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21 Google Maps Tips and Tricks You Should Know

Google Maps is my go-to app as soon as I step out of the door. Not just for knowing my way, but for the invaluable information it provides regarding my route. I get traffic information, learn more about nearby places, keep tabs on time and distance, plan my full trip, and much more.

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From styling Google maps to zooming in really close, as my companion app for over 5 years there are a lot of tricks that I’ve learned. So for today, I’ll share this useful information with you so you too can get the best out of Google Maps.

Let’s see how these 21 Google Maps tips and tricks can help you with your daily life.

1. Measure distance

Google Maps allows you to measure the distance between two points. You can either create a full point-to-point custom route and measure its distance, or simply see straight line distance of two points.

How to do it:
  • Press and hold on a location to drop a pin, it will be the starting point to measure distance. Afterward, tap on the “Dropped Pin” button below to open its options. Here tap on “Measure distance” to start the process.
  • A crosshair second pointer will show up that you can move by dragging the screen around. You can use the + icon button on the right to add points and create a custom map.
  • The total distance will be shown at the bottom left corner in miles or kilometers based on your preferences.
  • measure distance

2. Share real-time location

Google recently added the feature to share your location in real-time. You can use this to let others know exactly when you’ll be at your destination, or simply let someone know if you are on the right track or not.

How to do it:
  • Tap on the main menu on the top-left corner and select “Share location” from the menu. On the next page, you can select a total duration for which you want to share your location, and how you want to share the location.
  • Here tap on “Select People” to select a friend from your Google contacts. If they don’t have a Google account (or are not in your contacts), then you can tap on the “More” button to select a messaging app.
  • share location in realtime

Note: Google Location services must be enabled on your phone to be able to use this feature. When you tap on “Share location” you’ll be asked to enable it if it’s disabled.

3. Google Maps Lite Mode

Google Maps has a Lite Mode that is lighter on system resources and uses lesser internet data. I didn’t get a chance to use this feature often, but as far as basic navigation is concerned, it works perfectly.

However, this feature can only be used in the web version of Google Maps, either on your PC or from your smartphone’s browser.

How to do it:

Simply visit this Lite mode link using your browser and Google Maps will load in Lite mode. A lightning bolt at the bottom-right corner will confirm that you are in Lite mode. The same icon will allow you to switch between full and Lite modes.

lite mode

4. Google Maps Street View

You can also see Street View right inside the Google Maps if it is available for a specific place. A really cool feature for quickly viewing the surroundings of an area.

How to do it:
  • Tap and hold on your desired location to drop a pin. Next, tap on the location name at the bottom to view options for it.
  • In the options tap on the Street View thumbnail image of the location and Street View will open up. You can drag to move around in the Street View.
  • street view

5. Download maps

You can download a map of a specific area to navigate and get location information without any internet connection. I have used this feature many times for my trips to remote areas and apart from real-time features like traffic updates, almost all of the navigation and information features work offline.

How to do it:
  • When you search a location or drop a pin in any of the locations, tap on the location name/address to access its options. Here tap on the blue “Download” button to start the process.
  • A square will come up indicating a total area that will be downloaded. You can zoom in or out to tell the exact area you want to download.
  • The download size of the map will be shown below, the larger the area; the more space it will take. After highlighting the area, tap on “Download” to start the downloading.
  • download offline map

Google will automatically update the downloaded map after every 15 days (sometimes earlier).

6. Add multiple stops

If you need to go to multiple places in your trip, then you can add them as stops to get directions accordingly.

How to do it:
  • Search for your first stop and tap on the car icon to create a route. But before entering the navigation mode, tap on the menu at the top-right corner (three vertical dots) and select “Add stop” from the menu.
  • Now, tap on the second stop and select the location or place. Repeat the process to add as many stops as you like.
  • add multiple stops

You can tap and hold on a stop to drag it up and down to manage priorities.

7. Find required stops

You can search for required stops in your route while navigating, such as gas stations, banks, restaurants, ATMs or even bakeries. And then manage your trip accordingly.

How to do it:
  • While in the navigation mode on your route, tap on the “Search” button on the right side.
  • Here you can either select a category from the given categories or enter your own in the Search bar above.
  • When the category is selected, you will see all the places that come under that category right on your route.
  • find stop in route

You can also tap on the place you want to stop in your route, and then tap on “Add stop” button to add it as a stop.

8. Add custom labels

To easily find places that Google hasn’t added to Maps, you can add custom labels. These labels will be shown on your maps and you can also find them from the search bar. For example, you can add a label for your favorite hangout place, your friend’s house, or even where you first met your spouse.

How to do it:
  • Add a pin to the location by tapping and holding. Next, access the pin menu and tap on the “Label” button.
  • Enter the name of the label and confirm it. Now you will always see this label whenever you will navigate to the area.
  • add custom label

9. Check the typical traffic

It’s one of my favorite Google Maps features for planning trips. Apart from the live traffic updates, Google Maps also allow you to see typical traffic condition of an area at a particular time. You can use this information to plan a trip just at the right time and day. However, this feature is only available on the web version of Google Maps.

How to do it:
  • From the main menu at the top-left corner, select “Traffic”.
  • You’ll see a bar at the bottom showing the traffic condition with color indication and a drop down menu to select “Live traffic” or “Typical traffic”. Select “Typical traffic” and you’ll see a time and date changer bar.
  • You can adjust this bar to see typical traffic conditions at a particular time or day.
  • typical traffic

10. Add parking location

If you have set “Driving” as your usual method of commuting in Google Maps, then you may see cards to save parking location when you get out of the car. If you don’t like this feature (it can be pushy) or it doesn’t work accurately for you, you can also manually add parking location to easily find your car.

How to do it:
  • Tap on the blue dot (your current location) while you are near your car and select “Save your parking” option.
  • This will mark the location with a P icon indicating your parking location.
  • To manage your location, tap on the P dot and you’ll see all the options, including the ability to change the parking location manually or take a photo of the location.
  • add parking location

11. Avoid tolls, highways, and ferries

Tolls, highways, and ferries can cost you time, money and resources. If you want to avoid them in your route, then Google Maps can easily help you find a route that doesn’t have ferries, tolls or highways.

