Saturday, February 20, 2010

Chinese New Year's gathering

On the 3rd day of Chinese New Year (16 feb), we (6 of us - Yong, Ser Ping, Leow, Paul, Raymond and myself), the SIP Comrades, visited our former CEO Neo Chian at his residence and wishing him and family good health and happiness. It was a very happy and meaningful gathering over wine, beers and new years' goodies among old comrades as some of us have not seen each other for more than 10 years.

It is glad to learn that all of us are in good health and career, some are taking life easy to work less and enjoy life. Active interaction among us and interesting exchanges over current affairs, travel, casino opening and public response, sharing of personal career development and challenges, SIP development etc
nice to have a surprise preview of neo chian's handsome and chubby grandson also.

Now Let me share with all blog viewers are happy pictures taking on that day, and we shall make this gathering an annual affairs and have a comradeship 2020 celebrations.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Resort World at Sentosa opening soon

hi, please see the nice pictures taken by me at the recent visit on 4 Feb 2010

On 4 Feb afternoon, some 40 colleagues and I visited Resort world at Sentosa (RWS) in Singapore before it officially opened to public. It was an interesting but tiring tour as we spent nearly 4 hours walked the ground of the latest Singapore attractions: Casinos, Universal Studios (the rides, shopping street, Far Far Away , Jurassic Park, WaterWorld, 3 hotels – Michael, Festive and Hardrock, as well as its 5000-pax convention facilities. I personallylike the rooms design and ambience at hardrock hotel and its pool side environment. Thanks RWS management especially Wern Ling and Wayne for organising the fam tour for us and their warm hospitality.

It is worth the while to walk the ground and see for yourself the attractions and facilities as the entire development was grand and marvelous. I will visit them again when they are officially open to enjoy the ride and facilities. Hopefully before Chinese New Year since they just received their casinos license.

Holidaying in Osaka and Kyoto

Osaka flyer and hot spring at Rinku Premium Town, 15 minutes from Kansai airport

Have been planning to spend my new year in Japan with good friend Fan since end Nov, but it could not be confirmed till 18 Dec when I received the news from SQ Krisflyer that the return ticket from Osaka to Singapore is confirmed. Thanks god for fulfilling my dream.

As Fan would only arrive in Osaka on 29 Dec afternoon, and my flight arrival was 740 am in the morning, I specially brought along a book to kill time in case I have nothing to do at the airport in Osaka. It turned out to be otherwise. The minute after I collected my luggage and got the information tips from the courteous English speaking Japanese staff at the information counter plus a helpful Japanese gentleman, I spared no time to get to the nearby town of Rinku within 20 min by taking the shuttle @ 100 yen for the premier outlets shopping. Most of the popular band names except LV and Gucci are there. Never shop at such an early hours especially lugging along with the cabin bag (luckily It was handy and light), the cool weather of 9 degree made the shopping experience extremely pleasing and pleasant especially when the service staff are courteous and helpful at the outlets.

A visit to nearby hot spring @ 天然温泉Onzen was unexpectedly reasonable in price (only 500 Yen) and beautiful experience with crystal clean hot spring water, steam bath, salt bath and mint bath. In the beginning, I was the only one in the Onzen, subsequently 2 groups of Japanese ladies joined the bath. I will never forget the excellent service of the English speaking young Japanese gentleman and smilingly sweet service staff at the mint bath fanning the mint…we were like queen enjoying the mint fanning. It was really very enjoyable. I had a nice bowl of ramem for lunch at the Onzen.

I enjoyed until nearly ran out of time to get back to airport to meet up with Fan and Celia. After lunch at 2 pm I rushed for the shuttle bus and back to airport and Fan arrived earlier than expected. After getting advice from the Information Counter, we then took a JR Line train to Kyoto in 110 min @ 2980 Yen. The Kyoto train station was huge and vibrant with huge crowd and buzz activities. No difficulty in getting to our hotel Miyako Hotel, just 10 min walk. After checking in, we took subway to Kawaramachi station and proceeded for Oyster dinner near Diamaru. As most of the shop closed at 8 pm, so we ended up shop at the 300 yen shop and bought the famous mister donuts and get back to hotel for supper.

On 30 Dec after breakfast, we explored our way at Shijo-dori Kawaramachi Takashimaya, looking for Burbury Blue Label products, fashion, souvenirs and accessories, strolling along Togetsu-Kyo Bridge bridge, pedestrian street, exploring the traditional arts and crafts, food (plum) and sake etc. As we feel like having dinner at hotel, so we went to Isetan supermart to buy sushi, donuts, cheese cake, strawberry and packed back to hotel to enjoy our dinner. A green tea spa was the highlight before retiring to sweet dream.

After buying Japanese cakes and pastries on 31 Dec morning, we boarded JR Line to Osaka at 1230 pm @ 540 yen. Upon arriving at 1 pm, we checked out the subway line to Namba where our Washington Plaza Hotel located, then zipped to Daotun Shinzabashi to enjoy Osaka, window shopping and watching the modern and fashionable Japanese youths around us .
During the next 2 days, we explored Osaka all by subway and foot. Tried all kinds of Japanese cuisine eg Ramem, sushi, BBQ beef, ice cream, also went to Osaka Performing Theatre to join the crowd for the Kansai 2010 concert, wow, the young and energetic crowd stormed the souvenir store at no time, most of the souvenirs were sold. I managed to get a big multi-purpose towel scarf and red shopping back.

Time flies especially happy moment. On the last day, I woke up early to take subway Nahai line at 845pm @ 890 Yen to airport. It was a very smooth ride and not crowded, it took about 45 min to reach Kansai airport and it is one of the cheapest and convenient way to get to airport.
Overall, my Osaka/Kyoto trip was relaxed and memorable. The FIT way is the best to get to know a city. It is quite easy to get around the 2 cities by train and subway even though we know close to zero Japanese language. I hope I can travel to another city of Japan in 2010 to enjoy the Onzen, Japanese food and leisure shopping, and have a relax holiday.