Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Singapore Airlines Chooses Discover The World For Representation In Canada - PRNewswire

Singapore Airlines Chooses Discover The World For Representation In Canada  PRNewswire

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The Latest: Suit Says Hawaii Inmates Unprotected From Virus - U.S. News & World Report

The Latest: Suit Says Hawaii Inmates Unprotected From Virus  U.S. News & World Report

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Hong Kong may relax quarantine restrictions for fully vaccinated: commerce chief - South China Morning Post

Hong Kong may relax quarantine restrictions for fully vaccinated: commerce chief  South China Morning Post

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Singapore Airlines Chooses Discover The World For Representation In Canada - PRNewswire

Singapore Airlines Chooses Discover The World For Representation In Canada  PRNewswire

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Singapore travel bubble on leaders' agenda - Mandurah Mail

Singapore travel bubble on leaders' agenda  Mandurah Mail

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Singapore travel agents show their mettle amid tourism gloom - TTG Asia

Singapore travel agents show their mettle amid tourism gloom  TTG Asia

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What does the future hold for Singapore Airlines Airbus A380? - AeroTime News Hub

What does the future hold for Singapore Airlines Airbus A380?  AeroTime News Hub

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What it's like to travel abroad right now - Times of India

What it's like to travel abroad right now  Times of India

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Australia-Singapore travel bubble: Will students benefit? - Study International News

Australia-Singapore travel bubble: Will students benefit?  Study International News

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International Travel All Set to Resume For Vaccinated Tourists, Singapore And Malaysia Still Hesitant - India.com

International Travel All Set to Resume For Vaccinated Tourists, Singapore And Malaysia Still Hesitant  India.com

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How Martha Waslen built Singapore's 'daycation' app for travel-starved locals - Business Insider

How Martha Waslen built Singapore's 'daycation' app for travel-starved locals  Business Insider

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Commentary: Targeted travel restrictions needed but careful not to undermine Changi Airport's connectivity - CNA

Commentary: Targeted travel restrictions needed but careful not to undermine Changi Airport's connectivity  CNA

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Changes to SHN requirements for travellers to Singapore from Fiji and Israel - The Business Times

Changes to SHN requirements for travellers to Singapore from Fiji and Israel  The Business Times

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Time warp: 3 themed itineraries to discover old-time Singapore

*Produced by SilverKris for Avis*

Singapore may be a renowned global hub that houses Michelin-starred dining, iconic structures and the like, but there’s plenty of heritage and history to be found once you peel back its modern façade. Heritage preservation is a big deal here, and it’s not too hard to find an experience that hearkens back to old-time Singapore, if you know where to go.

LEARN MORE: Earn KrisFlyer miles when you rent a car with Avis

 

Trishaw Uncle
Explore Singapore the old-school way with Trishaw Uncle

For food lovers

Going on a food adventure is the easiest way to sink your teeth into a slice of Singapore’s history, which is why Balmoral Bakery should be your first stop. The bakery has been quite the presence since 1965, and its appeal lies in its pastries, pies and sweet treats. Balmoral’s creations began as interpretations of various colonial flavours and this hasn’t changed since. Must-tries include the dome-shaped chicken pies, cream horns, custard puffs, Swiss rolls (also known as towel rolls here) and rum balls.

Photo credit: Rumah Bebe

Then, hop on the PIE for a 20-minute drive to Lam Yeo Coffee. One of the last remaining family-run coffee businesses, Lam Yeo has been a giant in Singapore’s coffee culture since 1959. While you’ll find plenty of exotic or gourmet beans and blends here, its biggest draw is the Singapore-style kopi, which is traditionally roasted and blended for an unmatched aroma and flavour. The storefront remains unchanged from its first days, and your beans of choice can be blended to suit your personal coffee machine.

Afterwards, make the 15-minute drive along the ECP towards Rumah Bebe, a traditional two-storey Peranakan shophouse that’s stood since 1928. A hidden gem in Katong’s food scene, the in-house café here uses fresh, natural ingredients to recreate traditional Peranakan cuisine that used to grace the tables of many Peranakan families on a daily basis decades ago. Everything – tarts, pastries, dumplings, sauces and more – is handmade, and you can sign up for crafting workshops, explore the various museum replicas and heritage products and even try on Peranakan outfits for photo ops.

LEARN MORE: Drive off safely in a clean and sanitised car from Avis

 

Lam Yeo Speciality Coffee
Old-school equipment at Lam Yeo

For hands-on adventurers

Many drive to Singapore’s west side to Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle, a 56-year-old pottery business for a look at its ancient dragon kiln. Dragon kilns are said to hit temperatures as high as 1,400°C, and fire up to 25,000 pottery items at once. These days, Thow Kwang’s dragon kiln only lights up on certain days (call ahead to enquire!), and you can sign up for a pocket-friendly tour to see its insides. Parking is free, but the lots are limited, so be sure to get here early.