How to do it:
  • Search for your destination and tap on the Car icon to see the fastest route to it.
  • Then, tap on the three vertical dots menu at the top-right corner and select “Route options”.
  • Just check the checkbox next to highways, tolls and ferries option and tap on “Done” to re-route.
  • avoid ferries highways tolls

12. Contribute to Google Maps

Google Maps largely depends on contributions from locals to improve information about nearby places. You can also easily contribute to Google Maps and make information about your local area better.

You’ll earn points for doing so (I only earned 11 points so far) and get rewards if you earn enough points, such as free Google Drive storage or invites to beta tests.

How to do it:
  • Tap on the main menu at the top-left corner and select “Your contributions” from it.
  • On the next page, you’ll see your name, current earned points and ways to contribute.
  • contribute to google maps

There are many ways to contribute; you can review places you have been to, add photos, correct information, or simply answer basic questions about a place.

13. Add a missing place

This is another way to contribute to Google Maps, but the “Your contributions” section doesn’t offer an easy way to add missing places. However, you can easily add any missing place on the map and it will be officially added after passing Google Maps verification.

How to do it:
  • Tap and hold on the exact location where something is missing and drop a pin. From the pin options, tap on “Add a missing place”.
  • You’ll see a page where you can add location name, category, opening/closing time and other key information.
  • Add as much information as you know, and tap on the “Send” button at the top-right corner to send the edit to Google.
  • add missing place

Such edits will add to your overall contribution to Google Maps and you will earn points for them.

14. See location history

It can be a bit scary to know that Google Maps tracks every move you are making and keeps a complete record of it. However, Google is nice enough to share this information with us so we could see a complete history of where we went and when.

You can see the places you’ve visited on any particular date along with route that you took to reach there.

How to do it:
  • Click on the main menu and select “Your timeline”.
  • Your timeline will show you all the places you ever visited along with handy suggestions, such as frequently visited places, or recent places.
  • You can also click on the “Calendar” at the top-left corner to select a date and see your activity on that specific day.
  • timeline

15. Call a ride

Google Maps also allows you to call a ride such as Uber, right from the app. It will search for all the ride hiring services in your area and then recommend you to hire one along with the information about nearby cars and fares.

How to do it:
  • Search for your destination and check the fastest route.
  • On top, you will see options to select how you want to reach your destination.
  • Select riding services here, the one with the man with a briefcase icon.
  • You’ll see all the available ride calling services along with their estimated fares and nearby cars.
  • hire ride

For Uber, you can hire the car right from the Google Maps app. However, for others, you will have to use their official app.

16. Zoom with one hand

Usually, you have to use two fingers to zoom in or out on the map, which requires two hands to easily do it. But there is a trick that lets you do it with one hand only.

How to do it:

Double tap on the map and hold. Now simply move the finger down to zoom in, and move it up to zoom out.

17. Directly enter navigation mode

Another very simple but handy trick. When you need to navigate somewhere, you usually have to select commute method or best route, etc. However, in most cases, the default settings are perfect for navigation and you just tap the navigation button.

If you trust Google Maps for offering you the best route every time, then you can skip this check and directly enter navigation mode.

How to do it:

Search for your destination and tap and hold on the “Directions” button. After a second, you will directly enter navigation mode with the best route and default commute method selected.

18. Speed limit of an area

Currently, Google doesn’t offer any way to check the speed limit of a route and measure it with your current speed. However, you can get this cool feature with the help of a third-party app.

How to do it:

Velociraptor is an Android app that lets you add speed limit widget on Google Maps or any other maps app. It uses data from OpenStreetMap and HERE Maps to offer this service.

Now whenever you will open Google Maps, a widget will show up showing your current speed and max speed limit of your route. You will be notified if you will break the limit.

check speed limit

19. Check CO2 emission

If you care about environment and want to minimize emission of CO2 from your vehicle, then there is a Chrome extension that can help.

How to do it:

Carbon Foot is a Chrome extension that shows you how much CO2 your car will emit when you will drive it on a specific route. After installation, as soon as you get direction for a location in Google Maps, the extension will show total CO2 emission in the details.

You can hover over the value to see how much trees and time it will take to capture that much CO2.

see co2 emission

Knowing this will help you make a better decision about how you want to commute and may even motivate you to plant trees.

20. Create custom maps

Adding custom labels on the map might be handy, but for ultimate customization, you’ll need some extra help. There is a handy tool for this purpose that will help you create custom Google Maps using hundreds of markers and drawing tools.

How to do it:

Go to Scribble Maps and it will open up Google Maps in its interface. You will see multiple editing options in the top bar, including drawing tools, lines, shapes and text adding tools. You can use these tools to edit the map and then save it as an image or embed it anywhere you like.

scribble map

Most of the required tools are available for free, but for access to advanced tools and editing options, you will have to upgrade to the pro version.

21. Open Yelp links

If you click on an address in Yelp, it will open up in Yelp Maps. This can be really annoying if Google Maps is your go-to maps app. This issue can be easily resolved with a Chrome extension.

How to do it:

Install the Yelp to Google Maps Chrome extension, and whenever you will click on a Yelp address it will automatically open in Google Maps.

Rounding up

These easy to follow tips and tricks make my everyday trips hassle free. I will recommend you to check the Google Maps contribution section to help make your surrounding better.

I have recently started contributing and it feels great to contribute to a service that helps you with your trips in so many ways for free (leaving the data tracking debate aside).

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Best of TASMANIA – This is the way life should taste

Few destinations can pull off what Tasmania does in combining the world’s freshest and finest produce with the most adventurous wilderness. Their forests, agricultural lands and pristine seas provide a natural supermarket of deliciously fresh produce.

During my trip to Tasmania, I have met many smaller producers who are passionate foodies. You spend time shuffling between these farm-gate suppliers, boozy cellar doors and local providores. After sampling the produce, book a table in a restaurant and see how the local chefs transform it. Dine on succulent seafood like oysters, trout, lobster, abalone, scallops and salmon.Here are some of the Best Kept Secrets of TASMANIA.

