How To Apply For B1/B2 US Visa at the US Embassy in Malaysia

How To Apply For B1_B2 US Visa at US Embassy in Malaysia
The US B1/B2 visa application, otherwise known as business/tourism visa, is the most nerve-wracking one I’ve experienced yet the most rewarding (after obtaining approval of course!). The application fee is substantial and non-refundable, hence I highly advise to conduct prior research to increase your chances of approval.

Although the scope of this blog is for B1/B2 visa at the USA Embassy in Malaysia, it will provide you a good overview on how US tourist visa applications look like in general, whichever part of the world you’re applying from. The link below is the most comprehensive resource for those intending to apply at the US embassy in Malaysia:
Step 1 – Pay the visa fee
Before applying for a nonimmigrant visa, the visa application fee must be paid. The fee is non-refundable whether the visa is granted or not. The fee for B1/B2 (Business/Tourism)Visa is MYR 688.00 ($160 USD). For the full list of visa fees click here.
There are 3 options to make a payment:
  • Electronic Funds Transit
  • JomPay
  • Cash deposit at any Ambank branch
A thorough explanation on the payment options can be found here.
I opted for cash deposit at an Ambank branch.
Take note of the receipt number as it will be needed in scheduling your appointment.
Step 2 – Complete the Form DS-160 online
Each applicant must have their own completed Form DS-160 submitted online prior to the interview at the Embassy. The barcode number on the Form DS-160 confirmation page is required in order to book your interview.
Make sure that all the information entered are true and correct. Review your answers prior to pressing the submit button to ensure accuracy and completeness.
Print the confirmation page which must be brought to the interview.
To know more about DS-160, click here.
Step 3 – Schedule your online appointment
To schedule an appointment click here.
To schedule a visa appointment, the following documents must be available:
  • Passport valid for travel to the United States with a validity date at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States
  • Visa application fee payment receipt
  • DS-160 confirmation page
Tip: Research on possible interview questions and have a mock interview with a friend or family. This way you are better prepared, and it helps in building confidence and coherence.
Step 4 – Interview
The time on the appointment is the time to arrive at the embassy and not the interview with the consular officer. Expect to queue up for an average of 45 minutes before your actual interview.
What to bring on the interview day
Required:
  • Appointment confirmation page
  • Passport (more than 6 months validity)
  • DS160 confirmation page
  • MRV fee payment receipt
  • One recent photo (hard-copy), 50mm x 50mm (2in. x 2in); full face against a white background; taken within the last 6 months; no glasses, color contact lenses, hats, wigs, polaroids, or retouched prints; head coverings must not cover part of the applicant’s face or cast a shadow on their face. To see examples of acceptable and unacceptable photos click this link: Photo Examples​​​​
  • Visa applicants under 18 years old are required to interview with at least one parent. Parent is required to provide the original birth certificate during the interview appointment.
  • For Malaysians bring along your MyKad, and foreigners bring an extra ID card
I brought (optional) supporting documents in case the interviewer may ask for it:
  • Employment letter showing my job title, salary, and confirmation of my business trip to the US, along with vacation leave dates
  • Confirmation letter that my employer will bear the finances of the business trip
  • Agenda of business trip
  • 6 months payslip
  • Bank statements
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Spouse’s Malaysian IC
  • Mortgage documents (Yes, I can be over prepared at times 🙂)
  • Contact information of my relatives in the US
  • Itinerary for 1 week of tourism
What to wearSmart casual
What to NOT bring
Electronic devices other than a mobile phone such as laptops and tablets. The embassy cannot store backpacks as well.
Queue 1 – Outside the US embassy
Surrender your MyKad/ID card in exchange of a visitor’s ID, and deposit your mobile phone.
Queue 2 – Biometrics counter
Provide your passport and 1 2×2 photo, and have your biometrics taken
Queue 3 – Interview counter
Surrender your passport to consular officer and proceed with the interview. My interview lasted less than 5 minutes.
Some tips:
  • Dress for success
  • Establish some rapport by greeting the officer. A ‘hello’ or ‘good morning’ will do.
  • Breathe, keep calm
  • Answer truthfully with confidence
  • Keep answers short and sweet. Only elaborate if needed. One to 2 short sentences is enough.
  • Only provide supporting documents when asked to. No need to be super proactive on this one. I was never asked for a single document though.
Here are the questions I’ve been asked along with my short and sweet answers:
  • Why are you visiting the US?: My company is sending me to LA for an event we’re hosting.
  • Have you been to the US before?: Not yet.
  • What is the name of your company?: Mindvalley
  • What does your company do?: We’re an education tech company specializing in personal development.
  • Who is going to finance your expense?s: My company is financing my plane tickets, food and accommodation for 1 week.
  • How long have you been working for your company?: 1 year and 3 months
  • What is your job title: Project manager
  • How much do your earn per month: XXXX
  • What are you going to do at the event: I’ll be managing the merchandise booth at the event
  • Who is going to pay for your services at the event, is it your company here in Malaysia or a company in the US?: My company here in Malaysia.
After asking these questions, the officer said “Your visa is approved, here’s a list of what to do next (handing a printed document).” Wohooooo! You will know right there and then if the application for visa is approved or declined.
Step 5 – Passport Delivery/Pickup
Depending on the method selected, the passport will be:
  • Delivered to the designated location selected when you scheduled your appointment within 5 business days on the following business day after receiving an email/SMS notification. I received mine within 3 business days.
  • Be available for pickup from the pick-up location selected between 9 am to 6 pm on the following business day after receiving an email/SMS notification
  • If you are collecting your passport bring a valid government-issued ID and the appointment confirmation letter
  • If someone else is collecting on your behalf bring:
  • Representative’s original valid government-issued ID
  • Photocopy of applicant’s valid government-issued ID
  • Applicant’s appointment confirmation letter
  • Signed authorization letter with:
  • Rep’s full name, date of birth, and ID details
  • Applicant’s ID details
  • Applicant’s signature or parent’s signature if applicant is a minor
  • Rep’s signature
When I received my passport, only did I know the validity of the visa. It showed 10 years!
References
I’m sharing these useful links I’ve consumed while researching and preparing for my application:
Wishing you all the best in your application!