An in-demand mode of transport after the end of the Japanese occupation in 1945, the trishaw now lives on as a popular tourist attraction. Relive a decade long gone with Trishaw Uncle (tip: Park your car at the nearby Fu Lu Shou Complex). Named after the term of endearment used for trishaw riders, Trishaw Uncle takes you to explore heritage districts like Little India, Kampong Glam and Chinatown the old-fashioned way – with his colourful running commentary for company.

Dragon kiln Singapore
Firing up the old dragon kiln at Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle

Beat the heat at the rustic Hai Bin Prawning, where you can try hand a family-friendly Singaporean activity that’s been a favourite for at least two decades. This Tebing Lane setup lets you catch prawns from a pond in groups or by yourself. You could grill your catch after in pre-Covid times, but these days, it’s best to dine on the cooked-to-order dishes available at the in-house café.

LEARN MORE: Book a car for the weekend with Avis. Special deals available

 

For explorers and Instagrammers

Add a touch of heritage to the ’gram with a gambol through the Kranji Railway Train Crossing. A former manned level crossing for the Malaysian Railway (KTM) trains, this historical point is part of the larger Kranji Heritage Trail. The railway line was constructed in 1903 before being decommissioned in 2011. While the tracks have been removed, you’ll still get to walk through the greenery and snap a picture for posterity.

Haw Par Villa. Photo: Shutterstock.com
Immerse yourself in old Chinese folklore at Haw Par Villa. Photo: Shutterstock

Then, peek into Chinese folklore with a 26-minute drive to Haw Par Villa. Formerly called the Tiger Balm Garden, the macabre cultural park has been a Singapore icon since 1937. It houses more than 1,000 statues and 150 artisan-created dioramas, all drawn from popular Chinese literature. The park’s most intriguing feature is, undoubtedly, the Ten Courts of Hell display, which depicts the consequences of disobeying traditional Chinese morality. If you’d rather not explore the park alone, opt for one of its revelatory guided tours.

Affectionately dubbed as the country’s last kampung (village), Kampong Lorong Buangkok lets you get a feel of life in 1950s Singapore. There are wood and zinc houses aplenty – the homes of a blended Malay and Chinese community – and children play freely in the traffic-free streets. Feel free to stop for a chat and photos with the welcoming residents, too. There’s no parking within the village itself, so leave your wheels at the multi-story car park at Buangkok Parkvista instead.

Kampong Lorong Buangkok
A scene from Kampong Lorong Buangkok. Photo: Rayson Tan (Unsplash)

Turn your hometown into a brand new adventure with a short-term rental car from Avis.

The post Time warp: 3 themed itineraries to discover old-time Singapore appeared first on SilverKris.



from SilverKris

Singapore travel bubble on leaders' agenda - Mandurah Mail

Singapore travel bubble on leaders' agenda  Mandurah Mail

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6 fresh ways to beat the heat in Singapore

Recent years have seen Singapore hit historically high temperatures, and 2021 shows no signs of this phenomenon slowing down. Due to increasing climate change and our heavy reliance on air-conditioning, it actually turns out that we’re heating up twice as fast as the rest of the world. While this is definitely concerning news, it also means we need to find new ways to stay cool in the rising temperatures that don’t always involve staying in and cranking up the air-con. Here are a few new suggestions on ways to beat the heat.

hydrodash water park
Cool off in an obstacle course. Photo credit: Hydrodash

1. Hydrodash

Growing up in the ‘90s, you might remember Fantasy Island on Sentosa, the country’s biggest waterpark. We haven’t quite had a waterpark like that since it closed in 2001, until now — enter Hydrodash, a floating aquapark on Sentosa that skips terrifying water slides in favour of much more accessible inflatable obstacle courses (think swings, floating wheels and platforms, and springboards). The nice thing about Hydrodash is that there are options for everyone. If running through the obstacle course sounds like a lot of work, you can always just make a beeline for the water. Park visitors can use SingapoRediscover vouchers to book tickets until the end of 2021.

2. Splat Paint House

If you’re looking to cool off, have fun, and do something creative at the same time, Splat Paint House with its glow-in-the-dark neon paint and water guns is a match made in heaven. It’s a cross between a paint battle and an expressive art exercise: after a short briefing, you’re free to hurl paint at a canvas (or a tote bag) with your chosen “weapons”, and if anything happens to get on the walls, it’s fair game.  There’s also the option of glitter paint, if you’re feeling brave (and industrious enough to pick glitter bits out of your hair in the shower). It’s a cathartic way to let your inner Jackson Pollock loose while dancing in the dark, and make an excellent mess in the process. You can, of course, also go during the day and take your pick of normal, non-neon paint. 

doggyaki ice cream
Doggyaki a la mode. Photo credit: Cookie & Cuddle

3. Cookie & Cuddle

New ice-cream snack alert: dig into adorable French bulldog-shaped taiyaki (or “doggyaki”; it’s a Japanese waffle-like cake with fillings) while meeting cute doggos at Little India’s Cookie & Cuddle Cafe. The doggyaki is made with chewy mochi batter and comes in a set with double scoops of ice-cream — current fillings include Japanese red bean and kinako/soybean, but the owners are planning new flavours such as hae bee hiam (spicy dried shrimp sambal) cheese and kaya vanilla custard. The three resident chi-poos (chihuahua poodles) Cookie, Cuddle, and Kiki usually hang out in a separate pen in front of the cafe area. 

