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Romantic Holiday in Brittany

Imagine, one day ago you were in the office in London staring at your computer screen thinking about all the places you’d rather be. It’s mid afternoon, the next 3 hours will feel like an eternity, it’s Friday and lunch felt like it happened hours ago but you’ve only been back 30 minutes, sitting, staring wondering what to do next.

A workmate looks across and you smile because you know this is your last day before your vacation and you are about to be free. Fast forward 24 hours and you are driving through the French countryside a lifetime away from the monotony of the office your girlfriend by your side. A whole new world awaits, the Francophile world, you drive past chateaux and vineyards you can’t wait to eat the tasty sensations available on the continent.

You are on your way to your romantic hotel Rennes the first stop on your European vacation. You are driving through a few destinations in France, Italy, Austria and Germany.

Accommodation was easy to arrange as you stay in Relais du Silence network of hotels through Europe and you were able to book your whole trip on one website.

Relais du Silence offer 550 hotels from 2 star to 5 star in 4 separate brands, throughout 10 European countries you will be able find the type of room you like at the right price for you.

If you book on the webste 21 days in advance you can get a discount on your accommodation (current 16 Dec 2015)

Being centred in France Relais du Silence take their food seriously if you arrive late eating in the hotel will not be an unfortunate accident but the food will be a great experience.

It could also be useful to apply for the Accent Reward Card to get some further discounts for your trip.

Relais du Silence promote and apply good environmental practices on a daily basis: composting organic matter, sorting waste, using certified green maintenance products, and low energy bulbs, among others.

So when you have a motoring holiday in Europe find Relais du Silence to make your holiday a relaxing and enjoyable break at

Settling into life in Hoi An

After the mayhem of travelling getting on and off planes making sure you were in the right place at the right time with your passport in hand, the last few days has been a welcome change of pace.

Coupled with attempting to overcome my injuries incurred moving furniture a week ago I’m now a little more relaxed and able to move ahead with the websites and work in general.

I’ve settled into the homestay and I will write an article about what it’s like and what to expect if you choose a homestay as opposed to a traditional hotel later. There are many food options close to the homestay and many more a bike ride away.

I’ve been eating a mix of local BBQ street food and still eating western food as well. You get normally a bit of BBQ pork, some picked vegetables and steamed rice, it’s a really nice and healthier combination as you get less meat than in the west and it’s always good to get some vegetables into the system.

On the mundane the weather has been really good, it should be wet season but the El Nino has kicked in, in a huge way here and other than some overnight rain a couple nights ago it has been sunny about 30 degrees each day. However rain is coming and judging by the amount of water on the surface I could see on the plane coming into land there has been some heavy rain a short time prior to me arriving.

Next things coming up – I need to get my phone fixed – I smashed the screen when I fell moving furniture and while my backup is good I miss my Nokia camera. I have a Nokia 1020 with a 41MP camera and Carl Zeiss lense. Its also a bit smaller than my Sony so it doesn’t stick out of my top pocket for the world to see. It’s an older phone now (2 years since release) but I haven’t seen anything better to replace it yet – if you are looking for  camera with a phone rather than a phone that has a camera. That’s as a good a recommendation that you’ll get from me with out being paid 🙂

Things to do in Tiong Bahru – Singapore

One of Singapore’s oldest residential estates, Tiong Bahru is known for its trendy cafes and bookstores. Some of the most popular cafes in the district are Tiong Bahru Bakery and BooksActually. Other attractions in the area include a local park and a traditional food market. Many of the buildings are built in Streamline Moderne style, which is characterized by long, clean lines and curved structures.

Must See

The neighbourhood is dotted with cute shops that cater to tourists of all ages. You can find gifts at Cats Socrates, Nana & Bird, Tumbleweed, and Toy Or Game. In addition to cute stores and boutiques, you can spend time in Tiong Bahru Park, which is a popular spot for locals to exercise. The park also features two walking trails and exercise stations, as well as a large train that is the center of attention.