Get the freshest catch from Tasmanian Seafood Seduction

Tasmanian Seafood Seduction has been one of the most amazing gastronomical experience in my life, thus far. Their day-long journey by Pennicott Wilderness Journeys brings us past some of Tasmania’s most spectacular coastal scenery surrounding Bruny Island and gives us an opportunity to taste the best of the state’s produce. Enjoy oysters shucked straight from the water and your guide will dive for abalone and sea urchin.

The Pennicott Wilderness Journey’s guides know these waters intimately and their local knowledge is second to none. During the tour, we gained an entertaining insight into the surrounding wilderness and their animal inhabitants, while soaking up unparalleled views of picturesque landscapes and beautiful deserted beaches.

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Smell the flowers at Bridestowe Lavender Estate

Want to get 100% Pure Bridestowe Estate lavender essential oil? This is the place. Rich in history and surrounded by breathtaking scenery, Bridestowe Estate is a must visit for all visitors to the North East of Tasmania. It is spectacular all year round – from the vast, vibrant purple haze of summer, to the moody mysterious landscapes of winter. They produce lavender products all year round. I particularly like the essential oil, they are grown, harvested and distilled at the Estatel. After walking around the farm, chill out at the cafe to enjoy lavender tea, lavender ice cream and lavender scones.

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Feed the Kangaroos at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

Get close to the native animals like Tasmanian Devils Kangaroos, Koalas, Wombats and Echidnas at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. This is the place to share special moments with Australia’s unique wildlife. The animals all look very happy and very well looked after here. They have 80 free-roaming kangaroos that you can hand-feed with complimentary kangaroo food provided on entry and they love a scratch under the chin! Also, you must meet Maria, the orphaned wombat! She is lucky to be alive after her mum was sadly hit by a car. Don’t be deceived by its heavy body as wombats can run at speeds of up to 40km/hr.

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Pick your favourite fruits at Sorell Fruit Farm

Bring your kids to Sorell Fruit Farm as you pick the fruit in season. It costs $ 20 for a punnet which you can fill with fruit. To be honest, I find it a little pricey. But the strawberries we picked were really huge and sweet. We also grabbed a bite and a coffee at the coffee.

December to January: you can pick 10 different kinds of cherries
November to May: strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants etc

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Pop a berry at Kates Berry Farm

Kates Berry Farm is charming, From spring to autumn, try fresh raspberries, strawberries and other berries picked the same day. Kate started the business close to 30 years ago after moving to Swansea from Victoria. She created her own berry farm (yes, she is very hands-on!) and sells berry ice cream and jams all year round. You will be happy to know that she uses organic fertilisers on her farm and she has a range of sugar-free jams.

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Devils Corner wine tasting

Chill out on the deck and take in the panoramic views of the majestic Hazards and Freycinet Peninsula while enjoying a glass of their award winning wine.

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Freycinet Marine Farm for lunch

Freycinet Marine Farm is no frills delicious. Enjoy a glass of Tasmanian wine with a dozen freshly shucked oysters, isn’t it heaven? There are oysters – fresh, cooked, mixed plates (you decide) – as well as garlic scallops, abalone, mussels or salmon (for the non-oyster eaters). We sat in one of the benches and waited for our food to arrive. Nothing pretentious, it’s that simple. The hardest thing was to decide what we should have.

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Walk up to Wineglass Bay Lookout and Cape Tourville

Freycinet National Park is on the east coast of Tasmania. There are trails leading up to a lookout for panoramic views over Wineglass Bay. The short walks are suitable for all abilities and will lead to secluded bays, clean beaches and bird-filled lagoons.

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Address: Coles Bay Rd, Coles Bay TAS 7215, Australia

Shop at Salamanca Market

Every Saturday, Salamanca’s Place’s two street blocks are packed with stalls selling food, music, arts and crafts, collectables, books, clothing and jewellery. Located next to the Hobart waterfront, it’s free admission. This is one of Australia’s most loved outdoor markets. You shouldn’t miss this is you are at Hobart.

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Up your Instagram game at Cradle Mountain

This national park has many wild faces that are breathtaking in their beauty. We hopped onto McDermotts Coaches for a full day Cradle Mountain tour which explores the wild landscape, ancient forests and alpine heathlands of the most stunning natural areas in Tasmania. The tour was handled by a very experienced driver who is also well conversed in history. We spent a relaxing time taking tonnes of pictures at Cradle Mountain. I suggest taking a 30 minutes boat shed walk to the most photographed location on Cradle Mountain. Don’t rush to go back, spend a night at Cradle Mountain Hotel after your Cradle Mountain National Park visit. The dinner at the hotel is amazing. And there after, we went on a Wildlife Night spotting tour to see some wallabies, wombats, possum and maybe even a devil in their natural habitat.

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Open your mind at MONA

The best tip I would give before your visit to MONA- GO WITH AN OPEN MIND. While not my normal cup of tea, this private museum is thought-provoking and very different. There are more than 300 art pieces so take your time to wander through the three levels of subterranean art space.

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Drink Raspberry Latte at Christmas Hill Raspberry Farm

After leaving Cradle Mountain, head to Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm Café at Elizabeth Town for a meal. Using the freshest local ingredients, sit in the garden to enjoy your lunch while overlooking the beautiful lakeside. Some of my favourites include raspberry & coconut risotto, raspberry waffles, and wallaby & bacon patties with marinated ashgrove fetta and pepper berry relish. Fresh raspberries during the season and frozen raspberries in winter are sold along with a pantry full of products made from raspberries.

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Grab the best sauces from Tasmanian Gourmet Sauce Company

Located just outside of historic Evandale, just minutes from Launceston airport, Tasmanian Gourmet Sauce Company is a MUST visit. By now, you should know that Tasmanians grow some of the finest fruits in the world. The owners Tim and Julie Barbour chooses the best of them for her recipes, hence creating some of the best sauces, conserves and condiments for more than 20 years.

Surrounding the centre is the renowned open garden and topiary nursery. They provide gourmet barbecue lunches and cooking demonstrations for groups of ten or more, all prepared with local ingredients. We made some salad from scratch. By scratch I really mean picking the vegetables and eggs from their garden. They also conduct jam making workshops are held on weekends and all participants leave with their very own jar of jam!