4. Rumours

This popular Bali import has not one, but three swimming pools spaced out across the property. If that doesn’t sound tempting enough, there’s also its robust menu of Balinese dishes. Pretend you’re lounging in Seminyak with its lavish Jimbaran Bali BBQ lineup that boasts grilled lobster, prawns, whole red snapper and flower clams; or dig into a Balinese Rice Platter with Balinese beef curry, spicy shredded chicken, beef jerky, grilled sambal beef satay, sautéed curry long beans, sambal soy egg, glazed tempe and shrimp paste sambal. There are also a ton of other options including pizza, nibbles, and Impossible Foods plant-based meat. It’s the perfect way to unwind by the water in a serenely chill atmosphere. Reservations are a must, but keep in mind that dining-in is not allowed in Rumours until 13 June in accordance with new government safety guidelines, and it is only offering delivery and takeaway services.

botanic gardens orchids
The Yuen Peng McNeice Bromeliad Collection. Photo credit: National Parks Board

5. Tropical Montane Orchidetum 

The Botanic Gardens’ new Tropical Montane Orchidetum located within the National Orchid Garden features a gorgeous 1,100 square metre glasshouse designed to emulate high elevation forest climates that hover around 16-23 degrees Celsius. Named the Sembcorp Cool House, it has been expanded to more than four times its original size and is home to exotic blooms that live in these chilly temperatures, such as cymbidium (“boat orchids,” named for their shape) and dendrochilum (hanging “chain” orchids), as well as other species like begonias and carnivorous plants. There’s also the Tan Hoon Siang Mist House — a paleotropic garden that boasts some of Asia’s most incredible orchids including the rare Lady’s Slipper – and the Yuen Peng McNeice Bromeliad Collection that emulates a mid-elevation neotropical forest environment.

6. Palm Ave Float Club

Spend an hour in pure bliss within your own personal cocoon at the Palm Ave Float Club. Floating or flotation therapy is a fascinating way to mentally and physically recharge without the dull tug of gravity. Spend an hour drifting in your private float pod filled with warm water and 600kg of Epsom salts. It may not sound like a traditionally “cool” activity in terms of temperature, but emerging from the pod after 60 minutes has an astonishingly refreshing effect. Perhaps it’s the sense of freedom you get while suspended in the water, or the luxury of unwinding, unbothered in the dark. The whole experience was surprisingly comfortable, even for this claustrophobic writer (note: you’ll have a private shower to use before and after). Re-opens on 13 June. 

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

SEE ALSO: 10 cool new hobbies you can easily learn online 

The post 6 fresh ways to beat the heat in Singapore appeared first on SilverKris.



from SilverKris

The Latest: Suit Says Hawaii Inmates Unprotected From Virus - U.S. News & World Report

The Latest: Suit Says Hawaii Inmates Unprotected From Virus  U.S. News & World Report

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What it's like to travel abroad right now - Times of India

What it's like to travel abroad right now  Times of India

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Commentary: Targeted travel restrictions needed but careful not to undermine Changi Airport's connectivity - CNA

Commentary: Targeted travel restrictions needed but careful not to undermine Changi Airport's connectivity  CNA

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Monday, 14 June 2021

The Latest: Suit Says Hawaii Inmates Unprotected From Virus - U.S. News & World Report

The Latest: Suit Says Hawaii Inmates Unprotected From Virus  U.S. News & World Report

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What it's like to travel abroad right now - Times of India

What it's like to travel abroad right now  Times of India

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More Singapore top bankers could fly to HK as business travel curbs ease - Business Times

More Singapore top bankers could fly to HK as business travel curbs ease  Business Times

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Changes to SHN requirements for travellers to Singapore from Fiji and Israel - The Business Times

Changes to SHN requirements for travellers to Singapore from Fiji and Israel  The Business Times

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In Talks: Malaysia-Singapore Travel Restrictions To Be Lifted - Yahoo Singapore News

In Talks: Malaysia-Singapore Travel Restrictions To Be Lifted  Yahoo Singapore News

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What it's like to travel abroad right now - Times of India

