Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Tales From Our Travelers

We set off on our travels with dreams, and return with memories that last a lifetime. Now, as we near the end of what would have been the 2020 travel season, we have all been through a year like no other. While the global pandemic has resulted in so many delayed travel plans and trips, […]

The post Tales From Our Travelers appeared first on Grand European Travel.

from Grand European Travel

Singapore Airlines rethinks 'flights to nowhere' idea, will instead turn Airbus into pop-up restaurant - Fox News

Singapore Airlines rethinks 'flights to nowhere' idea, will instead turn Airbus into pop-up restaurant  Fox News

via "singapore travel" - Google News

COVID-19: Singapore to lift border restrictions for some visitors from Australia, Vietnam - CNA

  1. COVID-19: Singapore to lift border restrictions for some visitors from Australia, Vietnam  CNA
  2. Australia-Singapore travel returns but it's not the bubble we wanted  Executive Traveller
  3. Singapore to allow visitors from Australia and Vietnam from Oct 8  The Straits Times
  4. Singapore to further ease entry restrictions for visitors from Vietnam and Australia, excluding Victoria State, from Oct 8  TODAYonline
  5. Singapore to lift curbs for visitors travelling from Australia excluding Victoria state and Vietnam  Yahoo News Singapore
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News

via "singapore travel" - Google News

Australia-Singapore travel returns but it's not the bubble we wanted - Executive Traveller

Australia-Singapore travel returns but it's not the bubble we wanted  Executive Traveller

via "singapore travel" - Google News

Singapore to allow visitors from Australia and Vietnam from Oct 8 - The Straits Times

Singapore to allow visitors from Australia and Vietnam from Oct 8  The Straits Times

via "singapore travel" - Google News

Airline drops 'flights to nowhere' after environmental outcry -

Airline drops 'flights to nowhere' after environmental outcry

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Travel agents holding on for rebound as pandemic fuels demand for end-to-end itineraries - The Straits Times

Travel agents holding on for rebound as pandemic fuels demand for end-to-end itineraries  The Straits Times

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The best experiences in Singapore’s Tanjong Pagar neighbourhood

Located on the cusp of the Central Business District, Tanjong Pagar’s blend of colourful shophouses, modern office complexes and public housing estates makes it one of the most diverse areas in the city-state to explore. Originally a fishing village (its name means “cape of stakes” in Malay) that predominantly Chinese and Indian dockworkers called home, the area was the first to be gazetted under the government’s conservation plan in the 1980s – which resulted in the restoration of many of the district’s iconic shophouses to their former glory.

Today, vestiges of the past such as the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, Maxwell Food Centre and NUS Baba House stand side-by-side with new developments including Guoco Tower and Pinnacle@Duxton. Come evenings, you’ll find locals packing out some of Singapore‘s top award-winning restaurants and bars that have set up shop here. Follow our guide to get the most out of this vibrant neighbourhood.

HULS Gallery specialises in Japanese crafts with clean lines and contemporary design

Japanese teaware and handicraft at HULS Gallery

Nestled within a charming shophouse along Duxton Hill is HULS Gallery, a minimalist space with a Zen atmosphere and a refined collection of Japanese kogei (crafts). Opened in September 2017 by Yusuke Shibata, the gallery features contemporary teaware, sake sets, tableware, as well as wood, glass and bamboo works, that take inspiration from nature and boast clean silhouettes. Here, visitors are encouraged to not just admire the objets d’art from a distance, but pick them up and appreciate the texture of the pieces up close. Drop by for a dose of inspiration, while learning more about the artisans behind each design.;; +65 9643 8910

The Mentaiko Salmon Bowl is Lagoon In A Bowl’s signature dish

Clean eats at Lagoon In A Bowl

For an affordable yet healthy meal, head to Amoy Street Food Centre and grab a bowl of fusion donburi at Lagoon In A Bowl. Opened in 2018 by hawkerpreneur Zilch Ng, this new-generation hawker stall marries poke bowls with Japanese rice bowls to create signature dishes such as the Mentaiko Salmon Bowl. An Insta-worthy recipe that tastes as good as it looks, it is prepared with butterfly pea rice in a striking shade of blue, topped with a large Norwegian salmon fillet, blow-torched mentaiko sauce, an onsen egg and a salad. Also worth a try is the new Mentaiko Wagyu Beef Bowl, which features succulent beef slices cooked sous vide to perfection.; +65 9119 2619 

Nue Shape offers a wide range of beauty services from skin tightening to hair removal treatments

Indulgent beauty treatments at Nue Shape

Conveniently located at Downtown Gallery, this well-equipped and futuristic-looking beauty specialist is perfect for when you need some me-time in the middle of the work day. Nue Shape carries a wide range of premium skincare products and offers beauty services, including skin tightening, skin rejuvenation treatments and various types of medical peels that treat clogged pores and uneven skin tones. Nue Shape also provides hair removal services from waxing to Cold Pulse Light treatments, a more painless alternative.;; +65 8522 3751

Create a customised engagement ring, anniversary pendant or heirloom-worthy piece of jewellery at GIOIA Fine Jewellery

