Changing money

Reading this post some months back we were inspired to write about our experiences trying to obtain local currencies in the countries we traveled to. Now bear in mind that our little red dot has a high density of money changers. They stock currencies from around the world and can even procure some for you if you give them some lead time.

The downside though to obtaining currency notes from these changers, is on some occasions we were given old versions of notes that were no longer valid… not that the changer did that intentionally, but they too were caught unaware…

Or the other consideration that if you get damaged (not even torn) notes, most folks will not accept it for payment or exchange. This is true whether one gets the note from the home country, at airports (where they apparently rip you off) or at bureaus in the country you head to. Which makes e-payment so attractive. Some day, we will all seamlessly have access to payment platforms in the countries we visit without the need for currency notes…

Perhaps exchanges and paper notes will become mostly obsolete?

Tell us. When you travel to a foreign country, how would you like to be able to make payments? Do you prefer good ole fashion paper currency or e-payments?

The MRT series – Chinatown (NE4)

Definitely one of the places that visitors to our little red dot will need to check off a list. Today it isn’t quite the place where people live (as they did decades back), but more of a sightseeing locale for foreign tourists.

Though it is such, it is still a recommended place for visitors. There is so much colours and smells to experience. Have you been there?

←Outram Park (NE3)

→Clarke Quay (NE5)

Part of the MRT series here.

Pack rafting. Heard of it yet?

We too were a little dumbfounded when we first came across this term. Rafting we are very familiar with. Pack rafting? Now you have heard about aqueducts right? The structures that the Romans are credited with constructing to transport water to their cities. So that the fountains can sing and the taps never stop grinning.

Heheh. Well not so drama (Singlish) but something close. Not anywhere close to the feature image though…

Some months back, we read this article in the SCMP (here) introducing folks to the adventures of paddling a raft on an aqueduct in northern Wales. Ah you might say! The Romans did not build such structures in Wales. And you will be right. For the Pontcysyllte was constructed in 1805.

While we shall not steal the thunder from the original article by paraphrasing on this post, what we can say is that at 38m above ground, it is definitely not for the faint of heart where height is concerned. But if we were ever to be in the vicinity, we will surely be signing on to raft along the aqueduct and share with you our experience. When we get back to Wales of course!

If you get to Wales, will this be one of the adventures you embark on?

How about a road trip in Wales?

One of the places in Europe where the Celtic language and traditions remain alive is in Wales. Because it is so distinct from the rest of the UK, it was one of the places we determined to explore very early in our soujorns to the the British isles. And that was well over 20 years ago.

So today is yet another reminisce. A flashback as some would call it.

For this was the first road trip that Mel and Suan took together on the open road. Basing out of Birmingham, the rental would bring us not only to Wales, but today we start here. For the drive gave us a sense of history so long past, well into the times before even the Romans came to the island.

From the train station with the longest name, to the numerous burial mouds of Celtic cheftains, this last vestige of independent Celtic entity tells us an intriguing story of struggle. Now this drive was only the northern half, so there would be yet more in the future. We look forward to having the privilege to repeat the drive, albeit in a different direction (the south that is) someday.

Indeed no words can describe our journey. Read all about it here. Have you been to Wales? What experiences have you to share?

The MRT series – Outram Park (NE3)

The last time we shared about this station, it was on the edge of a transformation. Well, that transformation has truly began. The local general hospital will soon be more than a complex. It will become a sort of integrated healthcare ‘hub’.

Definitely as place to start your exploration of Chinatown from. But a few buildings will be missing when you get there!

←Harbor Front (NE1)

→Chinatown (NE4)

Part of the MRT series here.

Road trip to nowhere

In our part of the world, there used to be cruise ships that take their passengers out into the “high seas” and then seemingly follow a circuitous route back to port. Did you know what these passengers were aboard for?

Heheh.

Well, in this part of the world there is a penchant for wager. And with few licensed gambling venues (back in the day), gaming on ships out in international waters was one way. But you know we are not delving into this subject although it can an intriguing area to debate. Rather, it is about the fact that one could simply be on a road trip without a destination.

We wrote sometime back about how some folks are meticulous planners, yet others are more spontaneous (here). It can be ‘hilarious’ when folks of very opposing end of the spectrum come together for a journey…. trust us. Been there, done that. But we managed to emerge stronger which explains why this blog exists with all the constant sharing of photos from travels past.

But we can also be in a journey to nowhere in life too! Would that be what jumped into your mind when you first read the title of the post? SO let’s pause here.

And re-direct the question back to you who is reading this. Have you been on a journey to nowhere before?