JB Malls Look Like Ghost Towns On 18 Mar After M’sia Lockdown, No Traces Of Shopping Crowds

JB Malls Look Eerily Empty After Malaysia Lockdown

For avid shoppers who regularly cross the Causeway to snag sweet deals at Johor Bahru (JB) shopping malls, seeing large crowds is a normal scene.

But things were different early today (18 Mar), following the Movement Control Order that came into effect.

With strict advice to stay indoors, the usually bustling malls became empty, a far cry from what many of us recognise.

Shuttered stores & no human traffic at malls during lockdown

Void of shoppers milling about the different levels, JB City Square Mall looks like the setting of an apocalyptic movie.

Image courtesy of Singapore Atrium Sale

All the stores were closed, save for the lone Guardian pharmacy, as per government orders.

Despite the closure, a few humans were still there, probably to get some health essentials or enjoy some aircon.

Image courtesy of Singapore Atrium Sale

In case the emptiness still doesn’t strike you, here’s a picture of the mall on a regular day, with operational stores and shoppers.

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While this sighting was only at City Square, we’re certain other malls across JB are witnessing the same phenomenon.

Eateries open but with no dine-in customers

Over at the food places which remain open, the absence of chairs for people to sit in is tangible proof of the extent of the lockdown.

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Not hearing the low murmurs of hungry patrons and the clanging of cutlery must be an odd experience for food sellers.

At least business is still on for many of them, who can continue selling their food, albeit only for takeaway orders.

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Despite the continued operations, there’s no doubt that sales would likely be a lot slower over the next 2 weeks.

Empty streets & public places for 2 weeks

As many residents begin to abide by strict orders from the government, empty streets and public places will become the new norm, at least till 31 Mar.

Though facing this disruption to daily activities may be inconvenient to some, it’s done with everybody’s health and safety in mind.

Let’s hope that Malaysia’s drastic measures will help control Covid-19 infections there, so life can return to normal.

Featured image adapted from Singapore Atrium Sale on Facebook.

M’sia Has An IG-Worthy Hello Kitty Playground Just A Bus Ride Away, For Those Who Miss JB Sanrio Town

Paradigm Mall JB’s Hello Kitty Sweet Escape Event Lets You Work Off School Stress This Mar Holidays

Quite a number of people were saddened by news that Johor Bahru’s (JB) Sanrio Hello Kitty Town closed down on 31 Dec last year.

But there’s short – yet still sweet – relief coming up for those who may not have gotten the chance to visit the pink wonderland before.

Paradigm Mall in JB will be running a Hello Kitty-themed playland plus fun-filled events that’ll be a nice relief from work and life in general.

A giant Hello Kitty-shaped arch welcomes visitors as they prepare to step into the realm of cuteness.

For those who may be hesitant, rest assured that Paradigm Mall JB is taking active measures to clean and sanitise the playland to ensure hygiene and cleanliness.

Children will also have their temperature taken before stepping into the play area, to ensure everyone is safe amid the ongoing. Of course, those who are unwell won’t be allowed into the area.

Sugary decor for the sweet-toothed

As the title suggests, the Hello Kitty Sweet Escape decoration consists of various desserts — from doughnuts to cakes and macarons.

While they’re not edible, they’ll certainly work up an appetite and get you craving for some sweet treats — or at least put a sweet smile on your face.

You’ll also get to witness a stunning display of a Macaron Cake — officially hailed as the Tallest Macaron Replica Tower in the country by the Malaysia Book of Records.

Malaysia Book of Records marketing solutions director Mr Jwan Heah Yeow Hooi (right) handing over the certificate to Paradigm Mall JB general manager Ms Catherina Quek.

Behold, the cake in all its glory. Or better yet, head down to see it with your own eyes.

Insta-worthy playground for kids & children at heart

Devotees of the Hello Kitty Temple will be glad to note that the Sweet Escape event will feature a very pink play area, with rides for little ones.

One of the highlights includes the carousels, which may not induce thrill but might just get a rush from the kids.