The neighborhood’s murals are an interesting way to learn about the past. A number of artists have created murals depicting bygone days, speaking to the people who lived in these buildings. You can view a few of these murals at the National Heritage Board, where you can obtain a free map. If you want to learn more about the history of the neighborhood, take a walking tour.

You can also find a great selection of art galleries in the neighbourhood. Whether you’re looking for modern art or ancient works, you’ll be able to find a gallery that fits your style. A great way to discover the different artworks of the neighborhood is to take a heritage trail. You can also visit the Degiosart museum. This is a popular art gallery that features works by renowned international artists. It has a wide range of art for sale, and is a good place to learn about the local culture.

The Housing Development Blocks are the ideal place to visit for a romantic evening stroll. The area has several parks and green spaces to enjoy. Despite being a residential area, Tiong Bahru offers several other attractions as well. The town’s architecture is very diverse, so you can take a walk and take in the sights in this neighbourhood. You will be surprised by the range of art available in the neighbourhood.

Eating in Tiong Bahru

I’ve been to Singapore a number of times now and generally  stay in the same place each time and invariably end up at Newton Circus to eat or a couple other places that I know.

A couple of weeks ago I read an article about the Tiong Bahru Market and thought I’d give it a try.

So I hop onto the MRT to discover a new area of Singapore that I’d never been to before.

As I emerge from the MRT station I looked up at the high rise apartment blocks and think this looks like normal Singapore but after a short walk I start to see the 1920/30’s  heritage of the district in some of the the architecture that has not been developed as yet.

Tiong Bahru was built by the government housing authority in the 1930’s and was used to house rich men’s mistresses. Mmmm.

The area has an art-deco feel and not surprisingly is now the centre of the Singapore hipster movement although there wasn’t a beard to be seen.

Hotels in Tiong Bahru

Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel

Located in the heart of the business district, the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel in Singapore offers a prime location. The hotel is only a 10-minute drive from the Central Business District. The hotel offers complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport. With its 4.5-star rating, guests can expect exceptional service and amenities. The Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel in Tiong Bahru offers a variety of amenities and services to ensure your stay is an enjoyable one.

From a foodie’s standpoint, the location of the Grand Copthorne Waterfront is unbeatable. The Tiong Bahru district boasts art deco buildings and futuristic solar-powered vertical gardens. A trip to this district also gives guests the chance to visit the world-renowned Singapore Zoo and a number of beaches. The hotel is easily accessible by public transport, with nearby Outram Park MRT station an 18-minute walk away. The next-door Tiong Bahru MRT station, however, is more than 20 minutes away. Havelock MRT station is expected to be open in late 2022.

Furama RiverFront

If you want to spend your days doing something fun and interesting, you must check out Furama RiverFront in Singapore. The hotel is located in the heart of Singapore, near the cosmopolitan Chinatown, and is close to the Central Business District and the National Gallery. If you have a car, you can easily get to this hotel using major expressways. You can also easily access the hotel via Tiong Bahru MRT station or Outram MRT station, or take a taxi.

The hotel features a swimming pool and tennis court. Guests can also use the complimentary wireless Internet and cable television in their rooms. The hotel offers comfortable lounge areas. The Majestic and the Singapore River are located nearby. There is also a shopping mall and a movie theater located nearby. The hotel also offers free Wi-Fi and refrigerators. You can easily go to Furama RiverFront via public transport.

Hotel Miramar Singapore

The Hotel Miramar is a 4-star luxury hotel in Singapore located at 401 Havelock Road, near the bustling Robertson Quay. This upscale contemporary hotel is located near several shopping malls and the popular Chinatown, making it an ideal choice for business travelers and vacationers. In addition to the spacious rooms, the hotel has a fitness center, spa, and business center, so its guests can keep up with work and other activities while away from the office.

