E-session by Ryan Ortega

Autumn in Tokyo

A lovely Autumn in Tokyo.

Photo blog on the link below.

=)

http://www.ryanortegaphoto.com/okinawa-zeph-and-jenny-tokyo-engagement-session/

Singapore Style Yachting: What you need to know

Never been on a yacht before in Singapore? 20170806_164952(0)-01-01[1]With the thought that it would cost sky-high, perhaps the reason why you haven’t tried the fun voyage.20170806_161909-01-01[1] Contrary to popular belief, one doesn’t have to be super rich or well-connected to be renting a yacht in Singapore. One also does not have to break the bank to enjoy a yacht ride. Yes! You’ve read it right!20170806_164517-01-01[1]20170806_164155-01-01[1]20170806_163620-02-01[1]Satisfy your inner pirate by taking to the high seas. It’s crazily affordable specially if you are in a group. DCIM101GOPROGOPR1681.JPG20170806_164014-01-01[1]What better way to spend any occasion like birthdays, anniversaries, family outing or just a fun getaway with your friends?20170806_170539(0)-01-01[1]20170806_170558-01-01[1]Cruise around Singapore’s calm waters, see the unspoilt neighboring islets and take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life.DCIM101GOPROGOPR1688.JPGDCIM101GOPROGOPR1687.JPGIt’s just so great to get out of Singapore for a bit, feel the sea breeze and enjoy some water activities. 20170806_173509(0)-01-01[1]20170806_172322-01-01[1]Yes, it’s not only cruising. 20170806_175319-01-01[1]There are activities to choose from, such as fishing, kayaking, water-skiing, swimming, and do some grilling? BBQ! Yasss! 20170806_173805-01[1]20170806_172355-011.jpegThere are a lot of yacht charter companies to choose from. Ranging from at least $400 to a whooping $3000 or more but of course, it depends on the package inclusions and the kind of yacht you’ll be using. So choose the yacht charter company which suits your budget.20170806_180138-01-01[1]20170806_180127-01-01-01[1]20170806_180137-01-01-01[1]For our fun voyage, we booked at summit marine system. We could have just simply booked a 4-hour charter with no food inclusion for about $488 plus $50 weekend surcharge but since no one was quiet eager to prepare food, then we added a BBQ Package which cost around $150. 10 pax maximum. And if you’re a group of 10, not bad to pay $70 per person. I tell you, it’s worth it!20170806_174749-01-01[1]20170806_181422-01-01[1]Brand of Yacht: Grandbank20170806_170842-01-01[1]
Inclusions:
1 captain & 1 skipper
Water & electricity utilities
BBQ logistic items
Free flow of mineral water and cans’ of pepsi
Free usage of 2 ice Box & Iice cube
Free usage of fishing rods
Free prawns as baits
Free usage of 2 Kayaks
Free 1 hour Jet-ski service20170806_175559-01-01[1]BBQ PACKAGE:
Chicken Frank Hotdogs
Otah Delights
City Satay “Chicken Flavour”
Signature Marinated Mid Wings
Yakitori Chicken Kebah
Fresh Grey Sea Prawns
Sweetcorns
Crab Sticks
Garlic Bread
Mashmallow Candy Dessert
Fruit Puddings20170806_184609-01-01[1]A private yacht excursion is totally fun, exciting and extremely relaxing all at the same time. We did enjoy so much, and we almost didn’t want to leave when it was time to go back. 20170806_184809-01-01[1]The best part? On your way back to the Marina, you can admire the breathtaking view of Singapore’s iconic city skyline. DCIM101GOPROGOPR1736.JPG
Oops! Who’s not done eating yet? lol! Honestly, the food was more than enough for us.DCIM101GOPROGOPR1745.JPGRenting a yacht in Singapore is pretty easy, simply email the yacht renting company with the number of pax attending, dates and time. And I thought it would cost a bomb, but it’s actually pretty affordable, especially if the cost is split between group of friends.20170806_173159-01[1]
Interested of this fun voyage? Use the code “stylishwanderer” for a $70 discount.
Yes! You’ve read it right!
Contact Peter at +65 8481 0378 or email to summitmarinesystem@gmail.com
 Don’t forget to include the code when you make your booking to avail the discount! Don’t miss the chance. ❤

Here’s a short clip of our escape to the sea!

 

Love,20170806_163716-01-01[1]
stylishwanderer.com

 

Mt. Fuji & Hakone Day trip

 

One not to be missed on any visit to Japan is a day trip outside Tokyo and visit Mt. Fuji, the most iconic image of Japan. Seeing the snow-capped peak of Japan’s number one volcano will be at the top of the list of things to do when in Japan.20170420_094837-01-01[1]At 3776m high, Fuji-san (Mt. Fuji) is considered the highest mountain in Japan. Rising high out of the plains of central Honshū, 60 miles southwest of Tokyo, this dormant volcano is climbed by hundreds of thousands of energetic people a year with many thousands more enjoying the majestic view. But it’s always a hit or miss to see its beauty. And Darn! we were too lucky that day with 100% visibility. Hoooray!20170420_094857-01-01[1]There are only 90 days a year to view the beautiful Mt. Fuji since the weather there changes rapidly. One that you should pay attention with is the weather forecast, as the weather is extremely changeable. Many people who went to visit and would want to witness the magical sight of the mountain would end up seeing nothing but clouds. Don’t be dismayed when you didn’t get the chance since there are still many other spectacular sights to see.

