Monthly Archives: February 2012

5 cool travel Pinterest Boards

#1 When I Win the Lottery by Stephanie Nelson

This board by Stephanie has awesome pins of infinity pools, in-air dining pods, rice terraces and waterfalls!

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#2 Cool Rooms Spaces by Riven

I can spend hours watching bathrooms… and this board including infinity bathtubs and outdoor ones is definitively an inspiring one!

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#3 Getaways by Kamari Copeland

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Kamari includes pins of great hotels and views, like see-through kayaks, super-slides, polar lights and elephants!

 

#4 Travel Plans by Christine Amber

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Christine pins inspiring landscape and city views in her Travel Plans. She even has a view of the mountain close to my native city (Chartreuse in France)!

 

#5 Travel Dreams by Andrea Hotop

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Andrea’s pins include the beautiful Amanpulo beach in the Philippines, a dream pool on the French Riviera, a sofa in the Maldives and and kayaking in Japan.

 

 

#One more board: Hammocks

Another board by Stephanie (see the “When I Wine the Lottery” above) focusing on hammocks! Anyone does not love hammocks?

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Nice App! Use Photosynth to take Panoramic Pictures on your trips!

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Let’s face it; large, bulky, DSLRs and even point and shoots are starting to become a hassle to carry around as an extra device when travelling.  When taking those quick weekend vacations or even the long ones around the region, I have realized that ditching that camera is a huge stress reducer (no more worries about being stolen or simply forgotten at the makan place) and more convenient and way more fun.

Right now, I’m on the iPhone4. The camera is great, I can perform modifications (cropping/adjusting) on the fly, I can apply emotional imperfections using instagram, and most importantly, upload my shots to social networks on the go!  

Today, I have luckily stumbled upon another photo tool for my phone to bring my camera pictures to a whole new level.  Microsoft’s Photosynth (free in the appstore) allows you to take panoramic pictures in a super easy to use, light-weight application. Even more impressive, is that these panoramic shots are depth senisitive (in other, words, 3d, you can move around the picture using phosynth.net).  But for today, we’re only going to get into the regular panoramic pictures. Did I mention it was free?  Here’s an example of the interactive pano capabilities:

Here’s what the app CAN do, but I mostly use it for flat panoramic pictures.

Okay, the interactive panoramics are fine and dandy, but I really enjoy using this app to put together standard non-interactive panoramics.  First, the app skips the foreplay; jumps right into the camera mode and asks you to snap the first picture.  Then, you simply have to move the phone around – in any direction or orientation – and Photosynth will take the pictures automatically (tip: move it slowly) to build the panorma.  Cool thing is you can move it up, down, left right, in any direction and orientation and Photosynth will construct the image.  Once you feel satisfied, hit the finish button ahd Photosynth will stitch the pictures for you in to one image which will be stored in your main apple photos application.  Cool huh?  You can now share it or save it.

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Moving the green square outside of the border will make photosynth take a shot.

Now for fine tuning; access your photos in the photo app.  Photosynth puts the pics in your camera roll.  Open the newly taken panoramic and you will notice that it’s not a perfect frame shot.  Simply hit the edit button and crop away to your heart’s content.  There, perfect panoramic shot of that beautil Balinesean beach!

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Photoshop of JFDI taken with low light.  Still good!

So ditch the SLR, grab your phone and start snapping some cool pics to share with your firends while travelling!  Make sure to send one to the flocations team after you discover your next escape.  [email protected] and we will feature you on our blog!

:)

Tudor Coman

 

 

 

How I got my round trip flight Singapore to Krabi for free! (and how you can do the same)

Can travelling be free? I think so!

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Pic by Alicepopkorn on Flickr.

Here is an example: I went for the week end from Singapore to Krabi, paying S$169 to Tiger Airways. But is it really an expense? I saved more than S$200 on the way… basically making a profit while enjoying a cool weekend on the beach!

  • Products

Many products are way cheaper in Thailand than in Singapore, hence you can use your trip to get products you need to buy anyway, for example contraception pills: 

Diane 35, a popular pill, costs S$30 in Singapore but only ฿200 (equivalent of S$8) in Krabi.
For a 6 months supply, that’s S$132 saved!
(another popular pill, Yasmin, is sold around ฿380 in Krabi vs. S$32 in Singapore, saving you S$15 per box)

  • Leisure

I like to indulge a massage once in a while, but I prefer to pay ฿400 for a 1h full body massage in Krabi than the usual S$60 in Singapore.

That’s a S$45 saving! (even through Groupon offers the saving is not that big!)

  • Duty Free

At the end of the trip, the Singapore Changi Airport Duty Free shop is welcoming passengers to buy 1 bottle of spirit, 1 of wine and 1L of beers. I went for 1 Bacardi Gold at S$22.7, saving S$42 over the S$65 it costs at ColdStorage.

