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Located on Flat B4, First Floor, Dragon Rise.

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Located on Flat B4, First Floor, Dragon Rise.

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South Asian

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$$$ out of $$$$

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9-11 Pennington Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

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  • Travel News Wrap: 14 September Week

    Cover Image Credit: Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash This week has been filled with travel related news. Here's a summary for this week: SIA Flight to Nowhere Set to Launch in October 2020 Image Credit: Photo by Goh Rhy Yan on Unsplash Singapore Airlines (SIA) is planning to launch flights to nowhere this October. Jumping on the flycation trend, following the footsteps of similar flights from All Nippon Airways, EVA Air Air, and Qantas, albeit the later is flying over Antarctica. The decision to hold this three-hour flights to nowhere came after the news of Singapore Airlines Group cutting 4300 jobs due to the brunt of COVID-19. The flights are set for domestic passengers to take off from Changi Airport and land again at the same airport. SIA decided to launch this initiative after they found that 75% of 308 people surveyed were willing to pay for such flights. In addition to this, SIA is also exploring a partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board, Hotels, and other partners to value-add to this service. Objectively, SIA is hoping to pump the business back into the industries to mitigate the COVID-19 fallout. The decision to go through with this plan has made a lot of buzz on social media and environmental groups, with many expressing concerns about the environmental impact that the flights will have. The concern is justified though, as it has been proven to be a big contributor to the global carbon footprint. SIA does share its environmental efforts on their website, but currently, at the time of writing, there are no developments to their story or decision.   Mexico Reopening Tourist Site after 5 Months Image Credit: Photo by Jezael Melgoza on Unsplash COVID-19 has affected Mexico as badly as it has affected the rest of the world. The travel restrictions, closing of facilities in order to keep people safe, many have had their livelihoods affected by the pandemic. To help boost the country’s economy and help those affected by it, Mexico has decided to reopen the country’s archaeological site such as the pyramids of Teotihuacan, a UNESCO World Heritage site, a popular tourist spot. Not forgetting that COVID-19 is still a threat, the reopening does come with additional safety measures. The main archeological zone is limited to only 3,000 visitors per day, temperature checks and masks are required at the site as well. After 5 months of closure, the reopening was very well received by the general public.   Singapore - Hong Kong Green Lane Update Image Credit: Photo by Ryan McManimie on Unsplash Singapore and Hong Kong are starting to show interest in talks of gradual resumption of cross-border travel between the two. Citing strong business and social ties, the resumption will be beneficial for both.  Currently, Hong Kong is already in talks with Japan and Thailand, to set up for a similar arrangement. In addition to Japan and Thailand, Hong Kong has also expressed interest in a travel bubble with 11 countries, among them is Singapore.  Currently, Singapore has travel arrangements with China, Malaysia, Brunei, New Zealand, South Korea, and Japan Read more on the Reciprocal Green Lanes on our blog “Everything you need to know about Singapore's Green Lanes Travel Arrangement”.   Hawaii Tentative Reopening Image Credit: Photo by Luke McKeown on Unsplash Hawaii has been playing with the idea of opening its borders for a few months now. Recently, due to the change in leadership, it has been reported that Hawaii is set to begin a testing program to let incoming passengers avoid quarantine if they are tested no earlier than 72 hours before arriving to the island state. Travelers will have to also have an FDA-approved nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) done and have to show proof of their negative COVID test from a CLIA certified laboratory. Currently, the pre-travel COVID-19 test is targeted that the new scheme will be in place by 15 October this year. Tourism is a big part of Hawaii’s economy but with the uncertainty of COVID-19, the number of cases can directly impact whether this tentative reopening will start according to the target date. For more information on this scheme, please check with Hawaiian authorities.   Singapore & Thailand Added to England and Scotland’s Quarantine-free list Image Credit: Photo by Heidi Fin on Unsplash Carrying on with the ‘Quarantine-Free’ travel theme, Singapore and Thailand have been added onto England and Scotland’s Quarantine-free list. Starting from 4 AM, 19 September 2020, travelers from Singapore and Thailand will not have to self-isolate or quarantine themselves upon arrival in England or Scotland. The prerequisite of this is that the traveler must not have been in or transited through any other non-exempt countries in the preceding 14 days. To learn more about this, please check with the travel advisories from the authorities of the respective countries.   P&O Cruises Cancel All Cruises until 2021 Image Credit: Photo by Belinda Fewings on Unsplash Cruise company P&O will be extending its suspension of all sailing until 2021. Earlier on, it was planned that they will be resuming it from mid-November, but with the evolving restrictions on travel from the UK, they have decided to extend the suspension. Guests who have booked on canceled cruises will be reached out by the company with refunds available. This comes in line with their parent company, Carnival Corporation’s announcement to sell off 12% of their fleet and after the news that P&O is planning to cut 450 jobs across the cruises to keep the company afloat.   Vietnam Resumes International Flights Image Credit: Photo by Tony Pham on Unsplash Vietnam is set to resume international commercial flights to multiple Asian destinations starting from Friday, 18 September 2020. This arrangement, however, is reserved for Vietnamese nationals, diplomats, experts, managers, skilled workers, investors, and their families. In general, this arrangement is reserved for business and official travel only and does not include tourists. The countries included in these flights are South Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Cambodia, and Laos. As with other flights during this time, travelers are required to have a negative COVID-19 test certificate and travelers will be tested upon arrival and kept in quarantine if required. Please check with the respective authorities for more details on the travel arrangement.   SIA Suspends Flights to Canberra & Wellington Image Credit: Photo by Shawn Ang on Unsplash Singapore Airlines announced that they will no longer be flying direct from Singapore to Canberra, as reported by ABC news. This was decided based on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the aviation industry pushing them to make this decision along with the laying off of over 4,300 staff from their workforce.  Currently, Singapore Airlines will suspend services to Canberra, Dusseldorf, Stockholm, and Wellington from their network of flights.   U.S. Airlines Are Getting Rid of Change Fees Image Credit: Photo by Miguel Ángel Sanz on Unsplash A few weeks ago, it was reported that United Airlines has made the decision to get rid of their change fees. Now, other airlines in the United States are following suit. All of the airlines, except for JetBlue, have eliminated the change fees which has been a costly fee associated with domestic flights. This will affect the fees of not only domestic flights but will also affect some short-haul flights to the Caribbean, Mexico, and Canada for some airlines. There you have it, you are now caught up with the latest and most prominent travel news this week! Happy Weekend and Stay Safe!...

