Tuesday, 17 May 2022

A go-to guide for travelling through Changi Airport in 2022

As travel picks up with the opening of borders, find out what to keep in mind when booking your next flight, how to prepare for your trip and the necessary things to note when you depart from or arrive at Changi Airport.

Things to keep in mind when booking your flight

1. Check entry requirements for different countries – Visit Singapore Airlines’ Travel Advisories page to know the necessary documents or testing required and the Visa and Immigration Requirements page for visa and passport validity requirements for the destination(s) you are headed to. For travellers arriving in Singapore, details of what is required can be found here. 

2. Select the Auto Check-In (ACI) option. With ACI, you can automatically check-in with ease 48 hours before your flight departs. If you missed this option when booking your flight online, you can still do it through Manage Booking. For travellers who did not select ACI, you will receive an email check-in reminder 48 hours prior to your scheduled departure, and have the option to check-in via singaporeair.com or the SingaporeAir Mobile App.

Check-in online before heading to the airport

Before you arrive at Changi Airport for your flight

1. Check-in online before heading to the airport.

a) Ensure your travel document information is updated accurately when you check in

b) Upload health certificate(s)* and generate your boarding pass

c) Declare the number of bags to be checked in

d) Print your baggage tags when you arrive at Changi Airport’s self-service kiosk. Please note that this service is only available for travel out of Singapore.

Travellers who check in via the SingaporeAir Mobile App, may simply scan their Mobile Boarding Pass (MBP)** QR code at self-service kiosk when they arrive at Changi Airport.

* Please check the Online or Mobile Check-In page for eligible routes
** Bag tag generation will only be available for eligible passengers travelling on selected routes

2. In line with Singapore’s regulations, all travellers (6 years and above) must wear a mask when travelling to Changi Airport on any form of public transportation and throughout their journey at the airport and on board Singapore Airlines.

3. Download the SingaporeAir Mobile App to have all the necessary information at your fingertips. Simply add your trip by entering your booking reference number and receive updates on your flight such as check-in reminders, boarding alerts, gate and baggage belt information.

Check-in kiosk at Changi’s Terminal 3

Departing from Changi Airport

1. For a relaxing journey, head to the airport at least 3 hours before your flight time. Take note of the terminal number that is displayed on your boarding pass or booking confirmation.

2. At the airport, proceed to the check-in row noted alongside your flight number (Please note that certain destinations will not allow you to go to self service check-in kiosks due to requirements to view documentation prior to check-in)

3. If you did not check-in online prior to arriving at Changi Airport, check-in for your flight at the self-service check-in kiosk. Make sure to have a digitally verifiable health certificate ready (must include QR code), as required by your destination country. After checking in and getting your boarding pass and bag tags printed, proceed to drop off your bags after tagging.

Arriving at Changi Airport

All passengers arriving in Singapore must submit the SG Arrival Card and the accompanying electronic Health Declaration within three days before the flight. Please note that the SG Arrival Card is not a visa. You may refer to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (Singapore)’s site for more information.

We hope that this guide makes travelling through Changi Airport a breeze before you embark on your next adventure. Got a bit of extra time? Explore all of the things there are to see and eat at Jewel Changi Airport, the airport’s nature-themed retail complex. Remember to check what’s open before you arrive!

Take a leap on this giant net at Jewel Changi Airport’s Manulife Sky Nets

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Wednesday, 11 May 2022

The best city beaches in Europe

1. Paris Plages, Paris

Every summer, about 5,000 tonnes of sand shipped from Normandy, 550 deckchairs, 450 beach umbrellas and 50 palm trees are deposited along the banks of the River Seine in Paris to form temporary urban beaches. They’re located between Pont de Solférino and Pont Alexandre III on the left bank, and between Pont de Sully and Pont Neuf on the right bank. Along the Parc Rives de Seine on the right bank, things like tai chi sessions, dance workshops and a pop-up library have been spotted.

Unfortunately, swimming in the Seine is forbidden; however, if you’re craving a dip, head to the artificial lake of Bassin de la Villette in the 19th arrondissement, where you’ll find three specially erected swimming pools.
Free entry

Paris Plages
Paris Plages

2. Amager Strandpark, Copenhagen

Copenhageners have been flocking to this beach park since 1934, which was extended in 2005 with a 2km-long artificial island. Its serene northern end features sand dunes and winding paths, as well as the Helgoland baths, which comprise three saltwater pools (two single-sex and one unisex). Don’t be alarmed if you spot a bare derrière – swimwear is only mandatory in the mixed pool.

