Blog Posts by Deborah Choo

  • Find some fashion treasure in Perth

    There’s a lot to admire in Perth: The gorgeous landscape, the exhilarating outdoor activities, and the shopping. Yes, Australia’s westernmost capital city is also a shopping haven. Large department stores like Myers and David Jones (the country’s oldest) may sell the latest brands, cosmetics, and home and designer collections, but you’d do well to head to the boutiques, where you’ll likely snag that special piece.

    FREMANTLE
    Along the main street is Eros and its stock of designer fashion. Think bright colours, a variety of textures, and a carefully curated selection that ranges from dresses to blouses and jeans to skirts. If you’re looking for something new, chances are you’ll find it there. Another notable boutique is Soul Sisters. The label features top designers such as Rachel Gilbert and Lisa Brown, which can fit your budget.

    LEEDERVILLE
    When Beyonce was here in 2009, she checked out retail outlets like Atlas Divine for its unique clothing, as well Harry & Gretel for its printed

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  • A paradise that’s a plane ride away

    Put your mind at ease the next time you travel by getting in touch with nature… and by indulging your senses with visits to gorgeous beaches and glimpses of colourful wildflowers against a lush landscape. Where to find all these, you ask? Hop on a plane and head to Western Australia. Here are some of the highlights you wouldn’t want to miss.

    Esperance
    Even though it’s an eight- to nine-hour drive south-east from Perth (or an hour by flight, if you so choose), Esperance is worth the trip just for its stunning coastlines, parks and marine attractions. One particular must-see is national park Cape Le Grand, where you can go for an exhilarating walk or set up camp. Up for a drive? The 38-km Great Ocean Drive is perfect for a lazy picnic stopover or surfboarding. Fishing enthusiasts may also head to Tanker Jetty or Bandy Creek Boat Harbour, while avid photographers should take advantage of the pretty town and island views over Rotary Lookout.

    Margaret River
    A three-hour drive from Perth

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  • 5 must-see spots in Kyushu

    The third largest island in Japan, Kyushu exudes all the exotic charms of the land. It also has the largest number of temples and Shinto shrines in the country after Kyoto and Nara. Can’t get to them all? Don’t worry: You can still have the most enjoyable and memorable time at these places.

    1.Dejima Museum

    For 200 years, Dejima was Japan’s only window to the world. This fan-shaped, man-made island at Nagasaki’s harbour was the sole trading spot from the 17th to 19th century. It housed Portuguese missionaries and the Dutch, and the only people allowed to cross the bridge were Japanese prostitutes and traders. But the area has since been painstakingly reconstructed and reopened in 2006. Visitors now get an exclusive insight into how people lived back then with an outdoor, miniature replica of the original town. You get a visual treat of the First Ship Captain’s Quarters with furnishings from that period, the Chief Factor’s Residence, and the Head Clerk’s Quarters with replicas of

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  • 48 hours in Gifu

    So what if you only have two days? Include these in your Japan itinerary and you won’t go home disappointed.

    In the heart of Honshu, Japan lies a large landlocked prefecture, Gifu. Its capital is famous for cormorant fishing, and its main tourist attractions include Takayama, a picturesque town in the mountains, and Shirakawa-go, where small villages run deeper into the mountainous areas. Intrigued? First things first: Travelling from Nagoya to Meitetsu-Gifu Station by the JR line only takes about 30 minutes. But the journey and your two-day stay are well worth it.

    Gero Hot Spring

    Just got off the train and need to relax? Gero Hot Spring, one of the three most famous hot springs in Japan, is just round the corner of JR Gero Station. With its incredibly smooth quality of water – also referred to as the "water of beauties" – some have claimed that it makes the skin of those who soak in it just as smooth! There are also foot baths scattered throughout town. You can experience traditional

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  • Rewards programmes for the Singapore traveller

    Free flights, better seats, more places to go to – there’s so much to love about these airlines’ packages. So even though planning for a vacation means shelling out money, it’s great to know that there are still ways to stretch your dollar and earn cool perks and benefits. Start now by choosing the airline and rewards programme that suits your needs.

    AirAsia
    The low-cost airline recently launched BIG, their first independent loyalty programme. It allows travellers to accumulate loyalty points, which they can then redeem for free flights and other AirAsia add-ons such as baggage and Hot Seats.

