Bacall Associates Travel on Essential Tips For Business Travelers Visiting Singapore

I’ve probably travelled to Singapore about 20 times in the past 3 years. I visit frequently to work with clients of Xpat Media. A couple of weeks ago I visited to speak at ITB Asia with several bloggers from the Professional Travel Bloggers Association.

As I was zipping around town to meetings I realized how well I’ve gotten to know the city and wanted to pass along a few of the things that have helped me make the most of my time there.

Get The 100GB Sim Card

This probably won’t last forever, but for as long as it’s around it’s great. At the airport you can pick up an S$50 ($37 USD) M1 SIM Card. It normally gives you 5GB of data for 7 days, which is lots, but right now you get a bonus 100GB, so you never have to worry about struggling to connect to overloaded conference wifi or a slow hotel network. With that much data you can stream HD Netflix every night in your room.

Use The Right Transport For The Right Travel

I use five methods of transportation in Singapore. Taxi, Uber, Mass Rail Transit (MRT), and walking. Each are great for some situations, but terrible for others. Here’s the deal.

To And From The Airport: Taxis and Ubers will be fastest most of the time, but the MRT is very fast and convenient. I usually take the MRT into town out of habit. If you’re in a rush to get to the airport, a taxi or Uber will almost always be fastest. However, if you’re traveling during evening rush hour you’ll want to take the MRT or budget extra time for your drive.

Taxis And Ubers: I almost always prefer using Uber instead of taxis for one simple reason: I don’t have to tell the driver where to go. In a strange city it’s always a chore to explain where you need to go, especially if there’s a language barrier. In Singapore I default to Uber…most of the time.

Downtown Singapore is a maze of one way streets. On my last trip I tried several times to order an Uber only to watch it painfully try to wind its way through a circle of one-way streets during busy middle-of-the-day traffic to find me. It’s not worth it. If you’re in the city center you’re better off walking or asking somebody where to find the nearest taxi stand (there are many).

Walking: Central Singapore is really small. You can walk to a lot of places in 20 minutes. Before you jump into a cab or an Uber, it’s worth asking yourself if you can just walk it. This is especially recommended if your route will take you along river, which has a beautiful, wide, pathway lined with bars and restaurants.

Use The Best Meeting Room In The Marina Bay Sands

Every time I visit Singapore for a conference it’s in the Marina Bay Sands, which is great. The MBS has the nicest conference area I’ve ever been in. What I love most, though, is the cafe where I hide out to work and have meetings: the Sweet Spot Cafe on the second floor.

This place is great. It’s just far enough from the conference center that it doesn’t get too crowded, but it’s close enough that anyone can find it and get there in 10 minutes. It has good coffee, sandwiches, and regular tables as well as sofas and coffee tables. There are power outlets along one wall and a business center next door.

I usually spend more time there than in the conference hall.

To find it, take the escalators from the conference area up to the main floor. Then walk into the mall. On your immediate left you’ll see a very tall escalator. Take it to the top and walk straight ahead. You’ll walk right into it.

Check Out Singapore’s Air BnB For Business Travelers

MetroResidences is a Singapore-based Air BnB-style service for business travelers to find serviced apartments. I stayed with them on my last trip and it was just what I needed. The room had a great view and kitchen where I could make coffee while working. The building had a nice gym and a pool. But most importantly it was right downtown within walking distance of most of my meetings and right across the street from Telok Ayer food market, which has a crazy selection of good cheap restaurants to grab a quick bite on my way to or from the apartment.

Don’t Stress Too Much About Your Flight Home

I would never advise anybody that they shouldn’t show up two hours early for an international flight.

IBut, Changi Airport in Singapore is a lot more forgiving than most. Like most things in Singapore, the airport is crazy efficient. Customs is usually fast and unlike most airports in the world — which funnel passengers for all flights through long security lines in one screening area — Changi performs security checks at your gate. So, getting to your gate in time for your flight is much faster than at most airports.

