Tips for solo travelers

Ever wanted to plan a holiday or go on a last minute getaway, but couldn’t find anyone to travel with you?

Or have you ever felt like you could do and see so much more if you traveled alone?

Traveling solo is a great way to indulge yourself fully. You’re on your own, independent and in control of every aspect of your trip. This also means you can do exactly what you want – all the time. That includes traveling at your own pace, doing things that interest you, and splurging to your heart’s content!

Fraser Suites Edinburgh The Princes Suite

But of course, there are also downsides to traveling alone. Your solo trip may be more expensive as costs aren’t shared. And you have no moral support when things don’t go as planned.

However, solo travel allows you to discover more about yourself while also discovering more about the place you’re visiting. It is fun, challenging and exhilarating!

To ensure you have a great time on your first or next solo trip, here are some tips!

Planning

It’s important that you do some planning. It doesn’t have to be a detailed schedule but ensure you at least book your accommodations for the first night before you take off!

Pack light 

Remember to pack light so that you can manage your luggage and carry-on without struggling. One carry-on suitcase or a backpack can work for a quick getaway.

Arrive during the day

Avoid trying to find your way through an unfamiliar place at night. Make sure to arrive in daylight!

Organised tours

Book some organised tours to enjoy the company of others. It also takes away the pressure of planning an itinerary or worrying about getting around the city on your own.

Essentials

Make sure to carry your important documents and emergency contact information on you while you’re out.

Take your own photos

This is where a selfie stick could come in handy. Everyone back at home will be jealous they didn’t come with you in the first place!

Avoid dark and secluded areas

Especially at night, keep to open and public places.

Trust your gut

If something doesn’t feel right, you probably shouldn’t do it. Trust your instincts!

Of course, the most important thing while you’re traveling is to have fun and broaden your horizons! So, are you up for it?

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Taking it easy in Bangsar

It isn’t a holiday if you don’t make time to pamper yourself. After hours spent on meals and shopping in Bangsar, take some time off to relax!

In need of a Turkish bath? Don’t you worry. There’s no need to head to the Middle East when Kuala Lumpur has some top notch Turkish baths (aka hammams) of its own! Hammam Bangsar recreates the authentic Turkish bath and spa experience through its splendid mosaic Moroccan-themed interiors – not to mention the exquisite treatment you’ll get at the hands of their expert massage therapists and spa technicians!

3f7 & 3f8, Bangsar Village 2

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At Boudoir by Soong Ai Ling, it’s not just the manicures that are French – its beautiful interiors transport you from Bangsar to Paris as well. The sumptuous salon is the brainchild of former model and TV host, Soong Ai Ling, who certainly understands beauty and luxury – so you can trust that you’ll be properly looked after! And the pampering doesn’t end at the treatments! Customers are also offered champagne and macarons, too, so you can indulge while being pampered.
 We say it’s a must-go!

2f-11, Bangsar Village 2

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Shopping spots in Bangsar

We’ve shown you all the good eats in Bangsar… now it’s time to go shopping!

Let’s take you through our favourite places to shop in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.

Started as a hobby project in 2013, 17A Select Store soon blossomed into its current incarnation at a first floor walk-up of
a former art gallery. The brainchild of Irman Hilmi and Adeline Chong, this epicentre of cool imports the Japanese concept of select stores – an assortment of wares sold under one roof – and gives it local spin. Hilmi and Chong not only champion premium Malaysian marques but also curate a selection of merchandise that lends their shop a razor-sharp style.

3 Jalan Telawi, Bangsar Baru

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Shop the world in Sundays everyday. This quirky lifestyle boutique in Bangsar Village is a treasure trove of exquisitely curated finds from all over the globe. Whether it be vintage fabrics or antique bric-a-bracs and artisanal crafts, Sundays is the place to stock up on hard-to-find one-of-a-kind home furnishings.

