A Trip for the Ages

When you are planning a trip to Singapore, you will want to get your priorities straight before you start. Will you be staying in a hotel or searching for short term rentals? You will want to make sure you know what you want before you start.

Indians made for the fifth largest visitor group to Singapore in 2012, and this year the number is expected to cross the 1 million mark. If you are planning a holiday, here are the things you should consider before flying out.

Don’t miss: A trip to Singapore will be incomplete without a visit to its latest attraction, Gardens by the Bay. Planned as a green, floral tapestry covering 101 hectares, the first phase of the project, Bay South Garden, is open to public. You can visit two conservatories with plants, 18 super trees, or 25-50 m structures serving as vertical gardens, and nine F&B options. As CEO Dr Kiat Tan says, this $1 billion wonder is a garden masquerading as a theme park.

Best time to visit: It’s a year-round destination, but in December it’s at its best, from the Christmas light-up along Orchard Road, to ZoukOut, the annual musical fare.

Trip Trail: Experts suggest you keep aside four nights to do justice to Singapore, or three nights at the very least. Take a flight that lands in Singapore in the morning so that you can be off to a running start. Reserve the first day for the city tour on a FunVee bus, and if you are not too tired, you could take in the night safari before you crash. On Day 2, take it easy and soak in the myriad charms of the Bay South Garden, making sure you stick around for the light and sound show. Make your way to Sentosa on the third day. There are a lot of attractions here, so you will have to pick and choose what you want to do. If possible, keep Universal Studios for another day. The other option is to do the river safari, the Jurong Bird Park and zoo on day four. If you have time on your last day before you hit the airport, you can squeeze in some shopping too.

Air fare: With eight carriers and 430 weekly flights between India and Singapore, you can find one to suit your budget and schedule. Tiger Airways’ Chennai-Singapore return trip costs Rs 18,000 per person and Bang alore-Singapore fare is Rs 17,000. These low-cost carriers don’t fly out of Delhi, Mumbai or Kolkata, so the fare from here is upwards of Rs 28,000.

Great Meals of Singapore

Whether you are looking for the best buffet in Singapore or the best quality dining restaurant in the area, it can be challenging to know where to begin. Singapore is a hot pot of cuisines to eat, incorporating a rich heritage of food dishes consisting of Chinese, Indian, Malaysian and Indonesian influences. If you are a local Singaporean, you would have seen these dishes in the hawker centers below your void deck, in the food courts of shopping centers and in the quaint shop-houses decades old.

These are the real dishes you need to eat in Singapore before you die. I know there are still dozens of dishes in Singapore that are true to our heritage, but if I were to cover them all, this list would take you 2 years to finish reading. As a Singaporean, there is no excuse to not trying these time-tested foods we all grew up with. As a tourist, this is a good check-list of authentic local cuisine in Singapore. These are the foods to eat in Singapore when you visit.

Many others have tried to cover Singapore’s food and although I appreciate Chef Anthony Bourdain for his wonderful exploration of Singapore food in his travel journals, I feel only a local can truly express the adequate love for our unique cuisine.

One of the many stories of Bak Kut Teh’s invention was that during the olden days of Singapore, a poor, starving beggar came by a road side pork noodle store to beg for food. The stall owner was in poverty, but wanted to help him. He boiled some of his left over pork bones and added whatever cheap spices he had to flavor the soup, including star anise and pepper which created a soup resembling tea in color. Thus pork bone tea was born. Another canon states that this was a tonic invented to ‘reinvigorate’ the Chinese coolies that worked in the Clark Quay area.

Bak Kut Teh has been in Singapore since we were still a developing country and deserves its recognition as a simple, humble dish. Most of the Bak Kut Teh here are the pepper variety with mild use of herbs like Star Anise. Choose pork ribs meat in your soup for a more tender bite. The other variant would be the Klang Bak Kut Teh, a dark and highly flavored herbal soup originating from Malaysia. When you are searching for an HDB for rent, make sure it has a buffet.

The Singapore Wanton noodles was probably influenced by Hong Kong cuisine, but has become entrenched in our culture over the years. The Singapore version is typically eaten ‘dry’, drenched with some light sweet sauce, slices of pork char siew and wanton dumplings filled with pork, with a small bowl of soup on the side.

Places to Stay in Singapore

If you are looking for a common room for rent in Singapore, you may not know where to start your search. An easy entry-point for first-time visitors to Southeast Asia, the absorbing city-state of Singapore has evolved from a colonial port into a slick shrine to wealth and consumerism. With fascinating Chinese and Indian quarters, excellent museums, world-renowned restaurants and great shopping, there’s plenty here to keep you occupied for days.