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Bacall Associates Travel Singapore: Innocent Hand Gestures You Should Never Use When Traveling Overseas

Several gestures are cool and fun in the United States that mean something completely different and offensive in other countries. Avoid these 10 hand gestures when traveling abroad!

Thumbs-Up

The thumbs-up connotes approval or like in the U.S. and on Facebook. However, in Afghanistan, Iran, parts of Italy, and Greece, it means up yours. Next time you are trying to hitchhike in, Tuscany, you should reassess before sticking out your thumb.

Peace Sign With Palm Facing Inward

The peace sign gesture is what we often do when we want to wish someone peace, or when we want two. In the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, or New Zealand, make sure that when you do the peace sign, you have your index and middle fingers pointed up in the V shape and your palm is facing outward. Or else, you are giving the equal of the middle finger.

The OK

Making a circle with your index finger and thumb is not OK in several countries. In France, the gesture, for example, connotes zero or worthless. In Venezuela, Turkey, and Brazil, it symbolizes a vulgar slang that will insult anyone you show it.

Finger Summoning

The finger summoning gesture is what we do when we want someone to come closer or come over. In the Philippines, doing this using the curled index finger is perceived as rude. People there view the gesture as reserved for calling dogs. In places like Japan and Singapore, this act signifies death and calling bad luck.

Left Hand

In the Middle East, Sri Lanka, India, and Africa, people who are left-handed are traditionally viewed as filthy or unclean. The people in these places associates left hand as the one used in cleaning yourself in the bathroom, says Cracked.

Crossing Fingers

Crossing your index and middle fingers will not bring you good luck in Vietnam. In Vietnam, doing this gesture is very rude. Traditionally, this connotes a part of the female anatomy and is considered as very impolite when flashed at another person.

Bacall Associates Travel Singapore: Eight Ways to Save on Travel in 2017

Saving on flights, hotels and other aspects of travel is a question of how much you value your time versus hours and energy spent. You can scour the internet for low prices on rooms and airfares, but at some point you just have to pull the trigger so you can start planning your trip. Keeping that in mind, there are still some great, relatively easy ways to get more bang for your travel buck in the new year. Here are eight things to think about as we boldly forge into 2017.

1. SAVE MONEY without thinking about it. Spending less money on that next trip is all fine and good — but what if you don’t have any money socked away in the first place? The Digit app is trying to make saving for that next special excursion (and saving in general) an effortless experience. The free app analyzes your financial situation and spending habits, then pulls a few dollars from your checking account every so often and deposits them into a separate F.D.I.C.-insured savings account that Digit opens for you. You can tweak the app’s savings habits, chatting with it in a text thread and telling it to be more or less aggressive depending on how quickly you want to save. (Digit is confident in its algorithm and offers overdraft protection, as well.) While it might be scary to have a robot taking money from your checking account seemingly at random, reviews from users have generally been positive.

2. CONSIDER BRITAIN I don’t always feel good about exploiting the weakness of a nation’s currency — but with the United Kingdom (and London in particular), you’ll forgive me for having no such qualms. After Britons voted to leave the European Union, the pound sterling, which was exchanging at over $1.60 just a couple of years ago, plunged to around $1.17 in October, making Britain one of the best travel values in the world right now. Suddenly, that £5 cappuccino on Oxford Street is no longer cause for outright alarm. A quick look at the travel aggregator Trivago shows hundreds of hotel rooms available for under £100 a night for a weekend in mid-April. While London will never truly be a bargain, if you have always wanted to go, this may be as cheap as it’s going to get. As for feeling guilty — an argument can be made that American tourist dollars are exactly what an ailing economy needs.

