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For all you travel lovers and globetrotters, Decathlon has something special just for you! As part of the brand’s Back To Travel campaign, Decathlon Singapore will be running a photo contest in collaboration with Nikon Singapore. 100 lucky participants will be chosen to snap the best pictures or videos that feature themselves using the Forclaz Trekking 40L Backpack provided by the Decathlon team, to stand a chance in winning this exciting reward!

From today to 30 September 2022, stand a chance to win either a Nikon Coolshot 200 GII worth S$248, a S$500 Decathlon Gift Card, or the grand prize of a Nikon Z30 worth S$1,679! As the lightest and most compact Z series to date, the Nikon Z30 is made for your inner videographer. From teasers and reels to stories and streams, stand a chance to win this reward and begin your content-creator journey with the Nikon Z30. What’s more? Chosen submissions will also be featured on Decathlon’s Back to Travel campaign across Decathlon’s marketing channels!

To join, simply follow the guidelines below:

  1. Complete this form and stand a chance to be part of the 100 selected participants.
  2. Upon being selected, a Decathlon Singapore representative will be in touch to help you with the facilitation of bag collection.
  3. Upon receiving the bag, participants will have to:

    a. Capture 3 visual content, photos or videos, and upload them on Instagram or TikTok with #DecathlonTogether, #nikonsg and tag @decathlonsg

    b. Shortlist 1 photo as your Key Visual for contest submission before 30 September 2022.

*Contest ends on 30 September 2022, 2359.

Submissions will be independently reviewed by Decathlon, Nikon, and The Secret Little Agency (TSLA) panel of judges. Winners will be announced on 7 October 2022, on Decathlon Singapore’s social media platforms.

Terms and conditions apply.* This contest is open to Singapore residents only.

The crypto world is not entirely new to me. I actually tried mining Bitcoin in the past but it got increasingly more difficult and costly because the code just gets tougher and tougher to crack. Hence, I drifted away from crypto to focus on my career and have only recently gotten back into the crypto scene when a friend of mine introduced me to the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

If you are new to crypto and you want to start putting some real money into it, you must be prepared to lose all your money and I really mean it! One thing you need to understand about cryptocurrency is that once you lose it, you really lose it forever. There is absolutely no way you can reverse transactions like how one can do so in a retail setting.

One crucial aspect that you need to be mindful about when entering the crypto space is being responsible for your own safety and security. There are many dodgy scam tactics that people will try to employ and this could include getting you to reveal the seed phrases to your crypto wallet through phishing and bots.

Now, whether you use a hot wallet or a cold wallet, there will always be recovery seed phrases that you will need to jot down and safekeep (in the event you lose access to your wallet and need to re-gain access). This has always been the case but not anymore! 

Hugware®, the world’s first seed phrase-free wallet by a locally founded tech company, UKISS Technology, is now available for US$139 and it comprises of an Authentication Key (A-Key), a Rescue Key (R-Key), and a five year warranty!

Safe and easy to use, the Hugware® crypto hardware wallet is the epitome of state-of-the-art security that every crypto novice needs, providing a reliable recovery plan for their investments. Users can be rest assured that their private keys will always be at their fingertips with this new must-have tech accessory.

Hugware® is a great solution for those who tend to forget or lose their seed phrase and are looking for a self-custody wallet with a simpler recovery process, thanks to its master seed synchronisation capability. It boasts seamless key pairing, which ensures that private keys are generated and stored in the hardware while enabling backups through device pairing. That way, the seed does not have to be translated into recovery phrases and will not be exposed to human error, phishing, or theft. 

Hugware®’s safe and secure technology is patented in more than 20 countries and significant markets, including the United States, Europe, China, India, and Southeast Asia. Each Hugware® comes with a Certificate of Authenticity recorded on blockchain. 

How Hugware® Works

Each Hugware® comes in a pair. During setup, the master seed is generated in the Authentication Key (A-Key) and synchronised with the Rescue Key (R-Key). The A-Key is used to manage crypto assets and is the gatekeeper of your private keys. Simply plug it into your device to provide authentication or confirm transactions. 

The R-Key can be kept for when users need to recover access in the future, and is your life-saving gizmo. Plug it into your device to recover private keys in case you lose the A-Key. The R-Key backs up your master seed for fast wallet recovery.

Featuring a sleek and streamlined design, the A-Key and R-key are pocket-sized, enabling users to easily carry it around wherever they go. Hugware® also comes with USB and USB-C connectors that users can plug into their devices.

Additionally, Hugware® comes equipped with a security system that is programmed to lock the device after 10 failed logins. This offers an added layer of security in the event you lose either one of your keys. 

The fuss-free solution supports multiple blockchain networks and is available on desktop for Windows and MacOS, and soon on Android (iOS users will have to wait a little longer) .

As an iterative product that consistently works to improve itself, there will be more features to be added with every Hugware® version upgrade. These include new features such as U-Archive and U-Hide that are in the works. 

U-Archive

Fortify your backup in the cloud. Secure your archives without compromising on space. The U-Archive encryption software allows you to encrypt large folders in your computer or in the cloud, and only the holder of the associated Hugware® can access the archive. This software is slated to launch in September 2022. 