Foreign Spouse Malaysia – How To Renew The Spouse Visa And Work Permit 2019

How to renew the spouse visa & work permit 2019
After 3 years of being married to my Malaysian spouse, I have applied for several passes to legally stay in Malaysia namely:
  • 2 Short Term Social Visit Passes with a validity of 3 months each (2016)
  • 1 Long Term Social Visit Pass (LTSVP/Spouse Visa) with a validity of 6 months (2017)
  • 2 LTSVPs with a validity of 1 year each (2017 to 2019)
Once again we paid a visit to the PKNS Complex in Shah Alam to renew my Spouse Visa & Work Permit with high hopes that I will be granted more than a year’s validity. This time around I made some extra preparations such as securing a new passport with a 10-year validity. My old passport, where my expiring spouse visa and work permit is stamped, is still valid until June 2021. But because I was determined to apply for a 5-year pass, I intentionally renewed my passport.
We arrived at 6 am on a Wednesday. As expected we have about a hundred people lined up waiting for the complex gates to open at 7 am. From the main gate, we all have to run as fast as we could to reach the immigration office at the 2nd floor to get a queue number. Queue numbers are limited and that is why we made a little sacrifice to arrive really early. Once the queue numbers run out for the day, applicants have to come back the next business day and re-live the same experience.
Step 1 – Get Queue Number
My husband reached 1st in line. From the queue right outside the immigration office, we have to wait another 30 minutes to finally get a queue number.
Step 2 – Submit Documents
Once our number was called we presented the original and photocopies of the following documents to the immigration officer:
Spouse Visa Renewal
  • Imm. form 38
  • Imm. form 55
  • Surat Akuan stamped by a commissioner of oaths
  • Old Passport and photocopies of bio page and all visas/passes that have been issued by the immigration
  • New Passport and photocopy of bio page
  • Photocopy and physical IC of Malaysian Spouse
  • Photocopy and original Marriage Certificate
Work Permit Renewal
  • Employer Confirmation letter stamped by LHDN
  • Company registration forms 9, 24 and 49
  • Copy of e-BE for the previous year assessment and EA (LHDN form/Income Tax Report)
  • Photo of company signboard/office
We pushed our luck and applied for a 5-year pass. Some foreign spouses have shared that this is no longer being issued but we decided to give it a try.
Step 3 – Make A Payment
After the submission of documents at around 7:45 am we were instructed to come back at 10 am to make a payment.
We came back at around 10 am and handed over the receipt and queue number to the reception. We waited for another 20 minutes for our number to be called. The total fee paid was MYR 378. I felt a spark of hope because this amount was way more than what I used to pay for a 1-year pass.
We were advised to wait for another 2 hours to collect my passport. This is progress! For the past few years, collection of passport is scheduled a few days after the application.
Step 4 – Collect Passport
At this point all we did was wait for another 2 hours. Once my name was called, we hurried at the counter to collect my passport with a 3-year Spouse Visa wohooo! Not bad at all.
Step 5 – Review Visa & Permit Granted
This extra step is just as important. I checked my new passport thoroughly and found that my work permit was not there. We went back to the immigration officer to have this stamped on my new passport.
Counter-checking my visa and work permit has been 2nd nature since a similar incident happened to me last year. My work permit reflected my old employer and position instead of the current one.
Overall time spent from running to the immigration office until collection of passport – 6 hours.
I’m so glad that we don’t have to do this again next year, but rather on 2022! Hopefully by that time I can write about my experience on how to apply for permanent residency. If you found this blog helpful, please feel free to share.

