The life lessons of travelling

I recently read this beautiful quote:

“The greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time.” – Bill Bryson

We love travelling with our kids. But beyond the occasional holidays, I am even more thankful for the opportunity to experience many of my kids’ first experiences with them.  And out of our daily mundane routine, the highlight will be when we take the bus to and fro Z’s school.

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Memories of childhood bus ride experiences…

The bus ride is about 10 minutes; the wait another 10 minutes; the walk to the bus stop and from bus stop to school another 15 minutes; a total of minimum 35 minutes travel for a 3 hour school with a 3 year old, and a 1 year old in a carrier.

It may seem easier to send Z to school on a school bus, but I love seeing Z breaking into a smile when he sees me first thing after school. Also I cannot justify spending $240 per month on school bus alone.

The kids love walking to the bus stop, where there are many sights and sounds – an occasional picking of dried leaves or twig, the blinking of the traffic light green man that taught them road safety, questions on the road markings, and identifying the different type of cars on the road. There is no rushing through the walk (because I usually set off 1h before school!).

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Hydrating on a very hot day!

Like the song, “the wheels on the bus”, everything on the bus is relatable to them! Occasionally the double decker bus comes along, and they have an elevated view of the moving scenery. Z will always read the signs on the bus, and tell us that you cannot hold that handle because the door is opening; these seats are for the elderly, pregnant ladies, and young children; you cannot eat on the bus etc.

Yes there might be the occasional rain that makes travelling challenging. But put on a raincoat, and no kids can resist running through the rain with the pitter patter around them.  I rather live by the notion that when God gives you rain, splash around and dance in it.

The greatest thing perhaps about the bus travel is that they get in touch with people going about their everyday life. Interactions they will miss if they were to be ferried. For you see, in the 9 months we have spent taking the bus to school daily, there are many life lessons to be learnt.

We are regulars to the bus drivers, they recognize us, greet us and even wait patiently for us to be seated before moving off. My kids learn about community services.

My boy taps his own ez-link card, and keeps it in his own pocket. He learns about responsibility and stewardship.

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The pass to travel anywhere…

Even at 3 year old, my boy learnt to give up seats for the elderly and he will stand at times, holding with both his hands on the handle for support. He learns to empathize.

Lastly, it never fails to warm my heart to share with my children the lives of others that have encouraged us on this bus journey. For we are not the only regulars on the bus. We see other mothers doing the same, and my kids learn to appreciate.

The bus 163 is also special for it passes by MINDS (a school for the intellectually challenged).  I have the occasional conversations with parents and even grandparents fetching these special, joyful children. I know a grandma in her 80s who does what I do to fetch her granddaughter because her mum passed away years ago and yet is always optimistic and very fit! I know a mum who single handedly brought up 4 kids including one with Down’s syndrome and yet never fails to advise me on what to give my kids should she see them cough. I pray my kids learn to share love. I pray they learn resilience. And i pray they may learn to live for a worthy cause.

And perhaps, perhaps, perhaps…

Taking the bus is like living in a kampong back then when people are connected; when neighbors’ doors were not shut but always open; when minding other people’s business actually warms your heart, and when you feel your existence seeing what and who truly matters in life.

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The same journey everyday, but never a boring moment…

Staycation…Not quite

We have a new staycation location nowadays – Hilton Doubletree hotel

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In jay….

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Wait for it

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Bee!

Yes! Over the long weekend of Hari Raya, and the National Day weekend, AND the upcoming September school holidays, we have a total of 3 staycations across the causeway!

AND yes! We do not know how to drive, so we are crazy enough to lug our 2 young kids via public transport across the causeway, queues and jams and all!

You might be curious – why go through all these hassles when you could have a more relaxing staycation in Singapore?

Allow us to share our reasons before passing the verdict, are we are pure insanity/smart planners?

Firstly, of course it’s the price! Hilton Doubletree is a new hotel in Johor so besides the very low initial booking fees, we got it even lower than what is publicized on the website! (more about that later)

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Secondly, my husband wants to clock 4 nights of stays with Hilton using his Hhonours membership. It allows him to gain points, and upgrade his membership status, so for our future overseas trip, we can get free room upgrades by booking the cheapest room with no breakfast, and have lounge access for breakfast, tea, happy hour etc. (Yes, we have been upgraded to suites before purely because of hotel status) A great perk isn’t it, if you want to travel in comfort on a budget. To clock the same number of nights in Singapore will easily set us back by $1.2k for 4 nights.

