9 Alternative Vacation Spots For Students On A Budget

20 Dec 2016 by Gladys Lee

From short getaways to grad trips, the minuscule budget of a student is often a pesky hindrance. We’ve dug out a list of more uncommon yet affordable places for you to enjoy a novel travel experience, be it with family or friends. Who said exotic destinations had to break your bank?

1. Thailand: Koh Tao

Koh Nang YuanCredit: Pinterest

This is a considerably cheaper alternative to beach vacations with the likes of Maldives or Mauritius. Nang Yuan Island (or Koh Nang Yuan), situated 10-15 minutes away from Koh Tao, is made of three islets interlinked by sandbars. With an entry fee of only 100 Baht (SGD4), think pristine white beaches with clear turquoise waters scintillating under sunlight, teeming with corals and wildlife. There are a number of activities over there that can keep you occupied for a day or two like snorkeling, ziplining, and taking a hike up to the viewpoint of the three islands’ highest peak for a spectacular panorama of postcard dreams. Arrive extra early or stay late to enjoy abandoned beaches! Do note that Koh Nang Yuan has a strict no plastic policy, so make sure to not bring any plastic bottles onto the island.

2. Indonesia: Surabaya/Malang

mount_bromo-wideCredit: Pinterest

Instead of heading to the beaches of Bintan and Batam, why not catch a breathtaking view of the sunrise from a volcano crater? Mount Bromo is an active shield volcano among a cluster of other dormant and active volcanos situated between Surabaya and Yogyakarta. As the roads up the mountain can be really steep and slippery, you can opt for the Bromo Sunrise Tour where you charter a jeep to drive you up to the point overlooking said volcano. Or if you’re the adventurous sort (and fit as a fiddle), you may consider hiking! Another attraction that is a must-see is the Coban Rondo Waterfall. Falling from a height of 60metres, it’s nothing like the Niagara Falls, but its air of grandeur is still undeniable. As both attractions are situated in the highlands, be sure to dress warmly.  

3. Vietnam: Hoi An

Hoi AnCredit: Pinterest

For an off-the-grid adventure, Hoi An is the perfect destination for soaking in the wondrous nature. Hoi An is known for its 18th century merchant houses, museums, the tailoring industry, handmade lanterns and of course, the Banh Mi sandwich made insanely famous when world-renowned chef Anthony Bourdain proclaimed it to be the best sandwich he’s ever had. The best way to immerse in the unique culture is to participate in a motorcycle tour at dawn – the wind seeping between your outspread fingers, fresh air caressing your skin, wide acres of paddy fields instead of a concrete jungle. Be enchanted at the sight of the streets at night lit mostly by the soft glow of colourful lanterns.

4. Philippines: Palawan

underground riverCredit: Pinterest

Take your thrill level to a high with spelunking and zipline escapades at the Ugong Rock, a 75-foot limestone formation that is part of a community-based tourism sustainable development project. Also, what’s a trip to Puerto Princesa without visiting the Underground River? Hailed as one of the Seven Wonders of Nature, the limestone landscape is considered one of the most complex cave systems in the world. The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park offers a 45 minute canoe tour of the Underground River which allows tourists a magnificent spectacle of the stalactite and stalagmite formations. 

5. Myanmar: Mandalay/Bagan

deedokeCredit: Pinterest

The Dee Doke Waterfall, ensconced 48km outside of Mandalay is a picturesque natural pool with ten different pool plateaus. The lagoon at the peak is the most beautiful of all, so do make sure to trek all the way up! Rich in minerals, the pools are an ethereal pellucid light blue – so remember to bring your cameras! Get lost in Myanmar’s cultural glory in Bagan, an ancient city that houses 2200 temples in varying deterioration states. Now officially named the Bagan Archaeology Zone, explore the vast plain of unique pagodas either by hiring bicycles or horse carriages.

6. Cambodia: Siem Reap

Angkor WatCredit: Pinterest

Of course, Siem Reap is best known for the Angkor Wat and the Angkor Wat ruins, which is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site. A magnificent structure with an ornate design, the Angkor Wat is surrounded by a moat which helps to stabilise its foundation. Catch the view at either sunrise or sunset to capture stunning shots of the famous view, where the structure is reflected in the moat’s water. For a less commercialised adventure, head out to a floating village for a glimpse of the lives of Cambodian fishermen. It will provide us city-slickers with novel perspective of the world around us. 

