3 Foodie ideas not to miss in Melbourne


This article also appears on CheapTickets.sg/blog: 53 Foodie Ideas Not To Miss In Melbourne.

Australia’s capital of culture brings many surprises for travellers on the hunt for exciting city-based experiences.

Ranked as the world’s most liveable city for the sixth year running, Melbourne has all the elements of a must-visit urban destination: a buzzing culture-rich core, a love for coffee and celebration, hip precincts, and lush parkland topped off with breathtaking nature. Here are 3 experiences that showcase the cities thriving food scene at its finest.

With return flights to Melbourne from only $394 and hotels from $98 why not book yourself a bargain trip and get a $100 cash rebate promotion when you book your flight and minimum of 4 nights hotel in Australia now!

1. Eat Your Way to the Top

Melbourne is a haven for any seasoned Singaporean foodie. At one of the city’s many cafes, pair creative brunch fare with coffee micro-roasted to perfection. For a spin on café culture, pop by Seven Seeds in Carlton for its university vibe, recycled timber interior and top-notch cappuccino.

The world’s best pizza is not in Italy, it’s at 400 Gradi on Lygon Street in Brunswick. Affable Aussie owner Johnny Di Francesco’s wood-fired Margherita is a must-try, having bested global contenders to win the 2014 World Pizza Championships in Italy.

For a spectacular view in an unusual setting, pay a visit to Easeys in Collingwood. Tuck into a cheesy burger as you perch on a rooftop in one of three train carriages. Try your best not to spill the tomato sauce!

2. Off the Beaten Truck

Melbourne Food trucks

Food Truck, Melbourne Photo: Visit Victoria

Food truck parks are an iconic part of Melbourne’s food scene. These food truck gatherings often occupy both an indoor and outdoor area, which makes for a lovely dining-under-the-stars experience — particularly in the summer.

Indulge in top-notch grub from over 40 street food vendors at Hank Marvin Market, which opens every Saturday at St Kilda East. This park transforms into a hub of fresh produce, food trucks and street food stalls serving everything from pizzas to wood-fired bagels. Just 20 minutes north of the city is Welcome to Thornbury, Melbourne’s first permanent food truck stop. With up to 43 trucks onsite and a host of craft beers and cocktail jugs for sharing, this park is the perfect eating spot for travellers who are new to the food truck scene. The 4,000-square metre venue features a 200-seater bar, where you can knock back some grilled bites and beer.

3. Heed the Call of Collingwood

Smith Street cafes, Collingwood

Smith Street, Collingwood Photo: Visit Victoria

Popular with locals, this neighbourhood is home to a monthly farmers’ market showcasing local goodies produced within a 160-kilometre radius. Grab a punnet of fresh berries, set out for nearby Yarra Bend Park and hop on a rowboat for the chance to see native grey-headed flying foxes in action.

Those itching to bring home a piece of Melbourne can hit the stores along Smith Street on Collingwood for unique collectibles. These stores typically specialise in handcrafted trinkets and jewellery with unusual features, like laminated flowers, pencils and recycled vinyl records.

What’s not to miss in Collingwood? The Melbourne suburb is home to Beanhunter’s number 1 cafe in Melbourne, Aunty Peg’s,  which is essentially the cellar door to Proud Mary Coffee Roasters. Aunty Peg’s is a must visit for a Melbourne coffee lover looking to discover their perfect brew. What’s the best way to get there? From Bourke Street take the 86 tram to Hodgson Street stop 18 and walk along Stanley Street to Wellington Street, it will take about 20 mins so enjoy the ride.

Don’t forget to book your trip to Australia before 31st March to be able to redeem the CheapTickets.sg  $100 cash rebate promotion when you book your flight and minimum of 4 nights hotel in Australia now!

What’s next after Melbourne? Check out our new Runway Australia self-drive and come with us from Melbourne city to the Mornington Peninsula to swim with dolphins and seals, eat fresh seafood by the beach and galavant through olive groves.

Take off for Runway Australia with CheapTickets.sg and ZALORA

This article also appears on CheapTickets.sg/blog: 53 Foodie Ideas Not To Miss In Melbourne.





5 Reasons To Celebrate Australia Today


Happy Australia Day! That’s right, every January 26th Australians celebrate, well, being Australian. Originally the date marked the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British Ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales. Today celebrations reflect the diverse society and landscape of the nation and are marked by community and family events, reflections on Australian history and welcoming new members of the Australian community.

We thought we would mark this year’s celebrations by sharing 5 reasons we love Australia!

  1. It’s picture perfect. Every picture we see of this beautiful country on the gram just melts our travel hearts and makes us want to book another flight to Australia (insert small plug about how you can book a return flight from Singapore to Australia from only $289 all-in, fare, tax, everything included!).
    One of our favorite examples: Crawley Edge Boat Shed, Perth


2. The food. Everywhere you look, there is amazing, fresh food made from local produce. Whether it’s the Lavender ice cream below in Tasmania, Black Star Pastry’s famous watermelon cake, freshly shucked oysters or just a tasty, perfectly cooked steak cooked on a beachside bbq (hungry yet). It’s there, waiting for you in Australia. Looking for something exciting in Sydney? Check out our list of hidden foodie gems.


3. The wildlife: Australia knows how to do cool animals. Yes, there are the slightly scary animals if you go looking for them but then there are these amazing creatures just waiting for you at check in on Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays.


4. It’s Iconic. From the Sydney Opera House to Uluṟu and even the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour. There are so many places to put on your bucket list that we would struggle to whittle it down to 100 for a post. Make a list, check it twice and start planning where to go first.


5. Utterly beautiful beaches. Lots of them. Let’s face it, Australia is an island, and the majority of people (80% of the population) live on the edge of it, and we can see why. We think every Australian has a favourite beach, and with so many to go around unless you are heading to Bondi on Christmas Day you won’t need to share it with too many people.

Happy Australia Day!

Celebrate Australia every day by following the beautiful posts from @australia and @cheapticketssg for your daily dose of Australian inspiration. Happy travels!

Happy #australiaday from the awesome @ausoutbacknt

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5 reasons you need a last minute long weekend in Margaret River


This article also appears on CheapTickets.sg/blog: 5 reasons you need a last minute long weekend in Margaret River.

It’s the end of the year! Refresh yourself a little with a long weekend away before the final stretch. Things can get hectic and if you need to clear a couple of days leave this is the perfect place to escape too. You deserve it! Need more of a reason? We’ve got some inspiration for you.

1. It’s a gourmet Escape! The Margaret River is a foodies dream at any time of year, known for its local produce and award winning wines but from 18-20 November the world comes to the region for The Margaret River Gourmet Escape. Take your seat to taste creations from 50 culinary superstars from around the world during the 5th anniversary of this mesmerizing foodie event. If you are looking for a taster be sure to buy tickets for the Gourmet Village to gain access top tasting opportunities, artisan producers, restaurant pop ups surrounded by music and lounges. Entry on the Sunday is just $45 on the door.


Fresh oysters at Margaret River Gourmet Escape. Image credit: Elements Margaret River

2. BBQ on the beach with Rick Stein. There are still some tickets for the lunch and dinner at the iconic Audi Gourmet Beach BBQ on Sunday 20th available… This exclusive event promises privileged access to Castle Bay Beach which will be transformed into a waterfront eatery with giant tipis and live music. On arrival be tantalized by artisan gin cocktails crafted exclusively for the festival by Palmer- Watts and award winning local distillery Limeburners before canapés and the main event- local produce sizzling from the grill cooked by celebrity tong masters from Movida Melbourne and Guillaume in Sydney. Did we mention how insta-worthy this will be. You might have a few friends joining you next year after this.

Audi Gourmet Beach BBQ with Rick Stein

Audi Gourmet Beach BBQ with Rick Stein Image credit: Elements Margaret River

3. Food, food everywhere. OK so we keep going on about this food thing, but seriously we know you won’t be disappointed in the MR. From the breaky burget at Morries (think chewy brioche from the local bakery, bacon from The Farmhouse, aioli, Swiss cheese and free range eggs that ooz a deep yellow yolk when you bite it) for your arrival breakfast to dining alfresco on platter of local produce including wagyu venison pate at Brookwood Café for dinner whilst the sunsets.


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4. So much more than just the town. You might find it hard to go straight to your hotel in Margaret River with all the spots to stop along the way, just let your trip flow. Landing early? Make your first stop at Busselton and stride off your plane legs with a walk (or a train ride on the cute motor) to the end of the jetty. With seaside cafes, kiosks and restaurants you will be spoilt for choice, we think you might love it so much you want to spend the night so consider adding a day onto your itinerary if this sounds like your idea of a perfect location? Check out our self drive route from Perth through Margaret River to Augusta taking in just some of the jewels of that this region has to offer.

#nofilter needed. #thisiswa #wanttogoback to Busselton! ❤️

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5. You can do it cheaper than you think!