Thirdly, it’s a NEW hotel! So every thing is spick and span and new. The location is great for us as it is just about 10mins walk away from the causeway, or RM$6 by cab (RM$3 by meter)DSC_0025_1DSC_0030DSC_0031_1

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Washing machine!

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Pantry with microwave oven!

 

Lastly, there are really lots of things for us to do in JB. For kids of course there is Legoland,The  Little Big Club and Sanrio Hello Kitty town. There are lots of shopping places, and great cafes.

http://johorkaki.blogspot.sg/2014/06/johor-bahru-hipster-cafe-hopping-guide.html

And a new upcoming mall, Komtar JBCC –  http://komtarjbcc.com.my/

We won’t have to make a trip there, only to rush out again in the evening again with the crowd. We can stay over, have a late check out, a swim before checking out and leisurely cross the causeway at a low peak hour while everyone is still making their way to JB.

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So how good is the deal?

Cash Rates

Opening rates are RM288++ for 1st month, with rates going up to RM306++ from August onwards. However, this rate does not include breakfast / Wifi.

There is a Hhonors weekend rate for 2 nights stay that can be as low as RM$318++/night around Malaysia Merdeka Day with free breakfast / Wifi and late checkout AND double points earning.

Advance Purchase rates can be as low as RM234++.

But this is not the cheapest, for us we book via the below:

Redemption using HHonor Points

Being a Hhonor member and having some Hilton points, this hotel is great news as it is a CAT 1 hotel – the cheapest in Hilton categories.

So to redeem a free night, all you need is 5000 Hhonor points outright or 2000 hhonor points and RM90++ for a P&M (points and money redemption).

How do you get Hhonor points? 

Either by staying at Hilton group of hotels or you can transfer from credit card points from American Express Membership Rewards or CitiPremier Miles.

For us we used 2000 Hhonours point and Rm90++ (SGD $36++)

But that’s not all!

Breakfast and Lounge Access

Unless you are a Gold / Diamond member with Hilton, you would not get free breakfast / Wifi with your stay.

However, there is an option (and this is what we did) to do an e-Standby upgrade to an executive room from as low as RM80++ when they send you the booking confirmation in email.

So when you upgrade is successful at check-in, you pay the additional RM80++ and get breakfast / Wifi / lounge access, in addition to staying in a much bigger room!

So for a 2000 hhonor points and RM90++ P&M booking, together with the RM80++ upgrade, you would pay only RM170++ in cash for a hotel stay with breakfast / Wifi / lounge access. (That works out to SGD$68++ for us)

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DSC_0021_1 Lounge happy hour

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DSC_0018_1 Lounging away…bottoms up

 

As an opening special, JBDT is giving away 1000 Hhonors points per stay. So effectively, you will only spend 1000 Hhonors points + RM170++ for your stay!

Anyone on for a stay and trip to Legoland during the Sep holidays?

6 days Japan and 1 day Taipei, 1 day Korea, 1 day Hong Kong trip….Final

Day 6 – Tokyo station, Ginza

We checked out of Sheraton Tokyo Bay and went to Tokyo station area for our accommodation booked through AirBnB for 2 nights. The stay at a Japanese style apartment cost SGD$191/night but we got it at a discount of SGD$141/night  using DBS/SCB credit cards.

We chose this apartment because it is within walking distance from JR Tokyo station where we will have to be at early tomorrow morning for our Mount Fuji 1 day tour. Also, we wanted to have the experience of staying in a Japanese apartment.

Though it was a small apartment, it has everything a family needs. And of course, like all these Japanese, there were several clever layout and furniture designs. For example the toilet has space only for a cistern, so the wash basin is on top of the cistern and built in. When you flush the toilet bowl, water comes out from the tap at the basin simultaneously for you to wash your hands! The bath area is of course separate from the toilet and comes with a bath tub. The bedroom is brightly lit and airy, and there are little heart-warming post it notes peppered around the apartment welcoming us and giving us an insight into the host’s hospitality. It even comes with a WIFI router which we can bring out with us to enjoy complimentary wifi services.

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Washing and cleaning up

We went to Daimaru at Tokyo Station for lunch at Chiso Zanmai (available in Singapore too!). It is a buffet restaurant serving snow crab legs for 1,980 yen nett/ adult!

After lunch we had a leisurely walk around Ginza area. Ginza is definitely a place to go for international brands and upmarket shopping.  I love taking lifts in the departmental stores as they come with blind spot mirror at the lift door, where you can catch a glimpse of people running to the lift and hold the door open for them, instead of having to pop your head out for a peek, or worse, just press the ‘close door’ button without checking at all.