Bespoke jewellery at GIOIA Fine Jewellery

Nestled on the second storey of International Plaza is GIOIA Fine Jewellery, a homegrown boutique, founded by gem collectors Clarence Yee and Cheryl Woon, that specialises in creating bespoke rings, necklaces, bracelets, brooches and earrings. Its handcrafted creations, ranging from the quirky and avant-garde to the regal and classic, are tailored to each individual’s style and personality, while making sure to accentuate the natural brilliance of its gems. Choose from a variety of coloured gemstones, which includes Paraiba tourmalines and pigeon-blood rubies, and create a unique piece of wearable art that you can personalise and even pass down as a family heirloom.;; +65 6100 2238

Discover more about Chinese culture at Thian Hock Keng Temple. Photo credit:

Chinese culture at Thian Hock Keng Temple

Here’s one to add to your temple-hopping itinerary. Initially constructed as a small joss house in the early 19th century by early Hokkien settlers who lived along the then-waterfront, the temple is dedicated to the sea goddess Mazu, who keeps watch over seafarers and ensures their safe passage across the waters. The entire temple underwent a full rebuild in 1839 and was completed in 1840, and is designed in the traditional southern Chinese architectural style. Keep an eye out for the ornate carvings of dragons and phoenixes found through out the complex; gorgeous red, black and gold lacquerwork; and shrines dedicated to key figures such as Confucius and Kuan Yin.

Chew Kee Soy Sauce Chicken was among the first to introduce soy sauce chicken to Singapore

Lunch with a side of history at Chew Kee Soy Sauce Chicken

Dating back to the 1940s and founded by Yu Beng Chew, family-run Chew Kee Soy Sauce Chicken is a beloved institution on Upper Cross Street that was among the first to introduce soy sauce chicken to Singapore. Many of its devoted regulars have been dining here since childhood and rave about the consistently juicy chicken and al dente noodles. Now run by the third generation, Chew Kee’s signature dish is of course the savoury soy sauce chicken – served as your choice of breast, back, wings, et cetera – along with rice, yellow noodles or hor fun. For a feast, get the chicken feet and dumpling soup as sides as well. Add to it the warm service, and you have a laid-back, convivial lunch or early dinner option in the otherwise flashy CBD.;; +65 6222 0507

Little Farms works with independent farmers and suppliers around the world to produce ethical, mindful products

Healthy, farm-to-table groceries at Little Farms

Load up on the freshest produce and healthiest snacks at the Guoco Tower outlet of Little Farms, a small neighbourhood market with a focus on mindful living and ethical eats. Here, you’ll find all sorts of dairy-free, gluten-free, plant-based and keto-friendly products, ethically produced and sourced from independent farmers across Australia, Europe and America. Unlike usual supermarkets that stock mass-produced goods that may not be the healthiest, Little Farms emphasises on providing the freshest, farm-to-table food. You can even get a refund or replacement for purchases that fall short on freshness or quality.;; +65 6247 7120

Tapout Fitness offers martial arts classes that include cardio, weight training and HIIT exercises

Martial arts-inspired workouts at Tapout Fitness

Blow off some steam at the Singapore outpost of Tapout Fitness – a fitness brand owned by World Wrestling Entertainment and Authentic Brands Group with 22 locations around the world. Opened in 2020 on the third floor of OUE Downtown Gallery, the gym specialises in martial arts classes that incorporate cardio, weight training and HIIT exercises for a more well-rounded workout. It features exercise programmes catered to both kids and adults, hardcore fitness buffs and absolute beginners. For a more tailored experience, you can sign up for personal training sessions as well to tackle specific goals from weight loss to endurance-building.;; +65 8687 6186

Locals enjoying the foodie delights at Maxwell Food Centre. This image was taken before the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo credit:

Delicious hawker fare at Maxwell Food Centre

For scrumptious hawker delights in a central location, you can’t go wrong with Maxwell Food Centre, which has been feeding the masses since it was founded in 1928. Located just a few minutes away from the Tanjong Pagar MRT station, it’s a popular lunch spot among the areas office workers for its affordable eats. This is where you can sample the full gamut of delicious bites that the city-state has to offer: from aromatic Hainanese chicken rice and comforting bowls of fish noodle soup to zingy popiah (fresh spring roll) and impossibly crispy goreng pisang (banana fritters). Be sure to come with an empty stomach.

Rolina Traditional Hainanese Curry Puff was awarded a Bib Gourmand by Michelin in 2018

Traditional snacks at Rolina Traditional Hainanese Curry Puff

Awarded a Bib Gourmand by Michelin in 2018, Rolina Traditional Hainanese Curry Puff occupies a modest-looking stall on the second floor of Tanjong Pagar Market And Food Centre, located a two-minute walk from the Tanjong Pagar MRT Station. Founded by Tham Niap Tong after acquiring a curry puff recipe from a Hainanese sailor in the 1950s, this family business makes its curry puffs with rempah chilli paste, which is cooked for two hours and prepared fresh every day, and thin layers of dough for a crispier crust. The traditional stall also favours excellence over innovation, keeping to classic flavours such as sardine and curry chicken and egg, as well as an affordable price tag of S$1.50 per piece.;; +65 9235 8093

Try a yoga class against a backdrop of the Singapore skyline at The Yoga School

A soothing yoga class at The Yoga School

Take a breather with a yoga session at The Yoga School, a spacious, 5,000 sq ft studio that sits on the 39th level of the OCBC Centre along Chulia Street. Opened in 2016, it provides picturesque views of the Singapore skyline, which adds to the tranquility of the space. With more than 30 classes available each week, you can get a taste of every style of yoga from the more popular ones (such as Vinyasa and Hatha yoga) to the more unconventional types (such as Kundalini yoga). The Yoga School also offers guided meditations with crystal singing bowls and Pilates lessons, designed to complement your yoga practice.;; +65 6532 8228