Book a 4 day trip from only $803 per person all in. How?

Direct flights from Singapore to Perth with Qantas= $545

3 nights 4* accommodation at the Margaret River Resort= $227

4 days car rental of a Toyota Corolla or similar= $86

Ticket entry to the Gourmet Escape Festival Village= $45

Less DBS $100 cash rebate for your booking= $803 (valid until 15th November)

From now until the 17th November, book a minimum of return flights and 3 nights accommodation in the Margaret River between 15-22 November with any ticket to The Gourmet Escape and get a $100 travel rebate when you pay with a DBS card. For full details click here.

This article also appears on CheapTickets.sg/blog: 5 reasons you need a last minute long weekend in Margaret River.

@GirlEatWorld’s adventure through Kyushu, Japan


This article also appears on CheapTickets.sg/blog: GirlEatWorld’s adventure through Kyushu.

This week inspirational Instagrammer, and CheapTickets.sg‘s favourite food photographer @GirlEatWorld visited the Kyushu region of Japan.

Psst! From now until Monday 17th October you can enter to win flights for you and a friend to have your own Japan adventure. Enter now.

Here’s her story!

Whenever someone finds out I am visiting Japan, the #1 most common response would be asking if I am going to Tokyo or Kyoto. Those are two very lovely cities, however there are so, so much more to Japan! In this post, I will be introducing the “lesser known” areas of Japan – the Kyushu region, located south from Kyoto. I put “lesser known” in a quote because two of the cities in my itinerary should be familiar if you studied world history in High School 😉

Without further ado, let’s start!

From Singapore, I flew to Osaka to meet with my friend who had been traveling around Kyoto earlier that week. I didn’t join her because I had just been to Kyoto earlier this year, and while it was beautiful I would rather save my vacation days and join her for the later part of the trip.


Technically, Hiroshima is part of Honshu so it does not count under Kyushu, but we made a pit stop from Osaka to Hiroshima since it is on the way! It was an easy 1.5 hours train ride by Shinkansen (the japanese bullet train) from Shin-Osaka station to Hiroshima station.

Hiroshima should not need any further introduction. It is one of the cities that was decimated by an atomic bomb during World War II, and effectively ended Japan’s world domination efforts. Today, Hiroshima has been totally rebuilt and is a very much a bustling modern city. However, the Atomic Bomb history still played a huge role in the city’s identity.

We reached by 11AM and wasted no time in exploring the city. The weather gods were not on our side that day as it was cloudy and raining the entire day. It makes for a somber mood for visiting perhaps one of the most tragic cities in the entire world.

Places to Visit:

  • The Atomic Bomb Memorial & Atomic Bomb Dome
  • Hiroshima Castle

What to Eat:


When in Hiroshima, have Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き). “Okonomi” means “however you like” and “yaki” means “grilled”. So when ordering Okonomiyaki, you can really customize what you want to have inside! In Hiroshima, the okonomiyaki ingredients (cabbage, noodles and meat of choice) are layered rather than mixed, and comes with fried egg on top.

Where to have this:

  • Chinchinkurin
  • Okonomimura

Momiji Manju


Momiji Manju is a popular steamed bun snack shaped like Japanese maple leaf that can be found throughout Hiroshima. 🍁 It is filled with red bean jam.

Where to have:

Everywhere in Hiroshima! Even 7/11 or Don Quijote would have one.


From a history-filled Hiroshima, we took a 1 hour ride with Shinkansen down to Fukuoka’s Hakata Station.

Unlike other Japanese cities I visited on this trip, Fukuoka does not offer much in terms of historic education. But what it lacks in one department, it makes up in another – Fukuoka is an absolute foodie destination. For one, Fukuoka is the home of the world famous Hakata Ramen, which should be familiar to all ramen enthusiasts out there. At night the city transforms into a street food lover heaven with the many Yatai stalls that lines the popular districts of Fukuoka.

Places to Visit:

  • Fukoka Castle Ruins
  • Tenjin Station
  • Nakagawa Seiryu

What to Eat:

Hakata Ramen

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Fukuoka Hakata ramen

Hakata-style ramen originated in Fukuoka, so it’s definitely a must-try whenever you are in the city. This ramen is characterized through the rich tonkotsu (pork bone) broth, straight and slightly al-dente noodles, and fried garlic toppings.

Where to have:

  • Ikkousha
  • Ichiran
  • Ippudo
  • Any Yatai stall!

Yatai Stalls


Yatai stalls are Food stalls that pops up around Fukuoka when the sun sets. It typically opens from around 6pm to 2am, making it an excellent option for dinner or after-drinks snacks. Generally, all stalls offer the same dishes: Hakata Ramen, Oden, and Yakitori. I found that the ramen I had from the stall was even better than the famous ramen shops!

Where to have:

  • Along the Nakasu island river


From Fukuoka to Nagasaki, there is no Shinkansen service so we took JR Kamome, which was still just a short 2-hour ride from Fukuoka.

Much like Hiroshima, Nagasaki should be a familiar to all of us. Nagasaki was hit by an atomic bomb 3 days after Hiroshima and to this date remains to be last city to suffer the devastating effect of a nuclear weapon.

Today, much like Hiroshima, Nagasaki has been fully rebuilt. It is now a quaint and charming city with diverse cultural influences. I absolutely fell in love with Nagasaki – although we had originally planned to stay for only one night, we ended up extending one more night.

Places to Visit:

  • Nagasaki Atomic Bomb
  • Grovers Garden
  • Nagasaki Ropeway and Mount Inayasa
  • Hashima Island

What to Eat:

Champon and Sara Soba


The dish to eat in Nagasaki is undoubtedly Champon (ちゃんぽん). This clear pork broth noodle soup with pork meat, vegetables and seafood ingredients like fish cake and squid was an interesting one to have. It tasted like chinese food to me, and after looking it up online it does seem to have come from chinese roots. The name itself is Hokkien for “to eat a meal”. Sara soba is quite similar to Champon, but with gravy instead of soup and fried noodles.

Where to have:

  • Eirakuen


Kakuni is another result of the chinese influence in Nagasaki. This snack is a meat bun that taste exactly the same as Kong Bak Pao, a chinese braised pork buns. It consist of pork belly simmered in soy sauce until tender, and served between white buns.

Where to have:

  • Iwasaki Honpo


Castella is a Japanese Sponge cake brought into Japan by Portuguese traders in the 16th century. At that time, Nagasaki port was the only place in Japan that was open for foreign trading. Sugar was an expensive item back then and Castella became a luxury dessert to have. Nowadays, the cake is a specialty of Nagasaki.

Where to have:

  • Bunmeido Castella shop

Chirin Chirin Sorbet Ice Cream

nagasaki-chirinchirinChirinchirin is a popular treat in Nagasaki that has been around for 50 years. Sold my vendors at tourist places, this sorbet is famous for the way it is served – shaped like a rose. The rose shape is achieved by scooping the sorbet little by little and placing each scoop to mimic rose petals.

Where to have:

Various food vendors. I found mine near the Nagasaki Atomic bomb memorial statue


Kumamoto is extremely close to Fukuoka – only 40 minutes by Shinkansen and perfect for a day trip. Except when we got there, we wished we had allocated more time to this city. Outside the Kumamoto train station, we rented a car for 80,000 yen for 12 hours and started exploring the city.

Kumamoto was unfortunate to be hit by two very strong earthquakes earlier this year in April 2016. That much is evident while we were driving around town – though most of the city has recovered, we saw disarrayed roof tiles and fallen buildings every now and then, especially at the Kumamoto castle. Although we cannot enter the Kumamoto Castle at the moment, we were still able to see the castle from afar and marvel at how this 15th century building were able to survive the strong earthquake.

Then, we continued our drive down Route 339 to a place called Daikanbo, to see Mount Aso and Kumamoto’s beautiful landscape.

Places to Visit:

  • Kumamoto Castle
  • Daikanbo
  • Kumamon

What to Eat:

Ikinari Dango

kumamoto-ikinaridangoIkinari Dango is a Kumamoto dumpling snack filled with red bean paste and sweet potato. Ikinari is Kumamoto slang for “sudden” so the literal translation of this snack is “sudden dumpling” or “instant dumpling” since the dumpling can be very easily prepared.

Where to have:

You can pretty much find Ikinari Dango all over Kumamoto. I got mine from the souvenir shops in Kumamoto station.
Travel to Japan with CheapTickets.sg

Getting to Japan from Singapore is super easy and affordable with special sale fares on flights and hotel rooms. Check out all our travel deals Japan such as sale fares on flights to Nagoya to check out the Chubu region and to Fukuoka for the Kyushu region that @GirlEatWorld explored as well as favourites Tokyo and  Osaka.

Special Travel Deals:

$30 flight discount:  Get a $30 instant discount on your booking when you use the code JAPAN2016 at the checkout when booking your flights before 31 October 2016.