In the evening, we walked back from Ginza to Tokyo station again where at B1 of the station, there is a character street selling irresistibly cute stuffs featuring any anime character you can think of – Doraemon, Pokemon, Totoro, Hello Kitty etc. As the kids were beat by dinner time, we went back to Daimaru Tokyo Station basement to buy dinner – Sushi / Tokyo banana and ………

Black Wagyu beef at Yazawa Meat Takeout featuring A5 rank wagyu-beef. It cost USD$27 for 2 burger patties set.

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http://www.kuroge-wagyu.com/dt/

The original outlet

http://www.yazawameat.com/tokyo/map_e

Day 7 – 1 day Hakone Mount Fuji tour

We had booked a Mt-Fuji and Hakone 1 day trip with Shinkansen return ride 16,000 yen /pax (USD$160).

It was a respite from the city scape of Tokyo and we all enjoyed the tour thoroughly despite that it started with bad weather. It was raining and at the 5th Station of Mt-Fuji, the temperature was 5 degrees Celsius with strong wing. We are all simply not dressed for this temperature during Summer in Tokyo! Thankfully the kids were very sporting about it, squealing with delight whenever a gust of wind blew their way. Sadly, Mount Fuji’s snow peak could not be seen clearly at this point, and feeling chilly from the weather, we chose to be indoor instead and bought a cob of steam corn for 500yen (USD$5!). It was the most expensive and yet the most tasty corn we have ever eaten in our cold and hungry state.

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Mount Fuji take 1, engulfed in foggy sky

By lunchtime, the weather had cleared up significantly and we managed to have a great view of Mount Fuji while having lunch.

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After lunch, we took the Hakone ropeway, offering a bird eye view of the landscape. There were multiple geothermal hotspots we saw releasing volcanic fumes. The kids were amazed at ‘smoke from the ground’ much like as it there were dragons residing within! More amazed to the kids though are the black eggs we bought that were cooked at sulphuric springs.

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Black eggs…that taste just like normal eggs

The tour ended with a leisurely ferry ride around Hakone Lake.

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Spot the submerged shrine?

Going back it was a Shinkansen ride from Odawara back to Tokyo. This was the highlight for Z who has a toy Shinkansen back at home. He was mesmerized by the appearance, the speed and the sound of the Shinkansen and was very much excited to realize he could get on it too!

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Taking the fast track

We had dinner at Yoshinoya, where besides ordering the famous beef bowl, we also had grilled octopus, maguro sashimi, and sake.

Day 8 (19th Jul)  Thursday

This day marked the start of us travelling again to different international airports. We took the Keisei bus at 900 yen/pax from near JR Tokyo to Narita airport. Today we will be flying to Incheon, Korea on the new ASIANA A380 business class. The plane even has a lounge for drinks on the upper deck!

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Lounging away

On arriving in Incheon, Anna from the hanok homestay we booked through AirBNB came to fetch us with her mom.

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The hanok homestay (Ogamul) was another best experience of the trip! The hanok was located very near to Incheon Airport and near to a very popular beach that locals venture to for some sun, sand and sea. It was a very traditional, historical Korean house with its own dungeon-like coal heating system that warms the room and floor during winter. Like most traditional Korean family, they make their own kimchi. The host Anna was very hospitable and she pays great attention to details to ensure a comfortable stay. The kids love the closeness to nature, and the experience of sleeping on the floor. It was so comfortable that they slept a whole 12hours through. The homestay cost us SGD$73 after discount, a great deal don’t you think?

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playing weiqi… furnaces for coal during winter…and a cozy reading room all adds to the rustic charm of this place

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Not in season, but we picked a small strawberry, and it’s sweet!

 

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Our bedtime routine includes tracing feet

Dinner was home-cooked dinner by Anna’s mum for 7,000 won / adult. Most of the vegetables on the table were grown by Anna’s parents!

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Day 9 (20th Jul)  Friday

Anna and her mum sent us to the airport for our flight to ICN – TPE on Eva Airlines Premium Laurel BR169

We had lunch at EVA INFINTY LOUNGE and bought some Taiwan delicacies back.

There after we took Eva Airlines Premium Laurel BR871 from TPE – HKG where we would be staying another night in Hongkong! Needless to say we booked a homestay near Tung Chun Mrt, which was less than 5mins away from the airport.

The private apartment was 65 stories high and our hosts stayed on the 28th floor. The cost is SGD$70 after $50 discount by DBS/SCB.