1F-29 & 30, Bangsar Village 2

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Designed in La Ville Lumiere and produced in Malaysia, Dude &
 the Duchess is a one-of-a-kind his and hers boutique specialising in stylish tailorings. Expect sharp looks with chic details or trimmings on shirts from the brand, now helmed by Paris-based Malaysian designer Jonathan Liang. The International New York Times once called it a Malaysian marque “with a hearty dose of originality”. Prices start from RM129.

UGF-19, Upper Ground Floor, Bangsar Village 2

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Started in 2010 by a three-man team, Pestle & Mortar has since taken “Made in Malaysia” branding to new heights. Champion of all things Malaysian and street – even the prices are high-street – Pestle & Mortar’s Bangsar store not only carries its signature slogan T-shirts, but also a limited but nicely-curated selection 
of international brands such as Vans and Nike.

11 Jalan Telawi 5, Bangsar Baru

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That’s not it!

For our shoppers…

Capri by Fraser, Kuala Lumpur/Malaysia provides a free shopping shuttle to Bangsar Village 2, in the late morning and afternoon at four timings: 10.30am, 11.30am, 4pm & 5pm.

Cook your own Laksa

If you’ve been to Malaysia or Singapore, we’re sure you have had your first bowl of Laksa!

Capri Singapore_Soy Laksa2

This popular spicy noodle soup in the Peranakan cuisine is a must-have.

If you agree, how about whipping a bowl up by yourself? Our chef, Jeffrey from Capri by Fraser, Singapore teaches you how.

Firstly, ingredients (serving for one) needed:

150g of fresh turmeric

100g of blue ginger slices

300g of ground chilli paste

100g of candlenuts

60g of dried shrimp paste (belacan)

400g of peeled shallots

200g of peeled garlic

200g of lemongrass (tender inner bulb only)

60g of coriander powder

100g of dried prawn

100g of Kesom/Laksa leaves

200ml of vegetable oil

2L of water (for soaking dried prawns)

2L of soy milk

Garnish

300g of beansprouts

600g of thick rice vermicelli

1kg of tiger prawns (cooked and shelled)

30g of Kesom leaves (silvered)

200g of quail eggs (cooked and shelled)

300g of fish cakes (deep-fried and sliced)

100g of tofu puffs/tau pok

Chilli sauce

200g of red chillis

100ml of vegetable oil

5g salt

Are you ready to for the how-to?

For the laksa stock

  1. Grind all ingredients together into a paste.
  2. Heat oil in a pot and fry ground spices for half an hour over low 
fire. Add a bit of water to prevent spices from getting burnt.
  3. While frying, add 1 litre of soy milk and stir continuously to 
ensure no lumps are formed. Allow the stock to boil while 
stirring for 30 minutes, and add salt to taste.
  4. Finally, add remaining soy milk to thicken the stock. Continue 
to cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Do not cover the pot.

Preparing the garnish

  1. Blanch thick rice vermicelli and beansprouts in boiling water and drip dry before pouring in a bowl.
  2. Place prawns, quail eggs, fish cakes and tofu slices on the noodles. Ladle over laksa gravy to cover the ingredients and sprinkle over finely-sliced Kesom leaves. Serve with chilli sauce in small dish.

Finally, the chilli sauce!

  1. Place red chilli (without seeds) in a food processor, before adding oil to blend and salt to taste.

You’re done! Are you good to go? Try it and snap a photo or two of your own Laksa and tag us @CapribyFraser on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter!

Thanks, Chef Jeffrey!

Capri Singapore_Chef Jeffrey Cheong

When less is more…

“If you live for having it all, what you have is never enough.” – Vicki Robin, American writer and advocate of “simple living”.

Isn’t that the case for most travelers like us too? No matter how long or short our trip is, no matter how clear or unclear our itinerary seems, we’ll always feel like something’s amiss.

I’ve got to pack more! Bring a bigger suitcase! Or carry an extra one!

If that sounds familiar to you, here’s our guide to traveling light.

Hot and cold?

Are you guilty of not checking the climate of your destination before packing? It’s important to check on the weather conditions so that you’d know what to expect, and what type of clothes to bring with you. If it’s going to be warm, don’t bring a heavy jacket “just in case” – just pack a light layer or scarf.