$100 cash rebate: Get a $100 rebate when you book return flights to Japan and a minimum of 4 nights hotel accommodation when you book before 31 October 2016.

You are sure to have a good time on your trip to Japan. Start to plan and book your trip online now at www.cheaptickets.sg.

Special thanks to @girleatworld for taking all the gorgeous pictures featured in today’s blog and sharing her journey with us at CheapTickets.sg, be sure to follow her on Instagram for more travel inspiration. Happy travels!


This article also appears on CheapTickets.sg/blog: GirlEatWorld’s adventure through Kyushu.

5 Reasons you should have Canberra on your ‘must visit’ list


What is the capital city of Australia? Rewind to the end of Year 5 quiz and the tie breaker question to win the huge box of chocolates for my class comes down to me, because it’s a geography related question and well… I have always been obsessed with wanting to put pins in my world map of places I have been. My opponent quickly answers “Sydney”, and I know we have won. “It’s Canberra” I say; celebrations all round. The thing is, I had never actually been to Canberra, until now!


The first thing I ate in Canberra, at the beautiful Pialligo Estate Farmhouse Restaurant. I knew it was going to be a good trip!

When I heard there was going to be a direct flight from Singapore to a new city in Australia I thought, “hurrah, another place to explore”. With direct flights from Singapore to Canberra starting on the 20th September you can book your flight now.

With Canberra only being a three hour drive from Sydney I thought, “why wait for the new flight? I’ll go now and check it out.” Now I wonder why I didn’t go sooner. I booked a flight to Sydney and a hire car from the airport and got on the road through the picturesque valleys towards the capital- the Australian Capital Territory.

Here are my top 5 reasons to visit Canberra:

  1. Café hopping
Freakshakes at Patissez in Canberra

Freakshakes at Patissez in Canberra

VisitCanberra’s tag line is ‘one good thing after another’ and that is certainly true when it came to getting my foodie fix. Whether it was breakfast at Ona Coffee or The Cupping Room or fuelling up on coffee at Local Press, I was happy from dawn till dusk eating my way through the city. My favourite place was Pâtissez; made famous by its freakshakes and being all over Instagram with their calorific creations, it was well worth the trip. If you need any more reason to put this on your list check out their list of shakes here. Don’t over look their food either; they certainly know how to do perfect poached eggs on sourdough toast with smashed avo. Hungry? Did you know you can also road test four of the freakshakes here in Singapore at their new store in Holland Village?

2. Get cultural

It’s the capital city of Australia… and there are lots of free things to do! My top pick is The National Museum of Australia, which is nestled beautifully into a nook of Lake Burley Griffin and has an amazing collection of historical pieces from Australia’s history and events that have shaped the nation. Entry is free and with the museum only ever closing on Christmas Day this is a great way for travellers of all ages to spend three hours. History buffs need to visit between now and 29th January 2017 to experience 2 million years of human history in one room when the British Museum collection of ‘A history of the world in 100 objects’ comes to town. Whilst I usually swerve well clear of the pens and bookmarks of museum shops this one is not to be missed with its collection of unique gifts including beautiful Indigenous designs, jewelry and home wares. Most of my purchases were more ‘self gifting’!

3. Soar over the city

The National Museum of Australia sitting in Lake Burley Griffin during Balloons over Canberra

The National Museum of Australia sitting in Lake Burley Griffin during the Canberra Balloon Spectacular

To be honest, my Canberra dream is to come back and do a hot air balloon flight over Parliament House. I didn’t manage to fit it in on this trip (and it is an early start) but I do recommend seeing the city from a bird’s eye view. For those who don’t want to splash the cash, take your hire car up to Telstra Tower, just a few minutes’ drive from the National Museum of Australia and for $7.50 per adult you can get an awesome vista and test out the panorama app on your phone.


Driving up Black Mountain to Telstra Tower to get a view over Canberra

4. Go on safari


Fancy a bath? Yes, that is a Tiger nestling into his bed in my hotel room…

OK so not a safari but it comes pretty close, but with a touch of extreme luxury. A clever entrepreneur, who I was lucky enough to meet briefly during my stay at Jamala Wildlife Lodge, has created an experience unlike any other in Australia. Think, a night at the museum, but in a zoo. Attached to the National Zoo & Aquarium is this 5* hotel where you can wake up to the roar of the lions, feed a giraffe from your personal tree house or just have a tiger looking into your room, yes a real one, not the can of lager.  You need to book in advance to get one of the wild encounter rooms but all guests are treated like kings with a personal tour of the zoo, going in the enclosures, feeding a rhino, before dining with the lions. It was a real treat (and the food was pretty fantastic too!)



5. Explore the region

There is so much to do, all within 30 minutes drive from your base in Canberra. Take a day away stopping off at  the morning Capital Region Farmers Market on a Saturday morning before lunch at Grazing in Gundaroo. Be sure to visit the Clonakilla vineyard, where the fantastic wines served in Singapore Airlines’ First Class come from, and if you are the designated driver be sure to take a bottle of two back with you enjoy back at the hotel. If you need to walk off the day’s indulgence stop by Cockington Green Gardens where you can enjoy a trip around the world in miniature form and a special treat for the little or not so little ones among us on the stream train. Toot toot!

If you don’t need to fly straight back after your trip to Canberra, take the scenic route back to Sydney via Jervis Bay by following our Capital Coast and Country Self Drive route taking you past vineyards, whale and dolphin watching spots, and the whitest sand in the world at Hyam’s Beach.

Check out these dolphins showing off to my camera as they swan in the wake of the boat during my outing with Jervis Bay Wild Cruises.

What are you waiting for? Catch the Capital Express to Canberra now!

Cost of trip:

Return flights to Sydney from $349 or now fly direct to Canberra from $956.

Book 4* hotels in Canberra from $120 per night. Its best to avoid the Parliamentary sitting dates as hotels are quite full and generally higher in price, check out the dates here:

Book car rental from Sydney airport from $45 per day.

Get a $30 discount on all flights from Singapore to Canberra from now until 30th September 2016 by entering the discount code CANBERRA. For redemption details see here.


See Super Cool Seoul


This article also appears on CheapTickets.sg/blog: See Super Cool Seoul.

I have been lucky enough to visit Korea in both the spring and the summer but with Singapore’s eternal summer I so wanted to get out and cool off and my most recent trip to Seoul was the perfect antidote for this trip.

It starts to get cold in November but it you want to have full on hats, scarf and gloves weather (and a little shopping indulgence pre-trip) and possible snow, visiting from mid December to late Feb is the best period to time your trip (more about the snow in my next post…)

If like me you want to experience Seoul at it coolest here are my must do’s:(apart from getting your super cheap flight from Singapore to Seoul at CheapTickets.sg)

Get your skates on: Seoul Plaza Ice Skating Rink

Seoul Plaza Ice skating rink

Seoul Plaza Ice skating rink

Open from 17 December to 9 February (in 2016) this is one of the best value winter activities in Korea! For only 1000W including skate rental you can zoom around the ice pirouetting and showing off your skills in the midst of downtown Seoul. If you are more realistic about your skills, like me, you can rent a helmet and elbow pads for free, just ask. Be sure to wear bring your own gloves or you will need to pay 500W as every skater needs to wear them.

How to time your skate: Sunday to Thursday- 10:00-21:30 / Friday to Saturday & national holidays – 10:00-23:00. Skate time is one hour. Ice cleaning for 30 minutes between each session.

Cheonggyecheon Digital Garden @ Cheonggyecheon Stream

Cheonggyecheon Digital Garden opening times 2

Cheonggyecheon Digital Garden Stream light up times

Straight after your skate take the 400 metre walk along Sejong-Daero north towards Heungyemun gate. On your right you will see a large opening at the first main intersection, this is the entrance to the Cheonggyecheon Stream, home to the Cheonggyecheon digital garden. This year-round art light installation gets an added glow in the winter months with a special Christmas feature. The stream, which is more of a river can be followed for 8.4km but if its really cold you can get a good feel from the first 800 metres and do a loop around the stream (carefully) crossing the stream over one of the stepping stones and heading back to the start on the other side.

The times of the light up vary by month but from Dec- Feb you can view them from 18:00-20:00. We were lucky enough that they left the lights on until 20:40 the day we were there.





