Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts

TRAVEL NEWS Sleeker and more compact Synconn business luggage by Samsonite

Whenever I pack for business, I sometimes wish the luggage (casing) is lighter so that I can pack in more when I return with my purchases, important documents and press kits. Samsonite has heard our cries. Their latest business luggage Synconn collection is made with a much lighter and more durable tri-weave nylon, than its predecessors. Also packing in more functionality and contemporary design, it has easy to find red trimmings and detailing on the zipper and side handle, as well as bigger than usual zipper teeth and puller. For the first time, Samsonite business collection comes with expandability.

Known for the durability of their luggage, Synconn luggage comes with a 10-year global warranty, which allows you to tune up your luggage minus the fuss wherever you may be.

Now available in two colours of Black and Sand.

For models with wheels, Synconn’s silent wheels guarantee seamless manoeuvrability, while the detachable strap on the spinner 66cm and 77cm allows travellers to add on an extra shopping bag or briefcase onto their luggage. All luggage spinners come equipped with a TSA fixed combination lock, an enhanced security feature which allows for a smooth and worry-free business trip out of town.

More about Synconn Collection
Available in three designs and two shades such as Laptop Briefcase, a Rolling Tote and the Luggage series each tailored to suit different business purposes and needs.

Laptop Briefcase, available in small and medium, this compact and durable briefcase, comes with the standard features such as shoulder strap, smart sleeve, bubble foam protection for laptop and a special compartment for both laptop and iPad.

The upright Rolling Tote allows the busy frequent traveler executive to pack in that extra business shirt for quick overnight trips. It has clever document dividers for quick access to documents and front organization for hand-held technology and other essentials. 

This new Business Luggage design is significantly reduced to about 2.9kg so you can check in more. Available in three sizes, complete with expandability function, on top of its full feature interiors including practical business essentials such as a shoe bag, adetachable tri-fold garment suiter and a shirt pouch, which are made with lightweight waterproof polyester. This is the Samsonite business luggage model with expandability feature.
Synconn business luggage in three sizes. Available in Sand or Black..
Price (SGD)
Spinner 55 
Colours: Black or Sand
35cm(L) x 55cm(H) x 25cm(W)
Spinner 66
Colours: Black or Sand
45cm(L) x 66cm(H) x 32cm(W)
Spinner 77
Colours: Black or Sand
77cm(L) x 50cm(H) x 34cm(W)
Briefcase (M)
Rolling Tote

#Samsonite #Synconn is now available at leading department stores and the following Samsonite #stores at :

Mandarin Gallery #02-18
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands #B2-88 
Great World City #02-13A/14
JEM #03-04
ION Orchard #B3-30 Suntec City Tower 1 #02-39 
FunanDigitaLife Mall #02-03A
VivoCity #01-91
Plaza Singapura #04-04 
Tampines 1 #03-02 
Marina Square #02-281
Changi Airport Terminal 2 (transit) and Changi Airport Terminal 3 (transit)

Link to Samsonite.


SAMSONITE luggage is narrowed down to a few categories:
– Samsonite Travel (the usual luggage),
– Business Range
– Samsonite RED and Samsonite Black Label (premium label).

Models featured:

TRAVEL Korea: Lantern festival in October

Heading to South Korea in October?

Make Gyeongsangnam-do Jinju-si Namgang River area and Jinjuseong Fortress one of your must-go destinations as Korea celebrates the Jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival on the first half of  October, 2013.

☞ Period: October 1 - 14, 2013
☞ Venue: Gyeongsangnam-do Jinju-si Namgang River area and Jinjuseong Fortress 
☞ Check out more on JinjuNamgang Yudeung (lantern) Festival.

What is it about?
Jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival originates from the lantern lighting custom during the Jinjuseong Fortress Battle of the Imjinwaeran War (Japanese invasion, 1592) as a military strategy to prevent Japanese troops from wading through the Namgang River.

 Highlights of the festival

· Lighting ceremony
· Floating Bridge of Love

Enjoy the enchanting glow of the lantern lights all over the river from the floating bridge on Namgang River. Don’t miss the breathtaking night view of Chokseongnu Pavilion of Jinjuseong Fortress located across the river.

Operating hours: 10am to midnight daily. *Time subject to change.

· Korean lantern exhibition: A showcase of Korea’s traditions, culture, and folk games fill Jinjuseong Fortress and Namgang River. Come dusk when the lanterns are lit, scenes from the Jinjuseong Battle (fencing, martial arts on horseback, etc.) come to life in a gentle glow that warms the night.

