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10 Iconic Singaporean Ads From Pre Social Media Days To Trigger Your Nostalgia

Iconic old-school Singaporean ads

Image credit: YouTube – chuniie

Before the glorious days of on-demand cable tv and Netflix, our sole source of digital entertainment came from our analogue TVs. Those were simpler days where patience was a virtue conditioned by the daily act of having to flip through the newspaper to check the day’s channel schedule, and commercials were a necessary evil for pee breaks and for snack runs.

And whether pure marketing genius or complete fails, some ads got lodged so deep in our brains that we’ll remember them for life. We’re taking you on a walk down memory lane with the best – and worst – of what early advertising had to offer with these 10 Singaporean ads that shaped most of our childhoods:

1. Shokubutsu – Elvin Ng

Image credit: YouTube – Sharon Loh

Shokubutsu is obviously Japanese. But it doesn’t get more local than a 30-second mandarin commercial featuring a very youthful, bare-bodied Elvin Ng working up a sweat then lathering up in an outdoor shower. While the ad’s effectiveness is questionable, it sure did creep its way into the hearts of many a pubescent Singaporean girl.

2. Canadian Pizza – 2-for-1

Image credit: Youtube – canadian241pizza

Any 80s/90s kid will tell you that before the reign of Dominos and Pezzo, Canadian Pizza ruled the pizza scene right there next to Pizza Hut. They were also second in line for the throne for most memorable hotline jingle of all time. With all that paid screen time, who can forget their perpetual 2-for-1 pizza offer?

3. Mocca – Muscleman

Image credit: YouTube – Waterstorm3

A lesson in marketing: there’s a paper-thin line between tastefully humorous and horrendous. And while we’re loving the cringe a decade down the road, Mediacorp’s Mocca is a now-defunct advertising service we only associate with this spoof and tight, zebra briefs.

4. McDonald’s – A Day in Singapore

McDonald’s – warming more than just their deep fryers and grills since 1979. 
Image credit: YouTube – Kelly Khoo

A medley of fresh vegetables and water droplets moving in slow-motion through the air. A perfectly (airbrushed) piece of meat being grilled to perfection. Outrageously juicy components of a burger magically falling into place… 

These are the shots modern day fast food commercials are made of, but not this 1990s Mac’s Ad. Who needs high-resolution food porn when this ad feeds you one minute of feels?

5. Singapore Girl – A Great Way To Fly

Image credit: YouTube – dewssTV

The near 1-minute ad might seem completely misguided to viewers today with hardly any footage of the airline or its routes/destinations, but the “Singapore Girl” personification of the brand worked wonders for SQ. It also greatly glamorised the airline industry and sparked fires in the hearts of young girls wanting to make the world their oyster when it first launched. 

6. Tiger Beer – It’s Tiger Time

Image credit: YouTube – ShiokOnLine

For a good few years after Tiger Beer kicked off this campaign, “It’s TIGER TIME!” became the popular alternative answer to the question “What time is it?”. It also became the surefire way to piss someone off real quick. But thanks to all the inadvertent word-of-mouth, Tiger definitely got the top of mind awareness they wanted out of the ad.

7. Singtel – 17 – 31707 – 1

Image credit: YouTube – Singtel

While 50% of today’s population cannot fathom a reality without their smartphones, the real lao jiaos remember a time of peace without the incessant need to check our phones every 10 minutes for new notifications. God bless the simplicity this archaic Singtel ad. Nothing like a throwback to the age of pagers and secret numeric codes to unlock the floodgates of nostalgia in our minds.

9. Anything Whatever – Ah bengs trash convenience store

Image credit: YouTube – chuniie

I remember the hype these can drinks generated back when my school’s canteen first started stocking it. Practically made for the indecisive, “Anything” was a carbonated surprise that came in a range of flavours from cola to citrus while “Whatever” was a non-carbonated concoction that was strangely similar to Pokka’s fruit teas. 

Sadly, once the novelty wore off, this ad was a thousand times more memorable than the taste these drinks left in our mouths.

10. M1 – I’m Walking on Sunshine

Click through to the full video and turn up the sound for maximum enjoyment.
Image credit: YouTube – Caren Utino

How to create positive feelings associated with your brand 101 – m1 style: 

a) Pick a contagiously upbeat and cheerful song
b) Show people being happy with your brand while the song plays
c) Repeat this over and over again

Even if you didn’t care for the brand back then, every time this m1 ad came on, it was hard not to sing and jig along to all the happy people on screen. There was really no escaping this ad – 

some loved the song so much they even set it as their connecting dial tone.

Looking to the future

Image credit: AVADO

While our younger selves might have been suckered by repetitive pizza hotline jingles and feel-good telecom dance ads, we’re definitely way more critical of the information we consume these days. Plus, with the second and third screen phenomena, marketers can no longer trap us in front of the TV for the full duration of the ad like they used to. 