7. Hong Kong

Hong KongCredit: Vogue

Hong Kong is a melting pot of food and culture waiting for you to explore, so instead of only going to Disneyland, why not discover hidden gems where fast fashion, scrumptious street food and impressive photography spots abound? For an eerily dreamy photography masterpiece, certain parts of Hong Kong’s beaches like Shek O’s seashore, has been sighted to be awash with seawater tinged fluorescent blue by algal bloom. Though the algae bloom is potentially toxic, the arresting aesthetic is sure to cure wanderlust feels – just be careful not to touch any of it! Go trigger-happy, you shutterbugs! For the fashionistas, squeeze your way through throngs of people at Argyle Centre to grab the hottest sartorial trends for cheap!  

8. Taiwan

TaiwanCredit: Street Art Utopia/Pinterest

Taiwan need not be just about unhinged shopping sprees or Taipei 101. Step beyond Taipei to visit the Rainbow Family Village, where an old man started daubing the surfaces in the village with colourful figures to achieve the vibrant mural it is today. The colourful parade has helped save the settlement from threats of demolition, so go get inspired by the vivid graphics and the story behind them. Visiting Taiwan night markets are a requisite, so be spoilt for choice with the wide array of delectable local delicacies like the stinky toufu, oyster omelette, stir-fried squid, iced desserts, etc. Don’t forget to have a taste of the super tall soft serve ice cream and “Iron Eggs” at Danshui! 

9. Australia: Adelaide

Umpherston Sinkhole Credit: Flickr

Gold Coast, Perth and Sydney are not all that there is to Australia. Pay a visit to Adelaide, where the intriguing Whispering Wall lies. Word has it that the architectural engineering of this dam at the Barossa Valley Reservoir is so ingenious that words whispered from one side of the wall can be clearly heard across a 100 metre stretch! And just a short distance from Adelaide, appreciate the incredible wonders of nature that is the Umpherston Sinkhole at Mount Gambier. Previously a cave, the limestone structure collapsed to form a sinkhole with terraces. Marvel at the lush verdant garden by day, and feed possums by dusk.      

Do you have any other suggestions on countries where students can vacay within budget? Let us know in the comments section!

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5 Local Cafes Every Minimalist Lover Needs To Check Out

8 Nov 2016 by Chew Hui Ling

Good grub? Check. Good looks? Check. With its minimalist palettes, neutral hues and clean lines, these dreamy cafes are not only a treat for the taste buds, but also a feast for the eyes. Your Instagram feed will thank you!

Looksee Looksee


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Address: 267 Beach Road, Singapore 199545
Opening hours: 9.30am – 6pm (Mon to Fri)
Tel: 6338 8035

Located at the heart of Kampong Glam, Looksee Looksee makes you green with decor envy upon stepping in – from the grand four-arch entrance, to the pastel furnishings, down to the lush tropical surrounds. While it isn’t exactly a cafe per se, this tea salon cum reading room makes for a lovely hideout where folks can indulge in a book or two while sipping tea served by A.muse Projects. The coolest part? There’s no fixed payment; simply show your support through tips or purchasing A.muse Projects’ tea blends and products available.

Gallery & Co.


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Address: National Gallery Singapore, #01-05, Singapore 178957
Opening hours: 10am – 7pm (Mon to Thurs, Sun), 10am – 10pm
Tel: 6385 6683

There’s far more to do at National Gallery Singapore than art appreciation. Pop by Gallery & Co. – an ultra-chic F&B and retail concept that plays host to an all-day cafe – for a quick java fix in between exhibitions. But don’t just settle for a cuppa, they deliver solid Asian offerings such as the Otah Stack Sandwich ($8.90) and Roasted Chicken with Mushroom Ragout ($14.90), along with an enticing array of desserts from Plain Vanilla. Thereafter, check out the design store where you’ll find a multitude of home accessories, collectibles and prints from local and international brands.

DW Workshop


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Address: 41 Rochester Drive, Singapore 138582
Opening hours: 9.30am – 10.30pm (Mon to Fri), 9.30am – late (Sat & Sun)
Tel: 6659 0879

A home away from home, DW Workshop features a fireplace where you can cosy up on the cushions, a living room for intimate conversations with friends, and even a patio hangout if you fancy stargazing. The plates are generously catered for sharing, from customisable weekday lunch bowls ($19) to a weekend brunch of hearty mains like Crackling Pork Belly ($36) and Salmon Trout ($38). They also offer workshops where you can try your hand at making your own concrete lamp, handcrafted bouquet and personalised accessories.

