A Traveller’s Guide To Using Grab In Southeast Asia

A Traveller’s Guide To Using Grab In Southeast Asia

Transportation in Southeast Asia is one of the most complex aspects of travelling to the region and one, that can provide a few headaches.

Or at least, it was.

Prior to the launch of the ride-sharing app “Grab”, travellers would be subject to rude taxi drivers who would demand a higher fare, ride in tuk-tuk, or worse, wait for lady luck to grant them a taxi safely late at night. Those days are over, and now throughout Southeast Asia, travellers can enjoy the ease that comes with booking your own private car or taxi from the convenience of your mobile phone.

 

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grab in Southeast Asia

Use Grab in Southeast Asia to get around.

 

A Traveller’s Guide to Using Grab in Southeast Asia

Below are the steps to follow for using Grab for getting around in Southeast Asia with ease, convenience and cost productive. 

  • Download, register, and start using it. Simply pin your location or enter the address for pickup on the map, and wait for the driver to arrive. You may also communicate with the driver via SMS within the app for free; but if you decide to make a call, charges will apply.
  •  A live GPS feed within the app allows passengers to track the driver’s location.
  • Once the ride has been completed, you can rate your driver on a scale of 1-5 and provide additional feedback if needed.
  • Don’t be late. Grab has a maximum wait time of 5 to 7 minutes (depending on the city); and if you don’t show up in the specified pickup area, the driver has the right to cancel the ride.
  • Drivers are knowledgeable and will always inform passengers about the fare breakdown once you have arrived at the destination.

 

Grab

Get around with Grab and witness the sights in Vietnam.

 

The Countries in Southeast Asia where you can use Grab

Below are a list of countries where you can use the Grab Ride-sharing services.

  1. Singapore: Grab Singapore can be found throughout the whole island country.
  2. Thailand: Grab Thailand currently offers taxi, 7-seater taxi, car, and motorcycle rides. Grab Thailand operates in Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiang Rai, Chaing Mai, Phuket, Ubon Ratchathani, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima, Udon Thani, Songkhla & Hat Yai, Surat Thani and Koh Samui.
  3. Vietnam: Grab Vietnam operates in Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Noi, Da Nang, Quang Ninh, and Khanh Hoa.
  4. Indonesia: Grab Indonesia operates in Jakarta, Bali, Yogyakarta, Aceh, and dozens of other cities.
  5. Philippines: Grab Philippines operates in Manila, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Bacolod, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, and Pampanga.
  6. Malaysia: Grab Malaysia operates in Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Kuching, Melaka, and dozens of other cities.
  7. Cambodia: Grab Cambodia operates in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

 

As a bonus, in all Grab locations, users can choose between cash and cashless options. You may also select from booking a traditional taxi, a private car, or motorcycle; however, the choices vary depending on the offerings available in various cities of specific destinations in Southeast Asia.

 

Southeast Asia

There are easier ways around Southeast Asia.

 

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I’m Walking the Streets of Singapore City – Southeast Asia

I’m Walking the Streets of Singapore City – Southeast Asia

Visiting another destination for the first time means it time to get those walking shoes out again, because this time, I’m walking the streets of Singapore and utterly loving life in this fantastic Southeast Asian city.

Firstly, I like to describe Singapore like a well-oiled machine, the city runs like clockwork and is easily recognisable from the moment you step into the Changi Airport and take a taxi to the city centre.

The transition is smooth, even if the traffic is always flowing.

Not to say it’s perfect, it’s not, peak hour traffic is still peak hour traffic, and at times you will run into issues like you would in any part of the world.

However, the great city of Singapore is clean, well-organised and delightful in so many aspects, that it made walking the streets of Singapore, seem like a lazy Sunday stroll in the park.

 

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Singapore diaries

This is me, and I’m walking the streets of Singapore.

 

Walking the Streets of Singapore

 

 

Stumble across various cultures of the world in one country

I love exploring different cultures, and when Singapore is situated in the central part of Southeast Asia, different cultures are bound to come together. I’ll tell you about a couple of locations that must be considered when visiting Singapore to discover a little culture in other parts of Asia.

Chinatown is a real hit for travellers, and the Singapore edition is undoubtedly up there with one of the best I’ve seen.

Beautiful temples are the major attractions, but often you’ll get caught up in the side streets, enjoying street food, dining at pricey restaurants and buying a souvenir or two from the marketplaces located throughout Chinatown.  