How To Renew Your Passport At The Philippine Embassy in Malaysia

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Preparation is king in lodging any type of application, specially if it involves consular or immigration services. As my experience has been flawless, I am sharing some tips and information that you may need beforehand to ensure that your trip to the Philippine Embassy is seamless and quick. Starting off with:
The Requirements
  1. Accomplished Application Form
  2. Current ePassport with photocopy of data page
  3. Original and photo-copy of PSA authenticated documents that will support the change of name (if applicable) Marriage Contract, Annotated Birth Certificate, Annotated Marriage Contract to show annulment/divorce/court ordered instruction, or Death Certificate of Spouse  
Although name change was not applicable for me (as a married applicant). I’ve chosen to retain my “maiden” name, and was therefore required to submit a copy of my report of marriage (in the absence of my PSA authenticated marriage contract).
What to do before visiting the embassy
  • Download & Fill out the Passport Renewal Form – click the link below:
  • Photocopy all the documents required (and others which may be good to have including spouse’s IC and current visa because overpreparation is always better)
  • Bring cash. All transactions are paid in cash. Credit/debit cards are not yet accepted
  • Plan outfit. Applicants are required to wear modest clothing for passport photo capture.
Best time to visit?
I’ve visited the Philippine Embassy on various occasions, from applying for legal capacity to contract marriage, to reporting my marriage and very recently renewing my passport. With the exception of my most recent visit, the first few times have been quite a struggle due to the huge number of people being served in the morning. Hence, the best time to pay a visit is around past 2 pm on either Thursdays or Fridays. The embassy closes at 4 pm.
Passport Renewal Application Process
  • Show duly filled out passport renewal form + other documents to the reception and get a number. Wait until your number gets called out and proceed to the appropriate window
  • Show your documents to the person in charge for initial encoding and checking
  • Proceed to the cashier once your number is called to pay for the renewal fee. Cost: MYR 288.00
  • Proceed to window 6 for further encoding of details, as well as picture and biometrics taking. All jewelleries must be taken off for photo-taking.
Total time spent at the embassy, about 30 minutes!
Release and Claiming:
Passports usually arrive from Manila one to two months from the date of application. Wait for the availability of the passport through the Embassy’s website http://www.philembassykl.org.my/finder/index.php;
If you find this blog helpful, please feel free to spread the word by clicking on the share button. 📷

How To Apply For Australian Travel Visa Online

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Among the few countries that I have applied a tourist visa for, Australia is easily the most nerve-wracking, and at the same time the most efficient. Nerve-wracking because it takes up to 18 to 28 days for the Australian High Commission to make a decision, and costs about MYR 425 (PHP 5,362) with no guarantees of approval. Efficient because the application is 90% online, therefore there’s no need to queue up at the embassy with stacks of papers to submit. For the other 10%, I’ll share the details as we go along.

