Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Is Wendy from Carousell selling discounted Singapore attraction ticket a scam?

To make it short - she is totally reliable.

But to make sure we are talking about the same Wendy, this is her profile in Carousell:-

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For the full story, you might be interested to know that I planned to bring my son to Singapore Zoo before he turns 3 since it's free entrance and free tram ride to children below 3 years old.

Otherwise the entrance is S$22 for children (3 - 12 years old) and S$33 for adult. Tram ride within the park is S$3 (child) and S$5 (adult).

FYI there are no concession fare for senior citizens UNLESS your are Singapore citizens or PR holders. Dang!!

My search for discounted tickets on the internet was unfruitful and the best deal I can find is 5% for early online purchase as the 15% discounts are only for Singaporeans.. Double Dang!

But thankfully a week before my trip, a seller on Carousell suddenly followed my account and she sells.. "discounted tickets for ALL Singapore Attractions"!! Wow!! Talk about answered prayers!

Only S$27 for adult bundled with tram ride ticket! That is like almost 30% discount off the regular price!

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But then came the inner conflict of can I trust her..?? Even though she had more than 1,000 positive reviews, I had my reservations since the reviews were mostly Singaporeans buyers except 1 from Philippines. Maybe she's only genuine to Singaporeans...

Another down side was she only accepts Singapore credit / debit card. So that leave me with 2 options. Either COD or bank in through ATM machines when I am in Singapore.

Plus a call to her on whatsapp kind of give the impression that she is from China from her accent in speaking english (ok.. before you judge me, I just feel that China is kind of famous for scams.. think fake eggs.. fake oils.. fake baby milk powder).

I actually thought of just buying half of the tickets from her and the other half from the Zoo itself, as I figured if I have been scammed, at least it's not total loss.

Anyhow, I decided to take the plunge and buy all 4 tickets from her through UOB cash deposit machine because:-

a) her COD locations are mostly in Singapore's West side. Her COD schedule are as follows:-

9:40 - 11am      Harbourfront MRT
12pm                Dhoby Ghaut MRT
12:30pm           Orchard MRT
2 - 3pm            Harbourfront MRT
5:30 - 6:20pm   Raffles Place MRT
7 - 10pm          Clementi MRT

As I am in East, it will take me 40mins of travel time (one way) to meet her in the evening.

b) UOB accepts S$2, 5 and 10 which is great cos certain banks' ATM only accepts S$10 and S$5.

And bear in mind that normally ATM with cash deposits functions are found in the bank's branch and not in shopping malls. Do ask the Information Counter at shopping malls for the nearest ATM which accepts cash deposits.

c) UOB branch in Bedok Central offers free WIFI but you need roaming to receive the activation code through SMS.

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In conclusion, I banked into her account at 8am and whatsapp her using UOB free WIFI and I received the e-tickets from her at 8:30am using the Zoo free WIFI at the entrance.

My e-ticket for Singapore Zoo

The e-ticket contained a collection code which I have to keyed into kiosk or machines located at the right end of the ticketing counter. The machine will also ask for your nationality and once completed, it will auto print and dispense the tickets.

It was really easy and convenient and the best news is that she not only sells Singapore Zoo tickets! Most, if not all attractions tickets can be bought through her and they are all discounted tickets! Jackpot baby!!

Friday, May 5, 2017

My dog ate my RM50 note... went to Bank Negara for help

So your dog ate your money? Welcome to the club!

It happened when my husband was taking out his keys to the door, a RM50 note fell out from his pocket. Since it was dark, he did not notice until morning and all that was left was shreds and pieces.

Sob.. the dogs ate my RM50...
All that was left from the back   :(

So a bit research show that you can actually go to Bank Negara Malaysia to get "mutilated" or damaged notes exchanged for a brand new one.