Too Cool: Charles H Bar at The Four Seasons Hotel

IMG_1586Want to warm your fingers and find out where all the other cool kids have been hiding? Just 200 metres walk away from the entrance to the Cheonggyecheon stream is this little gem of an old school ‘speakeasy’. Hidden at the basement level of the luxury Four Seasons Hotel (which I had the pleasure of staying 2 nights in and highly recommend) is the Charles H Bar. A little challenging to find since when you head down the stairs from the hotel lobby into the basement the bar is not signed posted anywhere (its part of the theme). Turn to your left and take the first left turn, yes it looks like a dead ended corridor but push the wall on your left and all will be revealed. My experience started with a small glass of champagne in a red curtained waiting area whilst I waited for my host to guide me into 1920’s New York and to a table. The staff are fantastic and along with the creative cocktail menu with stories behind each creation the bartenders are eager to show off their craft. A short chat revealed that some of the team are friends with the staff at Singapore local 10 Hong Kong Street- so if you have been there too your expectations will be high, and you won’t be disappointed. I went off menu and had a Cosmo followed by an Amaretto sour. Be warned this place is happening, be sure to make a reservation if you plan on coming after 8.30pm when the city workers descend into this secret spot.


How to get from Seoul Plaza to Cheonggyecheon Stream and then to Charles H Bar at Four Seasons

Ginseng Chicken Soup

After all the cool it’s time to warm up and refresh yourself for your next adventure. Whilst there are now many places that claim to have been the founding restaurant of the famed Ginseng soup, Korea Samgyetang (고려삼계탕) restaurant claims to be the oldest and most established and who am I to argue now I have tasted their delicacy? Just around the corner from the Four Seasons is the second and smaller outlet of this family restaurant (why go far when you don’t have to?). The delicious soup was delivered very soon after ordering and was still bubbling away with its dates and garlic on top. Pour in your ginseng wine to the dish and get ready to feast. Whilst I found it a little troublesome to navigate around all the little chicken bones the tender meat was more than rewarding, and the surprise of the beautiful glutinous rice when you tore open the meat was such a delight. The meal with the usual array of Korean side dishes cost 15,000W. The restaurant closes at 9pm each day so don’t leave your meal too late.

After reading more about the Ginseng Chicken soup I discovered that it is actually a dish that Koreans like to enjoy in the summer when the country is at its hottest. They believe the soup can help to replace nutrients lost through sweating.

Korea Tourism has some details about the main outlet of the restaurant here. You can visit the restaurants own site here.

Ever wondered why metal chopsticks are used in Korea?

I am intrigued why metal chopsticks are used more commonly in Korea as opposed to wood or plastic. I don’t have the exact answer, but here are a few reasons why; apart from the fact that they are considered more hygienic as they are easily washed and sanitized they also prove less wasteful then throwing away wooden chopsticks as they are more durable. There is also the view that their use stems from social aspiration where brass and silver chopsticks were used by Korean royalty and aristocrats making it a desirable option. Some theories suggest that the king used metal chopsticks in ancient times to be able to test if poison had been added to their food by monitoring corrosion to the metal once it made contact with their meal before they ate it.


Want to find out more great places to visit in Seoul and Korea? Download the ‘Visit Korea’ App now for more information and on the go assistance to help you make the most out of your trip.

Download the visit Korea app for more information on visitng Korea

This article also appears on CheapTickets.sg/blog: See Super Cool Seoul.

Go K-razy in starry starry Seoul & beyond


This article also appears on CheapTickets.sg/blog: Go K-razy in starry starry Seoul & beyond.

You may or may not already be riding the K-pop wave and gotten totally K-razy over the all singing all dancing mega groups coming out of Korea: think EXO, 2NE1, Super Junior, global phenomena PSY and my new personal favourite Bigbang with the phenomenal G-DRAGON .

Whether you are already a Hallyu (한류) follower or not there are some places that you need to visit in Korea to get in touch with and grow your ‘fangirl’ side to appreciate this musical phenomenon. I have to admit that before this trip to Korea I was more of a Gangnam style dance floor hits kind of person but I have now fully fallen in love and am now proudly following the k-wave.

IMG_1462 (1)

PSY at the Grévin wax museum, Seoul

I started my journey with a red carpet experience at the Grevin Wax Museum in Seoul. Alongside the usual suspects (US President Obama, The Queen, George Cloony & Brad Pitt) you will also find a host of K stars in their ‘Hallyuwood’ (their name not ours!). Meet and greet stars from popular dramas and even have the opportunity to take your seat on a chat show sofa to interact with some of the stars before wondering off the red carpet and onto the international sports field. What’s different from other wax museums is that the Grévin museums promise entertainment, and they certainly deliver. Not only can you pose alongside worldwide stars but you can interact with them too; from playing roulette with the Oceans 11 cast to riding through the starry sky with ET or piloting Air Force One, you can do it here.

Entry into Grévin Wax Museum costs 23,000 W per adult, 18,000 W for students (ages 13-18), 15,000 W for children (ages 3-12), and 15,WKRW for seniors (ages above 65). Children under 3 get in free accompanied by an adult. Operating Hours: Open Daily: 10am-6pm.

How to get there: City Hall Station (Seoul Subway Line 1,2), Exit 6. Walk straight for 5 min. Or, Euljiro 1-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), Exit 1. Walk straight for 3 min.

IMG_1559 (2)Next up on the wave, dive into the K-pop concert world with a 30 minute K-pop showcase hologram concert at K-LIVE. Conveniently located to break up a shopping and eating fest in Dongdaemun on the 9 & 10th floor of Lotte FitIn, dance yourself silly (it’s a pretty dark room if you are shy) to the K-LIVE concert with stars such as G-DRAGON, Bigbang, PSY & 2NE1.

The 270° performance will captivate you with its interactive elements (be prepared for your face to be used as a backing dancer) and make you feel as though you are almost at a real concert. At 33,000 W its one of the most pricey activities you can do in Seoul for the time you spend there but if you are a big fan this might be as close to the real thing as you can get!

View of Dongaemun Design Plaza from K-Live balcony in the Lotte FitIn

View of Dongaemun Design Plaza from K-Live balcony in the Lotte FitIn

Concerts  can be viewed at 30 minute intervals from 2-10pm Tuesday- Sunday. How to get there: Located on floors 9 and 10 of Lotte FitIn. Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station (Lines 2, 4, and 5) exits 11 and 12 (connected by underground path). If you go to the K-LIVE centre at dusk you can get a pretty cool view from the balcony by the cafe inside.

IMG_1928If you want to the biggest chance to run into the stars* (my personal highlight of this K-tour) head to MBC World just out of Seoul City Centre. Visit 3 difference sections of this ‘world’ packed with photo opportunities and interaction zones using the latest technology to bring the stars to life before your eyes. From hanging on the sofa with your favourite singer and having him lie on your lap, performing with your favourite girl band to getting cheeky bed shots with a movie star (you need to go there to see how) you will be entertained for a full morning or afternoon.

I was lucky enough to ‘run’ into Yoo Jae Suk of running man fame at the coffee shop in MBC world. Nicked named ‘MC of the nation’ he certainly was tolerant of the sudden excitement at the quiet corner of the studios whilst I managed to get a snap of him before his entourage tried to calm us down J If you are a big fan, maybe research the when your favourite star is being interviewed or filming a series at the centre and try and spot them (but not in a stalkerish sense…).

Yoo Jae Suk

Yoo Jae Suk from running man needs coffee too!

*we can’t guarantee that you will see/meet one, although we would love to be able to promise it!

Petit France 1

View from the bell tower at Petit France

My final stop on the starry tour took me from stage to screen as I visited one of the most romantic places in Korea… where Do Min-jun and Cheon Song-yi from My Love from the Star had their first kiss in Petit France. I took some time to wonder around this beautiful French themed village in the foothills of the rolling countryside of the Gyeonggi-do region just to be transported to somewhere that could be in the Mediterranean or The Piedmont Alps. From is cafes to halls and galleries this little village will captivate you. My visit in the winter time was particularly enjoyable with all the festive decorations and lights twinkling as dusk set, and of course that cool wintery breeze offset by the hot chocolate I sipped looking out over the nearby lake. Entry into Petit France is 8,000 W for adults and is open from 9am- 6pm. If you are driving to this area combine your trip to nearby Nami Island and The Garden of Morning Calm to make the most of your day. You can book an hotel room in nearby Chunchon from only $70, located just on the edge of the Gangwon region. Spend the evening relaxing and eating at the famed ‘Chicken Street’. For more information on visiting Nami Island and surrounds visit our special site about visiting Gangwon.

N Seoul Tower

Show your love at the N Seoul Tower

Fans of My Love from the Star can take a dedicated tour from Seoul visiting Petit France among a host of other filming locations including the N Seoul Tower and Namsan Hanok Village. The tours guide will share all their insider knowledge and gossip from the show as well as help you create cool photos where the characters pursued their romance ending the day at Palm Piano Restaurant where you can tuck into the shows signature combo of fried chicken and beer (maekju) together called chimac. The tour can be booked online in advance (to guarantee your place) at CheapTickets.sg now for only $162.


To get information on where to visit and how to get there in Korea download the ‘Visit Korea’ App now. Plus until 15 January 2016 redeem a $30 discount on all return flights from Singapore Korea, book now! Get the download links and your discount code now at www.CheapTickets.sg/korea#promo

Download the visit Korea app for more information on visitng Korea

This article also appears on CheapTickets.sg/blog: Go K-razy in starry starry Seoul & beyond.