How much savings is it? 132 +45 + 42 = 219! Yes, S$219 saved in a week end, paying back more than the round trip flight!!!

There are many other products arbitrage one can do to save money while travelling, depending on your need. That’s an easy way to make travelling free!

What the hell is this?!

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You may have recently noticed that we have added an email wall to Flocations.  Don’t worry, we haven’t shut the site down nor have become pompous on our way to glory.  We’re just trying to have a better method of contact with our supporters for the sake of product improvement.  Of course, the travellers that input their emails will get access to our slew of new features early!  If this doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can quickly go to the bottom of the screen and click the prototype link.  Everything will still be there…  

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Love,

 

The Flocations Team

Way to go, you missed Valentine’s…

The Flocations team knows your pain so we have decided to put together a “no think, just go” weekend suggestion. Really, take a look at our map for this weekend and you will see you have VERY limited options as everyone is probably doing something grand.  Except you.  That’s why you’re here.  So take your lovely partner to Kuching or Penang as they are both under $200 return.  Perhaps use this savings to splurge on spas, food, nice hotel and basic “I’m sorry’s”.  Perhaps you will be forgiven for your many, many (manly) mistakes.  

Kuching, Malaysia

Once the capital of the White Rajahs of Sarawak, now with a population of some 600,000, Kuching is small enough to walk around but interesting enough to keep you there for several days, and a good base for exploring Sarawak. It’s safe and relatively clean.  There is an awesome place where you can go ATVing and doing some adrenaline induced activities, but you won’t.  Maybe next time.  Try a spa.  

Penang, Malaysia

Penang’s beaches are nice, though a little lackluster when compared to those in some other Malaysian states, but this is more than compensated for by the island’s rich multicultural history which is full of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and European influences. Penang is also well known for being the “food paradise” of Malaysia. The backpacker area is called Love Lane…  You may want to try something cheesy and lovey in this area.  Once your partner is throughly unimpressed, it’s time to hit the local food courts.

Love,

The Flocations Team 

 

 

 

Krabi Vacation

Once in Railaigh beach, the whole beach is your sandy oyster.  Stay on the east side or the West side, they are a 5 minute walk away from each other.  The east-side encounters low-tides which are not the most scenic but will in no way ruin your stay.  In fact, capitalize on this; get a cheaper hotel on the east side and walk to the beach on the west side for some fun in the sun.  

Activities to do:

1.  Snorkling, Scuba Diving

2.  Rock Climbing

3.  Kayaking

4.  Fun in the sun

That’s it.  No need to plan for any of these as the beach is littered with shops that serve these activities.  You will literally be able to walk out of your hotel and approach a shop that specializes in these.  

Flocations Speaking at Travel World Distribution tomorrow on Visualization of Data

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Florian will be speaking about the benefits of Discovery Travel and data visualization at this week’s Travel Distribution World conference in Singapore.  Slides to come at a later time!

Travel Distribution World Asia is the leading platform for Asian travel suppliers, travel intermediaries and industry partners to assess & access best practices in driving sales & business opportunities in the travel sector. It is where Asia’s travel industry comes together to leverage on growth opportunities, new business strategies and evaluate new technologies.

“Don’t screw it up!” – The Flocations Team

New Routes to India, Myanmar. Some less traveled places!

Shaw has decided to add a few new routes to Flocations.  Some of these are definteily a bit off the beaten path so bear with me:

1.  Yangon, Myanmar accessible from Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok

Storm is coming -Yangon, Burma by Jason Wang (jwang7)) on 500px.com
Storm is coming -Yangon, Burma by Jason Wang

The city is an amalgamation of British, Burmese, Chinese and Indian influences, and is known for its colonial architecture, which although decaying, remains an almost unique example of a 19th-century British colonial capital. New high-rise buildings were constructed from the 1990s as the government began to allow private investment. However, Yangon continues to be a city of the past, as seen by its longyi-wearing pedestrians, its street vendors and its pungent smells.

2.  Kochi, India, accessible from Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok

Pristine Island, Kerala  by Anoop Negi (Anoop_Negi)) on 500px.com
Pristine Island, Kerala by Anoop Negi

A city born in storm, nurtured in rivalry and established as battling ground for European empires. This phrase makes prefect understanding of Kochi which was formed as an ancient port city after the Great Floods of the Periyar River in 1341. With partitioning of Chera Kerala empire in 14th century, this region came under control of a new dynasty, rivaled by other local feudal lords. With the advent of colonization, Kochi became the first major battle grounds of almost all European powers. However, least it made an impact over the fortunes of this city.

Coffee Shop Map in Singapore

I sometimes say a city is only as good as it’s coffee shops.  It took me a while to figure out, but Singapore has some of the best coffee shops in Asia.  Unfortunately, I still haven’t uncovered all of them.   Here is a public map that tries to pinpoint all the private coffee shops in Singapore.  There are no starbucks here so don’t worry :) .  Please feel free to comment and add!