It is worth the little stop off to experience such yummy delights. You get to have generous tasting of all the finest jams, sauces, chutneys, relishes and mustard. Prepare to buy several little bottles of joy for your friends.

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Best Farm Stay: Curringa Farm

If I would recommend a place to stay in Tasmania, it would be Curringa Farm. Curringa Farm, which offers fully self-contained farmstay cottages near Hamilton, is about an hour’s drive away from Hobart in central Tasmania. Tim and Jane Parsons are 6th generation farmers of Curringa Farm. This 300-hectare property has a strong ecological focus. You can see a sheep being sheared, watch farm dogs working a mob of sheep and have an enjoyable BBQ lunch here. They also have very beautiful self contained farm-stay cottages.

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Getting to Tasmania

Fly to Hobart/Launceston, Tasmania with Qantas, only approx. 10 hours flight with a stopover either Sydney or Melbourne. These flights are available every day of the week.

Four Seasons at Tasmania

The average maximum daily summer temperatures are between 17 and 23 degrees Celsius and winter daily temperatures sit between 3 and 11 degrees Celsius. There is always something to see every season!

Spring (Sep to Nov): Fields and gardens burst into blossoms and bulbs
Summer (Dec to Feb): Visit lavender farms where the landscape is rich with purple flowers
Autumn (Mar to May): Spectacular displays of vibrant autumn colours
Winter (Jun to Aug): Truffles are in season

Self Drive

Tasmania is easy to explore by car as the roads are uncrowded. distances are relatively short and traffic is generally light. As you make your way around, you can journey at your own pace, pausing as and when you want and making discoveries. The scenery along the road is amazing, you will stroll through the farmlands and into the wilderness (just have to keep a lookout for wildlife on the road).

Tasmania Tour Package

Grab a Tasmania Tour Package at Jetabout Holidays and tempt your taste buds at Coal River Farm, Tasmania’s hub of handmade cheese, chocolate, farmgrown berries and fruit. See Tasmania’s finest gourmet cheese and chocolate being made onsite, pick some of the world’s tastiest strawberries and other orchard fruits, enjoy oysters shucked straight from the water, have a taste of fresh rock lobster AND see your guide dive for abalone and sea urchin. Be delighted as your catch is turned into a delicious seafood feast accompanied by gourmet local produce and Tasmanian wines, boutique beers, ciders and juices.

Buy now: http://jetabout.com.sg/tasmania-tour-package

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How to Use HTML & With Shadow DOM

and ) acting as placeholders for the column titles and cell values. Each slot has a unique name attribute that identifies it.

Inside the template, I’ve also added some basic styles for the table, using the

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Thrive Kitchen – Cosy Cafe Serving Wholesome Healthy Food

Thrive Kitchen, a humble little eatery in the Western part of Singapore, promises wholesome and scrumptious food that is free of artificial and processed ingredients. With an emphasis on healthy living, Thrive Kitchen uses whole grains and unrefined sweeteners, and bake their cakes with nutritious spelt, coconut and almond flour.

The cosy space in West Coast Drive is situated on the ground level of the newly opened NeWest Condo. The place might feel a little deserted as the other tenants have not moved in yet, but just look out for the warmly lit restaurant! Thrive Kitchen has tasty options catering to vegans and vegetarians too! You might see the word ‘mylk’ in their menu. Rest assured, its not a typo. Mylk is the medieval spelling of ‘milk’ and is used as an alternative to describe products that do not contain any dairy. Thrive Kitchen’s housemade mylk is blended from sprouted nuts.

Thrive Assam2_edited

The signature item that keeps the crowd coming back is the Nyonya-inspired Assam Fish Brown Rice Bowl ($ 17.90). Expect a huge portion of haddock fish doused in a house-made assam sauce that contains cubed zucchini, sliced mushrooms and organic tomatoes. The dish comes with an onsen egg and a side of greens too. Oh, and you might be pleased to know that they make their own healthy brown rice. The waitress wasn’t kidding when she told us that the assam sauce is “really quite spicy”. I gamely went ahead with the original spice level, as I can take spice rather well, and was left with tingling lips. I really enjoyed the slight tang of the assam sauce though. The tender haddock is slightly drier and milder in nature and, thus, pairs perfectly with the thick and flavourful assam sauce. 

Thrive Chilli Crab_edited

We also tried the Chilli Crab Scramble on Toast ($ 11.90). It is an interesting ensemble of creamy chilli crabslaw scrambled eggs (dairy-free), toasted multigrain/brioche, housemade chimichurri spread, organic cherry tomatoes, organic sprouts and crispy shallots.

We thought that the dairy-free scrambled eggs lacked the expected fluffiness, but we were pleasantly surprised by the slight spice of the chilli crabslaw, which tasted like a watered down version of our usual chilli crab sauce. On hindsight, we should have opted for the multigrain instead of the brioche as the thin slice of brioche soaked up the sauce a little too well, making it slightly soggy. We were hoping for more organic cherry tomatoes as well.

Thrive Coconut_edited

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Please remember to save some space in your stomach for their desserts! The selection of bakes are made in-house daily. We got the Gluten Free Coconut Cake ($ 6.90) which is topped with a generous sprinkle of roasted almonds. The slice of cake is extremely dense and moist, and smells amazing. 

The cake is served with a small saucer of dark chocolate sauce (no sugar used!). You can choose to dip a forkful of cake in the sauce, or simply drizzle it all over the cake. We liked that the dark chocolate sauce was smooth, rich and decadent. This cake is definitely not a sugar-bomb, and its texture can be likened to that of cookie dough. 

We will return to try their Flourless Chocolate Cake ($ 6.90) – a fudgy, dense and buttery slice of cake that is baked with coconut sugar and honey. House-made vegan coconut yogurt is also available at $ 3.50.

Thrive Shop_edited

Thrive All_edited

While there are some hits and misses, we were impressed by Thrive Kitchen’s welcoming atmosphere and extensive menu which comprises western pastas, Asian pastas, rice bowls, juices, smoothies and all-day brunch. 

P.S. They have free WiFi! The password is thrivewithus.