We’re more likely to jump onto the next device to occupy our headspace the minute an ad starts. This is what makes understanding the impact and future consequences of disruptive technology so important. 

As an organisation, knowing who your customers are and how to effectively reach them unlocks a plethora of opportunities – and keeping up-to-date with the constantly changing digital terrain shouldn’t be limited to just the marketing team, every employee, regardless of department or rank, should be in the know.

Image credit: AVADO

If you possess a wealth of knowledge on your product or service but are having a hard time grasping consumer behaviour in this digital era, Lead Digital, a pioneering digital business course developed by AVADO is perfectly positioned to bridge that gap. You’ll also have a certificate in digital leadership to your name at the end of it. 

The 3-month online course is the only programme on the market that is specially tailored to enable leaders of the digital age to think and operate in a way that improves the entire customer experience and organisational agility.

Image credit: AVADO

The array of modules will take you through the factors behind the ever-changing digital landscape, keep you up-to-date with both technological and behavioural trends, help you build a lead business plan and make data-informed decisions.

The course also prides itself in helping to build leadership and collaboration skills through its virtual campus, where you’ll sit through live classes by industry experts and partake in activities such as quizzes, surveys, forum discussions and spearhead an individual project that involves creating a 90-second video pitch to get others onboard with your ideas. 

Digital has arrived – and it’s time for you to lead it.  

Inquire about Lead Digital by AVADO here

This post was brought to you by AVADO.

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Moist Diane's New Shampoo That Sold 1 Million Bottles In 10 Days Is Now In Singapore

Moist Diane – silicone-free Japanese shampoo

Free Moist Diane shampoo and conditioner samples

Brushing your hair 100 times isn’t good enough these days. Even our countless shelves of hair products – everything from hair masks to conditioning sprays – nup, not good enough. But with Moist Diane’s new shampoo, we can take a breather from our intensive haircare routine.

Through July 2018, Moist Diane will be holding pop-up booths around Singapore to help fix all your hair concerns. Whether it’s dry, frizzy hair or weak strands prone to breakage, they’ve got a silicone-free and sulfate-free formula to fix it all. Besides getting free samples, here’s what you can expect:

Discovery Zone: Learn about your hair type and condition

Moist Diane Perfect Beauty - Discovery Zone

If you’re anything like me, the condition of your hair is a mystery. On good days, it’s neat and malleable but on most other days, it looks like I just got out of bed – and not in a fashionable, bedhead-esque way. At Moist Diane’s Discovery Zone, take the chance to learn more about your hair and the condition its in.

Moist Diane - Perfect Beauty shampoo

Although Diane Perfect Beauty’s shampoo formula is already specially formulated for Asian women, each shampoo still has a different purpose. Moist Diane has an entire series with 6 different shampoos to help with your hair concerns:

  • Extra Damage Repair – for severely damaged hair
  • Extra Moist & Shine – for dry and dull hair
  • Extra Fresh & Hydrate – for an oily scalp
  • Extra Volume & Scalp – for flat hair and a sensitive scalp
  • Extra Smooth & Straight – for frizzy and coarse hair
  • Extra Vital – for weak hair prone to breakage

Since Singapore often feels like a sauna, use a shampoo like Extra Fresh & Hydrate – it’s been specially formulated for hot and humid Asian climate and even been clinically tested to keep your scalp fresh for up to 48 hours. Their Extra Moist & Shine also works well on an everyday basis for normal to dry hair, and you’ll be walking around with glossy, healthy hair.

All shampoos come in new, shiny packaging in a range of vibrant colours to help zhng your bathroom.

Voting Station: See which hair concerns are most common

Moist Diane - Solve hair concerns

You’re not alone in this: almost every woman in Singapore will be fretting about the condition of their hair. Thanks to our overwhelming humidity, many are troubled by their oily scalps but there are plenty of others who also face all sorts of concerns, from lacklustre hair to brittle strands.

Moist Diane - vote for your hair concern

See which hair concern plagues us most in Singapore at the Voting Station – all you have to do is insert a voting token to redeem empty bottles, so you can collect your free samples!

Shampoo Wall: Collect free shampoo samples

Moist Diane - collect free shampoo sample

Head over to the Shampoo Wall where there are 6 different dispensers for each shampoo. You’ll get to turn on the faucet to fill up a bottle with your shampoo of choice.

Moist Diane - shampoo dispenser

Samples (15ml) come in a clear test tube.

Photo Booth: Take photos with a bathtub ball pit to redeem matching conditioner

Moist Diane - photo booth with bathtub

You won’t miss this: a scented bathtub ball pit where you can IG all you like. The tub’s paired with a rose gold, vintage faucet – all in all, the entire setup looks like it comes straight from a home decor magazine. After you take a photo with the hashtags #SheisDiane and #MoistDianeSG, remember to redeem your matching conditioner!