ICYMI: We are giving away vouchers to DW Workshop!



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Address: Singapore Tyler Print Institute, #01-01, Singapore 238236
Opening hours: 8am – 9.30pm (Mon to Fri), 9am – 5pm (Sat & Sun)
Tel: 6221 2105

Branching out its McCallum Street watering hole into a newly expanded space along Robertson Quay, SPRMRKT Daily is even swankier than its predecessor, fusing a grocery-style shop into a riverside cafe. The result is a stylish, minimalist area stocked with the freshest produce, handcrafted goods and classic artworks. Regular patrons can expect well-loved offerings such as The English Breakfast ($25), Bulgogi Beef and Seaweed Wrap ($15) and Blackened Fish and Chips ($18), as well as a good selection of housemade beverages ranging from artisanal tea blends to healthy smoothiesm to indulgent milkshakes.

Luxe Singapore


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Address: The Working Capitol Building, #01-04, Singapore 089109
Opening hours: 9am – 10pm (Tues to Sat), 9am – 4pm (Sun & Mon)
Tel: 6221 5615

You don’t have to catch a plane to experience Aussie cafe magic. A hipster-chic slice of Down Under tucked away at Keong Saik, Luxe Singapore boasts a Kinfolk-esque palette of sleek communal tables, neutral accents and an abundance of natural light that would delight the camera-toting crowd. While they specialise in the usual Sydney fare like America Cheeseburger ($24) and Ricotta Hotcake ($20), you can also look forward to Asian flavours such as Keong Saik Fried Chicken & Chilli ($15), a dish nicely seasoned with chilli padi aioli.

If you need more cafe eye candy, we’ve got more recommendations in our Tuckshop section in the latest November issue, out on newsstands. Now go ahead and slay your Instagram game!

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8 Non-Cliche Ideas For The Best Class Gathering Ever

18 Oct 2016 by Teenage

The year-end holidays are almost here! If you and your classmates are still thinking about what you guys can do for class gatherings, here are some fun group activities that everyone will enjoy!

Bubble Bump

Image Credit:

As the name suggests, Bubble Bump is essentially a plastic human-sized ball costume that shields you from your opponents while you undertake classic games such as Catching, Dog and Bone, Bowling or a game devised by The Fun Empire, Bubble Invasion. Soccer fanatics will be thrilled to know that there is also soccer, bubble-bump style. Dressed in bubble bumps, you and your friends will easily be 4 times your usual sizes and that sure shall call for some tummyache-laughter-worthy fun! What are you waiting for? Get bubble-wrapped and get bumpin’! 


Conveniently located at Clarke Quay Central and Suntec City, Coffeemin offers an array of activities and games for you and your friends to gather and have fun. More specifically, you can read a book, play board games, have a show-down with your friends on the pool-table, show off your moves with the latest Just Dance or stuff yourself silly with their free-flow cookies and drinks! So, what’d you say to an afternoon of geeky fun and quality time? Game on!

Escape Games

If you find your life too mundane, you’ll be glad to know that you can lead an adventure too! LOST SG is a reality adventure game that stimulates puzzling and dangerous situations for players. Basically, you and your friends will be locked in a room and you guys will have to find an escape route with the clues found in the room. The game plays on your wit and survival instincts and challenges you mentally to all ends! 

Movie Mob

Image Credit:

Movie Mob brings us back to the 19th century, the era of drive-in outdoor movie screenings. Adopting a voting system, Movie Mob allows us to choose our favorite movie titles and replays them for us on big overhead screens. Don’t fret if you do not own a car. The screenings are held in public lawn spaces with tons of space for you and your friends to lay mats and enjoy a night picnic whilst enjoying the show. (Ps. It is absolutely free!) That said, do keep your eyes peeled for updates on their site regarding screening dates or to vote for your favorite shows!


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Instead of only playing paintball in school camps, why not make it a clique activity? Paintball is an adrenaline-pumping & strategy-based game that is fun for anybody and everybody. After a tough week at school, consider relieving your stress in a paintball war, splattering your friends with red & green splotches of paint. Go on! Head on down to Red Dynasty Paintball Park, strap on your armour and shoot away!
Warning: Not For the Faint-Hearted.


