28 Sep 11, 3:22pm
18 comments | 2579 views
19 Sep 11, 1:55pm
4 comments | 2107 views
Traveling is no doubt one of the best activities to experience of all time. But it’s important to have some quick, useful tips with you as a traveller (no matter where you are visiting). Here is a guide to help you stay off trouble and help you prepare for a smoother travel experience.
1. Plan, plan and plan
Do your homework- do a search on your travel destination or read up on guide books and even travel reviews on Koolred
Familiarise yourself with the customs and surroundings of the country before stepping foot into the country
Get to know a local from the country beforehand and connect with our Travel Hosts and Travel Advisors on Koolred- they’ll simply be happy to help you out
Our Redster Safina was hosted by Kien, a Vietnamese Redster.
2. Prepare for a Disaster
Read about the true story here.
Be prepared in case of emergencies. Imagine you left your passport at home when you’re already at the airport, what are your options?
Make copies of your passport details and visas in case you lose your travel documents.
Leave a copy of your travel itinerary with someone back home (so they will know your whereabouts just in case) while you’re overseas.
An elaborate imagination… but prepare for the worst
3. Book in Advance
Book your first and last night’s accommodation before you leave.
Some tourist locations and activities require months of booking as well, for instance the waiting list to climb Mount Kinabalu in Sabah may take up to about six months of booking.
Booking also ensures you a confirmed spot too (be it for transportation or a leisure activity), so best to find out before hand.
A six month wait, but it’s worth it!
4. Take Care of Yourself- Inside and Out
You can let loose when you’re on holiday but make sure you take good care of your well being. Check out some healthy diet tips you can adhere to while you’re on holiday.
Drink lots of water to stay hydrated but be sure that the water is safe to drink first, if not you’ll need to buy bottled waters.
5. Be a Local
If you’re concerned about the cleanliness of your pillow in your hotel room, you’re not the only one. You can use the insides of your shirt to slide over your pillow to sleep on.
This is what raw travel experiences are about! When traveling in a foreign country, eat like the locals and get a heads up on where to find the best food in that country.
Most Redsters are foodies and have contributed food reviews in the best foods in Asia which you can check out if you’re in that region.
Dare you indulge in the foreign yet exotic delights?
6. “Say what???!!!”
You may also get the best bargains when you shop at local markets like the floating market in Thailand, rather than departmental stores.
It’s good to learn a couple of basic languages when you’re out and about.
Know simple greetings like "Hello" and “Thank you”:
Hello: Ni Hao
Thank You: Xie Xie
Hello: Halo/ Hai
Thank You: Terima Kasih
Hello: Sawaddee krub (man), Sawaddee ka (woman)
Thank You: Kob kun krub (man), Kob kun ka (woman)
Thank You: Dhanyavaad
7. Write it down
Being able to speak the language in a foreign country is a great way to connect with local culture.
8. Better be safe than sorry
Even with a city map, you might miss a turning and you find yourself not knowing where you are.
Have a notepad and pen with you at all times so you can get a local to draw you directions if needed.
If you have somewhere in mind, get your hotel concierge to help you write down the location in their language which you can then show to your cab driver later on.
There are some tricks to making sure that your money and valuables are safe and sound.
Pack your valuables in regular pill boxes- your rings, necklaces and earrings can fit inside them so you won’t end up losing them in your luggage.
No more losing the other pair of earrings
When you’re out shopping, carry a small calculator with you as you can easily find out how much the items cost after conversion right on the spot.
Be wary about your money and consider carrying a dummy wallet. Make sure not to store all your money in your bag or wallet, but stash some in your own pockets too.
And there you have it! Some key tips that all travel bugs can hold on too.
Have any handy travel tips that you use as a rule of thumb when you’re traveling? We look forward to hearing about tips for travellers themselves around the world.
Like these travel tips? Then this post!
15 Sep 11, 3:38pm
5 comments | 2213 views
Here’s your chance to win free hotel vouchers with our new and exciting Koolred Travel Video Contest
What to do to win:
Create an original video (1-3 minutes) promoting interesting things about any city around the world.
At the end of your video, the special “I ♥ Koolred & Tune Hotels” image must be showcased. Download the original image from the contest page.
Gain votes for your video entry by sending the link to your friends so they can vote for you via the button. You can vote for yourself too!
Contest open to Koolred community members aged 18 and up.
Let your creativity be your guide!
Start with a theme for your video. Here are some examples:
Top 3 places to go
Great hotels to stay
Popular places to eat
Different types of food
Best places to shop
You can check out some simple tips
we have on how to shoot and edit a travel video!
Check it out! This is what you can win if your video entry was our 1st Prize:
A complimentary 3-night stay at Tune Hotels Double Six
, Legian, Bali, Indonesia!