  • The Month of Safar: The History and Misconceptions

    Cover Image Credit: Photo by Kemo Sahab on Unsplash One of the holiest months in the Islamic Calendar, Muharram is coming to an end very soon. In accordance with the Islamic Hijri Calendar, Safar is the second month in the 12 month Islamic Hijri Calendar. As with any Islamic dates, the dates are different every year due to the nature of the Hijri Calendar being a lunar calendar as opposed to the solar Gregorian Calendar. The timing or day of the event depends on the sightings of the moons. This year, the month of Safar will be starting on 19 September 2020 for the Islamic year of 1442 AH, Inshaa Allah. History There is a common belief that the month of Safar was named as such due to the fact that in the pre-Islamic times, people used to travel extensively during this month to gather food and other necessities, leaving their houses empty. This relates back to the word “Safar” which when translated from Arabic means empty. Misconception The month of Safar has been a target of the misconception that the month is filled with misfortunes and superstitions. However, when we consult the hadiths it can be understood that Safar is just one of the 12 months of Allah SWT.  Abu Hurayrah (RA) narrated that our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “[There is] no 'Adwa [no contagious disease is conveyed without Allah’s permission], nor is there any bad omen [from birds], nor is there any Haamah [disease], nor is there any [bad omen in the month of] Safar…” [Sahih al-Bukhari 5707; Sahih Muslim, 2220] Hadhrat Jabir (RA) reported Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “The descending of illness and evil superstition befalling in the month of Safar is untrue” [Muslim] Significance There are no specific deeds recommended during Safar in Islam but we should always continue our ibadah throughout the year. Let us follow the advice of our beloved Prophet (SAW) and may Allah (SWT) give us ease and guidance to perform our ibadah and forgive our sins. In Shaa Allah....

  • Get The Full Airline Experience Without Leaving the Ground at these Hotels & Restaurants