There’s also a see-saw, as a representation of how one can never achieve work-life balance. You just gotta ensure both sides have some weight.

Paradigm Mall might just be the stage for your next insta-op with these decorations and rides.

Pop-up store with Hello Kitty goodies

Nothing screams Hello Kitty fandom like the myriad of goodies one can adorn all over your person.

This Hello Kitty paradise features limited-edition plushies, bags, water bottles, tote bags, clothes, and even more.

Even if you’re not a fanatic, you might just turn into one after seeing this display. And for those who are, surely this is heaven.

Colouring & painting for the kids

It’s said that activities like painting and colouring stimulate creativity of young minds. There’s also an avenue for parents to supervise their children through paint-by-numbers workshops.

These activities are available at the following times:

Meanwhile, colouring activities are available from 10am until closing time throughout the event.

Gift-with-Purchase

Exclusive gifts are up for grabs — snag a sweet exclusive Hello Kitty Drawstring Pouch with S$98.30 (RM300) minimum spend, with a maximum of 3 combined receipts in a single day.

Meanwhile, WCT Buddy members need only spend S$81.93 (RM250) to redeem the pouch, though the maximum of 3 combined receipts in a day condition still applies.

Those who fancy a mug instead can aim a little higher — an exclusive Premium Mug can be yours if you spend S$163.88 (RM500) with a maximum of 5 combined receipts on the same day.

However, WCT Buddy members can spend just S$147.51 (RM450) with a maximum of 5 combined receipts on the same day, and they’ll have a cutesy mug to bring home.

Hello Kitty Sweet Escape Event from now till 29 Mar

This Mar holidays, there’s finally a place that’ll fill the void in your heart left behind when Hello Kitty Town in JB closed its doors.

Bring your friends and loved ones for a fun-filled sweet adventure at Paradigm Mall.

Location: Paradigm Mall Johor Bahru, Main Atrium Ground Floor
Address: Jalan Skudai, 81200 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Telephone: +60 7-2313 800
Website: Paradigm Mall JB
Opening Hours: 10am to 10pm daily.

Paradigm Mall JB is about an hour’s drive away from the Woodlands Checkpoint. You’re recommended to head to JB Sentral Bus Terminal and take a bus as an alternative to driving.

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This post is brought to you in collaboration with Paradigm Mall JB.

All images courtesy of Paradigm Mall JB, unless otherwise stated.

Health & Beauty Fair At FairPrice Xtra Has 1-for-1 Deals, Free Gifts & Gift Vouchers

FairPrice Xtra Has 1-For-1 Deals On Shampoo, Toothpaste & Facial Cream Till 18 Mar

Everyone has their own thoughts about how to protect themselves from Covid-19 — your family chats probably have a million different techniques or remedies to rid oneself of pesky viruses. But really, the best way is through staying clean and making sure you adopt hygienic practices.

Of course, keeping your skin looking fresh remains important in this climate. We can’t neglect taking care of our looks, after all.

So, FairPrice Xtra’s Health & Beauty Fair (Haba Fair) has all the items you’ll need to keep clean, and then some, from now till 25 Mar.

Getting these necessities at the fair comes with perks like 1-for-1 deals until 18 Mar, free gifts and even gift vouchers!

Check out some of what you can expect to find below.

Stay germ-free with anti-bacterial soap & refreshing toothpaste

Amid the Covid-19 outbreak, health consciousness is now the in-thing. You might argue that washing one’s hands should always be a trend in general, but that’s beside the point.

The important part is that people are becoming more health-conscious, and the HABA Fair is a good place to start if you’d like to stock up on goods like hand sanitiser and soap.

Lifebuoy’s anti-bacterial handwash will ensure that you stay well-protected from not just Covid-19 but also pesky ailments like seasonal flus.

Hygiene also consists of brushing your teeth twice daily — this is non-negotiable if you don’t want hefty dental fees or bad breath.

Until 18 Mar, you can get a sweet 1-for-1 deal on Colgate Naturals Real White or Darlie Double Action toothpaste, so that’s your dental hygiene sorted.

