Singapore Changi Airport Opens its 4th Terminal

One of the many things that I’m proud of being a Singaporean, is our World Class Award Winning – Changi Airport. I have the chance to visit the new Terminal 4 in August 2017. It is going to open on 31 October 2017 officially for operation.

pic 1-2.jpg

The new terminal is 225,000m2, which is the size of 27 football fields. It is half the physical size of Terminal 3 but able to handle 16 million passengers a year – about 70 per cent of Terminal 3’s handling capacity.

As Singapore is progressing into Smart Nation, most of the check in processes are going to be automated and self-help; leveraging on the use of technologies and digital innovation.

Pic 2pic 3-3
After check in, I came into an area where there is an Immerse Wall showing a pane of high definition video of introducing some of Asia Countries with its unique representatives. I believe it does helps me to relax when there is a long queue for bags and body scan.

pic 4-2.jpg

In the Departure Hall, other than the usual duty free shops and restaurants, you feel very different from other terminals. Changi Airport Group has immerse Art and Peranakan Heritage culture as one of the focus architecture design in the new terminal. There is a Love Story Play that compose by Singapore own song-writer Dick Lee where you can sit back and enjoy while waiting to take off.

pic 5-2pic 6-2

As you continue to explore around, you get to see some artistic figures like The Travelling Family, an aluminium sculpture by Swiss artist, Kurt Lawrence Metzler and Petalclouds, a grand-scale kinetic sculpture. Quite a usual sight in an airport.

pic 7-2pic 8-2
The first airline that be taking off in Terminal 4 is Cathay Pacific. Others joining are Korean Air, Vietnam Airlines, AirAsia, Cebu Pacific and Spring Airlines. Hence, the next flight, see you at Changi Airport Terminal 4.

I have quite an enjoyable open house, learning so much about the new terminal. Before I missed out, do watch out for the cleaning auto-bots. They are pretty awesome and adorable. Be sure to spend some time exploring the new terminal!

pic 9-2.jpg

pic 10

Reference links:


IreneHi, I’m Irene. Born as a Sagittarius and living in the South of Singapore, I have been working in the Information Technology as a Business Product Manager for 8 years. Enjoying my scope that allows the challenge of learning new things every day as my role demands frequent business travels all over the globe. I have an adventurous bold soul that nothing can tie me down. When I am not sweating it out, I can be found chilling at a corner of any café, bury my head in a Sales Strategy or a Poem book, whatever my mood takes me. Besides being a yoga and gym enthusiast, my passion for travelling and planning travel itineraries show through friends who encourage me to share my travel experiences with others. Reach out to me @ irene@ladyredot.com for amazing impromptu ideas for your next trip abroad!

Advertisements

Adventures in Hang Son Doong, the World’s Largest Cave

Considered as the largest cave world over, the three million-year-old cave is located in central Vietnam. The cave’s name translates as ‘Mountain River Cave’. The cave ceiling is spread 100 meters over our heads. Sun rays stream in through the serrated sides of the cliffs. The high-pitched calls of the macaque monkeys and the birds bounce off the limestone walls, resounding from the world past the skylight. The Hang Son Doong cave is situated in Vietnam’s Quang Binh province in the middle of the Phong Nha-Ke National park.

Screen Shot 2017-09-02 at 11.44.16 PM.png

In 1990, a local farmer, Ho Khanh, stumbled upon the cave. While in the jungle, he heard the gushing sounds of the underground river and saw clouds hanging above the large opening in the limestone. He reported his discovery to the British Caving Research Association but sadly, upon his return he got lost and could not find the cave. The cave remained lost for eighteen years, and in 2008 as he was hunting for food, Ho found the entrance to the cave again. A year later he returned with Howard and Deb Limbert both from the BCRA.

The Hang Son Doong covers an area of more than 5 kilometers (3 miles) and a height of two hundred meters. The main grotto is huge enough to accommodate a whole New York City housing block. The Hang Son Doong was for the first time opened to the public in 2013, with the Oxalis tour company offering limited 5-day expeditions. The use of only one Tour Company has helped protect the cave from huge developments. The tours run once a week from February to August yearly and only ten customers are allowed for each departure.

