[Deal] Citibank Dining

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Seems like Citibank is now running dining privileges pegged at SG$100. They have been running $100GOURMET since April last year and soon it will be its first year anniversary. I almost attended 1 last year when Chef Alvin Leung (Demon Chef-3 Michelin Stars.) and Chef David Liew (TÓNG LÈ PRIVATE DINING) were supposed to collaborate. However, collaboration was cancelled as Chef Alvin could not make the trip due to unforeseen circumstances.

100Gourmet

$100GOURMET

Concept of $100GOURMET is simple. SG$100++ (Pay with Citibank Credit Card or else it will be SG$180++.) for lunch or dinner prepared by a partnership of local and guest chef from overseas. There have been some Michelin rated guest chefs who have partnered with local chefs throughout last year.

Recently, Citibank started another dining program and they generated a bit of hype on social media before launch. Introducing Citibank Wine & Dine.

CitiWineAndDine

Citibank Wine & Dine

Concept of Citibank Wine & Dine is simple as well. Spend SG$100 excluding taxes at participating restaurants and get a bottle of wine free to go along. Some participating restaurants that I have patronized before are Osteria Art and TungLok. Recently, I discovered a hidden gem that is participating in Citibank Wine & Dine program: The Pipe District.

The Pipe District

The Pipe District

They have quite a few signature dishes on menu. Charcoal series (Charcoal Fish & Chips and Charcoal Onion Rings.), Squid ink pasta which you can customize and many more. Under Citibank Wine & Dine program, they are offering Montes Alpha Chardonnay 2013 or Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 from Chile for free with SG$100 food purchase excluding taxes.

Check here for more information.

[Travel] Changi Airport: Behind the scenes

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Woke up pretty early on 3rd March 2016 morning around 5:11am and saw a message from Wilson (Global Travelogy) that was sent at 3:31am. He was travelling in New Zealand and saw an email from Changi Rewards about an insider visit to Changi Airport. (That’s when time difference works in your favor.)

Changi Rewards Email

Changi Rewards Email.

Since I have more than 500 points in Changi Rewards account (DFS shopping, dining and gold tier status FTW!), I quickly lock in my redemption and proceed to Changi Airport to make payment for myself and an additional slot for Wilson on the same day. However, I was told that there was no more allowance available for additional slots when I wanted to make payment. Not good news for Wilson. But thank goodness, an additional slot was made available for us and I went down to make payment for Wilson a few days later. On actual day last Saturday (19 March 2016), we discovered that my redemption was 2nd on list. Guessed that helped Wilson in securing his spot. He is a happy man.

So on 19 March 2016, woke up early in morning and head down to Changi Airport on an UberX. Comfy ride as usual even though it is not a limo. This driver provides charger on board for mobile devices. Not bad. The best I have seen so far is charger + drinks + sweets. It is my preferred mode of transport for Airport other than MRT as it is competitively priced against taxis with no midnight surcharge, comfortable and no queue.

Uber

UberX

Upon arrival at Changi Airport, I jumped into action immediately. Started my first Facebook Live broadcast at entrance. After that, I took some photos and met up with Wilson at Terminal 2 Staff Canteen for breakfast. It is quite easy to find the place with prominent signs.

Changi Staff Canteen Breakfast

Changi Staff Canteen breakfast from pancake stall. Had peanut pancake as well. Not bad.

After breakfast, we head down to Changi Airport Group’s office to register and collect airport visitor pass. There are some interesting sights there too.

Changi Airport Group Logo

Changi Airport Group Logo.

Starwars

Star Wars!

Changi Airport Model

Changi Airport Model. I love taking Panorama shots like this using my Sony a5100. No tripod and minimal to no post editing required.

So here are some pictures of our day in Changi airport. Thanks to Changi Airport for hosting us!

Sunflower Garden

Sunflower Garden.

Enchanted Gardens

Plant in a ball.

Enchanted Gardens

Enchanted Gardens.

Koi

Koi

Orchid

Orchid

Swimming Pool

Swimming Pool.

The Social Tree

The Social Tree.

Butterfly

Butterfly

More Butterfly

More Butterfly.

Dom Perignon

Dom Pérignon at DFS Wines and Spirits Duplex.

Wine for sampling

Wine for sampling at DFS Wines and Spirits Duplex.

Bus

Bus for airside tour.

Firefighting Gear

Firefighting Gear.

Water blast

Water blast.

Redbird

Redbird

Changi

Good to see this whenever landing in Changi.

Disclaimer: Drink responsibly.

[Mobile Application] iChangi

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Firstly, congratulations to Changi Aiport for winning Skytrax World’s Best Airport Award for four consecutive years. It is a place that can make a hardcore westlander like me travel all the way to east on my own accord.

Having stayed overnight at Changi Airport to wait for my morning flight a few times, I can really say that Changi Airport is a home away from home for travelers. There are just so many things that I can do other than staying in lounge. Walking around the 3 terminals to explore shops, cafes, restaurants, gardens, decorations, watch movies, play games on gaming console and powerpoints everywhere to charge gadgets. Most importantly, feel safe there.

So how do I get around in Changi Airport and get updated about my flight? (Like gate changes etc.) iChangi Mobile Application!

iChangi Logo

iChangi

iChangi Splash Screen

Splash Screen. Got to be proud that we win this four times in a row. Sorry Incheon and Middle East airports. Cannot fight lah!

iChangi Arrival Search

Arrival Search.

Departure Search

Departure Search.

Departure Search Flight

Departure Search Flight Number.