In contrast, the southern end, with its marina and broad promenade, is ideal for activities like rollerblading, sailing, kayaking and windsurfing. Kids will love splashing about in the shallow lagoons too.
Free entry

Amager Strandpark
Amager Strandpark

3. Blijburg aan Zee, Amsterdam

“Blij” is the Dutch word for “happy” (Blijburg aan Zee can be translated as “happy castle by the sea”), and indeed, it’s hard to be anything but merry when kicking back on this beach. Located on Amsterdam’s  IJburg, a collection of artificial islands east of the city centre, it is known for a distinctively bohemian vibe.

Days can be spent swimming, lounging on the sandy stretch or enjoying the delicious fare at the beach restaurant – they whip up dishes using organic ingredients and locally sourced vegetables. Come nightfall, the place transforms into party central, with DJ sets and campfires galore.
Free entry

Blijburg aan Zee (Photo: Raymond van Mil)
Blijburg aan Zee (Photo: Raymond van Mil)

4. Barceloneta, Barcelona

A mere 20-minute walk from the city centre, this is Barcelona’s most popular beach. Once the mercury hits 20ºC, you’ll find locals out here in full force – sunbathing, swimming, surfing, playing beach volleyball and enjoying tapas at the beachside restaurants.

Stroll along the beach and admire a variety of intriguing architectural structures. Frank Gehry’s gilded fish sculpture, which towers at a height of 35m and spans 56m in length, is a sight to behold with its stainless steel scales shimmering in the sun.
Free entry

Barceloneta (Photo: Turisme de Barcelona)
Barceloneta (Photo: Turisme de Barcelona)

5. The Fulham Beach Club, London

Much like Peter’s Pan’s Neverland, London’s urban beach club is all about celebrating your inner child. The Fullham Beach Club opens in May 2022 on the banks of the River Thames in Fulham. The place is decked out like a pastel-coloured dream with fairy lights, cabanas and beach huts. There’s a full line-up of events too, including beach yoga, glitter art and sand-sculpting events, table tennis, croquet and even fancy-dress parties. Feeling peckish? Head to pop-up restaurant Jimmy Garcia’s BBQ Club, or book a spot at their bottomless bubbly brunch on Sundays.
Fees apply; until 31 August

Neverland
Neverland

6. Isar River, Munich

When locals yearn to escape the summer heat, they often flock to the banks of the Isar. The river, which is fed by water from the Alps, flows through the centre of Munich and offers miles of idyllic shoreline. Here, you’ll find several open grassy spaces, islets and sandy inlets where you can sunbathe, swim or picnic. Barbecues are also allowed at certain locations.

One of the most popular stretches of the Isar is the Eisbach, a small channel with an unlikely feature – a manmade wave that swells and spans the length of the brook. Here, surfers can hone their skills all year round. Surfing competitions are occasionally held too.
Free entry

Isar River (Photo: Sigi Mueller)
Isar River (Photo: Sigi Mueller)

Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours as well as booking requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.

The information is accurate as of press time. For the latest travel advisory updates, please refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.

To learn more about Singapore Airlines flights, visit singaporeair.com. To join us in protecting the environment by offsetting your carbon emissions on your future flights, visit the following websites to learn more: carbonoffset.singaporeair.com.sg and carbonoffset.flyscoot.com

Updated version of post from August 2018

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Thursday, 5 May 2022

6 ways award-winning KrisFlyer rewards your everyday life

The Freddie Awards 2022, the most prestigious award-giving body in the global travel loyalty industry, crowned KrisFlyer, Singapore Airlines Group’s lifestyle rewards programme, Program of the Year for the Middle East, Asia and Oceania region. Held in New Orleans, Louisiana, KrisFlyer also trounced competitors in the five other categories it was nominated for – including Best Elite Airline Program, Best Redemption Ability and Best Customer Service.

KrisFlyer’s clean sweep at the Freddie Awards 2022 is a testament to the benefits and experiences that its members are currently enjoying. Not yet a KrisFlyer member? Here’s how you can benefit from the rewards programme that millions of travellers have recognised and voted for as the best.

1. Earn miles from flights, hotel stays and car rentals – plus enjoy perks

Flying on Singapore Airlines and Scoot will earn you miles, but don’t stop there. Further boost your miles balance by booking hotel stays or car rentals with KrisFlyer partners, and see your KrisFlyer account add up in no time. You can redeem those miles for future flights and everyday rewards.

As a KrisFlyer member, you can enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi on board your future Singapore Airlines flights, even if you travel in Economy Class. The more you travel, the more Elite miles you will earn.