Address: 1 West Coast Drive #01-73 Singapore 128020

Opening Hours: Mon – Thurs: 10.30 am – 9 pm Fri: 10.30 am – 10 pm Sat: 10.00 am – 10 pm Sun: 10.00 am – 9 pm

MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.

Let’s build a food community that helps to update the food news in Singapore! Simply comment below if there’s any changes or additional info to Thrive Kitchen. We will verify and update from our side. Thanks in advance!

Adele Chiang

Can be found on the yoga mat, taking long walks, or stuffing her face silly with chocolate. Can’t sing, roll in the deep or set fire to the rain.

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02-try-typeit-animation

Code Typing Text Animations with jQuery TypeIt

The combo of jQuery and text holds no bounds on the web. You can build almost anything with a bit of creativity and the right JavaScript libraries.

One such library is TypeIt, built as a free jQuery plugin. It lets you create dynamic typing animations that look incredibly realistic. You can even define custom pauses between keystrokes to build your own easing for the animation.

TypeIt is 100% free and open-source, built as a text tool for the jQuery community. All of the documentation is available online and incredibly easy to follow.

However, just note that while TypeIt does come with a free personal license, commercial licenses do, unfortunately, cost money. But, you can use the free personal license forever and it never expires, so it’s a great resource for all your personal projects or even your personal website.

You can get started by adding the raw TypeIt JavaScript file via CDN right to your page’s header. Then add jQuery, write some text, and connect it all together. Simple!

Typically, you’ll target a specific div on the page and use it as a container for the text animation. Here’s a sample code snippet to show you how this works:

$ ('.type-it').typeIt({
      strings: ['This is my string!']
 });
 

By passing custom options to the typeIt() function, you can slow down the typing speed, add pauses at certain intervals, and even reset the settings at certain intervals to change the typing speed mid-animation.

You can even test these options on the plugin page if you’re willing to spend some time toying around with the settings.

TypeIt text animation

This text animation builder is the perfect example of what you can do with this plugin. You get so many custom options that you can even build a web app, using this plugin, to create animations on the fly!

On the main plugin page, you’ll also find more advanced options towards the bottom with code snippets you can copy.

So, download TypeIt and give it a shot! Once you get it working it’s really a lot of fun. And, if you have any questions or suggestions for the developer you can connect with him on Twitter @amacarthur.

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Tiong Bahru Yong Tau Hu: Handmade fishballs!

Any Yong Tau Foo fan would know about Yong Xiang Yong Tau Foo at People’s Park Centre.  They will tell you two things about it.  First, you never get to choose the items you want and second, there is a perpetual queue of at least 20 or 30 people in front of the stall!

If you like Yong Xiang’s style of yong tau foo but hate to queue, then an alternative would be this stall situated in a coffeeshop which has managed to escape being transformed into a hipster cafe in Tiong Bahru.

The owner, Mr Yeo Kee, 62 started this stall in 1989 and modeled his yong tau foo after Yong Xiang’s.  He told me that he was self taught and he used to frequent Yong Xiang just to get his to taste similar to theirs.  Over the years, he has develop his own style, but the way to order the yong tau foo is the same as Yong Xiang.  You don’t get to choose the items, but simply tell them if you want the $ 5, $ 6 or $ 7 bowl.  They are quite flexible though and you can tell them which item you would like more of.

There are only four items at the stall and they are all made on the premises.  The most popular is the tau kee (soy bean sheets) which usually gets sold out first, tau pok, tau hoo and fish balls.  Their fish paste is made of Wolf Herring (西刀sai tor)and yellowtail with a small amount of minced pork in it.  The fish meat will arrive in the wee hours of the morning and they will be mixed and kneaded to the right consistency before being stuffed into the tofu and hand molded into fishballs.

The fish paste is very good and you will to be able to taste the difference in the texture and flavour of the fish balls.  The addition of Wolf Herring gives the fishball a unique savoury flavour you don’t find in the run-of-the-mill fishballs. The texture has a bit of grittiness and good bite.  My favourite item is the tau kee which I find very comforting.  The soup is made from soy beans and the water in which the fish balls is soaked.  It is a little bland on its own but complements the saltiness of the items very well. 4.25/5

Conclusion

When I was at the restaurant, I managed to get some feedback from the customers there.  Most of them will invariably compare them with Yong Xiang at People’s Park.  Some told me that they still prefer Yong Xiang but they eat there because its more convenient, while others tell me they actually prefer this place to Yong Xiang.  So, the verdict is still out.  Have you been to both stalls?  What is your take?

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Apple-Watch

Taking An Original Apple Watch In For Repair? You May Get A Series 1 Replacement

By | July 23rd, 2017

If you own an original Apple Watch and take it into an Apple Store because of a fault, then there is a chance you may walk out again with an Apple Watch Series 1 after the company sent a note out to its stores detailing the swap out program, which also extends to Apple Authorized Service Providers.

The replacement program is limited to aluminum Apple Watch models in Silver, Space Gray, Gold, and Rose Gold, and is only available in specific countries although the new directive rather unhelpfully does not specify which countries.

Apple’s updated Apple Watch Series 1 debuted in September of 2016 and is essentially identical to the first Apple Watch except for an upgraded dual-core S1P chip. Given the age of original Apple Watches, they are already outside of their default warranty period, but anyone who bought Apple Care will still be eligible for free repairs or, in this case, a likely swap out for a new and updated model.

If anyone ever doubted the wisdom of purchasing Apple Care on some of Apple’s hardware, then this is perhaps one reason to consider it next time around.

In some countries, Apple Watch Aluminum (1st generation) parts (in all colors) may be substituted with Apple Watch Aluminum (Series 1) parts. The parts substitution should now be working properly in MobileGenius and Repair Central.

The Apple Watch, while successful in its own right, has failed to live up to the expectations of Apple fans who had initially expected it to change the way we interact with iPhones. While early adopters bought the wearable in droves, interest even amongst the most ardent fan has waned to the point where new Apple Watch announcements are not the big occasions they could have been. Whether slower than expected sales is anything to do with Apple’s decision to hand out Apple Watch Series 1 devices as replacements for original Apple Watches is unknown, though.