Get the right product for your hair & body

Softer hair with no dandruff is the goal of any human being, and unless you’re blessed with good genes, hair care is a must.

Depending on your hair type, Sunsilk’s range of shampoo and conditioner options is effective yet tailored to your needs.

And of course you can’t forget some body soap while taking a shower. Velvy’s Goat Milk Shower Cream is perfect for those who prefer smooth skin like a baby’s.

The best part is that FairPrice Xtra is offering 1-for-1 on both of these products until Wednesday (18 Mar), so it does pay to be an early bird.

Free $10 FairPrice gift voucher with min. $70 spend

Gift vouchers are a wondrous invention and arguably the perfect present for when you’re unsure as to what to get someone.

The answer is: Treat yourself. You deserve more. And so FairPrice will give you a free $10 FairPrice gift voucher if you spend more than $70 in a single receipt on participating brands, which can be used at any FairPrice outlet.

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Don’t say no one treat you, hor.

Plus, if you spend a minimum of $35 on L’Oreal, Garnier, and Maybelline products, you can get this L’Oreal Revitalift Crystal Micro-Essence (22ml) worth $9, free.

Spin the wheel with min. $30 spend

Luck favours those who try more and believe — that’s just probability speaking. So why not have a go at the wheel with numerous offers and prizes to be won?

All you have to do is spend more than $30 in a single receipt on participating brands for 1 chance at winning big. Pretty simple stuff.

HABA Fair at all FairPrice Xtra outlets from 12-25 Mar

All 8 FairPrice Xtra outlets will be having the fair, ensuring close proximity wherever you live.

Look out for these FairPrice Xtra outlets:

  • AMK Hub
  • Changi Business Park
  • Hougang 1
  • Jem
  • Jurong Point (JP2)
  • Kallang Wave
  • nex
  • VivoCity

Since you’ll never need to travel too far for a FairPrice Xtra outlet, there’s no excuse to take care of yourself.

*Promotions are while stocks last. Terms & Conditions apply.

This post is brought to you in collaboration with FairPrice Xtra.

Photography by Clement.

Free Entry To Sentosa Extended Till End-June, Will Cover Mar & Jun Holidays

Free Entry To Sentosa Previously Announced For Mar Holidays Only

With the Covid-19 outbreak, many Singaporeans are cancelling their overseas trip. Those who planned on travelling are now also hesitant about doing so.

While overseas travel might be a no-no for many of us, there remain many gems in Singapore for us to rediscover.

One of the attractions is the resort island of Sentosa.

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In a bid to attract more local visitors, Sentosa is extending its free entry promotion till 30 Jun.

Free entry to Sentosa will save visitors $2-$6

Back in Feb, the Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) announced that they will be offering free entry to the island during the Mar holidays.

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This came amid a drop in number of visitors and sales between 20% and 50%.

Back then, SDC mentioned that the promotion might be extended “if the situation does not improve”. Looks like that’s clearly the case — bad news for them, but looks like we’re in luck.

Entry to the island ranges between $2 and $6. Normally, entrance fee is free if you decide to brave the 670-metre broadway, but hey, ain’t nobody got time for that.

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With the extension, visitors will be able to enter the island for a grand total of $0 till 30 June.

This means entry to the island will also be free throughout the Mar and Jun holidays. Who said remaining in Singapore necessarily equates to stay at home zo bo?

Lots of Sentosa attractions also running their own promotions

If you and your ‘lil ones haven’t been to Sentosa in ages, here’s an update — it ain’t just for Pokémon Go trainers eager to fill their Pokédex.

From trilling fun at the Universal Studios Singapore (USS) to educational excursions at the S.E.A Aquarium to no-frill picnics at one of the beaches, Sentosa island has something for every family.

S.E.A Aquarium 
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Adding on to the appeal, many of Sentosa’s attractions are also running promotions of their own, so you’ll be able to combo both promo to your wallet’s delight.

Universal Studios S’pore Has Free 6-Month Unlimited Entry If You Buy 1-Day Ticket By 12 Apr

If you’ve yet to make plans for your ‘lil ones during the school holidays, perhaps you should consider heading down to Sentosa.

