Hotel Review: La Clef Tour Eiffel Paris

I’ve been to Europe a couple of times (with my girlfriend) but has never stepped foot onto the City of Light or some say… the City of LoveParis, France. Being unfamiliar with Paris, and I knew that Paris’s accommodations can be very expensive. So, after some searches on my new favourite hotel-booking site –  Trip.com, I’ve found us a 4.5-star hotel near Paris’s main touristy attractions – La Clef Tour Eiffel Paris.

As you’ve guessed from the name of the hotel, it’s located near Eiffel Tower, it’s also walking distance to Arc de Triomphe and The Avenue des Champs-Élysées! The hotel is located on Avenue Kléber, and there’s a Metro station outside the hotel – Trocadéro. It’s super convenient!

The hotel is set in a 19th-century building designed by architect Ricardo Bofill, and the hotel lobby is neat, clean and modern! The hotel staffs are welcoming and friendly.

There are 7 different types of rooms/apartments which vary from 30sqm Classic Room to 108sqm Eiffel Tower Suite. Most rooms are equipped with LCD TV, central air-conditioning & heating with individually controlled thermostats, Nespresso coffee machine, microwave ovens and some are equipped with washing machines and a fully-equipped kitchenette.

The hotel is equipped with a Breakfast Room where daily buffet breakfast is held, a Gymnasium can also be found in the basement of the hotel. Carparks are available outside the hotel, but if I’m not wrong it’s with a charge. And not forgetting, there’s free Wi-Fi in the hotel premises.

I’ve booked ourselves a Classic Room but was given a free room upgrade by the friendly staffs, which is quite a delight for us! We arrived in the room with a bottle of water and a box of chocolates. The room is huge, modern, trendy and clean! Our room comes with a small balcony too, which is pretty dope! And what’s more, the hotel uses L’Occitane en Provence products for their toiletries! Life in this hotel room just makes me feel like lazing around on the bed, on in the bathtub!

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I really enjoyed myself during my stay! So if you are visiting Paris soon, I would highly recommend staying at La Clef Tour Eiffel Paris. (Non-sponsored post)

Do remember to make your hotel booking through Trip.com to get the best rates, and to use Shopback to get some cash back on your purchases!

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World’s 5 Best Airports For Layover

Flying direct from destination A to destination B may be too tedious for some, or maybe it’s cheaper to have a stopover/layover in between your departure and arrival country. But which airport should you have a layover at? Here are the world’s 5 best airports for a layover! (Below rankings are obtained from TIME & Culture Trip – in no particular order)

SINGAPORE CHANGI AIRPORT – SINGAPORE

Singapore Changi Airport has been the Number 1 airport in the world for years and won over 400 awards. With the opening of Jewel Changi Airport, having a layover in Changi Airport is gonna be better! You will be amazed by the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, a Shaw movie theatre, tons of sumptuous yummy food outlets (e.g. A&W, Shake Shack, Burger & Lobster, Lady M) and the World’s first Pokemon Center (outside of Japan) here in Jewel Changi.

Other than the addition of Jewel Changi, the airport also features tons of art installations, the world’s first butterfly garden in an airport (in Terminal 3), an indoor slide (in Terminal 3), rooftop pool etc. For a long layover, Changi Airport also organises a free 2.5 hours tour of the city! Having a layover in Singapore Changi Airport will definitely keep you occupied from the time you arrived till the moment you depart.

MUNICH AIRPORT – GERMANY

Munich Airport, situated in Germany is a great layover destination for travellers heading to explore Europe, especially during the Christmas season! Where the airport is transformed into a German Christmas market, decked with an ice skating rink and carousel for kids to enjoy. In the summertime, prepare to surf your way while waiting for your next flight at the airport. There are classes for kids and adult beginner surfing lessons each day and then open sessions where the experts carve up the 1.5-metre wall of water.

For normal days, visitors can head to the Visitors Park (free-entry) to explore the fascinating and multi-faceted world of the airport. From the top of Visitors Hill, visitors can watch planes coming in for a landing or accelerating down the runway to take off. Similarly to Singapore Changi Airport, Munich Airport is packed with retail shops to fulfil your shopping wishes with about 150 shops available, with a supermarket opening till midnight.

SEOUL INCHEON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT – SOUTH KOREA

The world of K-pop and Kimchi. Having a layover at Incheon International Airport will give travellers a taste of Korea through cultural performances and an impressive museum. There’s a movie theatre that features Korean hits, a year-round indoor ice skating rink and an 18-hole putting course on top of 7 gardens to keep you occupied during your layover time in Korea.