3. IT’S THE WILD WEST for airfares. With European low-budget carriers like Norwegian Airlines and Wow Air aggressively expanding their routes stateside, there is no better time than now to go with whatever company rolls out the lowest prices. And there are some truly head-scratchingly low fares out there: As I write this, Norwegian is offering $585 round-trip, nonstop fares between Los Angeles and London in April, and I just found a $306 round-trip flight from Newark to London on Wow Air (with one stop in Iceland), also in April. Even the larger carriers are slashing fares: I’m currently able to find round-trip flights from Boston to Beijing on Air Canada for a mere $485.

4. OR, PICK AN AIRLINE, any airline — and stick with it. There is another side to that coin: Sometimes allegiance to a particular airline can pay off. The turning over of the calendar year resets the accumulation of qualifying miles and dollars that airlines track to assign status, so if you’re planning to stick with a particular carrier to reap the potential benefits of loyalty, January is the time to start. A new year gives even modest travelers a chance to shoot for low-level status on a major airline.

If you travel even somewhat regularly between a few predictable destinations, you can achieve the lowest tier of status on one of the major carriers by the end of the calendar year. Flying round-trip every six weeks between New York and Los Angeles, for example, could be enough to reach the lowest status (silver) on Delta Air Lines. What does that get you? Quite a bit: Free access to Delta Comfort Plus, which could ordinarily cost you $120 on each leg, along with priority boarding and a free checked bag. (Don’t expect any upgrades to first class, though.)

5. GET FLEXIBLE. “If your travel plans aren’t 100 percent finalized, learn the rules of your preferred airlines in relation to holding a ticket before purchasing it,” said Mark Orlowski, a travel contributor at Marketplace Morning Report. Sometimes it can actually help to do a bit of research and use a different partner airline that is part of the same alliance. For example, if you have Chase points and are looking at redeeming a United Airlines award flight, consider transferring those points to Singapore Airlines instead of United. Why? You can use Singapore miles to book awards on other Star Alliance airlines (including United) while benefiting from Singapore’s more generous fee policies. Changing an award ticket booked with United miles could cost you a whopping $125. If redeemed through Singapore, changing that same award ticket would cost you only $20.

6. TRACK YOUR PRICES after a purchase. Citi Price Rewind is a service that will refund you up to $500 an item, and $2,500 per year, if you buy an eligible product (think jackets and sleeping bags) with your Citi card and the price drops within the next 60 days. The best part? It will do the tracking for you automatically when you register your purchase (made with a Citi card, naturally) on its database of retailers. You can search, too, and if you find an advertised price that is lower, you can initiate a refund request. It’s a painless way to avoid the stress of wondering if you’re getting a good price. (Other cards offer price protection as well, but Citi makes it easy.) You can also do some monitoring on your own: The site Camelcamelcamel tracks items on Amazon and offers data on price history, which can help you decide when to buy.

7. FOCUS ON POINTS, not miles. Legacy loyalists who have hoarded their miles over the last several years have learned this lesson the hard way: Miles are getting less and less valuable. Frequent-flier programs at all three major carriers have gone through changes that have left many travelers less than pleased, to put it generously. If there is a bright side to this, it’s that credit card points are more plentiful and valuable than they have ever been. “The trend I see is more focus on nonairline/hotel branded cards and more focus on transferable points cards that allow for more flexibility when booking travel and don’t have blackout dates or capacity controls,” said Brian Kelly, the founder of the website The Points Guy.

There are some incredibly generous credit card sign-up bonuses available now, including 100,000-point offers from certain Chase and American Express products. While you certainly shouldn’t take opening a new line of credit lightly, those bonuses alone will be enticing to many: 100,000 points can be worth as much as $2,000 when redeemed directly for travel.

8. CHECK OUT PROJECT FI. Sick of switching SIM cards or paying outrageous overages to your phone carrier while overseas? Google’s Project Fi charges flat rates of $20 per month for unlimited talk and text, as well as $10 per gigabyte of data. Even better, Project Fi offers unlimited messaging and no roaming data charges in over 135 countries. You can use your phone as you normally would — provided you’re using a compatible phone. (You knew there would be a catch, right?) Officially, Project Fi works only on Google’s Pixel, Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X. At least it will transfer over your existing number if you decide to make the switch.