(via: MacRumors)

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Lotus Kitchen, Chinatown Point: Meat, You’re Doomed, at This Fantastic Vegetarian Restaurant 

The new Lotus Kitchen at Chinatown Point is an outpost of Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant (Quality Hotel) and is under the same management as Greendot, the vegetarian chain restaurants. The difference between the three is that Lotus Kitchen fills in the gap between buffet dining (Lotus Vegetarian) and fast dining (Greendot); Lotus Kitchen is a casual dining restaurant, as signalled by the open and contemporary decor.

Their experience in vegetarian cuisine puts them in good stead. They know what vegetarians want and do not want. Here, they use less flour and more mushroom, herbs, and oats to create mock meat. Many sauces are homemade and some ingredients are imported from Taiwan. Dim-sum is made upon ordering and noodles are handmade. Most dishes are newly created, differing from the Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant.

From their dim sum menu, the taro mee sua cake (6 pcs, $ 6.80) is a golden, deep-fried bar of delicious. Inside the bar, little bits of almost-smashed yam are interlaced with short strands of mee sua, giving a good texture, not at all starchy, and a natural sweetness.

Also dim sum: the lion’s mane mushroom pan-fried dumpling (8 pcs, $ 8.80) uses handmade skin. It’s difficult to beat the umami naturally occurring in mushrooms.

The double-boiled herbal tian ma soup ($ 8.80), steamed and brewed with more than 10 herbs and pearl mushroom, has the health benefit of “liver-calming.” It’s nice but has a twang of sourness.

The most expensive dish we had, crispy summer wrap ($ 35.80), mimics the flavour and texture of Peking duck. You wrap the soya slices with turnip soaked in passionfruit and homemade sweet bean paste sauce. It is nice and tastes like Peking duck, and I especially like passionfruit, but I wonder if it is expensive for a vegetarian dish.

The “fish” comes sizzling on a hotplate; it is spicy grilled oat slices ($ 18.80) that look like tofu. This is very spicy, but also very shiok and does taste like fish because there is seaweed.

The braised mushroom in stone hot pot ($ 18.80) is our favorite. They stir-fry bamboo shoots, chilli, ginger, together with lion’s mane and shiitake mushrooms, before putting them into the stone pot with basil. Other mock meats have its original ingredients processed beyond recognition, but this one is clear and sweet and delicious with the natural umami of mushrooms.

Lotus Kitchen also serves some local food. Made from soy slices, the homemade satay ($ 15.80) is marinated with 10 spices and comes with homemade sauce.  Comparing this dish to others, this is just ok. It doesn’t taste like satay and it doesn’t taste anything. The stir-fried laksa ($ 9.80) uses in-house laksa and spices. It’s very spicy and delicious.

We like this restaurant quite a bit. Everything is delicious and we didn’t miss meat at all. However, there are three areas that require some improvement:

-Some dishes, like the two dim sum dishes and the soup, are oily, although they are good to moisturize lips.

-I am not a vegetarian and seldom go to vegetarian restaurants, but I wonder if the prices are set too high? Can any vegetarian weigh in?

-Some dishes have a herbal sourness to them. It’s not a bad sour, but it’s perceptible and that can be strange for some carnivores.

All in all, this meal is delightful. One of the better casual dining restaurants to open lately and I think it is a place I’d return. I’d rather go to Lotus Kitchen than the Michelin Bib Gourmand Whole Earth any time.

Here, I’ll leave you with the thought of the day: if a vegetarian doesn’t eat Peking duck, how do they create a dish that tastes like Peking duck? And how do other vegetarians know the mock Peking duck taste like real Peking duck? Can a vegetarian please answer this?


Lotus Kitchen
133 New Bridge Road, Chinatown Point #01-01/02, Singapore 059413
tel: +65 6538 1068
11.30am-3pm, 5.30pm-10pm
Facebook

food: 7.25/10
decor: 6.5/10
price: 5.5/10


You may be interested in…
Whole Earth, Tanjong Pagar: VERY SMELLY, Expensive But Excellent Food at the Only Vegetarian Restaurant to Be Awarded by the Michelin Guide
The Living Cafe, Bukit Timah: Hangry at Inept Service of Vegan-Friendly Cafe
Joie by Dozo, Orchard Central: Joie de Vivre From Meatless, Not Mock-Meat, Meal
Zen Fut Sai Kai Vegetarian Restaurant 真佛世界, Kitchener Road: Oldest Surviving Vegetarian Restaurant in Singapore since 1953


Written by A. Nathanael Ho.

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apple-qualcomm-1

Microsoft, Google, Samsung, Others Take Apple’s Side In Qualcomm Lawsuit

By | July 22nd, 2017

Apple’s battle with Qualcomm over patent infringements has today received a shot in the arm after a host of its friends and competitors in the technology world rallied to offer support.

According to a new report by Reuters, the Computer & Communications Industry Association, which consists of tech companies such as Facebook, Uber, Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix, Google and even Samsung today filed comments with the U.S. International Trade Commission. Those comments argue that banning the import of iPhones to the United States would cause significant harm to the smartphone industry, and in turn impact users.

The move is the group’s way of arguing against the ITC’s potential blocking of Apple from importing iPhones with Intel modem chips. That is the request made of it by Qualcomm as part of a patent infringement case that was filed earlier this month in which Qualcomm claims that Intel’s chips infringe on its patents and as a result, so do Apple’s iPhones.

They argued that barring Apple from importing foreign-assembled iPhones that use Intel Corp chips – as Qualcomm has requested – would cause “significant shocks to supply” for phones and would hurt consumers.

“If the ITC were to grant this exclusion order, it would help Qualcomm use its monopoly power for further leverage against Apple and allow them to drive up prices on consumer devices,” Ed Black, the CEO of the group, said in a statement.

“What’s at stake here is certainly the availability of iPhones and other smartphones at better prices.”

This whole mess comes on the back of a battle between Apple and Qualcomm erupted earlier this year, with the Federal Trade Commission then accusing Qualcomm of forcing Apple to use its baseband chips at higher patent royalties. Both Apple’s CEO Tim Cook and his Qualcomm counterpart had previously made noises suggesting an out-of-court settlement may be possible, although things continue to escalate.