The guidelines from Bank Negara as per their website at was:-

"There are three categories of redemption value of a mutilated note as follows :-
(i) Full value should be awarded to any piece of note which is more than two-thirds (2/3) in size of the original note or;

(ii) Half value should be awarded to any piece of note which is more than half (1/2) but less than two-thirds (2/3) in size of the original note or;

(iii) No value should be awarded to any piece of note which is less than half (1/2) in size of the original note".

Err.. so my case is 2/3 or 1/2? Plus my notes did not have the full serial number... Yikes!

So I went to Bank Negara to try and was basically given a piece of paper to glue the mutilated notes (see photo below for sample of the white paper). Then the "expert" will determine how many percent is left.

Sample of the white paper

The staff at the counter was sure my case was a total write off but thankfully, perhaps due to the fact that it was during Chinese New Year week, I was given FULL VALUE!

Yippee..! This was good news to the dogs otherwise they might have to fork out RM25 (since I was quite sure that it's more than 1/2) by hook or by crook through food rationing (evil laughing - Hey don't judge me.. RM50 is not money to be eaten by dogs you know).

So as member of this club, now you know about the implications of 2/3 and halves in money changing.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Where to park in JB to go to Singapore

Since 5 of us (including a toddler) are going down to Singapore, it's actually much cheaper to drive down to Johor Bahru and from JB make our way to Singapore.

It's also better for us in terms of comfort and flexibility. Our only concern was finding a safe place to park the car in JB.

Forget parking in JB Sentral as it's always full because it is only 4 - 5 storeys high. The situation is so bad that cars even TRIPLE parked in front of designated lots.

So the better bet is to park at Sun Parking (for location click here Sun Parking), an outdoor parking space adjacent and walking distance to JB Sentral. The open space is huge, well not exactly huge but it is bigger than normal outdoor parking.

Do note that due to high demand, it can also be full so you might need to walk a distance to get to the entrance / JB Sentral cum checkpoint.

Security is good. We made it a point to let the staffs know the number of days we are parking and they helped to get us a better parking lot (if possible).

Parking fee is at RM12 per day and for our 4 days, we paid RM45 cos we collected the car at about 1pm.

All in we spent about RM330 for the drive down including petrol, toll, parking and causeway link bus to and fro JB/SP.

For the bus, we make it point to take the JB-Singapore coach which takes us directly to Queens St. (near to Bugis MRT).

The fare from Singapore-JB is S$3.30 per adult. It's free for children below 7. For senior citizens above 60, there's 25% discount.

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And if you are heading to Singapore, then you might want to check my blog on where to get Singapore Attractions Tickets at almost 30% off - click here.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Tips for travelling to Korea with baby

1) Is Seoul stroller friendly
Before the trip, I did researched on whether Korea, or more specifically Seoul is stroller friendly.

After coming back from the trip, I do not actually have the answer.

That is because stroller was BOTH good and at the same time a burden.

Strollers great for Nami Island
Strollers are good for places where you need to travel on level ground for long distances like Nami Island but a real burden at places without elevator but just stairs.

That is why I did not even step into Daiso in Myeong-dong as is it located on the basement accessible only by stairs.

Also it will depend on how much your baby like to sit on stroller.
My baby was not fond of the stroller, hence whenever he is QUIETLY sitting or sleeping on the stroller and we came across stairs or escalators, we are reluctant to disturb him.

No choice but to lug and lift both the stroller and him on board up or down the stairs.

So it is no wonder that I develop a love hate relationship with the stroller.

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2) Baby carrier
For my trip, besides the Combi Quickids stroller, I used SUPPORI - a one shoulder baby sling.

I also have an i-Angel hipseat carrier but did not bring it as ALL my family members were protesting that it's too bulky.

Suppori was perfect because it's light and small so basically I just kept it in one of my front pockets (yeah it's that small when folded).

So whenever Ming Jun needs to be carried, I'll just whipped it out but since he learnt how to walk, I'll only carry him for max 30 minutes.

In Korea, I see mostly moms with hipseat carrier or Ergo type of carrier. So whenever I used Suppori, there will always be a few quick glances at my direction.