U-Hide

Hide your files while keeping them within reach. Protect your sensitive files and media assets with ease. U-Hide allows you to encrypt individual files in your computer while keeping them accessible: only the holder of the associated Hugware® can access those files. This software is slated to launch in November 2022. 

UKISS Technology is also rewarding buyers of the Hugware® and other UKISS services with KISS Tokens to offset their next UKISS purchase. 

Visit https://www.ukiss.io/ or https://t.me/UKISSTech and get your Hugware® today!

Owning a portable projector has been on our list of wants for quite some time, but because of our busy lifestyle where we also have to take care of two (2) very active children, we hardly have time to do our research and purchase one. 

Since we got the LUMOS TEMPO from LUMOS, we thought we might as well just give the LUMOS NANO a shot and go for it since the LUMOS Projector Brand has got so many positive reviews.

Aesthetics

The LUMOS NANO Projector sports a rectangular, boxy design, and its compact design makes it very convenient to bring around. Weighing just 400 grams, the weight of the LUMOS NANO Projector feels very similar to a can of soft drink. The look and feel of the LUMOS NANO do bear some resemblance to R2-D2 from Star Wars.

Performance & Quality

The performance and build quality of the LUMOS NANO Projector is what makes it stand out from other mini projectors. 

The LUMOS NANO runs on the Android 9.0 operating system, and commonly-used applications such as Google Play Store, YouTube, and Netflix come pre-installed with the device. Other mini projectors in the market are not that “smart” because their only function is to mirror/duplicate the display of another device. As for the LUMOS NANO, it can run independently on its own without requiring another separate device. The LUMOS NANO projector also has the Airplay/E-Share function, which you can use to mirror your phone to show any content from your phone, all without any messy cables.

Although it was easy for us to use the inbuilt touchpad to navigate the user-friendly interface, we feel it is way easier to use the remote controller than the inbuilt touchpad to navigate the user interface.

Depending on the projection distances, the projected screen size of the LUMOS NANO is between fifty (50) to hundred (100) inches. One significant feature of the LUMOS NANO is the auto keystone (screen adjust) feature that allows it to be placed at any angle we want without worrying about distorted, off-axis images.

The only qualm we have about the LUMOS NANO is its short battery life of two (2) hours. If you plan to watch a movie or organise a Karaoke session with a group of friends, it is recommended that you plug the LUMOS NANO to a power source.

Having tested the LUMOS Nano Projector in both day and night settings, we have found that it works best in a dark and enclosed environment. Thanks to the premium DLP Tech feature and the powerful Dolby Audio speakers on the LUMOS NANO, the entertainment experience is rather pleasant and captivating. 

Pricing

The LUMOS NANO is priced at only SGD$599 and comes with a one (1)-year local warranty. Just so you know, most other mini projectors in the market that share similar features as the LUMOS NANO are priced at SGD$900 and up.

Overall

We were so impressed with the LUMOS NANO Projector that we feel it deserves a ‘Gadget of the Year’ award.

The LUMOS NANO Projector is an all-in-one entertainment device that has undoubtedly wow-ed us with its power-packed features in so many ways. Whether you use the LUMOS NANO as a Bluetooth speaker to play some of your favourite Spotify hits or use it alongside your Bluetooth-enabled karaoke set, the sound quality of the LUMOS NANO beats almost every other small projector.

​For the price of SGD$599, the LUMOS NANO Projector is a worthy buy if you want to replace your Smart Television (TV) with a more portable all-in-one multimedia entertainment device that you can bring around for your vacations/staycations/impromptu karaoke sessions. 

This one-stop entertainment device allows you to share what you love and enjoy with the people that matter the most to you, and it is now available for purchase directly from LUMOS Projector via their website at www.lumosprojector.com/awl

For the 5.6 million people who live in Singapore, home reflects a connection to a community and the continuation of time-honoured practices and memories. Exploring these unique and intimate connections is at the heart of My Community Festival (MCF), a ground-up community event from 5 to 21 August 2022.

Organised by the non-profit organisation, My Community, with support from the Singapore Tourism Board, the third edition of the festival centres on the theme of ‘My Home Sweet Home’ and will give festival-goers exclusive access to the private spaces of the many communities in Singapore, including their homes, workplaces, places of worship, and communal spaces. This year’s programme will also spotlight three neighbourhoods which will become “festival villages”, and feature workshops and thought-provoking tours that allow visitors to discover more about the area’s history and uncover hidden gems.

This year’s line-up is the biggest, with 64 unique and riveting tours and experiences split across eight programme series. Each programme will be led by a member of the community who can bring different perspectives and understanding of home and community as they share intimate memories and knowledge about their personal spaces.

This year’s anchor programme series is “My Home, Truly”, which pays tribute to the different types of homes in Singapore. Tour participants will get to meet various groups of people ranging from foreign workers, animal shelter workers and students who will take them to the places where they lay their heads in. Participants can look forward to visiting spaces including a foreign worker dormitory, Singapore’s last kampung, and rental flats in Jalan Besar to hear heartwarming stories about creating homes out of these diverse housing types.