The Hang Son Doong has a unique eco-system with its own localized weather. Scattered in the dried pools are the unique limestone cave pearls and the biggest stalagmite ever stands eighty meters tall. The collapsed cave ceilings have formed openings called dolines, which allow plant life to grow in the cave.

Screen Shot 2017-09-02 at 11.44.44 PM.png

The journey into the Hang Son Doong involves a 2-day trek through thick jungle shrubbery and crossing rivers to arrive at the cave’s entrance. Night-time is spent camping within the cave and the close by Hang En cave. The Hang En has come to be recognized as the third largest cave world over. In order to get to the end of the cave, hikers climb, crawl, abseil and swim through the underground rivers, making this a remarkable adventure. Even with the physical strains, guests are well cared for; accompanied by 2 caving experts, two chefs, three local guides, 20 porters and two park rangers who ensure the expedition is exceptional and safe. Small tour groups ensure the cave is preserved as well.

The Quang Binh province has greatly benefited from the growing tourism after the discovery of the cave. Many locals turned to tourism after guests started arriving; this has contributed greatly to the provinces’ economic growth. Local entrepreneurs have established hiking, mountain biking, kayaking and eco-conservation companies to work together with the caving expeditions.

Screen Shot 2017-09-02 at 11.48.52 PM.png

In recent years, the Sun Group, a Vietnamese development firm has been forward with its intention to construct a cable car to the Hang Son Doong. In 2015, strong opposition from the UNESCO and other activist groups urged the Vietnamese government to briefly stop the construction permits. The cable car construction still looms and it remains unknown whether the approval will be allowed.

Some people are for the idea that tourism will keep benefiting the locals, while others express their concern regarding the destruction tourism will cause to the ecosystem due to the high numbers of guests it brings. Comparable projects like the Mount Fansipan and the Halong Bay have experienced major environmental due to tourism. It can only be anticipated that a responsible and sustainable decision is arrived at to help preserve the Hang Son Doong.


Kally

Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food.

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

10 Unique Things To Do In Singapore That Some Singaporeans Might Never Have Been To

Singapore is a country rich in culture and traditions. There are many touristic sights that are informative and hold a healthy recount of the history of the Singaporean people.

These sites have been preserved over the years to keep the history alive.

The 10 things include:

Screen Shot 2017-08-26 at 11.37.11 AM

  1. NUS Baba House

This magnificently restored Peranakan family residence which is managed by the University of Singapore. This abode is a historical depiction of Peranakan era with an intricate architectural plan of the habitat and antic carvings. To visit, you need to book online and only 15 people are allowed at a time. The tour is free.

Screen Shot 2017-08-26 at 11.40.21 AM

  1. Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

The museum has two floors. The first floor has the general innate record of the world, whereas the second floor focuses in particular on the rich history of Singapore. The exhibits on the first floor are set in a way to communicate the account of how natural world around us developed.
The second floor has exhibits and stories about pre-colonial and post-colonial history of Singapore’s loaded biodiversity.

Screen Shot 2017-08-26 at 11.43.08 AM.png

3. The Intan

The Intan is a private residential repository, which brings out the loaded society of the Peranakan account. The tour guides are cooperative and well-informed and will lead you through the entire museum, explaining the Peranakan lifestyle and antiques put on show.

Screen Shot 2017-08-26 at 11.46.39 AM.png

  1. The Helix Bridge

The helix bridge is an architectural work of genius found by the marina bay. A great location for having family snapshot sessions because of the spectacular view it offers. The lights at night are a spectacle and phenomenal to experience.

Screen Shot 2017-08-26 at 11.49.21 AM.png

  1. Reflections at Bukit Chandu

Reflections at Bukit Chandu, a museum depicting Japanese war in Singapore. Put on show are the arms and military gear that the Japanese army used. Admittance to this museum is free.