This boutique hotel is just a 5-minute walk from nightlife. Its modern rooms feature elegant decor and come equipped with cable TV, mini-fridges, and en-suite bathrooms. Guests can dine at the Ikoi Japanese Restaurant, which offers an all-you-can-eat Japanese buffet, as well as the Fern Tree Cafe, which serves a complimentary continental breakfast daily. Peach Garden Sichuan Restaurant serves authentic Sichuan dishes.

Hotel Nostalgia

The Nostalgia Hotel is a 50-room boutique hotel in Singapore’s Tiong Bahru district. Guests will love the tasteful decor and free Wi-Fi in every room. The hotel offers daily housekeeping and laundry service, as well as free safety deposit boxes. The Nostalgia prohibits smoking inside its rooms to promote healthier air quality for all guests.

The hotel is a great base from which to explore the Singapore River and Sentosa Island. It’s a short walk to the nearby Tiong Bahru MRT Station. You can walk from this boutique hotel to the Tiong Bahru MRT station. If you want to spend a day exploring the neighbourhood, you can explore the many shops and restaurants. The rooftop pool has a lovely view of the trees and the surrounding area.

Copthorne King’s Hotel Singapore on Havelock Road

The hotel’s prestigious location also makes it convenient for travelers to enjoy the nightlife at nearby Robertson Quay. The hotel offers complimentary Wi-Fi in all rooms, a fitness center, and valet parking. Other amenities at this property include an outdoor pool and an exercise room.

Located a bit outside of the city center, the Copthorne King’s Hotel Singapore features free WiFi and an outdoor landscaped swimming pool. Guests can enjoy an in-house restaurant as well as free WiFi access.

Guests can enjoy a delicious breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant. The Connections Lounge offers a relaxing environment to enjoy cocktails and meet friends. The property is located a few minutes’ walk from Robertson Quay and the Singapore River. Guests can also enjoy a day at the beach. Alternatively, guests can spend the afternoon shopping and visiting the nearby Orchard Road.

Things to do in Tiong Bahru

If you are looking for fun things to do in Singapore, you should visit Tiong Bahru, one of the country’s oldest residential areas. This district is home to many trendy cafes and book stores, such as Tiong Bahru Bakery, a popular pastry shop. You can also visit a traditional food market in this neighbourhood. Streamline Moderne architecture, popular in the 1930s, is prevalent throughout the area, with long, clean lines and curved structures.

Tiong Bahru Plaza

If you’re looking for a shopping mall near Bukit Merah, Tiong Bahru Estate, and Jalan Membina, you’ll definitely find it at Tiong Bahru Plaza. Located near Tiong Bahru Road and Bukit Ho Swee Crescent, this mall has everything you need to keep yourself busy. Whether you’re after a designer boutique or just some nice clothes, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for at Tiong Bahru Plaza.

This shopping mall has everything you could possibly want, including F&B and shopping. The mall features 167 retail and F&B outlets, as well as a cinema, a supermarket, and a food court. There’s also a flea market at the first-floor open plaza, which hosts regular outdoor events. The mall also hosts weekly flea markets, which are sure to draw in a large crowd.

The Tiong Bahru Plaza is a busy, rectangular mall in the heart of Singapore. Most of the shops and eateries are mass-market, but there are some names that you can trust, including Hush Puppies, The Body Shop, and Popular Bookstore. The mall is a popular destination in the vicinity, and it’s also home to many ATMs. A number of buses run through the mall, making it a great location for a day of shopping.

Tiong Bahru Heritage Trail

The new Tiong Bahru Heritage Trail offers visitors a taste of the neighbourhood’s past, present, and future, and is an excellent way to explore the neighbourhood’s rich history. You can follow the 2.5-kilometre trail, which begins at the Tiong Bahru Market and ends at Lim Liak Road, to learn about the neighbourhood’s rich heritage. Each of the trail’s stops is marked by storyboards, which tell the history of the area.