Little India, is appropriately named because it’s precisely that, a little part of India. The streets are densely populated with locals and tourists who are keen to get caught up in the vibrancy of the area and view unique structures and street art.  

Inside Little India is many markets places, retail outlets at plenty of Indian restaurants for those who have a hunger for some delicious butter chicken. 

 

The tooth Relic temple in China town, Singapore.

The Tooth Relic Temple in Chinatown, Singapore.

 

 

Get the camera ready and take millions of photos along the Marina Bay Area

The picturesque Marina Bay is where all the tourist flock to capture the best of Singapore, and quite often it’s where most of your time is spent.

I can remember enjoying numerous quality walks in the area that included a length of the Grand Prix track, the Singapore Flyer and the great Harbour area that comes with beautiful city views in the background.

The major attractions of Singapore that everyone knows and love through travel magazine and newspapers is the real winner along the Marina Bay area that includes The Sands SkyPark, The Merlion and The Gardens by the Bay. 

Getting to each significant attraction can be quite a hike, but nothing says you can’t savour every little bit little at a time, and later on, enjoy a good feed at the Satay by the Bay food court that provides numerous Asian and Western cuisines.

 

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streets of Singapore

Another glorious evening in Singapore over the Marina.

 

Explore the Nature with Singapore City

Anyone that knows me well enough will know that I love to wander the outdoors for a little fresh air and in Singapore, Nature is well and truly alive with a few beautiful locations to have a stroll in various parklands and escape the busy city area.

You can stroll over to Fort Canning, an only stone throw from Clarke Quay, and enjoy a pleasant walk in the outdoors, while also learning about Singapore Wartime history with a paid tour through a real-life War Bunker that was used by the British Army during World War II.

The Botanic Gardens is an even prettier stroll in the park; it’s fantastic to wander past various themes of a  spectacular garden that covers many hectares on the outskirts of Singapore City.

The National Orchard Gardens with is vibrant colours will delight any traveller who strolls through the gates with well-landscaped gardens and impressive water features.

 

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Singapore Botanic Gardens

The open spaces of the Botanic Gardens.

 

 The atmosphere at Clarke Quay is Electric

Night or Day, the atmosphere at Clarke Quay will thrill any tourist who visits one of the most popular tourist attractions in Singapore. To me, Clarke Quay is the perfect spot for a couple to a  romantic time, which threw me off track, being in Singapore alone. 

It didn’t ruin the mood too much, because I loved wandering through the Quay, it has an abundance of riverside dining options (including a Hooters), a mass of cruise boats that are ready to take you down The Singapore River for more breathtaking City views.

The Quay also has a range of retail outlets, ice-cream shops, bars and exciting street entertainment that thrills the onlooking crowd. The action never stops at Clarke Quay.

 

Clarke Quay, Singapore

Watching the boats come in at Clarke Quay.

 

Shop till you drop in a world of marketplaces and shopping malls

I’m not a shopping enthusiast by any means, but it doesn’t mean you don’t get caught in the euphoria of it all while walking the streets of Singapore, while you come across plenty of shopping malls and markets.

Bugis Street is a favourite of mine and for most tourists to Singapore. It’s easy to see why, with a vibrant retail area, where you’ve got your modern shopping malls that is a tad on the pricey side.

In another nearby spot, there are market stalls that are sold all types of goods at a bargain price, with a decent food court that offers quality food at an affordable price.

Orchard Street is another upmarket shopping zone that is all class and certainly worth a peek. Even if shopping is not your forte, there are plenty of sights to see and street art to gaze at.

If anything, it’s a great location to sit at Starbucks to escape the heat and enjoy a coffee frappe, you can leave the shopping part to those who enjoy it most, unless that person is you. 

 

Heart of Singapore city

Bugis Street, Singapore

 

Life is grand while I am walking the streets of Singapore

There are many fantastic destinations in the world, but walking the streets of Singapore is truly a treat that needs to be savoured and taken slowly, while you devour everything that this charming city has to offer.

Sure, there will be times when you need to take the train to get to your next destination in Singapore, but when you get the chance, take the slow approach and explore this beautiful city with your own two feet, I promise you, that you won’t regret it.

 

Are you visiting Singapore for an enjoyable old fashioned stroll in the city? Book your hotel room with TripAdvisor.

 

Marina Bay - Singapore

Enjoy a stroll along the streets of Singapore.

 

Enjoyed reading the walking the Streets of Singapore? Check out these articles too.

