Singapore Travel Guide
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Not gonna lie, Singapore Airlines deserves their reputation (and many awards) as one of the world's best airlines.
From the fluffy pillows with shams (even in Economy Class!) to the flight attendants who've been trained in both etiquette and oenology, Singapore is top-notch, a fact recently underscored by a review of their Suites Class. It's only too bad that much of that review was plagiarized. Also, the title is misleading; the $23,000 refers to the ticket's cost in Singapore Dollars. Priced in USD, it is closer to $18,000, but October flights in Suites are ringing up lower, around $7,000 each way/$14,000 roundtrip. Business Class is half that, with many of the same perks.
Regardless, the personalized service and thoughtful details are a hallmark of Singapore Airlines across all classes. Here's several semi-secret specialties you'll find on every Singapore Airlines flight:
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If we’ve learned one thing about the world in the last few years, it is that Hello Kitty is only gaining in ubiquity. From airport shops and her own Los Angeles convention to kitty-print toilet paper and every accessory under the sun, the cartoon cat missing a mouth has steamrolled beyond Barbie, the X-Men, and more in her quest for world domination.
Since 2005, that success has included airplanes, with Taiwanese carrier EVA Airways debuting Airbus A330s (and, last year, an extra special Boeing 777-300ER) covered tip to tail in Hello Kitty imagery. When we say tip to tail, we mean even the interior; the Hello Kitty flights, of which there are 6 regular routes originating in Taipei (Los Angeles, Seoul, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Fukuoka, Hokkaido), please passengers with Hello Kitty-theme in-flight shopping, in-flight entertainment, and in-flight meals.
Singapore might be synonymous with skyscrapers (many just tall, some tall and slightly mental) and shopping malls, but there is a place to escape the city and focus on things much smaller and delicate: the beautiful orchids on display inside the city’s National Orchid Garden, showcasing over 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrids.
Part of Singapore’s Botanic Gardens, which date back to 1859, it’s a perfect antidote to a few days of city life, whether you’re an avid horticulturalist or just appreciate the pretty. The small entrance fee (SGD5 / $4) is worth it, especially since access to the rest of the Gardens is free.
What is the one thing that Bizarre Foods' star Andrew Zimmern just cannot make himself eat?
If you answered the Asian fruit Durian, then you're correct! The spiky-on-the-outside, custardy-on-the-inside produce is infamously smelly and banned from subway systems and hotel rooms; the stench is often likened to rotting foot flesh. That's a little extreme, especially since the meat of the fruit itself is quite tasty once cut up and served, whether on its own or in ice creams, puddings or cakes.
Durian is popular all over Southeast Asia, and has just made the big time as a featured item at McDonalds as part of the new "Singapura Feast" menu inyou guessed itSingapore.
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Singapore Airlines is an airline of superlatives. Not only do they boast the largest lie-flat bed, the most luxurious airplane suite, and the longest routes in the world, but with today's debut of what they're calling the "SIA Next Gen" seats and entertainment, the words "newest" and "most advanced" now enter the picture. Let's take a closer look.
The Jaunted Series on Singapore Airlines' Next Gen
1. First Class
2. Business Class
3. Economy Class
4. In-flight entertainment
Whoever thought flying commercial could be like this?
Fully stretched out in front of a 24" TV, sipping Dom Pérignon or Krug (your choice), dining on caviar blinis and lobster thermidor, and still squeezing in a night's rest under a fluffy duvet while even fluffier clouds pass within feet of your spot in the skythis is the new Singapore Airlines First Class experience and it almost seems unreal...except we saw it for ourselves today.
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We hope you’re familiar with the story of Nathan Sawaya, the lawyer-turned-artist who ditched his legal career for his true passion: playing with LEGOs. Nathan has taken the humble building block we all know from when we were little and used it to create pieces of art to delight all ages, making his exhibit The Art Of The Brick a runaway success.
As part of its global tour, The Art Of The Brick will be hitting New York next month, opening on June 14 at Discovery Times Square. Tickets are already on sale, but first we have a preview for you today, having had a chance to check it out in Singapore, where it’s on its current run in the Art Science Museum at the giant Marina Bay Sands complex.
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You buy the tickets, you fly on the planes, you take your free baggie of peanuts from the flight attendants...but chances are you'll never get to see inside the headquarters of that airline you're flying. And yet it's there where the magic really happens.