After all, with all the promotions going on, you’ll be able to enjoy quality time with your ‘fam without breaking the bank. What’s not to like about that?

Having said that, do observe good hygiene practices during your time there. The worst thing that anyone hopes for is for the youngins to contract the coronavirus during their school holidays.

Featured image adapted from Facebook

S’pore Zoo & Wildlife Reserves Have 1-For-1 Tickets Till 22 Mar For Quality School Holidays With Family

Singapore Zoo & Wildlife Reserves Have Free Admission For Every Full Priced Ticket You Buy Between 13 – 22 Mar

If you’re not sure where you can head to for a day of fun with the family, look no further. Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), who oversees the Singapore Zoo, and more, is having a 1-for-1 deal on its tickets for the March school holidays.

Better yet, you’ll also receive a $2 retail voucher for every ticket purchased.

The promotion, which is valid for single-park admission only, applies to entry tickets to any of the 4 main attractions — Singapore Zoo, River Safari, Night Safari and Jurong Bird Park.

You can read the full terms and conditions on the WRS website here.

Free ticket with every full priced ticket

For each ticket you buy, WRS will give you a free one. This deal will last for a week and a little more — from 13 – 22 Mar.

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The promotion is not only valid for adults but for children too, so you can save more money on top of the cheaper tickets. However, do note that Senior Citizen tickets do not count as a full priced adult ticket.

The tickets can be in any combination of an adult or child ticket, so you don’t need to die-die have 2 adults to get the deal.

Each ticket is valid for a single-park and same-day admission to the park you choose.

Choose from 4 different parks

You’ll get to take your pick from 4 different parks.

There’s the Singapore Zoo, for those who want to have a world-class experience. You’ll get to see animals like the majestic lion that hails from Africa.

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You can even pay a visit to the late Ah Meng’s descendants, the Orangutans like Endah and Ishta.

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Or you can head over to River Safari to catch a glimpse of the adorable red panda which was featured as Master Shifu in Kungfu Panda.

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The real deal – giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia – are also residents of the River Safari.

They’re on a 10-year loan to Singapore, so grab your chance to see them before they leave in 2022.

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If you’re only free in the evening, fret not as the promotion is available for the Night Safari as well, where you can watch the Thumbuakar Show with its flame-twirling performers.

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Last but not least, you can take a journey to the West to visit our feathered friends at Jurong Bird Park.

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Enjoy the March holidays with friends and family at the zoo

With this great deal, you can enjoy a fun day out during the March school holidays with friends or family while enjoying the beauty of nature‘s amazing creatures.

Who knows, maybe you’ll learn a thing or two as well.

Remember, the deal is only from 13 – 22 Mar, so don’t forget to buy your tickets in time. These tickets can even be converted to a Family or Individual ‘Friends of Wildlife’ membership!

You can check out WRS’ promotions here.

Featured image adapted from 707 Inc.

Things To Do In Australia Now That A$1.00 Is Worth S$0.90, Sorted By Cities Popular Among S’poreans

Singapore Dollar Stronger Than Australia Dollar, So Here’s What You Should Spend Money On

If you are still up for a holiday trip, you might want to consider Australia as a holiday destination.

Now that the exchange rate has dropped, the Singapore dollar is far stronger, which means you can walk around Australia feeling a little bit richer.

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Considering that flights are now at an affordable price, this might be the optimal chance for you to experience Australia at a cheaper price tag.

Hence, we arranged a list of things you can do, sorted according to Australian cities popular among Singaporeans.

Perth: Make friends with koalas & wombats at Caversham Wildlife Park

Nobody can resist a cute koala bear or wombat.

With images of severely injured wild koalas circulating on social media following the Australia Bush Fires, all of us just want to show some love to these animals.

Caversham Wildlife Park offers us an opportunity to get up close and personal with them.

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They organise ‘Meet the Koalas’ and ‘Meet the Wombat & Friends’ sessions that take place in intervals throughout the day.

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Furthermore, you can even feed roaming kangaroos and wallabies within the enclosure.

