29 August 2009
It was refreshing to spend the weekend here in Singapore after two consecutive weeks of exploring some parts of South East Asia. It was basically back to normal for me and I got up at almost 11 in the morning.
I am particularly excited today, as we will be going to the NATAS Travel Fair. This twice a year event brings together the finest travel specialists, tour operators and national tourist organizations in one roof to offer their popular and unique holiday packages – at discounted price. Truth be told though, I really did not expect to get something big (like a tour with price tag of above 500 SGD). All I wanted to do was look around for ideas on an interesting new regional destination and maybe book for resort accommodations for two planned beach holidays this year.
We arrived at the venue, Singapore Expo, at past noontime already and decided to eat first before proceeding to the travel fair. I had Subway Sandwiches for lunch; my first to eat such as I am really not into sandwiches (most especially this overpriced brand).
There wasn’t any queue yet when we bought our tickets, probably most people were still enjoying their lunch at that time. We got our ticket for just 2 SGD; got a dollar discount as we paid it via MasterCard which I think was one of the major sponsor.
Just like the previous NATAS Travel Fair, which we attended earlier this year, the two halls of the Singapore Expo were packed with travel related exhibits from various vendors. Most are travel agencies enticing customer to buy their unique tour packages. There were also exhibits from the various airlines. Of course, different countries managed to set-up their own booth as well in order to promote tourism. Even the Philippines was there; sadly though, the exhibit of my country was very plain. It would have been better if they had made it unique in order to attract attention.
There was a stage that was set-up towards the back part of the exhibition hall wherein we saw a lot of entertainers performed onstage (mostly cultural dance). Most notable of which was the preview performance of JUMP, a Korean comedy blending various martial arts such as Taekwondo and Hapkido from Korea, Wushu and Drunken Fist from China, and Capoeira from Brazil. I was so amused that I got tickets from SISTIC on their Sept 12 performance at the Esplanade Theatre.
We went out of the exhibition hall after 2 hours. We didn’t go home empty handed; we bought tickets for the Singapore Flyer, which were sold at a bargain for 34 SGD a pair (SRP of 29.50 SGD per ticket). We also bought voucher for a customized photo album that was sold at a Buy 2 Get 1 Free promo. We figured it would probably be good to get an organized hard copies of our holiday snaps.
As for the resort accommodation, we found out that it would be better if we get the book online rather that getting the land transfers packages being offered by the travel operators we inquired as it was cheaper by a mile.
As for the regional destinations, I managed to get some interesting travel ideas but we didn’t buy any packages as the prices were simply way above our budget. I am contended on getting these new ideas, learn more about these places and hopefully get there soon in the future; doing it my way, budget style…