Walking the Streets of Ubud – Bali, Indonesia

 

 

 

 

 

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Singapore Diaries: Day 4 – Exploring the Heart of Singapore City

Singapore Diaries: Day 4 – Exploring the Heart of Singapore City

Exhaustion comes to mind when I think about how I felt when I got out of bed on the morning of day four in Singapore. Through the first couple of days, I had walked well over fifty-kilometres in the distance, and my legs were feeling heavy as I pondered how the rest of the day was going to pan out.

Heavy legs, but not wholly weighed down.

There was no time to be weighed down, because, on day-four of Singapore Diaries, I upgraded hotels to the Nuve Urbane Hotel, where I was located much closer to the city centre and had a more significant opportunity to explore the heart of Singapore City.

 

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Singapore

The beautiful sights of Singapore.

 

Highlights of Singapore Diaries: Day 4 – Exploring the Heart of Singapore City

 

Checking into the Boutique Nuve Urbane Hotel

 It was time to pack the old backpack, check out of the Fragrance Hotel in Geylang and move about four-kilometres west to a more central location of Singapore, and checked myself into the Nuve Urbane Hotel in Lavender.

Now, I am not a spokesman for the hotel, but it was the ideal boutique hotel for a solo traveller. My room only slept one, as it contained only a single bed, but the room had all the perks, a television, air-conditioning, private bathroom, real coffee and a free minibar that consisted of biscuits, chips and nuts. It was happy snacking while watching a movie during the evening.

 

 

Shopping at Bugis Street

Bugis street is excellent for travellers who love that vibrant street shopping where plenty is going on, and a bargain in Singapore can be found. Unless you step into the over-priced shopping mall that is in the same precinct.

 

Bugis Street

Frozen is alive on Bugis Street.

 

Bugis street is full of market places that are stocked with clothing, souvenirs, bags, flowers, and a whole lot of items that are not of bad quality. Even if you want to have a bite to eat or purchase a cheap juice on the fly for about a dollar, it’s all there to have in Bugis Street.

If you love a professional massage, Bugis Street, has a handful of massage parlours available to the tourist (no naughty stuff, but can’t speak of them all), the women at front may try to be persuasive, but it’s all in good nature and an excellent way to relax after being on your feet for a few hours. Just keep in mind that in Singapore, a relaxing massage on Bugis Street doesn’t come cheap.

 

Bugis Street, Singapore.

Bugis Street, Singapore.

Bugis Street, Singapore.

Crowds come in at Bugis Street.

 

Step into Chinatown

 I love Chinatown in Singapore, it’s a vibrant atmosphere, and it stacked with people of all nationalities who are looking for a good time out with this particular part of the city draped in Chinese decorations.

There are lots to see and do in Chinatown, especially from a food and shopping point of view. Inside is an abundance markets stalls, window shops and food places of either affordable snack food from vendors, or fine dining in a pricy restaurant.

 

Sri Mariammam Temple

Sri Mariamman Temple

 

If you want a bit of Chinese tradition within the town, you can marvel at the temples, with the most popular being the Sri Mariamman Temple and the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, very popular with the happy photographers out there keen to find the next shot.  

 

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The tooth Relic temple in China town, Singapore.

The Tooth Relic temple in Chinatown, Singapore.

China town, Singapore.

Chinatown, Singapore.

 

The Magnificent Clarke Quay

 We all know of Clarke Quay, and it is no surprise that is one of the most popular night spots in Singapore.

Located around the banks of Singapore River, tourists and locals flock to the riverside for nothing but to sit with their lover, eat ice-cream and watch ferries go by while admiring the colour and pleasant atmosphere around them.

 

Clarke Quay, Singapore

Watching the boats come in at Clarke Quay.

 

If fine-dining with gorgeous views is to your liking, there are many riverside restaurants on offer that will cost a fortune, but sometimes it is just great to splurge while on holiday and cherishes the beautiful moments that you are experiencing.

After dinner, you can opt to take a pleasant stroll along the river, or see more of the beautiful Singapore City night lights with a romantic ferry cruise.

It’s correctly set up for a beautiful evening in Clarke Quay, the lover’s hub of Singapore. 

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Check out other editions of Singapore Diaries

Day 1 – New Adventures in Singapore

Day 2 – Living it up in the outdoors of Singapore

Day 3 – Sentosa Island and Gardens by the Bay

 

Clarke Quay, Singapore

Clarke Quay, Singapore.