Moist Diane - redeem matching conditioner

Redeem your matching conditioner at the pink counter near the photo booth.

Sales Area: Buy discounted full-sized shampoos and conditioners

Moist Diane - 6 different shampoos

Although you already have free shampoo and conditioner samples, there’s also a Sales Area where you can buy full-sized Moist Diane products. 1 bottle is priced at $ 15 (U.P. $ 16.90) and 2 bottles are $ 25 (U.P. $ 33.80). If you spend $ 50 or more, you’ll also get an exclusive limited edition travel set.

Moist Diane - limited edition travel set

The set comes with travel-sized bottles (50ml) of shampoo and conditioner.

Moist Diane shampoo in Singapore

Moist Diane - Somerset@313, Bugis Junction, Chevron House

Selling 1 million shampoo bottles in 10 days is a feat to be applauded, but when it’s Moist Diane Perfect Beauty shampoo, we completely understand why. Even though keratin’s usually an expensive, salon-only product, Moist Diane’s formula made up of 6 different keratin proteins that’ll strengthen your hair and treat specific hair concerns.

It’s also made up of Ecocert-certified Organic Moroccan Argan Oil – that means no pesticides.

And the formula sure works. We explored walking trails all around Singapore, and Moist Diane’s shampoo was the only thing that rescued our sweat-ridden heads. Besides being silicone-free, it’s also sulphate-free and paraben-free, and safe to use with coloured hair – no need to worry about your dyed locks changing into an icky green after a few washes.

Moist Diane Perfect Beauty shampoo

Long gone are the days when you’ll be sharing shampoo with your entire family: you’ll want your own shampoo to directly address all your hair concerns from dry ends to an oily scalp. You might even cave in to temptation and get 2 different shampoos: one for the top half of your head and the other for the dry ends.

Head down to learn how to thoroughly care for your hair with a Moist Diane Perfect Beauty shampoo. Remember, visit the photo booth where there’ll be a bathtub ball pit ready for all your Instagram shots, with hashtags #SheisDiane and #MoistDianeSG.

Whether you’re worried about an oily scalp or dry hair, there’s a specific Moist Diane Perfect Beauty shampoo out there for you that you’ll be heaving a sigh of relief over.

Moist Diane Events:

Somerset 313 Level 1 Atrium (outside Cotton On)
Event hours: 13 to 14 July, 11AM – 10PM and 15 July, 11AM – 8PM 

Bugis Junction Hylam Street (next to pushcarts outside McDonalds)
Event hours: 16 to 22 July, 10AM – 10PM 

Chevron House Atrium
Event hours: 26 to 27 July, 11AM – 3PM

Find out more about Moist Diane Perfect Beauty shampoo here!

This post was brought to you by Moist Diane.

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Instagram App Now Shows “You’re All Caught Up” When You Have Seen All Posts From Last 2 Days

By | July 3rd, 2018

The argument over Instagram’s algorithmic timeline is one that has raged on for a long time now, and it’s even lead to some people quitting the platform.

For those who are not familiar, Instagram does not show images in a chronological order, as it used to, and instead tries to predict which images users should see next.

Sometimes it gets it right, sometimes it really doesn’t, and Instagram appears to finally be responding to requests for the old chronological timeline to return. Don’t get excited though, because that’s not quite happening.

The good news is that Instagram is at least offering a new feature that will make sure users will know when they are fully caught up with all of the new images that were posted in the last 48 hours.

In its initial incarnation, the feature will show users a big green checkmark when they are “all caught up” with anything beyond that point being older images mixed in with newer ones that have been seen already.

Expected to be a popular middle ground in a world where the chronological timeline is clearly not coming back any time soon, this new feature should be rolling out to Android and iOS users starting today.

Instagram is also working to get a better feel for how long users are spending in the app, something Facebook is also working towards in a similar process to Apple’s new Screen Time feature that will launch in iOS 12. Android P will also feature Google Dashboard, another feature that will keep track of how users are spending their time when using devices. Hopefully by making it more clear when our timelines are been caught up with, Instagram will save us all trawling through old posts for fear of missing something!

You may also like to check out:

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8-Day Hokkaido Itinerary: Days 6 to 8 at Sapporo

Before you arrive at Day 6 of Hokkaido Itinerary at Sapporo, you may want some other information:
8-Day Self-Drive Hokkaido Itinerary: Pre-Planning
8-Day Hokkaido Itinerary: Day 1 at Noboribetsu
8-Day Hokkaido Itinerary: Days 2 and 3 at Lake Toya and Hakodate
8-Day Hokkaido Itinerary: Day 4 at Niseko
8-Day Hokkaido Itinerary: Day 5 at Otaru


9.30 a.m. Check out of your Otaru hotel, breakfast at Sankaku Fish Market, and take the JR train to Sapporo (an hour’s journey, about ¥640, S$ 8). At the JR station in Otaru, you can buy the Kitaca card (see previous entry on “How to Get Around in Sapporo”).