    Cover Image Credit: Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash This year has been a really weird time for the aviation and travel industry. With the travel restrictions in place for many countries, many airlines had to ground most or all of their planes in their fleet. This is bad news especially for the plane enthusiasts, who long for the experience of flying again. One way that they can somewhat relive this experience is through aviation-themed restaurants and hotels around the world! Sadly, most of the restaurants are not halal but here are some of the most interesting aviation restaurants and hotels from around the world for us to adore and maybe even book a hotel visit if we are in that country. Some of the restaurants are not halal but are covered just to show the idea and novelty of the whole experience.   Restaurants Dreamliner Airways Cafe (HALAL) Image Credit: Dreamliner Airways Cafe on Facebook The aviation theme that it has is already special, add to that that it is one of the only one that is halal makes it truly unique. Finally, something that we can try! Located in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, this restaurant lets diners experience the joys of flying. With great attention to detail, the cafe’s decor is modeled after the interior of a commercial jet equipped with windows and airline seats. Even the staff there don on flight attendant uniforms to give you that extra level of immersion. The only different thing about the cafe and flying for real is the food that they serve. Which is really not a bad thing to leave out of flying for real, a stark contrast of the beloved microwaved airline food. The cafe serves a range of Western and Asian cuisine with generous portions, great for the hungry “traveler”. As halal aviation-themed restaurants go, Dreamliner Airways Cafe is definitely something that is really unique. This Cafe is Halal as of the time of writing.  Location: The Dreamliner Airways Cafe, No. 7, Jalan Harmonium 35/1, Taman Desa Tebrau, Johor Bahru Opening Hours: 11 AM - 11 PM (Daily) Facebook Thai Airways Restaurant (NON-HALAL) Image Credit: Sam Chui Thai Airways have been making airwaves recently with the launch of their plane-themed restaurant. Located in Bangkok, Thailand, the Thai Airways Restaurant was set up to capture and recreate the authentic inflight experience for the visitors to their restaurant, with airline seats, decor, and of course the plane food. It’s like flying with Thai Airways but without leaving the ground.  The airline takes the experience of the guests seriously as diners will have to ascend the Passenger boarding stair truck (that truck with stairs that you use to get into the plane sometimes) to enter the restaurant, which will surely help in the guests immerse themselves into the experience.  To top it all off, guests will be gifted a boarding pass when they leave as a souvenir for their visit.  Sadly the restaurant is not halal at the time of writing. First Airways (NON-HALAL) Image Credit: First Airlines Speaking of immersion, this listing takes it to the next level. Your mind will be tricked into thinking that you are actually flying over distant lands, in first class too! Operating in Japan from 2016 onwards, this Virtual Reality flight experience brings visitors around the globe on virtual tours of different countries without even leaving the ground. Decked with first-class flight seats and a commercial plane interior decor, even the staff are dressed like actual flight attendants. If you are interested in the “plane”, it is modeled after the Airbus A310. The food and fake window scenery will change based on where the virtual reality tour is held at. Countries including New York, Paris, and Rome are just some of the countries that they offer. A really interesting take on aviation with the help of cutting edge technology. The restaurant is not halal at the time of writing. Runway 34 Restaurant (NON-HALAL) Image Credit: Runway 34 Restaurant If you are more of a propeller kind of person, then Runway 34 will excite you. Located near Zurich Airport, Switzerland is unlike anything from the previous listings. This place not only has the looks and feel of a plane, but Runway 34 also has the whole plane, the real deal. Parked in the middle of the hangar, the plane sits as a centerpiece for the restaurants where diners can choose to have their meals inside or outside the cabin. The plane in question is a retired Ilyushin Il-14, a twin-engined commercial and military personnel and cargo transport aircraft from the 1950s. The plane really does help the restaurant pull off the retro 1950s look well. The restaurant is not Halal at the time of writing. Hotels Hotels that you have to see it to believe it! STF Jumbo Stay Stockholm Image Credit: Jumbostay This has to be the closest thing you can get from bringing your mattress into the airplane cabin to sleep in! Located in Stockholm, Sweden, this repurposed jumbo jet literally lets you stay in the cabin of a retired Boeing 747. Space are aplenty too with the 747’s huge cabin space, there are several dorms and rooms. It is even equipped with a luxury suite in the cockpit! Vliegtuigsuite Teuge Image Credit: Booking.com Another entry to this list of Aviation hotels is the Vliegtuigsuite Teuge in the Teuge, Netherlands. This retired Ilyushin 18 is now a single elongated suite that lets you experience owning the whole plane all to your self. The airplane is big enough for a bedroom area, a kitchenette, and a jacuzzi among other things. All the luxury without any turbulence! Costa Verde 727 Fuselage Home Image Credit: Uniq Hotels Ever wondered what would happen if a plane got stuck in a tree? They get turned into a hotel suite of course! Somewhere in the Costa Rican Jungle lies a salvaged Boeing 727 up in the trees. The painstaking process of placing it up there looks to be very worth it though, as it is safe to say that this is one extraordinary hotel! What makes it more interesting is that the interior decor is predominantly made of wood. From the furniture to the wall, the amount of wood is definitely something you would think of first when you see a salvaged airplane. There you have it some of the different places that offer you the flying experience without even leaving the ground. Frequent travelers and plane enthusiasts can now at least reminisce the days where we were all free to fly around. Maybe with the current border situations still looking to be very uncertain in may parts of the world, more airlines can follow the examples of these places, who knows our next staycations and meals might even be in the cabin of a once flying commercial airliner!...