Sharing with you all about our Mt. Fuji & Hakone 1 day trip from JTB TOURS SG. And let me start it with a selfie. lol!MYXJ_20170520232459_save-01-01[1]

Our coach bus departed at Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo’s Main Tower in Shinjuku at exactly 8:20 in the morning as per the Itinerary. We were taken directly to the 5th station of Mt.Fuji at an elevation of 2,300 meters. While in transit from Tokyo to Mt.Fuji, our Tour guide “Nana” pointed out cultural sights of interest, entertained us with some Japanese songs and gave us information that helped enrich our Japanese experience. About 2 hours drive to reach the 5th Station yet I actually didn’t notice the time since it was fun on-board. With miss Nana keep entertaining us and a free wifi! What more can I ask?

 

Seeing the majestic view of Mt. Fuji from afar in my window seat. Aye! I’m screaming of excitement inside, I couldn’t wait till we reach the 5th station.20170420_104702-01-01[1]Tadaaaah! Welcome to 5th Station. Almost close enough to grab the summit of Mount Fuji. A great spot for sightseeing. So surreal. Like a postcard, it’s so lovely!20170420_105429-01[1].jpeg20170420_104859-01-01-01[1]20170420_104755-01-01-01[1]

MYXJ_20170520194241_save-01[1].jpegIt badly needs a selfie yet my front cam didn’t gave justice at all. Where’s Mt. Fuji? HAHA!

Though many visitors are adamant to make their way to the 5th station to experience the mountain up close and it’s apparently the closest area to the snow-capped peak, should you really wish to do this, try to allow flexibility in your plans as the weather plays a key role and sometimes, not all tourists get there if there’s too much snow or rock slides._DSC0185-01-01[1]_DSC0179-01-01[1]Awesome, staggering, heaven.  _DSC0180-01[1] How could I stop taking photos with such amusing sight? _DSC0178-01[1]20170420_104052-01[1]Everyone began to get a little peckish, we went straight to the restaurant which was only a few minutes drive from the 5th Station. And there we had a mouth-watering lunch!20170420_120737-01-01[1]The meal which was included in our package will not only tantalize your taste buds but will also stimulate your visual senses with its intricate aesthetic beauty.20170420_120649-01[1]After a nice relaxing lunch, what about some thrilling experience? 20170420_135815-01-01[1].jpeg20170420_135550-01-01[1].jpegWe took Komagatake Ropeway ride which runs from the edge of Lake Ashi to the summit of Mount Komagatake providing views not only of Mt.Fuji but also Lake Ashinoko and the Izu Islands as well. 20170420_141158-01-01-01[1]20170420_141514-01-01-01[1]The total length of the runway is 1800 meters and boasts the highest vertical distance of any aerial tramway in Japan. For some of the finest panoramic views of Hakone, this ropeway is just the thing.20170420_141818-01-01[1]It’s not just the ropeway, but a little more hike too! _DSC0209-01-01[1]_DSC0202-01-01-01[1]I’m so amused! I took a thousand snaps perhaps. lol!_DSC0221-01-01-01[1]_DSC0213-01-01[1]Mt. Fuji slowly being covered by clouds. 20170420_142521-01-01-01[1]The ropeway runs every 20mins. Since we joined a tour, we needed to catch a certain timing.20170420_144436-01-01[1]Unending magnificent views while aboard the ropeway. And off to do the finale! Lake Ashi cruise but not with the swans. lol!_DSC0230-01[1]_DSC0229-01[1]Cruise across Lake Ashi which was formed by a powerful volcanic eruption nearly 3,000 years ago. _DSC0255-01[1]You can relax on-board seating or take a stroll around the different decks of the boat where you can appreciate various angles of the lake.20170420_151029-01-01-01[1]I swear, it’s hard to stop taking photos. lol!_DSC0247-01-01[1]_DSC0253-01-01[1] It would be no exaggeration to say that this cruise offers a real opportunity to stop for a moment and take in the scenic beauty on offer._DSC0241-01[1]It didn’t just ended there. We were given a bit of time to buy souvenirs and explore the neighborhood village after the cruise._DSC0275-01-01[1]_DSC0271-01-01[1]_DSC0270-01-01[1]Sorry but it’s too instagramable. Mooore snaps please. lol! _DSC0273-01-01[1]_DSC0284-01-01[1]After a pleasant day out, it’s time to head back to Tokyo with arrival times estimated at 6-7pm depending on the level of traffic. Drop-off points are available at either Shinjuku or Ginza providing plenty of options to enjoy a nice meal in the evening.

20170420_152008-01[1]Thank you miss Nana!

For a fantastic day out that provides an enriching experience, why not book this tour! I would highly recommend. It was a long day, but worth it to see Mt. Fuji in its glory.