Go Korea! Discover Gangwon


For those of you who read this travel blog regularly, you know I am an avid fan of taking my trips to Korea…Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter, I always discover another treasure on my trips. Its not just the food that took me back this time (my stomach often leads my flight purchases) but my yearning to discover some new places that I hadn’t yet laid my bag. I got a direct from Singapore to Seoul for only $658 with Asiana Airlines. Normally I would save money and take one of the cheaper stop over flights to Korea but this was such a great deal I had to book the cheap flight deals from Singapore to Korea!

Eating the famous Dakgalbi in Chuncheon Dakgalbi Street

Eating the famous Dakgalbi in Chuncheon Dakgalbi Street

This time I flew into Seoul and started my adventure in the region of Gangwon-do. If you are out visiting Gangwon, a must do stop off (and on many of the tour bus routes if you are taking one of those) is the riverside town of Chuncheon. You can catch a direct train from Seoul Station to Chuncheon in just under 2 hours. A 10 minute walk from Chuncheon station you will find the ‘must try’ Chuncheon Dakgalbi Street. Nicknamed the Myeong-Dong of Chuncheon this now famous street started off with only 2-3 dakgalbi restaurants but today you can count no fewer than 25! This spicy stir-fried chicken with vegetables is not to be shared, your appetite will automatically increase when you get your plate, if they smell when you walk into the restaurant hasn’t already set your mouth watering. The region has been well known for its abundant amount of poultry farms for many years so you can also be sure you are getting the freshest chicken.

The ferry to Nami Island

The ferry to Nami Island

If you are heading to Chuncheon on the train or driving there you must visit Nami Island, a short coach ride, or 1.5 hours away on public bus. Although also easily accessible for a day trip from Seoul if you are really going to explore this little island of hidden gems, take the time to stay the nice in Chuncheon, or even book one of the cabins on the island. Famous for its tree lined roads this idilic island is home to watersports during the summer and beautiful walks in the winter. Did I mention there also a themepark with merry-go rounds and a roller skating rink? This is the ideal place for a couple to come and enjoy themselves, shame I left my better half at home this time! If you are going free & easy, that’s it, be brave, Book hire a car in Korea and explore yourself, you can catch the ferry over with your car at 10-20 minute intervals from 9am-6pm daily.

The entrance to the DMZ 2nd tunnel in Gangwon, Korea

The entrance to the DMZ 2nd tunnel in Gangwon, Korea

Are you keen to explore into North Korea? OK so maybe not fully over the border and into life up there but just to say you have stepped over, even if just for a minute. The 2nd Tunnel, as it is known was made by the North Koreans to invade South Korea and was discovered on 24th March 1975. The tunnel is 3.5kms long and going 50-160 metres below the earths surface at its deepest point. The tunnel can accommodate up to 30,000 people at any one time and is large enough for full size tanks to pass through. There are tours that you can pick up From Baengmagoji Station taking you around the major sites in the area from 6,000 KW. A train to here from Seoul would take 2.5 hours but if you are centralising in Chuncheon you will need to drive or book in on a private coach tour to the area.

Getting ready to Ski at the Alpensia Ski Resort in Gangwon, Korea

Getting ready to Ski at the Alpensia Ski Resort in Gangwon

There are so many other awesome places to visit in the Gangwon area. With the winter season coming and the Pyongchang area to host the 2018 Winter Olympics you can bet you are going to get good snow sports in the area. Many of the Cheap Hotels in Gangwon Korea will arrange transfers from Seoul during the high season. My favourite is the Intercontinental Alpensia for that little bit of luxury during the colder months.

The Donghae Sea Train in Gangwon Korea

The Donghae Sea Train in Gangwon

Heading further east in Gangwon you can take time to explore the coastal towns try picking up the Sea Train from Jeongdongjin station to Samcheok. Every seat delivers tourists ocean views with large windows to enhance your experience as you cruise along the coastline taking in majestic waves over 1 hour 20 minutes. Departure information can be found Travel information for the Gangwon East Coast Sea Train.

Wherever you want to go in Korea, CheapTickets.sg makes sure you get your travel at the cheapest flight price from Singapore to Korea. Visit our special Korea website now to check out all our favourite places to visit.

Exclusive Korea travel promotions from CheapTickets.sg

From now until 31 August get $30 discount on your return flight from Singapore to any Korean destination. Get your Korea flight discount and book now- Click here

Book return flights from Singapore to Korea for 2 people and a minimum of 4 nights at a Book a cheap hotel deal at CheapTickets.sg and get 2 complimentary tickets to see Fanta-Stick- the Fusion ‘Gukak’ Music Show in Seoul, worth 50,000 Won per person.

CheapTickets.sg 5D4N Korea deals


Paradise in Palawan- Puerto Princesa


This article also appears on CheapTickets.sg/blog: Paradise in Palawan, Puerto Princesa.

Looking for the ultimate place for relaxation, adventure and above all,  an amazing holiday? Step into paradise in Palawan, home to the highest concentration of islands and forests in The Philippines. Explore outstanding biodiversity or marine life as well as flora and fauna on one of the world’s best islands.

Whilst there are no direct flights (yet) from Singapore to Puerto Princesa Airport in Palawan there are daily flights travelling through Manila with Philippines Airlines and Cebu Pacific. Return flights can be bought from CheapTickets.sg from only $366 all-in (the prices quoted on searching always include the taxes).

Once you land in Palawan take a local taxi to nearby hotel in Puerto Princesa, it should cost you around SG$6 to get to one of the coastal resort hotels just 6k from the airport. 4* hotels such as the Blue Palawan Beach Club can be booked from only $99 per night and are perfect for a 1 or 2 night stay at the start or end of your Palawan adventure.

Entering the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River

Entering the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River

From your hotel you can book to take a trip to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River. This UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the 7 wonders of nature is an 8.2 kilometre river, estimated to be the longest navigable underground river in the world winds through caves and under a mountain range and out into the South China Sea. Cruise along the river on a small paddled outrigger boat by searchlight to discover wonders of nature, untouched by sunlight. The national park the river is located in is home to more than 800 plant species, 195 bird species, 30 mammals and 19 reptiles. A trip to the river will take a whole day since many tours visit places such as Elephant mountain and include a lunch stop. The boat ride itself will be about 45 mins. You can also consider to book a Sabang X-Zipline or a Mangrove Tour in addition to the cave. You can DIY the trip by going to apply in person for the pass on arrival but passes usually have to be purchased at least 2 weeks in advance this way, unless there are passes left to redeem since there is a maximum number of people allowed in the cave during a set period.

Puerto Princesa Underground RiverA trip to Honda Bay, a cluster of islands just 15 minutes away from the main city area is perfect if you are just looking to relax on the beach after your journey or take the plunge into the crystal waters. Most cruises will make a first stop at Pambato reef, its best to start the tour early to get the smoothest waters and take a swim. You can rent snorkel gear to get the best view of all the fish and corals. You will be provided with life jackets so you can just float on the water and take in the reef.

Luli Island Palawan

Luli Island Palawan

Next up is Lu-li island, this bank of white sand where you can paddle into the sea and swim in the shallow water with the fish (a bit of bread helps them to come your way!). Lunch can be at Pandan island where you can indulge in freshly cooked seafood cooked to order from one of the many vendors. Next ask you boat driver to drop by Starfish island, you can spot up to 3 different colours of starfish in the waters. Last up will probably be Cowrie Island, this small, clean beach island is great to just relax and enjoy the end of the day. You can rent your own boat from Php1,300-1,800 (SG$40-50) depending on the boat size but be prepared to negotiate if you don’t want to share with anyone. If you are not on a set tour you will need to pay an average of Php 50-120 (SG$1.5-3.60) per island that you visit as an entrance fee

If you want to plug some romance into your trip you can take a trip to see the Fireflies on the Iwahig river. Its best to go when there is a small moon to get the best view of these real life fairy lights. If you are planning to DIY the visit by taking 45 tricycle ride (make sure you get the driver to wait there as there are no other options to get back) get your hotel or a tour guide to make a reservation for you before hand to ensure that you get a boat trip, if you just turn up you risk having to wait a really long time. The 45 minute boat trip can be done in a canoe with a guide who might even show you how the bio luminescent phytoplankton and how they light up as you swish you hands in the water. There are other tours on larger boats with seafood buffets but if you prefer something a little more personal the canoe tours are for you. Doing it DIY you will pay about Php 800 for the transport to the boat and Php 1,200 for the boat, around 1,000 per person where a package will be about 1,200.

Next up on a trip Paalwan you can explore the areas of El Nido and Coron, coming up in the next blog!

