#onemontheuropetrip Italy part 1

We’ve been in Italy for only 3 days, but it feels as if it’s been 3 weeks. Just so much to see and experience.

It’s my third time in Rome, so i avoided most of the must-see attractions, except the Coliseum and Trevi fountain. Went to the Baths of Caracalla instead.

This section of the Baths of Caracalla is called Frigidarium, which is also the name of my favourite Gelato place in Rome.
The grounds around the Baths of Caracalla is pure serenity

Continue reading #onemontheuropetrip Italy part 1

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#yenkaitravels #onemontheuropetrip

Believe it or not, those were the very first hashtags I have ever used. I wanted to share photos or even videos as I travel, and what better way to do this than through a Facebook page @ facebook.com/yenkai.net. I hope you will find it interesting!

By the way, I have kept the one day integrated metro and bus ticket for Rome as pictured above in my wallet since 2009. One fine day back in 2009 while visiting Rome, I lost my one-day ticket somehow and was going to purchase a ticket to get back to the hotel. There was a gentleman waiting at the ticket vending machine and he handed me a ticket and walked off without saying a word (well I wouldn’t have understood Italian). I suppose it was a ticket he didn’t need anymore and he would give it to the first person who arrives at the vending machine. I can’t tell you how blessed I felt at that moment!

Here I come again, Rome!

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Shopback $500 milestone

It’s been almost two years since I have used Shopback and I am happy to announce that I have just crossed the S$500 milestone!

Most of the cashback were accumulated from hotel bookings. Yes, I travel a lot, but most of us do travel every now and then and there’s no reason why anyone should miss out on rebates for hotel bookings. Hotel stays don’t normally come cheap, and the 6% you earn in cashback is very significant.

Earning cashback through Shopback is one of the few things that defy the saying “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is”. All it takes is a few clicks to get back a little of what you paid for online purchases.

If you haven’t signed up, you really should do it now! Free money, people.

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The end of ANZ Optimum Credit Card is in sight

Received the mailer as pictured above today. ANZ Retail business taken over by DBS, and that would include the Credit Card business. It can only mean one thing – all ANZ Credit Cards will go.

As the saying goes, all good things come to an end. Also, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. You could say the 5% cashback without minimum spend and practically without cap was a dream. I am quite sure DBS will clamp down on this money losing business.

For those of us holding the ANZ Optimum card, we could probably continue to enjoy the benefits until June or so. Next best Credit Card? Well i guess, for me it will be UOB Visa Signature for overseas and foreign currency spend, and possibly OCBC 365, which gives cashback for a very wide range of spending categories. Once ANZ is no more, i will probably have to get this card.

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The best Malacca chicken rice, according to me

This is a topic that invites much debate, and there will never be a conclusion. Pardon me for borrowing the popular phrase spoken among Indians: “according to me”, I say Chung Wah is the best.

It is often mentioned that chicken rice sold at Jonker Walk are hype and are to be avoided. My tastebuds tell me otherwise. Chung Wah sells the most awesome chicken rice at a touristic location. To me, what really sets Chung Wah apart from the rest is the minimal use of soy sauce. You can see from the featured photo above that there is hardly any gravy. That’s because the chicken is already packed with enough juiciness and aromatics to need to be supplemented with much soy sauce at all. Continue reading The best Malacca chicken rice, according to me

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North-South highway lunch stop – Panchor

Today i found my new favourite lunch stop along the North-South highway – Hin Thoy restaurant at Panchor. It is easily accessible from the North-South highway – merely 8 minutes from the Pagoh toll exit.

Panchor is a quiet village by the Muar river, and i love the sense of serenity here. This was much more pleasant than the other nearby towns, Yong Peng and Tangkak, and even Pagoh.

All quiet on the river promenade
Exceptionally calm waters

Continue reading North-South highway lunch stop – Panchor

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86OF revamps website, sort of

86OF has launched a revamped website. What they’ve done is basically putting up a company website proper. The current website at www.86of.com showcases the company business and is not aimed at end consumers who want to do parcel forwarding. I wonder what’s the point.

The original website with the “Member Centre” for managing parcels is still around and is now moved to the website address amk.86of.com. Not surprisingly, this annoucement is only made in the Chinese version of their website. I’m sure some customers would have panicked when they were not able to find the “Member Centre”.

The new website reveals that they have opened up 5 other branches around the island – Woodlands, Clementi, Hougang (in the Chinese version of website it is said to be Kovan), Tampinee and Boonlay (*facepalm* they are still not bothered about using proper English for their website and don’t even care if the names are spelt wrongly).

This is probably good news to those customers who stay far away from Ang Mo Kio. What i found puzzling is the way they have organized their operation. Every of these branches operate independently of each other with a different company name and website address. Also, with the exception of the Tramlines branch (called TPparcel), neither the company name nor the website address give you any clue that it serves a specific region. For example, the Clementi website address is www.taobao2SG.com (or cm.86of.com – is cm a good abbreviation of Clementi?) while the Woodlands website address is www.888ocean.com (or wl.86of.com – i’ve never seen Woodlands abbreviated as wl). They are operating in a franchising model, but i seriously think the execution is not briliant at all. All the franchising businesses I have seen operate as if they are the same and one entity.

Anyway, what’s most important for us consumers is that we can ship our Taobao goods at rock bottom prices, and i will continue using 86OF until they fail me. If you’re new to 86OF (do read my reviews on them), here are the sign up links for the various self-collection points – Ang Mo KioClementiWoodlands, Hougang and Tampines.

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Breakfast chronicles – Tortilla wrap

This is one of my favourite breakfast recipes, because it’s easy, tasty, and relatively healthy.

Mix, roll, and pan-fry

Homemade Tortillas are far better than store bought ones, and they’re extremely simple to make. The only thing one has to be careful about is not adding too much water to end up with a very wet dough, which will be difficult to handle. Continue reading Breakfast chronicles – Tortilla wrap

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86OF second review

I have just collected my second round of shipment through 86OF parcel forwarding, and generally speaking, you could say it turned out just fine.

My bounty this time, amounting to 0.24 CBM

Here are some details of note during the course of engagement with 86OF for the shipment. Continue reading 86OF second review

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Taobao is back on Shopback

For two months probably, Taobao went missing on Shopback. Apparently, they were revamping the mechanism for tracking Taobao purchases through Shopback.

Previously, you had to search for the item you wanted to purchase through the search bar in Shopback’s Taobao page. The obvious disadvantages of this approach were you would not be able to filter nor sort the search results like you could on Taobao website. For example, you wouldn’t be able to find the seller with the highest sales volume, and you normally want to do that. Continue reading Taobao is back on Shopback

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