Love,

20170420_141709-01-01[1].jpegStylishwanderer.com

 

Nemophila Harmony in Hitachi Seaside Park, Ibaraki Prefecture

Taking advantage of the beautiful spring weather, we visited Hitachi Seaside Park located on the Pacific Ocean side of the Japanese coast in Ibaraki Prefecture.
About 130 kilometers northwest of Tokyo. _DSC0440-01-01[1]_DSC0441-01-01-01-01[1]Isn’t this view from the top incredibly gorgeous? _DSC0447-01-01-01-01[1]20170421_145811-01-01-01-01-01-01-01[1]Covering an area of 190 hectares, Hitachi Seaside Park is home to a variety of colorful flowers and grasses, as well as numerous other attractions, including an amusement park, cycling trails, a forest athletics field, BBQs surrounded by nature, food vans and cafes. But with the emergence of Nemophilas around mid April to beginning of May, it takes you to a whole new level. 20170421_144633-01-01-01[1]4.5 Million Nemophilas, also known as baby blue eyes paint the 3.5-hectare Miharashi Hills light blue._DSC0391-01-01-01-01-01 [1]_DSC0448-01-01[1]It could have been perfect when there’s no longer green but all light blue Nemophilas all over the rolling hills. If we only arrived 5 days later, that is its full bloom, it would surely be a spectacular sight ever! But still, aren’t these gorgeous enough?20170421_150221-01-01_(1)[1]20170421_150730-01-01-01[1]The rolling hills has been magically transformed by the sea of blue flowers which blends in with the sky. What a magnificent dramatic natural event. No wonder it has become a famous scenic spot and gazillions of tourists flock even more on its peak bloom which happens around the last week of April to 1st week of May.20170421_145805-01-01-01-01-01-01_(1)[1]_DSC0466-02-01-01[1] A Blue Phenomenal!

_DSC0423-01-01[1]A closer look of this beautiful baby blue eyes, Nemophilas!

_DSC0429-01-01-01-01-01-01[1]_DSC0425-01-01-01[1]I happily joined the throngs of people, and strolled leisurely around the area snapping way too many pictures. Forgive me. lol! _DSC0496-01-01-01-01 [1]And here’s the yellow Nanohana from the foot of the hill and those baby blue eyes like a backdrop._DSC0511-01-01[1]Other flowers abound in the park, so after spending so much of my time with the Nemophilas. What about seeing Narcissus and Tulips?_DSC0614-01[1]_DSC0523-01-01 [1]So beautiful that I couldn’t resist snapping too many photos._DSC0563-01-01[1]_DSC0559-01-01-01[2].jpeg_DSC0547-01[1]The tulips were spectacularly planted in shapes and undulating curves. There are over 200 varieties of tulips to enjoy and with so many varieties, it was hard to decide what to take pictures of first!_DSC0529-01 [1]_DSC0528-01-01[1]Oh Tulips, you’re too lovely!_DSC0526-01-01[1]Hitachi Seaside Park can be reached by train from Tokyo, (Shinagawa, Tokyo or Ueno Station) in around 90 minutes by limited express train about 3800yen(50sgd/1700php) one way or in around 2.5 hours by regular trains 2270yen(30sgd/1000php) one way. Then get off at Katsuta Station from where the park is a 20 minute bus ride. Park admission costs 410yen(5sgd/180php)

_DSC0343-01-01-01[1]You’ll not regret visiting this Sea of Baby Blue Eye Flowers in Hitachi Seaside Park,
Ibaraki Prefecture.

If you can’t make it on Spring time, then the Red Cochia in Autumn is a die die must-see!

Love,DSC_3685-01-01[1]Stylishwanderer.com

Visit Yokohama: One Day Walking Tour

Anyone who’s been to Tokyo will definitely tell you it’s such an exciting huge capital city. Electrifying, fast-paced and buzzing metropolis. You can’t even cover in one visit. But if you’re looking for something different, maybe somewhere with a slower pace and can be covered in a day, look no further than the port city of Yokohama.

_DSC0693-01[1]Let’s explore Yokohama!

I stayed somewhere in Shibaura Island where Tomodachi Station is only a 10 min. walk and is a JR YAMANOTE LINE, a railway loop line considered one of Tokyo’s busiest and most important lines, connecting most of Tokyo’s major stations and urban centers. Hence, I got the easiest access to explore Yokohama. With just 1 direct line, voila! reached in 30 mins. I didn’t expect it to be that fast tho’. Located south of Tokyo, Yokohama is the second largest city after Tokyo by population and situated in Kanagawa prefecture. Believe me or not, the most interesting parts of the city can easily be visited in a nice and interesting one day walking tour._DSC0658-01-02[1]_DSC0658-01-01[1]Each time I visit a place especially if it is my first time, I always do a bunch of reading online. Why? There’s a lot of places to see but it also depends whether it suits your interest. Thus, I have picked a few famous sights to see in Yokohama and managed to do it in just a day._DSC0669-01[1]_DSC0646-01[1]It’s hard to miss Yokohama Cosmoworld and its colourful ferris wheel. It is divided into three zones according to age appropriateness and unlike other amusement parks, there’s no entrance charge. Instead, you pay only for the rides that tickle your fancy._DSC0680-01-01[1]Head east towards the huge Ferris wheel in the distance. Once you reach the Ferris wheel, The Cup Noodles Museum is just across the street. It’s a fun and interactive museum that shows you the history of instant ramen noodles and the creative thinking of the man who’s responsible for it all – Momofuku Ando a.k.a. the father of instant ramen. _DSC0673-01-01[1].jpegJust keep going, and walk through the World Porter’s shopping mall on the other side of the street. Upon exiting the opposite end, you can see about a block away The Yokohama Red Brick Warehouses. But before reaching The Red Brick buildings, I stumbled unto this Marine and Walk Yokohama. It was not on my list but was really glad I came across that lovely cozy area._DSC0756-01-01[1]_DSC0758-01-01-01[1]It has a great range of interesting cafes, clothing & souvenir stores. The shops are pretty good as well. A bit of a hidden gem and doesn’t appear on any of the top lists for things to do in Yokohama. Oh my gosh! It should. Very chilled facility with chic atmosphere. So, we can’t afford to miss a meal from one of the cafes there._DSC0763-01-01-01[1].jpegAnd just a short distance from Marine and Walk Yokohama, you’ll reach The Red Brick Warehouses. One of the major tourist spot in Yokohama. A cultural & commercial facility that utilizes two historical buildings constructed more than a century ago._DSC0863-01_(1)-01[1]_DSC0823-01_(1)-01[1]_DSC0775-01-01[1]Built as a government bonded warehouse during the Meiji and Taisho eras and, as Japan’s first modern port facility. It stopped being used as a warehouse in 1989. Underwent nine years of conservation and renovation work until reopened in 2002 as a cultural and commercial facility._DSC0783-01[1]_DSC0819-01-01[1]

