the outskirt of District 1, which means the surroundings are more peaceful and less havoc as compared to hotels in the main city center.

Arrived at the hotel, the staffs opened the doors with a smile and guided me to the front desk for check-in. The interior of the lobby is modern and minimalist, which instantly was another good point added!

Check-in was smooth and we proceed to our rooms on the 15th level. Something special while heading to our rooms, I found that there are several air purifiers along the corridor, being placed every few doors away. This really shows how a Japanese-brand hotel takes pride in their daily operations, making sure the guests were well taken care of.

The room we have gotten was a Deluxe Twin. It’s super spacious and the interior was modern, clean and neat! The view from the room was spectacular too! Each room comes with a bathtub, and it’s not everyday that you get a bathtub in a hotel room! The bed was bouncy and it’s very comfy!

The facilities in the hotel were not bad too! There’s a spa, fitness club, swimming pool, business center, and three dining facilities.

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What I really like about this hotel is that the hotel also provides free shuttle bus service to different places of interest in the city center (e.g. Ben Thanh Market, Saigon Centre, Reunification Palace etc.). But do remember to book your seats in advance with the Concierge.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, there are 3 dining facilities in the hotel – La Brasserie, Ming Court and The Lounge.

La Brasserie is where the buffet breakfast will be held! After breakfast time, it will be an all-day-dining restaurant. The food during the all-day-dining was alright only, I would recommend you to eat out in the city center or…… Ming Court!

Ming Court serves authentic Chinese cuisine and Dim-Sum. The all-you-can-eat Dim-Sum buffet cost around VND 450,0++ per person, which is very very worth it! The food was so yummy and felt very local because the chef is a Taiwanese that just got here a year ago! The taste really suits us, Singaporeans’ taste buds.

As for The Lounge (which I personally didn’t dine in), it’s a relaxing-chill place where they sell cakes and pastries. Definitely a good place to chill after a day out in the scorching hot weather.

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Keen for some shopping around the vicinity? The hotel is actually connected to Now Zone Fashion Mall, a leading department store that offers various shops for shopping! Other notable shops in the mall include KOI Cafe, Phúc Long Coffee & Tea Cafe, KFC, Lotte Cinema and many more!

So would I recommend this hotel? The answer is definitely a YES!

Though location-wise isn’t the best, but with the amenities in the room, the staffs’ service and hotel’s facilities. I think it would pretty much cover-up the bad location. Furthermore, booking a GRAB in Vietnam is so cheap (With a 7-seater to the city center only cost around SGD$7).

Check out the hotel deals at Expedia, Agoda or Booking.com. DON’T FORGET TO USE SHOPBACK TO SAVE EVEN MORE ON YOUR BOOKING! 

Flight Review: Vietnam Airlines Economy (SIN – SGN)

Visiting a brand-new country always keeps me excited, similar to flying with an airline that I’ve never flown before! This time around, I’m flying Vietnam Airlines for the first time to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam.

Vietnam Airlines fly thrice from Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 4 daily. This is my first time stepping into Terminal 4, and wow, was so amazed by the entire airport! It’s super classy, neat and nice!

FLIGHT DETAILS

Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 4 – HCMC Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport

Flight Time: 2 Hours 5 Minutes

Departure Time @ 1:15pm, Arrival Time @ 2:25pm

Economy Class

 

Vietnam Airlines utilizes it’s Airbus A321 for this flight path to Ho Chi Minh City. They also use the same model for their flight from Singapore to Hanoi.

I bought my round-trip tickets on Vietnam Airlines after seeing their promotion on my Facebook. In total, I paid S$259.70 for a round trip flight ticket from Singapore to Ho Chi Minh City with free 30kg of check-in luggage and free in-flight meal.

The flight comes in 2 different classesBusiness Class and Economy Class. The Business Class has a total of 16 seats, with a seating configuration of 2-2, while Economy Class has 168 seats onboard, with a seating configuration of 3-3.

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In the Economy Class, the seat pitch is 32-inch, with recline of up to 6-inch. The Business Class has a seat pitch of 45-inch and a reclining distance of nearly 10-inch.