If you love hawker culture, you can try out some of the stalls on the Tiong Bahru Heritage Trail. You’ll find the highest concentration of heritage hawkers in the city, with at least 15 stalls having been around for more than 50 years. You’ll also find a historic marker commemorating the Hu Lu Miao temple, which was built around 1918 and eventually demolished. In 2006, the owners decided to sell the temple, and it was replaced by the Nostalgia Hotel.

The earliest housing estate in Singapore, Tiong Bahru is a fusion of old and new. Older residents have lived here for decades, while younger generations have flocked to Tiong Bahru to discover the city’s rich history and heritage. In the 19th century, the lowlands of Tiong Bahru were used for crop farming. In the 1930s, a military fortification was constructed on Pearl’s Hill.

Tiong Bahru Food Centre

If you’re looking for a quick lunch or dinner, then you can visit Tiong Bahru Food Centre. It serves more than 50 kinds of food and has several popular stalls, including the famous Fried Kway Teow. It’s a good option for people who are on a budget and looking for familiar flavours. It is also a good place to try tutu kueh. Tiong Bahru Fishball, for example, is famous for its coloured rolls of fish paste. Wantons, beancurd puffs, and more can be ordered at the same stall.

Another popular hawker stall is Tiong Bahru Pau, where you can find a variety of steamed and fried snacks. The stall sells about twenty different items, including fried and steamed ones. You can also get delicious egg tarts here, which are the best thing to eat while walking around Tiong Bahru. It is easy to walk to and is spacious.

Tiong Bahru Market

After a short walk I come across my intended destination Tiong Bahru Market.

First I decide to pop into the Tiong Bahru Club diagonally opposite the market for a drink and wi-fi.

The club had an old world feeling to the place and they were playing 30’s music when I walked in  ceiling fans circulating the air to provide a nice oasis from the humidity.

At lunchtime I decide to move across the road to the Tiong Bahru Market.

Visiting the local market is another way to discover the local art scene. The Tiong Bahru Market is home to a variety of different art stalls, including a Chinese restaurant that has a wall adorned with murals of famous Chinese artists. While there, you should also take a moment to check out the neighbourhood’s murals. This place is a must-see for anyone who enjoys arts.

As I walk in I see dozens of hawkers stalls selling different types of Chinese/Singaporean/Malaysian Foods.

I wouldn’t come to this market expecting to have an Indian meal the area seems predominately Chinese.

Most of what I can see I can get at home Kway Teoh, Chicken Rice etc but I see something I hadn’t seen before Rice Cakes with a preserved radish and chilli sauce.

I sit at a table and strike up a conversation with a local girl Meiling. She tells me that the dish is called Chwee Kueh and is one of her favorites and a specialty of the market.

Funnily the next day on the plane I’m watching Anthony Bourdain eating exactly the same meal from the same stall on his show.

So I have the cakes and as you’ll see from the photo they don’t look appealing on the brown paper.

The cakes were quite gelatinous and the texture is not something that a lot of westerners will like but the sauce had flavour and was completely different to anything I’d had before.

I guess when you’re predominately eating the one grain you try and find different ways to prepare it and the cakes make a great alternative to steamed rice.

I ended up spending a couple hours talking with Meiling and Audry thanks for helping me and also it was great to speak to you both. Sorry, I might have spoilt your lunch with my oddball questions.

And I will endeavor to go to Taiwan soon.

It was great to hear about how you view Singapore and gave me a greater perspective on the country and the people.

Everywhere I’ve been in Singapore over these couple days everyone has been really friendly to me and I thank you for that.

Eating Cheap in Singapore

This is a small guide to help the first time visitor to eating cheap in Singapore.

If you are a backpacker or travelling on a tight budget where you eat can make a huge difference to how much you spend as a traveller.

This is particularly true in Singapore. If you eat in the tourist areas or in expensive shopping malls you could be spending a lot more money than if you eat where the locals eat.