Literally a walking tour without a map guide. haha! But we managed to! Aren’t all these photos the proof? lol!_DSC0901-01-01[1].jpeg

Soak in the atmosphere at Yamashita Park by Strolling through the park. You can definitely enjoy stunning and majestic views of the harbor and Minato Mirai._DSC0897-01_(1)-01[1]20170418_173823-01-01[1]_DSC0899-01_(1)[1].jpegWe ended our day at Osanbashi Pier to see the sunset and the lovely nightscape of Minato Mirai Skyline. Osanbashi International Passenger Terminal, where large-scale cruise liners dock. 20170418_180226-01-01[1]20170418_175449-01[1]20170418_180058-01-01[1]Surrounded by the sea, the pier’s rooftop features wooden walkways that are perfect for a leisurely walk while taking in the best views of the bay.20170418_175612-01-01[1]20170418_180038-01-01[1]20170418_175415-01[1]The cool breeze of the wind & amazing views of the bay made my day!_DSC0919-01[1]
Just as the sun went down, the weather also dropped to around 13°C, darn! Imagine how freezing cold I was with my outfit. lol! But really, the views were too exhilarating that I didn’t mind I was shivering with the weather. haha! 20170418_180324-01-01[1]20170418_183636-01[1]Indeed a lovely nightscape! Who wouldn’t want to walk with these views? 20170418_184356-01[1]20170418_184645-01[1]20170418_190252-01[1]It was nice exploring Yokohama! Sayonara.

Next on the blog: Hitachi Seaside Park on the Pacific Ocean side of the Japanese coast.

Love, _DSC0669-01[1]Stylishwanderer.com

 

Shinjuku Gyoen: Home of Late-blooming Sakura

20170419_110409-01[1]Tokyo boasts innumerable picturesque Japanese gardens and parks which are indeed stunning all on their own, and with the pink cherry blossoms covering it, oh well.. it takes you to a whole new level. 20170419_110554-01[1]20170419_110650-01[1]Konnichiwa! Welcome back to Tokyo! I promised myself that I’ll definitely be back on spring time, yes, I made it! lol But this post is nothing but few weeks older? Errr. Actually, I was bogged down for weeks due to some viral infection when I came back from Japan. What a pity! But thank heavens though, I’m getting slightly better now. Yeyy! And that means, getting back on track here. I’ll be having a series of post about my recent Tokyo trip. And first on the list, Shinjuko Gyoen National Garden_DSC1077-01[1]Visited Shinjuku Gyoen the second time around, and oh dear, it was as lovely as the first time I came last year. Lucky to have spent spring time in Japan for 2 consecutive years now. And I won’t get tired of coming back though, I swear!_DSC1067-01[1]_DSC1069-01[1]_DSC1065-01[1]Ooops! And then there’s me enjoying the sakura rain. lol!_DSC1010-01[1]_DSC1012-01[1]_DSC1004-01[1]Whenever I hear the word sakura, or cherry blossom the next thing comes to mind is hanami, the famous word hana means “flower” and mi is “to look” or simply Cherry blossom viewing. Who would want to miss such lovely sight? The Hanami season starts from late March to mid April and is for many Japanese the best time of the year. Even tourists flock to witness the sakura bloom in different parts of Japan._DSC0969-01[1]_DSC0956-01-01-02[1]_DSC0956-01-01-01[1]In spring, Shinjuku Gyoen becomes one of the best places in the city to see cherry blossoms and it is one of Tokyo’s largest and perhaps most beautiful park. Entrance to Shinjuku Gyoen is 200 yen (2.5Sgd/88Php). The paid park’s spacious lawns, meandering walking paths and tranquil scenery provide a relaxing escape from the busy urban center around it._DSC0991-01-01[1]_DSC0992-01[1]_DSC0993-01[1]Undoubtedly one of the best places to see cherry blossom in Tokyo. Home to over one thousand cherry trees of both early- and late-blooming varieties, meaning that the cherry blossom season here lasts longer than elsewhere in the city. Trust me. Last year, I went around 1st week of April, goshh! everywhere is pink and all in full bloom. So beautiful! This time though, I was a bit late for the usual peak of sakura bloom, it was already 3rd week of April that time so I wasn’t really expecting much like before but I was surprised to see that there were still many cherry blossom. There were those white ones too! I felt I wasn’t late for spring. haha!_DSC1062-01[1]_DSC1064-01[1]And since I have taken a bunch of snaps, forgive me, I just can’t resist! lol _DSC1082-01-01-01-01[1]_DSC1080-01-01-01[1]