Love to see Korea for a bit during your layover? The airport offers free tours of nearby local spots with duration varies from a 1 hour trip to a nearby local beach to 5-6 hours shopping or temple/palace tour. There are tons of free showers, massage chairs and mini gardens in the airport, and tons of tantalizing shops around!

AMSTERDAM AIRPORT SCHIPHOL – THE NETHERLANDS

Situated in the land of windmills and Heineken beers. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is another awesome airport to layover to further your travel to other parts of Europe, especially if you’re flying with KLM. Amsterdam Schiphol has tons of shopping opportunities around the airport.

There are art exhibits, thousands of books and a traditional Dutch cafe, an indoor park complete with the sound of chirping birds and even a viewing terrace for the aviation geeks in the airport. Do also spend some time visiting the free Rijksmuseum Amsterdam Museum at the airport. As for kids, learn more about science with 9 interactive exhibits at NEMO at Schiphol, situated right beside Rijksmuseum.

DUBAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT – UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (UAE)

The base for Emirates airline, situated at the largest city in the UAE – Dubai. Within the airport terminals, prepare to shop till you drop, eat till your tummies explode! What else is there? You could spend some time and treat yourself to the spa, stroll in the Zen Garden or pamper yourself in the Health Club with massages and manicure services.

But what makes having a layover in Dubai special and spectacular, is outside of the airport – in the city of Dubai. Where mini-tours from the airport will bring you to the tallest building in the World – The Burj Khalifa, the photogenic sail shape hotel – Burj Al Arab, and even shop even more in the largest mall – The Dubai Mall.

Not feeling enthusiastic to visit the outside? And want to just rest… There are also plenty of sleep pods available within the huge airport!

Day-Trip to Bath, United Kingdom

The City of Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also one of UK’s most visited beautiful cities. Bath is a popular day-trip destination from either London. The city of Bath can be easily reached by rail from Central London, that only takes about 40 minutes! You can visit Bath with day-tour groups, but I think it’s cheaper and better to visit the city on your own, as the city is easy to navigate around.

So let’s get started on what I did in the beautiful city of Bath during my trip over last winter.

Roman Baths

This is the first attraction I went right upon arrival in Bath. This is a very popular tourist attraction in Bath, and also in South West England, so as you expected, queues can get very long. I would highly recommend you to book your tickets online prior to your visit! The Roman Baths are built here by the Romans during their invasion into Britain thousands of years ago, after knowing the hot springs bubbled up from the Earth. Visiting the Roman Baths is the best way to understand the history of Bath, where the entire self-guided audio tour will take approximately an hour plus.

After your tour of the Roman Baths, you could dine in The Pump Room Restaurant, situated right beside the Roman Baths. They are open from breakfast to afternoon tea.

Bath Abbey

Right in front of the Roman Baths is another magnificent piece of architecture – The Bath Abbey. It was built in the 7th century and was being rebuilt twice in the 12th and 16th centuries, with major restoration work being done in 1860. There are a total of 52 windows (that is 80% of the wall-space). Entrance fee is free, but a small donation is appreciated.

Pulteney Bridge

Pulteney Bridge crosses the River Avon, was completed in 1774. This 45-meter long bridge was often photographed together with the weir below it. This bridge is located close to the City Centre, a short 5-minute walking distance from the Bath Abbey. This is one of the nice-looking bridges, that are pretty well preserved.

No. 1 Royal Crescent

Bath is famous for its Georgian crescents, 15 minutes walk from the Bath Abbey will bring you to No. 1 Royal Crescent, where magnificently curved rows of apartments were housed. They are built between 1767 and 1774, and is one of the best spots to take some nice Instagrammable shots!

The Circus

Bath has another circular row of apartments, which is a short-walkable distance from No. 1 Royal Crescent, but for The Circus, it’s actually literally a circle with 3 entrances, with a small park with seats in the middle of the loop. This row of apartments was completed in 1768.

Sally Lunn’s Eating House

The final place I’ve visited was the oldest house in Bath – Sally Lunn’s Eating House (home of the world famous Sally Lunn Bun), it’s tucked in a corner near to Bath Abbey. The house was built in 1482, which was one of the oldest houses in Bath. Upon stepping in, you can feel the ‘back-in-time’, traditional feel. The buns were great and the vibes were lovely, the staffs were friendly and approachable! You could also make a visit to their small museum below the shop after you’ve dined in.

So… Here you go, these are the attractions that I’ve been on my day-trip to the beautiful city of Bath. Love the architecture here, and love the food! Hope this helps in your planning for your next trip to Bath!

10 Things To Do in Belfast, Northern Ireland

So… You’ve decided to visit Ireland for your upcoming holiday trip? First thing first, you will have to decide where to make your base, either the city of Belfast in Northern Ireland or the capital of the Republic of IrelandDublin.

