What I think of United Polaris Lounge SFO

United Polaris SFO lounge is by far the biggest United lounge in America, spanning 2 floors with lots of food, drinks and amenities. It even has waitering services!

 

Location

Located in the G concourse close to gate G92. Once you pass through the security checkpoint leading to the international G gates, take an immediate right turn.

Location

Entrance of the lounge
Entrance of the lounge

You can only enter if you are on a long-haul United or Star Alliance flight flying on business or first class. Star Alliance Gold flying on economy or premium economy will use the United Club lounge. United Polaris has quite a few amenities, like a dining area where you proper restaurant service. Quiet suite to catch the snooze, shower suite to refreshen up before you catch the next leg of the flight, or get that pre-departure drink at their bar.

Overall, the lounge gave a corporate vibe. Decorated in their corporate colour – grey and blue, the lounge has rather a sombre mood.

Overall decor of the lounge is modern futuristic chic – brightly lit, decorated with shiny objects. You will be greeted with showers of drop lights hanging from the ceiling as you make your way up to the 2nd floor.

The bar
The bar

 

Food

United is the only airline which has waitering service in its lounge. The Dining Room is located on level 2 overlooking the runway as you have your entrée and desserts. And if you do not have the luxury of time you can always go for their buffet spread which you will be spoilt for choices.

Three-egg omelet
Three-egg omelet

 

Plentiful of comfy seats in various configurations.

Shower suite
Shower suite

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Cathay Pacific Lounge Bangkok Review

Bangkok’s Cathay Pacific Lounge

Cathay Pacific Lounge Review

According to Skytrax Cathay Pacific lounge was ranked #3 for its business class and #1 for first class lounge in 2016. And I had the opportunity to visit the one in Bangkok and Hong Kong International Airport to check it out myself, and provide my personal review.

Bangkok’s Cathay Pacific Lounge 

Upon reaching the entrance of the lounge in Bangkok International Airport the overall look gives a lush, elegant and comfortable feel. Very soothing on the eyes.

Once stepped in you will be greeted by their friendly staff who will escort you in. The theme has been very consistent across the different sections in the lounge. The use of earthy tone colour scheme, well-mixed of hard and soft elements like low wall concrete wall partition, wooden dining area, leather sofa and fabric seats. And a balance use of Asian and modern furnishing in its decor – Vietnamese lamp, glass and wicker lamp shades. All these soft touches are well thought out and placed.

The lighting in Cathay Pacific lounge is just right. Unlike some of the airline lounges where you will be greeted with bright lights, here the room is well-lit accompanied by the natural light overlooking the runway. Individual lamps are placed in each seatings should you need an additional lighting.

There were ample seatings – leather sofas and comfy seats for group chats, individual seats overlooking runway and mini office desk with printer.

You will be spoilt with food choices in Cathay Pacific lounge! They have a breakfast, salad bar and a good selection of beverages. And for tea lover out there they served TWG tea! In additional, they have noodle bar serving a piping hot noodle.

Now, their toilet is simply lush. The basin area and floor are dry. Cleaners wipe up the area regularly. You do not have to worry of getting your sleeves or cuffs wet.

Overall, it was a very pleasant experience. A nice quiet oasis in a busy airport.

You can read my Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific lounge review here.

New York City

New York City – Things to Do

New York City

New York City, big apple, the city that never sleeps. According to Wikipedia NYC is the most densely populated city in United States. Home to the United Nations, center for international diplomacy and where Statue of Liberty is. It is also the home to 2 of the world largest stock exchange. A very diverse and vibrant metropolitan city.

Below are a couple of activities I did while I was in the city.

1. M&M’s World

M&M’s World is located in Times Square. The store front is decorated with huge billboard and brightly coloured “chocolates”. A all-time favourite candy store to all children and children-alike. A must go-to place when visiting Times Square.