Kampong Buangkok with Kyanta Yap


This year’s festival also includes several new programmes that provide perspectives on how people keep memories of home alive. For people who hold on to broken items for sentimental value, “Find My Fixer” offers participants an opportunity to restore them to their original state or find a new lease of life while doing their part to live sustainably and reduce waste in Singapore. This includes workshops with a soft toy “doctor”, kintsugi artist or teaware design for ceramics, and even a stained glass rescuer. The programme also offers an opportunity to meet Singapore’s own version of Marie Kondo, Amanda Ling, who can help revive spaces with the art of decluttering.

Teaware Designer Alvin Ng

Festival goers can discover how expatriate communities recreate pockets of their home to form unofficial enclaves like Little Belgium, Little Philippines and Little Taiwan under “My Little Singapore”. Besides learning about their culture and their recommendations on where to find the most authentic taste of their hometown cuisine, participants can take the chance to reflect and appreciate how these communities contribute to Singapore’s identity as a melting pot.

Another programme, “What’s for My Dinner?” takes it a step further by having members of 20 Singaporean, ASEAN and international families, welcome visitors into their homes to serve up cultural dishes ranging from local fare, regional cuisine from Thai and Vietnamese food, to international flavours like African, Maharashtrian and Northern Chinese food.

Another new aspect of the festival is the introduction of three festival villages as part of the “My Lovely Neighbourhood” series of programmes. For each of the three weekends during the festival duration, the festival will spotlight a locale in Singapore to learn about its thriving community through a series of immersive tours, workshops, experiences and performances that are a result of My Community’s extensive community mapping exercise within these neighbourhoods.

My Thailand Dinner with Mita Kelder

For the first week, festival-goers can head to the quaint seaside town of Changi Village to get acquainted with its wartime history and the variety of shops and eateries. This is followed by a focus on Singapore’s largest motor repair village, Alexandra Village, which is also home to well-known hawkers and unique craftsmen like rattan weavers to glass installers; and lastly, the iconic Chinatown, where visitors can immerse themselves in the unique shophouses, discover the various clans’ associations and the mouthwatering food available.

Hello! My Alexandra Village

Each festival village will feature three unique self-guided tours that can be accessed through My Community’s community map, comprising a main storyboard and wayfinding signages, allowing visitors to explore curated trails that capture different facets of these neighbourhoods. On the days when the festival village is running, visitors are encouraged to speak to the community stakeholders with stickers on their storefronts and get to know them better and attend co-curated workshops to get up close and personal with their trade.

Returning favourites such as Welcome to My Island Home, My Prayers and Practices, and After Hours @ My Community, have also been refreshed to align with this year’s theme, offering new and returning festival-goers an opportunity to discover the best that the festival has to offer from previous editions.

Welcome to My Island Home: Discover the gems out of the city in a morning walk along six offshore islands led by ex-islanders and hear the stories of their beloved island communities. On top of visiting known islands like Pulau Ubin and Kusu Island, look out for special tours to visit transient islands like Pulau Hantu, and an exclusive tour into the Pacific Light Power Station on Jurong Island.

My Pulau Hantu with Richard Kuah

My Prayers and Practices: Singapore is home to individuals of different races, languages, and religions. From the Jains and Zoroastrians to the Jews and Theravada Buddhists, join us on a journey to the places of worship of all 10 major religions in Singapore and learn about their cultures and practices. Additionally, there are private tours showcasing home-based rituals such as Seventh Month rituals at a shophouse, Eng Tiang Huat, and Baháʼí devotees introducing how prayers and practices are conducted differently in their homes!

Hougang Dou Mu Gong with Dr Ji Ling

After Hours @ My Community: The city never sleeps with our unsung heroes keeping Singapore going at night while the rest of us sleep! Join in on a night walk around the spaces including Bukit Brown Cemetery that comes alive at night, and get a behind-the-scenes look at the workings of some bustling hotspots, including Mandai Wildlife Reserve and Jurong Fishery Port.

For more information, visit https://mycommunityfestival.sg

With so many variations of products being developed and pushed out into the market so rapidly, navigating the world of wireless earbuds can sometimes be a murky one because there are just so many options available out there. However, the wireless earbuds that we often know or hear about are those that have got a huge marketing budget and the lesser-known ones are those that are sold directly to consumers and rely heavily on digital ad campaigns and word-of-mouth marketing.

In this blog post, we will be sharing with you our personal take on the LUMOS TEMPO, a lesser-known wireless earbuds brand by the team that brought the well-loved LUMOS AURO Home Cinema Short Throw Projector to the local market.

Aesthetics

The LUMOS TEMPO has a look and feel that is quite common and this does not come as a surprise since most wireless earbuds in the market are trying to emulate the wireless “stick” design that was made famous. However, the “stick design” is not something new nor revolutionary. The “stick” design has been around since the 1980s when Sony Walkman was quite the hype back then.

The LUMOS TEMPO charging case and wireless earbuds come only in one colour i.e. matt-grey. The hold and feel of the charging case feel natural although I wonder whether the outer case was made from recycled plastic because it felt like it was (as an environmentally-aware consumer, this is a big plus point for me).

Another plus point is the fact that the charging case can be charged using a USB-Type C cable (by the way, this should be a standard and it gets really annoying if I have to carry different cables to juice up my laptop and other devices).