Tanjong Pagar Park is the neighbourhoods green lung. Photo credit:

An intriguing urban oasis at Tanjong Pagar Park

Looking for a quiet green space away from the hustle to take a short breather? Besides the neighbourhood’s smaller outdoor parks –including Ann Siang Hill Park, Telok Ayer Green and Duxton Plain Park – there’s also Tanjong Pagar Park located right above the MRT station. Made up of 150,000ft² worth of landscaped gardens, the sprawling pocket park features plenty of seating areas; calming water features; mature trees and shrubbery; and a small open green lawn. The immediate area is also home to coffee shops, restaurants and fitness studios, which makes this an ideal spot to enjoy a a takeaway lunch or sip on a refreshing juice or smoothie following your workout session.

The Quarters serves elevated renditions of traditional Singaporean nosh

Modern Singaporean cuisine at The Quarters

Founded in 2014 with chef-owner Chung Deming at the helm, The Quarters is a local bistro that serves elevated renditions of traditional Singaporean nosh. Head to Icon Village and drop by the cosy joint to enjoy crowd favourites like the Nasi Lemak Rice Burger, Salted Egg Chicken Burger and the Wagyu Beef Buah Keluak Pasta. For a heartier meal, indulge in the butter-poached Boston lobster or the Laksa Pesto Salmon. The Quarters also has a tasting menu – The Quarters Experience. This six-course journey starts with a chargrilled salted egg mid-wing. The bistro’s take on kaya toast, which is served with foie gras and scrambled eggs, pairs nicely with its crackling Roast Pork with Lemak Curry. End on a sweet note with the signature Duriancanboleh, a Mao Shan Wang durian crème brulee.;; +65 6834 4174

Besides aesthetic treatments, SW1 Clinic also offers bespoke facials and its own line of skincare products

Take care of your beauty needs at SW1 Clinic

An aesthetic centre located on the second floor of OUE Downtown Gallery Tower 2, SW1 Clinic provides more than just aesthetic treatments such as non-surgical facelifts, lip and eye fillers, red light therapy for acne and non-invasive weight loss procedures. The inviting, stylishly decorated clinic is also home to the SW1 Spa, featuring a range of beauty and skincare services, including award-winning bespoke facials, and has its own line of products, available at SW1 Shop where it sells everything from reusable face masks to anti-aging eyelash serums. The brand has even launched Glow Up, an initiative on building self-confidence that offers complimentary consultations, skin analyses and personalised skincare recommendations, as well as skincare treatments at a discounted rate to students under 25.;; +65 6817 8882



With thanks to our advertisers, GIOIA Fine Jewellery, Lagoon In A Bowl, Little Farms, HULS Gallery, SW1 Clinic, The Yoga School, Tapout Fitness, Rolina Traditional Hainanese Curry Puff, The Quarters, Nue Shape and Chew Kee Soy Sauce Chicken

The post The best experiences in Singapore’s Tanjong Pagar neighbourhood appeared first on SilverKris.

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The best experiences in Singapore’s Serangoon neighbourhood

Located in the northeast part of Singapore, this primarily residential neighbourhood offers a mix of delicious eats, shopping malls jam-packed with amenities, quality schools, green spaces and cultural and religious sites – all of which make it a favourite among families, especially those with young children.

The settlement was first established in the early 19th century by traders from India who worked in the area’s brick kilns and cattle industries. More families moved in as the brick and cattle industries declined, and Serangoon New Town and Serangoon Central – major public housing estates in the neighbourhood –were developed from 1982 and 1984 respectively.

While Serangoon’s vibe may be more low-key than other neighbourhoods, there is still plenty to explore here. You can make your way down Serangoon Road into Little India; catch a movie and do some serious retail therapy at Nex; make the short trip to Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park or the Serangoon Park Connector to revel in the tranquility of nature; or spend an evening exploring the plethora of lively restaurants and bars at Serangoon Gardens.

myVillage is a cosy community mall packed with useful services for residents and a great clutch of eateries and local boutiques

Dizzying lunch and shopping options at myVillage

The heart of the action in Serangoon Gardens is myVillage, a cosy community mall packed not just with useful services for residents – banks, laundry, a well-stocked FairPrice Finest, nail salon and more – but a great clutch of eateries and local boutiques, all spread out over three levels. Drop in for a brunch spread at Maison Kayser; indulge in a mouth-watering bowl of tonkatsu at Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen; bite into a great gourmet burger at SimpleBurger Inc.; delight in a spicy Thai lunch at Kor Kai or a Wagyu Bowl at Monzen Gardens; and stay for a spot of shopping. While away an afternoon browsing the gifts and décor items at Hyggerium, the jewellery at U-Design, coffee paraphernalia at 101 Caffé and lots more.; +65 6634 2288 

A green break at Serangoon Community Park

Serangoon has many playgrounds and green spaces scattered throughout its housing estates. While on the smaller end, they provide enough space for the kids to have a run around, for you to engage in a workout routine or for anyone to simply take a seat and admire the lush greenery. One of these green lungs is Serangoon Community Park, located along Serangoon Avenue 4. The park has a playground and recreation area, outdoor gym, series of sheltered benches and plenty of open space. Grab some food from a nearby restaurant or hawker stall and enjoy it in nature, or head here in the evening for a stroll. Also in the neighbourhood are Tavistock Avenue Park and Serangoon Sunshine Park, both of which are also worth a visit.