In Singapore there are many Food Markets where you can get a great meal at a great price and it will be more interesting than eating western food in your hotel’s restaurant or another friggin burger.

Where I am staying near Zhongshan Park I noticed a local food market very close to the hotel so I thought after a long flight I would eat close to the hotel.

After my short walk I came to the Balastier Food Market. The market was busy with locals and tourists alike getting a hot evening meal.

There was a great assortment of dishes pork, seafood and noodles or rice being the main combinations.

I had the Bak Kut Teh set meal. Bak Kut Teh means meat bone tea literally. The dish is braised pork ribs in a fragrant meat broth. The broth also had a bulb of garlic which I think had been cooked in the broth.

I was thinking of the people that I would meet the next day and only had 2 cloves.

Along with the meat and soup you got a plate of baby bok choy in a light soy sauce with fried shallots, a bowl of rice and some fried tofu which I was told I should dunk into the soup – she was right – it was good,

Another tip I got was to get some sauce for the meat. I was told to get the really dark soy sauce and add in some chopped birdseye chillis (which are too hot for me) but I added a couple pieces.

The sauce was delicious. Most soy I’ve had has acted as a salting agent but this was a sweetening agent for the pork.

It was more than enough food and I couldn’t eat it all.

And the cost of this extravagant meal $7.

So the learning here is good food can be found everywhere and at every cost. So if you want to get your dollar to go further look harder and you can find culinary gold at a lower price.

Private tour of Pompeii

On a summers day in August 79AD the people of Pompeii were going about their everyday tasks oblivious to the danger watching over them.

The previous day was Vulcanalia (the festival for the Roman God of Fire) and in honour of the day Mount Vesuvius was likely speaking to the people. Little did they know it was about to roar to life burying the town for the next 1500 years.

Scientists say it’s most likely people were killed by a pyroclastic flow which is a surge of heat produced when a volcano erupts so when the town was excavated people were found exactly where they were when disaster struck, with no ability to try and escape the eruption.

For the next 6 hours ash rained on the town, until it was under 15 metres of ash and buried for the next 1500 years.

In 1599 a wall of Pompeii was uncovered but quickly forgotten again until the 19th century when the site was discovered and excavated.

Ever since Pompeii has been an important tourist attraction and a must on The Grand Tour of gentlemen in the 19th century and tourists today.

Today Pompeii is  UNESCO World Heritage listed and attracts well over 2 million visitors per year.

The best way to counter the crowds and the multitude of tour groups in their big buses is to take a Pompeii & Vesuvius private tours.

This will allow you to bypass the waiting for other people, be able to see gems that private travel guides know rather than see the same thing, walking the route that thousands of people on the tour buses have done before and are doing that day.

By taking Private tours in Italy it gives you the ability to customise your experience seeing the things that you are interested in, not the same old experience that everyone gets on group tours.

Try using travel guides and private tours you will find that you can get a more pleasant and customised experienced and a better holday all round.

Pay your Argentina Reciprocity fee online

Are you about to travel to South America and are visiting Argentina?

Argentina is one of the most interesting countries in South America with a large amount of major tourist attractions

In Buenos Aires you can learn to tango, see a local football game or the polo and so many historic buildings to see.

And so many other places to see Patagonia, Bariloche you could spend months discovering this beautiful country.

But before you go you need there are things that you need to plan. Firstly of course you need a passport, but you also need to pay your Argentina Reciprocity Fee.

Argentina iVisa is an online visa service that will allow you to pay your Argentine Reciprocity fee easily with no hassles.

The benefits to paying it online include:

  • Accept Visa, Mastercard, Amex and PayPal
  • Saves time by paying online
  • Information can be translated to 20 different languages online
  • you can pay in most major currencies
  • Applications Checked for Errors

The cost of processing the fee is $20 and there is 24/7 customer service if there is a problem.

So if you’re travelling to Argentina you can save some of your precious time using Argentina iVisa