With 25,000 Elite miles (accumulated within 12 consecutive months), you’ll be upgraded to KrisFlyer Elite Silver, where you’ll earn 25% more miles, and enjoy free Standard seat selection amongst other benefits.

With 50,000 Elite miles (accumulated within 12 consecutive months), you’ll move up to the Elite Gold membership, where priority boarding, additional checked baggage allowance, lounge access and free Forward Zone seat selection await.

Starting from just 1,000 Elite miles, you’ll also be able to enjoy Milestone Rewards, ranging from bonus KrisFlyer miles to Premium Economy Class advance upgrade on Singapore Airlines.

2. Shop duty-free from home and collect inflight

KrisShop isn’t just an onboard duty-free shopping service. With KrisShop.com open 24/7, you can shop anywhere or anytime, and  enjoy duty-free prices when you opt for inflight collection on your upcoming Singapore Airlines or Scoot flight. You can also have items delivered to your doorstep, even when you’re not flying.

With KrisShop’s newly launched loyalty programme, KrisShopper, earn up to 4 KrisFlyer miles per S$1 spent, as well as member-only deals and first dibs on new arrivals. Simply link your KrisFlyer account to KrisShopper to get started. You can also redeem your miles to offset your shopping expenses at KrisShop.

Asian couple smiling
KrisShop isn’t just an onboard duty-free shopping service, you can also shop from home

3. Earn miles with Kris+ when you dine, get a massage or make a reservation

If you’re based in Singapore, you may have heard of SIA’s lifestyle rewards app Kris+. Whether you’re looking to satisfy hunger pangs or inspiration for me-time, log on to the Kris+ app for a plethora of discounts and deals. On top of value-for-money deals, earn up to 9 KrisFlyer miles per S$1 spent when transacting with contactless payment on the app. With Makan+, you can even accumulate miles with restaurant reservations, making it really easy to earn miles, which you can convert to your KrisFlyer account within seven days.

Asian women eating
Log on to the Kris+ app for a plethora of discounts and deals at restaurants, bars and retail shops

4. Gain access to special events

After working hard to clock up those miles, it’s time to enjoy sweet rewards. In partnership with Mastercard, KrisFlyer Experiences offers a curated list of experiences ranging from themed F&B evenings to workshops and more. Visit KrisFlyerExperiences.com for more details.

5. Book curated experiences on Pelago

Looking to book tours and activities for your next getaway? Head to SIA-owned travel experiences platform Pelago.co and be inspired by curated experiences in Southeast Asia, Oceania, the Middle East and Europe. From hidden gems to gastronomic adventures, Pelago offers unique ways to experience a new (and familiar) destination. What’s more, you can earn 1 KrisFlyer mile per S$1 spent when you book on Pelago.co. You can also redeem your miles for Pelago bookings.

6. Accumulate points, benefits and privileges with co-branded cards

Apply for a co-brand card and enjoy even more KrisFlyer benefits and privileges. Co-brand cards are available in Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore. The American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer card issued in Singapore was also named the Best Loyalty Credit Card in the 2022 Freddie Awards.

Asian woman holding credit card in front of laptop
Apply for a co-brand card and enjoy even more KrisFlyer benefits and privileges

With just one membership, you’d be able to live and breathe all the things you love, from travel, shopping, dining to exploring new experiences, and enjoy a journey that’s miles better with KrisFlyer. Convinced to join the region’s best programme? Sign up at singaporeair.com/KFsignup with the code KF800 and receive complimentary 800 miles to start your KrisFlyer journey. Welcome!

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Friday, 29 April 2022

Top picks for fast-casual dining in San Francisco

Fast-casual restaurants have been taking the Bay Area by storm. From sandwiches filled with fried chicken or hand-rolled pasta to Cuban and Vietnamese fare, check out the following San Francisco spots that won’t waste your time or money.

1. A modern Vietnamese café

Rice and Bones is lauded chef Charles Phan’s first fast-casual foray is a modern Vietnamese café on the UC Berkeley campus. Choose from regularly changing dishes like beef stew and spicy chicken stir-fry.

Rice and Bones
Rice and Bones

2. Southeast Asian-inspired fare

Head to Hawking Bird and savour Southeast Asian-inspired dishes like KMG, or khao mun gai – poached chicken served atop rice that’s cooked in chicken broth – in this bright corner space owned by Michelin-starred chef James Syhabout.

Khao mun gai
Khao mun gai

3. Cuban sandwiches and rice bowls

Fun, funky and filled with tropical colours, Media Noche serves up delicious Cuban Miami fare like Cubano sandwiches and a wide selection of rice-based bowls.

