Southeast Asia Welcomes Back Chinese Tourists

Now that China’s borders have reopened, Chinese tourists are ready to take flight! Domestic and international travel by Chinese citizens boosted in the recent months. Not to mention, the processing for passport applications began last January.

Despite the increase in international travel, the travel patterns of these tourists have changed. The usual top destinations for Chinese travelers such as Australia, Paris, Canada, and Madrid no longer pique their interest. Deterred by strict entry requirements and visa issues, many Chinese tourists have veered towards their neighbors down south.

Travel website found that Southeast Asian countries including Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia have become the most popular travel destinations for these tourists.


According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, Chinese tourists made nearly 170 million outbound trips in 2019. The United Nations’ World Tourism Organization added that these trips amounted to approximately US$255 billion (S$340 billion), accounting for almost one-fifth of the global tourism spending.

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What is in store for 2023? Chinese Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI) forecasted that Chinese outbound travel will recover around two-thirds of those 2019 highs. This covers about 110 million border crossings from China, this year.


COTRI Founder Wolfgang Georg Arlt said: “The Chinese tourists we will welcome this year and in the coming years are very different from those who came before.”

He believes that major tourists attractions focusing on more nature-orientated, more outdoor-orientated tourism will win the hearts of many Chinese tourists. He highlighted the gravity of trends such as family-focused trips as well as camping/glamping.


Countries that can accommodate the shifting needs of Chinese travelers have emerged as clear winners. For instance, Thailand offers visas-on-arrival to fully vaccinated Chinese tourists who have travel insurance. Fliggy’s Chief Strategy Officer Simeon Shi noted that “Thailand welcomed 180,000 Chinese tourists from January to mid-February”. Fliggy is Alibaba Group’s online travel platform, which serves Chinese consumers.

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Southeast Asian countries including Singapore can capitalize on their unique offerings such as Singapore’s plethora of authentic local food. Our local coffee shops, shophouses, group tours, and other cultural offerings can attract more Chinese tourists in the coming months.

Sources: 1, 2, & 3


12 Cheap Thrills to Enjoy this Weekend

Living a frugal life does not have to be dull and boring! Keep yourself entertained while maintaining your budget by checking out these free or cheap things to do this weekend.


Dive into the mysteries and magical adventures of your favorite book. If nothing on your bookshelf strikes your fancy, you can take a trip to the local library to borrow one. You can also download free eBooks online.


Movies like Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Black Adam are now streaming in cinemas. You can either watch a movie there or go to the public library to check out a film that you can rent. Netflix has a selection of newly released films too! Take advantage of your subscription with this streaming service.


Invite your loved ones for a friendly game of cards or puzzles. If video games are more your speed, check out the free or cheap games available at the app store or other free gaming websites.


Searching for an athletic endeavor? Grab your basketball or volleyball and head to the park. Join the recreational sports groups in your community. Some are free and others can cost you a registration fee.


Hunt for bargains at the local thrift or flea shops. Remember, you do not have to buy anything. Browse around and watch out for great deals. It is more fun to try things on!


Smartphones, podcasts, and earbuds have transformed a walk around the neighborhood from mundane to entertaining. Even if you do not have access to good audio, stepping out for a stroll can help boost your mood. Check out this list of the best nature trails in Singapore.


Immerse yourselves with the sights and sounds of the natural world. Check out Singapore’s list of trails and parks and choose a beautiful long trail. Then, pack lunch and a water bottle to complete your hike.


If you have a bike, ride around the neighborhood, and explore your surroundings. Do not have a ride? You can rent a bike at the East Coast Park Bike Shop.


Your smartphone is the perfect podcast player! Use it to browse the various categories of free podcasts. Whether you are listening through Spotify or Apple Podcasts, you can keep it playing during a solo walk.


A lot of homes have yarns and a couple of knitting needles stored somewhere. If you do not have these, you can find a friend who will lend you a knitting set. Or you can head to the nearest Daiso to grab some supplies. The basics of knitting are easy. Here’s a great “getting started” tutorial that you can watch.


Make origami decorations to beautify the Yuletide season. For example, you can create paper snowflakes or butterflies. You can aim to learn this skill and make decorations for future events.


Use your radio, speaker, or TV to dance to your favorite tune. You can invite your partner for a romantic dance. Who knows? It might become one of your top fun things to do on a Saturday.