Dessert Bowl is known for its quirky array of durian desserts such as the durian tartlet and durian-spiked tiramisu

Adventurous sweet treats at Dessert Bowl

Tucked away on the second floor of a strip mall near Chomp Chomp Food Centre, Dessert Bowl has been a neighbourhood institution since 2008. It’s easy to see why it fills its tables every day – the space is a mad wizard’s workshop, with old photos and cheeky signs on the walls and a menu full of local and Western-style options, many given innovative spins. Purists can go for the chocolate lava cake or the mango desserts, but you’d be missing out if you didn’t try the array of quirky durian items such as the mini durian tartlet, durian-spiked tiramisu, the seasonal mao shan wang mochi and Dessert Bowl’s signature durian mousse.; +65 6285 1278 

Fruce specialises in affordable, Singapore-inspired dessert concoctions

Fun, healthy refuels at Fruce

Dessert beverage shops are a dime a dozen, but Fruce aims to offer something special, with a focus on affordable, Singapore-inspired dessert concoctions. After launching its first outlet at Wisma Atria on Orchard, it has expanded northeast, with a second outpost at Serangoon’s NEX mall. For a refuel during your neighbourhood exploration, the avocado series offers some mouth-watering choices, one of which is the hearty, healthy and flavour-packed Avocado Coconut. For something lighter with a touch of local flavours, try the Pandan Coconut or the signature Coconut Fruce. You can also choose from a wide variety of unique toppings such as the Coconut Capellini or Kanten Kyoto for a perfectly customised drink.; +65 6610 6216

Scrumptious food at Chomp Chomp Food Centre

Ask any resident where to get the best hawker fare in the area and they’ll likely to point you in the direction of Chomp Chomp Food Centre. Located in the Serangoon Gardens estate, the sprawling, open-air food centre has been operational since the 1960s (it was initially located across the road from where it now stands, before moving to its current location in 1972). The hawker centre’s maze of food and drink stalls offers a plethora of good eats to try, and is at its most buzzing in the evening. Tuck into a delicious serving of Hokkien mee; nosh on black and white carrot cake; sample chicken wings that have been barbecued to perfection; and finish off your meal with a refreshing bowl of traditional cheng tng.

Suriya Curry House is the perfect spot for satisfying a late-night craving for comforting Indian food

Late-night Indian food at Suriya Curry House

Serangoon is packed with international food options, but fans of local food experiences will find plenty to love in this neighbourhood. Established in 2003, Suriya Curry House has built its reputation on its catering business, but it’s 24-hour corner kopitiam on Upper Serangoon Road is the perfect spot for satisfying a late-night craving for comforting Indian food. In addition to its dizzying prata, murtabak and roti john options, Suriya also does an array of thosai, appam and uthappam, and North Indian fare such as butter chicken and channa masala. Whatever you order, be sure to wash it down with a delicious mango lassi.; +65 6286 2742

Church of St Francis Xavier
Christmas service in Church of St Francis Xavier in 2019. Photo credit: Joy Fang

Catholic tradition at Church of St Francis Xavier

If you fancy learning more about Catholic culture and history in Singapore, you can drop by the Church of St Francis Xavier along Chartwell Drive. One of the largest Catholic churches (by congregation) in the country, it was founded way back in 1957 by an archbishop who purchased the five-acre plot of land on which the church sits today. Whether or not you wish to attend a mass service (you can check the schedule on the church’s website), it’s worth a visit to check out the building’s religious architecture and design. The entire site it was recently renovated in 2000, with revamped interior spaces and additional landscaped gardens.;; +65 6280 6076

This body maintenance specialist offers professional stretching sessions

A muscle tune-up at Dr.stretch

Whether you’re an athlete, a desk-bound executive or a young parent carrying around a toddler, everyone experiences muscular pains from time to time. Also at Nex, check out the second of six Singapore branches of Dr.stretch, which has outlets in Taiwan, Japan, Shanghai and Beijing. The body maintenance specialist offers professional stretching sessions by therapists who are trained to address postural issues, lower back pain and even injury prevention. You don’t even need to bring a change of clothes, as you’ll be provided with one. Purchase a half-session, a full-session or a whole package – first-timers also have the option of a free 10-minute trial.; +65 6509 6882

This popular spa chain combines TCM practices with a modern spa format

TCM spa treatments at Joyre TCMedi Spa

If you’re all about the luxury and pampering spa experience, one of Joyre TCMedi Spa’s 19 branches is also located at Nex. Launched in 1998, this popular spa chain combines TCM practices such as acupuncture, tuina massage and moxibustion with a modern spa format. Joyre also prides itself on being the first spa in Singapore to offer a line of signature herbal baths, which can be customised to address digestive issues, postpartum recovery, insomnia and many other ailments. You can also book a personal consultation with the certified Chinese medicine physicians on staff, as well as purchase from Joyre’s own range of health and beauty products.; +65 6636 5010


With thanks to our advertisers, Suriya Curry House, Fruce, myVillage, Dessert Bowl, Dr.stretch Singapore, Joyre TCMedi Spa

The post The best experiences in Singapore’s Serangoon neighbourhood appeared first on SilverKris.