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Tickets cost S$27.15 for adults and S$12.67 for children.

Caversham Wildlife Park
Address:
233B Drumpellier Dr, Whiteman WA 6068, Australia
Opening hours:
Website:
https://www.cavershamwildlife.com.au/

Perth: Underground maze of tunnels in the Fremantle Prison Tour

Adventure-seeking Singaporeans can sign up for a tour around an underground prison.

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Descend via ladders into the 20-metre deep tunnels built by ex-inmates, through a journey by foot and boat.

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This tour requires you to move within narrow space in overalls and helmets so that you can get a first-hand experience of the tunnel’s dark history.

For roughly S$68, you can explore 3 massive prisons that look like they’re right out of a Hollywood action movie.

They only accept bookings, so do pre-order your tickets and read the disclaimers before doing so.

Fremantle Prison
Address: 1 The Terrace, Fremantle WA 6160, Australia
Opening Hours: 
Mon-Tues, Sat-Sun, Thurs: 9am-5pm, Wed & Fri: 9am-9pm
Website: http://fremantleprison.com.au/tours/tour-prices/

Sydney: Explore markets selling fresh foods & vintage apparel

Tucked away in the corners of Sydney’s bustling streets are peaceful farmers’ markets that look like the backdrop of rom-com movies.

If you love a good thrifting experience, you might want to head down to Glebe Markets in Sydney, housed in an Australian public school.


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Exploit the conversion rate and source for some vintage apparel or repurposed clothing at the market. You might be able to find pieces at great steals.

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Glebe Market
Address: Glebe Point Rd &, Derby Pl, Glebe NSW 2037, Australia
Opening hours: 10am-4pm on Saturdays
Website: https://www.glebemarkets.com.au/

If you are an avid food-lover, you can explore a different genre of markets that offer a wide variety of food options.

One such location is Orange Grove Organic Food Markets, where you can find many hearty snacks to munch on.

Orange Grove Organic Food Markets
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While Sydney’s meals are known to be on the pricey side, the new conversion rates might be able to help you relieve some stress on your wallet.

Orange Grove Organic Food Markets (14 Mar-27 Jun)
Address: 45H5+6Q Lilyfield, New South Wales, Australia
Opening hours: 8am-1pm on Saturdays

Sydney: Visit an old-school arcade with laser tags & a bowling alley

Most Singapore arcades are located in malls and feature typical machine games.

The Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq challenges the idea of an arcade, integrating bowling allies and carnival rides.

Arcade games range from S$1.80 (A$2) to S$4.55 (A$5), which is way cheaper than even your favourite bubble tea.

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The interior takes on a retro theme with circus elements, making it look like an Uncle Ringo fair and a standard arcade combined.

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That being said, they do of course have a bumper car ride within the facility. Even better, each ride only costs around S$5.45.

Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq also has a laser tag arena, perfect for groups of friends seeking an adrenaline rush.

It costs roughly S$11 per game, much cheaper than local laser tags.

This unique arcade is located only 20 minutes away from Sydney, so do take a night out to experience the activities they have to offer.

Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq
Address: 55 Doody Street, Alexandria, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Opening Hours: Mon – Thur: 12pm – 11pm, Fri: 12pm-12pm, Sat: 10am – 12am, Sun: 10am – 10pm

Sydney: Watch a film at a drive-in cinema

For non-thrill seekers who prefer a quieter nightlife, drive to Skyline Drive-in for a movie under the stars.

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Ticket prices start from S$11.40 (A$12.50) for a car with 1 passenger, and can go up to a combo for a car carrying 6 people.

That’s roughly how much you pay for a regular cinema ticket in Singapore anyway, so why not pay the same price for a refreshing experience?

The audio for will play via a local radio station, so make sure to turn up the car’s speakers. Sit back, relax and enjoy the film from your car seats.

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Since Singapore no longer offers such a cinematic experience, this is the optimal opportunity to explore what watching movies was like in the past.