· World traditional lantern exhibition: Super-sized lanterns of landmarks, animals, customs, and traditions representing 30 different countries – the Statue of Liberty (USA), the Sphinx (Egypt), a kangaroo (Australia), the Trojan horse (Turkey), and a windmill (Holland) – float along the river in an eye-catching display.
· Traditional crafted lantern exhibition
·  Hanging wish-lantern
· Ferry on Namgang River

Take a closer look at the lanterns of Namgang River as you ride along in style. On the ferry, a Korean Culture & Tourism Guide (Korean only) will explain more about the history of Jinju and the lanterns.

Hands-on Activities
Creative lantern making, lantern making and set on afloat on the river. Make your own lantern and write a wish on it. Then light up your handiwork and send it gliding down Namgang River to carry your dreams into reality.
Operating hours: 6pm to 11pm daily. *Time subject to change.

Other possible activities to explore in Jinju

In the day, visit Chokseongnu Pavilion and the Jinju National Museum located inside the fortress.

At sunset, check out the lanterns and the hands-on festival experience programs just outside the fortress walls. Admission to Jinjuseong Fortress and Chokseongnu Pavilion is free during the festival.

Local specialties of Jinju: Broiled eel. Visit one of the riverside restaurants outside Jinjuseong Fortress to have a taste.

Plan a one-night, two-day stay in Jinju; there is a variety of accommodation options such as inns, which are 10 minutes away from festival grounds by foot. Bus terminals such as the Jinju Express Bus Terminal (5 minutes away) and Jinju Intercity Bus Terminal (10 minutes away on foot) are located close to festival grounds too.

Subsidiary Events
·         Fireworks
·         Namgaram Get-Together (outdoor performance)
·         lantern photo-taking
·         local traditional food & specialty shops

How to get there?
·         Take an intercity bus to Jinju Intercity Bus Terminal
·         Exit the terminal towards the river.
·         Turn right, and walk for 5 minutes to arrive at the festival site
For more about Jinju, please go to

pictures: courtesy of KTO

SHOP Sammies by Canimals luggage for kids

Little Traveller

Planning a trip? Get your kiddo a mini carry-on he/she will love. Samsonite is launching a kids range: Sammies by Canimals, $160 each, which are decorated with popular cartoon characters from the kids’ programme Canimals. The curious and fun urban pixie globetrotter characters in Canimals are great inspiration to kids as they trigger children’s imagination and curiosity to see the world from a different perspective.   

Sammies by Canimals mini luggage measures 50/18 and comes in four prints.

What’s Great

The durability of the mini-luggage is ensured with tough, shock-resistant and lightweight polycarbonate and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) material used in its construction. Features such as a multi-level handle and smooth wheel system makes it effortless for kids of various heights and built to manoeuvre it around. Built-in zipper pockets and a detachable pouch are also created to store little accessories and items to prevent them from rolling around in the luggage during transition.

Available at the following Samsonite stores: Mandarin Gallery, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands #B2-88, Great World City #02-13A/14, JEM #03-04, ION Orchard #B3-30, Suntec City Tower 1 #02-39   FunanDigitaLife Mall #02-03A, VivoCity #01-91, Plaza Singapura #04-04, Tampines 1 #03-02, Marina Square #02-281, Changi Airport Terminal 2 (transit)  and Changi Airport Terminal 3 (transit)

REVIEW/CAMBODIA The longest shampoo I've ever had

The longest hair wash I've ever had - 1 hour

I was told about the hair shampoo and rinsing that one gets a hair salon in Phnom Penh just before I embarked on my trip to this foreign land - it will be shampooed and rinsed four times. Curious, I made a shampoo session one of my must-dos. And what better time than having a nice shampoo and blowout just before a dinner party?

Due to the short time frame we had, we ventured to a salon close to where we stayed. Before I was seated in front of a mirror, I was asked to pick my desired shampoo, just like how some Vietnamese hair salons do it at some hair salons in Ho Chi Minh. My choice was Pantene Anti-Fall. The other brands available included Sunsilk and L’Oreal Paris and most of them were for straight hair.

My hair was given a long shampoo and rinsed (four times) 
by a very junior shampoo girl who spoke only Khmer from 4.20pm-5.20pm. Amazingly loooong! The longest I could sit in a chair for a shampoo. After the long shampoo, the shampoo girl asked pointing to another client having her hair crimped straight, if I wanted to have my hair styled straight. Alarm bells sounded in my head when I heard her. I replied her “no, curly please,” and it seems like she didn’t understand me and we waited for a long while before a senior stylist came by to asked if I would like to style my hair straight…. I repeated what I said earlier to his junior staff and gestured with my hands how the stylists in Singapore would twirl and blow dry my hair. He then spoke to his colleagues in Khmer as he raised the roller brush he had found. The other junior stylists ran around looking for another similar brush as he started styling and blow-drying my hair. Midway through I thought I was beginning to have hair styled like the Ceilia Mae of Monster Inc. (pictured below) as tight curls hung at the ends of my hair :p

Celia Mae of Monster Inc
Soon, the styling was done with my massive long tresses. My wash and styling came up to USD 6.50 (S$8.20).

