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Airline Uniforms / Airline News / Korean Travel / Asiana Airlines / Singapore / Airlines / Virgin Atlantic / Virgin Australia / → All Tags
Let them wear pants! Asiana Airlines female cabin crew have spoken out against employer regulations mandating them to wear skirts while working. The flight attendants, with help from their union, have proposed to executives to offer more uniform options beyond just knee length skirts.
Asiana has fought back by saying the uniform was based on traditional Korean dress called a hanbok and women didn't wear pants with this dress. For those that don't know what a hanbok looks like, it is a high-waisted dress, so it makes sense that women wouldn't wear pants. Asiana has no plans to change the uniforms rules in the future. Alas, the desire for a change doesn't stop at just the skirts.
Changi Airport / Singapore / Airports / Celeb Travel / Tommy Lee / Vince Neil / → All Tags
Singapore’s Changi Airport is pulling out all the stops to make sure its customers don’t stray. From adding terminals to providing free entertainment, there seems to be no end to their schemes to stop us from flying through places like Dubai or Hong Kong instead.
Now they’ve got a "Smile Campaign" going to improve customer service within the airport (which doesn’t sound too original), and they’re also using a celebrity meet-and-greet idea to entice people to come.
Last week slightly-aged rockers Tommy Lee and Vince Neil from Mötley Crüe welcomed passengers at Terminal 2. Because there’s obviously, uh, a strong connection between Mötley Crüe and Singapore.
[Photo: Aviation Record]
The great hub of Singapore's Changi Airport is already on the way to getting bigger, but now it's also getting better. Head to the third floor of the Terminal 2 building and you can now hang out in the Entertainment Deck, formally referred to as the "one-stop integrated entertainment zone."
The powers-that-be know that transit passengers have needs--could they mention this to other airports?--so the Entertainment Deck is there to help us pass the time: there's a free LAN gaming room, Xbox and Playstation consoles to use for free, a free cinema, music booths and a comic and collectibles shop.
You read right, heaps of that stuff is free to use. Isn't Changi Airport a friendly place? It almost makes you want to get stuck in transit waiting for a delayed plane... but not quite.
The paint on the third terminal at Singapore's massive Changi Airport is barely dry, but they're already thinking about the fourth. According to the Singaporean transport minister:
We must expand our capacity and add the fourth terminal because our status as a global aviation hub is threatened by rivals.
Although we still see Singapore as the clear choice for a hub fly-through, apparently officials fear that Dubai, Bangkok or Hong Kong could overtake them. Using an "if we build it, they will come" philosophy, Singapore hopes that the stray long-haul passengers who've started flying through Dubai instead will return.
With plenty of budget airline action happening in the Australasian region too, the budget airline terminal at Changi is also going to be expanded. They're predicting an increase in LCC passenger numbers from 2.7 million up to 9 million by 2009. With that many passengers circling the skies, we're hoping to see plenty of bargain prices.
Singapore / Zoos / Animals / → All Tags
At Singapore's unique Night Safari zoo, where visitors can walk through a tropical jungle full of animals at night, there must be something in the water. Baby animals are popping out all over the joint, and so far there are 30 new animals to see.
Among the new additions are a baby barking deer, two baby bat-eared foxes, two baby spotted hyenas and a baby Himalayan tahr named Nila. Zoo officials claim the birth spike is a tribute to their successful breeding program, but we still think there's potential for it to become the new fertility-wishing hotspot. Romania's Humping Hill is probably getting a bit crowded.
The already strict Singaporeans have just announced their plan to install face scanners as part of the biometric security procedures at immigration checkpoints on the way into the country. The new machines will use "facial recognition technology" (whatever exactly that is--presumably something more sophisticated than "it's a nose") to track incoming visitors at the airport, seaports and land borders.
Once the system is up and running they say they'll process 250,000 faces a day. We don't know if getting Botox-ed before you fly will affect your ability to enter Singapore--but if you follow the example of stripping for the airport security people, perhaps a face that doesn't quite match the records will be overlooked.
· Singapore To Install Face Scanners [SMH]
· Girl Strips Her Way Through Airport Security [Jaunted]
If you decide to head over to Singapore's Underwater World and companion Dolphin Lagoon, there are a few ways to get there, but the most scenic is definitely by using the cable car. The Mount Faber Cable Car wizzes you over the harbor and gives you a great view of the remaining tropical forest sections of Sentosa Island.
It might sound just like a simple cable car ride, but the promoters promise it's much more than that:
Feel your emotions build up the moment you step in the cable car. The thrill of anticipation as your cabin leaves the station. The exhilaration as you glance at the world below ... A ride on a cable car promises all that and more ...The "more" that we found was a cruise ship docked below us--our thrill was to try to spit into its swimming pool. But everyone gets their thrills in different ways.