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COVID-19: Singapore to pilot business travel pass for senior executives with regional, international responsibilities - CNA

COVID-19: Singapore to pilot business travel pass for senior executives with regional, international responsibilities  CNA

via "singapore travel" - Google News

Hotel and travel industry in Singpore to be depressed for years - Big News Network

Hotel and travel industry in Singpore to be depressed for years  Big News Network

via "singapore travel" - Google News

How Singapore's Changi Airport is adapting during Covid - CNN

How Singapore's Changi Airport is adapting during Covid  CNN

via "singapore travel" - Google News

Singapore to trial 'business travel pass' for executives - Executive Traveller

Singapore to trial 'business travel pass' for executives  Executive Traveller

via "singapore travel" - Google News

Johor govt urges Federal Govt finetune border travel SOP with Singapore - The Star Online

Johor govt urges Federal Govt finetune border travel SOP with Singapore  The Star Online

via "singapore travel" - Google News

COVID-19: Singapore to pilot business travel pass for senior executives with regional, international responsibilities - CNA

COVID-19: Singapore to pilot business travel pass for senior executives with regional, international responsibilities  CNA

via "singapore travel" - Google News

4 new options for vegetarians dining out in Asia

The trend of restaurants offering robust vegetarian options has been picking up steam in recent years, and shows no signs of slowing down. Gone are the days where herbivores had to contend with a side salad or a plain pasta.

Now, popular restaurants such as Super Loco have plans to tweak their menus so that up to 50% of their dishes will be plant-based in the near future, while even chains such as Starbucks are upping their game by offering plant-based options from the likes of Oatly, Omnipork and Beyond Meat across its outlets in China. Sushi Tei also announced plans to launch its first-ever plant-based seasonal menu as part of a collaboration with Country Foods and Growthwell Group, available from 26 August to 13 October in all its outlets.

This move isn’t just good for the environment – there are also economic benefits. According to market research firm Euromonitor International, four of the top five global vegetarian markets are in Asia, which means there is potential for incredible growth in the sector.

Whether you’re a devout plant-eater or only dabble in the occasional Meatless Monday, here are four new spaces in Asia for you to satiate your veggie cravings.

Heura Red Curry bento Blue Jasmine
Heura Red Curry

1. Blue Jasmine, Singapore

The no-pork, no-lard Thai restaurant at Park Hotel Farrer Park has introduced more plant-based dishes into their repertoire, such as three bento boxes created especially for vegetarians and vegans and two vegan and gluten-free soups. The vegetarian fried rice with Quorn nuggets ($15nett), contains deep-fried Quorn nuggets, fragrant fried rice with a variety of vegetables and egg (you can request for the removal of the egg), a serving of stir-fried seasonal vegetables and tofu, and mini mango sticky rice for dessert. The vegan Heura Red Curry ($18nett) has a flavourful base of housemade red curry paste and coconut milk with sweet and sour notes of pineapple, grape and lychee together with Heura plant-based chunks, and is served with Blue Jasmine rice, crispy vegetarian spring rolls and mini mango sticky rice. On 10 October, Blue Jasmine is offering all of its bento boxes (both vegan and non-vegan) at $10nett. Available from 11am to 9pm.

Miss Lee serves up chic, modern Chinese plant-powered cuisine

2. Miss Lee, Hong Kong

This new kid on the block offers contemporary Chinese vegetarian cuisine in cheerful, pastel-hued interiors. Tuck into equally colourful dishes such as Amazing Maize, comprising grilled sweet corn, celtuce, black fungus, quinoa and sesame dressing, or the Flower Bouquet, where pickled cucumber, beetroot, shiitake mushroom, julienned carrot and cabbage come wrapped in a spring-roll sheet.

3. Tanaman, Bali

The Island of the Gods has no dearth of vegan restaurants, but this new player promises to be a game changer. Situated within Desa Potato Head, the lifestyle destination that houses arts, restaurants and accommodation under one roof, Tanaman uses organic plant-based ingredients to create traditional Indonesian dishes. Look forward to dishes such as jackfruit rendang, where the spice paste is painstakingly cooked for 16 hours, or the Bakcang Jengkol, a Chinese-influenced dish of stuffed rice cakes wrapped in banana leaves. Instead of the usual meat stuffing, their version is packed with a bitter bean braised in a spice-infused sauce and served with a side of crispy coconut. Don’t leave without trying their botanical cocktails and house-made kombucha.

Colourful acai bowls at Ko Ko

4. Ko Ko, Koh Samui

Located on the charming Phang Ka Bay on the island of Samui, Avani+ Samui Resort is a popular destination for couples and families alike. The resort has recently introduced the wellness-focused Ko Ko, which serves only plant-based ingredients, many sourced from the property’s garden and a nearby coconut plantation. Enjoy fresh salads and sandwiches, refreshing acai bowls packed with superfoods as well as plant-based protein burgers and gluten-free and vegan cakes. 

Please check the establishments’ respective websites for operating hours before visiting. Do also remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.

SEE ALSO: 6 delicious plant-based dishes to try in Singapore

*This piece was first published on 25 August 2020.

