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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Preparation for Hong Kong trip 2014!

Finally the much-awaited holiday! Not the destination, actually more of I want to get away. Away from work and the country for a while. 

Work was crazy and getting crazier each day, supervisor went on Reservist for almost a month, everyday there are absentees, and I seemed to be doing EVERYTHING, so I need to break. 

Finally K and myself are able to take some time off, K decided to go Hong Kong! YAY! Because I have been to Taiwan so many times, but not Hong Kong. 

So this time round, I decided to ''stay off'' the itinerary planning because on my Japan trip, I got too adventurous and planned too much, until we hardly can breathe. This time, I told K to take it slow. I just want to go there and relax. So apart from a few places that I die die must try, the rest I leave it all to him! <3

Booked tickets on Cathay Pacific's website, and got a DBS card deal!

Air Fare S$300 + Surcharge S$62.40 + Taxes S$53.80 = S$416.20 per person

We also topped up a travel insurance of S$27 per person

Then as recommended by Rachael, we booked Just Inn located at Tsim Sha Tsui and location is fantastic! 

Will post more on the hotel after I come back! Its very small, I hope I can get used to it. 

As I mentioned, work is very crazy, I got slapped with late payment charges on my credit cards every month and to my horror, I realised my passport is expiring in May 2015, how coincident can it be, just nice its half a year!

25th Nov 2014: So I quickly took a picture and submitted my passport renewal application online.

29th Nov 2014: Received a rejection email from ICA saying my photo is blur. 
1st Dec 2014: Resubmitted a new photo and panicked as I am flying on 16th Dec, what if it got rejected again? 

4th Dec 2014: Took half a day off, called ICA and line was engaged, called again at 4.50pm, it said their office is closed (on their website, it says 24 hour call centre). 

5th Dec 2014: I called ICA again in the morning as there is no updates online. So as usual, we all will expect this reply ''you wait la, you just submitted on Monday''. 
So I explained that I am flying soon, let me know the status early so that I can make plans to head down to ICA to take a proper picture and make my passport. The Customer Service Officer then reluctantly gave me the ''processing department's'' contact, and I called the whole day but nobody picks up. Very typical. I decided to go to ICA the next day, but brother said they only entertained people with appointments. Oh wells. 

6th Dec 2014 3.11am: Received a confirmation email to say my passport is ready. WOOHOO! All the praying and worrying. Booked an appointment to collect my passport.

10th Dec 2014 1pm: My appointment is 1.30pm, I managed to reach earlier and took a queue number and waited for about 20 minutes only. Collection was a breeze although the whole waiting area is flooded with people. 

Lesson learnt: 
- Make your passport earlier to avoid unnecessary worries. 

- ICA made the whole process easy for us, processing took less than a week, and everything is done online, including payment and sending of photograph. 

- Collection only takes less than 30 minutes (from my brother & my own experience). 

- Send a clear image of your photo.

- Superb IC photo app ''IC Photo for Singapore NRIC and Passports''! Just follow the guide, stand in front of a white wall, and everything will be perfectly fine. I tried taking using my iPhone 6 camera, and ICA website says that image file is too big, image size is incorrect. Using this app, you just need to upload. No cropping needed. 

14th Dec 2014 Sunday: Read up a bit before going to change HKD. There is a list of 5 best Money Changers in Singapore, which are the usuals: Parkway Parade, The Arcade, Lucky Plaza, Chinatown etc. 

As its a Sunday, The Arcade's money changers are closed.

So I went to Lucky Plaza. Quite a few were out of stocks for HKD. 

True Blue Money Changer (highly recommended by many websites): 5.80
Europe Fancy Shop (#B1-141 opposite Mcdonalds): 5.88
Fauzy Money Changer (#B1-85): 5.86
And a few more that we asked, 5.85

Europe Fancy Shop had only HKD6000 (S$1000), so we changed the balance at Fauzy Money Changer, both had really good service!

I broke my luggage key the previous time when I went to Japan. So I had 1 key left, I waited until beginning of Dec 2014 before I do something. In case I lost the key, or break another one. So My mum went to Tampines 201 market to ask how much will it cost to duplicate a key, the uncle quoted her S$20. o.o 
So I decided to email Lojel. They are so friendly, and very customer service oriented. I gave them the number on my key and reserved 2 keys for me. 1 key at S$5. Thank god I did not get ''cheated'' by the uncle in the market.

I did not realised I have to activate my magnetic strip for my credit cards, so do bear in mind. Activating the magnetic strip for credit cards only took me 5-10 mins, do it online at your respective banks' website!

I guess thats about all for my preparation for my trip. Lets go! Do follow me on Instagram for LIVE UPDATES! 

And lastly, I actually have to thank many friends for helping me on this trip, like giving me advices and recommendations, you guys rock! Thank you Fang, Racheal, Jacq, Nikki, Ivy & Florence! 

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