We've already mentioned that the Singapore Zoo and its fluffy free-ranging orang utans are a must-see. Well, in what sounds like a clever marketing ploy but is in fact a really quite amazing place to visit, the guys at Singapore Zoo started up a night zoo next door. Yep, you have to pay an admission fee again (although you can get a discount if you buy tickets for both attractions) but we are here to tell you that this time, it's worth it.
The Night Safari works on the sensible principle that some animals are more active at night. So instead of wandering around a normal zoo during the daytime and watching weary creatures snoozing in the corner, head to Singapore's Night Safari after 7pm and you can creep around in the dark and spy on tigers, elephants, lions and numerous smaller four-legged surprises, carefully lit by just enough light for us see them but for them to still think it's night time.
Two choices: take the bus-style-train on a circuit of the park, or better still, walk the various trails that loop around to all the enclosures. It's a little spooky at first, and with most of the tourists sitting on the bus all night and missing half of the good bits, you might find yourself feeling somewhat alone in a dark eerie jungle, but don't worry: they do remember to keep all those enclosure doors locked. The worst we saw was a venomous snake slithering across the path in front of us--a good authentic experience and much better than meeting a lion.
[Photo: Marcus from Vienna (AT)]
· Free Range Orang Utans Now Available [Jaunted]
Singapore / Zoos / Animals / → All Tags
We thought it was just eggs that came in the free range variety. Until we stepped into Singapore Zoo, that is, and learned about the free ranging orang utan program. Already a pretty impressive zoo (beating nearby Sentosa Island's Underwater World hands down), some of its newest features really make it worth a visit.
So what's a free ranging orang utan? It's a neat system they've set up where the orang utans don't exactly have an enclosure, but live above the zoo. A series of trees and ropes are carefully arranged so that the orang utans have a life-like natural area to swing and climb around, without (usually) hopping down into the middle of a heavily trafficked zoo path. A couple of mechanically-assisted trees can be moved when trainers want the orang utans to get a bit closer to earth, either for check-ups or public appearances. We don't speak orang utan ourselves, but we're sure they told us that if you have to be a zoo orang utan, this is the place for it.
· Haze Threatens Wildlife (Singapore Orang Utans Safe!) [NewsAsia]
· Singapore From Underwater [Jaunted]
Getting something for nothing always appeals to us. So when we discovered that entry to the Singapore Underwater World includes a free entry ticket to the Dolphin Lagoon on the other side of Sentosa Island, we were pretty pleased.
The process is all simple enough: when you've finished ogling the glowing jellyfish at Underwater World, hop on a free shuttle bus outside and get scooted over to Dolphin Lagoon. Follow the crowd in through the turnstile and if you can find a space in front of the lagoon, take a seat.
A couple of beautiful dolphins will be put through their paces and lucky audience volunteers get to wade into the water (too bad if you're wearing your Sunday best) and touch them. The routine is designed to include:
a series of interactive, feeding and training sessions specially designed to demonstrate their natural ability of tail-walking synchronization.But there's a lot of ball tossing and hoop jumping going on, and we're not sure if that's okay. We know dolphins are intelligent, but is shaking hands really a natural wild behavior? Decide for yourself, or pay extra to book your own swim-time with the great beauties, and try your own wild behavior out on them.
· Singapore From Underwater [Jaunted]
There are aquariums across the world all claiming to be the best for some reason or other. Singapore's Underwater World on Sentosa Island describes itself as Asia's largest tropical oceanarium (fair enough, if you want to get technical), and does include a reasonable collection of crabs, glow-in-the-dark jellyfish, some sharks, a dugong and run-of-the-mill fish too.
But it's 25 years old and it looks like it. If you've been to another aquarium--Osaka Aquarium comes to mind--you might be disappointed. The travelator that should zoom you round the aquarium tunnel is a little narrow; the glass is a little scratched and hazy and the fish--well, we're sure we saw one frown at us.
· The Sunfish Diet [Jaunted]
New York Times / Singapore / Food / Restaurants / → All Tags
Nice, titillating piece in the Times this Sunday, about food in Singapore. R.W. Apple Jr. runs through some old favorites and new developments, covering quite a bit of Singaporean cuisine's impossibly broad spectrum of flavors.
There's Iggy's, "the best" but "least well known" of the city's latest crop of elegant restaurants, with its marbled goby tempura and tropical fruit terrine, and My Humble House, with its artfully named dishes like "Drifting Clouds of the Autumn Sky," a.k.a. green tea dumplings. Yes, there's lots of hip, modern fusion going on, but he also gives nods to Singapore's street food and Il Lido (pictured), an Italian restaurant on the island of Sentosa.
The article also links us to Chubby Hubby, a rocking Singapore foodblog that contains additional information on (and pictures of) many of Apple's picks.
· Singapore: A Repressed City-State? Not in Its Kitchens [NY Times]
· Tony Bourdain in Singapore [Jaunted]