Belfast and Dublin are about 168km apart, and driving would take you about 2 hours. I’ve decided to make my base in Belfast to have a road trip along Causeway Coastal Route.

Belfast is Northern Ireland’s capital, it was also the birthplace of the RMS Titanic! It’s the largest city in Northern Ireland and second-largest on the island of Ireland. Belfast was a popular port in the 19th century, where it played an important role during the Industrial Revolution and one of the key industry in Belfast’s port is shipbuilding where it houses the Harland And Woff shipyard, which built the RMS Titanic.

Belfast has 2 commercial airports – Belfast International Airport (serves domestic, European & International flights) and George Best Belfast City Airport (serves domestic & European flights). I flew KLM into George Best Belfast City Airport, and after collecting my rental car, a drive to the city centre took us only about 20 minutes.

 

So back to the main point of today’s blog… What the top 10 to-see in Belfast? (You may ask) Read on to know more!

1. Titanic Belfast

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You must (I say again) MUST visit the Titanic Belfast! I meant what else would you be doing in Belfast if you don’t visit the museum that showcases the history, the voyage, the ship, and the horror accident of RMS Titanic. This eight-storey building provides 12,000 square metres of space. The centrepiece is a series of interpretive galleries exploring aspects of the building, design, sinking and legacy of Titanic.

2. Belfast City Hall

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This iconic building can’t be missed, as it stands in the city centre. It first opened its door in 1906 and is Belfast’s civic building. There are free public tours (3 times a day) led by an experienced guide for you to understand more about the building and explore some of its finest features.

3. SS Nomadic

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SS Nomadic is widely known as the Titanic’s sister ship. It’s the last remaining White Star Line ship, which was used to transfer passengers and mail between RMS Titanic & RMS Olympic. SS Nomadic is now on display in the Titanic Quarter, opposite Titanic Belfast building. With four major decks on SS Nomadic, walking on it allows you to experience what it was like to be a passenger on your way to the RMS Titanic on her maiden voyage.

4. St George’s Market

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Located in the city centre, St George’s Market is a Victorian market built in the 1890s. This is one of the best markets in Belfast (imagine it’s popularity like Borough Market in London). It’s a food haven and a great place to spend your time during the weekend.

5. Botanic Gardens & Ulster Museum

 

 

Belfast’s Botanic Gardens is located near the Queen’s University Belfast, which occupies 28 acres. The gardens’ most notable feature is the Palm House Conservator that features tons of different species of plants. Ulster Museum is located at the entrance of the Botanic Gardens. This free-entry museum tells about the unique human story of Northen Ireland. You will get a chance to come face to face with dinosaurs, get up close with Egyptian mummy and many more in the museum. There is also a gift shop & cafe to enjoy after learning some amazing historical facts.

6. Peace Wall Belfast

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Similar to the Berlin Wall, Belfast Peace Wall reminds people of the troubles that ended 20+ years ago that separated communities. The walls are about 6m high, artwork can be seen on either side of the walls. More than 3,500 people were killed during this conflict, with up to 50,000 people injured. The conflict can still be seen on the walls now, with some arguments between Catholics and Protestants, and whether Northern Ireland should be part of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland. The Belfast Peace Wall can be seen along Falls Road and Shankhill Road.

7. Belfast Zoo

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Located at the outskirts of Belfast on the slope of Cavehill. It contains up to 55 species of different animals. The zoo offers different activities daily (e.g. zookeeper talks, animal shows, feeding times etc). The zoo was opened in 1934 and was one of the most popular attractions in Belfast. A trip to the zoo is definitely a must if you have brought kids along!

8. Victoria Square (The Dome)

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Image from Google

Victoria Square is the main shopping centre in Belfast where you could find restaurants (e.g. Nando’s, T.G.I.F, Pizza Hut etc), fashion outlets (e.g. Calvin Klein, H&M, JD Sports, MANGO etc), a cinema theatre and A DOME! Yes, you’ve heard it right, a glass dome at the top of Victoria Square where you can enjoy a 360-degree view of Belfast City in comfort.

9. Ulster Folk Museum & Transport Museum

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Image from Google

An hour drive from Belfast City Centre, you will find yourself at the Ulster Folk Museum & Transport Museum. Travel back in time at the Folk Museum, the museum showcase the rural life of the 20th century in Northern Ireland. Various activities are provided for visitors showing how the Irish life was through cooking, printing, and traditional crafts. 2 minutes walk from the Folk Museum, is the Transport Museum where you can find a very iconic Made-In-Ireland vehicle – DMC DeLorean. Visiting both museums would take some time, recommend visiting them as a day-trip!