Pre-Visa Application Research

Explore your visa options for visiting by clicking this link: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-finder/visit

Select the purpose of your visit, and the country of your passport

 

I’ve selected the option Holiday for my purpose, and entered Philippines as the country of passport.

  • My visa option is Visitor visa (subclass 600)
  • Visa cost – $140 AUD (MYR 401 / PHP 5,062P)
  • Processing Time – 18 to 28 days

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Now that I know which visa stream to apply for, time to get the real process started.

Step 1 – Create An Account via https://online.immi.gov.au

This step is pretty straight-forward. I entered all the necessary information such as:

  • Current location (from which country am I lodging my application from)
  • Legal status 
  • Why am I at my current location and the date of my current visa (applicable for those who are applying for the visa outside of their country)
  • The rest are relevant information about me including information that prove my identity
  • My travel companion (adding my spouse makes the application stronger in my opinion)
  • Non-accompanying members of the family is also needed (like seriously – I’ve enumerated my immediate family in the Philippines and Malaysian in-laws for this)
  • Contact in Australia – This will only appear if you answer ‘Yes’ to the question: “Will the applicant visit any relatives, friends or contacts while in Australia?”
  • Employment Details
  • Funding details – I’ve broken down my funding details to include funding from my spouse, my own salary and the contribution of my Aussie contacts in terms of accommodation

Tips: * Remember your username (email) and password; *Bookmark the Immi page so you can easily login and attach important documents as needed

Step 2 – Attach As Many Supporting Documents As You Can

In this section you can attach up to 60 documents to support your visa application. I’ve attached around 29 documents before I clicked on ‘Submit Application’. The good thing is, the applicant is not bound to complete the application from the time the Immi account was created. It took me a few days to attach all the necessary documents before submitting.

Some of the documents I’ve attached are the following:

  • Travel Document – Scanned copy of passport
  • Passport-size photo
  • Invitation from family / friends – signed invitation letter
  • Evidence of the financial status and funding for visit – Employment letter, 3-month payslip, personal bank statements, 2018 income tax return, spouse’s 3-month payslip
  • Evidence of planned tourism activities in Australia – 2-week itinerary
  • Evidence of previous travel – Photos of entry/exit stamped pages of the current passport and travel visas
  • Other documents – Scanned copies of Marriage certificate and Spouse Visa

Step 3 – Submit Application And Pay Visa Processing Fee

As the visa application is done online, so is the payment. While credit card is the most convenient way, you may also pay through bank transfer or other methods. Once I made the  payment, I received an instant notification + invoice in my registered email address.

Screen Shot 2019-05-20 at 12.00.10 AM

Step 4 – Set Up Appointment For Biometrics

*Takes about 5 minutes online

Biometrics is only required if an applicant applies:

  • for a visa that is part of the biometrics program
  • from a country that is part of our biometrics program

In this case, Malaysia is part of the biometrics program. You can find the list of countries that are part of the biometrics program by visiting: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-support/meeting-our-requirements/biometrics

The document below is the biometrics letter from the embassy which instructed me to visit an Australian Visa Application Center (not an embassy but an agency that partners with the Australian High Commission)

Screen Shot 2019-05-20 at 12.01.29 AM

*If you are applying from Malaysia, click this website to set up for biometrics appointment: https://www.vfsglobal.com/australia/malaysia/biometric_data_collection.html

Once I’ve completed appointment setting, I received a confirmation email with an attached appointment letter.

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*Attached appointment letter

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I’ve completed the appointment process right after I’ve submitted my application. Steps 3 and 4 can be done in 1 go.

Step 5 – Provide Biometrics At An Australian Visa Application Center (AVAC)

*takes about an hour including the queue/wait

This is 10% of the process which is done in person. On the day of my appointment I visited the AVAC in Kuala Lumpur. Address: Suite 19.06, 19th Floor Wisma MCA 163 Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.

