Singapore’s Largest Home-Grown Retail Electronics Store Launches First Ever Online Store

Psst… we have a secret to share with you and if you’re reading this blog post at this hour; you’re in luck!

Audio House, one of Singapore’s largest home-grown retail electronics store, has just launched their first ever online store along with their membership programme and you can check it out at Audiohouse.com.sg.

Now, anyone can sign up as an Audio House Member and get SGD$60 free credits instantly and these credits can be used to offset SGD$20 with every SGD$100 spent. But if you sign up exactly on 25 May 2017 between 0000 to 2359 hours; you get an additional SGD$40 credits, which makes it SGD$100 free credits that you can instantly use upon immediate signup.

Here are 3 reasons why you should sign up!

1. If you are a first-time homeowner and you have just completed your house renovation, this is the best opportunity for you to purchase your home and kitchen appliances. From washing machine to television and even the refrigerator, there’s definitely something that you can get for your new home at Audio House. What’s more, you get 20% off your purchase!

2. Membership is free and it is valid for a lifetime! Since you get SGD$100 free credits which you can use immediately, why not seize this opportunity to also replace the old household appliances that you have always wanted to replace?

3. Since Fathers’ Day is just round the corner and if you’re having some difficulty trying to think of what you can get for your techie dad, you should check out Audio House Online Store! Whether it’s a home entertainment system or a wine cooler, I’m pretty sure you can find something for your dad here.

Well, don’t wait any longer! This promotion is only valid for sign-ups on 25 May 2017 between 0000 to 2359 hours so hurry and sign up now!

Mizuno Ekiden 2017 Coming to The Promontory @ Marina Bay On 19 August

I have participated in the Mizuno Ekiden Run since it’s inauguration in 2015 and every edition of the race is different because there are always new developments that cater to runners of all ages and background. This year will see Mizuno Singapore staging the third edition of the Mizuno Ekiden Run, which is a relay-styled long distance run and it will be held at The Promontory @ Marina Bay on 19 August 2017.

Capping the capacity at 5,000 runners, this year’s race hopes to target an increased participation from regional countries with the introduction of the ‘Running Club Category’. The Running Club category is open to all running clubs in Southeast Asia that have been active for at least three months and all team members must be residents or permanent residents of any ASEAN country. The winning team of the ‘Running Club Category’ can stand to win the top prize of SGD$2,200 worth of cash and vouchers.

If you have not participated in the Mizuno Ekiden Run before and you’re wondering how such a relay-styled long distance run is carried out, here’s how it is done; runners will participate in teams of four where the first runners of each team will flag off while donning a traditional tasuki sash. Upon completing his or her leg of the relay, the sash will be passed to the second runner who will be waiting at the transition area. This process will continue until the sash is donned by the fourth runner, who will then finish the race and join the rest of his or her team members at the finish line.

The first ekiden race was held in 1917, in conjunction with celebrating the anniversary of the moving of the capital to Tokyo. The ekiden race was held over three days between the old Japanese capital of Kyoto and the modern capital of Tokyo with the total distance amounting to 508 km.

The original concept of the race stems from Japan’s communication and transportation system during the olden days, in which stations were posted at intervals along the road. The word Eki, means station and den, represents transmit. The tasuki can be likened by many to a baton in track-and-field relay races, but in actual fact, the tasuki means more than just a baton. Each tasuki is thought to represent the honour not only of the team itself but of the university, company, or region that the team comes from. Thus, it is the tasuki’s symbolic significance that makes an ekiden race unique.

On a more personal note, I have always enjoyed running the Mizuno Ekiden because it spurs my team to display remarkable performance in intense and challenging situations while fostering friendship and showcasing commendable Japanese values such as perseverance, resilience and teamwork.

Since this year’s race will take place from 4 pm in the late afternoon onwards, the weather will be pretty hot so do hydrate yourselves sufficiently and strategize accordingly to get the most out of the race.

What I enjoy most about the Mizuno Ekiden is the Matsuri Race Village where I could have a nice celebratory dinner with my teammates over a wide array of traditional and popular Japanese gourmet such as sushi, ramen, and desserts after a good race. If you’re a fan of all things Japanese; you should definitely head down to the Matsuri Race Village since entry is free and there’s a string of Japanese activities and performances lined up for everyone to enjoy and appreciate.

As for the race registration, runners can register in teams of four across four categories; the Open Category (42.195km), the Open Category (21.1km), the Corporate category (21.1km), and the newest category in 2017, the Running Club category.

For more information about the event, do visit http://mizunoekiden.sg or https://www.facebook.com/MizunoEkiden.

Distant Road Trips: A Few Considerations Before You Set Off

Road trips are fantastic ways to go out and see more of the world in the comfort of your own vehicle. However, there’s a lot of planning involved especially if you want to see more than just your own country or state. If you want to try and drive a long distance for your road trip, then here are a couple of things to consider to keep yourself safe and enjoy more of your freedom.

