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Friday, July 21, 2017

Crossing Indochine Borders

Laos is relatively fuss-free, Singaporeans can travel visa-free to Laos for 30 days or less and international drivers licence is valid there for 1 year. No car permit documents are required and car insurance costs 300 baht a week (under S$13).

Singaporeans can travel visa-free in Myammar for up to 30 days. However, foreign vehicles require MTT permission or authorized Travel Agent registration 4 weeks prior to arrival at the border. International Drivers Licence need to be converted to a local Myammar Driving Licence prior to arrival as well, apply via mail to Road Transport Department in Yangon or Naypyitaw, it costs USD$20 and is valid for 5 years.

Vehicle Permit (this one is for bicycles) from

Singaporeans visiting Cambodia for less than 30 days do not require a visa. It sounds hassle free especially if you are travelling across the border by bus, motorcycle or tuktuk. However, if you are driving a car, you will need to purchase car permit and insurance to the tune of over a hundred US dollars at the border and it's only valid for one week, have your car related documents ready.

Not only that, international drivers licence is not recognized in Cambodia, you will have to apply for a licence conversion that will cost you something like usd$35 and take minimum 1 month to process. Luckily, online applications are now available so you can apply for a licence conversion before arriving at the border. Cambodian driving licences have a validity of 1 year or 3 year period, it's quite troublesome to keep track of the various validity periods.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Crossing Thailand's Borders

Singaporeans entering Thailand for less than 30 days do not need a visa. If you are driving in via border checkpoints, you are only allowed to enter Thailand twice in one calendar year. International driver's licence is recognized in Thailand. However, insurance requires a Thai drivers licence for stays longer than 3 months, so if you are staying for more than 3 months in Thailand, you should get a Thai drivers licence.

 Car Permit in Thailand from

Car insurance and Temporary Car Permit have to be applied for and purchased at the border. It's a minimum amount requirement, I am told most people pay for more coverage and I will probably do so as well. Total costs less than $100.

Thailand x Malaysia Borders
There is a duty free shop on the Malaysia side of the border, it's by no means cheap but its a great place to stretch your legs and take a break.

On the eastern part of Malaysia is the Rantau Panjang - Sungai Golok border checkpoint.  

On the western part of Malaysia is the Wang Kelian - Wang Prachan border checkpoint. There are some markets and its in the middle of a nature reserve so nobody lives here. This place also offers Malaysian citizenship services.

Next to WK-WP is Padang Besar border checkpoint for trains. There is also Bukit Kayu Hitam - Sadao border checkpoint that is completely fenced in and built up, that leads to Hat Yai.

In the middle, between eastern and western Malaysia is Pengkalan Hulu - Betong border checkpoint.

Thailand x Laos Borders 

On the northern part of Thailand, from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai region is Phu Sang National Park border checkpoint.

Heading up north from Bangkok to the city of Vientiane Laos is the Friendship Bridge border checkpoint. There is a duty free shop and cafe on the Laos side.

There is a second friendship bridge border checkpoint at Mukdahan - Savannakhet. Border towns with schools, airport, eateries.

On the eastern part of Thailand is Chong Mek border checkpoint that has a bus terminal, shopping, markets, temporary eateries.

Thailand x Cambodia Borders

Cham Yeam border checkpoint is located at the southernmost part of Thailand. It's a seaside town with a market and some nice hotels.

Poipet International Border is on the eastern part of Thailand at Sa Kaeo going into Krong Siem Reap where Angkor Wat is located, UNESCO World Heritage site. It's also where Thailand citizenship services are located. See picture above.

In between Cham Yeam Border and Poipet International Border is Chantaburi- Phsar Prum Border where Cambodian citizenship services are located.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Crossing the Malaysian Borders

Singaporeans entering Malaysia are allowed to stay 30 days or less visa-free in one calendar year. International drivers licence is valid in Malaysia for 1 year only.