Online check-in opens 24 hours before departure time, and the check-in process is simple and easy to perform. There aren’t any self-check-in and self-baggage-drop kiosks for Vietnam Airlines in T4 (weirdly), but the entire process was smooth.

The entire plane feels alright, the seats in Economy Class felt decent. The air stewardesses mainly wore a blue Ao dai (Vietnam’s traditional dress), with a little modern touch to it. The flight took off on time, and the in-flight meal was being served after awhile. Yes, there’s actually in-flight meal on such a short flight!

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There were 2 options for my flight – Pork Rice or Fried Fish Noodle. I’ve chosen the Pork Rice, which tasted alright, not very fantastic. But it kinda gives me a taste of how Vietnamese cuisine will be. During the meal-time, there were quite a number of on-off turbulences throughout the flight.

There isn’t any in-flight entertainment system nor charging ports on the flight for both classes. The only entertainment you could have is to read their magazine ‘HERITAGE’, which 90% is in Vietnamese so I would recommend prepping your Spotify or Netflix or a book ready to past the time onboard.

Weirdly for Vietnam, there isn’t a need to fill up any immigration forms.

Overall, I felt the Vietnam Airlines was not too bad, taking into account that you will be entitled to 30kg check-in baggage and an in-flight meal. So this is rather an affordable option to fly from Singapore to Ho Chi Minh City if flying Singapore Airlines is too expensive and you would rather not fly with budget airlines like Scoot! and Jetstar Asia.

Magical Scottish Highlands (Part 2)

Continuing my adventure in the Scottish Highlands, my family and me headed for another day-trip the next day to the Glenfinnan Viaduct, commonly known as the Harry Potter Bridge. We went with Happy Tours for this day-trip.

The morning of the day-tour was so cold and gloomy, the gathering point was outside Columbia Hotel across the Inverness Bridge (10 minutes walk from our hotel at Pentahotel Inverness). We were greeted by John, my lovely friendly tour guide/driver that will be bringing me on today’s day-trip.

The day-trip began at 9:30am sharp, we arrived shortly at Loch Ness! This is a different viewpoint as to where WOW Scotland Tours brought us, which is kinda special. We got to stand in front of Loch Ness, mesmerized by the vast size of it.

Next, we headed to Fort Augustus for a short break. The small town is situated on the southern tip of Loch Ness on the Great Glen Way. There’s a great cozy cafe across the canal, where there is also a mini gallery about Loch Ness Monster (Nessie).

We then proceeded to The Commando Memorial in Lochaber, where it’s dedicated to the men of the British Commando Forces raised during World War II. The view around here is stunning and spectacular!

We left The Commando Memorial and proceeded to Fort William for lunch. Fort William is actually an important town in the highlands of Scotland, as it forms the natural center of a very large area and the focus of the road and rail routes across the region. There are several eateries along the main walking street.

We head straight to The Glenfinnan Viaduct after lunch to catch the Harry Potter train. The journey from Fort William only takes about 30 minutes. We arrived finding that the entire carpark is almost full, but luckily John had the “tour guide privilege” and was able to enter the carpark and park at the last few available lots! We arrived at around 1:45pm, while the Jacobite steam train will pass by the Glenfinnan Viaduct at around 2:30pm and 2:45pm. So we had ample time to walk up the hill, to find the best position to view the train. Alternatively, you could also walk along the dirt path, to get a closer view of the action (below the bridge)!

John proceeded to bring us back to Inverness after the viewing of Harry Potter train across The Glenfinnan Viaduct. While on the way, John drove us to have a look at Inverlochy Castle, which is a pretty wrecked ruined castle.

We safely arrived back in Inverness at around 5:30pm. In my opinion, this day-trip isn’t as spectacular or have that much “wow” factors as compared to the Isle of Skye day-trip, but it was still an enjoyable one.

So, if you’re interested in visiting those places, you could visit Happy Tours website here, or you could probably use this as a guide to plan for your next self-drive day-trip in Scotland!

Windsor Castle, London – Travel Guide

Windsor Castle – A popular location where Royal Weddings were usually held. It was built in the 11th century and occupies 5 hectares of land in the English county of Berkshire. Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. It’s also where Her Majesty The Queen chooses to spend most of her private weekends in.

