[Travel] Essentials

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Before going on your trip, there are some important things to get.

So let’s talk about two things. Travel Insurance and Overseas Data.

For this trip to Hong Kong, I charged my airfare completely on Citibank PremierMiles Visa Signature Credit Card. Therefore I got my travel insurance for free. Most credit cards related to travel will offer that on condition that you charge your airfare to it in full. Coverage may not be comprehensive. But good enough.

PremierMiles

Citibank PremierMiles Visa Signature Credit Card

As for overseas data, I usually buy local prepaid SIM card upon arrival. However, this time I decide to rely on data provided by Dorsett Mongkok via a smartphone that they provide for free. Is unlimited LTE data with no strings attached. As for China, I decide to pay for SingTel’s DataRoam Saver. (Daily) It is SG$25 for 1 day of unlimited LTE data with no strings attached as well.

So with that, I am all set and ready for travel.

[Gear] XiaoMi Multi Purpose Computer Bag

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There are many goodies on Taobao/Tmall and recently I bought a good stuff that will be good for my travel: Backpack! Introducing XiaoMi Multi Purpose Computer Bag.

Bag Front

Bag Front

Bag Top

Bag Top with some leather on underside of handle.

Bag Zip

Bag Zip

Bag Right Side

Bag Right Side

Bag Left Side

Bag Left Side

Bag Back

Bag Back

Bag Front Compartment

Bag Front Compartment

Bag Front Compartment Filled

Bag Front Compartment Filled

Bag Middle Compartment

Bag Middle Compartment

Bag Middle Compartment Filled

Bag Middle Compartment Filled

Bag Laptop Compartment

Bag Laptop Compartment

Bag Left Side Closeup

Bag Left Side Closeup

Bag Left Side Filled

Bag Left Side Filled

Right empty

Bag Right Side Empty

Right Filled

Bag Right Side Filled

Bag Secret Compartment

Bag Secret Compartment

Bag Strap Organizer

Bag Strap Organizer

Bag Slotted

Bag Slotted Front

Bag Slotted Back

Bag Slotted Back

Bag Weight

Bag Weight (1.1KG unloaded.)

This is a very functional bag and it maintains a good shape even when empty. I have been using this bag whenever I am out and I will be bringing it on my trip. Material is solid. Price? RMB$199. (SG$44.97.) You can buy it from here.

[Travel] Packing

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Surely many of you like travelling but there will be something that many of you hate to the core: Packing!

So how to pack well so that you can make full use of baggage allowance to bring everything you want back from your trip?

Let’s see this video of how 凯文老师 (Celebrity Stylist Kevin) pack his luggage.

For those who do not understand mandarin, here’s a summary.

  • Rimowa aluminium luggage is not recommended as it is heavy on it’s own.
    • You want to carry goodies back from your trip or heavy luggage with little things inside?
    • Carrying a branded luggage like Rimowa, Tumi or Samsonite is also a way to tell people to target you to steal your stuffs.
  • Pack orderly to store more.
    • Roll all clothes up.
    • Pack clothes in new bags that you just buy so that bags will retain their shape.
    • Compact things together to minimize movement of items while you are moving.
    • Trick for ladies: Stockings! For guys, Laces!

Ever since I saw this video, I have been doing this in my packing. So here’s how I pack.

Folded

Clothes Rolled Up. Drawstring bottoms tied up.

Socks

Socks

Packed

Packed

Empty Luggage

Empty Luggage Weight

Packed Weight

Packed Weight

Temperature

Temperature

As you can see from above, this packing method can save you space and weight. I will always bring along luggage scale for my trips as that helps me in my packing so as to avoid excess baggage charges. This luggage scale can also tell me temperature of surrounding. So very useful tool.

Will continue to pack and update more on my packing in another post.

[Membership Card] Changi Rewards Gold

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When travelling, some membership cards are worth bringing. Even if I have them virtually on my Perkd application, I will bring physical cards along just in case technology fails or a staff rejects my virtual cards.

Other than my Priority Pass membership card that I must bring along as they only accept physical card, I do bring along some other membership cards as well. Here is 1 of them that I will bring along.