10. Causeway Coastal Route

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THIS IS A MUST-VISIT, though it isn’t particular in Belfast. But you could rent a car from Belfast or book a tour package from Belfast to visit the Causeway Coastal Route! Read more about my blog post on the Causeway Coastal Route HERE.

So, these are my top 10 to see things in Belfast. What are yours? Share them with me and let’s help fellow globetrotters to better plan for their trip to Belfast. Cheers! ~

Hotel Review: The Student Hotel Amsterdam City

Choosing accommodations have been my top priority whenever I travel. The price has to be right, the location has to be convenient, and having some notable amenities would be a plus! And if possible, an Instagramable boutique hotel would definitely be awesome!

So for my Amsterdam trip last year, after some research, I’ve decided to stay at The Student Hotel Amsterdam City!

This modern, hippy hotel is located 30 minutes from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. This hotel location is quite ideal for visitors who want to be near to the city centre, to the main tourist attractions, but does not want the noise and buzz. The Student Hotel Amsterdam City is estimated 15 minutes from the top museums (e.g. Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum) in Amsterdam, around 5 minutes from Amsterdam Centraal Train Station.

Upon arrival, the exterior facade of the hotel may look dull and boring and honestly felt old. Reason for that is that the building was once a newspaper office block. The Student Hotel Amsterdam City is a combination of a luxury long-term student accommodation and hotel for short-stay, design-savvy social globetrotter.

In the hotel lobby, you will find tons of things that are normally not seen in a normal 4 or 5-stars hotel. There’s a pop-up store selling the hotel’s merchandises, pool table, table tennis table and a photo booth! The nearest Metro Station is just beside the hotel building – Wibautstraat.

But once you enter the main door, it’s totally, totally different! What welcomed us were hotel front desk staffs with big smiles! And everywhere in the hotel lobby is so Instagramable! Check-in was quick, fast and simple, we were both given a Stroopwafel each (NEAT).

Our room was on the 4th floor, I’ve booked a Suite during this trip (cost about S$365 for 3D2N). The rooms are pretty basic, felt somewhat like dorm rooms, but there’s everything that you would need. A  desk, a chair, a king-size bed, a Nespresso machine and of course a modern bathroom with bathtub. All 624 rooms have free reliable Wi-Fi access too!

Overall, I love and enjoyed my stay at The Student Hotel Amsterdam City! The customer service was superb, the sleep was awesome, the location was very ideal for first-timer traveller to Amsterdam.

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

 

Belfast’s Causeway Coastal Route – Perfect Road Trip For Game Of Thrones’ Fans

Last December, other than travelling to Amsterdam, I’ve also made visited the capital of Northern Ireland, Belfast. Northern Ireland has been a popular destination ever since the debut of HBO’s Game of Thrones TV series, and I’ve always heard lots of people telling me that the Causeway Coastal Route is one of the best driving routes in Europe! So, my girlfriend and I rented a Renault Megane Hatchback (from Hertz) and off we go!

Some background information about the Causeway Coastal Route first:

  • This spectacular route measures about 90km in length, starting from Belfast to Londonderry.
  • To fully enjoy the views and visit every attraction along this route, it would be a 4 days trip.
  • If you are a fan of Game Of Thrones, this route is definitely a must-visit, as you will be able to visit some of the scenes from the popular TV series!

But on this trip, we’ve only had one day, and it’s Christmas Eve. To fully utilise this day, I really had some plannings to do, as lots of places will be closed!

Not including the sights in Belfast, which we had been on a separate day. We started off our journey early, right after a filling breakfast! I’ve skipped several popular attractions that I highly recommend you to visit if there’s time, they are – The Gobbins, Glenarm Castle, Cushendun Caves, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.

The first stop we’ve arrived was what known as ‘The King’s Road’ from Game Of Thrones (Season 2, Episode 1). Yes, it’s The Dark Hedges! Just the first stop of our trip and I’m super excited to see the line of trees along the road! How did the trees come about? They were planted by a wealthy family that lived in Gracehill Mansion in the 18th Century. They wanted to have an impressive approach to their mansion, and so The Dark Hedges was born.

Next stop was Ballintoy Harbour, the filming location for ‘Pyke, The Iron Islands’. The coastline here is simply “WOAH!” breathtaking! This small quiet harbour can be found at the end of a small narrow steep road down Knocksaughey Hill, you will definitely pass by this harbour, as Ballintoy Harbour is located right in the middle the Causeway Coastal Route. History of Ballintoy Harbour… in the 1500s, this small harbour was used by fishermen to berthed their boats to sell fish in the shelter of the old lime kilns. The massive kilns were used to burn limestone which will be sent inland for farmers to neutralise their acid bogland soil.