We've been very fortunate to tour the HQs of several airlines, but none with its own Wine Room or wave machine. Welcome to SIA Centre, the training HQ of Singapore Airlines near Changi International Airport in Singapore.
Through the gates and into an atrium decorated with the crew uniforms and ephemera of the airline's long history, we reach the heart of SIA. This is where 6,000 crew comes to earn their wings and where each piece of the brand bearing the Singapore Airlines logofrom First Class china to seatback safety cardsis treated with the reverence of a museum exhibit.
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It's no secret that Singapore-Changi International Airport is one of our personal favorite airports, in addition to being consistently ranked as one of the world's top three. Just this week, a friend had her first visit to Changi and, though only transferring flights with a few hours to spare, she decided to visit all the gardens and koi fish ponds.
Just as Changi does an airport right, they also excel at tallying up their operations into impressive facts and figures. Today they sent along a lengthy slew of such stats, but we've narrowed 'em down to just the most "whoah." Memorize them and awe your friends with your airport knowledge...or don't. Either way, enjoy:
In the midst of the bustle of travel, it's all too easy to overlook the details. We're talking about special touches others have stressed over just so you can enjoy a unique experience, whether you know it or not. Every so often we'll highlight The Little Things like this, so now you will know.
The Little Thing: Singapore Airlines' in-flight TWG Tea, specifically the "Singapore Breakfast" blend.
TWG Tea is a Singapore tea purveyor that sells the allure of Singapore's history with every teabag. Singapore Airlines chose them to provide their onboard tea variety, and the assortments (with flavor notes) are even listed in the Singapore Business and First/Suites menus. Here's what the official TWG site has to say about "Singapore Breakfast":
A tantalising elixir to inspire new beginnings, this noble TWG breakfast blend is evocative of the sophisticated harmony of Singapore. Boasting a natural blend of green tea, black tea, rich vanilla and rare spices, this tea yields a complex flavour with a sweet and lingering aftertaste.
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Hey, who wants to fly to Frankfurt onboard an Airbus A380? Trick question! Who doesn't?
If you followed along with our incredible journey on none other than the Singapore Airlines A380 recently, then we've got super awesome news: the mega flight deal from New York-JFK to Frankfurt has returned, for a 15-day sale.
As the weather in Europe warms, prices will go up. Book this now or forever hold your peace. Here's the deal: roundtrip in economy between JFK and FRA on the Singapore A380 for $774, all taxes and fees included. Search Singaporeair.com to find the low fares, which are good for travel between February 15 and May 31, 2012; just be sure to book the tickets by February 29.
This is perfect for east coasters who want the opportunity to fly on an A380, but with the best service for the lowest price. Plus Lufthansa has removed their A380s from JFK for the winter, so if you've got to head to Frankfurt anyway...
When we travel, one of our favorite things to do is to pop into a local grocery store and check out the food products and candies we'd never find anywhere else. So we're trying out this new feature, Foreign Grocery Friday, where each week we'll feature some of our (and your) favorite overseas treats. Got a recommendation? Let us know!
It can be tempting while traveling, especially for more than a week or two, to revert back to ordering the comfort foods with which you grew up. This maybe means eggs and bacon for breakfast or something similarly boring. Of course we urge you to overcome the temptation and, instead, take even more to the local menus. In Singapore, this means Kaya Toast for breakfast.
Kaya jam, which can be bought in jars in the grocery store, is a mix of eggs, sugar, coconut milk and pandan leaf. It's spread between two thin, toasted piece of bread and cut to neat rectangles. Adding butter is optional, depending on how decadent you feel.
Yes, it's green, but once you get over that and just bite in, you'll immediately forget the color for the flavor.
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There's a reason Singapore-Changi International Airport consistently wins awards; it's because the place is ah-may-zing. After spending much time at the three main terminals earlier this week, we're sharing with you our favorite, can't-miss bits of this massive travel hub.
Today: The famous pool atop Changi Airport's Terminal 1
Look, you have to believe us when we say that one of the terminals at Changi Airport has a swimming pool. Why? Because, crazily enough, it's true. You'll find the clear blue waters of the outdoor pool above Terminal 1, just follow the "swimming pool" signs and an escalator to reach it.
Technically, this pool (and whirlpool) is part of a hotel in the terminalthe Ambassador Transit Hotelbut it's actually situated across a landing from the hotel reception and, thus, quite easy to check out on your own before paying the $13.91 SGD ($11.15 USD) to actually use the facilities and take a dip.