You will be greeted with a gigantic M&M character once you stepped in. Consistent with its chocolate colour theme the store was decorated in rainbow colours. A feel good, happy place. Mural on the wall depicts the humble beginning of the cartoon characters and how the characters evolved.

If you looking for souvenirs you will not be disappointed in M&M’s World. The store is packed with merchandise and memorabilia like magnets, keychains, t-shirts and plushies.

Here’s a quick tour of the store.

The coolest thing and the best souvenir in my opinion is to personalise your M&M’s chocolates.

The final product, a bag of  M&M’s chocolates with customised text and designs printed on it.

2. Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market

Treasure hunting when i’m in overseas is always fun. I enjoy browsing and going through items from the by-gone era, clothes worn by the military personnel, 70s and 80s shoes and bags which make a come back.

3. High Line

An former railway track which has been given a new lease of life – greenway which cuts through the downtown district spanning some 2.33 kilometers in the city center. A innovative way to bring greenery and parks in an urban city.

4. Chelsea Market

And you can pop-by the Chelsea Market to check out the fresh produce as you walk along the High Line.

5. Top of the Rock 

A place you must go! The view is spectacular. Day view of the city is very different from the nights. As you can see buildings are brightly lighted with neocolours and from the digital screens in Times Square.

Do note, you have to book a time slot after buying the tickets. Don’t expect to see sunset when you buy your tickets at 5pm, the earliest time for you to get up might be 10pm.

It has been a fun 2 days exploring NYC and to do some shoppings. I would have to say the weather in the city is crazy! It was clear night sky when i went up to the Rockefeller Center and snowing the next morning.

Woodbury Common, Premium Outlet – New York

Bargain hunting time! If you are like me looking for a good bargain and not fussed that items are not current season then you’re in a real treat. Woodbury Common is the ideal outlet to do your shopping. Their website does provide directions on how you can get there. As for this blog I will focus on my experience catching a coach from Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City to the premium outlet.

I got my ticket through Viator.com and one of the tour agency had special offer on those tickets. So, do check out the website it might save you a couple of dollars on those tickets. I collected my ticket from the Grey Line shop which is located inside of the bus terminal, very convenient.

Alternatively, you can buy your tickets from Shortline Coach USA.

Every ticket comes with the bus and discount booklet coupon. And they will also provide you the bus schedule slip so that you can plan ahead. However, do be at the bus stop 15 minutes before the departure time when coming back as there will be many shoppers doing the same for the popular time slots.

Navigate yourself around the terminal, following the signs which direct you to gate 410.

Important, be there early! As everyone wants to maximise their time in the mall you can expect large group of shoppers for the morning bus. There will be no standing passengers, once the bus is filled you’ll have to wait for the next one.

The journey takes about an hour so my advice is visit the washroom before joining the queue and bring a bottle of water with you.

Once reached, go to the visitor center to collect your discount booklet.

And then off you go… Happy shopping!

 

 

 

 

Eat Your Way to Happiness

This is a series of food blog which I have decided to document down on food places or restaurants I been while traveling. So, eat your way to happiness in Seoul, Korea.

Jinsadaek

If you are looking for a traditional Korean meal in the shopping area, Myeongdong, you’ve got to check out Jinsadaek. Tucked in a small lane in Myeongdong. The restaurant has an unassuming entrance, however once you’re up on the rooftop it was as if you were transported to another place – in a courtyard of a traditional Hanok house.

Each room in the “house” is a private dining area good for large group. Let me show you what they serve. Please note, i might have missed out a couple of dishes as i was busy enjoying my 14 course dinner.

Abalone porridge

Vermicelli with mixed vegetables

White kimchi

Salad

Steamed pork and spicy squids

Pan fried pork and spring onions with sesame

Pancake

Oyster and sashimi

Beef Bulgogi

Fermented yellow corvina

They even had a singer dressed in traditional Korean dress, Hanbok, to entertain guests. A great way to end the night on a “high” note!

