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Monday, October 20, 2014

RWS8 Shuttle Bus to Resorts World Casino or Universal Studios from HarbourFront MRT Singapore: Fare, Timings, Pick-up and Drop Points

In Macau, one gets a free shuttle bus to almost any major casino from almost any part of the city. But then, Macau is a casino city and Singapore is not. There are only two casinos in Singapore, one of which is at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) one level below the Universal Studios Theme Park. RWS casino is open 24 hours a day but the only travel option to get there or to get out of there will be a public taxi unless one is travelling within the MRT working hours. Trust me it matters, particularly after having a bad day at the casino, it would hurt your sentiment even more if you have to pay another dozen Singapore Dollars to get back to your hotel. So a smart thing to do will be to get there early and plan your exit by 11.00pm and another 15 minutes earlier if you have kept your bag or other stuff at their Locker Rental Station. Keep reading for the fare, timings and pickup-drop details & directions about this service and also about a weekend late night service that operates between 11.30pm and 2.00am...




Saturday, October 18, 2014

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum Chinatown Singapore: Essential Information

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum is one of the main attractions of Chinatown in Singapore. In this page, you will find all the essential information that you need to do a fruitful visit to this place. Buddha Tooth Relic Temple can be reached via an MRT train. Alight at the Chinatown MRT Station and take Exit A, that goes towards Pagoda Street. Here you will find Chinatown's famous street market. Go all the way through the street market and come to the South Bridge Road. On this road, turn right and walk a little. You will find yourself outside the temple. The temple is open everyday (including public holidays) from 7.00am to 7.00pm. Car parking in this building (in basements 2 and 3) is also open everyday from 7.00am to 7.00pm. The Buddha Tooth Temple and Museum houses, among other artefacts, a Sacred Buddha Tooth Relic on the fourth floor, in a room called the Sacred Light Hall. Photography inside this room is not permitted. Free guided tours of the temple are available on Saturdays. To register for a tour, one needs to SMS one's name followed by the selected Saturday's date to +65 81460717. The meeting point for the tour is outside the front office on the 1st floor. The date and time of the next available tour is displayed at the temple. Keep reading for more...

Why You Should Not Trust Tripadvisor Hotel Review Score With Your Eyes Closed

This article is meant to help my fellow travellers in being cautious while booking or rejecting a hotel solely based on its review score on Tripadvisor. But even before I start, I would like to clarify that I have a very high regard for the millions of travellers who share their actual travel experiences through reviews and forum posts on Tripadvisor. These genuine reviews are alone responsible for the massive influence that Tripadvisor has today over the global travel industry's business. However, sadly, all does not seem well there. In May 2014, BBC ran an online story titled "Trip Advisor 'fake reviews' investigated in Italy" (Link: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-27486870). In fact if you type three words in Google: "Tripadvisor Fake Reviews", you will be surprised to see how hot this topic is. From what I could learn online and from my own personal knowledge and experience, these are the problem areas: (i) Fake positive reviews by hotel owners to attract more business, (ii) Fake negative reviews by a hotel's competitors meant to hurt its business. (iii) Totally fake business listings, and (iv) Reviews solicited by Tripadvisor by offering incentives. Now let us talk about the above problem areas one by one...

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Is It Worth Buying Electronics in Singapore Any More?

I remember the good old days when any trip to Singapore would mean bringing home several "Made in Japan's", like cameras, handycams, TVs, music systems, and what not. Then a few years ago, things changed. In the year 2010 to be precise, my friend in Singapore told me that the only electronics item worth buying in Singapore was LCD/LED TVs because everything else had become too expensive. I got to verify his claim too. During that trip, I spent a lot of time in Little India and so I was able to visit the three main shopping destinations for electronics in Little India, Singapore. Those were: (i) Mustafa Centre, the ever popular 24/7 shopping mall of Little India Singapore, (ii) Naranjan (close to Mustafa), the twin shops selling electronics at prices slightly lower than what would be charged by Mustafa, and (iii) Sim Lim Square, the digital mega mall which is at a walking distance from Little India and Bugis MRT Stations. Most of the stuff available in these three places was more expensive as compared to most of the online shopping websites in India. On top of that, the quality  and international warranty on the electronics purchased in those three places emerged as big concerns. Keep reading...

Friday, September 19, 2014

Vegetarian (Eggless) Cookies from Koi Kei Bakery in Macau & Singapore

Koi Kei Bakery (Pastelaria Koi Kei) has several shops in Macau. Still, due to its immense popularity, almost all those shops are always very crowded especially those located at Senado Square on the streets leading to the Ruins of St. Paul's. They have at least one shop in Singapore too which is located at 56, Temple Street, Chinatown, Singapore (Phone: 6225-7677). I love to shop at Koi Kei but being vegetarian, my choices there are always limited. In both their locations in Macau and Singapore I have been able to find at least two variants of their cookies that are vegetarian, which means that as per the list of ingredients these cookies do not contain eggs. However, before I give the details on these two variants, a disclaimer will be in order. These cookies are made in bakeries where cookies containing eggs are also made. Hence, similar to the warnings on possibly allergic ingredients found on many processed foods packages, the packets of these eggless cookies too have a warning on them that the cookies may contain traces of eggs. One needs to be practical here and decide whether one wants to eat these cookies or not. Don't we eat vegetarian food in restaurants that also serve non-vegetarian food? Now read more...