  • Travel News Wrap: 7 September Week

    Singapore and Japan will Launch the Green Lane starting from September 18 Image Credit: Photo by Marcus Ng on Unsplash Japan has joined the list of countries that will have a reciprocal green lane arrangement with Singapore. The reason for the implementation of this arrangement is to facilitate essential business and official travel between the two countries. This arrangement will be the first such framework that Japan will be implementing with another country. The arrangement will start on 18 September. Similar to the other ongoing green lane arrangement, the requirements, health protocols, and application process. Other than this, there is also an ongoing talk between Japan and Singapore about the implementation of a “Residence Track” where there will be a special quota of cross-border travel by business executive and business professionals “. Learn more about the reciprocal green lane here.   Phuket Reopening Delayed Image Credit: Photo by Frankie Spontelli on Unsplash The popular holiday destination, Phuket has delayed the reopening of their borders due to a virus case discovered recently. This infection was reported to be the first local infection in 100 days. Previously, Thailand planned to reopen the island of Phuket to foreign visitors in October but with the new case of the virus, it seems that the replanning is at hand. Currently, there is no information as to when the reopening will take place after this development....

  • 9 Best Halal Mooncakes You Can Find Around Singapore

    [Updated as of 15 September 2020] Mid-Autumn Festival is held on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar, and this year, it will fall on the 1st of October. Mid-Autumn Festival is notable all around Asia. You must be familiar with people carrying around lit lanterns during the festival. And of course, when we heard about the Mid-Autumn Festival, we know it is the season for mooncake too! For those who are not familiar with mooncakes, it is a round pastry filled with either red bean or lotus paste. Traditional mooncakes may also contain salted eggs. Today, you may not only find traditional mooncakes but you can see various flavors available from different vendors such as chocolate, green tea, and even durian. Even though we are not celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival, there is always no harm to learn about another culture. Most of the time, the best part is to try the food! Worrying that you couldn't try any mooncakes because they are not Halal? Fret not because some vendors offer certified Halal mooncakes and you can go all crazy with the variety of flavors. As the Mid-Autumn Festival is approaching very soon, we have you covered on the 8 best Halal mooncakes you can find around Singapore.   1. THREESACROWD Image Credit: THREESACROWD Cafe You might be familiar with this quaint cafe tucked in the heartlands of Tampines. Known for their Leegacy Ice Cream selections, delicious cakes and waffles, they are now adding Mooncakes on their list! Flavors include the favorites like Mao Shan Wang Durian Mooncakes to Mango Chocolat and Tropical Cheesecake, these offerings are definitely a different take on what Mooncakes traditionally taste like. The idea of ice cream filled snowskin mooncakes slowly melting in your mouth makes it more than worthy for you to give them a try! Pre-order ends on 25th September and the Collection period for these mooncakes are from 5th September to 4th October. Prices: Box of 2: Ice Cream Mooncakes from $36 Website   2. Bread Garden Image Credit: Bread Garden Bread Garden is a Halal-certified bakery with four branches available in Singapore. You may find snacks and desserts like buns, cookies, and cakes to name a few. Bread Garden caters to special occasions like birthday cakes or wedding cakes also not to forget festive desserts like pineapple tarts and mooncakes.Bread Garden offers both traditional baked skin and snow skin mooncakes. With various flavors available, I’m sure you will be spoilt for choices. One of the mooncakes lists that caught my eyes is the MSW Durian, a snow skin mooncake with creamy Mao Shan Wang (MSW) durian filling. It’ll definitely satisfy your sweet tooth. You may also find flavors like Royal Milk Tea, a flavor for all boba milk tea lovers, and Lychee Roselia. If you feel that the outlets are inconvenient for you, fret not because delivery is available for your online order. So, add all those mooncakes into your cart and check them out!Prices: Single baked skin mooncake starting from $9.50 | Single snow skin mooncake starting from $11 | Box set starting from $39 Website   3. Four Seasons Durian Image Credit: Four Seasons Durian If you are looking for all flavors durian, then you can never go wrong at Four Seasons Durian. At Four Seasons Durian, you can find every pastry infused with Durian, ranging from cakes to bread. Of course, their mooncakes are not being left out from Durian flavors.The mooncakes at Four Seasons Durian are only available in snow skin. Either you choose between the D24 Durian or the Mao Shan Wang / MSW Durian, I am sure you will enjoy the rich and creamy flavor of the mooncake. Unfortunately, they don't come in a single