Changi Airport's free Singapore tour is famous. But is it more trouble than it's worth? Here's what you need to know before you go.
I love layovers and I love great deals - and everyone knows it! As such, the free Singapore tour out of Changi Airport has been on my radar for a long time. During our first visit to Singapore in 2013, our lengthy overnight layover of nearly 24 hours called for a hotel and some independent time exploring. But during our recent 2018 trip, our layover was closer to 12 hours - just the right amount of time to enjoy the free Singapore tour and explore the city a bit. What could be better?
Turns out, there's a catch to this story. Or rather, there are several. We soon learned the hard way that there are a lot of important rules that are rarely mentioned. If you're planning a layover in Singapore and keen to take in the free Singapore sightseeing tour, here's what you should know before you finalize your plans.
Most travelers focus on "the best". Here's why the SECOND best pad Thai in Bangkok will always be number one to me.
We were granted media passes to the The Market Experience's Thai Cooking With A Twist class at no cost and we thank them for their support. All research, writing, and opinions are our own. Note that some links in this post may be affiliate links, which means we are paid a small commission should you make a purchase.
Every traveler dreams of superlatives - and I'm no exception. I've been to Death Valley National Park, the hottest place on earth, as well as Perth, Australia, the most isolated city in the world. I've also made it to Bagan, Myanmar, home to the largest concentration of religious structures in the world - and even to Nackawic, New Brunswick, site of the world's largest axe! After all, who doesn't love seeing the biggest, largest, highest, and best when they travel?
Therefore, you might be a bit surprised when I tell you that I fell in love with the SECOND best pad Thai in Bangkok - and I couldn't be happier that I did.
What exactly makes the pad Thai created by The Market Experience very nearly the finest in all of Bangkok, save but one? We'll get to that shortly! First, you need to build up to the moment, which is exactly what we did when we had the privilege of joining The Market Experience's Thai Cooking With A Twist cooking class and market tour.
As long time readers know, Ryan and I adore cooking classes and market tours. And it's not just because we're obsessed with great food! Nothing can compete with the delectable combination of culture and community, along with the chance to chat with locals, see their work- and even say hello to their cats! With Chef Kwang and company owner Simon encouraging us, we had the most immersive and delicious experience imaginable - and it was one that included the city's second-best pad Thai! Suffice it to say, there's nothing like it in all of Bangkok.
To begin, take a step into the Yodipman Flower Market with us.
In 2013, we created the most incredible reward trip with Aeroplan, circling the globe with Star Alliance. And in 2018 we're doing it again!
TurnipseedTravel debuted nearly six years ago (and does anyone else remember our very first green and grey template?). Nearly 18 months later, that debut became a fully fledged launch when Ryan and I took our readers along for the journey of a lifetime.
We cashed in all our points for what was technically a trip to Australia but instead embarked on an amazing round-the-world trip fueled entirely by Aeroplan. See, we had learned about all the reward flight loopholes needed to "hack" our travel plans and create a mini round the world trip with Star Alliance partners. With stops in Europe, Asia, North America (and, of course, Australia), we had 9 flight segments on Star Alliance flights (and visited about 15 different locations) and paid about $300 each for taxes and fees. As you can tell from our nostalgic photos, thanks to Aeroplan, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Or so we thought....
Looking for the best hotels in Bagan? We asked top travel writers for their recommendations for the best hotels, guesthouses, inns, and hostels that Bagan has to offer.
Bagan is synonymous with magic. This small community in Myanmar was once the capital of a mighty kingdom. Between the 11th and 13th centuries, over 10,000 pagodas, temples, and monasteries were built. Today, some 2,200 structures remain, the greatest concentration of religious sites in the world. It is an absolutely essential stop for all travelers in Myanmar and you'll never regret adding an extra day or two onto your Bagan itinerary.
Since our visit in 2013, the travel industry has grown exponentially in Bagan, with hostels, hotels, and guesthouses springing up seemingly overnight. Eager for my readers to have the best possible experience in Bagan, I asked my fellow travel writers to weigh in. Here you'll find their reviews of different properties - from $20 to $200 + a night - to help you make the best possible decision based on your travel style. It's time to pack your bags!