When you visit Tokyo, never miss to visit Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden especially during Spring and Autumn. _DSC0996-01[1]

How to get there:
Shinjuku Gate is roughly a 20 minute walk east from the “New South Exit” of JR Shinjuku Station. However, we were quite lazy to walk that time, so we took a cab from JR Shinjuku station which cost around 600yen (7Sgd/250Php) and reached in 5mins. lol!20170419_103150-01[1]20170419_103157-01-01[1]

Love,20170419_110925-01[1]Stylishwanderer.com

Singapore on a Budget: 6 Important Tips Before Your Trip

It’s no secret that Singapore is an expensive city to be a tourist. Whilst known to be the most prosperous city in South East Asia, it’s the smallest nation by land area. And because of its compact size, traveling around would be so easy without worrying of your safety.20160409_222309-011It is true that costs here are significantly higher than the rest of Southeast Asia, but still a lot of people continue to visit Singapore. Why? Simply because of its unique and top-notch attractions that cater to almost every type of traveler. Certainly, Singapore will give you a fun-filled yet expensive experience but with a little planning and information, you can enjoy this amazing Asian City-state on a budget. Yes, you’ve read it right. Fret not of losing all your cash.

So here are some tips to get the most bang of your Sing-dollar on your trip.

BTW, just so you know, I am a Filipina working and living here in Singapore. Hence, I will be giving Philippine currency alongside every Sing-dollar cost in your SG trip. 🙂MYXJ_20161107024436_save-01[1].jpeg

Let’s start with ACCOMODATION:

1.) Accommodation will be your biggest expense in Singapore. A small private room with en-suite bathroom will probably set you back close to S$100 (3,500Php) a night. Reputable Hotels range from S$200 – S$300 or 7,000 – 10,000 pesos. This also depends if you book beforehand, if not then it can go as high as S$350 over or roughly 12,oooPhp.

In order to have that Singapore budget travel then You Must Settle For Budget Hostels, or if you enjoy backpacking then there’s a lot to choose from for as low as S$20-30 or (700-1,000Php) per night. Of-course not all would want to share rooms/bathroom with other guests so backpacking ideas would be a No-No for some. Aside from booking budget hostels then Airbnb would be a best choice. With Airbnb, you can experience the city like a local, live with a local by getting a room with own bathroom for as low as S$30 (1,000Php). Why Not! And if you plan to stay longer in Singapore or if you come in group, this will surely benefit you by getting 1 whole unit to share.

2.) Eat at hawker centers and taste Singapore’s multi-cultural food. Mains at casual restaurants start at S$12-18 (400-600Php) some of which comes in small share that won’t even feed your hunger pangs. But thanks to Singapore’s abundant hawker centers, eating is as tasty as it is affordable. Hawker stalls are Singapore’s version of low-cost eateries. Just be experimental with foodSingaporean cuisine is a complete delight for every foodie, you would surely savor every bit of the delicious options including chicken rice, nasi lemak, hokien mee, char kway teow, laksa, etc., at a price of S$3-5 (100-180Php).20160807_132419-01120160807_132415-01220160807_132659-011Just a tip:  A long line of people queueing at a stall is usually a sign that it serves good food and is definitely safe to eat. And before I forget, bottled water are too expensive here. Don’t get a shock if you see prices from S$3 – 6 (105 – 200Php) for just a bottled water. Drink tap water instead. Don’t be afraid, it is safe and clean. So might as well get a water tumbler and bring some water with you as you explore the day.

3.) TRANSPORTATION – Use Public Transport. Ride MRTs and buses — This is the cheapest way to get around. There’s no need to hire taxis because Singapore’s transport system is efficient and very safe. One train ride within the city costs between S$0.8 – 2 (28 – 70Php). You can even enjoy touring Singapore and go for unlimited rides with S$6.70 (250Php) per day! Read more from this link EZ-LINK Tourist Pass. And if you’re going to be in Singapore for a longer stay then get an EZ – LINK card (sold at MRT stations), take advantage of lower fares and transfer discounts.

However, when traveling as a group, particularly of 3 or 4, consider taking a taxi for short rides around the city center. The price difference (calculated per person) is not a big wallet buster. Your feet will thank you from the tiring walk to/from train stations anyway. haha! And if you want to experience SG’s Night Life, sadly, MRT is only until 12 Midnight but you can take advantage of the Night Rider and Nite Owl Bus.

