Capture IG-Worthy Moments at the Claude Monet-Inspired Exhibition in Gardens by the Bay This July

In my quest for exciting activities and hidden gems within the Red Dot, a captivating advertisement caught my eye – “Impressions of Monet: The Garden” at Gardens by the Bay.

Mark your calendars because, from July 12, 2024, this exhibition promises to transport you into the enchanting world of Claude Monet, the renowned French painter.

BACKGROUND OF THE EXHIBITION

Enter the realm of Claude Monet (1840-1926), a visionary who not only pioneered but passionately championed the Impressionist style. Originating in France in the 1860s, Impressionism is a painting movement that focuses on capturing the visual essence of a moment, emphasizing the play of light and color.

Prepare for a truly immersive experience as a digital presentation breathes life into the timeless masterpieces of Claude Monet. Complementing this, a delightful floral arrangement painstakingly recreates the landscapes that fueled Monet’s creativity in Giverny, France.

Titled “Impressions of Monet,” the exhibit unfolds in two captivating zones: The Garden and The Experience. Step into The Garden at the Flower Dome, where you’ll be welcomed by scenes reminiscent of Monet’s own Giverny garden in France.

Image Credits: unsplash.com

Transition to The Experience, where several of Monet’s masterpieces come alive on the walls and ceiling. Amidst a lively symphony of strobe lights and tunes, you’re invited to roam freely, becoming part of the living canvas.

WHAT TO EXPECT

Revel in the recreation of Monet’s iconic pink house and its garden, now the second most visited tourist attraction in Normandy, France. Explore the adjacent Clos Normand garden and the serene Water Garden, both integral to Monet’s later works. Afterwards, immerse yourself in the beauty of hydrangeas, weeping willows, digitalis, daisies, delphiniums, and geraniums – all echoing the flora of Monet’s original gardens.

What’s more? Feast your eyes on the green Japanese bridge and water lilies, subjects immortalized in Monet’s renowned Water Lilies series.

This multi-sensory adventure is a deep dive into the heart of French Impressionism, offering glimpses of 19th-century Europe through the eyes of Monet and his fellow Impressionist painters.

Get lost in the grandeur of famous, inspirational images set to a powerful classical score. Watch as paintings are projected at an enormous scale, illuminating the bold brushstrokes of Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, and many other luminaries.

Image Credits: unsplash.com

Don’t miss out on this extraordinary exhibition running from July 12 to September 15, 2024, from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. Admission ticket prices start at S$8 for Singapore residents. Prepare to embark on a journey into the captivating world of Monet’s artistry – an experience that promises to linger in your heart and Instagram feed alike!

Sources: 1 & 2

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3 well-rated villas under $349/night in Phuket, Thailand, for introverted group travelers who want to flex

Phuket Luxurious Villa

Are you an introverted traveler traveling with like-minded friends and seeking a peaceful getaway in Phuket, Thailand?

Wonderful.

Allow us to share a list of well-rated villas under $349/night so you can consider between the options.

Let’s get started!

Luxurious 2-bedroom & 2-bathroom villa in Saiyuan Estate

Luxurious 2-bedroom & 2-bathroom villa in Saiyuan Estate

Price: $187/night (for 4 persons)

Situated in the gardens of Saiyuan Estate, this luxurious two-bedroom villa offers an oasis just minutes from the beaches of Nai Harn.

Combining modern comforts and traditional Thai design, the villa features high-end materials, furnishings, and artwork—from antique furniture to hand-woven tapestries. Two king bedrooms and two bathrooms provide enough space for 4 people, including the spacious living and dining area and fully equipped kitchen.

Let’s not forget the villa’s private pool and sun loungers, where you can soak up the tropical sunshine in absolute privacy with the sounds of nature providing a soothing soundtrack. Saiyuan Estate’s enclosed community ensures privacy and security, while the nearby beaches offer the chance to explore the waters of Phuket.

Modern-looking villa for 4 guests near Phuket Elephant Sanctuary

Modern-looking villa for 4 guests near Phuket Elephant Sanctuary

Price: $248/night (for 4 persons)

Next, we have this modern villa that provides a retreat near the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary. Located in a family-friendly part of the island with security, a gym, and a cafe, the corner-unit villa offers privacy yet convenience.