Cubano sandwiches at Media Noche (Photo: Molly Decoudreaux)
Cubano sandwiches at Media Noche (Photo: Molly Decoudreaux)

4. Rotisserie chicken is the star dish

It’s not surprising that RT Rotisserie‘s star dish is a succulent rotisserie chicken. Brined for 24 hours in buttermilk, it’s served with delicious sauces ranging from chimichurri to Douglas fir sour cream.

The signature rotisserie chicken at RT Rotisserie
The signature rotisserie chicken at RT Rotisserie

5.  Californian-Italian-style pizza and pasta

Located in the Mission District, Barzotto’s tightly curated menu includes fresh, hand-rolled pasta dishes like spaghetti with marinara sauce and pork and turkey meatballs and bucatini with clams, green garlic, furikake and chilli.

Bucatini with clams, green garlic, furikake and chilli at Barzotto
Bucatini with clams, green garlic, furikake and chilli at Barzotto

6. Dishes inspired by casual souvlaki joints found throughout Greece

One of the originals, when it comes to fast-casual dining, Souvla is a Greek chain that opened back in 2014. They are known for lamb salads, chicken wraps and delicious frozen yogurt.

frozen Greek yoghurt at Souvla
Frozen Greek yoghurt at Souvla

 

– PHOTOGRAPHY BY AUBRIE PICK

Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours as well as booking requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.

The information is accurate as of press time. For the latest travel advisory updates, please refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.

To learn more about Singapore Airlines flights to San Francisco, visit singaporeair.com. To join us in protecting the environment by offsetting your carbon emissions on your future flights, visit the following websites to learn more: carbonoffset.singaporeair.com.sg and carbonoffset.flyscoot.com

This article was originally published in October 2021

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Tuesday, 26 April 2022

A food tour of North India’s legendary regional cuisines

Driving through India, the country’s cuisines, like its languages and customs, can change every half an hour. The Indian nation is an astounding assortment of topographies, religions and historical origins that inform the way its people eat. The variety of must-try dishes is on display in larger North Indian cities like Delhi, Amritsar, Lucknow and Varanasi.

There is always colour and texture to North Indian cuisines. Take qormas – thick, rich curries made of meat and flavoured with an assortment of spices; or flatbreads like, roomali roti, which is made thin as a handkerchief to be wrapped around kebabs, and kulchas, which are stuffed, baked and served with zesty sides. Its dishes are laden with spicy chutneys as additions, elements of crunch, and other techniques that speak to the varied and wide histories of the region. 

Eating though North India is a journey of constant adventure, and may not be for the faint-hearted, as it demands will and exploration. It is, however, somewhere every true food traveller should have on their must-try culinary map. Follow crowds in bustling street corners, and visit beloved city icons to eat dishes devised in kings’ courts. In this tightly packed, theatrical part of India, there is something for everyone. 

1. Chaat

The origins of chaat remain debated, but many conclude that when 16th-century Delhi saw an epidemic of cholera, its emperor, Shahjahan  (popularly known for building the Taj Mahal) ordained his cooks to prepare spicy, tangy dishes that could kill the bacteria that was spreading. Chaat is not a dish, but a spectrum of Indian cuisine in which every plate, and every recipe is subject to the whims and imaginations of its cooks. 

Many say the name Chaat, which literally translates to “lick”, derives from the delicious recipes that cooks of the North-Indian kingdoms concocted, which left customers licking their fingers and bowls when they ate these inventive creations. Chaat is always eaten on the street – and different cities, districts and neighbourhoods have distinct chaat varieties to their name. Like in Delhi, “aloo tikki” is beloved – in which flat discs of potatoes and lentils are fried, and topped with fresh sauces.

In Varanasi, meanwhile, palak chaak, in which fried spinach leaves are topped with zesty toppings, tells tales of the city’s culinary prowess. 

Where to try: The best way to eat chaat is to wander, and follow throngs of locals in the old quarters of cities, but if in Delhi, head to the old city’s Natraj Dahi Bhalle for some of the city’s best offerings, and in Varanasi, Deena Chaat Bhandar and Kashi Chaat Bhandar in the city’s winding lanes will leave little else to desire after you are done.

Chaat North India
Chaat is always eaten on the street and different varieties can be found across North Indian cities. Photo credit: Adobe

2. Kebab

Kebabs – dishes that consist of skewered meat on a grill – were first brought to the country by incoming populations of Turkish traders, and Persianate kings. The recipes consist of different variations of spices, herbs and other softeners like yoghurt and cream. Kebabs are made by shaping the meat and grilling them in large tandoors – massive metal grills that operate on coals.