All cars are required to pre-register for Vehicle Entry Permit or VEP, processing fee is $10 and it's valid for 5 years. Thereafter, each time you enter or exit Singapore/Malaysia borders it will cost you $20, payment by cash card only as cash payments are subject to an additional $10 surcharge. When entering Malaysia from Singapore, payment is 20 ringgit and payment is by Touch'n'Go cards that are used on Malaysian roads and toll booths. Coming back from Malaysia to Singapore, ordinary cashcards or CEPAS cards are accepted and its $20 singapore dollars.

Some Singapore car insurance covers Malaysia, you might want to extend coverage for all countries before leaving. If your insurance company cannot do that, than you have to buy car insurance at the border, have your car documents ready. If you are driving a foreign car into Singapore, you can only do so for 15 days. Thereafter, you have to apply for an extension from LTA and the maximum is 90 days. If you wish to keep the car in Singapore past the 90 days, you have to apply for COE etc that is the same as a new car purchase.

One last thing to remember is : Singapore registered vehicles at Malaysia borders need to have a minimum of 3/4 tank of petrol. If not you will be turned away at customs or even prosecuted in court and fined up to $500.

Friday, June 30, 2017


This batch of sealed pouches came in the mail and are from Sample Store, a Singapore Post Office company. I put in 5 orders, the items are FOC but the shipping & handling costs $5.99 each order. It's a bit expensive I know, I had some paypal credits from my Zalora referral links that I used up here. 

The main items I really wanted are these Korean Face Masks in really cute packaging. Some packets of detergent, facial scrub, moisturizer, serum, CC cream, cream masks, body ache massage gel, anti-odor spray.

This Neutrogena sunblock sample was completely FOC, shipping & handling also FOC. As was the Vivace Facial Mask, sure beats samples handed out at the shopping center.


Marigold x Smurfs The Lost Village prize consists of 4 tickets to watch the new Smurfs movie, movie premiums and 3 cartons of milk!

 This one month's supply of milk is more like one year's supply for my family.

Cle de Peau facial cotton, these are 2 sample packets from promo event. Check out the little monogram in the corner. Usually, it sells in a box of 120 sheets for $30.

Laneige Collagen Drinks are fish based and enhanced with orange fruits for faster absorption in the body. Free Gift for the first 10 buyers who make 5 or more paid checkouts on Sample Store. Ordinarily it retails for $52 in stores.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Tiong Bahru Bakery


I was at Tangs Orchard and stopped for coffee and one of their famous croissants or even Kouign Amann, there's a sweet version and a savory version.

The croissant sandwich is really good, so much so I bought another sandwich and turned my tea-time snack into a whole meal. The baguette sandwich is really quite tough. Next time I will try the Kouign Amann.

I was at Tangs Orchard for the Guerlain pop-up event.

There's a lucky dip for skincare trial sets, premium samples and this scented candle from their Orchidee Imperiale range of skincare.

Really happy with my gift! The scent is really strong and deep, almost for a guy. I am told most old world perfumes are like that, heavily musky and that's what makes it sexy.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar 2017

This famous bazaar comes round once a year and ends on Hari Raya eve. It says Geylang but its not in Geylang, so where is it. Most people can't find it and I found out its exact location by chance. I exited Paya Lebar Circle Line thinking I would find Paya Lebar Square, instead I found a bunch of construction sites and further down there are these tents setup along the road.

The first few white tents are not related to the bazaar although the stuff sold there is similar. Even further down the road it's the huge mass of tents, caravans, stage and dustbins that make up Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar. 

Halal food stalls are not open until after 6pm, so what you get are mostly chinese or indian store owners selling the usual pasar malam food as well as the newer rainbow/unicorn stuff.

I managed to get a blue ramly burger, extra $1 for coloured bun. And a unicorn Starlite bubblegum milkshake, I am soo not a kid.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Family Dinners

Thai street food @ Thai Village, its just like how I remembered it from my vacations.

Vermicelli Crab...

Sharksfin Claypot Soup!

Informal gatherings at home, satay and chicken wings.

My mom bought chicken rice as well.

Skincare souvenirs from Korea, seems like everyone is going there these days.