Flying with Jetstar Asia

About

Jetstar Asia Airways Pte Ltd (operating as Jetstar Asia) is an LCC based in Singapore. It is the Asian offshoot of Jetstar Airways, the low-cost subsidiary airline of Australia’s Qantas. It operates services to Asian countries like Thailand, Myanmar, Philippines, Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Its sister airlines are Jetstar Pacific and Jetstar Japan.

Website

I could say that it was relatively easy to navigate for a first-timer. I just had some difficulty searching for the specific dates that reflect their supposed seat sales. I initially thought it was all a joke, a come-on for suspecting buyers. You would have to come around again and again, just to realize that it’s only good for one-way tickets. But it’s still a bargain, nonetheless.

Booking

It was generally hassle-free. I was able to book two round trip  tickets bound for Singapore at around Php3,200 ($64) each. We got the confirmation page and reviewed all details. So far, so good.

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I had to check my email in just a few hours, and this is what I received:

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It also came with the official receipt and the breakdown of charges.

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Flight (MLA>SG)

We arrived a mere hour before the counters opened. I was surprised to see the queue of people. I thought it was for China Airlines beside ours, but I was wrong. All went quite fast and smoother than expected though. We then proceeded to immigration, then our boarding gates.

We were called to depart half an hour before time. It’s small just like other LCCs, and legroom was almost non-existent. Not that I cared about it. Seats were comfortable, and I was happy to be seated near the window.  Just a four-hour flight, I thought. We waited at the threshold for an aircraft to land before taking off. It was a little bumpy at first, but eventually became steady after a while.

As I got bored looking at the clouds, I glimpsed at the food menu in front of me. Only a slab of sandwiches were available, though. I instantly smelled it when the staff delivered it to our neighbor. It wafted in the air for some time, and I resisted to urge to order one. Damn.

Three hours and forty minutes passed.

We’re almost landing in Singapore. I immediately noticed their magnificent skyline and Sentosa’s merlion from afar. I got jittery and excited, but happy  that the rest of the flight went uneventful.

Flight (SG>MLA)

Here goes the disaster.

Well, not exactly. Sorry for my exaggeration. We were already inside the plane, comfortably watching videos on our phones when an announcer suddenly said that we have to go out and return to the airport terminal. Why? Yes, you’re right. The cliche technical malfunction problem. Do we have a choice? Of course not.

Everyone were talking out loud how incompetent the airline/staff was for not finding it out sooner,  and at the same time packing their stuff and starting to leave. We, too, headed our way.

We waited for about two hours (or more) until we were called again to board. My mind was wandering? Is this another plane now? I sure hope they fixed whatever problem there was.

My question was never answered. Not that I bothered asking anyone anyway. We were all probably tired, that’s why.

My rating (1-10)
 
Website: 8
On-ground crew: 8
In-flight service: 7
Seat comfort: 8
Cabin interior: 8
Cleanliness: 8
Punctuality: 6
Aircraft condition: 6
Overall rating: 8
Verdict
I would still recommend this airline despite the mishap we experienced. It offers cheap and reasonable prices, considering the destinations. Seats were relatively okay and in-flight staff were approachable. Their English is not that great but understandable. I wish I could recommend the sandwich but sadly, I didn’t try it. My bad. (Maybe I should, next time). But as with any other LCCs, do not expect much. You paid less for a reason. If you want more amenities, bigger legroom and a great flight experience, might as well spare more bucks for real airlines. Just my two-cents.
I hope this article would shed some light on those contemplating whether to jump on that next plane to Tokyo or Melbourne. Next on the list is Delta Airlines. Will update you on this soon enough. Carry on!
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Train To Busan

Okay. Let me start this off by saying I am no professional critic. I am simply relaying my two-cents on a recent hit that left us all in awe. Yes, up until this moment, everyone around me is still talking about it.

I first saw its trailer on my feed. I wouldn’t bother looking at it, if not for the familiar actor Gong Yoo. Oh, zombies. My fave. Have I already mentioned I am a BIG fan of TWD aka The Walking Dead? I watched every season, every episode, for as many times as I can recall. But this one’s different. It’s a movie, and it’s Asian!

I checked Rotten Tomatoes and saw the 93% rating. I read the commentaries and got more curious. So I went off to watch.

My reaction afterwards?

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Yeah. I was still wiping off the tears on my face while walking out. It’s also worth noting that the entire audience gave a standing ovation when the movie ended. The first time I saw this was when I watched MJ’s This Is It concert-drama roughly 7 years ago. I mean, it was really something to be applauded for. And Train to Busan, too.

Inspite my friends and colleagues strong recommendations, I did not expect much from this film. I guess I was pretty much used to the creatures I wasn’t thinking there could be more to it. TWD’s walkers ain’t that fast, they don’t change that fast, and their bodies ain’t that contorted (if you know what I mean). The zombies in this film behave in an uncanny way, almost like Sadako. It was frightening and funny at the same time. I was amazed with the way they growled and snarled their way out on others, akin to wild dogs.