There will also be two more winning videos where both winners too will receive complimentary hotel vouchers:
2nd Prize: 2-night stay at Tune Hotels Downtown Penang
3rd Prize: 2-night stay at Tune Hotels Danga Bay
, Johor, Malaysia
We would like to give a big thank you to Tune Hotels for their generous sponsor and support in this video contest
So how will the videos be judged?
Submitted videos will be judged on these criteria:
35% - Creativity & Originality
35% - Content: Relevance to contest theme and usage of key phrase
15% - Visual & Audio
15% - Number of “Kool” votes a video receives
So take out that camera and shoot your own travel video entry for Koolred
. You never know, your creative work might just win you superb hotel voucher giveaways!
All entries should reach us by 17 November 2011
Just like the video entries, remember to
this post if you like it!
07 Sep 11, 5:12pm
4 comments | 2757 views
We’ve gone through all entries of the Koolred Colourful Photo Contest
that were submitted from all over the world. With more than 900 qualified entries, judging was no easy task. Contestants had to submit a colourful photo entry and answer three simple questions correctly in order to qualify. Nonetheless your entries were wonderful and we enjoyed exploring the colours of the world through your pictures.
It is our pleasure to announce our winners of those enticing AirAsia
flights! Here’s what our top winners had to say about their contest entries:
“Exotic spices at Spice Bazaar, Istanbul Turkey” by Halwani Abdul Kadir
“I took this picture on my trip to Istanbul last year. We went to an ancient market dedicated only to spices which is called ‘Spices Bazaar’. Many shops sell an assortment of spice mixes with a combination of many ingredients. And we saw some exotic spices there which I could not find in my country. I was told by my tourist guide that one way to determine the quality of the spices is by looking at the color, it should be deep, not dull or flat. By looking at the spices there, I am able to tell that spices can make my world more colourful”
Beautiful! Who knew even the most basic things in life such as cooking spices could bring so many colours to this world? Congratulations Halwani, as you’ve just won yourself an AirAsia
flight from Kuala Lumpur to Guangzhou
“Colorful and intricate pattern of a traditional female flower hmong dress in Sapa, Vietnam” by Suzairi Zakaria
“Gambar di rakam dalam lawatan kedua saya ke Sapa,Vietnam pada bulan Mei baru- baru ini di salah satu pasar mingguan suku kaum minoriti di dalam daerah Bac Ha. Keunikan masyarakat minoriti yang terdiri daripada etnik ‘Flower Hmong’ yang merupakan etnik terbesar di kawasan ini sangat menarik perhatian sesiapa sahaja termasuk saya kerana kepelbagaian warna pada pakaian tradisional mereka. Sebagai seorang ‘photographer’ saya telah mencuba bukan sahaja untuk merakam keindahan warna-warna pada pakaian mereka tetapi juga keramahan etnik ini di dalam menerima kunjungan para pelancong”
“This photo was taken during my second visit to Sapa, Vietnam in May this year, where I visited a local weekly market held by the minorities of the Bac Ha district. The biggest ethnicity in this district is the colourful Flower Hmong ethnic group and their uniquely colourful traditional attires captivate the attention of everyone around. As a photographer, I attempt to capture not only the colours of their clothes but the friendly essence of this ethnicity as they welcome tourists graciously”
What a quirky photo, Suzairi’s colourful entry truly puts a smile on our faces! Nice touch, Suzairi. We hope you’ll be back with more interesting photos as we’re flying you to Kochi
from Kuala Lumpur!
“A group Chinese Opera Artists performs in Beijing, China, giving foreigners a backstage sneak preview and an introduction to their craft” by Christian Adam Espiritu
“Life is too short when there are a lot of wonderful and colourful things to see in this world. That's the main reason why I love traveling and why I am drawn towards learning other cultures. This photo was taken in 2007 while I was in Beijing studying Chinese language and culture. A group of Chinese Opera artists visited our school to promote their craft. I was immediately drawn towards their unique music and dance. I was very fascinated with their colourful costumes and props. The face of this “Chinese goddess” was painted beautifully as she graced the stage with her artistic singing and movements. She wore a long rainbow-coloured shawl, which she played elegantly while creating various magnificent forms in the air. I was really amazed by her performance. She was like a real goddess who came down to Earth to spread colour to the world. It made my day really very colourful”
A great photo captured at the right moment! Our 3rd prize entry exhibits a movement-like attribute in the rainbow-coloured picture. Well done, Christian. Pack your bags as you’ll be hopping on a free flight to Myanmar
The winner’s list doesn’t end here as we have 47 Consolation Prize
winners who each received official AirAsia
merchandises. Do share with us
some of your Kool shots of the exclusive merchandises and yourself on Koolred when you get them!
Lest we forget, kudos to AirAsia
for their generous support and sponsor for the awesome prizes! Many thanks for making this colourful contest such a great success.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Koolred Colourful Photo Contest and congratulations to all of the fantastic photographers who made it into the winner’s list
! We truly can’t wait to read the fantastic yet colourful travel blogs by Halwani
on Koolred as well!