4.) ATTRACTIONS – Get a good map and explore the city on your own tour.20150808_180334-011Go on a do-it-yourself (DIY) around Singapore’s different cultural districts if you want to save yourself from expensive admission fees at themed attractions. There are a lot of awesome things to do in Singapore that doesn’t cost a dime. Admission fees may take up a huge chunk of your expenses if you plan on visiting many themed attractions, rides, and museums. But there are also many museums offer free admission. Those that charge entrance fees usually cost S$10 (350Php) or less. Entry to Singapore Zoo is S$28 (985Php), Universal Studios Singapore is S$74 (2,600Php), Singapore Flyer is S$30 (1,050Php), Marina Bay Sands Sky Park is S$23 (810Php) and taking a ride of the Singapore Cable Car to and from Sentosa is S$33 (1,160Php). Plan your itineraries ahead and cluster them according to their locations so you can make the most of your trip.20150808_193023-01120150808_193352-011

5.) Shop SMART! No vacation is perfect without a shopping escapade, especially when you are holidaying at Singapore. But do take note that The best time to make a shopping trip to Singapore would be during the ‘Great Singapore Sale’ which begins mid-year and lasts for about a month. Shopping at Orchard Road, Bugis Street, Centrepoint can be a fulfilling experience for most shopaholics. myxj_20161108225858_save-011With such irresistible options for shopping, you can always go overboard with the budget for your shopping. Not only that, you can get a reimbursement of up to 3% on the Goods and Services Tax, if you shop for above $300 (10,000Php) from outlets with ’Tax-Free Shopping’. You can easily avail this reimbursement by showing your cheques at the airport. And even if you may not be able to make it on a Great Singapore Sale month, don’t be upset for there are still many bargains you can avail especially in Malls with many outlet stores.

6. Night Life – drinking is an expensive activity.20160625_224624-01-011You may want to give your liver a break while you’re here. Singapore’s high tax on alcohol means that drinking is certainly an expensive activity. Bars and nightclubs charge significantly high, so take advantage of happy hour promotions. lol. Yes, there are many happy hour promotions at some pubs. Try to hit the popular watering holes at Clarke Quay from 6 – 8pm to avail such. You’ll still be paying around S$14 (5ooPhp) for a drink, but at least the next one will be free. Female visitors can also take advantage of ladies night every Wednesday, when most bars offer free entry and free drinks until midnight. So ladies you already know when to party. lol! 20160625_221453-011And if you want to experience SKY BAR offering 360 degree view of cityscape at night (which are my stress-relief after a week of work) don’t go for those with Entry Fee, like 1 Altitude. You’ll be paying for S$30 (1,050Php) for the entry that comes with a glass of drink. You wouldn’t want to waste bucks on that, right? So just for a feel though, you can go to Celavi at Marina Sky Park. Drinks are expensive of-course but no one will know if you haven’t ordered any drink. lol. (Just a tip. But don’t be too obvious, okay?) haha!

20151025_002343-011We all know how easy it is to spend money but surely we also don’t want to anyhow spend, isn’t it? If the fear of spending beyond your budget is giving you jitters and preventing you from making a trip, it is time for you to let go off your fears.

In an exciting and vibrant city like Singapore, I bet you wouldn’t want to miss it in your travel lists. You can savor the beauty and enjoy one of the best holidays at Singapore, even on a frugal budget.

 

Love,

Stylishwanderer

 

 

 

 

What makes Haji Lane & Arab Street Famous for?

A trip to Haji Lane is all about the experience. Hidden away in the heart of the Muslim quarter, this tiny lane is one of the most fascinating and authentic neighborhood of Singapore. A famous haven for art and culture lovers. Famed with its quirky fashion shops, local eateries and buzzing shisha bars. This street indeed has developed an atmosphere all of its own. And even if you leave without buying anything, you’ll end up still be satisfied because of the fun vibe and picturesque spots you will be seeing from any corner.

But what does every tourist or even locals do when they visit Haji Lane?
I mean, something anyone wouldn’t miss to do?!
Voila!
Photography session for Ootds!
Ooops! ( Sorry, I’m guilty!) hahamyxj_20161102003122_save1That Instagram-worthy snaps,
I bet you also wouldn’t miss that!
Yes or Yes? :p

Here’s mine!myxj_20161102003705_save1myxj_20161102002940_save120160925_182612-011Did I blend in? lol.myxj_20161102002408_save1myxj_20161102002820_save1It’s purposely visited for street photography session.myxj_20161102002659_save1myxj_20161102002624_save1myxj_20161102002456_save1
Everywhere is literally Instagram-worthy!
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And Just parallel to Haji lane,
you’ll find Arab Street.20160925_184131(0)-01[1].jpeg

Take a walk along Arab Street,
enjoy some traditional Arab fare
and cherish the beautiful,
mesmerizing assault on the senses.20160925_183748-011 It’s the vibrant colours of the shops of the Arab Street that stick in the memory.
Textile stores and outlets selling Persian carpets are the most prominent,
but you’ll also see leather, perfumes, and jewelries for sale.
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If you want to enjoy mouth watering Arab, Moroccan & turkey food this is the place to be. And If you’re a foodie who likes to try out different food,
then its definitely a must place for you!
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Enjoy!

Love,

Stylishwanderer 🙂

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4 Vital Points for a Cheaper Japan Travel

Japan has an image of being one of the most expensive countries in the world, and if you’re staying in hotels, eating out, and traveling around a lot, then it can really cost you a bomb. It is never going to be as cheap as other destinations and while it may be an expensive country to visit, there are plenty of ways to make this country affordable.