VERDICT:  Although the process was a little discomforting initially and with my back drenched from the shampoo and rinsing, I believe it’s an isolated case. The curls loosened by the next morning and was more natural.

Undaunted, perhaps I should check out a hair salon in town at my next visit. 
The salon I had a wash and blow along a quiet street in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Warm Up in Cold Weather - Jimjibang Korea

Hot and cold pools at the jimjibang for balneotherapy

Scenes from Korean drama
After watching numerous Korean dramas with scenes of the characters taking off to the jimjibang (sauna) to calm down or relax with a face mask and towels wrapped around their heads Star Wars Princess Leia style) I made a point to include the jimjibang in my itinerary. Actually on further research this Star Wars Princess Leia towel hat became a hit after it first appeared in Korean drama My Lovely Samsoon and is worn at most jimjibang since then.  

Alas My Jimjibang Experience
As the hotel I was staying at is in the outskirts of Seoul, I was brought to a neighbourhood one about 10 minutes drive away.

Instead of being ushered into a warm room with people lounging around with cute Princess Leia towel-buns, I was ushered into the women only part of the jimjibang, where fellow bathers striped to their birthday suit in front of their locker. That was a rude shock to me as Korean movies I watched only showed the unisex sauna rooms where both sexes share after donning the jimjibang's colour-coordinated cotton shorts and tee

Just like how our army boys keep their eyes above the navel in the communal army bathroom, in the same way I practiced the same respect towards my fellow bathing beauties by keeping my gaze on the faces only. 

My consolation during my 1st visit to a jimjibang is that there wasn't anyone whom I will see again once I leave that place (I seem to hear some close friends echoing this same thought as I write).

What's So Great?
The end result of warming up your body through the various hot and cold pool dips, body scrub and lounging in sauna or rooms set at various temperatures, one can seek refuge from the freezing cold outdoors. These warming up of the body and boosting of blood circulation was so good that I was dressed in summer clothes after an hour at the Incheon Airport  two days later, while other fellow tourists were still wrapped in their winter clothes. 

According studies on balneotherapy, dipping in hot pools filled with spring water is said to soothe arthritis and lower back aches, as well as heal skin conditions like eczema. Although I've yet to find out if all the jimjibang pools are filled with spring water, a few hours at the bath house with all these facilities starts from about 8,000 won and more for body scrubs and massages. And it's good enough to get my body all warm and fuzzy again.

Dreamy Relaxation
While soaking in the hot and cold pools I recalled scenes from Chinese period movies I had watched before - rooms packed with concubines strutting around in their Chinese lingerie, flowing curtains in bright colours decorating the Harem's bath as steam rose from the hot pools and giggles float across the room. Of course, this is all part of my imagination. I was surrounded by aged Korean grannies and a couple of guests in their late 20s or early 30s who spent the night at the jimjibang. How do I spot them? They saunter into the bath area armed with their mugs, toothbrush and toothpaste amongst their toiletries. Apparently, as Matilda, my Korean friend shared, locals prefer to stay at a jimjibang as compared to booking into a motel for reasons ranging from convenience to the cheaper rate. Just do not expect a cushy mattress for a bed as you'd be lying on a heated floor (please see the visual of one sauna above).

Other Therapeutic Services
Just like a visit to any spa, there is a choice of other services like body scrub by a professional, massage and hair treatment at additional charges. The body scrub reminded me of the Turkish bath in Istanbul (left), except that the bed at this jimjibang is as narrow as a standard beauty salon bed wrapped with a thick plastic. I kept preventing myself from slipping off the bed each time I turned over. 

During the massage, the therapist unknotted my muscles just like every other spa massages and even stepped on my back as she used her feet to massaged by very stiff shoulders. I must admit that she has very good body scrub and massage skill, and was kind enough to keep an eye out for me as requested by Matilda. Now, how often do we meet such kind souls in our lives - Matilda and the therapist?

Result of the body scrub and massage
I was amazed and embarrassed to find such as huge amount of gunk on the bed at the end of the massage and scrub. Trust me, I had been scrubbing with the Korean scrub towel supplied by our hotel every day and just before the dips in the pools too. My session also included a light facial massage and crushed cucumber face mask, and shampoo and hair mask. I am not sure if Matilda made that request.

In short a trip to the jimjibang completes any Korean trip. An experience not to be missed.