We have a lot more coming soon on Koolred so if you’re not a member yet, sign up
Congrats again to all our proud winners.
If you like this post, it!
05 Sep 11, 10:44am
6 comments | 1677 views
The Mid-Autumn Festival is a day of family reunions, joyous celebrations as well as ancient legends closely associated with the occasion. The auspicious affair is celebrated in most countries in Asia on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar. This year, the Mid-Autumn Festival takes place on 12 September 2011.
The Chinese believe that the moon is the roundest and the brightest on this day which symbolises completeness and abundance of one’s life. There are many names for this special event such as Moon Festival or Zhongqiu
Festival, varying from country to country. Some of the countries have unique customs when it comes to this festival. During the Tuan Yuan Jie
or Reunion Festival in Taiwan, the Taiwanese celebrate with a lively barbeque cookout with family and friends as they gaze at the bright moon.
In Vietnam, the Tết Trung Thu
or Mid-Autumn Festival witnesses an important custom before and during this festival which is the performance of lion dances. Much like during Chinese New Year, the “lion” will come to homes to dance for best wishes, luck and fortune as the host of the house shows their gratitude by giving back lucky money.
Colourful Chinese Lanterns
Although they bear different names or different rituals, most countries celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival with the same annual and cultural rituals.
Mid-Autumn Festival Foods & Festivities
The traditional foods are mostly red as the colour represents good luck such as lobster and salmon. Other favourites that accompany the meals are apples, pomegranates, roasted peanuts, pomelo, chestnuts and fatt koh
(sponge cakes). But the Mid-Autumn Festival wouldn’t be as delightful without the colourful lantern displays as well as indulging the variety of yummy mooncakes during this festival.
Lanterns or tang lung
are so inextricably linked to the celebration that it’s often called the Lantern Festival. Some countries decorate the town with large red lanterns
during this day. Traditionally, children are allowed to stay up past midnight as they parade the streets with colourful lanterns during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
The traditional tang lung
is made of paper and celebrants will light up the insides of the lantern with a candle. Children will carry these paper lanterns on the end of a stick as they illuminate the streets on this beautiful day.
Traditional Tang Lung
Today, the modern tang lung
is made from all kinds of materials such as fabric cloth and plastic. Candles are replaced by battery-powered lights and some lanterns make music when they’re switched on too!
A furry tang lung indeed!
Quite a number of creative manufacturers have also created lanterns in shapes of popular cartoon characters. This year, the Angry Bird design is one of the more popular ones as we stumbled upon one made of paper
and another made of plastic
. The display of these various designs result to a fantastic and elaborate display of captivating colours!
Families and friends will assemble together to eat mooncakes (round pastries with a thick lotus seed paste fillings) under the bright harvest moon. These delicate little ‘cakes’ are stamped with the Chinese character for “longevity” and some mooncakes are filled with a whole salted egg yolk which symbolises the full moon.
Traditional mooncake without egg yolk
While most people enjoy the traditional mooncakes, many other flavours have surfaced in the market that varies in flavours and designs. We’ve seen mooncakes made entirely of ice cream
and even jelly
We’re so intrigued by this Caramel Macchiato mooncake
as well! Much like cartoon design lanterns, today’s mooncakes are also stamped with the face of cartoon characters. Check out this Doraemon mooncake
In the spirit of the Mid-Autumn Festival, we at Koolred have mooncakes and colourful lanterns Koolgifts
for you to send to your friends!
Tell us how does your country celebrate this festival? Share with us your stories!
From all of us at Koolred, Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!
Get ready to rev up your engines because we’ve launched a brand new contest with limited edition Cars 2 merchandise to give away – courtesy of AirAsia Megastore! The contest will be held from 5-9 September and 12-15 September 2011 ending daily at 5pm (GMT +8).
Every day we’ll post a question about this new Pixar production movie on our Twitter profile: http://twitter.com/koolred
. Simply answer the daily question correctly while retweeting the tweet posted by @Koolred
Can’t wait to join the race? Here’s what you have to do to win:
1. Be a follower of @Koolred
2. Look out for the daily contest tweet
3. Retweet and reply us with the correct answer:
It’s as simple as that. Wanna know what’s waiting for you at the finish line? Well, everyday one follower will walk away with free, original Cars 2 merchandise
such as sunshades, t-shirts, jigsaw puzzles, watch, toolkit, water tumblers, car stickers, key chains, iPhone 4 skins or a studio art set.
Each winner will win three items from above
The daily winner will be chosen at random and announced at 5.30pm during the contest period. Only one Retweet/RT is counter for entry and all entries should be preceded by the correct answer, followed by the full contest tweet posted by @Koolred
Please be sure to read the contest Terms & Conditions here
Kudos to AirAsia Megastore
for sponsoring the awesome prizes in this contest. Do drop by airasiamegastore.com
for more original Cars 2 merchandises which you can purchase with a 10% discount online.
Wanna be a star winner? Get ready, set, TWEET