I have the following documents handy:

  • Passport
  • Letter for Biometric From Embassy
  • Appointment Letter (from AVAC)
  • Application Fee: MYR 117 payable by cash only

Step 6 – Wait for 18 to 28 Days

This part was the most nerve-wracking for me. I kept on checking my Immi account daily, just in case additional documents were required then I can act on it straight away.

Tip: Just chill and stop checking your Immi account. :))

On the 21st day I received an email from the Australian High Commission asking for additional information. (This was a bit heartbreaking I must admit.)

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  • Copy of Marriage Certificate
  • Evidence of spouse’s current occupation
  • Evidence of adequate funds or access to adequate funds (spouse + contacts in AU)

This is quite odd considering that I have attached these documents when I first submitted my application.

Nonetheless, as soon as I received this email my husband immediately sent me his latest payslips + bank statements and most importantly, his AU visa approval (which is super easy and cheap for Malaysians btw). I logged in to my Immi account and attached these documents straight away. A few minutes after I’ve sent the documents, I got another email and this time, the email mended my broken heart.

Screen Shot 2019-05-20 at 12.50.02 AM

I got an approval in 3 weeks which in the case of my passport, is not bad at all. 🙂

Moral of the story: It is always better to over-attach supporting documents specially the financial ones.

Thanks for reading this far! If you find this blog useful, please do share with family and friends who may need some insights on how to start their Australian tourist visa application.

Till the next visa application!

How To Apply For Work Permit For Foreign Spouses Of Malaysians

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After almost 2 years of employment break, both mandatory and voluntary, I have finally re-joined the workforce! Foreign spouses of Malaysians have more than their fair share of immigration and employment challenges. Luckily, applying for a work endorsement isn’t as painful.

Let’s begin with this very important & confusing question, ‘Is a foreign spouse allowed to work in Malaysia?’ Based on my experience and on the advise given by several immigration officers we’ve spoken with:

  • If a foreign spouse holds a  LTSVP (long-term social visit pass), she/he may start applying for job vacancies.
  • If a foreign spouse holds a short-term social visit pass, 3 months & below, she/he is not allowed to engage in any kind of employment

Note that all these visas have 1 clause in common and it reads “Any form of employment is strictly prohibited” in the fine print. Don’t panic! If you have been granted a LTSVP, you may start your job search.

Assuming that you have been given an offer by a legitimate company, you may now start processing your ‘Work Endorsement’.

Let me share how my husband and I processed my ‘Work Endorsement’. Please note that this may not be the most efficient route to follow as we made a trip to Shah Alam Immigration three times instead of 2 (and we reside in Kajang!). Please feel free to learn from our experience.

1st Visit To Immigration

1. Collect the checklist from the information counter of the immigration office where your Malaysian spouse’s IC was registered.

This is very important. If you happen to visit to an immigration office where your spouse’s IC wasn’t originally registered, you may be asked to go to the right branch. We learned this the hard way when we went to Putrajaya to apply for my short-term social pass for the 1st time. We were referred to Shah Alam for IC’s registered in Selangor.

Checklist

  • Offer letter/Job contract (with LDHN Stamp)
  • Business Registration (SSM)/ Forms 9, 24 & 49 (secure from your company)
  • IC of Malaysian Spouse – bring original & photocopy (front & back)
  • Passport of Foreign Spouse – bring original, & photocopy of bio page and LTSVP page
  • Surat Akuan (attached in the checklist) – to be stamped by a Commissioner of Oath

Out of the 6 items listed in the checklist, we already have 4 handy thanks to some prior research. We dropped by the immigration at 4 p.m. which was a wrong move. We were only able perform 3 out of the 4 steps, and had to go back the next day for submission of documents.

2. Proceed to the nearest Commissioner of Oath to obtain stamp for Surat Akuan Sumpah Terkinih

There are a few law offices within the same floor where the Shah Alam Immigration is situated. For RM 8, you get this document stamped. This document is stapled along with the checklist.