Get cheap flights from Singapore to Palawan from CheapTickets.sg

This article also appears on CheapTickets.sg/blog: Paradise in Palawan, Puerto Princesa.

Carrie’s Ultimate Travel GlOAT Book 2015


This article also appears on CheapTickets.sg/blog: Travel Book 2018 for the year of the Dog.

Chinese New Year is here! It’s time to get off that high horse and have a little gloat.

CheapTickets.sg 2015 gloat bookWe know that gloating perhaps isn’t considered the most savory of activities, but then when you post up your pictures of those beautiful and amazing destinations you have travelled to for your friends to see online, it’s kind of the same thing. Let’s think of it more as inspiring our fellow travellers to go out and have a little gloat themselves? Besides, with everyone having access to book the cheapest flights to almost anywhere in the world, why not let them share in the experience…
I have put together some gloat-worthy places and experiences for your travel bucket list in this year of G.O.A.T.

1. Finland: Rovaniemi

See the Northern Lights in Finland: Rovaniemi

See the Northern Lights in Finland: Rovaniemi

Step into a magical winter wonderland in the official hometown of Santa Claus and gateway to Lapland with a return flight from Singapore to Rovaniemi starting from $1371! From September to late March the spectacle of the Northern Lights, scientifically terms aurora borealis can be seen from the city itself on 200 nights of the year. Head to the riverfront behind the Arktikum museum or take a personal tour, even riding on a blanket coated husky sledge to watch the lights in full technicolour in front of your eyes.

2. Ecuador: Galapagos Islands

Fly to the Galapagos Islands via Quito, Ecuador

Fly to the Galapagos Islands via Quito, Ecuador

OK, we agree that this is a long shot in terms of travel distance and most budgets but The Galapagos archipelago, which played a huge part in Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection, is a terrific natural heritage site to visit. From Singapore it’s a hefty flight time of up to 30 hours to Quito in Ecuador and costs from $3000 where you will need to arrange an additional flight with either TAME or AEROGAL airlines for a flight over to the Galapagos, but the pictures you will get from the flight in alone will be worth the trip. A limit to the number of visitors a year has been imposed so if you made the cut, you deserve to have a little gloat over it!

3. Nagtobon Beach, Palawan, Philippines

Find a private beach in Nagtabon Beach Palawan

Find a private beach in Nagtabon Beach Palawan

No, not the Palwan on Sentosa. Passing through the Puerto Princesa Airport in Palawan and into the city, nicknamed the city in a forest (and voted the cleanest and greenest city in the Philippines) head an hour north to the magical Nagtoban Beach. What is there to do there? Absolutely nothing except taking photos to gloat with later… you might even be the only person on the beach, just like on your own private island? Get cheap return flights from Singapore to Puerto Princesa, Palawan now from only $350.

4. Turkey: Bosphorus Strait

Bosphorus Strait Turkey

Bosphorus Strait Turkey

The Strait at the edge of Istanbul that forms part of the boundary between Europe and Asia is a sight to behold. Spanning the strait is the Bosphorus Bridge, located between Ortaköy (European side) and Beylerbeyi (Asian side). Book your return flight tickets from Singapore to Turkey from only $803. Take the opportunity to drive across the bridge or simply admire the marvelous view from the Strait – and don’t forget to check in your location when you are at the crossing point of Europe and Asia!

5. United Kingdom: Trent and Mersey Canal

Hire a canal boat in theUnited Kingdom on the Trent and Mersey Canal

Hire a canal boat in the United Kingdom on the Trent and Mersey Canal

Have you been on a week long canal boat holiday before? Thought not! Hire a narrow boat from Avante Classic Narrowboats and embark on a canal adventure along the Trent and Mersey Canal. You get to enjoy exclusive use of the boat so feel free to explore anywhere along the beautiful canal. Imagine lying on your bed looking at the constantly shifting landscape and waking up every morning to a different view! Not forgetting all the British pubs along the canal routes to tuck into a full English Breakfast, full roast dinner or just a well deserved freshly poured pint. (Nearest Airport: Birmingham International Airport- get return flights from Singapore to Birmingham from only $1373 )

6. Spain: Montserrat

Catalan Pre- Coastal Mountain range of Monserrat Spain

Catalan Pre- Coastal Mountain range of Monserrat Spain

Not to be mixed up with Montserrat in the Caribbean (though it is also pretty amazing), this is actually part of the Catalan Pre-Coastal Range. Simply take a train down from Barcelona and you are ready for some spectacular views of the peak. You might even come face to face with a mountain goat – so apt for a gloat-worthy experience! Return flights from Singapore to Barcelona are available from $1137.

7. Namibia: Etosha National Park

Go wild camping in the Etosha National Park Nature Reserve

Go wild camping in the Etosha National Park Nature Reserve

Camp at Etosha Reserve to have almost guaranteed game sightings at the waterholes. With a salt pan so large that is visible from space, Etosha offers an uncommon sight of nearly 150 mammal species including several endangered species such as the Black Rhino, Black-faced Impaia, Tsessebe and Gemsbok. It is a completely different experience from visiting the zoo. You’ve got to try it for yourself! (Nearest airport: Windhoek International Airport- return flights from Singapore to Windhoek from $1708)

8. Myanmar: Bagan

Hot balloons at dawn in Bagan, Myanmar

Hot balloons at dawn in Bagan, Myanmar

Let the hot air balloon flights in Bagan lift you over 4000 pagodas in just 45 minutes! Experience the magnificent view and extraordinary serenity of the city while having a toast with your loved ones in the pink sunset. Simply take a domestic flight on Air Bangan from Yangon (alternatively take an 8-hour drive) and you are ready for your adventure at this gloriously unsullied destination! Check out cheap return flight deals from Singapore to Yangon starting from $218.

9. France: Louvre Museum

The facade at The Louvre Museum Paris

The facade at The Louvre Museum Paris

People say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but at Louvre, you can. The entrance of the museum is a glass Pyramid sculpture which qualifies as a tourist attraction spot on its own (Selfie sticks at the ready for bragging uploads). Apart from being the largest museum in the world, it is so conveniently located in the city centre of Paris you have no reason to give it a miss! Return flights from Singapore to Paris start from $865.

10. South Korea: Jeju Island

Diving with the Haenyeo women of Jeju, South Korea

Diving with the Haenyeo women of Jeju, South Korea

Even if you have been to Jeju Island, you probably didn’t know that you could have a Haenyeo experience at Sagye-ri Village! With just 25,000 won (about 30 SGD) you can experience diving as a Haenyeo in the shallow coastal area and trying on Haenyeo clothing! Take the opportunity to gain greater appreciation for Jeju through the Haenyeos – a part of Jeju’s history and unique culture. Return flights from Singapore to Jeju are available starting from $568.

The year of G.O.A.T. is all about Going On A Trip! If you find the Ultimate GloatBook a little too ambitious for you, you can always start with our Long Weekend Getaway Guide or create your own GloatBook with our cheapest flight deals!

This article also appears on CheapTickets.sg/blog: Travel Book 2018 for the year of the Dog.


Carrie’s 2015 Long Weekend Getaway Guide


Hello travellers! I’ve been really busy sorting out my weekend getaway ideas and planning out my travels for the year. Let me share with you how I am going to maximize Singapore public holidays in 2015 to go on 10 long weekend getaways with just 3 days of annual leave!

Visit Palawan Philippines cheap flights from Singapore $448

Hidden beauty beach, El Nido, Philippines

I am all ready for my Chinese New Year Long Weekend adventure! This will be my first time visiting Palawan in the Philippines and I have already booked a Honda Bay Island Hopping + Firefly Watching Tour to experience the beauty of nature. Since I have four days over there, I am also going to explore hidden beaches and shrines in El Nido.

In case you are wondering if it is too late for you to hop on a plane to Palawan for the long weekend, I have just done a quick search for you and return flights from Singapore to Puerto Princesa (Palawan) are still available from $448! Book Now.

If you think booking your Chinese New Year long weekend getaway now is a little too rushed for you, feel free to join me in my next adventure in Japan during Good Friday Long Weekend. I am so excited to be visiting The Hamarikyu Gardens in Tokyo during Japan Cherry Blossom Season on an Easter Weekend.

Visit The Hamarikyu Gardens in Tokyo during Cherry Blossom's this Easter

Visit The Hamarikyu Gardens in Tokyo during Cherry Blossom’s this Easter

In order to have more time to explore Fukuoka as well as being able to witness the full bloom of cherry blossoms, I have decided to take one extra day off to make it a 4-day trip. Hurry make your return flight bookings to Japan from $502 now before the tickets are gone!

Are you bitten by the travel bug yet? Check out the full guide of 2015 Long Weekend Getaway Guide here to get some inspiration on where to go and what to do for the rest of the long weekends! Make full use of 2015 public holidays to check your dream destinations off your travel bucket list!