There are several things to see and do in Windsor Castle. Time your visit well to witness the Changing of Guards in the castle compound. The ceremony usually takes place at 11am on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, but the schedule can change (refer HERE for details). During this ceremony, the guards would march through Windsor Town into Windsor Castle. You could also take photos with the guards-on-duty but don’t go too near to them, as they basically are still working, and may probably shout at you to stay away!

St George’s Chapel, situated next to the area where Changing of Guards take place, was built in between 1475 and 1528. It’s also the wedding venue for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Inside the chapel lie the tombs of 10 monarchs, including Charles I, and Henry VIII. Do note that photography isn’t allowed inside the chapel.

Next, you could visit Queen Mary’s Doll House, it was built for Queen Mary by architect Edwin Lutyens and is filled with treasures created by different craftsmen and artist of that time.

Lastly, it’s a must to visit The State Apartments where you get to witness different rooms and admire some of the greatest treasures of the Royal Collection. Much of the southern part of the building was destroyed by a fire in 1992 but has since been restored.

You will see a tall round tower from anywhere in Windsor Castle – it’s The Round Tower, being built on top of a man-made mound. Today, the Round Tower houses the Royal Archives and the Royal Photographic Collection. And be sure to check the flag flying on the top, if you see the Royal Standard flag, it means that The Queen is in residence!

Windsor Castle is a short walk from Windsor & Eton Central Station. From London Paddington Station, take the train to Slough Station and transfer to another train to Windsor & Eton Central Station. The whole journey takes about 45 minutes.

Alternatively, you could head to Windsor Castle by Bus Green Line 702, which operates daily from Greenline Coach Station, London which is near to London Victoria Station.

There is no visitor car parking at Windsor Castle, so you could only park at public car parks in the town centre.

Opening Hours:

  • 1 November to 28 February (10am – 4:15pm) last entry 3pm
  • 1 March to 31 October (10am – 5:15pm) last entry 4pm

Do check Windsor Castle website for closure dates.

Admission: 

Adult – £21.20. Over 60/Student with Valid ID – £19.30. Under 17/Disabled – £12.30

Family (2 adults & 3 under 17s) – £54.70. Under 5 – FREE

But it’s highly recommended to book your tickets online, as the queues for on-site ticket purchases is super long almost all the time. You could get your tickets HERE from Klook, just print a copy of the ticket and exchange for your admission tickets there (using Express Lane).

Cassia Bintan: Mookata Weekend Getaway

Thinking what to do this coming weekend? Want to plan for a weekend staycation but not in Singapore? I think I got just the answer for you!

Bintan, a 45-minute ferry ride away from Singapore, sure has something up their sleeve to keep your weekend hype up!

Months ago, I went for my weekend getaway at Cassia Bintan with my girlfriend. It was quite a last-minute plan, thus was unable to book an early ferry to Bintan, so instead, we had to travel on the 2pm ferry and arriving on Bintan Island at around 3pm (SG time).

Upon arrival at Bintan Island Ferry Terminal, we were greeted by the friendly staffs, were then guided onto a small coach, to get us to the resort.

The hotel lobby (aka Meeting Point) is a very lively place to be, the design is very open-concept, where the hotel lobby area shares with the breakfast dining area. There’s also a swimming pool right in front of the hotel lobby.

Check-in was smooth and quick. We were given a free upgrade to a One-Bedroom Apartment Garden Loft, and to our surprise, the loft was really huge! There’s a kitchen, bedroom with a queen-sized bed, a huge toilet in between them both and a living room area. On the second floor, there’s a unique cushioned area that provides extra space that can be used for games or late night chit-chat with friends & family.

We didn’t spend too much time in the room and proceeded back to the hotel lobby area where Market 23 is located. Market 23 is a café-cum-supermart that sells convenient ready-to-eat, grab-and-go meals, and ingredients for Mookata. We choose the ingredients we wanted and placed our order with the counter. Once done, you can simply carry everything back to your room to start your own ‘cooking show’!