To acquire the stamp, the presence and signatures of both the Malaysian spouse & the foreign spouse are required. This step should take no longer than 5 minutes, unless there’s a queue.

3. Visit LHDN to acquire stamp on offer letter

3-5 minute walk from Shah Alam Immigration

This step was fast and simple too. We walked about less than 1 kilometer from the immigration office to LHDN. We simply asked help from the information counter on where to get the stamp for a foreign spouse’s offer letter. We were instructed to fill out this form:

lhdn

We got a queue number, approached the counter then showed my papers for assessment: the offer letter, business registration of the company, my passport and my husband’s IC.

After a few minutes, they handed back all our papers along with LHDN’s stamp on my offer letter.

2nd Visit To Immigration

We went back to the Immigration Office the next day and this time we were very early. At 6:30 a.m. the crowd was already thick. Take note that the PKNS Complex (the building which houses the Shah Alam Immigration Office) only opens at 7 a.m.. You will see many couples and families already lined up as early as 5 a.m. Why is this so? Because there’s a limit on the number of persons to be served per day. If the queue numbers run out, you have to go back the next day.

As soon as the doors of PKNS Complex opens, get ready to RUN! I’m not kidding. It’s every man and woman for him/herself! Once we reached the door of the immigration office, we queued up again. The office opens only at 7:30 a.m. and it’s quite hot, so bring bottled water and a fan.

4. Take a queue number from the information counter, wait to be called, then submit your papers & passport

The foreign spouse work permit is FREE of charge.

You will get this document in return as a claim slip for your passport after 3 business days:

3rd & Final Visit To Immigration

5. Submit claim form to the information counter, wait to be called, then claim your passport

Release of passports start at 3 p.m. only, so don’t get too excited and visit at 6:30 a.m.. We arrived at 4 p.m. and got my passport with work endorsement after about 30 minutes.

At long last, here she is!

In a nutshell, the entire process can summed into 3 steps, complete the documents needed from the checklist, submit the documents, then collect the passport with work endorsement stamp. It is best to bring your spouse at all times specially if you’re not savvy with Bahasa Melayu.

Hope this blog helped you and your Malaysian spouse! If you found this blog helpful, please feel free to spread the word so we may reach and help as many foreign spouses possible. If you have experienced a better and more efficient way of processing your work endorsement, please feel free to leave a comment to serve as reference for foreign spouses who are seeking guidance.

15-Minute Life Lessons

Meet uncle Phua, a 73-year old man with the spirit, sharpness and vitality of someone half his age.

It was a Wednesday morning, I booked a grab car from the MRT station back to home. I was surprised to see an elderly man driving a grab car. The 1st question he asked me was, “What do you think is my age? Don’t be afraid to answer a high figure.” I responded, “You must be in your 60’s”. He laughed and said “I’m 73. You speak good English and always smiling. I can feel that you are happy with your life. Can I share some wisdom with you about life?”. The obvious answer was YES! I love sensible talks with people who have experienced life more and learn from them. He said “Life is always going to have problems. Everyday you will encounter them. The secret to a happy life is embracing that problems are a part of it and we should happily solve them, not dwell nor avoid them. Make use of the 2 sides of your brain, the analytical and the creative side in finding solutions. The left side will tell you to follow a process, and your right side will prompt you to follow your instincts. Use both wisely.”

He continued “The key to living young is to continue learning. I know how to navigate the GPS and the internet, and my brain is still very sharp in solving mathematical problems. Eat clean and exercise daily. I do Tai Chi everyday and I dance every week.” (You already uncle!). He continued, “I learned English the hard way. When I was 8 years old living in KL, my uncle from Penang will ask me to send him a letter in English every week. He will then correct my English and send back the letter to me. He said, you have to keep on improving and not get stuck with what you already know.”.

In between conversations uncle Phua was letting me solve mathematical problems and I was so embarrassed to ask if I can use the #calculator. He was so sharp that he beat me to some of the equations even with the calculator’s help. He said “I love figures. Life is made up of figures. Just now I started our conversation with a question of how old do you think I am. And most of our conversation was made up of numbers. Most of the problems and solutions in life are made of figures.”. He added, “I am guessing you are 30. You look young but speak maturely so I pick 30.” I responded “You are close uncle Phua. We are 40 years apart!” (That’s me stating the obvious trying to inject some figures in my response haha!).