ChangiRewardsGold

Changi Rewards Gold

  • Qualified by spending SG$4,000 at Changi Airport. (Spending requirement waived off courtesy of American Express KrisFlyer Gold Credit Card. Promotion no longer available.)
  • 2 Points for every SG$1. (Normal tier 1 point for every SG$1.)
  • 500 Points = SG$5 rebate.
  • 7% GST savings at participating outlets in Changi Airport public area.
  • 5 Lucky Draw chances per SG$30 spend. (Normal tier 1 Lucky Draw chance.)
  • Points convertible to KrisFlyer miles. (3,000 Points to 1,000 Miles.)
  • 2 Points for every SG$1 at Agoda.

[Travel] First Class Train Travel to GuangZhou on MTR Intercity Through Train

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Since I have been to Hong Kong a few times, so I thought why not do something different this time. Time to venture up north: China! After thinking about options, went with GuangZhou instead of Shenzhen as it is a bigger city.

After doing some research, I went ahead and booked transport. Booking is done on MTR’s website for their Intercity Through Train service. I am making this a day trip so I booked the earliest train and a train for return in late afternoon/evening. Journey will be 2 hours per trip and there is only 1 cabin class: First Class. Ticket is priced at HK$219 per trip inclusive of HK$9 handling fee. (Approximately SG$40.) Shall do a review on this next week.

Shanghai

MTR Intercity Through Train

[Deal] Priceless Singapore by MasterCard

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MasterCard has tied up with some merchants to offer good benefits. As they are famous for their campaign “Priceless”, they have a website to highlight benefits: Priceless Cities.

As I worked on booking things for my Hong Kong Trip next week, I looked through for benefits that I can possibly try for first time. One thing that popped up is JetQuay.

JetQuay

JetQuay

For those who are not aware of JetQuay, it is a special terminal in Changi Airport serving CIP. (Commercially Important Person. You read that right. Is not VIP.) It is located near to Terminal 2 of Changi Airport. Some dignitaries served by them include Lady Gaga and most recently Gordon Ramsay. (Just this week.)

So you may think this is something for rich and famous. Think again. You can enjoy JetQuay’s signature QuaySide service for free once a month for you plus one with Titanium MasterCard, World MasterCard and above. I saw this benefit on UOB PrviMiles World MasterCard Credit Card website and went ahead to book with JetQuay.

PrviMiles

UOB PrviMiles World MasterCard Credit Card

So what’s the catch? You must be flying on full service airline except for Delta, United, Swiss and budget airlines. You can be travelling on any class and you can enjoy this service for arrival or departure. Enjoy lounge before or after travelling, fetched to/fro gate by buggy and arrive/depart in style with dedicated immigration counters. Check-in luggage? No worries as they will collect it for you. Duty-free? Let them know what you want, pass them your passport, boarding pass and credit card. They will purchase them for you. Transport? They can arrange vehicle for you.

Looking forward to try this on arrival in Singapore. Review next week!

[Deal] Takashimaya 10% Rebate

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Last week, we mentioned about Tangs’ 12% rebate day on anyday of your choice here. That is still available. From today, another deal will start till this Sunday. Takashimaya 10% rebate. That is on top of existing rebate of up to 6% for Takashimaya card members.

TakashimayaRebate

Takashimaya 10% Rebate

There are a lot of products on sale and you can earn rebates at the same time. So good time to do your Chinese New Year purchase right? Definitely! Do go to both Tangs and Takashimaya to compare prices before purchase. See which side gives you better savings.

I have been shopping at Takashimaya mostly for Nespresso capsules (Unless I am in my Nespresso heaven in Europe.) or SodaStream syrups. (I am a drinks person at home.) So I do hold a Takashimaya Credit Card for that: DBS Takashimaya American Express Platinum Credit Card.

This card will earn you 6% rebate and additional 10% rebate on special days. Every SG$500 spent at Takashimaya will earn you 100 points which can convert to SG$30 Takashimaya voucher. You can also get SG$3 parking credits by spending SG$120 at Takashimaya. In Takashimaya Japan, you can also enjoy 5% discount. As a DBS card, it also entitles you to DBS points. Every SG$5 gives you 1 point so use that to redeem anything you want. DBS privilages islandwide is also applicable to this card. American Express SELECTS is also applicable to this card.

Takashimaya

DBS Takashimaya American Express Platinum Credit Card

[Mobile Application] Perkd

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Have shared about Stocard previously here and mentioned that I will cover another application Perkd. So what is different about Perkd?

Perkd Logo

Perkd Logo

Basic function remains. Both allow you to digitalize your membership cards. However, there are some additional functions in Perkd. It has a better experience in creating custom membership cards not available on their database compared to Stocard. You can capture image of membership card for custom membership cards in Perkd for easy identification.