Skyline Drive-In 
Address: Cricketers Arms Rd, Blacktown NSW 2148, Australia
Website: https://www.eventcinemas.com.au/cinema/drive-in-blacktown#G+

Melbourne: Soak in natural hot springs with a view

Japanese onsens and ryokans are popular among Singaporeans and have introduced us to the concept of communal bathing.

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Many might not know that Australia has their very own natural hot spring, located an hour away from Melbourne.

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Peninsula Hot Springs has an array of facilities that ranges from a family-friendly bathhouse to a spa centre and even an ice cave.

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At rates as low as S$31, you can enjoy a communal bath experience with a stunning view.

Peninsula Hot Springs 
Address: 140 Springs lane, Fingal 3939
Opening hours: Differs according to facilities
Website: https://www.peninsulahotsprings.com/

Melbourne: Unleash your inner Potterhead in Melbourne’s Princess Theatre

If you are a fan of musicals, you do not need to travel all the way to West End to catch your favourite shows.

Melbourne’s Regent Theatre
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Melbourne has a good selection of musicals to choose from and you might be pleasantly surprised that some big broadway shows are performing in this Australian city.

In fact, Potterheads are in luck. Harry Potter and The Cursed Child is playing in Melbourne’s Princess Theatre until July 2020.

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It is one of the 7 locations the acclaimed musical is playing at, apart from legendary broadway venues like London and New York.

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Purchase tickets for the 2-part show at only S$58.80 per part and prepare to be whisked away into the magic of the wizarding world.

You can find out more here.

Seize this golden opportunity to travel Down Under

Apart from the retro arcades and hair-standing tours in prison tunnels, Australia also has an unrivalled cafe scene and scenic nature spots. The list is endless.

Make sure to seize the opportunity to explore the country while prices are cheaper. You’ll never know when the rates will change again.

Featured image adapted from Tot Hot Or Not and Expedia.

Gardens By The Bay Giving Sakura Festival Tickets & Hotel Stay To Those Who’ve Cancelled Japan Trips

Gardens By The Bay Giving Free Sakura Festival Tickets & Hotel Stay To 500 Lucky Winners

While you may have cancelled your flight to Japan, you can get an opportunity to view ornamental cherry trees and blooming sakuras a lot closer to home.

On Tuesday (10 March), Gardens by the Bay announced that they will give 500 lucky winners tickets to their Sakura Matsuri event and staycation packages at the Pan Pacific Singapore.

Participants must have scheduled their disrupted trip from Mar 1-May 31 to qualify.

Free sakura festival tickets

Gardens by the Bay is offering 500 Singapore residents – whose trips to Japan were disrupted due to Covid-19 – free tickets to Gardens by the Bay’s Sakura Matsuri event and staycation packages at Pan Pacific Singapore.

This is opened to those with disrupted trips that fall between 1 Mar – 31 May.

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To qualify, submit an entry to ilovegb@gardensbythebay.com.sg with the subject “Sakura Matsuri Giveaway” from now till Sunday (15 Mar).

You will need to share what your disrupted trip meant to you, in an email containing the following information as well:

  1. Name
  2. Mobile
  3. Number of persons on the Japan trip
  4. Proof of Japan trip booking confirmation*
  5. Proof of cancellation from airline or travel agent*

Pan Pacific Singapore packages

Gardens by the Bay and Pan Pacific Singapore’s giveaway features 3 packages.

Pan Pacific Singapore’s Great Fun-Mily Escapade package worth $798+ includes a weekend staycation for 2 children and 2 adults, Flower Dome tickets and brunch at Keyaki.

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The second package includes Flower Dome tickets and a weekend at Pan Pacific Singapore with dim sum brunch at Hai Tien Lo worth $437.60+ for 2 people.

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Meanwhile, the final package includes Flower Dome tickets and a weekend at Pan Pacific Singapore with dinner at Edge worth $476+ for 2 people.

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You can view more details about the promo on Gardens by the Bay’s website.

Gardens by the Bay Sakura Matsuri

The Gardens by the Bay’s Sakura Matsuri: Tale of the Peach Boy Floral Display officially started last Friday (6 Mar).