The private pool, furnishings, and separate bedroom access ensure comfort for up to four guests. Kids will be well-taken care of with child-friendly high chairs, cribs, toys, and more (upon request).

Enjoy free parking, electricity, and water while taking advantage of the villa’s proximity to area attractions and tour booking services at the reception. The open layout and natural light fill the space during the day so you can get enough vitamin D.

Spacious 4-bedroom bungalow for a big group of up to 6 guests

Spacious 4-bedroom bungalow for a big group of up to 6 guests

Price: $348/night (for 6 persons)

Lastly, we have this spacious bungalow that has everything you need for a luxurious Phuket escape.

Built in 2016, the 4-bedroom home sleeps up to 6 adults and 2 children. The 5 beds include a mix of single and queen/king sizes, so the whole family or group can spread out.

A highlight is the huge swimming pool and jacuzzi, which are great for cooling off after a day at the beach just 7 minutes away. Floor-to-ceiling windows fill the open-concept interior with natural light. The contemporary design balances luxury and laid-back, making it a home base to stay in.

With a gym on-site, you can get some workout done without heading too far. Book this spacious bungalow now if you really like it because it’s almost sold out through April 2024!

With these villas, Phuket, Thailand proves to be a haven for introverted group travelers seeking a rejuvenating vacation. Priced under $349 per night, you can indulge in the luxury of privacy. So gather your introverted kakis and get ready to say “kop khun krap/ka”. Pad Thai, Som Tam, and Tom Yum Goong await you on the other side 😉

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4 accommodations with the best views under $40/night in Manila, Philippines

Manila Airbnbs

So you want a getaway with breathtaking views in Manila, Philippines, but don’t want to spend so much?

Look no further!

We’ve rounded up four accommodations that offer the vistas you want without breaking the bank. Whether you’re a budget traveler or want to make the most of your hard-earned money, these options under $40/night will give you quite the experience.

Let’s dive in and discover the best views that won’t burn a hole in your pocket.

Clean & bright compact studio with an unobstructed view

Clean & bright compact studio with an unobstructed view

Price: $28/night (for 2 persons)

Secure your piece of paradise from this compact studio, located at the back of Ever Gotesco Mall for uninterrupted views of Sierra Madre.

Whether solo or sharing with a friend, this bright unit offers two single beds (one a pull-out) and a dedicated workspace. Free amenities like high-speed WiFi, hot water, pool, gym, playground, and jogging paths make this the ideal home base for urban explorers, while the kitchenette allows for quick meals to fuel your adventures. There’s also a washer in-unit so you can get fresh, clean laundry always.

High-floor residential one-bedroom condominium with a city skyline view

High-floor residential one-bedroom condominium with a city skyline view

Price: $32/night (for 2 persons)

Perched on the 38th floor with city skyline views, this high-rise condominium offers city living connected to the conveniences of SM North EDSA (a large shopping mall in Quezon City). 

Spacious enough for up to four guests, the fully furnished unit features everything you need for comfort during your stay. Enjoy easy access to the mall’s selection of shops, dining options, and entertainment venues, while the MRT station provides quick transit around Metro Manila. The balcony lets you take in the twinkling night lights of Quezon City from above, and day parking is available on a first-come basis with reservations possible.

Fully furnished studio deluxe unit where you can view the sunrise

Fully furnished studio deluxe unit where you can view the sunrise

Price: $36/night (for 2 persons)

Wake up to the sunrise from this cozy studio deluxe unit located in New Manila near Gilmore Station and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church.

Situated on a high floor, this apartment features cable TV, speedy WiFi, and skyline views to energize your day. The compact yet well-organized layout includes a fully equipped kitchenette ideal for light meals, a double lock door for security, and complimentary tea, coffee, and distilled water. Great for a solo traveler seeking a home base for business or pleasure, or a couple looking for an affordable getaway. This furnished studio promises a comfortable and convenient stay close to the city’s bustle.