piece. But the best thing is that you can get it delivered upon placing an order online.Prices: Set starting from $60 Website   4. Eatzi Gourmet Bakery Image Credit: Eatzi Gourmet Bakery Eatzi Gourmet Bakery is another Halal certified bakery that made it to our list. It was used to be known as Jack's Cake House before obtaining Halal certificate. Eatzi Gourmet Bakery specialized in customized cake and dessert tables for all sorts of occasions.Eatzi Gourmet Bakery offers mooncakes of traditional baked skin. They have 3 varieties of white lotus paste fillings; Single yolk, double yolk, and macadamia nuts. You can never go wrong with the simplicity flavors offered. Similar to any other vendors up in this list, you can place the order online, and either opt for self-pickup or have it delivered to your place.Prices: Single pieces starting from $9.35 | Box set starting from $18.28 Website   5. Primadeli Image Credit: Primadeli Primadeli is a bakery that might not be foreign to any of us. With several outlets available all around the island, I am sure it is easy to spot one near you.Primadeli mooncakes are known for their contemporary flavors. They housed both traditional baked and snow skin mooncakes. Their snow skin mooncakes are very attractive and colorful, offering new flavors this year like Peach Cranberry and Apple Cheese. There is a minimum order requirement for their home delivery. So, if you happened to stumble upon a Primadeli branch, don't forget to get your mooncake craving fix!Prices: Box set starting from $51.80 Website   6. Swensen's Image Credit: Swensen's Did someone say ice cream mooncakes? Probably the odd one out of the list, Swensen's offered mochi snow skin mooncakes with a variety of ice cream fillings. With 7 different flavors made available, these ice cream mooncakes will transport you to a whole new world from your normal traditional mooncakes.Each box of ice cream mooncakes contains 4 flavors. You may choose to get the preset box set or customized your own flavors. One of its flavors, Kueh Salat is inspired by a Southeast Asia dessert of coconut and pandan flavors. You might want to give the grapefruit flavor a try for a different experience. You may opt for delivery or self-pickup at your desired store upon checking for its availability.Prices: Box set starting from $39.80 Website   7. Yu-Ai Confectionery Image Credit: Yu-Ai Confectionery  If you are not in the rush to get your mooncake craving fix, check out Yu-Ai Confectionery. It is one of the leading brands in Malaysia and is certified Halal by JAKIM. They are well known for mooncakes when the Mid-Autumn festival is approaching.Yu-Ai Confectionery mooncakes are known for some of its less sweet mooncakes. Their official website featured all sorts of mooncakes, but alas, we could only dream about trying their lava mooncakes and snow skin mooncakes (as products are not feasible for overseas delivery.) Even so, you can still try their traditional baked skin mooncakes and the available flavors are vast too! I'm sure you will enjoy their Less Sweet Pure Lotus or their Less Sugar Pandan Sugar mooncakes. As their official website doesn't cater to online ordering, you may head down to Shopee to order them through a seller. It will definitely worth the wait!Prices: Single piece starting from $9.27 Delivery rate around $1.70 Website | Shopee   8. Duria Image Credit: SAYS From its name, you must have figured that it is another Durian paste mooncakes and you are right! Duria is one of the leading manufacturers in producing Durian products. Having said so, you should definitely try their mooncake offerings.Nothing can beat the creamy and thick filling of the MSW Durian puree in a snow skin mooncake. You can either go for the authentic MSW Durian flavor or try their Pandan MSW flavor. Do take note that only certain products are certified Halal. Therefore, do check from time to time when you want to purchase them online. Here's one of the local Shopee sellers that you can get the mooncake from.Prices: Box set at $48 (Self-pickup) Website | Shopee   9. DIY Mooncake Kit Image Credit: Instagram If you want to try something new this year and something special, how about baking your own mooncake? It may sound troublesome but it is something fun to do with the families and kids at home amidst this pandemic time.Each Mooncake Kit comes with everything essential to bake a mooncake. It also comes with a handy instruction manual for you to follow through. Once you get the hang of it, who knows you might want to try some other flavors and experiment more to create the best flavors! If this is enticing for you, you may find Chang'e's DIY Mooncake kit on Instagram at @changemooncake.Prices: Kit set at $20.80 Instagram There you have it! 9 of the best Halal mooncakes that you can find around you. One of the best ways to enjoy mooncakes is with a cup of piping hot tea. But nothing can beat enjoying them with families and friends, spreading joy, and spending some quality time with them! *Disclaimer: Please check on the halal status of the food when buying through reseller apps such as Carousell and Shopee. Information was correct at the time of writing....



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