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Safe and Sound

The first major concern you need to have on your mind is safety. Remember that you need car insurance in case something goes wrong with your vehicle. Although some places don’t actually require car insurance, it’s an essential safety net that you should always invest in. Make sure you also have a first aid kit in your car in the event that you or a passenger ends up in an accident or needs immediate medical attention. During road trips, you probably won’t be close to any hospitals and if you’re in unfamiliar territory you might have a difficult time contacting emergency services. Practice some basic first aid skills so that you’re never left in a bad situation.

Stay Entertained

Driving around without any kind of direction isn’t very fun. If you’re going to travel for long periods of time in the car, then you need to keep yourself entertained. Here’s a great tip: carry a couple of portable battery banks. They’re inexpensive, can be charged at hotels or hostels that you sleep in, and it’s better than risking your own car battery by using the in-car power. With several battery banks, you can keep the tunes playing in your car, you can watch a movie or two on a tablet device when you’ve pulled over for the night, and it will give your passengers something to do outside of staring at the scenery.

Plan Ahead

Part of the fun of a road trip is exploring the world, but it doesn’t mean you have to drive around aimlessly. Plan your road trip so that you’ve got plenty of things to do, be it travelling from one town to another and stopping to eat at famous places, or even visiting museums and other cultural places to soak in the sights and sounds. The more you plan, the more restricted your road trip will be, so it’s important to give yourself a couple of days to explore the destinations you arrive at.

Carry Some Outdoor Gear

When you go on a road trip, one of the things you’ll see a lot of is big open fields. If you carry some camping equipment such as a tent and a portable stove, you’ll have lots of entertainment by simply sleeping out in fields and playing games like the frisbee. It’s great to soak in the sun as well if you plan to take your trip in the Summer, but keep in mind that a lot of lands is privately owned and you’ll be considered trespassing if you aren’t careful. Keep this in mind and plan the places you visit so that you don’t end up in trouble.

2 Nights in Kenting- A Southern Taiwan Travelogue

Although Jacqueline and I often frequent Northern and Central Taiwan, we haven’t had the luxury of time to explore the Southern part of Taiwan yet and boy were we glad when we were presented with an opportunity to travel to Southern Taiwan.

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In this blog post, we present our unofficial travelogue to Kenting, Taiwan’s best spot for summer activities!

Flight

We took a direct flight from Singapore to Kaohsiung via Scoot and it took less than 4.5 hours. In case you’re wondering, it cost us SGD$548 for two adult return trip tickets and Scoot remains our preferred budget airline for short haul trips! Why Kaohsiung International Airport? Well, it’s the most convenient way to get to Kenting.

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Travelling to Kenting

Upon arriving at Kaohsiung International Airport, we took the southbound bus to Kenting which cost NT$309 (about SGD$14.40) per person for a one-way trip. As the travel duration from Kaohsiung International Airport to Kenting is about 2.5 hours, do stock up on some food and snacks at the convenience shops before taking the long bus ride.

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Just like any other ordinary buses, the seats are comfortable and spacious enough; just don’t expect it to have the services and comfort level of a coach.

Our Accommodation in Kenting

We decided to put up at Kenting Nanwan Resort and we had a room that has a fabulous view of the sea and it even comes with a gigantic bathtub. The accommodation cost NT$9200 (approximately SGD$426) for 2 nights and the rate is inclusive of breakfast.

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If you are planning to celebrate your wedding anniversary or honeymoon, Kenting Nanwan Resort is definitely an accommodation to consider because of its Santorini-styled and nautical-themed rooms.

One of the main reason why we chose Kenting Nanwan Resort was because it is located quite close to a couple of attractions in Kenting.

Travelling Around Kenting

I was told that I could rent a small 50CC scooter from a rental shop even if I do not have a motorcycle license but I decided to just rent an electric scooter (from Kenting Nanwan Resort) to help us get around Kenting instead; since getting into trouble with the law isn’t something that is on my bucket list.

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The rental came with a spare battery and the electronic scooter could hit a speed of up to 30km/hour. But of course, opening the throttle all the way isn’t a good idea as it also drains the battery quite a fair bit. If you haven’t ridden a scooter before, I strongly suggest that you get around Kenting via the public transport instead. You wouldn’t want to risk your adventure becoming a misadventure as the traffic there can be quite hard to navigate around if you’re not an experienced rider.

Also, the weather in May can be really hot and we suffered some pretty nasty sunburns from being exposed when riding around Kenting. Hence, do have your sunscreen protection on before you start riding around!

As usual, Google Maps remains our preferred GPS and mapping system to get around.

Places of Interest Around Kenting

To be honest, Kenting is a place that we will visit again because 2 nights really isn’t enough to cover all the attractions that we had planned to visit.

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During our 2 nights’ stay in Kenting, we visited the following places of interest and they are as follows:

Kenting Street Night Market

There is one main night market in Kenting and it is located at Kenting Main Street. Known as the Kenting Street Night Market, it is about 2KM long and you can expect large crowds of people especially during the weekends.