Departure Search Flight Result

Departure Search Flight Result. Click Add Flight # to My Flights to monitor.

Departure Flight Search Added

Departure Flight Added.

Monitored Flight

Monitored Flight. Notifications will update you on any changes.

Current Arrival Flights

Current Arrival Flights.

Current Departure Flights

Current Departure Flights.

Menu

Menu.

Flight Info Menu

Flight Info Menu.

Terminal Maps Menu

Terminal Maps Menu.

Shop & Dine Menu

Shop & Dine Menu.

Airport Info Menu

Airport Info Menu.

Settings

Settings.

1 thing I hope to see in this application soon is integration of Changi Rewards membership management.

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

Google Play APP Store

[Gear] 90 Points Luggage 20″

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ABS and PC must be familiar to you if you are shopping for a luggage and these are some of the common materials used. Some luggage are made using more premium materials like metal and Makrolon by Covestro. (Subsidiary of Bayer.)

Covestro Makrolon

In my trip to Milan last year, my carry-on luggage was damaged. (Zipper damaged. I am not gentle with my gears.) So I have been looking for a replacement for a while. Since then, I have been relying on my old carry-on luggage that is quite heavily used but still working.

Packed

Old carry-on luggage.

At luggage shops, I am seeing Makrolon luggage priced at more than SG$100 for 20″ carry-on. In my opinion, that is overpriced. I am not supportive of carrying expensive luggage when travelling. Here’s why:

  • Prime target for theft/robbery.
  • Heavy. (Especially Rimowa and Tumi metal luggage.)

So I am very happy to discover that 90 Points luggage 20″ is officially available on Xiaomi’s tmall for RMB$299. (SG$66.09. 24″ available as well at RMB$349 or SG$77.14.) This is very affordable for a Makrolon luggage. So you may be wondering why Xiaomi has luggage? This is produced by one of their ecosystem company 润米 that they have invested in. It is the same manufacturer of Xiaomi Multi Purpose Computer Bag that I have reviewed previously.

Luggage Box

Luggage Box. (4.2KG for shipment consideration. Shipment cost RMB$99.91 or SG$21.91 via air through Taobao’s official forwarder PRouter. You will want to order this item individually as Xiaomi will ship this item individually if you mix with other items in 1 order.)

Luggage Unboxing

Luggage Unboxing.

Luggage Wrapped

Luggage Wrapped.

Luggage Front

Luggage Front. Makrolon is a good balance of weight and durability. Notice the strips? These are created to deal with impact. Blue color here. Black, grey and white available as well.

Luggage Side Handle

Luggage Side.

Luggage Wheels

Luggage Wheels. 8 of them. Very smooth when rolling around. TPE material.

TSA Locked

TSA Lock. Pin set at 000 on arrival by default.

ZIP Released

ZIP Released. Notice raised dot design on luggage body? This is to prevent scratches.

Luggage Side

Luggage Side. Good to see plastic stands.

Luggage Top

Luggage Top. Handles are without cushion which is good to have.

Luggage Telescopic Handle

Luggage Telescopic Handle At Full Extension. 4 heights adjustable. Handle built with reinforced metal that has been polished. Some handles are quite shaky based on my experience. But this has been designed and tested to be very solid. Movement is kept within 1.5cm based on specification.

Luggage Back

Luggage Back.

Luggage Opened

Luggage Opened. Closed interior dividers ensure good separation and storage. Huge plus.

Left Opened

Left Opened.

Right Opened

Right Opened.

Bags Stacked

90 Points Luggage 20″ with Xiaomi Multi Purpose Computer Bag. They are meant to be together isn’t it?

Luggage Label

Luggage Label. 2.9KG net weight for luggage, 36L of storage, 375mmx223mmx550mm inclusive of wheels compliant with airlines carry-on luggage size requirement.

Luggage Weight

Luggage Weight. Not too far off from specifications.

[Travel] JetQuay: Changi Airport CIP Terminal

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So Madonna Rebel Heart tour is over in Singapore. How did she arrive and leave Singapore?
Private Jet: Yes
Terminal 1/2/3: Neither. CIP Terminal

Wait a minute. VIP is familiar to most people but what is CIP? CIP stands for Commercially Important Person. Examples of CIPs include Madonna, Gordon Ramsay and Lady Gaga just to name a few. Whenever a private jet or CIP lands in Changi Airport, they will be received and handled by CIP Terminal: JetQuay.

JetQuay Logo

JetQuay Logo

As mentioned in my previous post, I have decided to try JetQuay for the first time when I touch down in Singapore from Hong Kong. So here was my experience as a CIP.

Buggy Ride

Buggy ride from gate to JetQuay. My check-In luggage was retrieved in parallel by their staff.

Arrival in style

Arrival in style.

Bar

Bar

Food

Food

Drinks

Drinks and light food.

Drinks

Drinks

Food

Food

Table and bench

Table and bench: Casual

Cosy

Cosy: Homely

Group

Can fit group comfortably.

Exotic

Exotic corner.

Relax

Relax

Family

Family friendly.

Corner

Corner

Chill while waiting for DFS purchase.

Chill while waiting for DFS purchase.

Business

Can do some business.

Computers

Computers

Spiral

In front of JetQuay’s signature spiral stairs.

So this place looks very exclusive right? It is actually more accessible than many people think. All you just need is Standard Chartered Manhattan World MasterCard Credit Card which only require annual income requirement of SG$30,000. Any freshman who start work can access this. You can just call JetQuay for booking. For details, check my previous post.

Manhattan

Standard Chartered Manhattan World MasterCard Credit Card