Performance & Quality

The LUMOS TEMPO wireless earbuds come with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and it looks like having an ANC feature is going to become a mainstream/must-have feature for all wireless earbuds (at least this is what we think). Then again, there are wireless earbuds from big brand names that don’t even have ANC and we guess this very much depends on one’s preference (because we know there are people who just do not enjoy having the ANC feature). 

With an enhanced ANC capability that exceeds even the industry average, the LUMOS TEMPO is highly effective in blocking out more distracting and fuzzy background noises. This allows for a more immersive listening experience that lets users focus on the audio that they are listening to. Just so you know, the LUMOS TEMPO cancels up to 42db of noise and this is 12db higher than the industry average of 30db. Furthermore, it packs the longest battery life among other wireless earbuds brands at 30 hours!

This makes the LUMOS TEMPO the best travel companion you can have for long-haul flights!

But that is not all. The LUMOS TEMPO is also awesome for both work and play. The LUMOS TEMPO is equipped with 6 mics versus the traditional 4-mic setup in most earbuds available in the market. This means that your voice can be heard clearer and sharper during work & family calls. However, do note that the LUMOS TEMPO will still capture background noises when you take calls. If you want superior voice clarity, you will need a dedicated microphone setup.

With an IPX5 rating (sweat and water-splash proof i.e. light drizzle), the LUMOS TEMPO is also the perfect pair of buds for exercises and outdoor activities.

Overall

For the price of $179 SGD, the LUMOS TEMPO comes with a full 1-year local warranty and we definitely agree that it is truly the best-sounding premium wireless earbuds at half the price

Ready to get the LUMOS TEMPO? Check them out over here!

Now that the world is reopening more widely, many have started to plan for upcoming adventures and journeys. Considering the idea of a winter getaway? We’re excited to share some highlights from Jean Tay, a travel specialist from Scott Dunn, who recently embarked on a thrilling adventure in March this year to experience the wintery magic of Sweden for herself: 

“My trip was truly epic and a great way to come out of two years of zero travel. It was such an incredible experience to finally see the elusive Northern Lights in person and while I’m no speed junkie, I had so much unexpected fun exploring the frozen wilderness on a husky sled and zipping through the frozen lakes on the snowmobile. I also had the opportunity to make my own candy canes, which I’m sure the little ones will appreciate and enjoy, and I learned a lot about Sami culture and their food. I got to sample really interesting local food, from moose meat to nettle soup, sweets made from local blueberries and dandelion honey! 

For those of you that are looking to catch the Northern Lights or are searching for a little more adventure for an upcoming winter getaway, there’s something for everyone here and I would highly recommend Sweden.”

Read on to find out more about Jean’s pick of stand-out properties as well as some highlight experiences that would make for a fantastic family adventure or romantic winter getaway. We’ve also included some insider tips that may come in helpful for those planning or considering a trip to Sweden in winter. 

Best Time to Visit

If you’re looking to catch the Northern Lights, the best time to visit would be from October to April. The shoulder season, either in March or at the end of September more specifically, is when the skies are clear allowing full visibility of the awe-inspiring display, and it is also not freezing cold. In winter, the temperatures could dip to –35°C. 

What to do in Sweden

If we’ve piqued your interest, here are some unique experiences that Scott Dunn can include in a carefully curated itinerary to Sweden just for you. 

  1. Ice Sculpting

Built to a new design each winter, Ice Hotel in Swedish Lapland is literally one of the coolest places to stay in the world – made entirely from snow and ice with every room flaunting its own unique theme and design. Inspired by the ice architecture of the hotel? Try creating your own ice sculpture out of pristine, natural ice that’s been harvested from Torne River. Guided by a skilled sculptor, this class educates guests on the origins of the crystal block, an introduction on how to use the tools, and the techniques of basic ice sculpting. It is actually quite a therapeutic experience!

Jean recommends: After ice sculpting, make time to visit the Ice Bar where the bar and seats including the cups are made of ice. Each drink comes with a time limit (approx 45 minutes) as the cup melts if you don’t finish your drink in time. More reason for a bottom’s up!

  1. Wilderness Ice Dining 

A truly romantic and one-of-a-kind dining experience, venture out onto a frozen lake under the moonlight by snowmobile to a tipi tent with its own fireplace right atop the frozen waters. Inside, you’ll be served a delicious three-course candlelight dinner with a fireplace to keep warm and. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights dancing in the skies above! 

  1. Sami Culture & Reindeer Visits

A kid friendly activity, learn more about Sami culture and the magical emblem of Lapland; the Reindeer. The Sami people are an indigenous group who can be found across the Northernmost regions of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia. The Sami people in Sweden centre their livelihood around reindeer herding and on this guided experience, you’ll understand how the deer are integral to their daily life.  As well as enjoying a cosy and delicious traditional lunch, you will also learn about the history and traditions of this formerly nomadic tribe.  

Where to Stay

Sweden specialises in building properties in harmony with the natural surroundings. For a truly unique experience, we suggest splitting a stay between properties as they complement each other with its distinctive characteristics and varied location – providing a great snapshot of this wonderful part of the world. Our travel specialists would be delighted to advise our guests on which accommodation to choose for the perfect holiday getaway. 

