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:
We're suckers for a good time-lapse image or video of an airport, and this week we might have found our new favorite.
Photographer Milton Tan received a behind the scenes pass to Singapore Changi Airport, and as a result—well, just watch the video and go here for additional images.
It kind of makes us want to bust out the tripod and head over to the airport this afternoon to grab some photographs for ourselves. If you've got any good ones, be sure to send them our way.
[Photo / Video: Milton Tan]
[Photo / Video: Milton Tan]
EVA Air Hello Kitty / Hello Kitty / Airline News / Airlines / Cartoon Travel / Singapore Travel / SIN / Taiwan Travel / Taipei Travel / EVA Air / TPE / → All Tags
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.
Up next for the airport is some kind of billion dollar shopping dome, so that you can spend that extra foreign currency—or just swipe the credit card—before you head out of town. The whole thing is known as Project Jewel, and included in the construction will be five-stories of fancy pants shops as well as an indoor garden. The icing on the cake is the circular waterfall that will cascade down right in the middle of the whole building.
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We can hardly keep up with how great things are over at Changi Airport, but yet again we’re ready to share some news about what fun stuff they’re adding to the terminals and concourses.
This week the airport is adding a little bit of the local foodie scene, as they’re taking a creative spin on the airport food court. The new options are all included within what they’re calling "Singapore Food Street," as they’re introducing 13 local hawker stalls right into the airport.
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In a new weekly Friday column, we'll explore street food and other culinary specialties from around the world.
Last week we brought you the traditional delicacies of Vietnam and, this week, we skip to another part of Southeast Asia for the colorful treats of Singapore. Kueh, as they're called, are not specific to Singapore; these tiny desserts can be found in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Southern China, but each country twists the basics into their own recipes.
Kueh (or kuih and kue) is really just a broad term signifying small cakes, cookies, dumplings, pudding, biscuit, or pastries made from rice or glutinous rice. Like most kueh, the Singaporean variety comes with no specific or authentic recipe since most of the methods have been handed down from generation to generation, creating a unique taste from color to color. Traditionally handmade for special events like Hari Raya and Lunar New Year, kueh is sold in food hawker stalls all year round.
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.
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We consider ourselves pretty darn familiar with things related to travel loyalty programs. From airlines to rental cars we know most of the ins and outs about points, miles, and free credits. However, we do need to hit the books and study up on one of the latest options, as airports getting in on the loyalty scene is certainly new to us.
It’s the airport awesomeness that is Singapore’s Changi Airport that is changing up their Changi Rewards Program. Membership is free, and you’ll earn points for every dollar you spend.
Like most other loyalty programs, the folks at Changi have set up three levels: member, gold, platinum. Travelers can reach gold status by spending $4,000 within the year, and it’s a platinum card if you throw down over $8,000 (which can be easily done if you're in the market for duty-free luxury goods). The program offers up coupons and what not during the year, and the deals and discounts get better as you climb the loyalty ladder.
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The Economist Intelligence Unit has just named their "most expensive cities" for 2014 and, knocking Tokyo from the top, the year's winner is Singapore. As the headlines around this ranking circulate, we feel it's important to note that this is for living in a city, and not simply traveling there. Singapore is actually one of the more affordable city destinations, and caters to all budgets.
For example, travelers can pay over $400 per night for a stay at the historic Raffles Hotel, or to splash in the famous infinity pool of the Marina Bay Sands. On the flip side, a night at one of our favorite hostels, the 5footway Inn, is only $25-$40. A room in a great boutique hotel will average $130 per night, but the big chains love to go luxe in Singapore with a $225 average.
Airfare is on par with average fares to London or Paris, even though with a trip to Singapore, you get thousands and thousands more miles for your money. Budget travelers should even keep a look-out for Singapore Airlines' occasional flight deals, like a recent one which offered US to Singapore in the airline's award-winning economy class for $999 roundtrip.
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We have all had a terrible meal on a flight before. In fact, we have shown you some of the sadder trays slid in front of us. With this new series of amazing airline meals, we can revel in the airline culinary delights and give kudos to the airlines that got it right.
Can we actually get lucky twice and score some tasty grub at 36,000 feet for a second time on the same airline? In short, yes. The Last time we were wowed by some delicious business class meals from Singapore Airlines, we were on the (then) world's longest flight, but the airline has delivered once again on a slightly shorter route.
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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: L'Occitane en Provence extras in the Singapore Airlines Business Class lavatories.
An airplane toilet is decidedly not the place you’d most look forward to visiting, but there are some exceptions.
In this case, take the lavatories of Business Class onboard Singapore Airlines, which are stocked with more than the usual comb, toothbrush and razor amenities, but also with premium L’Occitane en Provence toiletries.
There, on a shelf near a fresh orchid, are three signature products from the French brand:
It's that time of the year again, the time when the year just plain ends. Alas, we can't just let 2013 go that easily, especially since travelers spent it both up in the air and up in arms over a crazy range of topics. Needless to say, we're ready to get going into 2014, but first we're taking a brief look back at the best of 2013 with the Jaunted Travel Awards,or as we fondly refer to themThe Jauntys.
It was in early June that a normal Singapore Airlines flight made Instagram and, by extension, the internet, freak out. The flightnonstop on an Airbus A380 from Singapore to Londonencountered severe turbulence for only a few seconds, but it was long enough to shake the double=decker superjumbo aircraft into what looked like a junior high cafeteria food fight.
Now comes the extraordinary part of the story, as passengers managed to snap and share "before and after" photos of the scene. The photos went viral and, to the credit of Singapore Airlines' crew, the world was awestruck at the efficiency of the emergency management of the situation.
Of course it was such a chance occurrencethat this would happen to the world's largest passenger plane, that it would be on an airline most known for their prim and properness, and that it would be a story told completely through social media.