Here is a Rough-Guide-Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei-cover but what about accommodation? Whatever kind of trip you’re planning, here’s the lowdown on where to stay in Singapore from the new Rough Guide to Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. Get your bearings first with our online guide here.

Little India proper and beyond – the zone extending up to Lavender Street, reachable via Farrer Park or Lavender stations – is the best place to find budget accommodation, although hotels are hit and miss. The area around Arab Street also has a few good places to stay.

For boutique on a budget: Moon 23. A boutique-hotel experience that won’t strain your wallet, with stylishly kitted-out rooms boasting snazzy wallpaper and iPhone docks. For flash packers: A sprawling place, its size matching its ambition to be a “flash packer” hostel taking the concept of comfort on a budget to new heights.

The grid of streets between Bras Basah Road and Rochor Road has been rendered a bit sterile by redevelopment, which has also wiped out nearly all the cheap accommodation that once packed Bencoolen Street; now it’s mostly modern mid-range hotels that remain. The area remains a good choice if you can afford it, as it’s within easy walking distance of the Singapore River, Little India and the eastern end of Orchard Road.

There are only a few places to stay among the grand Neoclassical buildings of the Colonial District, the area immediately north and east of the Singapore River that forms the core of downtown Singapore. If you’ve got deep pockets, however, there are two places worth seeking out.

Chinatown runs a close second to Little India and Lavender Street in its selection of guesthouses, and also boasts a good many upmarket and boutique hotels. Boat Quay, right on the south bank of the Singapore River, is dominated by restaurants and bars, but has two worthwhile places to stay, including the splendid Fullerton hotel.

Marina Bay accommodation is synonymous with modern four-and five-star affairs, all located at the rather bland Marina Centre district next to Beach Road, with the obvious exception of Marina Bay Sands. All of these locations will help you with your search for a master room for rent in Singapore.

For five-star service: Ritz-Carlton Millenia. Arguably king of the pricey hotels in Marina centre, with magnificent views across to the financial District, even from the bathrooms, where butlers will fill the bath for you.

The Beauties of Singapore

Peering over the rooftop pool deck of Marina Bay Sands, shopping up a storm on Haji Lane, or ogling at the super trees in Gardens by the Bay, it’s almost impossible to imagine Singapore was little more than a fishing village just over a century ago. On the eve of its golden jubilee, there’s no better time to discover the delights of the Lion City. You may want to go ahead and start searching for an affordable room rental in Singapore, because this is just the beginning.

In 2015, Singapore celebrates 50 years of independence. The National Day Parade on 9 August will be bigger than ever, but the party will actually last all year. Starting with the countdown to 2015, key calendar highlights include the opening of the National Gallery Singapore the launch of the Jubilee Walk walking trail covering historic locations in the civic district and the Marina Bay area, and existing annual events like Chingay and the Singapore International Festival of the Arts, which will be held in the spirit of Singapore’s golden jubilee.

Flavors from Malaysia, China, Indonesia, India and beyond collide to create the delicious hybrid cuisine Singapore has become famous for. And while the queues for Tian Tian chicken rice at Maxwell Road Hawker Centre show no signs of dwindling, there are some impressive new players on Singapore’s food scene. In recent years’ weekend brunch – served everywhere from Australian-style cafes (try Common Man Coffee in Robertson Quay) to the city’s top hotels (think gourmet buffets and free-flow champagne) – has become a religion, and celebrity restaurants are huge: Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street kitchen will be the eighth celebrity eatery for Marina Bay Sands when it opens in 2015.

Singapore’s lotus-shaped Art Science Museum and Gillman Barracks, a colonial army base transformed into a contemporary arts space, are barely three years old between them, but Singapore will get its biggest and best art space yet in late 2015. Housed in two of Singapore’s most iconic national monuments – City Hall and the former Supreme Court building – the National Gallery Singapore will showcase the region’s largest collection of South­east Asian and Singa­porean art. With a ten-day festival dedicated to its mid-2015 opening, it’ll be an occasion indeed.

It’s difficult to name another world city that boasts as many eco-attractions as Singapore. Building on its portfolio of iconic parklands such as the Botanic Gardens and the sleepy jungles of Pulau Ubin, the city-state has given birth to several new awe-inspiring green spaces in recent years, from Gardens by the Bay (don’t miss the light show at 7.45pm and 8.45pm every evening) to the Southern Ridges, the Green Corridor to Singapore Zoo’s new River Safari. It doesn’t stop there, either: tots will be able to play on one-of-a-kind giant slides at Admiralty Park when it reopens in 2015 following its redevelopment. The great thing is, you can find a room for rent with no agent and start your trip today.