Day 10 (21st Jul)  Friday

Being in Tung Chung, there was only one tourist attraction we could explore before our flight, and it was the Citygate premium outlet mall. It was not a huge mall so you can easily cover it in half a day, but there were a good varieties of luxury goods.

http://www.citygateoutlets.com.hk/home/Pages/home.aspx

We were pretty much wishing we were home by the time we board the plane from Hongkong to Bangkok on Thai Airway, and from Bangkok to Singapore on Singapore Airlines. The perk is that there were only 4 of us in business class on the SQ flight so the crew was especially attentive and cordial.

On landing at 11+pm, it was a huge sigh of relief for us, We dashed out of the plane and quickly grab a cab back and in record time ever, managed to bath and settle the kids within 15 minutes!. Home has never smelled sweeter!

Summary of our crazy flight adventure

Trip map and FLIGHTS INFO 

Singapore – Ho Chi Minh City on Singapore Airlines SQ172 Business Class

Ho Chi Minh City – Taipei on EVA Airlines Royal Laurel BR392

Taipei – Narita on Eva Airlines Hello Kitty Premium Laurel BR198

Narita – Incheon on Asiana Airlines Business Class A380

Incheon – Taipei on Eva Airlines Premium Laurel BR169

Taipei – Hong Kong on Eva Airlines Premium Laurel BR871

Hong Kong – Bangkok on Thai Airways

Bangkok – Singapore on Singapore Airlines SQ981 Business Class

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TOTAL COST we spent on flights, hotels, homestay, food, and tours: $5K plus for 2 adults and 2 children. Days spent: 10

p/s: Looking forward to our next trip again! (1.5 months post trip)

6 days Japan and 1 day Taipei, 1 day Korea, 1 day Hong Kong trip…. Part 2

Day 3 – Meiji Shrine, Harajuku, Shinjuku and Shibuya

We stayed at the intercontinental Tokyo bay for the 1st 2 nights . The location is convenient with free shuttle bus transport to JR Hamamatsucho station on the Yamanote line.

It cost us 35k IHG points per night instead of 99,000 yen (USD$990) in cash. The hotel rates are high because of the ongoing International Tokyo Toy Show (http://www.toys.or.jp/toyshow/index_en.html) at the nearby Tokyo Big Sight. Normally the hotel room sells for less than 20,000-25,000 yen ++ per night.

To get to Meiji Shrine, Harajuku, we took the free shuttle bus transport to JR Hamamatsucho station and JR line to Harajuku.

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Meiji shrine wmeiji shrineas built for Empress Shōken by emperor Meiji, completed in 1920. It is also a highly popular place for traditional Japanese wedding ceremonies to be held. In the 30 mins we spent at the shrine, we saw no less than 3 sets of wedding proceedings! Of course the highlight of the trip has to be the Taiko with its majestic, deep reverberating booms that echoes through the whole compound. It is loud enough to scare Z, but not enough to wake A up!

Next we went for a walk around Harajuku where you can find the most fashionaly dressed youths, and different lines of puzzling queues. Apparently novelty foods like Garett’s popcorn are a huge craze in Japan, and you often seen snaking queues for these food! For lunch, we had a must-try whenever we travel…. and yes…… you’ve guessed it right! It’s Macdonald’s. We also walked pass a relatively unattractive looking eatery called Wolfgang Puck and needless to say we were skeptical and thought it was a gimmicky restaurant name. On returning back to the hotel, we found out that Wolfgang Puck did indeed have a restaurant in harajuku! (palm to face!) A to-try place next time perhaps!

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Z and his MacFashion in Harajuku

And so the rest of the day was idled away in Shinjuku and Shibuya where we saw a myriad of interesting stationery and household stuffs at Tokyu, Daiso (100 yen) and Muji. We saw that Muji in Japan sells minimalist looking fridge and appliances. We saw durian going for 10000 yen (USD$100). We experienced the Shibuya scramble crossing, and we took a short cab ride back to the hotel room costing USD$30.

Day 4 – Checking in to Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay hotel, Disneyland

We checked out of Intercontinental Tokyo Bay and took a taxi to Sheraton Granda Tokyo Bay Hotel (USD$65) where we will be spending the night at.

We got a good rate of 28,000 yen for the 1st night ( inclusive of 2x Disneyland tickets ) and 2nd night at 13,000 yen. We decided to stay 2 nights in Disneyland to facilitate us spending the whole day there with the kids!