  1. For those looking to get off-the-grid in style: Loggers Lodge

Surrounded by scenic forests and completely off-the-beaten-track, Loggers Lodge offers the ultimate in terms of exclusivity and privacy making it a luxurious and cozy hideaway for two. Having recently undergone some renovations, the property now includes an additional glass cabin (for 2 more guests) that will provide incredible views of the snow-covered trees and breathtaking scenery. You’ll be well taken care of by private guides and will be able to tuck into traditional Lappish meals, made with local organic ingredients, courtesy of your private chef.

Insider tip: While here, sign up for front-row seats of the Northern Lights and admire the panoramic frozen vistas while seated in a state-of-the-art heated glass carriage pulled by a snowmobile. 

  1. For group-travellers or families: Brändön Lodge

Located on the Luleå archipelago, this cosy lodge is perfectly set up for families with private two-bedroom log cabins overlooking the sea. Brändön Lodge makes an ideal base to explore the Lappish wilderness anytime of the year – offering guests their own space and privacy with a plethora of extraordinary experiences such as guided foraging and seal safaris, ideal for bigger groups. 

Insider tip: For a truly unique experience, enjoy a hovercraft adventure across the frozen waters of the Luleå Archipelago. Encounter towering icebergs, fields of pack ice and incredible views as you journey across the frozen sea to the outermost islands.

  1. For those looking for wilderness adventures: Arctic Retreat

Hidden away deep in the forest, the exclusive and intimate Arctic Retreat is located in one of the most stunning spots in Swedish Lapland – offering 3 duplex log cabins with a truly exclusive, authentic, and personalised experience. Warm up in your private hot tub  while soaking up the incredible views of the Lappish wilderness. For the adventurous, experience everything this magnificent area has to offer including husky sledding, snowshoe walks, hiking, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and Nordic skiing. This great escape is the perfect location to enjoy the most relaxing experience with almost complete silence and serenity. 

Insider tip: Taking all 3 cabins would be perfect for a group or a large family travelling together – offering a completely exclusive experience.

Jean’s Top Tips:

  1. Immerse yourself in local culture as you mingle and dine with the local Sami. Sami, also known as Laplanders, is a local tribe in Finland and Norway whose typical livelihood involves reindeer herding. Through my journey in Sweden, I met Anna who is a reindeer herder, and Eva Gunnare who harvests and incorporates nature’s gifts such as flowers, vegetables, and herbs in her cooking. I highly recommend her nettle soup with dandelion honey, her candies which are made of blueberries, lygon berries, cloudberries as well as mushroom focaccia which was absolutely delicious. For the more adventurous meat eaters, I also recommend trying some moose meat delicacies which are especially delicious and nutritious owing to the mooses’ diet of nutritious forest plants.
  1. Bring a Swimsuit for the Sauna and Ice Dips. You never thought you would need a swimsuit in freezing cold Lapland. But you must try cold bathing, which involves ice dips along the coastlines and at the edges of inland lakes after a sauna. Cold bathing has been long thought to have healing abilities. In fact, the region is known for many health retreats. The Arctic Bath Hotel’s spa and ice bath is a must-visit for me.     
  1. Stay an Extra Night in Stockholm. Most travellers only stay one night in Stockholm on the way to Lapland. I think it is worth spending another night here to explore the numerous attractions, restaurants and (e.g. Mathias Dahlgren, a 2 Michelin stars modern gastronomic restaurant), cocktail bars (e.g. The Terrace Bar at Lydmar,  the perfect spot to enjoy cocktails and live music). 

For families, I would recommend including experiences such as a visit to a candy factory and checking out museums (e.g. ABBA The Museum or the VASA (ship) museum). If you’re visiting around late November to Christmas time, you’ll have the chance to wander round some of the most colourful Christmas markets and try Swedish delicacies from glögg, a spicy mulled wine, to traditional gingerbread and polkagriskola (peppermint toffee). 

  1. Opt for Aurora Wake Up Calls. Most hotels will alert their guests when the Northern Lights are visible. However, if you want to be extra vigilant, I recommend downloading the Aurora forecast app on your phone to determine the best daily timings to catch any light activities. 

Also, I’d like to add that the lights may not be very visible to the naked eye so I highly recommend taking along a professional camera to capture the lights well. The lights come in varying shades from yellowish green to blueish purple and can be very pretty to photograph. But it is quite a phenomenal experience to just settle beneath the ever-changing lights and watch the sky do its magic. 

From majestic temples to dazzling natural wonders, the world features over a thousand UNESCO World Heritage Sites spread across 160 countries. Exclusively granted to places deemed to be of outstanding importance to humanity, travellers from all over make their way to these famed locations to catch a glimpse of the glory.

So if you’re looking to explore the ruins of lost civilizations, looking to uncover the secrets of nature reserves and national parks or want to examine ancient monuments up close, here is a short guide from Scott Dunn on how best to explore and experience five UNESCO-designated sites in style.