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Starting from Kenting National Park, the long line of food and game stands stretches to Caesar Park Hotel. There are some interesting food and souvenirs that you can find here and if you want a slice of Kenting’s nightlife, this is the place to be at because there are various bars and pub with various themes.

You might also come across some stalls that sell fireworks and sparklers and should you decide to purchase them; do note that it is illegal to set them off as and when you like. If you choose to buy the fireworks and sparklers and set them off; ignite them only at the open beach areas and at your own risk.

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What we personally enjoyed the most was the affordable and tasty street food and if you have forgotten to bring your beachwear, the shops at Kenting Main Street will have it. Kenting Street Night Market opens from 6 pm onwards till about 11 pm daily and if you don’t like big crowds, visit during the weekdays instead.

Eluanbi Lighthouse

Kenting’s best-known landmark is a still-functioning lighthouse that was built in the 1880s at Eluanbi Cape, the southernmost end of Taiwan’s Central Mountain Range and inside Eluanbi Park. The park is a part of Kenting Forest Recreation Area and is served by a separate entrance. Eluanbi Park also features trails through vines and past massive coral rocks, a coastal walkway where locals go fishing, and lookout points.

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From November to March, the park opens from 9 am to 5 pm and from April to October, it opens from 9 am to 6 pm. The entrance fee is NTD$60 (about SGD$2.80) for one person.

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Most Southern Point in Taiwan

Taiwan is not a big island. It takes only 1000 kilometres to circle the island. From the northernmost point, Fugui Cape to the southernmost point; it only takes nine to ten hours of driving and there is even a challenge of cycling from the northernmost lighthouse to the southernmost lighthouse in one day every year. The monument of Taiwan Southernmost Point is located between the famous Eluanbi Lighthouse and the ecological reserve area of Longkeng. Facing the ocean, the Pacific Ocean is on the left and the Bashi Channel between Taiwan and Philippine is on the right.

Paradise of Deer

We had great difficulty in finding this place when we were riding around but the effort was well worth it because we had the opportunity to get up close and personal with the Sika Deer! The admission cost NT$100 (about SGD$4.65) and it comes with coupons which you can use to exchange for souvenirs and as well as some feed for the Sika Deer.

The Sika Deer is also known as the spotted deer or the Japanese deer and it is a species of deer native to much of East Asia and introduced to various other parts of the world. For more information, check out Paradise of Deer’s Facebook Page!

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There are many other places that we wanted to visit in Kenting but because of the lack of time; we haven’t got the opportunity to do so and we will definitely consider a second visit again!

Got any questions? Drop us an email or leave your comments in the box below!

The Entertainment Apps That You Need On Your Phone

The Smartphone; it is an amazing piece of tech that does a lot for us, but without applications, it is just a normal bog standard phone. Apps are amazing little things that open up a unique door of possibilities every single time they are used. From blasting music with Deezer, to binging a TV series on Netflix, there is a lot that you can do in terms of entertainment with a smartphone loaded up with some good apps and a big memory card.

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With commutes, traveling and breaks – we need entertainment more than ever – thankfully, with a smartphone, we can get more entertainment than ever before, but only with the right apps.

First up, the entertainment app that everyone needs to have on their smartphone is of course Netflix. We are in a period now where better television content is being created than ever before and it really is Netflix who lead that movement. Some of the Netflix Original’s are the best films and TV shows around. With House of Cards, Arrested Development and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt as well as a whole bunch of Marvel shows; Netflix is the only place to get some amazing programming from. Of course, it is limited by borders and content differs between countries, but you can easily work around that with tools like www.flixusa.com.au which allows you bypass regional blocks so you can access the best content that Netflix has to offer. This might be the best entertainment app going.

But we can’t forget music. Music might be the thing that makes the world go round. Spotify and Deezer are amazing apps that allow us to listen to new music as well as classic tunes. It isn’t just that though; these apps tailor playlists for us based on the music we like, so they do all the hard work of selecting songs for us. The apps also allow us to download music for offline listening, which is crucial!   

Music isn’t the only thing your ears need. Podcasts and radio exist as some of the best free entertainment on offer today. From the gruesome Last Podcast On The Left, to WTF with Marc Maron; podcasts are not afraid to tackle the areas everyone else avoids and ask the questions people are scared of asking. If you have an interest, it is likely that there is a podcast, or four, out there, just for you. To take advantage of podcasts, download an app that can catch them for you – Apple Podcasts if you’re on iPhone or Podcast Addict if you are on Android will suffice. Radio is a great way to listen to the voices you want to, while hearing new music and TuneIn Radio combines that with a podcast tool to ensure you are always hooked up with audio.

There are also plenty of games on offer – so you can keep your thumbs just as busy as your eyes and ears. Just search around, there are far too much to talk about!