Screen Shot 2017-08-26 at 11.55.07 AM.png

  1. Coney Island Park

Coney Island offers flora and fauna and for those that have an admiration for natural world will be precisely at place. The Park offers bird surveillance opportunities, picnic sites, sporting ventures and serene snapshot spots. If you are only out to enjoy nature in its rawness, park benches are available at various scenic points for your convenience.

Screen Shot 2017-08-26 at 12.11.07 PM

  1. The Southern Ridges

The Southern Ridges present a beautiful nature-walk spot within a city. It is a 9 km stretch with several exists should you opt not to cover the complete stretch. The view of nature from above is refreshing. The vegetation is inviting and the bird calls are calming. If you love nature, this is a fantastic place for you.

Screen Shot 2017-08-26 at 12.12.59 PM

  1. Chinese and Japanese Gardens

The Chinese and Japanese gardens are a stunning and serene place. You get to spot striking pagoda and Chinese and Japanese conventional buildings. You will also find a Turtle museum, a lake full of turtles that children will enjoy. The repository is called Bonsai museum which showcases small Japanese trees.

Screen Shot 2017-08-26 at 12.17.45 PM

  1. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

This Wetland Reserve is quiet and calm. It’s an excellent place to stopover if you love nature. The migration time is from Sept to Mar, which will give you an immense experience.

Screen Shot 2017-08-26 at 12.19.02 PM.png

10. Haw Par Villa

The gardens are devoted to two brothers who produced Tiger Balm, and the grounds were designed to recount of the story of the Chinese Gods. There are thousands of Chinese fashion figurines and ancient scene sculptures to be seen here. Entry into Har Par villa is free.
Singaporean tourist attraction sites are numerous and diverse. Every one gets to experience something that they truly enjoy. The sites are family friendly and informative. Prehistoric sites have been kept in impeccable state to facilitate the passing on of the rich culture like the NUC Baba House. Nature walk sites and reserves are also available for the great outdoor, some of which are easily accessible from the city.

Your visit to Singapore will be rich and packed with tours to undertake. You can contact us @ askus@ladyredot.com for more information.


KallyKally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food.

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

TRULY ECO-FRIENDLY TRAVEL

The current buzzwords in the tourism sector include “Eco”, “Eco-friendly” and “Eco-tourism.” But what do they mean? Eco-tourism can be defined as the act of responsible travelling to natural environment protection area that conserves the natural environment while increasing the living standards of the local people.

This means you can go out into the natural world and enjoy yourself with your travel companion while at the same time practising responsible tourism practices hence minimising negative environmental impact. As you are reading this article now, one – fifth of the travel industry is contributed by nature-friendly tourism. However, UNESCO released an alarming report showing that there is an increase in the climate change in the major world tourist attraction sites which are likely to affect tourism negatively.

Climate change is mostly contributed by increased release of carbon monoxide into the environment either from our chimneys, cars or aeroplanes while travelling or vacating. If you practice eco-tourism travelling, you will help to sustain the environment for future generations to travel and appreciate nature too.

Environmental pollution is mainly caused by irresponsible travelling, unlimited tourist access such as frequent travel either by car or aircraft. But as a responsible eco-tourist, you can help preserve the ecosystem by avoiding many short breaks/tours during the year and taking long holidays once a year hence reducing the amount of carbon monoxide emitted to the environment.

Benefits of Environment-Friendly Tourism

As a real eco-friendly traveller, you will be playing a significant role in saving the natural resources while at the same time providing employment to the local communities. A Research that was conducted indicated that for every eleven formal jobs worldwide, one job is created by the tourism industry.

According to a statistical report that was published by the Center for Responsible Tourism, in 2016 alone, the tourism sector contributed 9.8% ($7.2 trillion) of the world’s gross domestic product. The money generated this way can be used to fund education problems, support environmental conservation programmes or help improve the carbon reduction technologies.