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Singapore to explore reinstating essential travel to Sichuan, Companies & Markets News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

Singapore to explore reinstating essential travel to Sichuan, Companies & Markets News & Top Stories  The Straits Times

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These are the books you should read from local publishers before the Singapore Writers Festival

Singapore Writers Festival (SWF) 2020 is slated to take place from 30 October to 8 November and it will be an all-digital affair. But that’s not to say it will be any less power-packed. The line-up features an extensive list of global and local literary giants, such as English novelist Zadie Smith, American poet Sharon Olds, American young adult fiction author Judith Lewis (pen name Cassandra Clare), and Singaporean authors and poets Balli Kaur Jaswal, Jeremy Tiang and Cyril Wong, to name a few.

Cyril Wong
Cyril Wong

Wong, who is involved in two sessions for SWF, acknowledges that online events do have their drawbacks. “It’s never the same as interacting in real life. Doing things online is the opposite of challenging—they are far too easy,” he shares. The problem, he adds, is that this might result in the audience not feeling invested compared to if they were physically in attendance. “Audiences can feel particularly alienated from being unable to have more intimate conversations with writers and each other in the literal space of a physical venue,” he explains.

“My hope for the audience is that they might expend more energy on getting to know the authors better through their work and to not feel afraid to reach out and ask burning questions.” He also hopes that people read extensively to prepare for SWF’s events – and to read with an open mind and an even more open heart.

Below, Wong shares some of his “favourite books by favourite authors of mine”, which coincidentally, happen to be works produced by local publishers.

Tender Delirium

1. Tender Delirium by Tania De Rozario (Math Paper Press, 2013)

A searing first collection of poems by Tania De Rozario that cuts to the quick of dysfunctional family life and estranged lovers, even evoking the voices of murdered women to speak on loss and longing. Few poets in Singapore are as unflinching or as brave.

Impractical uses of cake cover

2. Impractical Uses of Cake by Yeoh Jo-Ann (Epigram Books, 2019)

A teacher meets a homeless person in Yeoh’s debut novel and an usual relationship ensues, involving cake and touching on matters of class-division and existential self-awareness that transform this understated narrative into a serenely Singaporean work of art.

These Foolish Things and Other Stories

3. These Foolish Things and Other Stories by Yeo Wei Wei (Ethos Books 2015)

Yeo Wei Wei’s exacting short stories are full of surprising and haunted characters: a ghost hiding in an umbrella, a singing bird, women and men caught in intricate webs of guilt and desire. Each story is a cinematic and emotional glimpse into the heart of intimate relationships.

Loss Adjustment cover

4. Loss Adjustment by Linda Collins (Ethos Books 2019)

A mother recounts her 17-year-old daughter’s suicide in this heartbreaking memoir, which is by turns insightful and poignantly fragmented, reflecting a survivor’s inward and outward recovery in the face of insurmountable loss.

SEE ALSO: 13 travel writers share their top travel books

The post These are the books you should read from local publishers before the Singapore Writers Festival appeared first on SilverKris.

from SilverKris

Hotel and travel industry in Singpore to be depressed for years - Big News Network

Hotel and travel industry in Singpore to be depressed for years  Big News Network

via "singapore travel" - Google News

Hotel and travel industry in Singpore to be depressed for years - Big News Network

Hotel and travel industry in Singpore to be depressed for years  Big News Network

via "singapore travel" - Google News

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Singapore to trial 'business travel pass' for executives - Executive Traveller

Singapore to trial 'business travel pass' for executives  Executive Traveller

via "singapore travel" - Google News

Building a Creative Culture From a Rigid Singapore - Skift

Building a Creative Culture From a Rigid Singapore  Skift

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Singapore Airlines announces unique dining experience on board an A380, tours and home-delivered premium meals

Singapore Airlines Airbus A380
Lunch onboard an Airbus A380 jumbo jet

While flying overseas for a vacation is still not possible, you will soon be able to dine in style in an actual aircraft. Singapore’s national carrier Singapore Airlines (SIA) announced today (29 September) that it would be offering Restaurant A380 @Changi, an exclusive dining experience coupled with SIA’s signature award-winning service inside an Airbus A380 – a double-decker superjumbo jet.

Get onboard the aircraft that’s parked at Changi Airport and sup on international cuisine or choose your favourite dishes from the airline’s special Peranakan menu that was designed by Singaporean chef Shermay Lee. Each meal comes with two complimentary alcoholic drinks and a free flow of other beverages. Plus, you can watch a movie on KrisWorld while you dine. The airline will also be offering limited slots for an exclusive pre-lunch tour of the A380 – including private access areas – if you book a dining appointment. All diners will receive KrisShop discounts, a limited edition goodie bag and additional gifts if they turn up in traditional heritage wear. The restaurant will operate only on 24 and 25 October 2020 and reservations will start on 12 October 2020.

Heritage tour Singapore Airlines
The heritage tour will show how SIA’s cabin crew uniform and cabin products have evolved (taken before Covid-19)

Furthermore, the airline is offering an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of their training facilities over two weekends in November during the school holidays. Inside Singapore Airlines will allow visitors to get an insight into SIA’s history and interact with pilots and cabin crew to find out more about their intensive training. Family-friendly activities such as balloon sculpting, making batik roses and dressing up as cabin crew will keep the young ones entertained, while parents can try their hand at operating a flight simulator, tasting in-flight wine labels and attending a grooming workshop. You can also choose from a selection of inflight meals available any time during your visit. The tours will be on 21, 22, 28 and 29 November 2020, and bookings will open on 1 November 2020.