But before heading back to the hotel, we have one more thing to be done, which is to inquire about the spa packages available. Cassia Bintan itself does not provide any spa packages, however, it’s sister resort Hotel Angsana Bintan (5-minute walk from Cassia Bintan) provides top quality spa packages, and at an affordable rate. Once our spa session was booked, we head back to our room to cook our dinner.

Cooking Mookata in a hotel room is really a first-of-its-kind, and we really enjoyed it! Everything you need for the cooking is available in the kitchen! Just make sure you turn on the fan, close the bedroom door! Once cooking is done, we made our way to Angsana Spa for our spa session. I have to say that the service there is super good! It’s worth a visit and a try!

The next morning, we woke up late and went down to Meeting Point for our breakfast. The breakfast spread wasn’t alot but was sufficient to fill our tummies. We headed to the beach after breakfast before heading back home, to Singapore.

Overall, we’ve enjoyed ourselves in Cassia Bintan, even though we did not have ample time to try out some of their ATV activities or water sports. But it’s definitely a place to be with your family and friends to spend the weekend away.

You could make your booking thru Cassia Bintan website or book your hotel and ferry tickets separately thru booking websites like Expedia, Booking.com or Agoda.

Magical Scottish Highlands (Part 1)

Wanting to visit the Isle of Skye or the ‘Harry Potter’ Bridge but lazy to hike or feeling unfamiliar to self-drive on a bumpy road of Scottish Highlands?

That’s what I thought prior to my visit to the Scottish Highlands in August, and proceed to book some day-tours beforehand. I went to Isle of Skye Day-Trip with WOW Scotland Tours and Glenfinnan Viaduct (Harry Potter Bridge) Day-Trip with Happy Tours.

First up, let’s start off with my experience with WOW Scotland Tours. WOW Scotland Tours is one of the top tour companies in the Scottish Highlands. With tours starting from Inverness, Invergordon, and Greenock, they are rated 5 stars by Visit Scotland. Visit their website here. And honestly, the Isle of Skye is a spectacular, beautiful place to visit, and I shall try to let the photos do most of the talking here!

The meeting point for the Isle of Skye Tour is at Inverness Bus Station (just 5 minutes walk from Inverness Train Station) @ 8:30am. The luxury mini-coach (with USB & Wi-Fi onboard) will then bring us on a 12-hours action-packed day tour around the Isle of Skye.

The coach zoomed off from Inverness and we arrived shortly at our first toilet-stop @ Achnasheen Railway Station. This railway station was opened since 1870 to serve the town of Achnasheen. We were able to catch a rainbow when we’re there too!

Next, we headed further west into the highlands and arrived at our next photo stop – Loch Carron. This is the first place where we got a glimpse of the Isle of Skye!

After 30 minutes, we finally see the Skye Bridge in front of us. And once across it, we’ve finally reached Skye! We were then given a short toilet/photo break at the town of Kyleakin, where you could see the Skye Bridge standing right in front of your eyes.

Next stop was one of my favorites – The Black Cullin Mountains, where we were given a guided hike to somewhere less-known for its stunning views. (it’s really stunning, no kidding!)

We headed deeper into Skye and arrived at our next photo stop at the Old Man of Storr. It’s literally the headline for the Isle of Skye, everybody comes to the Isle of Skye would need to witness this amazing 50m high pinnacle jutting out from the ridge. The Old Man of Storr was also featured in the movie – The BFG!

The next stop for our day-trip was Kilt Rock, an exposed sea cliff. This spectacular waterfall sure took my breath away! It’s something I’ve never seen before, and it’s just so beautiful! There is also a Dino Museum where you will be able to witness one or two dinosaur footprints that are being displayed. (real or fake, I’m not sure too!)

We had another opportunity for a short hike to our next stop, The Quiraing. The Quiraing is a series of landslides that have combined to create high cliffs, hidden plateaus, buttresses, and rock pinnacles. The views are stunning when we’re there, it’s really jaw-dropping!

We headed southward to the town of Portree. This is the largest town in Skye and is a beautiful peaceful place to explore. Do head up to the Harbour Viewpoint to witness the quirky pastel-colored houses over the water.

All things have to come to an end, we then left the Isle of Skye and headed to the iconic Eilean Donan Castle. It’s one of the most popular castles in the world, where we got the chance to visit 2 different viewpoints of the castle. And also have the chance to cross the bridge over to the castle itself!