Sources: 1 & 2



6 Extraordinary Life Lessons from Attorney Woo

The smashing courtroom Korean Drama “Extraordinary Attorney Woo” broke its own ratings record with its final episode, which aired in South Korea on August 18. The 16-part series’ finale had an average nationwide rating of 17.5% – the highest in ENA’s program history.

Extraordinary Attorney Woo is a heartwarming series that gives us a glimpse of what it is like for a person to go through the shifts of life while being on the Autism Spectrum. Structured around the realistic cases she handles, Attorney Woo showed how she was able to navigate through her struggles at work, including a budding romance.

Apart from Attorney Woo, the series’ characters have shown their professional and personal growth with each episode. Here are six life and financial lessons you can get from watching this series on ENA or Netflix.


Despite not being born with a silver spoon, Attorney Woo’s father gave up everything because he believed in her brilliance. He worked hard to invest in his daughter’s education. He knew that a good education would help improve her quality of life. It was revealed that she graduated summa cum laude from Seoul National University’s law school.

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Can you imagine how different Attorney Woo’s life would be if she never went to school or never completed her university education?


As a person living with Asperger’s Syndrome, Attorney Woo experiences challenges in comprehending societal norms and circumstances. Even so, her job as an attorney requires her to interact and communicate with diverse types of people.

She chose to overcome her fears and step out of her comfort zone (such as a revolving door) to achieve greater heights and eventually win cases. What is an aspect in your life that you can overcome to achieve your goals?


Faithful friends like Dong Geu Rami will stick with you through thick and thin. In this series, we see how Attorney Young Woo and Dong Geu Rami’s friendship grew in time. Gue Rami stood by her side through good and tough times. As a friend, she is honest, understanding, fun-loving, and kind. More importantly, she always wants what is best for Attorney Woo and she pushes her to reveal her most authentic self.

People like Geu Rami are rare. Cherish those people!


While Attorney Woo’s colleagues celebrate her success that led to them to win difficult civil and criminal cases, Attorney Kwon Min Woo sees her as a rival. In reality, not everyone will be happy to see you achieve success and accomplish remarkable things. This is okay!

Remember, you cannot please everyone no matter how hard you try. It is not your job to get their approval either. So, focus on your own journey and do your best.


Attorney Woo grew up having only a few people in her life, but these people remained constantly present. They may not have much money, but they helped each other overcome challenges such as family property feuds and life-threatening conditions. They loved each other like family.

In life, people will come and go. If you are fortunate enough, you will be able to love the right people, and this is more than enough. You do not need to have an abundance of material things or thousands of social media followings to make you feel loved. The loyalty and love of just a few people is enough.


Jeon Bae-Soo plays Attorney Woo’s father Woo Gwang-Ho. Woo Gwang-Ho is her biggest fan and loyal supporter. He always thinks about her well-being and does his best to keep her safe from all the cruelties of the world. Throughout the series, his father gradually opens to the idea that her brilliant mind will let her achieve growth and independence. He lets her pursue her dreams of becoming a lawyer and hopes for the best.

If parents could have their way, they would shield their children from the harsh truths of life if possible. As a parent, you will sacrifice and give up a lot to help your children achieve happiness and success. It helps to be prepared. Be prepared by establishing a childcare plan or an educational fund for the years ahead.

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The Extraordinary Attorney Woo K-Drama shows how Attorney Young Woo can be bright, bold, and just as worthy of love as everyone else. Its beautifully written script and inspiring characters led to its popularity in Singapore and other parts of the world. Let us just wait for what Season 2 has to offer!

Sources: 1 & 2


6 Benefits of Staycation in Singapore

The staycation trend has increased significantly in recent years. Instead of travelling far for your vacation, you can stay in a hotel nearby to act as a tourist discovering local attractions.

Staycations have several benefits that make them attractive to couples and groups of friends. Here are some of the benefits:


Staycations are more cost-efficient than traveling overseas due to cutting expenses such as airfare and expensive meals. Travel and accommodation can cost a lot of money. A chunk of vacation budget goes towards these categories.

When you are preparing for a staycation, you can use your money towards more entertainment activities and delightful food.