Minimalist studio unit with floor-to-ceiling windows

Minimalist studio unit with floor-to-ceiling windows

Price: $39/night (for 2 persons)

This minimalist studio unit is your ticket to day-to-night city views. Nestled close to Eastwood Ferry Station and in the heart of Eastwood City, this 24-square-meter condo offers all the comforts of home in a modern package.

Wake up to floor-to-ceiling windows framing the metropolis, then cook up your favorite meals in the equipped kitchenette. After a refreshing shower, slip into the plush queen-size bed that pulls out to sleep four (with extra fees). When you’re ready to venture out, stroll to nearby restaurants, shops, and cafes. Then after that, come home to your retreat with private, paid parking on-site.

If you’re planning a trip to Manila on a budget, there’s no need to fret with our abovementioned accommodations. From skyline views to beautiful sunsets, you can enjoy Manila without spending much on your stay. So pack your bags, grab a buko juice, and explore Manila with a view that you won’t believe you paid under $40/night for.

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Reasons why you should join a holiday tour group even though it may be more expensive than DIY-ing your trip

group picture of a tour group holiday

So you’re thinking of going on holiday soon but cannot decide whether to join a tour or DIY?

Yes, we know it can be a little bit of a tough choice. Tours can be more ex but there’s a guide to take you everywhere, take care of transport, bookings, and all that.

But DIY-ing your trip means you can choose anything you want, with no need to follow any fixed schedule. But still, going with a tour has its pros over DIY.

Easy peasy

First up, going with a tour group means there’s no need to plan your own itinerary or handle any logistics. The tour guide will plan everything for you—where to go, what to see, and where to eat. Good for times when you just want to be a follower without stressing your head over planning.

Having a tour guide also means having a built-in encyclopedia (all the juicy details about the sights). These experts can share history, facts, and tips about each place, things you won’t know if you decide to explore on your own.

You’re super safe

With a tour group, you have a guide who knows the place inside out. No need to panic if you get lost or cannot find your way.

Tour guides also know places that are potentially dangerous areas and will have you avoid them.

There’s also safety in numbers! More people means less chance of being targeted. Pickpockets won’t dare to try their stunts.

tour group holiday

Image Credits: Webuy

For solo travelers, you’ve got yourself companions. It’s a good way to make new friends in your tour group.

So if you are anxious about traveling alone or going somewhere new, joining a tour group can be a good idea. You feel more relaxed and can focus on enjoying instead of worrying. Worth paying more for that peace of mind, isn’t it?

Get access to exclusive experiences

Tour companies have special access to places that are restricted to the public. For example, they can bring you into off-limit areas or get you behind-the-scenes tours of farms or factories.

They also can get you priority bookings for popular restaurants or shows that are super hard to get reservations if you were to book yourself. In short, don’t need to wait long long.

Some tour companies have special connections and can arrange local experiences not available to the average tourist.

You also get to skip queues at crowded attractions and enter via special tour group entrances.

Usually, for hotels or cruises also, tour companies can get better rates than what you will find online. It’s all included in that one package you sign.

So why DIY everything yourself and stress out over all the planning? Get a tour company to handle everything while you relax and enjoy the holiday without worrying if you booked the right hotel or if you will miss your flight. Of course, we can’t deny that joining a tour group means paying more upfront than going free and easy, but for convenience, it’s pretty worth it. At the end of the day, holidays are meant to be fun, not pulling your hair out 😉

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5 accommodations with amazing views under $39/night in Pattaya City, Thailand

Pattaya City Airbnb

Imagine waking up to a sunrise that paints the sky in hues of orange and pink, all without paying much.

In Pattaya City, Thailand, such priceless experiences don’t have to come with a hefty price tag. This coastal city is a treasure trove of affordable accommodations that offer amazing views. 

From modern homes to luxurious apartments overlooking the seas of Thailand, we’ve scoured Pattaya to bring you a list of incredible stays where you can enjoy your vacation without spending more than $39 a night.

Get ready for picture-perfect panoramas while saving your baht for food and shopping.