Guest blogger Nicole shares her secrets for where to find the best meals in Bagan, Myanmar. Get ready to eat - you're going to love this round up of the best restaurants in Bagan.
You’ll find everything you need for a fantastic meal in Bagan from French, English, Italian, Indian, Thai, Japanese, and - of course! - Burmese cuisine (you have to try the tea leaf salad)! This popular town in Myanmar has a fantastic food scene. Here are my picks for the top restaurants for each region of Bagan. You will find most of the restaurants in Nyaung U, a few in New Bagan and just couple in Old Bagan. . So hop on your e-bike and get ready to explore Bagan and the cuisine.
The most affordable and authentic way to get to know Bali? One bite at a time! Let's start with the best satay in Bali. Balinese satay is the best!
If you're passionate about travel, then Bali, Indonesia, is definitely on your radar. The island has become one of the most visited destinations in Asia . In the early 1990s, Bali emerged as a popular tourist destination but it has maintained its position as one of the best budget friendly tourist destinations in Indonesia. And it's crazy delicious too! Have you ever had satay in Bali?
Bali is a paradise for food lovers. Foodies are embracing Balinese cuisine as never before. Restaurants and warungs (small local cafes) offer traditional Balinese dishes on their menus, whether you're hobnobbing with locals or sticking with fellow travelers in the "touristy" areas. Here are five traditional dishes that every traveler should try in Bali - including my favourite, traditional Balinese satay!
There's nothing like great peanut sauce! And Jakarta makes it better than anywhere else in the world. Here's what you should try.
If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that there are certain foods and flavors I’m obsessed with. I can’t seem to travel anywhere without talking about coffee, nachos, bread, cheese, and peanut sauce. Oh peanut sauce! My first introduction came as a tender traveler at the age of just 20 when I went to Amsterdam for the first time. At first I couldn’t fathom the idea of peanut butter - that classic of the jelly sandwich - as part of a savoury dish but it didn’t take more than a few bites for me to hooked.
Amsterdam has a great Indonesian food scene but for the absolute real deal you have to take a journey into the heart of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. Here you’ll find everything from bustling street vendors, bicycle vendors, and food carts to world renowned restaurants led by celebrity chefs. No matter what your budget or style, there’s a spicy, succulent peanut dish for you.
Step inside Ryan's trip to the Turkish cities of Urfa and Mardin
It's unlikely that you're familiar with the southeastern Turkish cities of Urfa and Mardin. I'm ashamed to admit that we hadn't heard of them ourselves until a few weeks before Ryan visited the region. But like most of our readers, we had seen these cities dozens of time before on the news without really realizing it, for this part of Turkey is within a stone's throw of the Syrian and Iraqi borders.
The tragic circumstances of its war torn neighbours have thrust Urfa and Mardin into the spotlight and it was with some trepidation that Ryan went to see the area for himself. What he discovered was a region that prides itself on old fashioned hospitality and tolerance, and extends a hand of welcome and generosity to all its guests.
And to say the hospitality is old fashioned isn't just a cliche. This is one of the oldest inhabited regions on earth, the birthplace of agriculture. Once the home to Abraham and virtually every religious and ethnic group in history, it's now home to thousands and thousands of refugees seeking safety and sanctuary.
So what was it like to step into a real life news story? Here's an insider's look at Ryan's visit.
A short visit creates warm memories at Hagia Sofia in Trabzon, Turkey's city on the Black Sea.
Huge bowls of molten cheese, homemade bread slathered with butter and honey, and a side of graffiti dating back to the 1200's -it's just an ordinary morning in Trabzon! My visit may have been short on time but it was long in experiences. I visited one of the most intriguing buildings in the country - Hagia Sofia Trabzon -and of course I just had to start with a meal in the sunny courtyard next door. Is there any better way to get acquainted with a city than by enjoying a great meal ?
A large city on Turkey's Black Sea coast, Trabzon once occupied a pivotal spot on the ancient Silk Road before morphing into a modern day melting pot of cultures. It's long been a gateway destination to Iran and the Caucasus and has significant geo-political importance. But for my part I was simply eager to get to know the county beyond Istanbul and expand on my knowledge of Turkish history and cuisine. And for that, Trabzon was the perfect host.
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