1. Kilim Karst Geoforest, Langkawi

Essentially an archipelago of 99 beautiful islands in the northwest corner of Malaysia, Langkawi is a nature lover’s paradise. Traverse through the Kilim Karst Geoforest, Southeast Asia’s first ever UNESCO Global Geopark systems, that is sprawling with mangrove swamps and dramatic limestone cliffs teeming with local wildlife including macaques, otters, fish eagles and tree crabs. All sorts of other adventures await just round the corner – wander through bat caves to admire the stalagmites and stalactites formations, take a cable car to the island’s peak and enjoy superb panoramic views from the iconic Sky Bridge or hop on a boat out to snorkel around the surrounding islands and reefs. If you wish to relax, there are sweeping coves of silvery sand and year-round balmy seas to enjoy this tropical island paradise. 

Where to stay: Stay at The Datai Langkawi, a luxurious beach resort nestled between lush rainforests and one of SouthEast Asia’s most breathtaking beaches. In fact, the Datai Bay’s idyllic white sand beach has been awarded by National Geographic as one of the Top 10 beaches worldwide. 

Take this trip: A Short Getaway to Langkawi

When to go: November to April

Need to know: Malaysia-Singapore VTL in place

2. Medina of Marrakech, Morocco

Founded almost a thousand years ago, Marrakech, which is also known as the city of luxury, contains Morocco’s largest souk, where getting lost in the winding labyrinth of the UNESCO-listed medina is half the fun. Vibrant, colourful and with a chaotic charm, this city is like no other. Featured in an episode of Inventing Anna, follow the footsteps of Anna Delvey and her friends as you embark on an exclusive private tour of Yves St Laurent’s magical Marrakech home. While most visitors can only see the gardens, we’ll be able to secure exclusive access for you into his actual home. After your colourful adventures in Marrakech, head towards the Atlantic coast of Morocco and visit Oualidia that boasts peaceful beaches and an 11 km stretch of lagoon. Here you can learn to surf in the calm waters of the lagoon or harvest and taste locally grown oysters.

Where to Stay: La Sultana is a little gem of a hotel located in Marrakech. It is a luxury historical hotel featuring authentic Riad style architecture with intricately sculpted patios and a unique panoramic rooftop terrace overlooking the ancient Tombs of the Saadian Kings and out across to the beautiful Atlas Mountains in the distance. While visiting the rooftop, don’t miss out on trying the ‘Cocktail Yves Saint Laurent in Majorelle’ that was created by the La Sultana team to celebrate the opening of the Yves Saint Laurent Museum in 2017.  

Take this trip: Perfect Pairings : Marrakech & Oualidia

When best to visit: March to May, and September to November

VTL Status: Non-VTL: General Travel Category

3. Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve, Canada

Be in awe of the UNESCO-designated Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve, one of the last remaining ancient temperate rainforests in the world. Within the dense forests, sparkling inlets and snow-capped mountain peaks, the sights at the Reserve are one to behold. From watching bears swiping salmon from streams, spotting humpback whales out at sea, kayaking down the river or simply enjoying the dramatic landscapes, there is plenty to see and do throughout the seasons. Pair your visit with a short leg over in Vancouver where you can  find gourmet food markets and a distinct fusion of cultures, which makes way for an enticing gastronomic scene. 

Where to Stay: A stay at Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge is an assault on the senses. Set in a breathtaking location in the heart of the forest and within a stone’s throw of spectacular wildlife viewing, even arriving at the property is an adventure. Marvel over the stunning landscapes from a bird’s eye view on a 45 minute seaplane ride, before being transported by horse and cart to the heart of the resort. In the evenings, settle in by the fire with s’mores and stories of the day’s adventures. 

Take this trip: Ultimate West Coast Canada

When best to visit: June to September

VTL Status: Canada-Singapore VTL in place

4. Shrines and temples of Nikko, Japan

Spread across an expansive landscape in the Tochigi Prefecture, just north of Tokyo, the charming city of Nikko is a testament to one of the most important figures in Japan’s history and is home to an array of architectural and decorative masterpieces. A destination revered for its outstanding beauty and splendid architecture of its UNESCO-designated Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, here you can wander and admire the intricate carvings displayed on the grounds of the shrine, cross the ancient Shinkyo Bridge and marvel at the haunted lantern of the Futarasan-jin Shrine. You can also spend your days hiking through idyllic marshlands, visiting waterfalls that change colours with the seasons or make your way to the scenic Lake Chuzenji to catch spectacular views of Mount Nantai. Soak away any tiredness at one of the natural onsens and you may also catch a glimpse of some wild monkeys taking a dip. 

Where to Stay: Stay at the Ritz-Carlton Nikko, a pristine haven in the historic mountain region. Taking cues from its picturesque surroundings, graceful modernised Japanese design permeates throughout to bring the natural beauty of Nikko indoors. Guests can experience and immerse themselves in local culture through a variety of experiences from learning the Japanese skill of furoshiki wrapping to enjoying the sounds of drums and Japanese flute music at a sacred ceremonial dance. 

Take this trip: Scenic Nikko

When best to visit: October to first half of November

VTL Status: Non-VTL: General Travel Category

5. Val d’Orcia, Italy

Discover the cultural, gastronomic and scenic delights of Tuscany and its capital Florence. Scattered with villas, farmhouses and castles nestled deep in the heart of the countryside, with olive groves and vineyards across rolling hills. Cycle through the heart of the UNESCO-listed Val d’Orcia and admire the valley’s landscapes which was the subject of many Renaissance paintings, especially by the painters of the Scuola Senese, The Siena School, mentioned in the Val d’ Orcia’s UNESCO nomination. If you can, time your visit to coincide with Il Palio, and you make some time in Siena for the build up and see the actual race. A centuries-old tradition, rival parts of the city race their horses bareback around the beautiful Campo.