On checking in, we were pleasantly surprised to be upgraded to a treasure room (Penton Kids room) on the 8th floor with a view of the Disney Park from where we were able to watch the fireworks at night.

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IMG_20140615_152326 There’s even a little mouse hole in the hotel room which Z checks everyday to see if mousie is home!

We were also given some free discount coupons and 1,000 yen worth of tokens to play at the in-house NAMCO arcade center – a great and free way to while some time as we had nothing planned that day. The hotel is also very children friendly, featuring indoor playground, indoor studio for phototaking with disney characters etc

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The hotel ground is beautiful with a garden featuring kid’s golf, sea water pool and there were 2 wedding chapels (the hotel is renowned in Tokyo as one of the top wedding resorts) set breathtakingly against the backdrop of blue sea and sky.

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After lunch, we took the Disney resort cruiser to JR Maihama and window shopped at IKSPIARI (http://www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en/about/iks/)

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Mickey Mouse bus! Different designs for different hotels

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There was a ippudo ramen there, but queue was too long, so we settle for some nice sushi at TAMA SUSHI at level 4.  (http://www.ikspiari.com/shop/shops/shopinfo/i2.html)

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Some posings by the kids before dinner. They caught the ‘Kawaii’ bug you think?

The UMI was great! *burp*

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How to get a good rate for the super LOW season at Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel

Sheraton Flexible cancellable rate with 2x Disneyland or Disney Sea Tickets: Can be as low as 26,000/28,000 yen ++ –> USD$280 ++

http://www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/rates/room.html?lpqRatePlanName=BARTDR&departureDate=2014-06-23&IM=SOP_S1447_361_OFFER_EN_SI_GOODPRICERC_AP&ctx=search&localeCode=en_US&arrivalDate=2014-06-22&priceMin=&lpqRate=28000&sortOrder=&propertyId=361&accessible=&lengthOfStay=1&language=en_US&numberOfRooms=1&numberOfAdults=1&priceMax=&bedType=&currencyCode=&rp=RC%3ATOKDIS%2C%2C%2C&nonSmoking=

Usually, the same day normal flexible rate is 15,600 / 16,000 yen and Disney tickets x2 will cost 12,800 yen in total, so there are some savings of about 2,400 yen on certain days. You will have to play around with the dates, but if you are 100% sure of staying there, you can book at the lowest no-refundable rate and buy Disneyland tickets at the hotel (which is often the cheapest).

Join as SPG member to save 15% off at restaurants for ala carte and buffet lunch / dinner.

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Day 5 – Disneyland on a Monday

Disneyland day! There no need to queue for entrance because of our tickets were bought from hotel. Take note however if your tickets were not bought from the hotel, you will need to queue early for entrance tickets as there will not be further ticket sales once the maximum capacity of Disneyland is reached.

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A loves Disneyland!

The first thing we did was to get fastpass for Pooh’s Hunny Hunt – which was already queued until 5.30pm!!!!

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Food Z ate at Disneyland. The round mickey mouse container was popcorn worth USD$20! We will surely bring this out for movies popcorn in future!

There were queues at every single rides even though it was a weekday! The longest was for Star Wars – a 2h queue! Thank God we have fastpass for Star Wars ride (touted as one of the best rides in Disneyland Tokyo). As Z and A are too young for Star Wars, KC and me have to stagger our rides.

Even with 2 young kids in tow, we managed to do these rides:

  • Castle Carousel
  • Alice Tea Party
  • Gadget’s go coaster
  • Starwars
  • Its a small world
  • Grand Circuit
  • Pooh’s Hunny Hunt (the ride is a bit too dark for kids, and I don’t mean the lighting.)
  • Dumbo

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Galactic queue!

AND watched these parades:

  • Disneyland Easter Parade
  • Disneyland Electrical Parade 
  • Happiness on High Fireworks show at 8.30pm for which we managed to ballot and get front row tickets. This show is the highlight and a sweet ending (for us, not the kids cause the fireworks scare them a little) to our magical day at Disneyland.

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The kids were K.O. once we stepped out of Disneyland. We could not wake them up for a shower gave them a wipe down, changed them out and bid them sweet dreams, a dream as magical as the day they have!

 

6 days Japan and 1 day Taipei, 1 day Korea, 1 day Hong Kong trip…. Part 1

We are back! It’s been one of most draining but deeply satisfying trips we have ever made, simply because we managed NOT to lose our sanity travelling with 2 toddlers. The last 3 days especially have been a whirlwind of collecting immigration stamps, checking ins, taking offs, landings etc….