Singapore Outlet Mall – Changi City Point

Last minute shopping before catching your flight out in Changi airport? Do check out Changi City Point mall for great bargains! The mall is located next to Expo MRT station, one station before hitting Changi.

Take the East-West line towards Pasir Ris-Changi, alight at Tanah Merah station and change to Changi line.

Drop-off at Expo station and you’ll see Changi City Point mall from the platform. Take the right exit when you leave the station.

Cross the traffic light once you’re out from the station. It’s that convenient!

Here are the brands found on the ground level…

More shops on 2nd level…

You can easily spend 2 – 3 hours here and if you’re hungry fret not there is a wide selection of restaurants and a food court in the mall to fuel you up. Items found in the outlet mall are at least 20-30% cheaper than those in the downtown. As you can see in the pix each shops has their own promotion/ bundle deals.

Happy shopping!

 

 

 

How to get to Keukenhof

Spring! It’s the time of the year where the flowers bloom and the forest comes alive. And that reminds me of Keukenhof garden. I have been hearing so much of this place. The variety of tulips in a single location!

When you touched down in Schiphol airport head straight to I amsterdam  Visitor Center

In the Visitor Center you can:

  1. buy the entrance ticket to Keukenhof garden and
  2. get a 1 Day Amsterdam & Region Travel ticket which enables you to take the train, bus, tram and metro

If you are like me staying in the city you would need the 1 Day travel ticket because Keukenhof is located in another region and it would require you to take train from city to Schiphol airport and then catch a bus from the airport to the garden.

The bus stop is located at the side of the airport just look out for the bus with lots of tulips on it.

Once reached the garden you will be greeted with brightly coloured tulips! Lots and lots of them!

Remember you bought a 1 Day Amsterdam and Region Travel ticket? Do plan your day before you make your trip to Keukenhof. What I did was… I took the first bus and went to Keukenhof garden in the morning and it took me a couple of hours to finish the garden. After which i used the region pass and travel to Haarlem for lunch and explore the town.

Finding toilets in Europe is such a pain!

For those who have been to Europe you would know that finding a toilet in Europe is a pain! Italy, Spain, Portugal, France and the Netherlands… You have to pay to use one.

So, where can you find toilets? Are are some places where you find free toilets…

 

 

Museums and tourist attractions. Typically, these places have toilets. Before you leave do pay a visit to their restrooms. You never know when you’ll come across one along the way.

Malls. Major shopping centers do have toilets. You’re safe if you do spotted one.

Cafes. Most cafes in Europe do have toilets. So, take a break and enjoy your cup of coffee and croissant before you take a leak. Most cafes would require you to buy something before you use their bathroom.

Starbucks. Thank god for international brands… All Starbucks i came across in Europe do have one. And usually the staff do not ask.

MacDonald’s. From my experience, you don’t have to pay to use with the exception for Amsterdam. That’s the only time that i have to pay to use their toilet. If i remember correctly, it was 70 cents euro.

Do you know you can use google map and search for the nearest Starbucks? Just type Starbucks in the search bar and google map will return all Starbucks’ location which are close to you. A very handy feature.

Paris Paris Paris!!! Day 4

Off to see Paris on bike!

Go on a Blue bike tour to see Paris city. This 4-hour tour will bring you to Notre-Dame, Orsay Museum, Eiffel Tower, Flame of Liberty, Grand Palais, Palais de l’Elysee, Place de la Concorde, Orangerie and Louvre Museum. A word of caution, some parts of the tour we  were on roads. As a not-so confident cyclist it was a little overwhelming for me to keep an eye out for both pedestrians and vehicles, but i sure did enjoy myself.

 

Le Grand Musée du Parfum

Unlike Louvre, Pompidou and Orsay, perfume museum documents the history and explains how the sense of smell evokes memories and emotions. This museum uses multi-sensory exhibits and installations to help visitors understand the different scent, and the process of extracting them to make perfume. A very educational trip indeed!