11.30 a.m. Leave your luggage at your Sapporo hotel and make your way to Sapporo Beer Museum where you can sample “Fukkoku Sapporo Bakushu”, a unique beer brewed according to the methods used back in 1881. There is also a buffet beer garden beside the museum, serving Jingisukan (“Genghis Khan” BBQ).

Beer hall inside the beer museum

If you’re not in the mood for bbq mutton and beer for lunch, go to the shopping mall, Ario Sapporo, beside the beer museum. Shop and eat here.

3 p.m.: Return to the hotel and take a short nap.

4 p.m.: Shop around Sapporo JR Station where all the huge shopping malls are: Esta, Daimaru, Sapporo Stellar Place, PASEO, and an underground shopping mall, Apia. If you want, you can visit the Deck T38 at the JR Tower for a fee.

For dinner, go to ESTA 10th floor which houses Sapporo Ramen Republic (Sapporo Ramen Kyowakoku), a selection of 8 top ramen restaurants in Sapporo. If you don’t want ramen, there are other famous chains on the same floor, chains such as Shisen Hanten (which receives Michelin star in Singapore but it came from Japan) and Fugetsu okonomiyaki (which opens an outlet in Suntec Singapore recently). There is also Rakkyo soup curry, which had a long queue.

We ate Tonkatsu Tamafuji which is not bad, and the service is phenomenal.


9.30 a.m.: For breakfast, make your way to either Nijo Fish Market 二条市場 or Sapporo Central Wholesale Market Curb Market. The former is more convenient and historical, thus attracting more tourist; whereas the latter is biggest wholesale market in Hokkaido with a bathhouse. I recommend Nijo Fish Market because the food is cheaper and you get to walk past Odori Park which houses the Sapporo TV Tower (pictured below).

11.30 a.m.: Leave the market and make your way to Shiroi Koibito Park (pictured above) also known to Singaporeans as the immensely popular 白色恋人. You need to make an online reservation first if you want to design your own cookies at the Cookie Craft Studio in the park. There is also a cafe here where you can have your lunch.

2.30 p.m. Make your way to Fushimi Inari Shrine (pictured above). It’s really nothing to see at the shrine but it’s a photoshoot location and it’s on the way to Mount Moiwa. So after the visit to the shrine, climb a short hill up to the Mount Moiwa Ropeway to take the cable car.

Alternatively, if you want to skip the shrine and go directly to Mount Moiwa, there is a free shuttle bus. Take the free bus from Ropeway Iriguchi tram stop. The tram is very fun: it’s those old-fashioned kind with electric rail embedded in the road. (The actual shuttle bus stop is about 20m from this tram stop.)

Lovers can bring a lock up to Mount Moiwa.

6 p.m. After you have seen the sunset and the night scene from Mount Moiwa, take the free shuttle bus down to Ropeway Iroguchi tram stop. Here is your chance to ride the tram if you haven’t previously. Take the tram to Susukino (すすきの), which is a red-light district, and walk around.

There are many restaurants here but we recommend the yakiniku restaurant Hormone Ginga ホルモン 銀牙 (which requires reservations) or Ramen Alley (we had Ramen Shingetsu).

After dinner, shop at Tanukikoji Shopping Arcade. There are many shops here, including Don Quijote, also known to Singaporeans as Don Don Donki.


Option A: Check out of your hotel and shop at Mitsui Outlet Mall Park and fly home in the evening.

Option B: Shop at Mitsui Outlet Mall. Return home the next day.

If you want to see other attractions in Sapporo, click on their tourist site here.

This concludes the Hokkaido Itinerary. But we’ll definitely be back in summer to see the lavender fields and write another itinerary.

You may be interested in…
10 Must-Eat Food in Hokkaido
Matsunomi 松の實, Sapporo Hokkaido: Bib Gourmand Awardee, Famed for Duck Soba 🦆🦆🦆 Not a Quack
What to Eat at Niseko Hokkaido
Hilton Niseko Village Review, Hokkaido: Naked in Nature! Wild Wild Wet!

Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.


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This Branded Bazaar At Orchard Is Offering Up To 70% Off Bags, Shoes, & Clothes For 7 Days Only

Branded fashion sale at Takashimaya from 28 March-3 April

Branded Bazaar - Repetto flats

We throw around the phrase “treat yourself” to justify purchases, so that our wardrobes and hearts grow fuller with every splurge on a cute dress or some new shoes. But branded goods can be a little out of our league, with the price tag of one Moschino dress equivalent to half a paycheck. 