Say goodbye to airport stress and the possibility of flight delays. Your travel time will be shortened due to staycationing nearby. Aside from saving time, you do not have to deal with the stress of queuing, traffic, and so on.

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Having some down time can give you a chance to explore innovative ideas. Steer away from chaos and generate fresh ideas as you lounge in the hotel lobby or sit near the hotel pool. Inspirations can later be turned into productive projects.


If the vacation days your organization gave you is short, it is vital to make use of your time. It is easier and more practical to allot it in a weekend getaway.

You can be spontaneous year-round as you book and enjoy a relaxing break, within Singapore. Consider alternative places such as a glamping staycation, a staycation in a yacht, at SG Hotel On Wheels, or at Resorts World Sentosa.


With international travel, you can experience time differences and jet lag. Arriving at 7 am after a 14-hour flight and having to stay awake all day may make you feel uneasy.

The time difference can also impact your vacation quality and access to contacting your family back home. There is no need to worry about jetlag and time difference during a local staycation!


Planning is a huge part of people’s holidays. You have limited time to explore a new country and you want to pack in as many things as possible. However, planning to visit a new country can take time.

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The beauty of a staycation is that you can leave home without completing a list of tasks such as searching for cheap flights or searching for accommodation near the airport. Less planning will enable you to spend more quality time with the people you love.

Sources: 1 & 2


Experience The Natural Wonders Of These 4 Local Farms

“Just being surrounded by bountiful nature, rejuvenates and inspires us.“
– E.O. Wilson

Nature heals. Research showed that environments can increase or reduce our stress. What you are seeing, hearing, and feeling at any moment changes your physical and emotional well-being.

If you feel suffocated within the walls of your home, try visiting farms in Singapore. From vegetable farms to animal farms, we have you covered!


Since its inception in 1988, Hay Diaries has been the only goat farm in the country. Located within Lim Chu Kang, guests are free to explore the premises and to witness the goat milking session between 9:00 to 10:30 am.

Get close with the goats as you purchase the Alfalfa Hay (S$5 per packet) and feed the goats. End your goat farm experience by skimming through the souvenirs such as fresh goat’s milk and handmade soap.

Image Credits: Hay Diaries via

Location: 3 Lim Chu Kang Lane 4, Singapore 718859


Home to the Poison Ivy Bistro, the Bollywood Veggies lets you travel back to simpler times. Their Bistro is a farm-to-table eatery where guests go for a quick lunch after visiting the nearby farm. Try their unique Blue Nasi Lemak, which is infused with blue pea flower.

After a hearty lunch, you can walk around the premises to enjoy the wide variety of plants. What’s more? They have a food museum with about twenty-four oil paintings that illustrate the relationship between food and human civilization.

Image Credits: Bollywood Veggies via

Location: 100 Neo Tiew Road, Singapore 719026


Did you know that this place is a Guinness World Records holder? Witness the undeniable charm of various species of turtles and tortoises such as the Six-Legged Tortoise and the Pig Nose Flying Turtle. See and feel the spirit of the Sulcata Tortoise for luck, and the Thailand’s Golden Temple Turtle for wealth.

You will be given the chance to interact with these creatures by petting and feeding them. However, please do not lift them up as it can cause them stress. Tickets cost S$10 for children aged 3-6 and S$14 for those above 7 years old.

Image Credits: The Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum via

Note: Due to the Phase 2 Heightened alert, group entries will be limited to 5 people per group. Only fully vaccinated visitors will be allowed entry. Children under 12 years old need not be vaccinated.

Location: ORTO, 81 Lor Chencharu #01-16, Singapore 769198


Nestled within a once empty concrete rooftop, the Sundowner is an urban farm and lounge space which offers guests the opportunity to learn about the fundamentals of organic farming and to indulge in farm-to-table goodies.

It is an oasis of green floating above the bustling cafes and bars of the Siglap restaurant belt. You can opt for the Rooftop Farm Experience to learn about organic farming as taught by a master gardener, to don a bee suit, and to get a sample of unifloral honey. This experience is priced at S$115 for adults and at S$85 for children.

Image Credits: The Sundowner via

You can also make your own pizza with their 3-hour class. This activity is perfect for friends, families, and co-workers. Private Pizza-Making experience costs S$350, for two pax.

Location: 705A E Coast Rd, Singapore 459062

Sources: 1 & 2