Using Suppori in front of Seoul Station

Shopping at Lotte Mart
So in the end, when travelling, the most important factor in your choice of stroller or carrier is WEIGHT!

Cos you ain't going to use it if it's heavy, bulky and cumbersome.

For a comparison between Suppori and i-Angel read my review.

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3) Is Korea nursing friendly?
DEFINITE YES!! Because you can find nursing rooms in almost every subway station! Seriously! The bigger stations nursing rooms are so complete that they even provide nursing pillow, microwave and etc.

Nursing room in Seoul Station

In Lotte World Mall @ Jamsil Station, the rooms are even staffed by 2 employees. Wow!!

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4) Korea is a great place to buy baby food
Korean made ones are more wallet friendly than the imported ones.

I find products such as Nurture Inc's Happy Yogis are more expensive in Korea compared with Malaysia.

But there are no complaining as there are many many Korean made baby food to choose from!

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5) Is it a good idea to bring baby to Everland?
Definitely yes but be prepared for the long journey because it will take at about 2 hours to get there one way (from Myeong-dong to Joendae Everland Station, via the Yongin Ever Line W3,350).

The journey also consist of 5 transfers of subway stations and finally a short walk to catch a free shuttle bus to Everland entrance.

And bear in mind that you will need to repeat same for the journey back to your hotel.

There's coach from Myeong-dong direct to Everland but it will costs more at W12,000 for round trip.

Link for transport to Everland's is here.

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6) Length of stay
For me, I went for 10 days and it was good because my baby came down with chicken pox so I was in isolation with baby for a few days. So the extra days came in handy.

Also every baby is different and mine was very well behaved during flight but he was either homesick or not feeling well because of chicken pox during the first 2 days.

Symptoms include crying whenever I am not around, so much so that I could not even go to the toilet in the hotel room and if I did, I have to leave the toilet door open.

When evening, he cried when I opened the hotel room door because he was expecting to see his familiar room.

Since every baby is different, you have to factor in homesickness in your planning but most important is that you must be patient and cool about a crying baby in restaurants, trains and even in your hotel room.

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7) Special departure hall for passengers travelling with infant
When travelling out from Incheon Airport, there are special departure hall no. 1 and 6 for passengers with elderly or infants which made the whole immigration process much easier and faster.

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8) Bring diapers
I am glad I did because diapers like Huggies are super expensive in Korea. It cost about RM100 (more than 30,000Won) for 50+pcs.

As for Korean brands, I did not have the time to check them as I am not familiar with their brand and quality.

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For more practical tips on travelling to Seoul, Korea, you must read this and this if you fall sick in Korea.

Before buying a baby carrier - READ THIS (i-Angel hipseat carrier vs Suppori sling)

Actually both these products are completely different range but with the same purpose. To ease your burden in carrying your baby.

So below is a comparison chart between Suppori and i-Angel:-

I did not give full stars for both products in the COMFORT category as I would be lying to say that carrying your baby with a carrier or sling is "pain" free.

I reckon it is because using a carrier or sling will "work" those muscles which normally would not be used in our normal day to day activity but the pain will ease in time as you would have strengthen those muscles.

Still for prolong continuous wearing, it is normal to have backache but you will experience the ache faster with Suppori than i-Angel because from the design you know that Suppori is not meant for long period of wearing being un-padded at all.

Anyhow, baby always managed to sleep when being carried on both products.


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Also I would say baby carrier / sling are highly recommend as long as baby are still crawling. Because once baby learn how to walk, they prefer to exercise their new skill and independence.

So buy a carrier / sling early on, so that you can enjoy the benefits of the product longer.

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From my experience in using these products, to increase comfort I would recommend:-


1) Choice of shoulder is very important. The guide given was to use the opposite shoulder of the side that you would normally side carry your baby.

But I find the initial "discomfort" on my right shoulder too much to bear.

So my personal tip is to carry the baby on the shoulder which you normally carry your handbag because this is the shoulder which is "used" to carrying weight.