You’ll finally have a chance to rock the high-end wardrobe at the Bluebell Branded Bazaar, located at the Takashimaya Talking Hall and held from 28th March to 3rd April – they’re selling branded fashion items at up to 70% off! Here’s an idea of some of the brands that you can expect at the sale:

Brands with up to 70% discount at the Bluebell Branded Bazaarya poo

1. Moschino

Branded Bazaar - Moschino

Image credit: farfetch

Moschino, a brand that’s dressed the likes of Gigi Hadid and Miranda Kerr for the runway, is giving huge discounts on last year’s collection – like their psychedelic Multi-Colour Wrap Dress that’s going for just $ 378 (U.P. $ 1260). With bright pop-art block letters spelling “Happy” and “Moschino” all over a leopard print background, the dress will make you the centre of attention wherever you go.

Branded Bazaar - Moschino red dress

Image credit: theskinnybeep

Also up for grabs is this bold Red Dress for just $ 378 (U.P. $ 1260), a one-piece that resembles a 3-piece formal outfit. Pair it with some chic red heels to rock that hot lady boss look.

If these clothes, made for the runway, are a little too loud for your taste, Moschino’s sister branch, Love Moschino, will also be on site with grand price cuts. Bring home their Love Moschino Dress in black or green at a 70% discount, for $ 93 (U.P. $ 310).

Branded Bazaar - Love Moschino

Image credit: yoox

2. Repetto

Branded Bazaar - Frida flats

Image credit: selection9

Repetto, known for their beautiful ballet shoes, also makes elegant footwear for those of us who aren’t gonna become the next Odette of Swan Lake. These gorgeous garnet Frida flats (U.P. $ 490, now $ 150) with cross fastening may not be ideal for the pirouette, but they’re totally great for spicing up your outfit with a pop of colour.

3. Castaner

Branded Bazaar - Castaner

Image credit: @castanerofficial

Every girl needs a pair of cute sandals to match her sun dresses. These Castaner Kitty Sandals in Elegant Marine (U.P. $ 190, now $ 60) are the perfect fit for our hot climate – with breathable canvas uppers and flexible esparto rope soles. What’s more, the ribbon laces add a touch of whimsical girliness that’ll make you feel cute and graceful all at once.

4. LeSportsac

Branded Bazaar - Lesportsac

Image credit: @lesportsac

Fit all the barang for your next short trip or staycay in this stylish Weekender bag by LeSportsac (U.P. $ 340, now $ 102). This duffle bag integrates fashion with practicality, with a long rectangular body that lets you stuff in a good amount of clothes, toiletries, and even a change of shoes.

Get your haul at a further 10% discount with your DBS/POSB card

Branded Bazaar - DBS

A 70% slash in prices might sound unbelievable, but here are even more perks: DBS/POSB cardmembers will enjoy an additional 10% off, with a minimum purchase of 2 items from the same brand. Time to mark this mega sale down on your calendar and start on that wardrobe upgrade!

DBS Promotion Period: 28th March – 3rd April 2018

Location: Takashimaya Talking Hall

Find out more about DBS’ Bluebell Branded Bazaar promotion here!

This post was brought to you by DBS.

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8-Day Hokkaido Itinerary: Days 2 and 3 at Lake Toya and Hakodate

After our pre-planning and our Day 1 at onsen town Noboribetsu, we visited Lake Toya and Hakodate on Days 2 and 3.

10 a.m.: Check out of hotel at Noboribetsu and drive for one hour to Lake Toya, which has an active volcano, Mount Usu. When Mount Usu erupted in March and April 2000, over 60 new craters opened up on the west side of the mountain.

You have three options here but they are closed during winter:

Kompirayama Walking Trail (40 minutes): starts at the Toyako Visitor Center in Toyako Onsen and leads to the Nishiyama parking lot. Along the way, you can see various ruins, including a destroyed public bath house, apartment block and bridge. The trail also passes two of the largest craters from the 2000 eruption, as well as large erosion control dams.

Nishiyama Crater Walking Trail (20 minutes): At the end of Kompirayama Walking Trail is Nishiyama parking lot. If you want to skip Kompirayama, you may drive up to this parking lot. At Nishiyama, you will see more newly created craters around Mount Nishiyama. Several destroyed buildings, disrupted roads and broken phone poles have been left untouched for visitors to witness the destructive power of the volcano. Then you will reach another carpark.

Observatory on top of Mount Kompirayama: The paid observatory is accessible by car. It provides panoramic views over Lake Toya and the new craters on the west side of Mount Usu.

12.30 p.m. : Lunch! We had the Michelin Bib Gourmand ramen Ippontei 一本亭.

1.15 p.m.: Start your 3-hour drive to Hakodate.