Story-wise, the plot was almost like World War Z’s, a divorced father trying to make amends with his daughter. Chaos starts on the train to Busan (hence the title) where, unfortunately, it all began. One thing I really liked are the different wave of emotions you will feel the entire time; be it sad, hatred, relief, fear, worry, and everything else. It’s a ride of terror mixed with superb entertainment. Just don’t mind reading the subtitles all throughout, though.

WARNING – SPOILER ALERT!!! I was really saddened when major characters were killed off, but I know it’s all part of the story. I was thinking if they’re planning on a sequel, then the leads should still be alive. But the director’s got a different plan, I guess.

My final verdict: It definitely was a big surprise to come out in recent years, amidst all the sequels, adaptations, prequels, remakes, and what-have-you these days. I’m glad I didn’t miss the chance to see this. And you should, too.

 

 

CocoIchi Curry

I have always loved curry. So you can imagine my delight when I first heard the news that Coco Ichibanya is (finally!) opening its first store here in Manila. I personally think that we already have too many ramen shops, cafés, and milk tea stalls around, perhaps it’s time to experience something  new.

Ichibanya Co., Ltd. owns the top curry rice restaurant chain in Japan, Curry House CoCo Ichibanya, or Coco Ichi as fondly called by locals and patrons alike. It currently owns both direct and franchise restaurants in several countries like the United States, Hong Kong, Singapore, and of course, the Philippines. They now have five branches operating across the country.

What I liked best in this curry house is the freedom to customize your meal. You can pre-select the amount of rice, level of heat to your sauce, and the entrées that will go with your curry. You can also upgrade your meal with an additional topping, dessert, or extra soup. Price usually ranges from Php250-500.

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Of course, I wouldn’t pass the chance to try my ultimate favorite: tonkatsu!

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I have tried several versions of this: from Tokyo Tokyo to Yabu. But I must say this one’s got a different blend to it. It sure doesn’t like it, but this was a hefty meal.

Meanwhile, my friends tried the vegetable and omelet hashed beef:

 

My verdict? The presentation of the food looked appetizing, plus the stunning aroma that comes with it. The sauce had the right amount of consistency and a tinge of spiciness. The pork was tender enough and the rice was flavorful. I wish I could’ve tried more though.

 

The Airbnb Experience

I am sure that as of this writing, many people have already tried using Airbnb. It is a popular app for traveling. It offers cheaper alternative to posh hotels that is commonly chosen by frequent travelers. But times has changed. People are always looking for creative ways to earn and to mingle with different people from various backgrounds. I think it is a very effective and smart way of accomplishing these goals. And Airbnb makes it achievable.

I must admit that I was adamant at first. But since most hotels in Singapore are relatively expensive compared to that of Bangkok or Hong Kong, I might as well give it a try. I also managed to read some blogs to check out feedback from previous users. It was generally positive, although there were a few warnings. Not that I didn’t mind it, but I believe that each person would always have a different experience.After scouring the internet for news, I decided to see it myself.

And oh, the website was very inviting. It was user-friendly and had many options available. I especially was impressed with how they plan to resolve problems that may occur during the rental period. That’s inevitable, right? At least they have some contingency solutions.

Anyhow, I found a really good space. It was a private room. I didn’t want to rent the whole house for three reasons: [1] too big for the two of us, [2] more expensive, and [3] we might be sharing it with tons of other people and we personally would like to avoid that as much as possible. Although we are just renting the room, the entire house was at our disposal. We were able to use the kitchen (mostly for heating water), dining room, and living room. We had the T&B for ourselves, which was really good.

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After a few exchange of  messages with the host, we finalized everything and went on with the payment. We paid a total of 102 euros. Yes, it is euros.

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We arrived and left the apartment safe and sound. Everything went well. The hosts were nice people and really gave us the best possible experience. We never felt like guests. We were even offered dinner, at one time. Remember to keep the place clean before you leave. It is very important. You would want to make a good impression, because they will also leave a feedback on your account afterwards. That would make it easier for other hosts to accept your reservation next time.

So if you are looking for an accommodation on your next vacation, why not check Airbnb and see how it’s like. I sure hope you will have a wonderful time. Just choose wisely, okay?

 

The Klook Experience

Before I go and travel, I always make sure to do my research. A part of it includes making reservations to amusement parks, museums, and the like. Then I stumbled into one site that was mentioned several times by many users: Klook. They all gave positive feedback about it and assured readers it is legit. Yes, that’s one major concern for everything that you do online. How do you know if it’s real? Well, it won’t hurt to ask a few people on how it went out for them. Check out blogs (like this ;)). But do make sure they are reliable and credible to begin with. They must have the information and actual documents to prove authenticity.