Johore: Prawn Noodle Soup

Love this affordable bowl of prawn beehoon soup. Have never ventured to taste the  Malaysian version until now.

Served with half of a hard boiled egg and chilli paste instead of sliced chilli in light soya sauce. Soup is tasty.

Noted that I forgot to indicate the portion - RM4/5/6. Instead of checking with me about my preference, the  RM5 bowl of bee hoon was served.


Travel Seoul - Border between North and South Korea

Satisfy your curiosity about North Korea from afar. A trip to the Unification Observatory in South Korea. Situated at the border between South Korea and North Korea allows you to have a sweeping into North Korea from the high point. It was a foggy day when we drove up.


All visitors have to take the bus provided at a fee. No one is allowed to drive up to the Obsetvatory as it us a heavily guarded area. On the way to the Observatory, we passed by many guard houses along the fenced up border close to the road. 

A few pictures captured along the way that I can upload.

The Drive Up

One of the manned guard houses 

tbe  bus to take to the Obnservatory

One of the things we saw outside the Observatory

View from outside the Observatory


Outlet Sores seen during the drive to Observatory

Hotels near the outlet malls and Observatory

Winter with Astalift

Extra Lift In Winter with ASTALIFT SKINCARE

Skin type: Dry
Weather: Winter 1°C

Friendly Advice
My friend told me these few products from ASTALIFT are all I need to protect my dry skin from the drying effects of the cold winter in Seoul. Having braved Korea's coldest winter herself, she confidently advised that I can top up the skincare regime with a moisturising mask treatment during the trip.

My Experience
The skeptic in me wondered if the ASTALIFT Cream is really enough to keep my skin hydrated in the cold weather. It is very light and almost melted into my skin upon application when I used it in our humid climate. 

So I boarded the plane to Seoul after prepping my skin with this range of skincare. And the skin did not feel dry on the plane nor when we touched down. So the whole range is definitely good enough to protect and nourish my skin from the harsh winter. 

See the light texture of the cream
New packaging to go with the
new formulation

I love the cream as it is light and does not clog my skin. I didn't feel any tightness caused by dryness at all. I also love the very mild scent of damask rose in the range which relaxes me and soothes my skin. Apparently, it is said that the aromatic effects of damask rose goes beyond skin-deep to also lower one's blood pressure. So if you are a tense person like me, this would be a great skincare to consider journeying with.

What's great about ASTALIFT

As of January 15, 2013, ASTALIFT launched its improved formulation. ASTALIFT keeps skin youthful with powerful anti-ageing antioxidants Astaxanthin, Lycopene and 3 types of collagen cultured by its holding company FUJIFILM. And high penetration powerful antioxidant Resveratol is also packed into its most concentrated product in the range, Essence Destiny. With FUJIFILM's proprietory experience in nanotechnology, active ingredients in ASTALIFT skincare is designed to be absorbed quickly deep into the skin to hydrate and nourish skin from deep within. Perhaps this explains why there wasn't any sticky feeling even when I use the cream when I return to our hot and humid climate. 

The antioxidants in the cream are powerful ingredients that improve skin's rejuvenative power to improve collagen production in the skin -  much needed boost for all as our skin's natural collagen production reduces with age. With this our skin is protected from skin ageing effects of UV rays and stress (intrinsic and extrinsic).

ASTALIFT was introduced to Singapore not too many years ago and before it was brought into Singapore, it's JellyAquarysta was a sellout in Japan for its intensive moisturising power.

How ASTALIFT Skincare Benefits Skin
Astaxanthin: A powerful carotenoid antioxidant naturally found in abundance in marine life like salmon and sea bream. It is 1,000 times more powerful than CoQ10 and a hundred times more powerful than vitamin E.

Lycoprene: Richly found in tomatoes and pessimons. It has many skin benefits.
- It strengthens skin by boosting skin's natural production of antioxidants and reinforces its natural defense against the ageing effects caused by exposure to pollution and UV rays.
- ASTALIFT uses nano-lycoprene which is delivered deep into the skin in high concentrations to nourish skin from deep within.
- It boosts the power of Astaxanthin by three folds.
- Firms skin and helps prolong skin youthfulness.

Resveratol: A plant-derived antioxidant, it improves skin thickness and prevents the loss of skin firmness.

(Nutritive information extracted from

Check It Out
Incidentally, ASTALIFT is offering a trial offer of its basic skincare at its website. 

To feel the efficacy of the range for yourself, benefit from the current promotion being offered at until 8 February 2013.


  • This promotion is not tied to this blog. Other than facts extracted from website all other comments on the use of the products are based entirely on using the products during my recent trip to Seoul.
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Any mistakes made is purely accidental.