BIG IN BORNEO AT BACALL ASSOCIATES TRAVEL ON EXPERIENCE TRAVEL GROUP LAUNCHES BRAND NEW HOLIDAYS

Unique itineraries enable travellers to explore the lush natural jewel of Southeast Asia

Bespoke travel experts Experience Travel Group are excited to launch their first programme of holidays to the beautiful island of Borneo. Despite being the world’s third largest island, Borneo is still relatively undiscovered by tourists and has much to offer. Shared by Indonesia, Brunei and Malaysia, the island boasts dramatic landscapes, breathtaking beaches and is a must-see for all wildlife lovers – a vast number of exotic species such as orangutans and pygmy elephants call it home. Having quietly designed holidays to Borneo for repeat clients for several years, Experience Travel Group has steadily built up an expert Borneo team and created the exciting new experiences that form the basis of the new full programme of Borneo holidays.

Experience Travel Group’s new Borneo holidays are truly bespoke, covering all bases from in-depth adventures around the whole island to highlights tours that combine astounding wildlife with exotic beaches and cultural hotspots. The following three tours demonstrate just some of the unforgettable experiences on offer.

Beach and Wildlife: The Classic

From £2,990 per person, including all accommodation, experiences, entrance fees, guides, transport, flights and a number of meals.

This 15-day itinerary enables travellers to explore the exotic flora and fauna of Borneo, while also allowing plenty of time to relax on its beautiful beaches. Visiting the states of Sabah and Sarawak, this holiday starts in the city of Kuching and finishes at the stunning Gaya Island Resort, taking in Bako and Mulu National Parks, Kota Kinabalu and the Kinabatangan River en route. Highlights include getting up close to orangutans in Kuching and exploring the majestic Mulu caves. With accommodation in the best hotels included throughout, this trip takes visitors off-the-beaten track and into the wilderness, without compromising on comfort.

Borneo Adventure

From £2,650 per person, including all accommodation, experiences, entrance fees, guides, transport, flights and a number of meals.

A unique 16-day tour of Borneo with some truly magnificent adventures, this itinerary allows travellers to get a true feel for the depth and variety of Borneo’s wildlife, village life, culture and tradition. Highlights include a five-day adventure in Mulu National Park, incorporating the adventurous 11.5km ‘Headhunters Trail’, which follows the route taken by the Kayan headhunting parties as they launched raids on the Limbang people; scaling Mount Kinabalu; and exploring some of the world’s biggest caves. Accommodation ranges from traditional longhouses to basic lodgings during the treks, but there is a chance to relax in high-quality hotels too – especially at Pantai Dalit Beach, where the holiday concludes in very comfortable surroundings.

Borneo Encompassed

From £4,249 per person, including all accommodation, experiences, entrance fees, guides, transport, flights and a number of meals.

This three-week in-depth adventure takes in Borneo’s finest natural wonders and is as inspiring as it is relaxing. From traversing rainforests and cruising down rivers and mangroves to exploring caves and relaxing on sun-drenched islands, this itinerary has it all. Whether it’s hearing the call of gibbons, seeing orangutans swinging in the trees or spotting dolphins, travellers will be taken aback by the incredible wildlife throughout the trip. Highlights include a night safari in Tabin National Park and a trek through the stunning jungle of Danum Valley – and an optional visit to Selingan Island to learn about turtle conservation. Accommodation ranges from basic lodges to the stunning Bunga Raya Resort.

Find out more about Experience Travel Group’s new Borneo holidays here.

Experience Travel Group specialises in bespoke holidays for passionate travellers. Offering adventures in Sri Lanka, Maldives, Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Borneo, Indonesia and India, Experience Travel Group expertly tailor-makes trips that enrich their clients’ travel experiences.

For more information about Experience Travel Group, please visit the website, or find out what the team has been up to recently by checking out their blog or Twitter page.