Responsible Body

As we speak, we do not have any internationally recognised organisation that is responsible for eco-tourism. However, several non-governmental organisations in conjunctions with different governments have come up with comprehensive eco-friendly tourism guidelines. One such organisation is the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources which is the world’s most influential environment conservation organisation. Through its members and environmental experts, it has established a link that overlooks all aspects of nature protection. During its largest conference on eco-tourism which was held in Hawaii this year, the following recommendations were made:

  • Supporting and promoting equitable protection of natural resources
  • Nature Conservation
  • Using nature based solutions to address present social challenges such as drought, food insecurity and natural disasters for the good of communities, species and ecosystems.
  • In conjunction with the World Bank, they aim to improve sustainable living standards and protection of natural resources

These guidelines are meant to help you explore the world’s natural geographic features without leaving a huge carbon footprint. From now on, you do not have an excuse as to why you should not apply these environmental friendly guidelines on eco-friendly travelling for all of your future eco-tourism travels.

Currently, IUCN has 1,400 members worldwide, which include government agencies, both national and international NGOs, and local organisations and they are hopeful that if these guidelines are implemented, they will go a long way in ensuring eco-friendly eco-tourism in the member countries and beyond.

How to Ensure Sustainable Travel

The list below shows some of the eco-friendly sustainable tourism practices.

  • Choose hotels that practice green living techniques
  • Travel light to reduce greenhouse gas emission
  • Once you reach your travel destination, plan eco-friendly outdoor activities.
  • Practice green living while on tour by recycling all recyclable products, conserving water and eating fresh farm produce.
  • Practice greenwashing.

LadyRedot support Eco-friendly tourism, reach out to us to find out how you can change your travel plans to make it friendly to our Earth at askus@ladyredot.com.

Off the Grid in Quirino

Brief Background
Quirino (capital: Cabarroguis) is a province in the Philippines named after its sixth president, Elpidio Quirino. It’s surrounded by different provinces which are why it is considered a landlocked province. Although Ilocano is widely spoken there, locals can converse well in Tagalog or Filipino and English.
With only a total area of 2,323 square kilometres and barely 190,000 residents, it may sound like there’s nothing much to do in this quaint province. But no, there are so many things to do here! Ready your backpacks!

Ph locator map quirino.png
Av Eugene Alvin Villar (seav) – English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, Lenke

How To Get There
Believe it or not, Quirino is rarely mentioned in travel blogs and sites. Because of its geographical location, it is generally off the tourist radar.

Your first option would be to take a bus from Metro Manila. You will have to catch the late night trip so you’ll get to the town of Maddela the next morning (yes, you’ll have to sleep on the bus). This is the most economical way of getting there.

If time is of the essence and the budget is not an issue, take an hour flight (Cebu Pacific Air) to Cauayan Airport in Isabela, a town next to Quirino. Get off the plane, and find a van that will take you Cabarroguis. This land trip will take another hour to an hour and a half.

If you are not able to book a ticket to Cauayan, hop on an hour flight to Tuguegarao (Cebu Pacific Air or Philippine Airlines) and then hop on a van to Quirino. This will take three hours.

There’s no easy way to get to this place, but it’s so worth it!

Maddela Quirino.JPG
By P199Sariling gawa, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Getting Around Quirino
If you’re a laidback type of person who likes to immerse what locals do, Quirino should be on your bucket list. There are no car, motorcycle or bicycle rentals, however, you can ride a jeepney to get to your destination (yes, even to the remote mountainous areas!)

What To Do In Quirino

Eat. Eat. Eat – With all those hours you spent on travelling to Quirino, be sure to try their delicious local delicacies (this will give you enough energy for your other activities, too). Enjoy some “igado” and “Pancit Batil Patung” for lunch, dinakdakan for dinner (or anytime of the day, tbh!) and some “Royal Tubikoy” or “inandila” for dessert or afternoon snacks. And “water” them down with “tapuy.” No, we won’t tell you what they are. You have to try them!

Go spelunking – Aglipay cave has a 37-chamber cave system, 8 of which were developed for caving for enthusiasts (from basic to super challenging).