Where to Stay: Experience the Italian countryside way of life in true luxury at the Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco which offers luxurious suites and villas with private heated pools, exceptional cuisine and an array of outdoor activities all set against the magnificent backdrop of the Val d’Orcia. The property also has its own vineyards and winery onsite where guests can book tours and partake in tastings. 

Take this trip: Extraordinary Florence & Tuscany

When best to visit: June to September

VTL Status: Italy-Singapore VTL in place


This March to November, align your Body, Heart & Soul at Marina Central district, where interactive installations, workshops and boundless experiences are set to vivify possibilities across arts, business and leisure. Debuting on
26 March, the travelling initiative Body, Heart & Soul will be unveiled at Marina Square as its first stop and will subsequently be popping up across Millenia Walk, South Beach and Suntec City.

Interweaving the district’s values of collaboration, innovation and sustainability to create a profound digital experience, the photogenic series of installations are designed to transform interactions in public spaces with new themes and experiences at each stop, vitalising the district into a thriving, interconnected community for the common good.

Marina Central Business Improvement District (BID)

Marina Central district (Image Credit: JWMarriott Singapore South Beach)

Marina Central Business Improvement District was established as a joint effort by four stakeholders, Marina Square, Millenia Walk, South Beach and Suntec City, and community partner, Esplanade — Theatres on the Bay, to inject fun placemaking experiences, rejuvenate vibrancy and support businesses in the district. Exciting past
activations include the creation of the Largest Rubik’s Cube Mural in Singapore and the record-breaking skipping event, Skip for Steps organised in partnership with Health Promotion Board’s Healthy Workplace Ecosystem and National Steps Challenge.

Presently, Marina Central district rings in the second quarter of the year with the launch of the sublime art installation, Body, Heart & Soul — a testament to the district’s endless and exciting placemaking initiatives for locals and tourists to enjoy.

Body, Heart & Soul is an initiative by Marina Central district that is headlined by an interactive installation designed by Dr Jason Lim of Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and Ar Asami Takahashi of YUME Architects, in collaboration with TinkerTanker. The installation which first made its debut at the prestigious Venice Biennale in 2018 is now reimagined as four illuminating cubes — representing Marina Square, Millenia Walk, South Beach and Suntec City — that explore the way light can be used to affect our perception. An intricate crystal lattice is artfully assembled out of more than 1,200 four-point-knots to channel light and create an illusory world of reflections and colour as it responds to human presence and gestures, transforming and taking on new forms with each movement they make. Body, Heart & Soul illustrates the convergence of art, technology and human consciousness.

Traversing through Marina Central District

Body, Heart & Soul kicks off with the first theme — Body at Play, in the central atrium of Marina Square from 26 March till 12 May. Visible from all four entries, the interactive cubes draw shoppers, young and old alike, into their vicinity and light up in response to playful poses and gestures. Through their body movements, audiences are invited to control projections of shadow puppetry. Integrating art and technology in a tangible way, this installation is the setting for new memorable experiences, further enhancing Marina Square’s reputation as the space for fun and merry-making with its diversity of amusement tenants including Pororo Park, Kiztopia and the world’s first NERF Action Xperience.

To complement the experience, children and adults can participate in a workshop entitled, Programmable Shadows. The workshop at Marina Square will tie in with Body, Heart & Soul’s key motive of ‘humanising technology’ as visitors learn to create their very own digital shadow artwork. Workshop participants will be able to draw their own artwork and transform them into shadows that respond to their body motions. The workshop is suitable for children from six years old and adults, and it is a great activity for parent-child bonding.

Register for the workshops at marinacentral.com.sg.

In mid-May, Body, Heart & Soul will be transformed and transported to the next mall, Millenia Walk. Themed Heartfelt, the cubes will create passages for visitors to walk through. Upon sensing the presence of its audiences, the cubes will pulse with light in a measured rhythm, creating an immersive atmosphere along with the additional transformational projections in the arena. To offer an intimate insight into designing the heart of the installation, the interactive animated lights — Dr Jason Lim will be facilitating a Heart of Computing workshop. The workshop offers participants a hands-on experience to learn how to express their creativity with the aid of technology by learning how to build an electronic circuit and compose a computer programme for light animation.

In July, the installation will arrive at South Beach themed In the Mood. The installation will take on an audiovisual format and be displayed across the open air plaza to allow visitors a more intimate and multi-sensory experience as they respond to audio cues to effect change in the illuminating cubes. Carrying forward Body, Heart & Soul’s sustainable initiative, and in a bid to normalise sustainable design in our everyday lives, visitors can also sign up for the Origami Upcycling workshop and learn to turn used paper products into beautiful Origami art.