Insider Tips from a Local by Bacall Associates Travel Singapore

When I visited Singapore for the first time I instantly fell in love with this city-state: its futuristic design, the combination of different cultures and the diverse food. I was lucky to meet Jaclynn Seah there, who is from Singapore and writes on her blog „The Occasional Traveller“. She showed me around and we had a great time. She tells you her insider tips for the Lion City – the best time to travel there, accommodation, restaurants and sights.

Jaclynn is The Occasional Traveller, a Singaporean girl with a full-time day job who loves to travel. She started her blog in 2010 to encourage fellow deskbound wanderlusters like herself to remember to take that time off and get away. She is always looking forward to that next trip!

Here are her insider tips for Singapore:

Why should everyone travel once in a lifetime to Singapore?

There’s nowhere in the world quite like Singapore!

When is the best time to visit it?

Singapore is hot all year round and we hardly have any seasons. Year end tends to be cooler but also more rainy, though really it can rain any time of the year.

June and December are school holiday periods in Singapore so your tourist attractions will be more crowded with families, so you might want to avoid those periods.

Which attractions of Singapore are worth to see?

The Marina Bay area (which you usually see on TV during the F1 Grand Prix in September) is a tourist hotspot but for good reason – Singapore is prettiest in the evening when the buildings are all lit up.

I recommend starting from the Esplanade, walking clockwise around the bay area across the Helix Bridge until you reach Marina Bay Sands.

Other tourist attractions that I think are worth seeing are Gardens by the Bay (18 Marina Gardens Dr) – the alien-looking Super Tree Grove is mostly free (unless you want to go on the Skywalk, a rickety walkway suspended near the top of the tree structures).

But it is worth going into the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest as well – beautiful and cool, a good way to spend your time ‚indoors‘ if Singapore is being all humid or rainy.

If you want a proper outdoor garden, Singapore Botanic Gardens (1 Cluny Rd) is centrally located in the downtown area and was just awarded a UNESCO award.

Bacall Associates – Singapore Travel Guide for First-Timers

Bacall Associates - Singapore Travel Guide for First-Timers

Singapore is South East Asia’s most prosperous city and smallest nation by land area. In recent years, newly developed mega-attractions and casino driven integrated resorts had transformed this “all work” economic powerhouse into one of the region’s most popular destinations for leisure travel.

Because of its compact size, Singapore is very easy to travel and generally safe. It is a top choice for first-time international travel, family trips, and those seeking to indulge in metropolitan luxuries. While costs are significantly higher than the rest of Southeast Asia, a lot of people continue to visit Singapore because of its unique and top-notch attractions that cater to almost every type of traveler.

I honestly didn’t expect to travel to Singapore as often as I have, considering the high number of seemingly more “exotic” and adventurous destinations elsewhere in the region. Singapore was just too irresistibly accessible with so many direct flights to other cities all over the region as well as convenient land crossing to Kuala Lumpur, another popular international gateway, in Malaysia. Singapore was a worthwhile jump-off point to Southeast Asia and a fitting “last stop” for indulging in urban comforts before the journey home.

Top Things to See and Do

Merlion Park — Pretty hard to miss anyway because of its prominent location at the mouth of the Singapore River. Not only could you get a good photo with the Merlion statue, Singapore’s most iconic monument, but there are amazing views to be seen of the Singapore Skyline, Marina Bay Sands, The Esplanade: Theatres by the Bay, and the Singapore Flyer.

Singapore Riverside and Civic District — this relaxing promenaded riverside area is a short walk away from the Merlion Park. Take a stroll down memory lane and get acquainted with the city’s early development and colonial history. A happening nightlife scene can be experienced at Clark and Boat Quay. Chinatown — Experience Singapore’s multi-cultural diversity by taking a walking and food tour of Chinatown. Visit a church, a mosque, Indian and Chinese temples all in one walk. Go on a food adventure and try dishes from Singapore’s different cultural influences at affordable hawker centers of Chinatown.