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 12.34.48 AM.png

Visit Nagtipunan – Nagtipunan, a town where part of the Cagayan River is located, is not only perfect for boating and swimming. Here you can enjoy your time away from the hustle and bustle and unleash your outdoorsy side! This place is great for camping, trekking, rock climbing, fishing, and rafting.

See the waterfalls – Quirino may not have beaches, but it is definitely blessed with so many waterfalls. Before you get to bathe in these amazing falls, you have to be up for a little bit of hiking and trekking (well, maybe not a little). List down Pensal Falls, Mabo Falls, Nantugaw Falls, Sinipit Falls, Maddela Falls, Junuan Falls, Victoria Falls, and Mactol Falls on your journal for when you visit Quirino!

maxresdefault.jpg

Sit back and relax at Landingan Viewpoint – Two words: breathtaking scenery. A view deck is available where you can see perpetual greens. That is green plains surrounded by green mountains after green mountains against the blue skies. The view is so beautiful and the air is so fresh you just want to stay quiet and be in one with nature (and maybe imagine yourself paragliding).

Visit Siitan River – Balasyan canoes will take you on a quiet yet enjoyable river cruise at Siitan River. If prefer to get your feet (or yourself) in the water, rent an inflated tube and allow yourself to be drifted away by the calm waters of this river. This place is so picturesque you’d think you’re on a movie set!

If you like to learn more about Philippines or secret hideouts in the world, reach out to us at askus@ladyredot.com and we’ll be glad to guide you.


mish
Hello, I am Mish! I used to work as a travel expert, customer service specialist and a communications trainer in the past. After working for eight years straight since I graduated, I decided to give up my corporate job to focuses on my 4-year old son, works as a freelance writer and a real estate assistant. I am a sun-worshipper, a water baby, and an earth warrior. And oh, I’m tiny but I am an Olympic-level glutton. Let me bring your tummy around the globe! You can reach me at LinkedIn.

Why I prefer to customise my travel plans

Before I met significant half, I used to love touring with a tour group. My parents did it, my friends did it and I didn’t thought that there are any other easier and safer way to explore an unknown country. For the easy part is just walking into a tour agency or click on a travel website, select a country and you have a list of readily made tour packages cater to all sorts of needs. Want to go to Canada? Here, we have 5 packages! How about Egypt? Here, another 5 more packages. Haven’t been to the States? Consider these 10 packages!

We’ll have the biggest travel fair every quarterly when all the tour deals are thrown in your face. Sign up now and you pay 0% downpayment. Place your order and we will give you a luggage for free!

But this day and age, everything is about your experience. If money is precious, time is pretty rare to come by. Here are some of the benefits that why I stop signing up for a tour package but a customised one.

canoeing-1081890_960_720.jpg

Hate to Be In a Herd
I love my mornings lazy and take my time to savour the first meal of the day, slowly with each bite of carefully buttered French loaf. A tour group means I have to adhere to their timing, irregardless I am ready or not. You really don’t want to be the person who is holding up everyone’s excitement to start the day.

 

Rushed!
Don’t you hate to be rushed? Tour packages usually gives me the feeling that I am brought from place to place, with only minutes to spare. I don’t get to slow my pace down and enjoy the beauty of the scenery nor do I get to stroll along the beautiful gardens or even spend time reading tiny descriptions in the museum. So it is either I rushed through every exhibits and get to see everything or I take my time to digress and had to give up some parts of the museum. Why do I have to make such difficult choices on my holiday?

gorges-du-verdon-1592934_960_720.jpg

Absorb in the Culture
Having pointed out that I don’t like to be rushed, I want to have time to absorb into the culture of the location that I am in. I want to dance along the Spanish dancers, I want to get down and groovy along the beats of Jamaica or get lost in the winding streets of Marseille.