SIA@Home Singapore Airlines
Enjoy a taste of Singapore Airlines, delivered to your home

If you want to enjoy the SIA experience at home,  you can choose to have meals sent to where you are. Available from 5 October 2020, take your pick from 10 menus for two, featuring chef-created First Class and Business Class meals that come with wine or champagne. Chefs behind the menus are from SIA’s acclaimed International Culinary Panel, such as Australian chef Matt Moran. To enjoy the full experience of a perfectly re-created First Class or Business Class experience at home, opt for the all-inclusive package which comes with a 22-piece set of tableware and luxurious amenities from Lalique or Penhaligon’s previously available exclusively on board the flights. You can even “book a cook” by choosing to have a chef present to reheat, plate and serve the meal (limited slots available each day).

In its press release, SIA adds that while they had initially explored the idea of a one-off short “flight to nowhere”, that was shelved after a comprehensive review that also considered factors such as the attractiveness of the initiatives to members of the public, the environmental implications, and their financial viability.

Business class amenity kit Singapore Airlines
Business class amenity kit

The new experiences come in the wake of devastating effects felt by the travel industry due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“With Covid-19 drastically reducing the number of flights operated by the SIA Group, we have created unique activities that would allow us to engage with our fans and customers during this time,” says SIA Chief Executive Officer Goh Choon Phong. “These experiences offer something for everyone – from frequent flyers who miss our world-class in-cabin products and service, to couples and families who want an exclusive dining experience, and parents who are after an enjoyable activity-filled day with their children during the school holidays.”

SIA says it will keep to strict precautions, including enhanced cleaning procedures, temperature screening, safe distancing and the SafeEntry digital check-in system, to ensure the health and safety of all customers.

You can book your experience on For more information, visit the Discover Your Singapore Airlines website.

SEE ALSO: A taste of Singapore

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How sleepy Onomichi in Hiroshima Prefecture became a hub for design and innovation

“We brainstormed ideas deep into the night,” recalls Takanobu Yoshida, one of the 10 original members of Discoverlink Setouchi, which started as a grassroots initiative to revitalise Onomichi. “By morning, the white-board was a spider’s web crawling with ideas.”

Few present at that 2012 meeting could have imagined how soon many of these concepts would come to fruition. The group’s aim was to awaken Hiroshima Prefecture’s sleepy port city of 150,000 residents. Traditional regional industries were in decline, and the young people were heading for the big cities in droves.

Hiroshima feature
The Lantern Onomichi Garden, or LOG, is one of the restoration projects meant to revitalise Onomichi

Yoshida, a shrewd operator with a calm, youthful demeanour and a background in hotel management, knew something needed to be done. He and his associates saw tourism as the way forward, a way to create jobs and opportunities to encourage young people to stay put.

That initial meeting spawned exciting developments that include a high-end clothing brand tailored by locals, a seaplane to fly visitors anywhere in the Seto Inland Sea and an exclusive luxury floating hotel – all rolled out between 2013 and 2018.

Hiroshima feature
The stylish atmosphere of LOG’s cafe and bar is an example of how a grassroots group is trying to encourage more young people to spend more time in the city

Onomichi is at a geographical crossroads – sitting at a perfect distance for day trips from cities and regions lying to its east (Fukuyama), south (Shikoku) and west (Hiroshima). Despite a recent increase in interest and travel to the whole Seto Inland Sea region, people tended to just pass through Onomichi.

“We wanted to boost tourism and encourage visitors to spend more time in Onomichi, and that meant providing extra accommodation,” Yoshida says. “From the outset, our intention was to breathe new life into our existing building legacy rather than start from scratch.”

Three restoration projects stand out as testimonies to this approach. The Lantern Onomichi Garden, the Onomichi U2 complex and the Minato-no-Yado are gleaming examples of Onomichi’s resurgence as a hub for design and innovation.

Hiroshima feature
A handcrafted seat conceived by Studio Mumbai

Lantern Onomichi Garden – LOG

One of the most recent projects has been the renovation of the nondescript 1960s Shinmichi Apartment Building halfway up Mount Senkoji. Opened in December 2018, LOG is the result of an unlikely collaboration with world-renowned architect and Studio Mumbai founder Bijoy Jain.

This architectural masterpiece is the first example of the firm’s design principles being applied outside India. These include careful consideration of the environment and local materials available as well as a strong engagement with local craftspeople and stonemasons.

“Everyone, architects included, told us it was impossible to accomplish. They said we couldn’t apply Studio Mumbai’s philosophies or building techniques to Japan,” explains Yoshida, who is now the general manager of LOG and oversaw the construction with Jain. “That only encouraged us to make sure it happened.”

To call the end product a hotel would be reductive – indeed, it’s a work of art. From the pastel-coloured stucco walls made from earth from the hillside and mixed with pigment to the guestrooms screened in Japanese washi paper, LOG envelops you in its Zen-like ambience the moment you step through the front door.

Hiroshima feature
The bedrooms in LOG are covered in traditional Japanese washi paper

“Artists and craftsmen from India and Japan made everything from the chairs, to the lights, to the washi paper covering the tables,” Yoshida says. “Everything you see in LOG has a story.”

All the materials had to be heaved up 100 cost- and time-consuming steps from street level. In fact, operating the hotel faces the same vertical challenge. “It’s a constant battle with the 100 steps,” says Yoshida. “Naturally, it makes you think about eliminating waste.” The LOG restaurant, for example, sources ingredients from boutique producers and develops seasonal menus, making the most of what is available locally.