4.15 p.m.: Check into your hotel. Since you’re driving, the location of the hotel doesn’t really matter. But as all our travelling plans, we like to stay in the city centre, where most things are accessible. We stayed at Smile Hotel Hakodate, which is just across from Hakodate JR Station, and a 3-minute walk from Hakodate Asaichi Morning Market. Of course, if you have some cash to burn, you can stay at Four Points by Sheraton Hakodate, which is just beside the station and in front of the market.

I want to talk about Smile Hotel Hakodate since some readers may want to stay here too.

Actually, there is nothing much to say. It’s a very tiny functional room with a prefabricated toilet ubiquitous in Japan; many 2- or 3-star Japanese hotels use the same model of toilet. You have to pay for parking at ¥500 a day; it’s a full day of parking, so it’s pretty worth it.

The best thing about the hotel is the fantastic location.

4.30 p.m.: Drive to Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse & Bay area. It used to be a warehouse in 1909 but has been refurbished to become a commercial shopping and eating area. You can buy your souvenirs here.

6 p.m.: You can eat at the Red Brick Warehouse area, but we scouted around and didn’t want to eat anything there. We drove to Tsunezushi, Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand sushi restaurant.

Next Day:

9.30 a.m.: Go to Hakodate Morning Market for breakfast. It is a small market and takes less than 30 minutes to stroll. Take your time.

11 a.m.:  Drive to Old Fort Goryokaku 五稜郭, a western-style fort completed almost 150 years ago. It is worth going because this is where the last civil war of Japan took place. There are two parts of the fort. First there is the star-shaped fort itself, which is free to enter. And then there is a Goryokaku Observatory Tower, which overlooks the fort, so that you can see the star shape clearly. The Observatory requires payment.

1 p.m.: Lunch. We took a 5-minute drive to Unagidokoro Takahashi うなぎ処 髙はし which specialises in unagi.

2 p.m.: Drive and park at Mount Hakodate Ropeway. Then cross the road to walk around Motomachi, an historical area just below Mount Hakodate. If you click on the Motomachi link, there is a suggested walking route, which will be exhausting. I would suggesting seeing only the Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward and Hokkaido Russian Orthodox Church. They are parallel on the road with the Ropeway, so just cross the road.

4p.m.: Return to the Ropeway to take a cable car to Mount HakodateWatch the sunset turn into night.

I want to manage your expectations here. It was a terrible experience for us. Firstly, the cable car wasn’t working that day, so we had to take the bus up. We waited for the 3rd bus until we could squeeze on. Up there, it was super, super crowded. All the tourists in Hakodate were congregated there. Everybody was rushing; it felt like war. It was terrible although the view was stunning.

7 p.m. We wanted to go to Asari Honten at Hakodate, a sukiyaki restaurant which is over 100 years old, but it was full and we didn’t make reservations. So we went to Asari しゃぶしゃぶあさり, which is also another sukiyaki restaurant. Not really sure why their shop names are so similar or if they are related, but it was fantastic. One of the best meals in Hokkaido.

Next Day:

8.30 a.m.: If you stay near the JR Hakodate station like we did, revisit the Hakodate Morning Market for breakfast, but this time, just eat and leave. No gallivanting.

9 a.m.: Check out of Hotel.

If you want to see other places in Hakodate, click on the link to their official tourism site.

And then we will proceed to the skiing town Niseko, but we didn’t ski. (Well there are many things there to do besides skiing.)

You may be interested in…
10 Must-Eat Food in Hokkaido
What to Eat at Niseko Hokkaido
Hilton Niseko Village Review, Hokkaido: Naked in Nature! Wild Wild Wet!
Oyado Kiyomizuya 御やど清水屋, Noboribetsu Hokkaido: Onsen Ryokan at Hell Valley (And the Best Kaiseki Ever)

Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.


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Budget Tam Chiak – 15 Meals for Less Than $50 in 5 Days (CBD Edition)

How many of us are still climbing our way to the top of the success ladder? Some of us are barely staying afloat and it doesn’t help that a meal in CBD often demands at least $ 5. As such, we often end up with a meagre amount to bring home every month.

But don’t surrender to the unnecessary “exorbitant” lifestyle. If there’s a will, there’s a way. And this is the way that we have specially paved for you to consider – a comprehensive food diary comprising of Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner in the CBD for a typical 5-day work week. ALL UNDER $ 50!! Yes, it’s humanely possible.

Let’s speedboat towards the 6 DIGIT bank account balance together. Read on to find out how.

Sian-Day Monday – $ 9.80

Breakfast: Chwee Kueh ($ 1.80)

Situated towards the back of Clifford Centre, a nameless eatery offering local delights awaits. We were shocked that they genuinely do not have a shop name, but #01-K3 is the clue! Receive 5 plump chwee kueh (steamed rice cakes) topped with ample preserved turnips for just $ 1.80 – what a steal! The chwee kueh are a little denser than what we would have liked, but the greasy and fragrant turnips seemed to be screaming 加油 (add oil) for my dreadful Monday. Thank you, I really needed that encouragement.