Making Friends
Although in tour groups, you can make friends especially during the long boring coach ride from Point A to Point B but they are probably self-absorbed in their tight little groups or they are as tired and wary as you are if you are forced to get out of the bed at 6am to gobble down your coffee and a piece of bread before gathering at 8am in the lobby of the hotel. While I have met and made a lot of friends with the locals as I hang around for a beer or two at the pub or I strike up an interesting conversation with a fan of Harry Potter at a local bookshop.

vw-camper-336606_960_720

Cramp Into One Moving Tin Can
What I really dislike is that tour groups tend to cramp like 5 touristy locations within a day and most of the time, you actually spend more time on the coach, bobbing your head side to side than to truly explore the beauty of each place. I rather spread my locations across a week, take my time to enjoy the scenery and get to choose if I want to take a train, a bus or maybe even hike to the next destination. The best part? I get to choose to stop by any spots that caught my fancy along my goal destination. I don’t have to pack any sandwiches or chocolate bar just in case my tummy rumble on the coach. Or worse, crossing and uncrossing my legs, wishing we’ll stop by a pit stop soon so I can use the restroom.

Thinking of going solo instead of joining a tour group? You can chat us up to see if we can help you to plan a travel journey seamlessly at askus@ladyredot.com.


Kally
Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food.

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

The Benefits of Traveling Solo

Travelling is, undeniably, beneficial to everyone. It can be fun and life changing at the same time.

Nowadays, it has become very popular and more people are going on trips than ever before. But the question is, how do we make the experience even more worthwhile? Should we go in groups? Or is it best to travel solo? A lot of people say travelling with a group of friends is better, but a portion of the world’s population thinks otherwise. They say going solo is actually as beneficial or even better! Why?

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 3.57.39 PM

Going on a solo trip is, admit it, easy to plan. Personally, I’ve had numerous travel plans that fell through just because one of my friends who initially decided to go, suddenly changed her mind. And I don’t know about you guys, but with my friends, if one expresses hesitation about the trip, a couple of others will be disheartened and will eventually decide not to go, too. Being a damper on the fun can be contagious.

Bummer, right?

Well, when you travel alone, you’re the master of your own schedule and this won’t happen!

Do anything you like. Go anywhere you want.

When you travel solo, you can do whatever you like without the hassle of asking for somebody’s opinion, and without waiting for someone’s approval. Spur-of-the-moment ideas are always possible! And the best part is, you don’t have to go through the process of arguing where to eat and where to go next, right? (Which normally happens when in a group)

snow-1185474_960_720.jpg

Well, when you travel alone, you’re still going to need help from different people. Asking for directions, asking locals where to eat or what transportation to take can be stepping-stones to new relationships.

“Me time” is always a good time. Every once in a while, we have to be alone and one with nature. It’s a good way to relax and think of your goals and aspirations. The tranquillity can also help you realise things you have not thought of in the past.

Stepping out of your comfort zone makes you stronger. Challenging yourself and doing things that you never thought you would do are some of the things that will help you improve yourself. So if you have always been terrified of travelling alone, it’s time you consider the idea. As they say, you will never know what you are capable if you do not try.
Whether you’re 18 or 80, there is always something you have yet to discover about yourself. There can be self-discovery moments in doing things alone, in an isolated bubble, away from the unsolicited opinions of other people. Who knows, you might just surprise yourself in the process!

travel-1209355_960_720

You can be yourself, and no one will judge you. When you travel, you will be surrounded by people who do not know you. You can do whatever you want (of course, without disrespecting their culture) and be the best version of yourself because, although the strangers you bump into may judge you, you won’t even care.

Experience is the best teacher. Travelling solo will help you learn things and see them in a different perspective. You also will also learn to appreciate life more and realise that although it never runs out of obstacles, it is beautiful.

Over here in LadyRedot, we will make sure you are well taken off in our hands. Reach out to us at askus@ladyredot.com now!


 

mish

Mish worked as a travel expert, customer service specialist and a communications trainer in the past. After working for eight years straight since she graduated, she decided to give up her corporate job. She now focuses on her 4-year old son, works as a freelance writer and a real estate assistant. She is a sun-worshipper, a water baby, and an earth warrior. And oh, she’s tiny but she is an Olympic-level glutton. Let her bring your tummy around the globe! You can reach her at LinkedIn.