What it's like to travel abroad right now  Times of India

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TTF: Development of Australia-Singapore travel bubble must remain front and centre | CAPA - CAPA - Centre for Aviation

TTF: Development of Australia-Singapore travel bubble must remain front and centre | CAPA  CAPA - Centre for Aviation

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Australia Deputy Prime Minister: Australia to continue talks with Singapore for travel | CAPA - CAPA - Centre for Aviation

Australia Deputy Prime Minister: Australia to continue talks with Singapore for travel | CAPA  CAPA - Centre for Aviation

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The Latest: Suit Says Hawaii Inmates Unprotected From Virus - U.S. News & World Report

The Latest: Suit Says Hawaii Inmates Unprotected From Virus  U.S. News & World Report

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Commentary: Targeted travel restrictions needed but careful not to undermine Changi Airport's connectivity - CNA

Commentary: Targeted travel restrictions needed but careful not to undermine Changi Airport's connectivity  CNA

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More Singapore top bankers could fly to HK as business travel curbs ease - Business Times

More Singapore top bankers could fly to HK as business travel curbs ease  Business Times

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Australia and Singapore working towards travel bubble - Newshub

Australia and Singapore working towards travel bubble  Newshub

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What it's like to travel abroad right now - Times of India

What it's like to travel abroad right now  Times of India

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Commentary: Targeted travel restrictions needed but careful not to undermine Changi Airport's connectivity - CNA

Commentary: Targeted travel restrictions needed but careful not to undermine Changi Airport's connectivity  CNA

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Sunday, 13 June 2021

What it's like to travel abroad right now - Times of India

What it's like to travel abroad right now  Times of India

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Travel bubble with Singapore increasingly unlikely, expert warns - ABC News

Travel bubble with Singapore increasingly unlikely, expert warns  ABC News

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Students from Singapore could be given priority in pilot scheme for possible air travel bubble with Australia | Video - CNA

Students from Singapore could be given priority in pilot scheme for possible air travel bubble with Australia | Video  CNA

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US CDC Eases Travel Recommendations For 110 Countries, Including Singapore - Tatler Singapore

US CDC Eases Travel Recommendations For 110 Countries, Including Singapore  Tatler Singapore

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Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble to finally see the daylight? - AeroTime News Hub

Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble to finally see the daylight?  AeroTime News Hub

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Majority of Singaporean travellers desire to travel more sustainably - TTG Asia

Majority of Singaporean travellers desire to travel more sustainably  TTG Asia

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What it's like to travel abroad right now - Times of India

What it's like to travel abroad right now  Times of India

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US CDC Eases Travel Recommendations For 110 Countries, Including Singapore - Tatler Singapore

US CDC Eases Travel Recommendations For 110 Countries, Including Singapore  Tatler Singapore

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Hong Kong, Singapore eye another go at air travel bubble - Flightglobal

Hong Kong, Singapore eye another go at air travel bubble  Flightglobal

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Singapore travel bubble on leaders' agenda - Mandurah Mail

Singapore travel bubble on leaders' agenda  Mandurah Mail

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Majority of Singaporean travellers desire to travel more sustainably - TTG Asia

Majority of Singaporean travellers desire to travel more sustainably  TTG Asia

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Singapore, Malaysia look forward to restoring cross-border travel, says republic’s transport minister - Malay Mail

Singapore, Malaysia look forward to restoring cross-border travel, says republic’s transport minister  Malay Mail

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Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble to finally see the daylight? - AeroTime News Hub

Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble to finally see the daylight?  AeroTime News Hub

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Hong Kong, Singapore eye another go at air travel bubble - Flightglobal

Hong Kong, Singapore eye another go at air travel bubble  Flightglobal

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Europe reopens: Spain, France, Denmark and Greece welcome tourists - CNN

Europe reopens: Spain, France, Denmark and Greece welcome tourists  CNN

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A look at how 7 different cultures around the world enjoy their tea

Whether it’s a steaming hot mug of English Breakfast with a dash of milk and sugar to wake you up in the morning; tiny cups of chrysanthemum tea to accompany a dim sum feast; or a silky matcha latte to ward off the afternoon slump, tea is one of the world’s most popular beverages. In fact, according to online statistics portal Statista, it is the second-most consumed beverage in the world (after water), with global tea consumption clocking in at 6.3 billion kilograms in 2020 – a figure that is projected to hit 7.4 billion kilograms by 2025.

Over the years, different cultures have come up with their own ways to enjoy the beverage – influenced by the types of tea leaves that are native to the region as well as preparation methods that best suit the particular environment. We delve into the history and culture of how tea is enjoyed from Japan to India, and recommend a few spots in Singapore to try these beverages for yourself.