Marina Bay — Marvel at Singapore’s new urban cape by taking a walk around Marina Bay. Visit Marina Bay Sands, the Helix Bridge, Singapore Flyer, and Esplanade: Theatres on the bay. Amazing overlooking views can be seen from the sky park of Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer.

Gardens by the Bay — an ambitious project set to transform Singapore from a “Garden City” to a “City in a Garden.” The main attractions here are the 25 towering man-made Super trees and two equally extraordinary bio domes.

Singapore Zoo — an impressively maintained zoo where you can find a wide array of animals from around the world. The River Safari is also worth checking out.

Sentosa Island — spends a fun day on rides and themed attractions or relax at the beaches of Sentosa. The island is home to Universal Studios Singapore, the first theme park of its kind to open in Southeast Asia and the second in Asia after Universal Studios Japan.

Pine Cliffs Beach Club Pops Up In Canary Wharf London This Summer

Transporting Work-Weary Londoners to the Sun-Kissed Portuguese Shores

13 July 2016 – No matter what the British weather has in store, Canary Wharf’s Montgomery Square will offer a tantalising taste of the Algarve this summer, with the arrival of the Pine Cliffs Beach Club. Open each weekday from 11am to 11pm throughout the summer season, the chic pop-up bar will bring the sun-kissed vibes of Portugal’s leading lifestyle destination, Pine Cliffs, a Luxury Collection Resort, to the heart of London’s financial centre.

Set to be a popular hotspot for work-weary Londoners, the Pine Cliffs Beach Club will be run in partnership with award-winning travel specialist Quintessentially Travel, to celebrate the re-opening of the famed cliff-top retreat following a multi-million pound transformation of its rooms and facilities, including the debut of a state-of-the-art destination spa, that will firmly place Portugal on the radar of discerning spa connoisseurs.

In the true spirit of The Luxury Collection, Pine Cliffs Beach Club brings a taste of the Algarve to London providing global explorers with authentic experiences that reflect the local spirit, lifestyle and design. The al-fresco Pine Cliffs Beach Club will offer a wide selection of chilled drinks including fine Portuguese wines, Pine Cliffs Resort’s signature white port cocktails, Moet Ice and Sagres beer – the Algarve is just a Tube ride away!  Throughout the summer, customers will also have the chance to win a 7-night stay for two at Pine Cliffs Hotel, a Luxury Collection Resort, including breakfast, a green fee at Pine Cliffs Golf & Country Club, return flights from the UK and transfers from and to Faro Airport.

One of Europe’s leading lifestyle destinations, Pine Cliffs enjoys a spectacular, unrivalled location on the Algarve coastline. Set across 72 hectares, the resort offers a wide range of luxurious accommodation options for couples, groups and families. There are exceptional leisure and sports facilities, with 11 different restaurants and bars, including the poolside seafood restaurant O Pescador; Beach Club on the golden shore of Praia Falésia; Piri Piri Steak House; and Zest, a new outlet offering guests an array of health-conscious drinks, snacks and dishes. In addition, the hotel features six swimming pools, Porto Pirata kids club, an Annabel Croft Tennis Academy, a nine-hole golf course with panoramic views, complemented by a world-class wellness and fitness offering comprising the new Serenity The Art of Well Being destination spa and Pine Cliffs Goes Active gym and health club, as well as numerous shops and boutiques.

Pine Cliffs Beach Club is located in Montgomery Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5JJ. Opening times from 11am to 11pm Monday to Friday until September.

 

Bacall Associates: True Flavour of Thailand For Families At the Dhara Dhevi

The iconic The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai, situated on a peaceful 60-acre estate in Northern Thailand, offers a magical backdrop in which children and adults alike can absorb Thai culture with a fantastic range of experiences, guaranteeing lasting memories for the whole family.

dd-family-768x198.jpg

This fantastical resort, conceived as an ancient walled city, offers a sense of place like few others and this is reflected in its carefully curated activities, designed to immerse guests of all ages into local culture.   Perfect for all the family, from little ones to adults, the resort’s Art and Craft Village offers an array of creative craft activities, from umbrella painting and paper making to bamboo weaving, which is led by a group of local village women who will help guests create beautiful artefacts and traditional toys from the plant’s leaves.