Perkd List

Perkd List

Perkd Custom

Perkd Custom

Other than custom membership cards, Perkd also have merchants tie-up which is lacking in Stocard in Singapore. Perkd is official membership card platform for Timberland and The Body Shop. They will send out offers and track rewards using Perkd application. So if you frequent these shops, Perkd will be good for you.

Perkd Timberland

Perkd Timberland Card

Perked Timberland Offer

Perked Timberland Offer

Perkd also has a good collection of membership cards on their database. So you need not put in too much effort to do custom cards.

Perkd Categories

Perkd Categories

So how do I use Perkd and Stocard? I use Stocard just for Starbucks payment with my Sony SmartWatch 3 as it has wearable support and Starbucks Card barcode support which are not present on Perkd. (Update 27 March 2016: Developer of Perkd has reached out to update that Perkd now supports Starbucks card barcode and many others. Tested and works. But I still like to use SmartWatch to pay at Starbucks!) I use Perkd for almost all of my other membership cards.

This application is available for FREE without ADs on Android Google Play and iOS App Store.

Google Play APP Store

[Travel] Transport in Hong Kong

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Update (1st February 2016): Price increased to HK$350. (SG$66.36)


Whenever visiting Hong Kong, will always travel by MTR. After all, even our government is looking up to them for their service quality and standards. It is also very comfortable and convenient. So I make a booking online for Airport Express Travel Pass – 2 Airport Express Rides for HK$300. (SG$56.88)

Airport Express

Airport Express Travel Pass

What this provides is 2 rides on Airport Express (Excluding travel between Airport and AsiaWorld-Expo stations.), 3 days of unlimited rides on MTR (Except additional travel on Airport Express, East Rail Line First Class, and travel to/from Lo Wu or Lok Ma Chau stations.), Light Rail and MTR Bus. (Northwest New Territories.)

It is quite economical as return ticket on Airport Express can cost up to HK$180. (SG$34.13) At end of your stay in Hong Kong, you can refund ticket for HK$50. (SG$9.48) So that works out to HK$250. (SG$47.40) HK$70 (SG$13.27) for 3 days of unlimited rides is good.

They also run complimentary shuttle bus service to many hotels. (Including Dorsett Mongkok that I am staying at.) Check out here.

You may book online at here.

[Travel] Booking Hotel Through Agoda: Dorsett Mongkok

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As mentioned in previous post here, you can use your credit card to earn yourself some discount off your next hotel stay by booking with Agoda. So as a person who walk the talk, I booked my next hotel stay in Hong Kong via Agoda Citibank portal using Citibank PremierMiles Visa Signature Credit Card.

Before making booking, do your research. Few pointers:

  • Location! Location! Location!
  • Budget.
  • Facilities.
  • Loyalty Program.
For research, I depend on tripadvisor. (http://www.tripadvisor.com) So far, I have booked hotels in tripadvisor’s top 10 ranking in cities like Hong Kong (#4: Hotel Icon), Taipei (#3: CityInn Hotel-Taipei Station Branch II/#4: Dandy Hotel-Tianmu Branch) and Tokyo. (#10: Hotel Ryumeikan) So far, they have not disappoint.
However, for this trip to Hong Kong, I decided to make a return to Dorsett Mongkok. (Ranked #67 in Hong Kong.) Why?
  • Location:
    • Centralize in Mongkok.
    • Near to places that I want to visit.
    • Good as a base.
    • Free shuttle bus service to many places. (Langham Place/Ladies Street, Temple Street, Star Ferry and Elements-Kowloon Station.)
  • Budget:
    • Bang for buck.
    • SG$204.79 for 2 nights!
    • Free WIFI. (Must have!)
    • Free smartphone provided for use!
      • Unlimited data! (With tethering support!)
      • Free IDD call to Singapore!
      • Navigation on Google Maps.
      • Can do whatever you are doing with your own smartphone!
  • Facilities:
    • Room is clean and neat.
    • Dorsett Lounge available with a basic gym.
  • Loyalty Program: Not applicable to Dorsett group.

With that, I will be posting pictures and review of Dorsett Mongkok during my trip. It will be my 2nd time there. Hopefully I will be able to see them maintaining their standard or even better it.

Agoda

Agoda Booking with Citibank discount

PremierMiles

Citibank PremierMiles Visa Signature Credit Card