Address: Clifford Centre, 24 Raffles Pl, #01-K3, Singapore 048621

Opening Hours: 10.30am-2.30pm

Lunch: Nasi Padang ($ 3)

Despite the huge number of office workers invading the area during lunch hour, the delicious food at Shenton House lacks an online presence for some reason. Or maybe, they want to keep it a secret. Tucked away at the last eatery, this Nasi Padang has won countless hearts over the years. For just $ 3, you can order 1 meat + 2 vegetables/egg on top of the amazing portion of rice drenched in curry. Doesn’t the chicken drumstick look so appetizing? My eyes were glued to it the moment I stepped into the eatery. The meat ended up tasting slightly dry, but the crispy skin made up for it.

Mon-Nasi Padang

Address: Shenton House, 3 Shenton Way, Level 2, Singapore 068805

Opening Hours: 10.30am-3pm

Dinner: Pad Thai ($ 5)

My nose picked up the lovely aroma of stir-fried noodles as I was on my search for dinner at Amoy Street Food Centre. I went for the classic Pad Thai ($ 5) that was indeed satisfying and good value for money. SAP Thai Food is a relatively recent addition and has a pretty extensive menu representative of Little Thailand. I was too excited to tuck into the piping hot noodles, that I even found squeezing the lime a chore. The umami flavours radiated throughout the dish, ending my Monday on a pleasant note.


Fry-My-Brain Tuesday – $ 9.00

Breakfast: Fried Bee Hoon ($ 1.50)

I don’t only get Monday Blues, I get Tuesday Blues too. So, I need to recharge for Day 2 with energy boosters like Fried Bee Hoon. This takeaway box will surprise you with just how much noodles are packed inside. The Bee Hoon is a tad plain, and could do with less oil. However, you will really appreciate this dish if you’re up for a super busy day ahead.


Lunch: Chicken Leg Angel Hair Pasta ($ 5)

Shall I invite you into the house of Italian food? Taste Affair is one of Amoy’s newest guests, injecting fresh vibes into the old building. For $ 5, you may twirl away with a good serving of Chicken Leg Angel Hair Pasta coated with a chili oil-based sauce. Looking beyond the pasta, the tender chicken actually emerged as the angel of the meal. Also, a golden poached egg is never a bad idea.


Dinner: Nasi Lemak ($ 2.50)

While you may pick your own dishes, we went with Set C ($ 2.50). This Nasi Lemak (which means ‘fatty rice’) comes with a huge scoop of green long-grain rice, filled with subtle coconut notes. Spice your carbs up with an ikan kuning, otah, ikan bilis, a sunny side up and a spoonful of sambal chili which will curb your nasi lemak cravings temporarily. For me, the sambal chili plays an important role in bringing the whole dish together, but unfortunately, it was more sweet than spicy. Nevertheless, within the CBD, this plate suffices.


Address: Golden Shoe Hawker Centre, 50 Market Street, #02-24, Singapore 048940

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri, 8.30am-7.30pm. Sat, 8.30am-5pm.

I-Am-Dead Wednesday -$ 8.60

Breakfast: Curry Puff ($ 0.60)

Sometimes, I wake up craving some Indian spices to heat me up for the day. Do you? Especially when I am in a rush, a curry puff is my go-to breakfast. The Real One Teh Tarik & Indian Food prepares a whole range of cheap eats that includes 60-cents curry puffs. Despite the puff skin being slightly thick, the flavourful filling was a joy to savour. Although they are small, I’m cool knowing that I will be having a heavy lunch later.


Address: 24 Raffles Place, #01-K1, Clifford Centre, Singapore 048621

Opening Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-8pm.

Lunch: Fried Kway Teow Mee ($ 3)

Told you that it would be heavy, but I forgot to mention that it’s tasty and smoky as well. Outram Park Fried Kway Teow Mee – this name shouldn’t be foreign to the CBD crowd. The first outlet is kickstarted by Mr Ng’s father at Metropole Cinema in the 50s, and Mr Ng is now in charge of the second outlet in Outram Park. The noodles are smooth, thoroughly coated with a special black sauce and awesomely packed with a wallop of wok hei. And, we couldn’t possibly do without the cockles, beansprouts, fried pork lard and egg, right?


Address: Blk 531A, Upper Cross Street, #02-17, Hong Lim Market & Food Centre, Singapore 051531

Opening Hours: Mon-Sat, 6am-4.30pm. Closed on Sun.

Dinner: Hand Crafted Salad ($ 5)

To combat the greasy lunch I had earlier, I wanted something light and guilt-free. Off I skipped towards Tanjong Pagar MRT to grab my precious box of greens. Your eyes will sparkle at the plethora of brightly-coloured toppings and dressings; don’t hesitate to ask the staff for recommendations! 1 premium (protein) + 3 toppings, and a box of 5 toppings are both sold at $ 5. In the end, I decided to go for smoked duck, corn, purple cabbage, carrots and Japanese sesame dressing that evening. Not to forget, the cosy ambience and friendly staff played a part in putting a smile on my face.