Clarke Quay, Singapore

Christmas is on show at Clarke Quay.

 


 

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Singapore

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3 Awesome Southeast Asia Destinations to Visit that are NOT on the Coast

3 Awesome Southeast Asia Destinations to Visit that are NOT on the Coast

When you think of Southeast Asia Destinations, the instant thought process is beautiful beaches, palms trees with hanging coconuts and sipping cocktails all day long by the swimming pool without a single care in the world. However, t’s important not toexclude those inland destinations that often get neglected when planning your holiday to the famous tourist region of Asia.

Visiting towns away from the coastal areas does not mean paradise is instantly taken away, in fact, at times it could be the preferred option. When it comes to choosing any amounts of Inland Destinations for your Southeast Asia travel experience, the choices are plentiful and you are quite spoilt for options when doing your research of specifics locations.

How about a lending hand? Well, I can help you out, below are three places to visit in Southeast Asia, that are NOT on the coast, yet will still provide paradise in the tropics.

A man and his bull

Inland Destinations in Southeast Asia.

Southeast Asia Destinations to Visit that are NOT on the Coast

 

Da Lat, Vietnam

Vietnam is full of chaotic cities and glorious coastlines but in the Central Highlands of Southern Vietnam there is another little secret that’s ready to be explored. Da Lat, is the city I am referring to and it is the picturesque scenery, beautiful lakes and a unique township that makes Da Lat a city that needs every traveller’s attention for your Southeast Asia trip.

Inland Destination

Inland Destination – Da lat, Vietnam.

 

What’s to like about Da Lat

 

–          The picturesque scenery –

Within the Da Lat area or the outskirts, the region is full stunning scenery that gives Da Lat its breathtaking views, add the abundance of natural water features and it becomes a photographer’s dream.

Day tours are naturally very popular in the area and a full day exploring the region is the best way to make the most of the outdoors in Da Lat. Hiring a personal driver is the cheapest and most efficient option to get full value in the day.

Da Lat

Ho Xuan Lake in Da Lat.

 

Where to go in Da Lat

There are plenty of attractions in Da Lat to go and see, like an amazing bakery in down town Da Lat, a host of Buddhist temples and a magnificent flower centre for those who love colour in their life. Here are a few priorities whenever you reach destination Da Lat.

–          Explore the waterfalls –

Da Lat is full of lively waterfalls with many falls situated far and wide in the surrounding region. Grab a personal driver or hire a car and see as many waterfalls as time allows. The popular falls are the Elephant and Datanla Waterfalls, but take a pick.

Da Lat, Vietnam

Elephant Waterfalls in Da Lat, Vietnam.

 

–          The Da Lat Flower Centre –

Buzzing with glamor and colour, the Da Lat Flower Centre needs no convincing to be on the list of attractions. A short taxi ride or a decent stroll (preferred options) from the city centre, the flower centre is full of various plants, flowers and inside attractions and you’ll spend a good couple of hours exploring the pretty attraction.

 

–          Da Lat Cathedral –

Even if you are not religious, you will love the light coloured Cathedral of Da Lat, that is a popular attractions for all travellers. No entrance fee is required to go inside the grounds of the Cathedral and a few pictures are bound to be taken, for good reason too.

 

Da Lat Cathedral

Da Lat Cathedral.

 

Where to Stay

Budget stays and boutique hotels are everywhere in Da Lat and if you are travelling with a family you can save heaps of dollars by staying at the Nguyen Minh Hostel. The hostel contains private rooms, is in a good and lively location, reasonable bedding and all for only $20-dollars a night.

 

Read more about Da Lat with this post about Five incredible things you need to visit.

 

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Inland destinations - Da lat

Ngyuyen Minh Hostel in Da Lat.

 

 

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Ubud in Bali is bustling town that is full of life and character and adds to your travel Asia experience . About an hour inland from the tourist hotspot in Kuta, you don’t always need a beach to enjoy paradise in Bali, not when you have epic shopping, lively streets and stunning resorts with gorgeous swimming pools that let you enjoy the Bali heat.

Ubud

Inland Destinations – Ubud, Bali.

 

What’s to likeabout Ubud

 

–          A vibrant cultural township –

A vibrant culture hits you at once upon reaching your destination. You can visit fine temples, an abundance of rice fields, traditional dance performances and there are busy walking streets with lots going on that makes Ubud popular for all tourists to the region.

inland destinations Ubud

The markets in Ubud Bali.