The installations feature Momotaro, a boy born from a giant peach, whose tale was inspired by Japanese folklore.

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If you want to learn how the Japanese survive winter, then check out these Gassho-style farmhouses. These small establishments have thatched roofs that may withstand heavy snowfall.

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A trip to Japan isn’t complete without passing through these torii gates, which are a common sight in Japanese shrines.

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The best part is undoubtedly the quintessential hanami flower viewing experience. Guests can stroll in the gorgeous flower domes and enjoy the cherry blossoms in full bloom.

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Sakura Matsuri at Flower Dome

Amid the Covid-19 outbreak, our long-awaited trips may have been cancelled.

While most of us are staying safe in the city, you can book a trip to Gardens by the Bay’s Sakura Exhibit to feel like you’re away from home.

Here are the details about the event:

Venue: Flower Dome
Address: 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953
Date: 6-29 Mar 2020
Time: 9am-9pm
Nearest MRT: Bayfront MRT Station
Website: Gardens by the Bay Sakura Matsuri

If you don’t qualify for Gardens by the Bay’s promo, then book a trip to their Sakura Exhibit anyway — tickets are 50% off. We bet you’ll feel the coming of spring after an afternoon spent viewing wonderful cherry blossoms.

Also read: 

Gardens By The Bay Has 50% Off Tickets For Main Attractions Till 22 Mar, Just In Time For School Holidays

Featured image from Gardens by the Bay. 

Visitors To Thailand Must Provide Contact Details Upon Arrival From 12 Mar For Emergency Tracing

Thailand Visitors Must Provide Personal Information & Contact Details In Immigration Form Before Entry

Amid the Covid-19 outbreak, countries are stepping up measures curb further infections.

After reporting its first death and more new cases, Thailand has been implementing more stringent health monitoring at checkpoints.

Thus, it’s not surprising that from Thursday (12 Mar), all visitors to the Land of Smiles must provide their personal and contact information at immigration, reported the Bangkok Post.

 

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Visitors can provide information at Thailand checkpoints or via an app

Those entering Thailand can furnish their information via an immigration form at checkpoints or through an app that’ll be launched on Thursday.

The info that visitors will have to supply will include contact details like mobile phone numbers and email addresses, as well as personal information.

To use the app, tourists can use either use their own SIM card if they have roaming, or purchase a prepaid SIM card with unlimited mobile data. Having an Internet connection is important, as the government may need to contact them in case of an outbreak.

Immigration officers at checkpoints will check whether the data is complete, before allowing travellers into the kingdom.

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Those who don’t declare their contact information won’t be able to enter Thailand, reported the Bangkok Post.

Authorities will only keep info for 14 days & use them in time of crisis

Authorities only announced these measures on Wednesday (11 Mar) after an urgent meeting on Tuesday (10 Mar) involving ministers, immigration police and the Department of Disease Control (DDC).

Digital Economy and Society Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta explained that they will only use the info if there’s a crisis. The Bangkok Post quoted him as saying:

Please do not call this a tracking system because the state will track them only when critical situations arise, when they need to be monitored to handle the outbreak.

Further, he pointed out that the government is not stockpiling this data — they will only keep it in the system for 14 days from the time of the visitor’s arrival.

So you need not worry about protecting your personal data.

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Make sure you have a working SIM card with data if visiting Thailand

Regular travellers probably already know this, but it’s best that you get data roaming or a prepaid SIM card with mobile data when travelling in Thailand.

This is so that you can be contactable by the local authorities throughout your stay in case of emergencies.

With Covid-19 being as serious as it is, the measures in place also have to be serious.

Thailand seems to have learnt from Singapore’s contact tracing supremacy, and their measures means it’s now easier for the Thai authorities to identify the contacts of people who test positive for Covid-19 — including tourists.

Featured image adapted from Mapio.net.

Old Woodlands Town Centre Photos Remind S’poreans Of Cheap Items There Before It Closed In 2017

Old Woodlands Town Centre Photos Hit Singaporeans Right In The Feels

Mention Woodlands and most people would only think of the checkpoint leading to neighbouring Johor Baru (JB).