Press-On-A-Little-More Thursday – $ 8.10

Breakfast: Peanut Pancake ($ 0.90)

I never want to live a week in CBD without Frankie’s Peanut Pancake. Located at the coffee shop at the junction of Boon Tat Street and Telok Ayer Street, the stall has a range of fluffy yet chewy ban chiang kueh which sells like hot pancakes. Get the combo version which is a mix of both red bean and peanut for just 90 cents. This spongy pancake is a reminiscence of my childhood and I absolutely love it.


Address: 121 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068590

Phone: +65 9849 9056

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm.

Lunch: Mee Rebus ($ 2)

$ 2 noodles?! Yes, you saw that right. Uncle Ah Cai has kept his prices constant since 22 years ago; this uncle is a true friend. He wakes up at 3am daily and heads to the coffeeshop to prepare the noodles. You will be spoilt for choice as there are 8 different types of noodles – mee siam, prawn noodles, laksa, wanton noddles, fishball noodles, bak chor mee, mee rebus, lor mee. If you’re seriously troubled over what to eat, I will suggest the hearty mee rebus – yellow noodles swimming in a thick potato-based gravy.


Address: No. 62 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058692

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri, 6am-3pm.

Dinner: Aussie Rolls ($ 5.20 for 3 rolls)

Wrap your day up with some charming rolls from the basement of Chevron House. The rolls are usually priced at $ 2.60 onwards for one. However, get a bang for your buck from 6pm onwards. You can purchase 3 rolls for the price of 2! Mhmmmmm, all 31 of them looked delightful but the indecisive me finally settled on Tuna, Korean Bulgogi and Sweet & Spicy Calamari. The Calamari Roll stood out the most as a result of the interesting combination of textures and flavours.

Thurs-AussieRoll Collage

Address: 30 Raffles Place, #B1-05, Chevron House, Singapore 048622

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-7pm.

Drink-Drank-Drunk Friday – $ 13.90

Breakfast: Popiah ($ 1.40)

Start your day on a roll, with this traditional Fujian snack. Similar to how a burrito is made, stir-fried turnips, beansprouts, lettuce, mashed hard boiled eggs and peanuts are wrapped in a thin crepe-like skin. It isn’t too heavy, so you can pop this Singaporean-favourite into your mouth easily. I particularly enjoyed the delicate popiah skin, even though I feel that the uncle could have been more generous with the sauce.


Address: Golden Shoe Hawker Centre, 50 Market Street, #03-02, Singapore 048940

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-2.30pm

Lunch: Hainanese Curry Rice ($ 2.50)

Hainanese Curry Rice Sets start from only $ 2.50 here, and this Pork Chop Rice Set costs exactly $ 2.50. It is almost unbelievable that such a generous amount of comfort food comes at such an affordable price. The pork chop is served crispy and tender, despite coming with a limited amount of fat. Watch as the auntie pours the fragrant curry over the rice; it didn’t turn out spicy at all. This was easily one of the tastiest hawker meals, but prepare your battle gear for the insane queue that stretches to no end during lunch hour.

Fri-Curry Rice

Address: Golden Shoe Hawker Centre, 50 Market Street, #02-35, Singapore 048940

Opening Hours: Mon-Sun, 11.30am-10pm.

Dinner: Ninja Burger

TGIF!!! What does that mean? Suit up, it’s time to reward yourself with a treat to end the stressful week. Does a burger sound good to you? Well, it surely did sound like heaven to me. In the heart of bustling Raffles Place lies a silent Dojo, which is home to affordable burgers. In fact, they specialise in pork burgers which isn’t the most common in Singapore. Bite into a juicy pork patty dressed with a special oriental sauce, sandwiched between freshly toasted buns. You would wanna pair the porky goodness with some addictive fries that are worth all the calories. All at just $ 10 nett (Pss no GST and service charge)! It doesn’t deserve a “OMG THIS IS SO GOOD, LET ME CRY IN HAPPINESS”, but experience the unparalleled feeling of satisfaction after a week of scrimping.


Address: 72 Circular Road, Singapore 049426


Opening Hours: Mon-Sat, 11am-3pm, 6pm-10pm. Closed on Sun and Public Holidays.


Give me a Hi-5! $ 50 under a week in CBD, who says we can’t achieve that? I had a very fulfilling week putting myself to the challenge, and I genuinely hope that this will come in handy for anyone and everyone.

If you are up for this challenge, do tell us how it went and if you managed to complete it! Also, if you have other ideas for affordable meals in the CBD, please share with us!

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Miss Tam Chiak