Then he asked, what did you learn today? He sounds like my business mentor, asking me for my top 3 learning daily! I answered:

1. Embrace problems as part of my daily life, and be accountable and in control in finding solutions.

2. Use the two sides of my brain wisely. Not too analytical, not too instinctive. Find the balance between the two.

3. The key to living young is to keep on learning.

This all happened within 15 minutes. So much learning and wisdom, I can’t even believe how lucky I was to be in the same car with this amazing uncle. And so I told him, “Uncle Phua, can we take a selfie?”. He said “Sure! Let’s take a selfie outside the car so we can take a better photo. Send me a copy of our selfie.” (Can you see my dog Chewey photobombing?) Thank you uncle Phua! Your sharing is something that I will refer to from time to time for the rest of my life. – The End

Happy Friday wonderful humans! Hope this encounter has inspired you as much as it has inspired me. ❤️

Singapore Cheap Thrills

Singapore and ‘cheap’ isn’t something you will ever see in one sentence unless you put the word ‘not’ in between. I was convinced for the longest time considering that on the 2 occasions that I’ve visited this progressive country, I always run out of money & use my emergency credit card. They say 3rd time is a charm, and guess what, I have proven myself wrong on my 3rd trip! I only spent $117 SGD for a 5-day-4-night stay in Singapore! 😱

This blog is an excerpt of my entire stay. By breaking down my 5-day working holiday to how 1 full day looked like, it will be easier to digest how on earth did I manage to spend only $117 SGD. I have a separate Facebook live broadcast on ‘5 Tips When Traveling SG on a Budget’ with my travel and instagram buddy Honey who also shared her ‘Top Places to Visit in SG for FREE’. Feel free to click this link: Singapore Cheap Thrills Broadcast

We explored Singapore under $20 SGD for 1 day! A lot of friends say it’s too good to be true. But how did we exactly do that? Let me share the places we explored where we spent $0 SGD! 😍

1. #ArabStreet – Hidden gold mine for cheap finds! Buy hand-made sandals for $5 or dresses for $3! Window-shop and take photos all you want. It’s free!

2. #HortPark – Chill and be one with nature. Meditating, reflecting and appreciating the beauty of nature is priceless, literally & figuratively!

3. #TelokBlangahHillPark – Elevated forest trek anyone? There’s nothing that a good nature walk while watching a beautiful sunset overlooking the city can’t cure! Did I mention it’s free?

4. #HendersonWaves – The perfect ending to a whole day of photography & walking. This beauty is the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore. It lights up at night which is another sight to behold. And you guessed it right, it is FREE!

5. #BellOfHappiness – Just when you thought you’re done with Henderson Waves, walk a few kilometres more to reach this view deck that houses hundreds of tiny bells and this huge Bell of Happiness. The word is that when people come together and ring it, they are blessed with everlasting peace and happiness. ❤️ It is free to ring it too! So go go go!

Bonus tips:

1.) BYOF – Bring your own food. Pack enough that will last for an entire day! These parks are the best places for picnics.

2.) BYOW – Bring your own water. All that walking needs a lot of #hydration.

3.) Research on train and bus routes. Taking public transport makes a huge difference in expenses!

4.) Wear sunscreen or bring an umbrella. It can get really hot! And no one wants that extra wrinkle or age spot on the face right?

5.) Practice your poses! 😂 The views must be given justice. Be creative and express yourself freely! 😜

6.) What good is a winning pose without a reliable #InstagramFriend? or if traveling solo, bring a handy tripod.

Exploring places under a tight budget brings out creativity and resourcefulness; and best of all, it pushes travelers like me to experience new destinations like a local. Hope this sharing helps. If you find this blog useful, please Feel free to share, and let’s empower more people to explore more with less!

#ExploreMoreWithLess #LikeALocal #SharingIsCaring