The installation makes its final stop at Suntec City in mid-September 2022 with the theme Collective Soul. Visitors will be enthralled by synchronised displays of light designed to accentuate vibrancy. Visitors will also be encouraged to make their mark on the installation with their Instagram photos by tagging @marinacentralsg. The collage of photos contributed by visitors will aptly epitomise the ‘Collective Soul’ of Marina Central district’s Body, Heart & Soul. Adding to the experience and in line with the district’s aim of ‘galvanising sustainability’, the Second-life Electronics workshop seeks to impart vital skills of transforming used electronics into art and breathe new life into electronic junk, thereby saving them from landfills.

That’s not all, visitors at Marina Central district can also look forward to a variety of exciting retail promotions across the stakeholders, redeemable through their respective apps.

Our web hosting services with Siteground has officially come to an end and in the last 3 to 4 months, we have been scouting around for another web hosting service provider that could meet our requirements and needs.

Having surveyed the market for some time and with our experience of using different web hosting service providers ever since we started A Winsome Life back in 2011 (yes, we have been around for 11 years now!), we have finally decided to have Exabytes host all our WordPress sites!

This is a massive undertaking because changing a web hosting service provider involves website and data migration which can sometimes be a real pain. However, with Exabytes, we were pleasantly surprised at the speedy and prompt migration process. In fact, it took less than a day for the Exabytes technical team to complete the entire migration and it was very successful because we had no loss of data, and our downtime was minimal.

When choosing a web hosting service provider, two most important factors that are extremely crucial for us to consider is speed and security. After all, nobody wants to visit a website that either takes too long to load or is unsafe and buggy.

The 3-year WordPress hosting plan that we signed up with Exabytes cost us SGD$287.64 (this works out to SGD$7.99 per month), and what we really like about hosting with Exabytes is the free lifetime domain, flat renewal rate, and the generous 90GB of SSD Disk Space!

Furthermore, the move to Exabytes has saved us SGD$560.36 and this is quite a substantial amount of saving which we could now put to better use because the specifications for the plan that we signed up with Exabytes are even better and more value-for-money than what SiteGround was offering us.

Apart from providing web hosting services, Exabytes also offers a suite of services such as website designing, search engine optimisation, and digital marketing solutions.

If you are a home-based business owner or a small medium enterprise with no online presence, kickstart your digital business transformation by engaging Exabytes. If you are a seasoned website developer and you are looking for a reliable and affordable website hosting service provider, we highly recommend that you check out Exabytes!

Here are some Existing Promotions and Offers from Exabytes!

1. Host & Win an iPhone 13

  • Stand a chance to win an iPhone 13 when you make a new purchase or renew invoices.
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  • Validity from 1 Jan – 31 March 2022
  • More information: www.exabytes.sg/rewards 

2. Pick a Gift 

  • Redeem a gift when you spend S$3,000 & above. As simple as that.
  • Validity from 1 Jan – 31 March 2022
  • More information: www.exabytes.sg/rewards 

3. Free S$10 credit

  • Register a new account on Exabyte’s website here or download Exabytes mobile app here
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4. Accelerate Women Entrepreneurship (CSR Campaign)

  • In conjunction with International Women’s Day, Exabytes launched the #WomenWeCan campaign in 2021 to assist 100 women entrepreneurs in pursuing their dreams by building their very own business website or online store.
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  • In addition, Exabytes will sponsor a FREE WordPress Hosting and domain for 200 women entrepreneurs in Malaysia & Singapore.
  • Visit the page here.

Once you’ve settled into your home, it can be hard to find new things that you want for your home, especially if you don’t really know what’s out there. Some things are great to have (just for how nice they make your living space look), and some are great for how much time they can save you on a daily basis. Buying new items for your home can be addictive once you start, so make sure not to go too overboard, but it’s always nice to get new things you didn’t know you needed.

Nicer Dining Equipment

No home is complete without a nice and comfortable place to eat, and you should invest in your own one. Having fancy tablemats or restaurant napkins can really help to improve your dining experience, and you can feel much more comfortable when having guests over too. 

It’s not just what you’re eating on, but nicer dishes and cutlery are also important. Treating yourself to nicer cutlery rather than cheap basic ones that you pick up can make eating meals more pleasant in general – you can express yourself in every purchase you make.

Hanging Plants

If you’re looking to add some more life to your home, hanging plants are a great way to do so. If you’ve only got a limited amount of light coming in, you should take a look at which plants are best for the environment so that your home will benefit greatly. The air will feel much fresher, and the color and life they bring in can be great for the overall atmosphere.

Hanging plants can come in all sizes, so you don’t have to worry if you’re lacking in space. Some options are as small as a teacup, so anyone with their own living space can easily fit in a hanging plant or two.

Cable Clips

It might not be on the top of your shopping list, and it might not be all that exciting – but cable clips can make a big difference to your home. If you’ve got a lot of tech appliances around, you likely have a lot of wires going all over the place. Cables can look very messy if they’re left as is, and cable clips are designed to make that much easier to deal with. Simply clip all of the cables together to have them appear as just one wide cable, and your living space feels much tidier already.

Mountable Jar Opener

Do you ever waste time in your kitchen trying to open jars? Well, you can get yourself a mountable jar opener to prevent that from ever happening again. Sometimes no matter how much effort you put in, the lid just doesn’t budge, and it’s not worth straining yourself over some pickles. Having a mounted jar opener under your kitchen counter turns this whole ordeal into something minor, and you’ll never have trouble with your jars after it’s been mounted.