Sporting a Mouth Guard

Mouth guards are coverings worn over teeth, and often used to protect teeth from injury from teeth grinding and during sports.

There are three types of mouth guards:

Stock mouth protectors are preformed and come ready to wear. They are inexpensive and can be bought at most sporting goods stores and department stores. However, little can be done to adjust their fit, they are bulky, make breathing and talking difficult, and they provide little or no protection. Dentists do not recommend their use.

Boil and bite mouth protectors also can be bought at many sporting goods stores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. The “boil and bite” mouth guard is made from thermoplastic material. It is placed in hot water to soften, then placed in the mouth and shaped around the teeth using finger and tongue pressure.

Custom-fitted mouth protectors are individually designed and made in a dental office or a professional laboratory based on your dentist’s instructions. First, your dentist will make an impression of your teeth and a mouth guard is then molded over the model using a special material. Due to the use of the special material and because of the extra time and work involved, this custom-made mouth guard is more expensive than the other types, but it provides the most comfort and protection.

Generally, mouth guards cover your upper teeth only, but in some instances (such as if you wear braces or another fixed dental appliance on your lower jaw), your dentist will make a mouth guard for the lower teeth as well. Your dentist can suggest the best mouth guard for you. An effective mouth guard should be comfortable, resist tears, be durable and easy to clean, and should not restrict your breathing or speech.

If you grind your teeth at night, a special mouth guard-type of dental appliance — called a nocturnal bite plate or bite splint — may be created to prevent tooth damage.

Who Needs a Mouth Guard?

Mouth guards should be used by anyone — children and adults — who play contact sports such as football, boxing, soccer, ice hockey, basketball, lacrosse, and field hockey. However, even those participating in noncontact sports (for example, gymnastics) and any recreational activity (for example, skateboarding, mountain biking) that might pose a risk of injury to the mouth would benefit from wearing a protective mouth guard.

Adults and children who grind their teeth at night should have a nocturnal bite plate or bite splint made to prevent tooth damage. Because accidents can happen during any physical activity, the advantage of using a mouth guard during sports is that it can help limit the risk of mouth-related injuries to your lips, tongue, and soft tissues of your mouth. Mouth guards also help you avoid chipped or broken teeth, nerve damage to a tooth, or even tooth loss.

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Guarding Your Mouth

Are you grinding your teeth, especially while sleeping? Waking up in the morning with a sore jaw? Are you being kept awake by your spouse’s incessant gnashing, grinding and clenching of teeth all night long? Does your jaw make a popping sound? Are you worried your child may grind his teeth down to nubs?  Stress, anxiety, tension, anger and frustration are the commonly known causes of teeth grinding, also known as bruxism. Teeth grinding occurs in adults and children all over the world.

If stress and anxiety are the cause of your teeth grinding, the obvious solution would be to take away the stressors. However, not everyone has the luxury of going on holiday or taking a break away from our responsibilities. My fellow autism mothers know that walking away from the stress and pressures of raising and recovering our children with autism is not an option. Instead, we find creative ways to manage our stress levels and take measures to minimize our anxiety. Exercising, getting a massage and doing yoga are great stress-busters.

Taking fish oil or Omega 3 supplement with high EPA helps with mood regulation. L-Theanine, a natural green tea extract, helps relieve anxiety and aids in serotonin production. Diffusing lavender essential oil is calming and grounding. My fellow Thinking Mom and Team TMR co-author Shawty swears by meditation and adrenal support to manage her stress level and minimize her teeth grinding.

Mineral Deficiency

Teeth grinding is also associated with mineral deficiency, especially calcium. People who are doing detox especially, heavy metal chelation, may find that it depletes minerals too.  Some people tend to leach minerals faster than the average person and need to replenish their minerals. Giving Mei additional calcium citrate with meals did the trick.  I prefer calcium citrate, as it is absorbed better than other forms. Always remember to take calcium supplements with meals, otherwise kidney stones may occur.

It’s Not Just Calcium

But what if it’s not just calcium? For some people, they may need a little extra zinc rather than calcium.  Sometimes I need to increase my daughter’s magnesium intake separately, especially if there is teeth clenching is involved. Magnesium is also calming, helps with serotonin production, helps with calcium absorption and it relaxes tight muscles. I prefer Magnesium Glycinate as it is easier to absorb, and less irritating to the gut.