The famous Heming teahouse in Chengdu. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

1. China

Legend has it that the global history of tea originated over 5,000 years ago in China, when a single leaf from a wild tea tree drifted into a pot of water being boiled for an emperor. This happy accident kick-started the country’s affair with tea, which has evolved from an imperial beverage to one that’s widely consumed by most Chinese residents. Although the country currently cultivates an extensive variety of tea leaves, the oldest and most popular is green tea. You’ll find plenty of teahouses – public places where people gather to socialise over a good brew – throughout the country. To get an authentic Chinese teahouse experience in Singapore, you can visit Tea Chapter on Neil Road, which has been brewing traditional Chinese teas since 1989.

A tea plantation at Ban Rak Thai in Thailand. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

2. Thailand

Thailand is a relatively new tea producer, with large-scale production only having begun roughly two decades ago, when many of Northern Thailand’s opium fields were converted into tea plantations. Although the country predominantly grows oolong and green teas, most would consider the sweet and silky cha yen (Thai iced tea) – made with black tea, sugar and condensed milk served over ice – to be the country’s national beverage. Its exact origins are unclear, but some tie it to an old military officer who had a penchant for Western-style beverages. Today, you’ll find Thai iced tea served throughout the country as a welcomed antidote to the punishing heat. If you’re craving for a cuppa in Singapore, you can drop by ChaTraMue at PLQ – a famed tea shop that has operated in Thailand since 1945.

The makings of masala chai. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

3. India

While there are much earlier recorded instances of tea cultivation in the country, large-scale tea production in India only began in the early 19th century. Today, India is the world’s second-largest tea exporter (after China), though around 70% of the tea produced is consumed domestically. One of the most popular varieties is Assam tea – a full bodied, bright and malty black tea – which, unlike most commercially produced tea, is native to India. It’s used to make the popular masala chai: black tea brewed with a mix of aromatic spices including cardamom, cinnamon and ginger that’s finished with milk and sugar. In Singapore, you’ll find a solid version of the beverage at the beloved Bhai Sarbat Restaurant in Kampong Glam.

Thirst-quenching iced sweet tea, served with mint and lemon. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

4. United States

One of the most distinctive drinks of the American South has got to be iced sweet tea: black tea that’s sweetened with sugar and served over a generous helping of ice, sometimes with the addition of a citrus wedge, sprig of mint or thin strawberry slices. The first recorded recipe of the beverage dates back to 1879, although it initially called for the use of green tea instead. The switch to black tea came about in the 1900s, as relatively inexpensive supplies were imported from India, Ceylon, Africa and South America. In Singapore, you can sample the beverage at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, a Marina Bay Sands restaurant dedicated to Southern American cuisine.

A Japanese matcha tea ceremony in progress. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

5. Japan

Japan’s history of tea dates back to the Nara period in the 8th century, when it was purportedly introduced to the country from China by Buddhist monks. Over the subsequent centuries, as the country began cultivating its own tea varieties, it transitioned from a beverage favoured by royalty to one that was enjoyed by all. Today, Japan predominantly cultivates and consumes green tea, with popular variants including sencha (young tea leaves grown in direct sunlight); matcha (grown in the shade and ground into a powder); hojicha (roasted green tea) and genmaicha (green tea blended with roasted brown rice). You can get a taste for yourself at Hvala, which bills itself as a modern Japanese teahouse and offers traditional teas and desserts at its CHJIMES and Somerset locations.

Vintage Twinings cans. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

6. England

Whether taken with a dash of milk, spoonful of sugar or slice of lemon, tea is an undeniable hallmark of British culture: it’s said that the Brits as a whole down about 100 million cups every day. Tea was first imported into the country from China in the 17th century and later from India in the 19th century. The first tea shop for aristocratic ladies was opened in 1717 but over time, tea shops were set up across the country, enabling larger swathes of the population to enjoy the good stuff. For your own British tea-drinking affair in Singapore, simply head to one of TWG Tea’s outlets, where you can enjoy a cuppa in a setting that’s reminiscent of a luxury tea parlour.

An oolong tea garden at Sheipa National Park in Taiwan. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

7. Taiwan

Although it may not be one of the world’s top producers, Taiwan has been steadily growing and exporting high-quality tea since the late 18th century. While it grows four main kinds of tea – black, green, white and oolong – it is the latter that is its claim to fame, as Taiwan grows roughly 20% of the world’s oolong supply. The oolong teas grown in the high mountainous regions of Taiwan are particularly well-known for their impeccable quality. Two of the most prized varieties are Dayuling oolong and Alishan oolong, both of which are grown at altitudes of over 2,000 metres. Taiwanese tea brand CHICHA San Chen has a few branches in Singapore, where you can sample freshly brewed Taiwanese teas such as Dong Ding oolong and High Mountain pouchong.

SEE ALSO: Yangon’s timeless tea houses

This article was originally published on 18 September 2020 and updated on 13 June 2021.