I started off by comparing the price they offered against other online sites. They turned out to be one of the cheapest, not the cheapest. Not bad, though. I was thinking if it was too low, it might be more risky. You know, too good to be true. And after some inquiry and further readings, I made up my mind. I will try it!

I initially booked for two tickets to Universal Studios. Then, I followed it up with the cable car. I found it both amusing. Anyhow, after several verification (which I honestly think is good), I was able to reserve a total of four tickets.

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We paid the amount of S$164 using a credit card. In less than 24 hours, we got this by email:

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And then I was wondering, where are the tickets? Oh, it was in the spam mail! Goodness, I thought I was scammed (just for a bit).

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The verdict? The transaction was hassle-free and went smoothly. We simply gave the papers to the staff on the turnstiles and were immediately given access. Same thing with the cable car, although it took us five years (!) to locate the redemption counter. Thing is, the Vivo City mall was still closed at that time. It was a little over 7AM, I think. That is why we had to go around and find another entrance up ahead to the 3rd floor where the counter is. We got lost in translation after several attempts to ask directions, too. Whew. But all’s well that ends well, as what they say. When it was our turn to get in the cable car, we did not have an inch of a problem. So again, I am recommending this website. It is LEGIT. And we had a really memorable experience. I will definitely use it again for my future travels.

I am inviting you now! Go ahead and click here! Enjoy!

Travel Delightfully

Instead of taking the usual route to Malaysia, we opted to go to Indonesia for our side trip this time. There were several islands to choose from. We chose Batam. It is the nearest Indonesian island to Singapore, and is just an hour away.

When I was reading some blogs about Batam, I stumbled across one travel agency which got a lot of positive feedback. I checked their website and saw an array of tour packages being offered. I was a bit hesitant, so I sent a simple inquiry first. To my surprise, I received a response shortly thereafter. It was  a prompt and direct answer to my question. I was impressed. I know this is little to consider, but this makes a difference for me. I continued exchanging messages (this time on their chatbox) about the package I was interested about, and satisfactorily got the information I wanted. I deposited the cash payment the day after. I received the voucher thru email in less than 24 hours.

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Fast forward to January 20, the day of the trip.

We were greeted by a friendly tour guide at the ferry terminal and was escorted to the van. It served as our transportation around the small town. All in all, everything went well according to plans. We finished almost everything in the itinerary earlier than expected so we requested to depart early, too. After a few discussions, we were given brand new set of tickets. I was pretty satisfied.

That is why I am recommending this agency to anyone who is going to Singapore and any of the nearby countries. For more information, you may read through their website at http://traveldelight.biz/

On Getting a Tour Package

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I initially wanted to write this post to serve as a reminder for future travelers out there. Is it really necessary to avail of a package when traveling? The answer varies, of course.

When we traveled overseas for the first time, my thought was to get one. It was our first time, so naturally we want to feel at ease with the fact that everything will be laid out for us. You know, less preparations. The price seemed a bit higher than usual, with the  extra charges topping it up. This is understandable. It was also a  good thing that I knew this travel agency’s reputation and that we had a previous experience with them for a local trip.

In the package we availed, we got the following: two-night stay at a four-star hotel, buffet breakfast for two days, half day city tour, seat-in coach to and from the airport, one-way ferry ticket to Macau, and a tour to Macau as well. Not bad, eh? We paid Php7,000 for all these. I purchased the airfare tickets separately because their offer was double the price. I decided to book on my own, and found it’s actually cheaper.

There were many benefits. First, it was such a comfort that someone waited and fetched us at the airport. We rode in a mini-bus with a bunch of others and thoroughly enjoyed the views. We were dropped off at the hotel and were given instructions for next day’s itinerary. We had our freedom to do whichever we want on day 1 and 3, which was really good. The hotel of choice was okay, although it could have been better. I mean, it could have been nearer to the city premises. We could have roamed more, given the time. But nonetheless, it was a great experience.

Downside? I guess, for me, it was the trip to Macau which we didn’t enjoy to the fullest. We only had a half-day. Of course, we were also given the option to extend prior to the trip, but we declined. It’s a small country so we thought half-day would be enough. Didn’t realize it actually offers a lot more and that we should have stayed a bit longer. We were not able to see the fireworks, although the nightlights did suffice somehow. Someday, hopefully, I could come back and relish more. And buy a box of my fave egg tarts! Yum!

Another downside would be the city tour as well. There were several stops that I think were not necessary anymore. It was neither interesting, too. Most of us just went along with the group but weren’t really excited to see what was it about. Later I discovered that the stalls actually had an agreement with the agencies to bring the tourists in. Of course, some of these tourists would purchase their products, plus they would also get some extra for that. Oh well, that’s how business works.

There you go. I hope this would shed some light on your decision whether to get one for your next adventure. I wish you the best of luck!