To me, budget travel is value travel. So, I have listed 4 vital points on how you can cut down the costs and make this country affordable:

1.) TRANSPORTATION20160329_165523-02[1]Transportation is one of the most expensive aspects of travel in Japan and this will surely eat up your pennies. The bullet train, while awesome, comfortable, and fast, is not cheap at all. Individual rail journey can cost hundreds of dollars when added altogether. So in order to reduce your train costs, get a Japan Rail (JR) pass.Screenshot_20160709-184104-01[1]I repeat, do get a JAPAN RAIL PASS and here’s my BIG NOTE: You only can buy this pass outside of Japan and only people on a tourist visa can avail this special pass, so purchase this before arriving in Japan or else you will end up spending twice or thrice of its cost. 20160329_171011-01[1]Passes are sold at 7-day, 14-day and 21-day categories, includes all trains (shinkasen, express, local,etc..) and a few highway buses. I purchased the 7-day unli pass even if I was there for 12 days. I regret of not getting the 14 days instead. haha! I bought it at 28,300 yen (377SGD or 13000Php) It’s even expensive than your promo fare flight I guess, and it will make your spending double or triple if you don’t have it.20160329_165425-01-01[1]Many people are put off by the high cost of the rail pass, but if you’re going to travel all the way to Japan, it’s best to have a proper budget in place. So getting this Unli pass is a must to help cut down your expenses. In my case, I traveled OSAKA, NARA, KYOTO and TOKYO. So it definitely was a great deal for me and of course to anyone who wish to explore Japan.

2.) FOOD20160404_124447-01[1]There’s an array of cheap food options in the country, and unless you go out to mid-range or better restaurants, then you may not be able to cut your daily totals down. Sorry, I’m guilty on this. Since It was my first time visiting the country, I went a bit all out when it comes to food. But I never regret that I spent fairly on food than shopping. Oink! haha

20160331_171658-01[1]IMG_20160331_211442-01[1]20160331_171110-01[1]20160331_170714-01-01[1].jpegJust to give you an idea, roughly 20,000 yen (250Sgd/9000Php) for this meal. Yes, it’s crazy expensive but god! I couldn’t find the right words to describe how tasty it was. All I can remember that time was like, sh*t the beef melted in my mouth. haha! That’s how tender the beef was.

You actually don’t really need to spend much money on food. There are many affordable options you can consider to cut your food spending. And if you are there mainly for the picturesque views, breathtaking scenes and magnificent temples and gardens then cutting on your food budget will definitely help you hang onto your money.

So here’s how you can save money on food:

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  • Eat at 100-yen shops – There are many 100-yen shops in Japan, where set meals, groceries, water, toiletries, household items, and more are simply 100 yen (1Sgd/35Php). Of course! as a thrifty shopper I did all my shopping at these shops. haha! Their names vary by region, so ask your hotel/hostel reception or Airbnb host where the nearest 100-yen shop is located.
  • Eat at Lawson (Japan’s Convenience store) – Max Value, 7-11, Family Mart, and other corner stores have a lot of pre-set meals for 100–300 yen. Additionally, supermarkets have many set meals at similar prices too and I noticed, this was even a popular choice for the locals.
  • Cook your food – Apartments that you book from AirBnb and some Hostels have kitchens, where you can cook and cut your food expenses to less than 800 yen (10Sgd/360Php) per day, especially by shopping at the 100-yen stores.
  • Get take-away meals from grocery stores – Cheap and fresh bento, take-away sushi, noodles, and udon are just some of the grab-and-go options available at Japanese grocery stores.

Don’t be afraid buying all the ready to eat food as it is prepared fresh daily in Japan. Even in the supermarkets and thus, they want to sell as much of their bento plates and pre-cooked foods by the end of the day. Hence, there are discounts when you buy late night. Sushi plates, salads, tempura and a lot more to try… all fresh and damn delicious!

3.) ACCOMMODATION

Finding cheap accommodation is indeed a real pain. Try to stay in Hostels or Ryokans, as Japanese hotel rooms are way too expensive. Ryokans are Japanese-style inns which will give you a more authentic Japanese experience as you sleep on tatami matt floor, futons, and some have onsen steam bath. While Hotel offers you the cookie-cutter experience of a room, a few amenities, and an overpriced minibar. Wouldn’t something different be nice for a change? Hmm. then I personally recommend Airbnb.Screenshot_20160709-185335-01[1]It was actually my first time using Airbnb.com and honestly I was skeptical about it. But, I managed to try myself and yeah I strongly recommend it after having an awesome stay in Japan. To be exact, stayed for about 4 locations since I explored Osaka, Nara, Kyoto and Tokyo for about 12 days. Airbnb is something of a unique experience since you can find an affordable place to stay while having a home-away-from-home comfort in a new city.Screenshot_20160709-185531-01[1]Airbnb is a service in which homeowners rent out a room, or sometimes their whole house, to guests through an online profile on Airbnb.com. Both hosts and guests are reviewed and the service works on a rating system to help ensure that you’re not renting to or renting from someone who is completely crazy.Screenshot_20160709-185716-01[1]Experiences vary though, but generally you’ll be expected to interact with your host a little more than you would a hotel concierge. Some places offer more than just a room; they’ll provide you with breakfast, a drive to or from the station, and gosh! their hospitality is at the fullest, as locals are very warm-hearted that they will take extra mile just to give you a memorable experience. And I can attest because I personally experienced all of those. My Japan travel was made extra special because of my Airbnb hosts. 20160405_100050-02[1]20160405_100050-01[1]I so love their kindness, they are so helpful and very polite. I couldn’t forget that time when I reached Tokyo around 8 in the evening and my host prepared a sumptuous dinner, thinking that I still haven’t eaten from my trip all the way from Kyoto. Touched! Who wouldn’t be? Screenshot_20160709-185058-01[1]And here is my one bit of advice if you decide using Airbnb. READ THE REVIEWS! You will never go wrong in booking a certain place If it has nothing but all positive reviews, go with it. Read reviews and room details thoroughly. It’s not always cheaper than a hotel room either, so specify your budget in the search criteria.