Take a look at our collection of boarding passes!

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And our kids’ collection of airline toys and goodies!

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It sure felt like we have accomplished some sort of feat looking at these collections!

Day 1 – SQ to HCM and Eva to Taipei

We travel  light, our luggage for a 10 days trip with 2 toddlers in tow consist of everything in this pic. We checked in the purple luggage through to Narita while carrying the rest with us for our 1 night in Taipei.

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It was a short and relatively chaotic trip to HCM (warming ups). Our trip to Taipei was much better, and….I love Eva’s seats (Eva Royal Laurel)!

 

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A enjoying juice before take off

 

 

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Z after HD ice cream

 

As we had to catch another flight the next day, we stayed at Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International International Airport (http://www.novoteltaipeiairport.com/) voted Traveller’s Choice 2014 by trip advisor. They even have a cosy kid’s corner with Wii.

Not wanting to waste our short stay in Taiwan, we visited the Airport Museum just a stone throw away from the hotel.

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Day 2 – Eva’s Hello Kitty plane to Narita

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It was a flight with lots of Hello Kitty. Highly recommended for HK fans. Look at the luggage tags, boarding passes, boarding gates….cuteness overdose.

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play area in boarding gate

And inside the airplane

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Touching down in Narita, we were planning on catching the Narita Express to our airport. Alas!

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And our eyes were too tired from watching inflight movies to navigate through this:   download

So we opt to splurge on airport limo bus transfer to our hotel (Intercontinental Tokyo bay) costing about USD$31 each.

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view from hotel room

After a quick clean up, we are up and about again to Odaiba diver city to catch the gundam show screening available every night.

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moving on to Odaiba Diver City

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Gundam RX-78 standing at 18m tall… People just look miniscule besides it. IMG_20140613_185544

We can’t stop wondering what this 金箍棒 look-a-like structure is. Turns out this sculpture is a gift from France called the Flame of Liberty.

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Next we hopped over after dinner to Venus Forte, a shopping arena with a faux Italian dawn celling, while cutting through the Historical car museum.

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And it’s back to the hotel for rest. The kids are worn out from the day of travelling!

2 adults, 2 kids: 1 destination, 3 stopovers, 8 connections.

We will be going on our travel soon (yeah~), and as I mentioned before in my previous post, we have a rather complicated flight itinerary. *finger cross we catch all our flights*

When I mentioned my flight itinerary to a friend, I remember she literally burst out laughing for some time… Yes, that is how ridiculous our flight is. We will be flying for 5 days for a 5.5day stay in Tokyo! We really booked this holiday too late, but looking on the bright side, we will be doing all the flying at one go that it will be probably quite some time before we have the I-wish-I-can-check-in-for-a-flight withdrawal whenever we bring the kids to the airport and watch the planes take off.

I mean…Look at this!!!

Day 1 – Singapore to Bangkok to Taipei.

Day 2 – Taipei to Narita

Day 8 – Narita to Incheon

Day 9 – Incheon to Taipei to Hongkong

Day 10 – Hongkong to Hanoi to Singapore! *phew*

Truth be told, I am having cold feets. However,I am also relatively excited about the stopover in Hongkong. Besides wanting to visit CItygate, I was hoping to catch this

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panda

http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/1600-papier-mache-panda-tour

Photo credit: Courtesy of PMQ

It may sound cliché, but with this itinerary I choose to see my glass half full. *prepares for 8 hours x 5 days with sugar high kids in an enclosed space*. Keep us in prayers if you remember!

How would you like to spend a $100 and get back $50?

This is what we did at Raffles City Shopping Centre!

We bought groceries and necessities at Jason’s market and Watson’s and got back $80 worth of Capitaland mall vouchers for $160 spent.

All you have to do is:

Tap & Go with MasterCard
Make contactless payments with MasterCard and redeem CapitaVoucher worth 50% off the value of your transactions

Limited to max $50 vouchers per customer per day. Payment must be made with Mastercard Paypass meaning you got to tap the card, not swipe it.

Not many merchants have the paypass machine yet… Watson’s and Jason’s market have it, so do Subway and some eateries. This is not the first time they have this promotion, we used to buy Cold Storage vouchers from Jason’s Market to spend at Giant and still get the the $50 capitaland mall vouchers. This time round it seems that the guidelines are stricter, no vouchers purchases allowed.

Still, great to spend money buying things we NEED, and have 50% cash voucher redemption to splurge on things we WANT isn’t it?

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