LOG is in constant flux – it weathers and evolves with each season. Just as the garden and trees grow around the building, the natural paints will intentionally fade to create new impressions. The Lantern Onomichi Garden is not an end but a beginning, a beacon for the community and a path for others to follow.

“We want the lights on the hillside to burn bright again,” Yoshida says. “We want LOG to inspire young people to become the next torch-bearers and dream up their own projects to revive this hillside and Onomichi.”


Even before LOG lit a new path in Onomichi, two historic buildings sitting next to each other on Mount Senkoji – Izumo House and Shimazui Manor – were given facelifts. After being converted into self-catering apartments in 2013, they were collectively renamed Minato-no-Yado.

Hiroshima feature
The traditional Japanese veranda in Izumo House with antique windows

Of the two buildings, Izumo House is the older. Dating back to the Edo period, the elegant two-storey building and its Japanese garden had seen better days. Under the guidance of architect Masao Nakamura, an expert in traditional Japanese houses and teahouses, the building was painstakingly restored to its former glory.

A short climb up from the Hondori shopping arcade, Izumo House is easy to spot with its panelled windows wrapped around a delicate wooden frame. The design indoors adheres to the purest form of Japanese aesthetics – clean lines, organic materials and muted hues. Where possible, the original wood, bamboo and plaster have been repaired rather than replaced. In areas where the damage was too far gone, new materials seamlessly blend into the old.

“We want to inspire young people to be the next torchbearers”

While all the mod-cons of a contemporary hotel (a semi-double bed, TV, fridge, washer-dryer) are present, they are confined to one section of the house, separated by narrow corridors and shoji screens.

Next door is the Shimazui Manor, constructed in 1931 by a local politician as a second home. The façade of the building is distinctively Western in appearance while the original interior was traditional Japanese – an architectural quirk popular in pre-war Japan. Masahiro Kiritani, a Hiroshima native and the architect tasked with the renovation, chose to reflect this duality in the interior.

Hiroshima feature
Minato-no-Yado is roomy enough for extended families

Traditional tatami rooms sit alongside wood flooring and Western furniture. The modern, open-plan kitchen complements the Japanese horikomi sunken living room. The contrast of the deep brown wood and the white plaster along with the minimalist aesthetic running through all the group’s design projects help to create this harmony between East and West, old and new.

“The great thing about Shimazui Manor is its size. Groups of up to 10 can stay together under one roof,” Yoshida says. “This is an ideal spot to linger for a few days to explore Onomichi. Guests can visit the temples on Mount Senkoji, the shopping arcade and the islands nearby.”

Hiroshima feature
The Onomichi U2 complex is a short walk from JR Onomichi station

Onomichi U2

Refreshed hotels aside, Discoverlink Setouchi also expanded its portfolio with creative lifestyle spaces. Located a five-minute walk from JR Onomichi Station, the Onomichi U2 building is a former quayside warehouse used for shipping cargo from 1943 to 2006.

In 2014, the warehouse was transformed into a complex featuring a café, bar, restaurant, bakery, shops and the world-renowned Hotel Cycle with its tailor-made accommodation for cyclists. Today, U2 attracts over 250,000 visitors a year from both Japan and abroad.

The adaptive reuse project was helmed by Makoto Tanijiri and Ai Yoshida, founders of Hiroshima’s Suppose Design Office. Since its opening, Onomichi U2 has won countless plaudits from designers and architects for the way it incorporates both the 70-year-old industrial shell of the warehouse and a contemporary minimalist interior. The sides and the ceiling of the warehouse are exposed, with ventilation ducts and pipes criss-crossing in front of original timber beams used to protect the outer wall.

Hiroshima feature
Hotel Cycle comes with wall mounts for guests’ bikes

The centrepiece of this development is the 28-room Hotel Cycle, which caters for cycling enthusiasts who head to Onomichi to ride the Shimanami Kaido – a striking 70km-long route weaving across islands and suspension bridges from the mainland to Shikoku in the south.

Everything about U2 is made with a nod to avid cyclists – from a bike store stocking parts to various maintenance areas. Guests can ride in from the boardwalk and check in at Hotel Cycle without ever leaving the saddle.

According to Onomichi City survey figures, the number of cyclists visiting Onomichi keeps rising, with a 10.6% increase from 2017 to 2018. “We’re keen this shouldn’t be a passing fad,” says Shoko Kuroda of U2 marketing and communications. “We want to establish a strong cycling culture here in Onomichi and across the Shimanami Kaido.”

3 sites to visit along the Shimanami Kaido

1. Innoshima Suigun Castle

The Murakami Suigun, a naval clan, marshalled the whole of the Seto Inland Sea throughout the Middle Ages. Find out about these sea-born samurai here.

2. Kousanji Temple & Museum

This Buddhist temple on Ikuchijima island features architectural styles influenced by Nikko and Kyoto. A short distance from the main temple is the Hill of Hope, a garden of white Italian marble.

3. Oyamazumi Shrine

Besides being one of the most important shrines in Japan, this sacred site on Omishima island houses 80% of all swords and armour designated as national treasures in Japan in its museum.

SilkAir flies three times a week between Singapore and Hiroshima. To book a flight, visit

SEE ALSO:  How Hiroshima’s farmers and priests are creating contemporary jeans

This article was originally published in the January 2020 issue of Silkwinds magazine 

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