    As they’ve partnered with DBS bank and StarHub, customers aged two and above can now earn points for flights and convert their rewards points to BIG Points. While the bank offers three per cent rebates – as well as the option of converting your DBS rewards points into BIG points – spending less than $50 on the telecom firm also means you get to redeem a flight to nearby destinations like Kuala

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  • The best music festivals in Malaysia

    Of the 25 international ones the country plays host to, here are four that have received much praise and love from fans for their exciting line-ups and cool ambience. And you can still catch some of them before the year ends.

    Rainforest World Music Festival

    This event put Sarawak on the world music map. Attracting more than 20,000 fans over the past 16 years, it features a wide range of performances and genres, from traditional to world fusion to contemporary world music. Typically held at the Sarawak Cultural Village, the three-day festival also holds daytime workshops and evening concerts. The last Rainforest World Music Festival happened from June 28 to 30; next year it will be from June 20 to 22.

    KL International Jazz Festival

    On September 14, this world-class annual festival in Kuala Lumpur will have top-notch musicians like Grammy Award-winning Lee Ritenour and Jessy J, plus local jazz acts like KL Jazz Project and UM Big Band, performing live. It’s a great follow-up to the Read More »from The best music festivals in Malaysia
  • WP will be hot favourite for Punggol East by-election: analysts

    The Punggol East constituency seat left vacant by MP Michael Palmer’s sudden resignation would be fiercely contested, say two analysts Yahoo! Singapore spoke to.

    And if the Workers’ Party played their cards right, the opposition could add another seat to their parliamentary voice.

    Bridget Welsh, associate professor in Political Science at Singapore Management University (SMU), said that while Palmer did the “right thing” by stepping down, the more immediate challenge would be the by-election.

    “This is a competitive seat with a three-corner fight last round. A one-on-one contest will make this a potentially winnable seat for the opposition,” she said.

    “How the opposition responds to the situation, timing of the by-election and the political jockeying will shape the contest and make for another important test for political parties at the polls,” she added.

    Political analyst Dr Derek da Cunha, also said there would be a strong moral obligation for the PM to call a by-election, especially

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  • Is this the future of flying?

    Fancy a drink or a quick shower in the sky? Well, all that is now a reality.

    With exquisitely designed onboard shower spas, and a lounge for first and business class passengers to socialize and conduct business meetings in flight, air travellers can do just that on Emirates' newly launched A380 flight carrier.

    The aircraft will provide daily non-stop flights between Dubai and Singapore starting December 2012.

    Currently available for only first and business class passengers, who's to say that in time to come, it may be available for not just the privileged few. Maybe then we can truly kiss problems like jet lag and plane fatigue goodbye.

    Other video links:
    Jazz pianist Dave Brubeck had died at the age of 91
    J. Lo shines at Gardens by the Bay
    PSY brings 'Gangnam Style' to Singapore

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  • Dating vouchers insulting to singles?

    Derision greeted the news that a government agency promoting marriages in Singapore has launched a scheme for people to give “dating cash vouchers” to single friends or relatives.

    Valued at $10, each voucher can be purchased online and be used to offset the cost of events and services offered by agencies accredited by the Social Development Network (SDN).

    Yahoo! Singapore readers who responded to this news, however, said it would be “insulting” to give or receive such vouchers.

    Facebook user Rokiah Iz said, “To give a ‘social gift voucher’ to our single friends is ridiculously a personal insult, and for SDN to suggest it to us buying it as a gift for them is an insult to our intelligence.”

    Another reader Yap Ri Hao said, “That’s like the same as telling your friend: ‘Oh I’m so sorry to hear you’re single, hope this helps.’”

    User Jerry Xie said, “Well, I sure I don't want to receive this or want to give it as a present.”

    Others were more skeptical of the scheme, and questioned whether this

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  • 'Jack-up rig in Jurong accident has been stabilised’

    The jack-up rig in Jurong that tilted and injured 89 workers on Monday has stabilised but the cause of the accident cannot yet be fully determined, said the chief executive of the maker of the rig.

    Sembcorp Marine president and CEO Wong Weng Sun said in a press briefing on Tuesday that the priority now is for them to assess how best to restore the structure to a fully upright position before any personnel goes onboard the rig platform to investigate.

    The rig is currently stuck at a 17-degree tilt with part of the rig platform touching the surface of the seawater.

    Though no one has been near or on the platform since the workers from the rig were evacuated, Wong said that preliminary findings have shown that the fault lies with a brake malfunction on one of the three legs of the rig called the “forward leg”.

    The brakes, Wong said, had been used before in previous successful projects. The incident is the first major industrial accident of the company, he added.

    Meanwhile, the stop-work order

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