Calcium, magnesium and zinc are staple supplements in every basic biomedical protocol for autism. But the human body requires more than just these three minerals. You can use a multi-mineral supplement to get the others if you like. But I wondered if there were more effective solutions, a more natural source of minerals.

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Amps Worth the Money

If you are a singer you may be wondering where to find the best mic preamp under $500. There are quite a few of them to choose from.  The Presonus Digimax D8: digimax d8 mic preamp If good, cheap gear is what you want…

There’s no company out there better than Presonus. And they demonstrate this fact definitively, with the Digimax D8. The cheapest preamp on this list, it has all the key features you want, including:

8 mic pre’s

2 DI inputs

A pad on each channel

24-bit/48kHz digital conversion

Unlike some preamps, the D8 keeps all mic inputs on the back, allowing the front of your rack to stay nice and clean. To keep the back of your rack clean, it has an ADAT out which can send ALL 8 channels your interface in a single digital cable.  And if you prefer 8 TRS outputs, it has those as well.

The Focusrite Octopre MkII focusrite octopre mk II mic pre with the same basic features as the Art Tube Opto 8…The Focusrite Octopre MkII takes things one step further…By adding including digital conversion up to 96 kHz. At this sample rate, ADAT outputs carry only 4 channels of audio, compared to the usual 8 channels at 48 kHz. This means that the Octopre MkII includes 2 ADAT outs, rather than just one. And while the last two brands we’ve seen (Digimax and ART) aren’t well-known for their preamps…Focusrite definitely IS. So that’s another bonus as well.

Portable Grand Pianos

Looking for quality technology in a digital piano can be difficult, especially if you’re working within a budget. Then here is a Yamaha YPG-235 review. Luckily, companies like Yamaha come out with lines like the YPG-235.  The Yamaha YPG-235 is the perfect answer for musicians who are looking for big time technology with more keys than the typical low-end digital pianos.  The Yamaha YPG-235 melds the two together, offering 76 non-weighted keys that offer Graded Soft Touch (GST) action, allowing you to play with different resistance levels.

Can The Yamaha YPG-235 Teach You to Play?

Overall, the Yamaha 235 is a great tool for those just learning, those who have been playing for a while, recording pianists that need a lot of quality sound choices, or teachers looking to really capture the interest of their students.  There are over 100 total songs included with the piano, 30 of them built into the keyboard and over 70 available on the CD-ROM that comes with the unit.  Each song is part of the Yamaha Education Suite program and can be split up into right hand and left hand parts as well as 7 levels of lessons per song.

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Sing Your Heart Out

If you like to sing your heart out, you may be looking to find some of the best karaoke machines in the market. There are quite a few of them to choose from. There is much to research to get the best karaoke machine for your situation. That is why reading our reviews will help you out a lot! We’ve done all the work for you.

So, I’ve been on both sides of the fence; singing at home with a personal Karaoke machine for practice and singing in public on a professional machine. In this article I will break down the best karaoke machines for the year 2016.

There are so many great Karaoke machines out there these days, with fun features and superb sound capabilities. Read carefully through the top karaoke machine reviews because this list may help you decide which machine may be right for your situation.

The Memorex MKS-SS2 SingStand 2 is a karaoke system that you would use at home, or that you could transport to a friend’s home if you desired. It is an all-in-one system. The microphone, monitor, and speakers are all incorporated and held on a tall microphone stand. This machine will be sure to please at home Karaoke parties or kid’s birthday parties. There is no need to use your own television or speakers, so it is versatile enough to use in any room, or even outdoors. This machine weighs in at 9.3 lbs. with measurements of 8.5 x 8.5 x 14.5 inches . There is some assembly required with this Karaoke machine.

Great Guitar Amps

If you are looking all over for the best guitar amps, there are a lot to choose from. You may even be looking for some that are good for beginners. Finding a good-sounding amp at a low price point is difficult; finding one with a tube construction is nigh impossible. Yet Bugera’s entry-level BC15 has been repeatedly lauded for its excellent sound and warm tones, especially given its $130 price tag. It also includes a CD input so you can play along with your favorite songs, if you’re just starting out. What’s more, at only 12 pounds it will travel incredibly well.

If you want to play around with a lot of different sounds, but aren’t so keen on starting a collection of effect pedals, a modeling amp is in order. Most modeling amps are solid state, but Vox’s Valvetronix VT40+ combines the same built-in effects you’d expect from a modeling amp with genuine tube amp sounds. These effects include 11 pedal effects, 11 modulation/delay types and three types of reverb. Both of these amps are great choices if you are a beginning guitarist.