We are guessing you are not yet aware of the new game in town, Poolball! A combination of pool and football, Poolball is a game played on life-sized pool tables where you’ll kick the balls (just like football) into the “table” pockets. Basically, you ARE the cue-stick. I bet some of you are football experts! So why not head on down to show off your fancy footwork? You don’t have to dance to groove, you know! Also, there are also novel games like Poolball Checkmate, Poolball Math-Geek and Poolball Sabotage. 

Trampoline Park

Image Credit: Youtube

Having a jumpin’ good time at Amped Trampoline Park! You can bounce off walls and smash each other at the foam pit area. Visit the facility at night and you can even bounce around under the glow-in-the-dark UV lightings! With an hour or two of adrenaline-pumping jumpin’, we bet you’ll bounce your stress away. There is a caveat though. You’ll likely emerge from the studio looking like Hulks and She-hulks.

Visit a Farm 

Image Credit: Yahoo

Isn’t it sad that we live in an urban jungle? Although we get to enjoy better living standards, we don’t get to rear and feed farm chicken and ducks like our grandparents did back in their days. However, there are other avenues (thankfully) for us to experience farm life. Why not head on down to a farm with your friends and have fun with our animal friends? Entry is free and you just have to pay a small sum to purchase food to feed the animals! 

For more information, check out Animal Resort and Farmart

Do you have any other suggestions? Share with our readers below!

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The Ultimate Skateboard Guide for Beginners

14 Oct 2016 by Venetia Sng

Want to pick up boarding but never really got the chance to due to school, friends or lack of funds? Stop procrastinating and get those feet moving because boarding isn’t all that difficult or expensive. Read on to find our what nifty beginner tips we have for you!

Get a board that suits your interests

There are lots of styles and brands of boards available for all skill levels and interests. Visit a local skate shop to browse the selection and get advice from more experienced skaters in choosing a skateboard that’s appropriate for your size and desires from your board.

Tip: Do not go to Toys ‘R’ Us or some department store. The boards may look like the real thing, but they are not plus they are usually not well made.

StretchSurfboard-LongboardCredit: stretchsurfboard

Longboards are great for cruising and easy for beginners to maneuver. If you’re interested in something that will be easy to hop right on and go, or something to get you from place to place, a longboard is definitely the way to go. They’re not great for tricks, so if you’re interested in popping ollies, it’s not the best option.

Price range is around $150 – 300 for a basic complete set.

The-Prjct-SkateboardCredit: theprjct

Skateboards are with tapered ends perfect for kicking tricks and jumps, and an easy soft maneuverability, these boards are excellent for skating around at quick speeds, though they’ll take a little more practice to get balanced when you’re first starting out. If you want to eventually drop into a half-pipe (skateboard ramp), this is the board for you.

Price range is around $100 – 150 for a basic complete set.

Parts of a Board

Parts-Skateboard-ComponentsCredit: 8list

Deck (+ Grip tape) – The deck is the wooden bit you stand on and the grip tape is the sand papery layer that’s applied to the top of the deck to provide grip for your shoes.

Trucks – These are the parts that attach the deck to the wheels and also allow you to turn. The most important thing when buying a set of trucks is to make sure they are not wider than your deck.

Wheels – Generally speaking, when starting out, opt for 52mm to 55mm diameter wheels. As your skating progresses you will be able to choose a set of wheels better suited to your style of skating.

Bearings – You have probably heard someone talking about his or her bearings which makes their board go faster than anyone else’s in the whole wide world! Don’t be fooled into spending a lot of money on what is essentially a very good marketing campaign.

Tip: Make sure your board is set up correctly for a beginner. You don’t want a super-curved board and loose trucks when you’re first starting out. While those kinds of features might be great for doing tricks, they’re much more difficult to stay balanced while riding upon. You want a relatively flat board with tight trucks to learn on.

Gear for a Smooth Ride


Get a pair of good skate shoes.

Trying to hop on your board with combat boots or flip-flops is a good way to hurt yourself or twist an ankle. Skate shoes have the right kind of sole to grip the board and ensure both protection and support, making them ideal for learning to skate. Vans and DC’s are signature skate shoes, though plenty of athletic companies now make shoes perfect for skating.