Bright & modern home with a stunning view of the city

Bright & modern home with a stunning view of the city

Price: $32/night (for 2 persons)

First up, we have this bright and modern home that offers city views and an ideal location close to beaches and the buzz of Pattaya Walking Street— just 10 to 15 minutes.

Step inside to an open-concept living room and kitchenette with high glass doors framing panoramic views of the city. Relax on the patio taking in the stunning scenery while enjoying your morning coffee or tea.

The comfortable bedroom features a queen bed and closets for all your clothes and belongings while the facilities include a family pool with a jacuzzi, fitness center, and more for an active stay.

21st-floor minimalist-style studio in Muang Pattaya

21st-floor minimalist-style studio in Muang Pattaya

Price: $33/night (for 2 persons)

This minimalist-style studio offers fuss-free comfort in the heart of bustling Pattaya.

From the double bed situated right in front of the flat-screen TV to the dressing table and full kitchen with refrigerator, everything you need for a short- or long-term stay is thoughtfully arranged. The bathroom comes with a shower.

Need a change of scenery but still want to stay indoors? The on-site workspace in the building offers ample seating for you to tackle any work that follows you on vacation (we know things happen).

For downtime, refresh in the gym or by the pool before returning to your sanctuary on the 21st floor. With stunning city views, this no-frills retreat provides an oasis high above the hustle and bustle below.

Homey condo with panoramic sea views on the 20th floor

Homey condo with panoramic sea views on the 20th floor

Price: $35/night (for 2 persons)

This expansive studio condo offers panoramic views of the bay that will take your breath away. The 20th-floor location means you have an eagle’s eye perspective of the city from the spacious balcony.

The open-concept living space seamlessly blends the bedroom, living, and dining areas into one, anchored by a king-size bed in the middle. The kitchenette, though compact, has the essentials covered with a microwave, kettle, toaster, refrigerator, and dishes so you can enjoy in-room dining.

Laundry and cleaning services are also available for the ultimate convenience (with a surcharge). Nearby Pratamnak Night Market offers delicious street food, shopping, and nightlife—a great place to dabao food and fill your tummies in the evening.

Roomy & artsy one-bedroom rental a short walk to Cozy Beach

Roomy & artsy one-bedroom rental a short walk to Cozy Beach

Price: $36/night (for 2 persons)

Consider this artsy one-bedroom rental as your beachside retreat, located just a five-minute walk from Cozy Beach.

Nestled in a well-maintained eight-story condo building with ocean views, this fully furnished unit on the sixth floor offers everything you need for a relaxing stay. Step inside to find a living room with a dining bar table and chairs, plus a separate bedroom with a double bed, wardrobe, and couch. It also has a working table and chair, just in case you need to get some work done.

The small but functional kitchen has the basics for light meals, and a balcony offers partial sea views to take in while you chill al fresco. Cool off in the on-site swimming pool and enjoy the coastal vibes.

Luxurious one-bedroom apartment facing the sea for two guests

Luxurious one-bedroom apartment facing the sea for two guests

Price: $38/night (for 2 persons)

Seaside serenity awaits at this stylish one-bedroom apartment. Located steps from the sandy beach and crashing waves, this high-end residence offers luxurious hotel vibes from the moment you walk into the sleek lobby.

Amenities include outdoor pools, a gym, and a lounge. The compact but efficient living space features a showroom-like kitchenette, dining nook, and bedroom with wall-mounted TV. Tall glass windows in the bedroom frame gorgeous views of the sea, allowing you to wake up to a sight like no other.

After a day of beachcombing and swimming, return “home” to the plush sofa area in the lobby to catch up on emails or simply chill out. This affordable oceanside retreat provides everything you need for a relaxing getaway in a luxurious, seaside style.

These accommodations are proof that you don’t need to spend a fortune to enjoy the best views that Pattaya City has to offer. Whether you’re sipping a cold drink on a balcony or waking up to the gentle sounds of the sea, you will find that each of these budget-friendly options offers something. So book your flights and accommodation for 2024, pack your bags, and prep for a holiday where vistas are as impressive as the value. Enjoy your trip!

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