There are literally over 1 million listings across the globe so you have tons of unique options that will make your next getaway unforgettable. Lastly, A word of warning – book your accommodation far in advance of your trip,  at least a month. The best and cheapest places book up very quickly, especially in blossom season!

4.) RANDOM SPENDING

This is the one area people tend to underestimate or rather not budget for at all. You will shop when travelling; it could be for souvenirs, gifts for family, or things for yourself, so you might as well put some money aside. Also, most people who visit Japan will spend on random things they don’t normally spend, you know why? Simply because Japan offers a variety of bizarre stuff, from unique charms to mouthwatering peculiar Japanese delicacies which you might want to bring home and give to your family and friends. So If you’re the type who likes to shop, you may want to budget a little more.

So here’s my final word for a cheaper Japan travel:

Japan can be done on the cheap, but if you’re going to travel all the way to Japan, it’s best to have a proper budget in place. You don’t want to miss out experiences because you didn’t budget properly. And if you are doing it free and easy then ready yourself from all the trip guides you can read online. Trust me, reading other people’s experience through blog-posts will really help you a lot specially on the budget. Didn’t this post help you? Yay! I pretty hope it did. Comments below are welcome!

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Love,

Stylishwanderer.com

The Magical Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto

Tourists in Kyoto have always raved about the beauty of Kiyomizu Dera temple and they are 100% right when I get to see it in my own eyes. For most visitors in Kyoto, I find this is one of the must-see especially in spring and autumn. 20160401_123253-01[1]The walk from the bus stop to the temple complex is a great experience, with shops, small restaurants, crowds, people in kimono, etc. – definitely worth a good look around. The temple and associated buildings are beautifully and lovingly cared. The large wood balcony is definitely a sight to be admired and the view is splendid. Looking at it from below, when you go around the circuit is also really worthwhile as you see how the balcony is set up, truly an intricate work.20160401_113010-01[1]20160401_131110-01[1]20160401_113310-01[1]20160401_113304-01[1]20160401_113441-01[1]20160401_113526-01[1]20160401_113747-01[1]

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Although there were lots of people, the crowd added to the charm of our Kiyomizudera experience since a lot of Japanese locals were in their colorful kimonos.20160401_115321-01[1]20160401_115641-01[1]20160401_115446-01[1]20160401_115413-01[1]

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And oh, what a strange thing to be under those lovely cherry blossoms! 20160401_115041-01[1]20160401_115215-01-01[1]20160401_115222-01[1]

FACT CHECK:
During the Edo period, a tradition where people would jump from the 13 meter tall veranda to the ground. It was said that if one were to survive such a plunge, one’s wish would be granted. Of the 234 recorded jumps in history, approximately 85% survived the fall. The practice is now prohibited, I couldn’t imagine how many could have died if they still do it until now. I just can’t. haha!20160401_122811-01[1]20160401_122736-01[1]20160401_121222-01[1]20160401_120948-01[1]20160401_120853-01[1]20160401_120831-01[1]Once you’re finished exploring the balcony area, follow the path out from the balcony and you’ll see a flight of stairs that will lead you up to the Jishu Shrine. This small but pretty cute shrine is dedicated to the deity Okuninushi, the god of love and matchmaking.
Praying there is said to help one succeed in finding an appropriate love match. And of course! I did mine. lol.20160401_121340-01[1]20160401_121706-01[1]20160401_121639-01[1]20160401_121606-01[1]Walk the trail across and then down to the triplet Otowa waterfall. People come to the temple to drink water from the falls by collecting it in tin cups; the water is said to have therapeutic properties, and drinking from the three different streams is said to confer health, longevity, and success in studies.20160401_123253-01[1]20160401_123145-01[1]20160401_123040-01[1]20160401_125115-01[1]The walk was apparently a great way to be able to view and take photos of the temple’s wooden stage. The main hall is built out on a veranda onto pillars, a structure constructed without nails. Amazing Isn’t it?20160401_125136-01[1]

Heard some noise from my tummy. Oops! didn’t realized it’s about time for lunch, well I say late lunch! lol.

20160401_124032-01[1]20160401_124258-01[1] A perfect combo for the freezing cold weather!

After feeding those hungry pangs! Hmm. Recharged! Who’s not? lol. The awesome Kiyomizu dera experience doesn’t actually stop the moment you finish your meal in their ramen shop coz even on your way out is a beautiful surrounding filled with lovely cherry blossoms, garden and a view of the temple from afar. The walk through it is absolutely amazing!

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First part of the day ends here. If you are like me who never gets tired when it comes to exploring places, then let’s head on to Fushimi Inari Taipa. Click to read the famous landmark of kyoto.

Get There and Around

Kiyomizudera can be reached from Kyoto Station by bus number 100 or 206 (15 minutes, 230 yen). Get off at Gojo-zaka or Kiyomizu-michi bus stop, from where it is a ten minute uphill walk to the temple. Alternatively, Kiyomizudera is about a 20 minute walk from Kiyomizu-Gojo Station along the Keihan Railway Line.

 

 

20160401_114003-01[1]Stylishwanderer.com