Always wear protective gear and a helmet.

It’s absolutely essential that you get a skating helmet, which features a smooth surface and a snug chin strap to protect your head. It’s likely you’ll fall a lot, so it’s very important that you ensure your safety and wear a helmet.

Additionally, knee pads, wrist guards, and elbow pads are also common protective gear to wear, especially when you’re first getting started. When you get more comfortable on the board, you’ll probably not need to wear all the pads every time you want to skate.

Staying on the Board


Try standing on the board without falling down.

There’s no right way to stand on the board, so set the board on stable ground, like the grass or even carpet, where it won’t roll easily, and figure out what feels most comfortable for you. Put one foot in front of the other, lined up roughly with the truck screws.

Try to push off.

On some level concrete, stand on the board with your forward foot and use a long, even step with your pushing foot to create momentum.

Shift into the riding position.

When you get moving, you need to shift your riding foot sideways, more like how you were standing when you had the board still on the grass, and bring your pushing foot up to rest lightly on the fishtail at the back of the board. Your knees should be slightly bent, but you should be generally standing upright, with a straight back, to learn to balance correctly.

Learn to turn.

To turn, you’ll shift your weight forward or back from the ankle, depending on your stance and whether or not you want to go right or left. The amount of pressure you’ll use will depend on how tight your trucks are and how far you want to turn. Practice on level surface, getting started, shifting into your riding stance, and then executing a turn safely without falling off.

Try to stop.

There are lots of different ways to stop a skateboard, and many of them are more advanced. For the beginner, the easiest way is usually to either gradually slow down, and stop by putting a foot to the pavement, or to execute a tail stop.

Learn to fall.

No skater has ever not fallen off the board. It can be discouraging, but learning to fall properly can help make sure you don’t seriously hurt yourself. Always wear a helmet, to keep your head safe, and try and use wrist guards, which you can use to take the brunt of most falls and avoid the nasty scrapes that are part of the skating world.

Tip: Watch lots of YouTube videos like this to help yourself get going.

Credits: wikihow & coolerlifesyle

Any other guide for beginners you want to see? Let us know by commenting below!

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5 Budget Date Ideas That Won't Bust Your Pocket

11 Oct 2016 by Venetia Sng

We all know that awesome dates come with a price tag – even if you decide to go Dutch. We’ve compiled a list of budget date ideas that promises great fun even if you’re on a shoestring budget. #WeFeelYou

#1 Explore Nature Together


It’s time to leave the comforts of being a city kid and venture out into the wild. Head down down to Pulau Ubin for a bike ride or MacRitchie Reservoir Park for a hike. Both don’t cost much and both promote healthy living. This is the perfect way to see some lovely sites together and get those endorphins flowing. Just remember to bring plenty of insect repellant and sunscreen.

#2 Go to a Flea Market

Public-Garden-Flea-Market-SingaporeCredit: waynestonbears

Both of you can have a great time hunting down bargains and treasures at a flea market. Discovering retro toys and comic books being sold well below their market value is always more enjoyable with someone at your side. Some regular flea markets you can visit are Public Garden, Zouk Flea & Easy and China Square Central.

#3 Do Good Together

Regardless of how poor you are, there’s always going to be somebody worse off than you. So why not try and help others together? It won’t cost you anything other than your time, and it will be a really great chance for you to get to know each other on a new level. Alternatively, you could twist this idea around by volunteering at a festival or convention so you can get in for free. Here’s a list of fun places you can volunteer at!

#4 Pick up Hobbies Together


Credit: tetrapak

There are so many activities to do at home, it’s only a matter of putting in some effort. Cook up a storm by following cool recipes online or try out your grandmother’s recipe. If you wanna do away with the dirty dishes, there are always fun board games to choose from (we recommend 7 Wonders and Cards Against Humanity). Trade games with your friends and/or do a couples board game night to avoid spending good money at board games cafes. 

#5 Visit our local Museums

Peranakan-Museum-SingporeCredit: cavinteo

Did you know that we just need to flash our pink ICs at the counter and we can have free entry to all the national museums like Asian Civilisations Museum, Peranakan Museum, National Museum of Singapore and Singapore Art Museum? There are so many different galleries to check out and best part is that there are always new exhibitions every few months so you don’t have to worry about seeing the same things every time you visit. 

Share with us some budget dates you do with your partner!

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