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Sichuan Pepper in Chinatown Singapore at Yue Hwa Chinese Products

In the past, I have tried to look for Sichuan Pepper Corns in super markets (not Yue Hwa) in Hong Kong but never succeeded, sometimes they did not have it and at other times I could not break the language barrier. Sichuan Pepper became important for me after I watched a Chinese food show on TV, in which they sprinkled a mix of this spice and sea-salt on batter fried vegetables. Must be different from the regular black pepper powder that I normally use. Motivated by this curiosity and suddenly having found myself standing at the doorstep of Yue Hwa Chinese Products in Chinatown Singapore, I decided to try my luck one more time. Yue Hwa Chinese Products is a multi-story building in Chinatown. To get there, go to Chinatown MRT station and take exit "C". When you come out, you will find yourself in front of People's Park Complex. Come out to the main road and turn left. Yue Hwa is at the left side corner of the road. There are six levels in this building out of which the top (6th) level is their office. Merchandise is sold on the first five floors. Keep reading...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Indian Vegetarian Food Near Mustafa Centre Little India Singapore

In my humble opinion, the biggest attraction of Little India in Singapore is its most famous shopping mall - Mustafa Centre. Another main attraction here, of course, is countless Indian restaurants. Fortunately for vegetarians like myself, the choice of Indian vegetarian restaurants around Mustafa Centre is heartening. I was really happy to find many restaurant names that are popular in India doing great business in the roads adjoining Mustafa Centre. There is Sarvana Bhavan from South India and Bikaner Express from the North, and so on. At least two of the Indian restaurants almost at the doorstep of Mustafa Centre open 24 hours a day, one of which is 100% vegetarian. Cost-wise too, there are options and bargains to look for. There is a SGD 5.00 unlimited rice meal buffet and and a tea/coffee with Samosa costs only SGD 1.50 if you know where to look for. Keep reading for the details and pictures...

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Eight Treasures Vegetarian Restaurant Sago Lane Chinatown Singapore

A side benefit of eating at Chinatown's excellent CI YAN Vegetarian Health Food Restaurant was that a regular customer there told me about two other vegetarian restaurants in Chinatown. Annalakshmi Indian Vegetarian (Eat All You Can - Pay What You Like) was one of them which I totally recommend. The info on the other one - "Eight Treasures Vegetarian" came along with a warning - "It would be expensive to eat there". Since it was only the third vegetarian food joint in Chinatown I knew of, I had to go there. Expensive or otherwise. The location of Eight Treasures Vegetarian is interesting. Officially, the address of the place is 282, South Bridge Road. Its on the first floor, above its sister joint called "Well Dressed Salad Bar & Cafe". But the entry to Eight Treasures is on Sago Street or Sago Lane which is called the Street of the Dead. Eight Treasures could be called 'Food for the Living on the Street of the Dead'. Ironic no doubt, but the food they serve here is interesting too. An imaginative mix of real vegetarian preparations and those with fake meats created from soy and mushrooms. Eight Treasures Vegetarian opens everyday from 11am to 3pm, 5pm to 10pm on weekdays and 11am to 10pm on public holidays, 1st and 15th of the Lunar Calendar. It is possible to make reservations, phone: 6534-7727. Keep reading...

Sunday, September 7, 2014

CI YAN Vegetarian Health Food Smith Street (Food Street) Chinatown Singapore

This daily 11.00am to 11.00pm Street food festival at Smith Street (Food Street) in Chinatown (MRT Exit A) Singapore, is a mainly non-vegetarian affair. It is hard to find anything for vegetarians here unless one really knows where to go. I walked up and down the whole street twice before getting lucky to spot this joint close to the Temple Street end. Its called CI YAN Organic Vegetarian Health Food and is open daily from 12.00pm to 9.30pm. The menu is short, consisting of about six items of food and one of dessert, and it changes daily except for the "Brown Rice Set Meal" (SGD 6.50) which is served everyday. The "Today's Menu" is displayed on a black board outside the restaurant. Really helpful. When I visited them, it was, apart from the set meal, Braised Mushroom Duck (soy) Noodles (SGD 5.50), Sloppy Joe Burger (SGD 7.50), Minestrone Soup (SGD 3.00), and White Fungus and Papaya (SGD 2.50) for dessert. The rest was sold out and erased from the black board. The restaurant has basic furnishing (wooden stools for chairs), Buddhist temple like decor, and a couple of staff. One is supposed to order at the counter and pay before taking a seat. They serve the food on the table but afterwards the customers are expected to go keep the used dishes at the designated place. The food is good, really tasty, and the brown rice is organic. It does feel like one is eating healthy food so all that formality of ordering & paying first and clearing the used plates from the table does not seem like a hassle. Keep reading, see pictures below...
Blog by: Narinder Singh