Kebabs are, as everything in Indian cuisine, of endless types. Take the reshmi kebab, which instructs that pieces of chicken must be marinated in cream and grilled so they are finally as soft as “resham” or silk. Another option is the simple seekh kebab, in which minced and spiced chicken (or mutton meat) are moulded into tubular shapes and eaten with handkerchief like rotis for a quick, filling meal. 

Where to try: In Lucknow, the Tunday Kebab –  a soft, melt-in-the-mouth kebab made with beef or mutton meat that was devised for a toothless king is a citywide legend and can be found at its namesake restaurant, Tunday Kababi. In Delhi, the neighbourhood of Nizamuddin is home to the city’s most renowned sufi-shrine, and kebab restaurant named Ghalib Kabab Corner — both of which exhibit the city’s layered cuisine and history.

Kebabs India
Turkish traders introduced kebabs to North India. Photo credit: Adobe

3. Gulab Jamun

Indulgence has its best form in this popular North Indian dessert. Gulab Jamun originates from the Arabic dessert Luqmat-Al-Qadi and is a soft, melt-in-your-mouth treat made from fried dumplings made of thickened milk. After they are fried, the round, sugary sweets are coated with rose-flavoured sugar syrup, and garnished with powdered pistachios and served warm. While perfect for the winters, Gulab Jamun is eaten all year round by delighted children and sneaky adults. 

Where to try: These are available at most sweet shops in North Indian cities, but the most famous are at Chaina Ram Confectioners in Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi; and at Kesar Da Dhaba in Chowk Passian, Amritsar.

Gulab jamun
Gulab jamun can be found in sweet shops across North India. Photo credit: Adobe

4. Kulcha

The conception of Indian food has finally expanded beyond its most obvious formulations of chicken tikka masala and naan. This is what brings us to the Kulcha, native to Amritsar, Punjab. Kulcha is a stuffed bread made with flour in a large coal-fired tandoor, or on an iron-pan over a stove. Unlike naan, kulcha is a layered, flaky flatbread, and can contain pastry-like folds that are laden with ghee, made with cow’s milk, and also fillings of onions, potatoes and paneer. 

In Amritsar, the kulcha is beloved, and served with onions, mint chutney, raitas or yoghurt-based preparations, and a “chhole” which is a spiced curry of chickpeas on the side. The bread is a perfect breakfast or lunch, but remember that kulchas are best eaten in the day, as they are a hearty meal that match their origin city Amritsar’s robust and resilient spirit. 

Where to try: In Amritsar, kulchas are abundantly available, but a few recommendations include: Ashok Kulche Vala at Ranjit Avenue; or Brothers Dhaba, at Golden Temple road near the city’s most visited, and wondrous temple. In Delhi, a good Amritsari kulcha can be found at a restaurant named Prem Di Hatti, in the city’s West, which makes an assortment of the dish.

Kulcha is a clay-baked bread native to Amritsar. Photo credit: Adobe

5. Lassi

This Indian beverage, varied in form and flavour is often unfairly reduced to its one, mostly consumed form of “mango lassi”. Here, the yoghurt is set with artificial flavourings and sweetened with sugar before it is served. But a good lassi is about the quality and freshness of its milk, the way the yoghurt is churned, and set in large clay pots before it is served. 

An industrially made lassi has nothing on a tall, frothy glass made in one of India’s oldest and finest lassi shops. Lassis can be salty – as accompaniments to meals, where the drink is garnished with freshly ground cumin, or other house spices. They can also be luxurious and sweet, where they are thickened, sweetened, and flavoured with saffron, set with beautifully cut nuts. (Disclaimer, sweet lassis can be entire meals in themselves). 

Where to try: In Varanasi, Pehalwan Lassi is a treat fit for a king. Each glass of lassi is churned for hours, before it is infused with rabdi – a pudding-like sweet made by reducing fresh, creamy milk, and topped with fragrant spices and almonds.

Lassi North India
Lassis can be found both salty and sweet. Photo credit: Adobe

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Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours as well as booking requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.

The information is accurate as of press time. For the latest travel advisory updates, please refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.

To learn more about Singapore Airlines flights to India, visit singaporeair.com. To join us in protecting the environment by offsetting your carbon emissions on your future flights, visit the following websites to learn more: carbonoffset.singaporeair.com.sg and carbonoffset.flyscoot.com

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