Towards the end of the day-trip, we were brought to a view-point to have an awesome view of Urquhart Castle, before having a surprise trip to meet some highland cattle on our way back to Inverness.

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Our journey ended in Inverness Bus Station at approximately 8:30pm. I have to say this 12 hours day-trip is the most eye-opening, jaw-dropping, amazing day-trip I’ve ever been to! I definitely recommend WOW Scotland Tours to you guys if you’re looking for a quick one-day tour around to the Isle of Skye!

Perth Weekend Itinerary

Perth, the capital of Western Australia. The city where Swan River flows into the Indian Ocean is Australia’s 4th biggest city after Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

Perth is just 5 hours away from Singapore and is easily accessible directly by Singapore Airlines, Qantas and Scoot.

It’s highly recommended to self-drive in Perth to fully maximize your time there, and also to give yourself more flexibility in time. Renting a car from Perth Airport isn’t tricky, as most well-known car rental companies are right in the Arrival Hall.

I rented my vehicle from Budget during my trip. It’s also recommended for you to purchase a SIM card from the airport and use Google Maps, as the SIM card will only cost you AU$10 for 5 days. Accommodation in Perth is quite affordable! For my trip, I’ve stayed in a boutique hotel near King’s Park & Botanic Garden – TRIBE Perth.

Perth isn’t a very large city and isn’t as bustling as the other cities, but there are still lots of things to do, sights to see that you shouldn’t miss, whether it’s within or nearby of Perth!

Perth City Centre

Why not start off your adventure in Perth from its city centre? Feel rich in The Perth Mint, where you will understand the history of Western Australia’s gold searching and the chance to witness the world’s largest coin – Australian Kangaroo One Tonne Gold Coin.

 

Shopping usually isn’t the must-do in Perth, but if you are in for some shopping, visit Hay Street Mall and Murray Street Mall to satisfy your shopping needs!

P.S. Looking for outlet shopping? You could visit Watertown Brand Outlet for discounted items from Adidas, Calvin Klein, Skechers, Cotton On etc.

 

A short walk from the main shopping streets, you will find a rather special building – London Court. It’s a shopping arcade that was built to look like historic London. (Personally, do visit London Court if you’re nearby, else you could probably skip this.)

 

Elizabeth Quay

A short walk from Perth City Centre will bring you to the iconic Elizabeth Quay, where the waterfront promenade and a bell tower stands. The Bell Tower, Perth is 82m tall, contains a set of 18 bells that hands in it. Once at the top, you can enjoy a 360-degree view of Perth’s CBD area. Next, you will see a 28m tall sculpture called ‘Spanda‘, that represents ripples and links the Swan River, land and sky. The final iconic attraction you will see is the Elizabeth Quay Pedestrian Bridge, a superb location for you to snap some panoramas of Perth’s CBD area.

The Swan Valley

Your Perth’s adventure will never be complete if you do not visit The Swan Valley! A trip to The Swan Valley could take up at least half a day, depends on the locations you visit, and the time spent in each location. The Swan Valley is located in a region between Guildford and Bells Rapid.

To start off your day-trip, it’s recommended that you visit Guildford, where the Swan Valley Information Centre is located. You could also get your breakfast fixed at a nearby cafe – Little Guildford, where they serve a huge hearty portion of breakfast set that will definitely give you enough energy to start off your day right!

From Guildford, a 15 minutes drive will bring you to Caversham Wildlife Park. This wildlife park is a must-visit even though this place is overwhelmed with tourists. You will be able to get up-close with your favorite Aussie animals like koala bears, kangaroos, wombats etc,  you can feed kangaroos and wombats for free, spent some time watching animal & farm shows and many more! Admission prices for adults are AU$27 and AU$12 for children.

Next, a short drive will bring you to The House Of Honey where it sells delicious honey ice-creams and honey-made products. Their honey ice-cream was really good (a must-try).

Cheese-lovers could visit The Cheese Barrel, and be amazed by rows of different flavors of cheeses. Most of the cheeses were not made locally but were imported from all over the world.