Housed in the same building, The Lanna Kids Club is open every day from 9am-5pm and offers half or full day programmes for children from 4 to 12 years old.    The building’s tiny resident petting ponies and llamas are sure to make a great ice breaker for children who can then choose from a varied range of activities to stretch and stimulate them mentally and physically, whilst offering an insight into traditional Lanna (the ancient kingdom of northern Thailand) and Thai culture.    Classes include Thai dancing and music and traditional Thai games and toys – children can also benefit for Thailand’s rich culture of wellness with mini Thai kick boxing classes and yoga for kids.

A must-try for visitors of all ages is the rice planting: donning a traditional protective tunic, the instantly recognisable Non La hat and waterproof socks, the session will teach budding rice farmers how the grain is grown from seed to harvest and includes the opportunity for all to wade into the squidgy warm mud and plant a few rows for themselves. Children will adore riding the water buffalo, which will obligingly walk little ones through the plantation.

Meanwhile adults can enjoy the Dhara Dhevi Cooking Academy, which stages daily Thai cooking classes, relax in the Jum Sri Hall Library, with one of its 5,000+ books, browse the 20 boutiques in Kad Dhara Shopping Village, or unwind and reboot at the Health and Fitness Centre and legendary Dheva Spa where in depth Ayurveda-based programmes are carried out in 11 spacious treatments suites.

Parents keen to make the most of the wide array of gourmet eating and drinking options at the resort can book the baby-sitting service, which is available on request.  All tastes and nationalities are catered for with international cuisines of the highest calibre, from Japanese dishes at the light and airy Ren; Chinese at Fujian, formal French at Farang Ses and contemporary international cuisine at the Akaligo, which offers views through wall to ceiling windows. There is even a Victorian Style tea salon, the Dhara Dhevi Cake Shop which caters to the sweet toothed serving decadent treats. Fabulously chic watering holes include the louche Horn Bar, an after dark cocktail bar, the al fresco Loy Kham Bar which overlooks the serene infinity pool and the Colonial Pool Bar, which centers around the heart of the resort, the spectacular and imposing blue and white tiled swimming pool.

Easily accessible via a 15-minute car transfer from Chiang Mai International Airport, the Dhara Dhevi makes for an immersive cultural experience perfect for crafting lasting family memories.

ABOUT THE DHARA DHEVI:

The Dhara Dhevi is one of Asia’s foremost luxury hotels.  More an experience than simply a hotel, this iconic property represents extravagant Thai luxury at its finest.  Nestling in 60 acres of beautifully landscaped tropical grounds, enjoying a picturesque and secluded setting in the countryside in the North, the resort has established itself as a classic ‘must visit’ for high end travellers to Thailand.  Its location on the outskirts of historic Chiang Mai, a walled ancient city known for its rich history of art and culture, is reflected throughout the resort.  The spectacular accommodation was built in keeping with traditional Lanna and colonial style architecture, set among lush paddy fields.  69 traditional Thai villas each boast a private swimming, or plunge pools, Jacuzzi tubs and separate showers.  54 Colonial Suites featuring separate living and bedroom areas with private terraces overlook the pool, lake or stunning verdant gardens.

 

Singapore Travel Guide by Bacall Associates Travel

I’ve been to Singapore twice (in 2013 & 2016), and spent a total of 7 days in the city — it’s one of my favorite places in Asia!   In this blog post, I am going to give you an overview of the city, and provide travel tips and recommendations for things like culture, attractions, food, nightlife and more. Everything you read is based off my own experiences.