After lunch, we arrived at the highlight of this road trip, also known as the Eighth Wonders of the World – Giant’s Causeway! The Giant’s Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption that took place here, but the name Giant’s Causeway comes from an old myth surrounding Finn MacCool, an Irish giant. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site! Depending on the time of your visit, it may get crowded at times, and on a safety note, the stones can be slippery if it’s been raining, so be sure to wear suitable footwear.

It’s around 3:30pm, and the last stop of this road trip is Mussenden Temple! Which turned out to be quite disappointing as the skies were turning dark, and I have no idea where to park my car! So I had to drive to Downhill Beach and took a photo of it from far… My fault for not researching well on it, but, but, but… It’s a must-visit site along the  Causeway Coastal Route too! This temple perches dramatically on a 120ft cliff top, high above the Atlantic Ocean on the north-western coast of Northern Ireland. The temple was built in 1785 as a summer library and forms part of the Downhill Demesne. Its architecture was inspired by the Temple of Vesta in Tivoli, near Rome, and was dedicated to the memory of Hervey’s cousin Frideswide Mussenden.

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At this point, it’s a 1hr 30mins drive back to Belfast, as it marks an end to my Causeway Coastal Route road trip! Overall, driving along the Causeway Coastal Route was enjoyable and fun! Traffic was little, and everyone that we’ve met was friendly! Views were spectacularly stunning, and it’s definitely one place that you should come, even if you’re not a fan of Game Of Thrones!

But if you are a fan of Game Of Thrones… WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? And there’s something more for the fans! From April to September 2019, Game Of Thrones: The Touring Exhibition will arrive in TEC Belfast. View more here!

Heineken Experience Amsterdam Review: Drinkers, Fall-In Now!

Months after my trip to Amsterdam, I’m finally starting my blog posts it, and I’m starting off with one of the most popular attractions of in Amsterdam – Heineken Experience Amsterdam. Because… It’s enriching and awesome, so read more to find out!

Heineken Experience Amsterdam is voted one of the most popular, and must-visit attractions in Amsterdam, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. They don’t actually brew the beer right in the location now, but it’s a museum about the beer brand and its brewery.

The queues into the brewery were pretty long, one queue is for walk-in visitors, while another is for pre-booked ticket holders. I had pre-booked my tickets thru Klook, but still, have to wait for quite some time. Staffs were giving out oliebol during our wait, which was kinda neat and pleasant!

Upon stepping into the brewery, the staff did a brief before our tour begins. To be honest, the early stages of the tour was quite boring and dry. But once you arrived in a room where there are 4 huge-ass brass barrels. The staff will talk about the brewing process, where the staff will tell an interesting short story about the four main ingredients of a Heineken beer – water, barley, hops and Heineken “A” yeast.

After that, you’ll get a chance to visit the historic brew room. It contains 8 copper kettles, serving different functions ranging from filtering the mash to adding hops. Before exiting the brew room, there’s a chance for visitors to try the wort – a non-alcoholic mixture of water & barley that’s been heated and filtered.

The next segment of the tour is quite interesting and fun, where it involved a simulator where you will become the beer yourself and experience the journey each beer takes through the brewery. After the simulation, in the beer tasting room, is the time most people are excited for. Finally, you get to taste the beer! A bartender will explain how you should drink the beer and what a perfect beer should look like.

You will then come into some rooms where you can play games, take photos. Lastly, you will arrive in the bar, where you will exchange 2 pints of Heineken with 2 tokens that you will be given at the start of the tour. There are other non-alcoholic beverages available if you are keen too.

Before exiting the brewery, you have the chance to purchase souvenirs and pick up your very own personalized Heineken bottles that you’ve created and ordered during your tour. (One personalized Heineken bottle costs €6,50.)

Heineken Experience Amsterdam is located at the former Heineken brewery right in the middle of the city centre – Stadhouderskade, a walking distance from the museums. I really enjoyed my time touring the brewery, this place is like a “Disneyland for Heineken Lovers”! Though it may be packed at times, this should be a must-visit, even if you are not into beers. The tour is very interesting, interactive and fun! Overall the tour would take about 1.5 to 2 hours, and it’s highly recommended to buy your tickets online – around S$30 from Klook!

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Address: Stadhouderskade 78, 1072 AE, Amsterdam

Opening Hours: 365 days. Monday to Thursday – 10:30 till 19:30 (Last Admission 17:30). Friday to Sunday – 10:30 till 21:00 (Last Admission 19:00)

 

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!

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).