Initially used the right shoulder
Found left shoulder better in handling weight
Revert to right shoulder as previously had
shingles on right side of lower back

2) to help distribute baby's weight, it is important to hold baby's bottom like you would if you side carry him.

Also with Suppori, your baby will cooperate with you and actually hold on to your arm as well  =)

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1) must attach the hipseat at the waist, the smallest part of your body as tight as possible. Later the weight of the baby will lower the seat and it will not be exactly at your waist anymore.

i-Angel helped me hike up to
the Japanese garden @ Bukit Tinggi
2) when using just the hipseat, besides holding on to your baby, hold the top part of the hipseat as well because this will take some of the baby's weight off your back.

I prefer this style of carrying as my baby perspire or sweat a lot. This method without attaching the rest of the carrier would ensure he stays cool.

Useful tips for travelling to Seoul, Korea

1) Download APPS on your smart phone

a) Subway Navigation app
There are many apps to choose from but I liked the one from KAKAO CORP for its ease of usage.

In the app, you click the Search button, type the name of the station, specify is it the departure or destination station. Do this 2 times to specify one departure and destination station.

Subway navigation app

Then the app will calculate the Duration of Travel and also the Fare.

Included are also the colour code of the subway station and which direction to take for transfer or exchange.

I love best the feature which specify which carriage to sit in best to catch the next transfer because the door of the carriage will always open next to an escalator or stairs to ensure fastest travel time (ie. less walking).

For example (5-1) means to take carriage no. 5 -1. You can find these numbers on the floor of the waiting platform.

Special tip:-
Always choose the shortest time rather than the least transfer because even though you might be unwilling to part with the seat, the least transfer can sometimes mean looooong walking distance from one transfer station to another.

Usually the transfer meant going up / down to another platform but when travelling from Nami Island back to Myeon-dong, it meant exiting the station, taking up flights of stairs and crossing of pedestrian bridge and down another stairs to get to the other station.

Bear in mind, I was carrying my baby who was coming down with chicken pox at that time. I felt like Kung Fu Panda then when I saw the stairs!!

So the shortest time is the safer bet anytime!

Currency converter app
b) Currency app - if you have data, it gives real time.. otherwise when you are offline, it shows the last rate for conversion

c) Weather app
Always good to check the weather 15 days ahead of your trip cos it's quite accurate. Plan your itinerary based on weather because places such as Everland are no fun with rain! So when it did rained, we head to Lotte World Mall at Jamsil station which had an indoor theme park.

d) Language app - I had this app but no time to brush up on the language.. so used English or hand language the whole time, even with the doctor in the hospital. LOL!!

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2) get travel insurance!
I got mine from my insurance agent who recommended ACE Jerneh Travel Insurance.

Malaysia travel insurance rates
I bought the RM54 for 2 person since my husband did not go for the trip, so it was not worth it to take the family package.

If you intend to travel a lot, then it's best to get the annual family package which covers spouse and children for RM640 (Asia Pacific) and RM865 (Worldwide).

Special tip:-
My agent advised me to buy the insurance the moment you confirmed your airline tickets because the coverage starts from the date of payment.

So you are protected from whatever that may happen to hinder the trip (eg. dengue etc). Anyway, just buy as early as possible because you cannot predict the future.

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3) in Seoul, my son suddenly came down with chicken pox. Read my experience here on where to go for health emergencies.
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4) when Koreans say, it is near - within walking distance, do not believe them! We, Malaysians are not used to walking, so take a cab. Really!

Because I walked from Chungmuro station to the hospital and it took me nearly 30 -40 minutes of walking, stopping and asking for direction, being told the wrong place and asking again to finally finding the hospital located on a gentle slope. Boy was I tired!

Taxis are not that expensive in Seoul especially when travelling in group of 4 and short distances.

After the hospital, it costs us about W3,000-W4,000 to get to the guesthouse. Much better than spending W1,250 per person on the subway.

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5) visit Plaza Korea website to grab special discounts vouchers and freebies when you join Kaki Korea Club.