But residents of the area would know the area has more history to it than a mere gateway to Malaysia. Take the old Woodlands Town Centre, for example.

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An iconic neighbourhood establishment, the centre closed down on 30 Nov, 2017, after 37 years of operations.

Old photos of the area, however, went viral on Daily Quote Singapore’s Facebook page on Sunday (8 Mar), in a post that garnered nearly 3,000 shares.

You can view the whole album here, but let us pick out the best photos for you.

Woodlands Town Centre a popular neighbourhood hangout

As flashy new malls sprung up in neighbourhoods around Singapore, humble tuck shops and convenience stores faded into oblivion.

To see them again in photos of the old Woodlands Town Centre is surely an emotional walk down memory lane for those who remember it.

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Besides the supermarket — a staple of any neighbourhod — stores selling affordable clothing and household essentials were a common sight.

What stands out the most is perhaps the main building’s architecture, which comprised a cool spiral staircase we don’t see anymore in our sleek, modern structures.

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The earthy brown colour may not appeal to many, but there was more to the building than meets the eye.

One-stop spot for all things affordable

Within the expanse of the building sat more stores like the one above, offering a wide variety of items that even included food options.

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What appeared to be a market also extended into a hawker centre within the compound, which drew many hungry visitors to the area.

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Visitors who were full after a cheap yet satisfying meal could simply walk a short distance over to the market stores nearby for a light round of shopping.

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The array of cheap items on sale made the centre a popular stop for many on their way to JB via the Woodlands Checkpoint.

Nostalgia for Woodlands Town Centre remains

While millennials probably won’t remember much or anything at all about the centre, these photos really do give a clear sense of what shopping was like many years ago.

With everything in one place, the venue indirectly served as a uniting spot for residents of all backgrounds to come together.

Such places may be few and far between now, so let’s hope no more will disappear before our young ones can see them.

Featured image adapted from Facebook and Facebook.

Central Library & 7 Others Will Close For Revamp, Punggol NLB Branch To Open Late 2021

8 Libraries Including Choa Chu Kang Public Library To Be Revamped From 2020 To 2026

Visiting the library may not be everyone’s favourite pastime, but Singapore’s plans to make our local libraries bigger and better could change that.

Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Ms Sim Ann announced that the National Library Board (NLB) is closing a total of 8 libraries for a revamp, reported The Straits Times (ST) on Tuesday (3 Mar).

The move is reportedly to make the spaces more “inclusive” for all visitors.

Central Public Library to close in early 2021

The Central Public Library in Bras Basah, will close in early 2021, to make way for an even bigger branch. The current floor area will reportedly increase from 3,900 m² to 4,600 m².

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Perhaps to elevate its appearance, the new design will draw inspiration from the building’s heritage and the civic district surrounding it.

Local literature will get special recognition there too.

7 other NLB branches to undergo renovation too

Other libraries getting a makeover include Choa Chu Kang Public Library which has been closed since Jun 2019.

The new outlet will reopen in 2021 with an additional floor at Lot One shopping mall.

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Queenstown Public Library and Marine Parade Public Library will also be undergoing renovation soon.

NLB will reveal 4 other branches due for a revamp once they have confirmed the plans.

New Punggol Regional Library opening in late 2021

In the mean time, Punggol Town Hub will welcome the Punggol Regional Library late next year, in 2021.

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In line with the aim for inclusivity, the library will offer special services and “calming zones” for users with disabilities and special needs children.

NLB has consulted stakeholders, Punggol residents and special needs advisors about the library’s design.

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The library’s world children’s literature collection meanwhile will expose young visitors to cultural diversity at an early age, to help raise their awareness.

Newer and better libraries for all

Ms Sim mentioned that our libraries have become “trusted and treasured spaces where people can bond, socialise and learn”.

Indeed, libraries have a place in many of our hearts.

With all the revamps ahead, we hope that the libraries will be better equipped to serve more people.

Are you excited about the revamps? Let us know in the comments below.

Featured image adapted from Choo Yut Shing on Flickr.

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