The post A look at how 7 different cultures around the world enjoy their tea appeared first on SilverKris.



from SilverKris

Is there a Singapore-Australia travel bubble on the way? - Channel Asia Singapore

Is there a Singapore-Australia travel bubble on the way?  Channel Asia Singapore

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Commentary: Targeted travel restrictions needed but careful not to undermine Changi Airport's connectivity - CNA

Commentary: Targeted travel restrictions needed but careful not to undermine Changi Airport's connectivity  CNA

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Europe reopens: Spain, France, Denmark and Greece welcome tourists - CNN

Europe reopens: Spain, France, Denmark and Greece welcome tourists  CNN

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What it's like to travel abroad right now - Times of India

What it's like to travel abroad right now  Times of India

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Saturday, 12 June 2021

Commentary: Targeted travel restrictions needed but careful not to undermine Changi Airport's connectivity - CNA

Commentary: Targeted travel restrictions needed but careful not to undermine Changi Airport's connectivity  CNA

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Australia, Singapore agree on travel plan - The Islander

Australia, Singapore agree on travel plan  The Islander

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Commentary: Targeted travel restrictions needed but careful not to undermine Changi Airport's connectivity - CNA

Commentary: Targeted travel restrictions needed but careful not to undermine Changi Airport's connectivity  CNA

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S'poreans may get to travel overseas again after Oct. 2021, if vaccination rates keep improving - Mothership.sg

S'poreans may get to travel overseas again after Oct. 2021, if vaccination rates keep improving  Mothership.sg

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Australia PM Morrison says looking to enable travel bubble with Singapore - ForexLive

Australia PM Morrison says looking to enable travel bubble with Singapore  ForexLive

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Singapore-Malaysia look forward to restoring cross-border travel - The Malaysian Reserve

Singapore-Malaysia look forward to restoring cross-border travel  The Malaysian Reserve

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Singapore Airlines' new sonic signature is inspired by the flowers of Singapore - Euronews

Singapore Airlines' new sonic signature is inspired by the flowers of Singapore  Euronews

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Singapore, Malaysia look forward to restoring cross-border travel, says republic’s transport minister - Malay Mail

Singapore, Malaysia look forward to restoring cross-border travel, says republic’s transport minister  Malay Mail

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Students from Singapore could be given priority in pilot scheme for possible air travel bubble with Australia | Video - CNA

Students from Singapore could be given priority in pilot scheme for possible air travel bubble with Australia | Video  CNA

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Australia, Singapore agree on travel plan - The Islander

Australia, Singapore agree on travel plan  The Islander

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Hong Kong, Singapore to review travel bubble date in July - Reuters

Hong Kong, Singapore to review travel bubble date in July  Reuters

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Australia PM Morrison says looking to enable travel bubble with Singapore - ForexLive

Australia PM Morrison says looking to enable travel bubble with Singapore  ForexLive

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Forget cars and art – whisky is the big new investment in Singapore

*Produced by SilverKris for The Dalmore*

While Singapore’s F&B industry as a whole languished over the past 15 months, a curious counter-trend has characterised the luxury spirits niche. Affluent Singaporeans have gravitated towards fine whiskies, not just as refined drinks but as investment-worthy assets.

Just last January, Lion City-based private exchange HGX announced the launch of a blockchain-based service for rare whisky bottles. (Yes, you read that right.) Professional investors can now buy and sell tokens that represent a bottle of whisky valued anywhere from $950 to $15,000. More broadly, whisky brokerage Rare Finds Worldwide reported that in 2019, Singapore was Asia’s top market for Scotch whisky, valued at $425.7 million.

Rare whiskies outstrip rare stamps, coins and even cars as investment assets

The Lion City’s rare-whisky landscape is a microcosm for a broader and growing global trend. According to Sotheby’s 2020 Wine & Spirits Market Report, spirits now account for 19% of the auction house’s Auction & Retail sales share, compared to 1% in 2016. And for good reason, apparently: Knight Frank consultancy said in its 2020 Wealth Report that rare whiskies are more lucrative than rare stamps, coins and even cars as investment assets, increasing roughly 582% in value over a 10-year period.

A record-breaking whisky distillery

So what’s so special about these whiskies, you might wonder, and who is making them? Rare whiskies are special bottlings from prestigious distilleries. Not intended for mass market, these releases are usually produced in tiny batches – a couple hundred bottles or less, for the entire global market – and often feature very old spirit, a special one-off recipe or an exciting celebrity collaboration. Needless to say, you can’t find them at your regular liquor shop.

Creating the box for The Dalmore L'Anima
Renowned Scottish craftsman John Galvin creating the box for the Dalmore L’Anima 49 Years

One distillery that has done all of the above – and has record-breaking prices to show for it – is The Dalmore, located some 20 miles north of Inverness in the fabled Scottish Highlands. With the royal stag as its symbol, The Dalmore claims a heritage that dates as far back as the 13th-century, and its rare aged single malts are consistently among the most expensive whiskies in the market.