For my trip, Kaki Korea was running free pre-loaded Limited Edition Big Bang T-Money card promotion and discount voucher booklet. It was awesome travelling and shopping with T-Money!

Currently, Kaki Korea is offering free 2016 Calendar to all it's members who participate in the promo!

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6) If you are flying back via Air Asia X, dont bother to be to airport early as the check in counter only opens at 1pm plus. The only plus point of being early was we were the first in line.

There are 2 queue lines:-
i) one for those who already web check in and doing baggage drop and
ii) another line for those who have yet to web check in.

The shopping in the airport is so-so, so no point going to the airport early cos the time is better spent in the city doing last minute shopping (at better prices too) or eating in Seoul.

When we were there, many duty free shops were under renovation and those that were opened were selling international brands. I cannot find any bargains.

I managed to see one shop selling korean brands but the shop was very small and carried only famous brands - but mostly the brand's best sellers. Hence limited choice of products.

The only good thing about the airport => there were a few "shops" by Korean Tourism Board which organised cultural performances and at certain time there are models dressed in traditional costumes which you can take photo with.

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7) Tax refund at the Airport

I'll keep it brief.
Not all purchases are eligible for Tax Refund.

This only applies to products purchased in shops which honor tax refund (HINT:- look out for tax refund sticker at the shop front).

Plus in order to get the tax refund, once you made the purchase at those shops, you need to go to their special counter (within the shop) for them to validate the purchase and issue you a special tax refund receipt. Without these receipts, there are no way to get tax refund because at the airport, the process are partially AUTOMATED.

For more information on tax refund, see the attached images at the bottom on this blog.

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8) When the weather gets too cold, get HEAT / HOT PACKS from convenience store

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Well that's all the tips! Here's wishing you a safe and pleasant trip to Korea!!

If you are travelling to Korea with babies or small toddler, click here.
For useful tips for travelling to Hong Kong click here.
Tips on travelling from Hong Kong to Macau click here.

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Falling sick in Korea - what to do

This happened to both my son (Ming Jun) and myself because after leaving Nami Island, the spots on Ming Jun's body multiplied.

I suspected Chicken Pox as about 2 weeks ago, I had shingles.

While in the subway, I asked a Korean girl:-
Q:- "Where do Koreans normally go for health emergencies?"
A:- "Pharmacies or hospitals."

Since she had her laptop on, I requested her assistance to google the nearest hospital for me.

It was a hospital near Chungmuro station and I must add that the hospital was super efficient.

Shortly after registration, they printed out an ID tag for Ming Jun and  I was ushered into the emergency ward where they took his weight and temperature. Then a nurse and pediatrician came to check on Ming Jun.

The doctor only prescribed calamine lotion and anti bacterial cream in case of open wound from scratching.

The medicine was dispensed within minutes by the pharmacist complete with a print out of the name and photo of the medicines to avoid error.

This happened at night at about 10pm and I have never experienced such fast and reasonably priced service (W38,800 ~ RM150) at our private hospitals emergency ward in Kuala Lumpur!

Maxim Soo Ming Jun's hospital bill
Thankfully, I bought travel insurance, so the hospital expense was reimbursed after the trip.

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For myself, I suffered from wind and indigestion on the same day. I was so sick that it took me 30 minutes just to eat a slice of plain bread.

So after suffering for 2 days, I finally asked my sisters to get me some medicines from a pharmacy nearby and the medicine was sooooo effective.

It was a drink in a glass bottle which I need to finish in one go (the size like Livita) and some tablets one every 2 hours. The relief was immediate as I can enjoy a pack of fried rice. Yeah!

FYI I only took 4 of the tablets to fully recover and the box of tablets only costs 2500won (RM9.50). Sorry.. I did not take a photo of the bottle cos I was not well that time.

So if you are in Korea and you fall sick, don't worry. Just head to the nearest pharmacy. Chances are quite high that the pharmacist can speak English.