 

GENERAL THOUGHTS ON SINGAPORE

Singapore is a bustling hub of culture, food, and all around good vibes.  It’s the most modern city in Asia.  It’s vibrant, it’s energetic, and it always leaves me fascinated.

 

If you think New York City is busy, just wait until you see Singapore.  People are always in a hurry and they walk really fast (they are actually ranked the fastest walkers on earth).  It seemed like everything was happening in fast motion, which always kept me on my toes!

 

You might be surprised to hear that Singapore is a tiny tropical island, made up of 6 million people (75% Chinese).  It’s located just 80 miles north of the equator — so the temperature is always hot and humid.  It’s tropical location provides 17 nature reserves and more than 1.4 million trees!

 

The thing that stands out most about Singapore is the extreme cleanliness.

 

Seriously — the streets are cleaner than my washing machine.

 

Why is everything so clean in Singapore?

Well, Singapore has some of the strictest laws in the world.  There are street signs all around the city reminding everyone not to litter, smoke, chew gum, run, spit, etc.  If you don’t follow the rules, then you must pay a steep fine.  But nearly everyone obeys the rules, which is why Singapore is also of the safest cities in the world.

 

Everything from the metros, malls, restaurants and residential buildings are so clean that you can eat off the floor!

 

Another thing that really impressed me about Singapore was the easiness to get around.

Despite being a densely populated city, the metro system is VERY easy to figure out and there are taxis all around that are pretty cheap to use.

 

After being in Singapore for just a few hours, I was already confident enough to navigate myself around town.  All the signs are in English (and most people can speak/understand English), so it’s almost impossible to get lost.

 

Alright, there is a downside…. Singapore is expensive.  Really expensive to travel.

In fact, the city just took #1 as the Most expensive city in the world by the Los Angeles Times.  Aside from street food, which is reasonably priced, you wouldn’t believe how a beer or alcoholic beverage costs… And if you want to rent a flat, then good luck finding a cheap price!

 

Bacall Associates Travel Singapore Insider Tips from a Local

When I visited Singapore for the first time I instantly fell in love with this city-state: its futuristic design, the combination of different cultures and the diverse food. I was lucky to meet Jaclynn Seah there, who is from Singapore and writes on her blog „The Occasional Traveller“. She showed me around and we had a great time. She tells you her insider tips for the Lion City — the best time to travel there, accommodation, restaurants and sights.

 

Jaclynn is The Occasional Traveller, a Singaporean girl with a full-time day job who loves to travel. She started her blog in 2010 to encourage fellow deskbound wanderlusters like herself to remember to take that time off and get away. She is always looking forward to that next trip!

 

Here are her insider tips for Singapore:

Why should everyone travel once in a lifetime to Singapore?

There’s nowhere in the world quite like Singapore!

 

When is the best time to visit it?

Singapore is hot all year round and we hardly have any seasons. Year end tends to be cooler but also more rainy, though really it can rain any time of the year.

 

June and December are school holiday periods in Singapore so your tourist attractions will be more crowded with families, so you might want to avoid those periods.

 

Which attractions of Singapore are worth to see?

The Marina Bay area (which you usually see on TV during the F1 Grand Prix in September) is a tourist hotspot but for good reason — Singapore is prettiest in the evening when the buildings are all lit up.

 

I recommend starting from the Esplanade, walking clockwise around the bay area across the Helix Bridge until you reach Marina Bay Sands.

 

Other tourist attractions that I think are worth seeing are Gardens by the Bay (18 Marina Gardens Dr) — the alien-looking Super Tree Grove is mostly free (unless you want to go on the Skywalk, a rickety walkway suspended near the top of the tree structures).

 

But it is worth going into the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest as well — beautiful and cool, a good way to spend your time ‚indoors‘ if Singapore is being all humid or rainy.

 

If you want a proper outdoor garden, Singapore Botanic Gardens (1 Cluny Rd) is centrally located in the downtown area and was just awarded a UNESCO award.