Bring proper shoes

Two pairs of shoes should be just enough even for the longest of trips – one you wear and one you pack. In case one pair gets wet, you’ll be grateful that you have another! Flip-flops are a freebie given how light and compact they are. 

Matchy matchy

Plan your wardrobe well. If everything matches with everything else, you’re good to go. And no, it doesn’t have to be your most boring clothes. Think simple and minimalistic. You can always limit yourself to one or two pairs of bottoms that you can match with all your tops.

Do I really need this?

Constantly ask yourself this question as you pack. We’ll all be in serious trouble if we play the ‘what if’ game while packing. If you’re on the fence about an item, you can probably buy or borrow it!

Of course, it’s always easier said than done. Practice, practice, practice. You’ll get the hang of it. And after each trip, make note of what you didn’t end up using or wearing.

Once you become a pro packer, don’t forget to thank us! Happy packing.

50 great stays for SG50

You’ve probably heard about Singapore’s SG50 Golden Jubilee and seen so many plans for the big birthday! At Frasers Hospitality, we are celebrating too and thrilled to announce 50 stays at Frasers Hospitality’s serviced and hotel residences will be up for grabs at starting bids of just SGD$50 a night. How’s that for a birthday gift?

Picture this – going on a holiday trip and being able to do your bit for charity while enjoying great deals at destinations of your choice!

Most of the proceeds from this charity auction will go to the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, community project initiated by The Straits Times that provides pocket money to children from low-income families to help them through school.

The auction will take place from 1st to 8th March and it’s open to all Fraser World members, who will be able to choose from 35 cities including Budapest, London, Paris, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. Sign up for Fraser World if you’re not already a member – lots of perks are waiting for you and membership is free!

How to place bids:

  1. Go to www.frasershospitality.com/sg50
  2. Login or register for Fraser World membership
  3. Register an account at http://www.24fundraiser.com
  4. Select destination and place bid
  5. The highest bidders will be informed after the auction closes at 23:59 on 8th March

Have fun bidding & good luck!

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Our 3 favorite restaurants in Bangsar

Named after Edouard Bunge and Alfred Grisar, who managed the Bangsar rubber estate in the early 1900s, Bangsar is to the Malaysian capital what Surry Hills is to Sydney, Islington is to London and Williamsburg is to the Big Apple: a well-heeled, glacially-cool leafy residential neighbourhood that receives its fair share of buzz, but hasn’t lost its somewhat quaint and charming spirit.

Imbued with an indie spirit and allure, Bangsar has long drawn locals and expatriates with its laidback vibe and reputation as a gastro-lifestyle destination and arty enclave. There are countless fantastic eateries to choose from in the neighbourhood, but we’ve managed to settle on these three as our top choices (for now!):

If you crave for la vie boheme in Kuala Lumpur, Yeast in the heart of Bangsar is an unpretentious classic-styled bistro that serves simple, honest French food that would have found fans in Elizabeth David and Julia Child.

While the menu of traditional comfort French food such as boeuf bourguignon and foie gras de canard will warm hearts and stomachs, it is the bread that is the star. The bread are made from organically grown yeast which lends it its deep and complex flavours. Whether as a bistro, a bar a vin or a boulangerie, Yeast rises to the occasion each and every time.

Address: 24G Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar

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Time Out anointed it “The Best Meat in KL” honour for two consecutive years in 2012 and 2013, and it’s easy to see why. While the classy décor and ambience makes for a refined yet casual dining experience, it’s the succulent meats and cuts that give Ril’s Steakhouse its culinary chops. They take their beef seriously here, and it shows.

Address: 30 Jalan Telawi 5, Bangsar Baru

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There are celebrity chefs, and then there is Chef Ismail, a homegrown culinary guru known for his traditional kampung (village) menu. Enjoy local delights like nasi lemak (coconut milk rice), local curries and satay (meat skewers) at Rebung Chef Ismail, a restaurant housed within a restored old bungalow.

Address: 4-2 Lorong Maarof, Bangsar Park

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Stay tuned for more buzz around Bangsar!