(Source: Reuters)

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10 Family-Friendly Places In Bangkok That Don't Involve Mall-Hopping

Bangkok’s family-friendly attractions

Many know the land of smiles as a shopping paradise, but naming it as a family fun pursuit could get you some puzzled looks. Most of us return from Bangkok with a full luggage of goodies, but there’s more to that – hidden amusement parks and recreational activities are waiting to be found, promising a great family trip for young parents. 

Besides, the 3 hour flight is enough to get children excited, yet is short enough to prevent them from getting restless, so there’s no crying onboard! More than just cheap food and affordable steals, we’ve compiled a list of these places to convince you to plan your next family vacation to Bangkok.

1. Siam Park City – Asia’s largest water park

Image Credit: @Siamparkcity

Holder of the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest wave pool, this amusement and water park has more to boast about than just its size. From shallow waters to the 75-meter high Giant Drop, the attractions in Siam Park City accommodate different levels of thrill-seekers.

Image credit: Tripadvisor

The weather in Bangkok can be unforgiving, so end the day by visiting Water Park. Relax by taking a float through the lazy river, or glide your way down the Speed Slide!

Daredevils can head over to the X-Zone, where the thrill rides are Image Credit: @Siamparkcity

Address: 203 Suan Sayam Rd, Khwaeng Khan Na Yao, Khet Khan Na Yao, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10230, Thailand
Opening hours: 10AM-6PM, Daily
Website

Recommended hotels:

Waratee Spa Resort Villa 
Siam Piman Hotel 
Near Kwan-Riam Floating Market, Fashion Island & The Promenade

2. Teddy Castle – A castle ruled by adorable teddies

A franchise of the famous Teddy House, Teddy Castle is of no doubt; a teddy bear themed castle. Get ready to be greeted by teddy knights at its entrance – no one passes without a cuddly hug.

Image credit: juzzmag

Inside, teddy bears of all shapes and sizes can be found. Take group photos with them or dress them up – clothes are available if you’d like to customize their appearances! Their cafe offers a variety of food, but we say go for their drinks – they’re designed as potion bottles which release a mysterious fog when opened. 

The fun doesn’t stop there. A secret Wish Forest can be found at the back of the castle, housing Teddy Angels in glass bottles. Legend says that if you close your eyes and make a wish, the Teddy Angels will awaken from their sleep. 

Address: 105 Thong Lo 5 Alley, Khwaeng Khlong Tan Nuea, Khet Watthana, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, Thailand
Opening hours: 10AM-8PM, Daily
Website

Recommended hotels:

The Salil Hotel Sukhumvit 57 – Thong Lor
The residence on Thong Lor by Urban Hospitality

3. Dinosaur Planet – Run from an “escaped” raptor in a dinosaur theme park

Image credit: @johanesdh

Dinosaur fans are bound to get excited in Dinosaur Planet. Packed with life-sized dinosaur statues, you can now up your IG game at Dinosaur Planet with a major throwback to prehistoric times. 

Image credit: dinosaurplanet

Information on dinosaurs are provided, along with educational rooms with ‘incubated’ eggs, fossils and digital presentations. But if you’ve ever wondered of how it feels like to be hunted by dinosaurs, go for the Raptor X-treme. Trapped in a dinosaur containment facility, you’ll have 4 minutes to solve puzzles and escape. But beware – raptors are on the loose and they’ll chase you down!

Address: 544/1 Sukhumvit Rd, Khwaeng Khlong Tan, Khet Khlong Toei, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, Thailand
Opening hours: 10AM-6PM, Daily
Website

Recommended hotels:

Marvel Hotel Bangkok
Amora NeoLuxe Hotel

4. Sheep Village – Rustic town with riverside dining

The Sheep Village is a place that still strikes a chord with vintage hearts. With a quaint restaurant by the sea, this is the perfect dinner place for families to chill and catch up on stories. 

Image credit: @benz_stst

Sheep can be found in their enclosures, lazing around or grazing, and the ducks are roam freely – if they’re coming towards you, make way! While the place is a perfect escape from city noise, the interior of the place will cause a few chuckles – vintage posters will offer you life advice to live by, while quirky Russian adverts will make you raise an eyebrow or two.  

Address: 86/1 Charan Sanitwong, the River South Tower, Bangkok, Thailand
Opening hours: Mon – Thur, Sun: 11.30AM-11PM | Fri and Sat: 11.30AM-12PM
Website

Recommended hotels:

Thamrongin Hotel
The Royal River Hotel

5. Fantasia Lagoon Water Park – Secret water park located above a shopping mall

Image credit: rakluke.com

If you’re tired of crowded tourist spots, Fantasia Lagoon Water Park could be your escape. Situated on the rooftop of Bang Kae Mall, the visitors here are mostly locals. Get on one of the highest slides, and you’ll even be able to catch a view of the bustling city.

Image credit: @fantasia_lagoon

The Pirate Cove Adventure is the highlight of this water park, so grab your rubber floats and climb through the cavern, the longest water slide in the park lies just ahead.

Balloon and magic shows are also available, so take note of show times. There’s a segment of the park catered specifically to kiddy rides like carousels, making this place the top choice for a family trip.

Address: Ngamwongwan Road | 6th Fl., The Mall Ngam Wong Wan, Nonthaburi 11000, Thailand
Opening hours:Mon – Fri: 10.30AM-8.30PM | Sat and Sun: 10AM-8.30PM
Website

Recommended hotels:

J Park at Chinnakhet
Bangkok Travel Suites
Near Chatuchak Weekend Market, Union Mall & Vimamek Palace

6. Alpaca View – Feed alpacas and enjoy live bands

Multi-colored houses, a replica of the Eiffel Tower, and a statue of Mario – the entrance of Feed The Barnyard – Alpaca View may look quirky at first, but its lively atmosphere somehow makes this eclectic combination work.

Image credit: @patrick_chiew

Alpacas are fenced outside the building, occasionally grazing or socializing with visitors. Alpacas are generally gentle, but try not to startle them – we hear they might spit when provoked. There will also be horses, donkeys and rabbits, along with little piglets that will vie for your attention. If you’re interested in feeding them, kibbles and carrots can be purchased for a small fee. 