My tip for making the most of the 2015 Singapore Public Holidays Long weekends: Always plan ahead and book early to get the best deals possible.

48 hours in Magical Macau


This article also appears on CheapTickets.sg/blog: 48 hours in Magical Macau.

The island of Macau is well known for its casinos and bright lights due to its 33 casinos. However, what’s less well known is that this former Portuguese colony actually offers so much more to intrigue travellers than just poker and baccarat. Having been colonized for 442 years – from 1577 till 1999 Macau has a rich history steeped in contrasting heritage and architecture. A casual evening stroll down the quaint streets might just leave you wondering if you’ve stumbled into old Europe, while a lion dance happening on the next street will bring you straight back to Asia. Macau is a perfect long weekend destination, time to squeeze in a combination of culture, shopping and of course plenty of eating. I spent only 48 hours discovering the magic of Macau but I will definitely be back for more.

Breakfast on Cathay Pacific Business ClassTaking an early morning flight from Singapore to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific, I planned to have a leisurely on board breakfast followed by catching a couple of the hundred or so films on offer- however the heavenly new flat beds now on offer in business class stole away a couple of my hours to sleep. I still managed a light breakfast and a big latte to get my adventure off to a good start.

Cathay Pacific Business Class from Singapore to Hong Kong

The new business class seats on Cathay Pacific from Singapore to Hong Kong

Carrie on the TurboJet ferry to MacauOn arrival at Hong Kong International Airport it was a short 5 minute walk through the arrivals terminal where I easily found the ferry connection desk just before immigration. After a 50 minute cruise on the TurboJet ferry I arrived at Macau ferry Terminal where I jumped on the free shuttle to my new home at The Holiday Inn Macau and grabbed a map from reception and off I went on my adventure. (you can get a free ferry transfer from Hong Kong Airport to Macau when you book a return flight and a hotel room at www.CheapTickets.sg until March 2015!)

St Paul's selfie

St Paul’s selfie

Having seen the iconic Ruins of St. Pauls in pictures for years I was happy to start my trip with a selfie there to share with my friends on facebook (it’s important to share myself being cultural and not always shopping!) .This iconic monument is one of the most recognizable sights of Macau. Most of the old church was destroyed by a fire in 1835 and all that’s left standing today is the front facade and grand steps. The ruins of St.Pauls has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005 as part of the Historic Center of Macau! Ironically, just at the foot of the steps of the ruins is a huge Forever 21, and a starbucks… so naturally I had to check these out (where I met some fellow Singaporeans).

Next it was off for an afternoon treat- of Portuguese Egg Tarts. Ok, I dropped the first one whilst being overly keen to get a good picture of me tucking into it (serves me right?) but really, it was the best egg tart I have ever tasted… so I had quite a few. My favourite tarts being from the stall in the picture- I didn’t catch the name but you can find it on the left on the way down the hill from St. Pauls ruins to Senado Square. On this hill you will also find at least 20 Bakkwa shops, you can easily get your fill by having tasters from each one, you will notice 50% of the other tourist have purchased bags of the stuff.

St Dominic's church Senado Square Macau

St Dominic’s church Senado Square Macau

After realising quite how many calories were in the foods that I had just consumed and one of my KPI’s of this trip to be to find baked duck rice I thought I had better get on with some exercise. The lovely people at Macau Government Tourist Office have come up with 4 walks around the city following different interest areas. From Senado Square I picked up the East Meets West Macau Walking tour taking in picturesque St. Lawrence’s Church, St Josephs Seminary and Church and the contrasting culture of Mandarin’s House and A-Ma Temple. The route highlights the cultural intersections of the influence of both the Portuguese and Chinese people.

CheapTickets.sg at the A-Ma Temple Macau

A-Ma Temple







As evening fell I took a cab across to the water to Taipa Southern Island of Macau to explore some of the big hotels and casinos. The bright lights of the tunnel to the City of Dreams attracted me to check out the ‘city’ inside. Unfortunately the cast of the water spectacular ‘House of Dancing Water’ whose show is based in the entertainment complex were having a couple of weeks off to recoup but instead we were treated to the 18 minute immersive experience of ‘Dragons treasure’. This 360 show inside a 30 metre dome will have you marvelling at the special effects. At only SG$8 per adults and half price for children, it’s a bargain entertainment. With showings every 30 minutes on the hour and half past from 12 noon to 8pm don’t miss this show. If you eat at the City of Dreams restaurant, bar or shop and spend over MOP200 (around $34) you can redeem a free ticket to the show There are tonnes of shows and entertainment events in Macau to keep you captivated all year.

Dragons Treasure City of Dreams Macau

Dragons Treasure City of Dreams Macau

Macau tower at night

Macau tower at night





Post show I was famished and so wondered across and into the spectacular Venetian hotel in search of more food. Before wondering the streets of Venice I stumbled upon a huge food court in the hotel, I didn’t manage to get the baked duck rice I had been so avidly searching for but the chicken pot rice certainly didn’t disappoint. Still with more food to hunt for, there is always a reason to come back to Macau!

Venetian Macau panoramic

Venetian Macau panoramic

To end my perfect day in Macau I jumped in a cab back to Senado Square to capture the scene at nighfall where lights had perfectly illuminated the historic buildings for some final snaps. After a 10 minute stroll back to the Holiday Inn hotel I settled down at the hotel bar to reminisce about my day- and plan for my next adventure.

Check out my video of my trip to Macau here!

Getting to Macau

There are 23 flights daily from Singapore to get to you to Macau. Direct flights taking just over 3 hours 30 minutes with Tigerair depart Singapore twice daily or there are 21 flights from Singapore to Hong Kong International Airport where you can hop straight on a Turbo Jet ferry to Macau, taking only 50 minutes. Transfer from flight to ferry in Hong Kong airport is quick and easy, on arrival head towards immigration, you will signs directing you to the ferry services (do not pass through immigration! This will be done in Macau). From now until 30 March 2015, book a flight to Hong Kong and at least 1 nights stay in Macau and get a free 1 way ferry transfer from Hong Kong International Airport to Macau! With return flights from only SG$233 all-in and 3* hotels from $80 a night, get booking at www.CheapTickets.sg.

Getting about Macau

On arrival at the Macau International airport on Taipa or by ferry from HKIA you will arrive at Macau ferry terminal (except on the 10:15 service which berths at the Macau Taipa Temporary Ferry Terminal) you will find complimentary shuttle buses departing every 30 minutes to most major hotels. No worries if you’ve just missed the bus, taxis can be caught just outside the terminal with fares similar to what you are used to in Singapore. Once in the city most hotels run a shuttle service between Macau (the northern part attached to the mainland) and Taipa, the southern island where the airport is so you can easily explore what Macau has to offer. One of the best ways to see the beauty of historical Macau is by following a walking tour. Check out Macau walking tours.

This article also appears on CheapTickets.sg/blog: 48 hours in Magical Macau.

Australia’s Northern Territory- A day in Darwin


This article also appears on CheapTickets.sg/blog: Australia’s Northern Territory-A day in Darwin.

You all know how much I love Australia, with fantastic food, fine wine and blue skies I am always looking for a reason to hop on a flight down under. Having ticked off some great destinations (Melbourne, Sydney and The Gold Coast) already this year I was running out of time for an extra adventure, but I certainly found one worth squeezing in- Australia’s Northern Territory!

Explore Australia's Northern TerritoryMy outback adventure in Australia’s ‘Top End’ started with a short 4 hour flight from Singapore to Darwin (SilkAir fly this route direct with free wifi entertainment on board). With flights from only $377 all-in, this is a cheap Australian destination to fly to. After a 10 minute transfer I arrived at my central Darwin hotel ready for my adventure to start. With only 4 nights to explore I got straight down to business- with a fantastic sunset meal at Char restaurant, sampling a selection of some of the fine Australian beef on offer- washed down with a sumptuous chocolate espresso martini…

CheapTickets.sg Carrie at Crocosaurous covecroc cove

At Crocosaurous cove

The next morning I was up bright and early to blue skies, for a spot of fishing for NT’s famous inhabitants- crocodiles. (For all the keen swimmers out there, the NT’s pristine beaches and cool water holes are not for swimming in, due to their strong jawed inhabitants, there are signs informing where there are croc free pools for your enjoyment) My first encounter with the crocs happened at Crocosaurous cove. I enjoyed a close up encounter feeding 4 different crocs and even holding a baby one. The crocs are surprisingly soft skinned, but definitely not cuddly! For the daring amongst you book in for the ‘cage of death’ experience, swimming in a croc pool with Perspex between you and their teeth!

Next I took a short drive over The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory to meet another croc, the 5 metre, 780kg sweetheart, who thankfully is now static as part of the exhibit, phew. The highlight for me was discovering more about the history and art of the aboriginal people of the Northern Territory, and the evolution of their unique culture and artwork. You can also learn about Cyclone Tracy that hit Darwin back in 1975 and how the city has rebuilt itself.