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Playing Softly and Beautifully

If you are trying to find the best acoustic guitar amps, it may seem challenging if you don’t know where to begin. When thinking about guitar amps, the first image that may come to mind is the giant backline of amps and speaker cabinets you see behind rock stars at big concerts.

However, if you’re in the market for something to amplify your acoustic guitar, you’re after a different animal altogether. Acoustic guitar amps are designed to accurately reproduce the natural sound of your acoustic instrument. Unlike the distortion and compression that electric guitarists often seek, a good acoustic amp is all about clean and accurate tone. Most acoustic guitar amps allow you to plug in acoustic-electric guitars as well as mic acoustic guitars that don’t have electronic pickups. Many have dual inputs so you can plug in your acoustic-electric guitar together with a vocal mic. As such, you can think of such models as mini standalone PA systems.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the different amps made specifically for acoustic guitars, discuss important features, and hone in on the specifications that can help you decide which model is the right one for you.

You might want a small acoustic guitar amp around the house for your practice sessions, especially if you tend to play quietly with other acoustic instruments. Sure, in your own home you can hear your guitar without amplifying it, however projecting your performance through a speaker can help you listen more critically while you play.

Digital Pianos

If you looking for the best digital pianos for beginners, there are many of them to choose from. No doubt that a piano installed in your living room gives you sophisticated feel and magnifies beauty of your living area. But there is much more to just a beautiful look that piano gives. There are a number of impressive musical instruments that one can learn but playing piano gives you many more benefits over other instruments. In this section we will be highlighting some of the major benefits that one can gain from learning to play piano.

Generally, most of the other instruments such as violin, flute and many others are monophonic instruments meaning that you can play one note at a time. Unlike them, piano gives you the opportunity of playing many notes at one time. This quality of piano of being polyphonic makes it a versatile solo instrument. Other instruments and organs may be difficult to deal when it comes to playing complex passages alone. But piano can give impressive solo performances with rich harmonies and it is also a promising accompanying instrument. With piano you can play a complete composition without needing other instruments for completion.

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The Best Tube and State Amps

You want the best tube amps possible for a budget price. It’s a worthy goal. And it might be all you need to start compiling some of your best options. That is not to say you can’t spend more. You certainly could and you’d get what you paid for. But I’m assuming you really like the idea of staying under the $500 mark, or at least close to it.

The Vox AC10C1 tube combo amp is the perfect compact amplifier for getting big British tone in small spaces. With three 12AX7s and two EL84s blowing 10 watts through a custom 10″ Celestion VX10 speaker, the AC10C1 serves up tone for days. The master volume lets you gain stage everything from classic Vox chime to roaring overdrive. Vox’s classic Top Boost circuitry gives you a vast sonic palette. Vox has fitted this custom series amp with reverb, and the entire package is wrapped in classic Vox visuals. If you want killer Vox tones in a compact and low-watt package, then you need to check out the Vox AC10C! all-tube combo guitar amplifier!

The DefenderV15 is an EL-84 powered, 15-watt tube combo with a 10″ Celestion speaker, great tones and professional features. In addition to the Volume and Tone controls, it features a four position EQ low-frequency response control for American to British low end response and blended settings in-between, 1/4 power switch, multiple impedance operation and transformer – tapped speaker-emulated, XLR balanced line out with ground lift.

Best Solid State Amps

Keep reading to learn more about the best solid state amps on the market. Solid-state amplifiers have suffered more than their fair share of disrespect. These Rodney Dangerfields of the amp world are much maligned, roundly ridiculed, and generally regarded as children’s toys or cheap practice implements by the guitar playing community at large. This, despite the fact that solid-state amps have played integral roles in many classic records, and have been the main amp of more than a few highly regarded players.

Roland JC-120: The Roland Jazz Chorus is probably the only bona fide classic of the solid-state world, used on stage and in the studio by Andy Summers, Hetfield and Hammett, Robert Smith, Robert Fripp, and many others. This stereo 2×12 combo houses two separate 60-watt amplifiers, a gorgeous on-board reverb, and a hypnotically lush stereo chorus/vibrato.

Sunn Beta Lead: The Sunn Beta Lead is a dual-channel, 100-watt, solid-state doomsday device. The polar opposite of the JC-120, the Beta Lead is prized for its bludgeoning, aggressive distorted tones. It was long regarded with disdain, mostly by mainstream tone snob’s familiar with Sunn’s earlier tube designs, but its reliability, affordability, and bone-rattling output made it a hit with punk and metal players operating on the fringe of the underground.

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