What’s coming to Australia but not buying some nougats back? Do remember to visit Mondo Nougat! There are free tasting and you get to witness workers making the nougats.

Western Australia is popular for its winery, especially in The Swan Valley, you could find tons of them here! You could visit Homestead Brewery, Mandoon Estate, Black Swan Winery, Sandalford Wines, Lancaster Wines and many many more!

Kings Park and Botanic Garden

Singapore has Singapore Botanical Gardens, London has Hyde Park, Perth has Kings Park and Botanic Garden. This 400.6-hectare park is one the world’s largest inner city park that overlooks Perth’s water and the CBD area. A State War Memorial can be found in the park where it honors the servicemen and women who fought and died during the wars. At the top, you will be able to see a beautiful view of Perth city, great place for panoramas!

A stone-throw away from the park is the popular-Instagrammable Blue Boat House (Crawley Edge Boatshed). There aren’t any carparks nearby for you to park your vehicle to visit the boathouse so you would need to “illegal park” along a residential road opposite it. But actually, you won’t be spending too much time there anyway, even though queues may be expected at times.

Fremantle City

Fremantle should be planned on the same day as Kings Park, visiting this neighboring city of Fremantle will take you on a 30-minutes journey south of Perth. Things that can be done there includes visiting the Fremantle Markets, Fremantle Prison, Fremantle Harbour for an authentic Fish ‘n Chips meal, WA Shipwrecks Museum, WA Maritime Museum.

Day-Trips from Perth

There are several attractions that are situated near Perth that are worth a day trip. You could decide on visiting:

  • Witness tons of limestones in The Pinnacle Desert.
  • Enjoy fresh lobster at The Lobster Shack.
  • Look for quokkas on Rottnest Island (ferry from Fremantle).
  • Stroll along the historic jetty at Busselton.
  • Try out world-class wines in Margaret River.
  • Slide down sand dunes in Lancelin Sand Dunes.
  • Feel tiny beside the magnificent looking Wave Rock.

I’ve been to The Pinnacle Desert & had a filling lunch at The Lobster Shack.

Leasany – A Buddy That Helps With Your Travel

Recently my trip to the U.K. got better with the help of Leasany! What’s Leasany? It’s actually a Singapore start-up that aims to help Singaporeans by renting and selling essential-but-costly equipment for their travels. So in long, will help minimize the risk of owning and the cost of traveling. Furthermore, Leasany also has a blog section where you could find tons of travel blogs which will definitely assist you in your planning for your upcoming holidays.

A visit to their website will give you an idea of them being a ‘buddy’ for your travel, as you could rent and purchase items that are essential!

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Under the ‘Rent’ section, you can find affordable items like Walkie-Talkies, Fujifilm Instax Mini Camera, Xiaomi Powerbank Charger, GoPro Action Camera, American Tourister Luggage, Unicorn Ring Float, DJI Osmo Mobile 2, Insta360 Camera and even DJI Spark Drone. Their rental charges range from S$1 to S$24 per day, and there’s promotion for longer rental periods.

As for ‘Shop’ section, the items you can find here include wet tissues, toothbrush travel kit, plasters, face masks etc. Which I think it would be useful for busy Singaporeans who have limited time to purchase and prepare these items prior to their travels. And… That’s where Leasany comes into the picture, to the rescue!

Upon deciding on the items you would like to rent from them, simply order it! There are 2 options – Delivery or Self-Collection & Return, I would recommend meeting them up for Self-Collection, as their friendly staffs will talk you thru your product before handing them to you. What’s more, you will be able to meet them at your preferred location to collect the rented items! Upon returning the item, the staffs will meet at your preferred location and deposit will be refunded to you directly via the same payment mode once we’ve acknowledged the returned item condition.

I had rented a GoPro Hero 6 with them, and I got to say that the entire process is so smooth and quick! From ordering the item, till meeting up with the staff, and returning them the item. I am really happy with their service and their product’s quality was really good.

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Interested in renting a GoPro Hero 6 or a DJI Osmo Mobile 2? Head over Leasany now and make your order! Use promo code “hypetraveler” for 20% discount for rental services. (Valid till 31 January 2019)