Visit the Thai restaurant to end your day with dinner by the riverside.

Address: 111 Soi Lat Phrao Wang Hin 71, Lat Phrao Wang Hin Rd., Bangkok 10230, Thailand Opening hours: 5PM-12AM, Daily
Website

Recommended hotels:

Chaophhya Park Hotel
Northgate Ratchayothin

7. Kidzania – Where kids get to experience “real” jobs

Image credit: dnevnik

From doctors to C.S.I. detectives, children will go through real life job experiences at Kidzania. Unlike the usual ~boring~ information boards at educational centres, Kidzania provides kids with uniforms and hands-on experiences for a fun learning experience. 

Image credit: ourjayden

If your kiddo wants to be a fireman, he’ll get to travel around in a mini fire engine, and will arrive at a ‘burning’ site where he’ll get a water hose to extinguish the ‘fire’. If they choose to work in a milk bottling plant, kids will learn of the bottling and sanitation processes, and get to bring home a bottle of their own.

With more than 70 jobs available, children will have a fun time of discovery and learning. Plus, no one works without getting their pay – Kidzo money can be cashed out and used at the souvenir store, allowing kids to get a momento of their hard work.

Note: Kidzania is also available in Singapore, but there are exclusive jobs in the Bangkok outlet like The Barber Shop,Green Tea factory and Magic Studio.

Address: 991, Rama I Road | 5th Floor, Siam Paragon Department Store, Bangkok 10330, Thailand Opening hours: Mon – Fri: 10AM-5PM | Sat and Sun: 10.30AM-8.30PM
Website

Recommended hotels:

Mandarin Hotel managed by Centre Point
Pathumwan Princess Hotel

8. Hajime Robot Restaurant – Dancing robots serve you food

Image credit: player.hu

The future is ever changing, but you’d never think of getting served by a robot in 2017. In Hajime Robot Restaurant, sci-fi boundaries are challenged as samurai robots take the place of humans and serve you trays of food.

Image credit: review.edtguide

The restaurant is best known for its yakiniku and shabu shabu, and patrons can choose a variety of ingredients to grill or boil in a flavorful broth. A buffet option is also available, complete with appetizers, sushi and dessert. 

As the robots are very delicate, a glass panel separates them from any human interference. Place your orders on the touchscreen, and they’ll deliver them to your table through a window. Occasionally, the robots will dance along to music, providing a unique mealtime performance.

Address: Soi 61, Rama 3 Rd | Monopoly Park plaza, 3rd Floor, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
Opening hours: 11AM-10PM, Daily
Website

Recommended hotels:

Novotel bangkok On Siam Square
Centre Point Hotel Chitlom

9. Mr Jones Orphanage – Dessert cafe with soft toys and photogenic cakes

Image credit: @0706artemis

Whimsically themed, Mr Jones Orphanage boasts a beautiful ceiling of crafted wooden gears, soft toys, and a giant clock. With railway tracks surrounding the entire cafe, toy trains will occasionally whistle by as you have your meal. 

Image credit: @aime_vanz

The ornaments here are not the only notable points. Artisan cakes and pastries are placed on beautifully-tiered sets, with some housed in glass domes. Flavors such as Lemon Meringue, Rocky Road, and even Oreo Pie are offered – we recommend to get a few for sharing.

The cafe then outdoes itself with a secret attic, where children can run around and play with toys such as Lego and teddy bears. 

Address: 285 Sukhumvit Soi 19 | G Floor, Seen Space, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Opening hours: 10AM-12AM, Daily
Website

Recommended hotels:

Rembrandt Hotel Bangkok 
Arte Hotel

10. Dream World – Extreme theme park with street performances

Train ride at Dream World Image Credit: theculturetrip

Image credit: yaxi

Located at the outskirts of Bangkok, Dream World is an amusement park that most tourists are unaware of. Value for money, the entrance fee (1,000 baht for adults, free entry for children below 90cm) entitles you to all rides, cable car trips, a lunch buffet and an entrance to Snow Town.

Image credit: Dream World

Extreme rides are Dream World‘s forte – The Tornado travels 7-storeys into the air, swinging and spinning at 75km/h, while Sky Coaster brings you on a trip of screams. The Grand Canyon is a water ride through the rapids, so you’ll never know of what’s at the next turn. 

And if having fun makes you hungry, go for snack options such as Tornado Potatoes and milkshakes at their various food stalls. Shows and street performances are also held, so be sure to catch them all.

Address: 62 Moo 1, Rungsit-Ongkarak Road (Kilometer 7th), Bueng Yitho, Thanyaburi 12130, Thailand Opening hours: Mon – Fri: 10AM-5PM | Sat and Sun: 10AM-7PM
Website

Recommended hotels:

J Park at Chinnakhet
Bangkok Travel Suites
Near Chatuchak Weekend Market, Union Mall & Vimamek Palace

Win a 3D2N stay in BKK with Expedia

Take a break from all that shopping, and gather your friends and family for your next BKK trip – the more the merrier. And while budget is always a factor to consider when travelling, seasoned travellers have their own hacks to cut costs. One such cost-cutting trick is to use travel r sites such as Expedia to find the cheapest flights + hotel combinations.

Image credit: Expedia.com.sg

Expedia uses an intelligent algorithm to scour the internet, comparing prices for flights and hotels and displaying the best deals available. They also have regular promotions that provide discounts on top of these deals, saving you money and time you’d have otherwise spent manually comparing between websites.

They’re having one such promotion now, with promotions on deals to Bangkok if you book from now till 31st July, valid for trips till 10th September 2017. 

Plus, if you’re feeling lucky, Expedia is holding a 3D2N giveaway to stays in these 3 hotels, breakfast included: 

U Sathorn Bangkok Image credit: dadoratour

Grand Diamond Suites Hotel Image credit: Grand Diamond Suites

Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queens Park Image Credit: Marriot

All you have to win a 3D2N stay at these hotels is:

  • Like and share this post 
  • Like Expedia’s page
  • Comment on this post and tell us which attraction you’re most excited to visit

The contest ends 28th July, Friday. Good luck!

Grab a travel deal to Bangkok with Expedia here!


This post was brought to you by Expedia.

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