Lunch at the Cornocopia Cafe DarwinA spot of lunch on the Cornucopia café veranda overlooking the waterfront was well deserved in my opinion. With a huge chicken caeser salad and cold Pinot Grigio inside me I ready to move on to Darwin’s Top End Tourist Information Centre back in the city centre to gather information for the remainder of my trip. The friendly team there will be able to provide you information on tours, self drive route maps and attractions to visit. You can also get more information before you leave at http://www.tourismtopend.com.au/.

From here I took a 20 minute stroll from the Tourist Information centre through some of the most historic parts of Darwin and down into the darwin waterfrontharbour can passing through the relaxing waterfront area where you can sip coffee or enjoy a sumptuous dinner watching the world go by or dip into (a croc free area) of the wave lagoon in the centre of the waterfront- this will be something I do on my next trip.

After picking up an evening cruise to watch the magical NT sunsets over the Timor Sea, and more wonderful food I headed over for some retail therapy at the Mindil Beach Markets. These open air markets operate Thursday and Sunday evenings until the last Thursday in October and are the place to mingle with the locals as well as buy a few souvenirs (croc skin related mainly!) tuck into local produce and watch the many entertainers who perform around the market.

Sunset cruise from Darwin Harbor

Sunset cruise from Darwin Harbour

Mindil Beach Sunset Markets Darwin

Mindil Beach Sunset Markets Darwin

After a busy first full day I was ready to get to my comfy bed ready for my adventure into Kakadu National Park the next morning.

To win flights for you and a friend to experience Australia’s Northern Territory for yourself enter at the CheapTickets.sg facebook contest now at http://woobox.com/wzhz9e before 22nd October.

Win flights to Australia's Northern Territory with CheapTickets.sg

This article also appears on CheapTickets.sg/blog: Australia’s Northern Territory-A day in Darwin.

Why you shouldn’t skip over travel insurance

This article also appears on CheapTickets.sg/blog: Why you shouldn’t skip over travel insurance.

You might have seen the STB ad with Justice Bao recently reminding Singaporeans to purchase travel insurance to protect you when you travel, and they are right. But in case you missed it here are a couple of reasons you shouldn’t travel without cover.

  1. It’s so easy to buy. Don’t make excuses that it’s a hassle to purchase travel insurance or forget to do it before you fly. Just one click with your flight booking adds the option to your transaction on CheapTickets.sg. Your policy documents will be delivered to your inbox almost instantly after you have booked it.
  2. Help is just a call away when in need. At CheapTickets.sg we work with insurance hero’s AIG to provide you with insurance. They have a contact number ( +65 6733 2552 ) with friendly ATAP professionals ready to assist you. What kind of emergencies can they help in?
  • Sick and need to find a nearby doctor? The ATAP can help guide you to the nearest hospital/clinic.
  • Lost your passport? ATAP will assist in the replacement of lost or stolen travel documents including help with visas.
  • Lost luggage? The ATAP team will coordinate with the air carrier and assist in getting your luggage back to you.
  1. Recover your costs if you are not able to travel. Ever worried about falling sick and missing out on that trip you have been planning or maybe a parent or spouse falls sick and you need to care for them? You could get monetary reimbursement on your flight and hotel arrangements for up to $5000 for anything you are not able to cancel.
  2. Return medical care: If you’ve ever caught something on the way home or injured yourself did you know you are still covered for 2 days once you get home? Your doctor’s fees would be covered even once you are back in Singapore.

With travel insurance from only $8.5 per day for travel in South East Asia and $9 per day in Australia when you purchase your travel insurance with your CheapTickets.sg flight, it’s worth the small addition for the piece of mind when you travel.

Terms and conditions apply. Please read the policy coverage available at check out for more details.

This article also appears on CheapTickets.sg/blog: Why you shouldn’t skip over travel insurance.

5 Reasons why Tasmania is the Ultimate Wanderlust Destination

This article also appears on CheapTickets.sg/blog: 5 Reasons Why Tasmania is the Ultimate Wanderlust Destination.

From sparkling sapphire bays to fossil-rich limestone, Tasmania is brimming with natural wonders sure to take your breath away

It may sit near the bottom of the globe, but with a treasure trove of natural wonders, it is hard to imagine anyone resisting Tasmania’s allure. Get bitten by the wanderlust bug as you explore more of what Tasmania has to offer.

Here are the top five reasons why the Apple Isle is the ultimate travel destination.

#1 Wineglass Bay

Freycinet Experience Walk

Freycinet Experience Walk, Wineglass Bay Photo: Tourism Australia

Located within the Freycinet National Park, Wineglass Bay, considered one of the top 10 beaches in the world, boasts a sparkling sapphire basin and a crescent of soft, white sand. For a truly spectacular view, take a short trek to the Wineglass Bay lookout. While the uphill walk might be a bit of a scramble, the view from atop is well worth the effort. There are many more short walks across the park, suitable for all. These mostly lead to secluded bays, beaches and bird-filled lagoons.

Adventurous travellers can try out the Freycinet Experience Walk, a four-day guided hike across the entire length of the peninsula. While on the walk, keep a sharp lookout for some of Tasmania’s native animals in action. If you’re lucky, you just might spot some native white-bellied sea eagles diving into the bay for food!

The bay’s calm and clear waters also makes it the perfect location for those who enjoy fishing, sailing or simply soaking up the coastal scenery.

#2 Freycinet Marine Farm

Food is the word on every Singaporean’s lips. And with Tasmania’s cool air and pristine waters, there can only be one thing on everyone’s mind — seafood!

Taste some of Tasmania’s freshest seafood at Freycinet Marine Farm, which rears everything from succulent Pacific oysters to Tasmanian Blue Mussels. For a truly immersive experience, the farm encourages visitors to sift for oysters straight from the waters. Just picture yourself ankle-deep in water and feasting on freshly shucked oysters!

#3 Maria Island


Maria Island photo credit: Maria Island Walk and Great Walks of Australia

Immense, raw and awe-inspiring — that is what walking through Maria Island feels like. The world heritage national park, located in a mountainous island to the east of Tasmania, is a sanctuary of stunning historic ruins and dramatic cliffs — and a goldmine for Instagram-worthy pics.

Fossil Cliffs is a real-life Jurassic Park, containing fossils of ancient creatures that date back to 300 million years ago. Hunt for remains of extinct organisms like the Eurydesma, a giant thick-shelled clam, which can be found embedded in beds of rocks.

Another reason to visit Maria Island is The Painted Cliffs. This site is covered in beautifully patterned sandstone that comes in stunning shades of red, orange and yellow; sometimes all at once. Fishing for more “Likes” on your Instagram photos? This is the place to be.

#4 Lavender Fields Forever

Sifting for travel ideas this December or January? Look no further than the world’s largest commercial lavender farm, Bridestowe Lavender Estate, located in northeast Tasmania. Be mesmerised by rows and rows of gorgeous lavender bushes that form a colourful palette against the brilliant blue skies.

And don’t just stop and smell the flowers, you can taste them too! The Woodcroft Café on the estate sells a range of lavender-infused desserts, like lavender fudge brownie and lavender ice cream, which you can enjoy while curled up on one of the farm benches or under a grand oak tree! Is there any better way to spend a fine summer’s day?

Those looking to do a spot of souvenir shopping can purchase Bobbie, Bridestowe’s resident lavender-filled teddy bear. Aside from its lovely colour and soothing lavender scent, these bears also make the perfect cuddle buddy.


#5 Cataract Gorge Reserve

Cataract Gorge Cottage 22/2013

Gatekeepers Cottage Photo: Tourism Australia

Located less than two kilometres from Launceston’s city centre, Cataract Gorge, framed by an ice-cold river, bushland and cliffs, offers an escape from the buzz of city living. Interested in a walkabout? There are two walking tracks that straddle the gorge. Cataract Walk is level while the Zig Zag Track is steep. Both offer stunning, clear views of greenery and water.

If you are travelling with kids, the gorge offers a free outdoor swimming pool and barbecues for a lovely family outing in the summer. Be sure to take a ride on the world’s longest single-span chairlift and keep a lookout for sociable peacocks, which can be found strutting about the gardens.

Special Travel Deals

Book your trip to Australia before 31st March to be able to redeem the CheapTickets.sg  $100 cash rebate promotion when you book your flight and minimum of 4 nights hotel in Australia now! There has never been a better reason to pack yourself off to Tasmania.

Want to discover more in Tasmania? Check out our new Runway Australia self-drive and come with us to the Tasman Peninsula to see the highest sea cliffs in the southern hemisphere, see wild whales and eat the best oysters in the world.

This article also appears on CheapTickets.sg/blog: 5 Reasons Why Tasmania is the Ultimate Wanderlust Destination.

Runway Australia Tasmania