 

Where to go in Ubud

In Ubud there are plenty of places to go such as culture shows, market places, temples and many more going on in Ubud, below is a list of attractions in this vibrant, Balinese town.

–          Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary –

Flock to the Sanctuary where the monkeys are out in full force and will at times attempt to jump on you. Not only a nice stroll in a magical forest with monkeys, inside there are wonderful temple structures to gaze your eyes upon as well. All for a small entrance fee.

 

Monkey forest temple

Temple with in the forest.

 

–          Tegallalang Rice Terrace –

The gorgeous rice paddies fields and the surrounding scenery will get your camera clicking frantically as capture images so beautiful. No beaches in Ubud, but the Tegallalang is more than a fitting alternative.

 

–          Balinese Legong Dance –

Nothing says culture in Ubud like the traditional Balinese Legong Dances, that has all sorts of costumes and creatures coming out at night, including beautiful women in a traditional Bali dress. These performances can be found in a couple of locations at different times in the evening and locals are giving away flyers at every corner.

Inland destinations

Balinese Legong dance.

 

Where to Stay

Magnificent Resorts make up most of the accommodations in Ubud and it can be quite costly. Anyway, do your homework and you will find suitable accommodation for any required budget. A stunner of a resort in Ubud is the Alaya Resort, great restaurants, stunning gardens and beautifully interior designed rooms that makes Alaya the pick of the crop when seeking a luxury stay.

 

Ubud is a great walking town in Bali, why not check it out for yourself with this article.

 

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inland destinations

The Alaya Resort in Ubud, Bali.

 

 

Vientiane, Laos

When Laos is a landlocked country, any city or town within the borders of this unique country will obviously be an inland destination. Vientiane is the pick of a lot, mainly because it is such a fascination to visit a Southeast Asian capital city where the population is modest and the streets are not saturated with pedestrians or motor-bikes.

inland destinations Southeast Asia

Inland destinations – Vientiane Laos.

 

What’s to like about Vientiane

 

–          The Laid-back Nature of a City –

Being a less populated city, it is enjoyable to be able to walk down the streets with freedom, unlike other over populated cities in Southeast Asia. In Vientiane, you can cross the road without any major fears of getting run down and walk the markets without every shop owner begging you to buy their items.

The Laidback nature of Vientiane allows you to cool off with a relaxing beer in the bar, easy access throughout the city either by foot or a tuc-tuc and enjoy local cuisine without the need to rush. It’s Vientiane and you are in their time now.

 

Morning prayer in Laos

Morning prayer in a Laos Buddhist Temple in Vientiane, Laos.

 

Where to go

There is lots to see and do in Vientiane with many temples, palaces, parks, markets and attractions on offer in the city, below is a list of many of must see attractions.

–          Patuxai War Monument –

The Patuxai War Monument stands proud in central Vientiane for all to see. A monument built to celebrate the country’s independence from France in the 1950’s, gather to the fine landmark and capture 360-views of the city from the top.

Inland destinations

The Patuxai War Monument in Vientiane, Laos.

 

–          Ban Anou Night Markets –

Opened from five every evening of every day, The Night Markets are one of the finest you’ll see on any Asia trip. Ban Anou Night Markets offer a vibrant atmosphere with good affordable products for sale to the public, you can also try local street food and enjoy river walks by the Mekong River with Thailand in full view on the other side.

 

–          The Golden Palace –

One of the finest Buddhist temples in the city with plenty of other fascinating buildings on site that will occupy the photo album. The Golden Palace will take most of your attention with its stunning colour and large presence a clear standout.

The Golden Palace

The Golden Palace in Vientiane, Laos.

 

Where to Stay

Vientiane is full of affordable hotels or cheap hostels spread out through the city. The Inter City Hotel has spacious rooms and comfortable beds and is as good as it gets if you want a hotel room with all the comforts. The Hotel overlooks the Mekong River and Night Markets, with café’s, Bor Pen Yang rooftop bar and restaurants within close vicinity.

 

need to learn more about this unique capital city, here are five reasons you need to visit Vientiane.

 

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Intercity Hotel

Intercity Hotel, Vientiane, Laos

 

There you have it, three of the finest Southeast Asia destinations that are not situated on the coast that need to be seen when visiting Asia. They may not be the best places to visit in Southeast Asia, but you’ll gain an educational cultural experience throughout your adventures.

Check out these guides from Amazon when Travelling Around Southeast Asia

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