The distillery set an important record in 2017 when its 12-bottle Dalmore Paterson Collection of rare whiskies sold at auction for an eye-watering £987,500. This was followed closely by the competition-eclipsing release of just 500 bottles of The Dalmore 45. Presented in a Baccarat crystal decanter, the whisky finished its maturation process in Graham’s Port Colheita pipes – specifically from 1961 and 1963 – and retailed at £12,800 per bottle. In the ensuing years, a rising demand for the increasingly rare release means each of those bottles will now sell for a great deal more.

The Dalmore 62
The Dalmore 62 Year Old sold at auction for £266,200 each

A year later, The Dalmore’s legendary master distiller Richard Paterson teamed up with chef Massimo Bottura of three-Michelin-starred Modena to produce just a single bottle of The Dalmore L’Anima 49 Years. Presented in an Italian olive wood and ebony cabinet, the one-off release sold at a charity auction £108,900. And perhaps most impressively, in June 2020, during the height of the pandemic, two bottles of The Dalmore 62 Year Old sold for a whopping £266,200 each at an auction in London.

Stratospheric flavours here on earth

Back in Singapore, non-investor whisky aficionados now have an opportunity to sample this decorated legacy at earthly prices. The city-state will be among the first countries to see the release of The Dalmore 12 Year Old Sherry Cask Select, as part of the Highland single-malt maker’s 180th anniversary celebration.

Since it started operations in 1839, The Dalmore has aged its whisky in authentic ex-sherry casks. The Dalmore 12 Year Old Sherry Cask Select is both a celebration and the pinnacle of this practice. Master Distiller Richard Paterson worked with three partners from Spain’s Andalusia region ­– Tevasa, Vasyma and Paez – to create a bespoke oloroso and Pedro Ximenez sherry blend with which to season the casks for this whisky. Spirit made with native Scottish ingredients was aged for 10 years in American ex-bourbon barrels before finishing its maturation journey in these very special casks, delivering twice as much sherry influence than is usual for a Dalmore bottle.

The Dalmore 12 Year Sherry Cask Select
The Dalmore 12 Year Old Sherry Cask Select has hints of chocolate, orange, honey, almond and cinnamon

Moreover, this long and careful journey enhances the chocolate, orange and spice flavours that have long been the hallmarks of The Dalmore brand. Whisky lovers will find hints of ginger, sultanas and honey on the nose and crushed almonds and cinnamon on the palate. And like all great whiskies, this one leaves a memorable and surprising finish: mangoes, panna cotta and lemon sponge cake.

During the month of June, The Dalmore 12 Year Old Sherry Cask Select is available in Singapore exclusively through Singapore Airlines’ omni-channel retailer, KrisShop. And for travel-thirsting whisky investors and aficionados alike, it’s an exciting way to experience one of Scotland’s oldest and most decorated distilleries.

For more information on The Dalmore 12 Year Old Sherry Cask Select, please visit The Dalmore or Alcohol Porter.

The post Forget cars and art – whisky is the big new investment in Singapore appeared first on SilverKris.



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Friday, 11 June 2021

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Japan off the beaten track: 5 lesser-known ways to explore the country

Japan is certainly one of the most popular tourist spots in the world. But don’t settle on the same old sites. Getting a little off-track with hidden spots will pay dividends.

It’s easy for Japan to feel familiar. After all, who hasn’t seen or heard about the snow-capped dome of Mount Fuji, the fun fashion experiment of Harajuku, and the hushed sensuality of Kyoto’s geishas? But take the time to look beyond the big-ticket sites and you’ll discover villages untouched by westernisation, deserted tracts of wilderness and cultural experiences of extra-terrestrial quirkiness.

From traditional snow country to blissfully empty (yes, empty) tropical beaches to a hotel staffed by a dinosaur, here are five offbeat destinations that’ll make Japan feel anything but familiar.

1. A hotel with a robot receptionist

If you want to see the endgame of the current robotics revolution, check-in to the Henn na Hotel in Sasebo, Nagasaki. Literally translated as “Weird Hotel,” this 144-room accommodation on the southern island of Kyushu is billed as the world’s first hotel staffed by robots. Step inside the sliding glass doors and the only flesh-and-blood organisms you’ll see are fellow guests. At reception, a kind and smiling humanoid receptionist (for English speakers) or chirpy-voiced android (for Japanese speakers) will happily check you in. At the cloakroom, a robotic arm will store your luggage for you. Then, an automated trolley will show you and your luggage to the room, where your own face (registered during check-in and detected with facial recognition technology) is all that’s needed to open the door. But even if you don’t end up warming to your trusty iRemocon, a smart remote controller who will help you turn off the lights and monitor your room — you can at least take comfort in the financial savings that come from replacing people with gadgets. Prices for the rooms start at ¥15,400 (S$186).

japanese snow monkey japan unique
Snow monkeys can primarily be found at Joshinetsu Kogen National Park in Nagano. Photo credit: Shutterstock

2. Go skiing in a village

Almost everybody who skis knows Niseko and its fabled powder dumps; that’s why it can sometimes feel like a Vegas-style ski resort where foreigners outnumber locals. To discover the real Japan in winter, Nozawa Onsen is an exquisite village where meandering cobblestone alleys connect centuries-old shrines, traditional sweet stores and family-run noodle shops. As its name suggests, Nozawa has an abundance of geothermally heated water. Over 30 hot springs supply 13 public bathhouses, the pinnacle of which is glorious outdoor onsen Oyu – an Edo-style wooden structure in the centre of town that’s the ultimate apres ski destination for tired muscles. (Tip: the bath is free but a donation is requested for upkeep.)

Foodies, meanwhile, will delight in Ogama onsen, where one can cook vegetables and eggs in pools of scalding spring water. Located 249km northwest of Tokyo, Nozawa also offers a variety of off piste activities; day trips can be arranged to see photogenic snow monkeys warming up in piping-hot pools at Jigokudani Monkey Park in Joshinetsu Kogen National Park – about 1.5 hours away. And while the nightlife might not have the vibrancy of mega resorts like Niseko, Nozawa’s undeniable charm is what makes it a ski trip you’ll never forget.

3. Dine with ninjas, goats and owls

This nation known for precision and polish offers plenty in the form of unpredictable peculiarity. Perhaps the purest embodiment of this is its talent for conjuring bizarre restaurant themes. There are prison-themed restaurants, maid cafés, a ninja restaurant where masked waiters stealthily appear with food, and a futuristic version of conveyor belt sushi where food is delivered by high-speed “train”, just to name a few.

And no visit to Tokyo is complete without experiencing the Japanese penchant for mixing creatures with coffee. Beyond the conventional cat cafe there are owl cafes, hedgehog cafes, rabbit cafes, and reptile cafes.

4. Visit a tropical beach

iriomote star sand okinawa beach japan tropical island
Rock and star sand of Hoshizuna no Hama beach, Iriomote island in Okinawa, Japan. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Okinawa’s subtropical location (closer to Taiwan than Tokyo), pure white beaches, and slow-paced lifestyle makes it the most un-Japanese place you can find without leaving the country. Shimmering turquoise waters and an average annual temperature of 23 degrees also makes it a tropical beach destination to rival any beach in South-east Asia. The capital, Naha, on the main island of Okinawa Honto, is the perfect jumping-off-point for the rest of the 161-island chain. In particular, the Yaeyama Islands (one of the three main island groups) represents a microcosm of Okinawa’s signature drawcards: beaches made of star-shaped grains of sand (found on Hoshizuna-no-Hama on remote Iriomote Island), a distinct indigenous culture (Taketomi Island has one of Okinawa’s few preserved traditional Ryukyu villages) and warm beaches made for swimming (Yonehara on Ishigaki Island boasts some of the best snorkelling in Okinawa). If all that doesn’t upend what you think you know about Japan, then the experience of gliding in emerald waters in a water buffalo taxi surrounded by locals in straw hats and sandals surely will.

vine bridge tokushima japan kazura
The historical bridge made with vine in Tokushima, Japan. Photo credit: Shutterstock

5. Head to the mountains

Home to forest-cloaked mountains, thatched roof farmhouses and winding one-lane roads, Iya Valley is one of Japan’s last uncharted territories. Tucked deep in the mountainous heart of Shikoku, it’s so far off the beaten path that it’s been described as the “lost Japan”. Because of the area’s inaccessibility, a car is the best way to reach the region’s highlights, like the fascinating Okuiya Niju Kazurabashi vine bridges that were used from the 12th century to transport people across the Iya River. And while walking along the widely-spaced planks to the other side is a rite of passage, those prone to vertigo can opt instead to pull themselves across in a wooden cart via the nearby Wild Monkey Bridge. After, there’s no better place to retire than the 200-metre-high Iya Onsen Hotel, overlooking dramatic green hills. The hotel’s hidden gem is its open-air bath, located in the gorge below and accessed by a Gibli-esque rickety cable car. Soak in the hot water beside the rushing river and savour this perfect slice of Japan’s past.

SEE ALSO: 8 Japanese cafés to visit in Singapore

This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings on 18 November 2016 and updated on 11 June 2021.

PHOTOS HENN A HOTEL / NOZAWA ONSEN FACEBOOK / KAWAII MONSTER CAFE FACEBOOK / OKINAWA TOURISM FACEBOOK / IYA ONSEN HOTEL

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