Swiss Travel Pass – The One-Stop Pass You’ll Need!

If you’ve been to Switzerland before, you’d know that traveling around the country is not cheap. Food, entrance to attractions, shopping and transportation – all these add up to quite a hefty sum! However, with careful planning, you may be able to take advantage of the Swiss Travel Pass!

On a recent trip to Switzerland, my family made use of the Swiss Travel Pass which we purchased from Klook. Here are some of the perks of using the Swiss Travel Pass:

Free entrance to many attractions around the country

From the FIFA World Museum in Zurich to the International Red Cross Museum in Geneva, the Swiss Travel Pass provides complimentary access to these museums! Entrance to the FIFA World Museum costs CHF 24 (~SGD $33) while entrance to the International Red Cross museum sets you back by CHF 15 (~SGD $21).

Entrance to two museums in Liechtenstein was also covered by the pass – Liechtenstein National Museum at CHF 10 (~SGD $14) and the Treasure Chamber Liechtenstein at CHF 8 (~SGD $11).

Access to some of the best train trips (albeit almost all train rides are covered by this pass!)

The Swiss Travel Pass covers almost all the costs of public transport across Switzerland. From the Golden Pass Line to the Glacier Express and Bernina Express (three of the top five scenic train routes in Switzerland), the Swiss Travel Pass covers the cost of the train ride (less the reservation fees).

Scenery on Golden Pass Line

These special train routes cut through the mountainous regions of the country and have special trains that is unlike others. The panoramic trains provide great views through its clear windows, giving you a great unblocked view of the scenery, you’re passing through!

Eliminating the hassle of purchasing tickets

Purchasing tickets is not difficult in Switzerland, but it can be quite a hassle. Considering that the Swiss Travel Pass only requires you to present your ticket when the train conductor comes, there will be no need for you to purchase the tickets individually before every trip you make! In addition, each city in Switzerland has a different style of ticket purchase – in Zurich, bus tickets can be bought at bus stops while in Montreux, bus tickets are bought on the bus itself.

Swiss Travel Pass Ticket

Purchasing the Swiss Travel Pass thus provides a one-stop ticket that allows you to take the public transport freely without having to consider the cost and the steps of purchasing these tickets. Catching trains at their appropriate times can be hard, but with the Swiss Travel Pass, the stress of purchasing tickets is greatly reduced.

Thoughts

I was really thrilled to have bought the tickets though the initial set-back cost was really high at CHF 418 (~ SGD $576) for the consecutive eight-day pass. While I only used seven of the eight days, upon breakdown of the costs, I realized that I had already recovered the cost of it all by the sixth day.

For its convenience and flexibility, I would say that the Swiss Travel Pass is a must-buy! It may not be the cheapest option, but it definitely is the most convenient and useful pass to have.

Swiss Travel Passes can be bought for both 1st and 2nd class (2nd class is honestly very comfortable already), and in a specific number of days-form or consecutive days-form. You can purchase it from Klook here (not sponsored).

Sugar and Spice (and everything nice)

Taiwan’s Yu Jan Shin’s butter pastry has been our go-to pastry for the past few years, but another crowd favourite that we love is Sugar and Spice’s nougats.

Founded in Taichung in 1996, Sugar and Spice is known for their range of Taiwanese snacks and pastries. From pineapple cakes to tarts, cakes, chocolate and snacks, Sugar and Spice is a one-stop shop for all who are looking for gifts to bring home or as a treat for yourself.

I’ve grown-up loving nougats. Australia’s Golden Boronia nougats were my go-to nougats – especially those that my family and friends specially flew in from Australia. While similar in size and shape, the Sugar and Spice nougats taste a lot fresher.

My family was recently gifted this box of Sugar and Spice gift set which came with three different products – original nougats, cranberry nougats and peanut candies.

The original nougats have a strong buttery taste that gives the nougat a strong oomph factor. It is not overly sweet and has a soft and chewy texture, making it generally consumable by individuals of all ages (the nuts are the hard bits of this nougat!). Let’s just say, once you start eating it, you won’t be able to stop.

The cranberry nougats are on the sweeter side and has the same texture and consistency as the original nougats. This range of nougats will probably please the palette of young children as it is like eating a creamy, milky bar of goodness.

Taiwan is known for their peanut-shaved ice cream wrap, and these peanut candies taste like the shaved peanut flakes within the ice cream wrap. The sand-like peanut candy is compressed into small little candies which come out slightly smaller than the nougats. My family really loves this too, but there are other similar products on the market – a good buy, but not a must buy.

I’ve always wanted to try the nuts tart from Sugar and Spice and will make it a point to try it on my next trip to Taiwan!

With outlets peppered all across Taiwan, with one in Taoyuan International Airport, it is getting more convenient to purchase Sugar and Spice’s treats. Have you tried any other Sugar and Spice products? Which are your favourites?

AirPods Pro Review

A recent treat for myself was the purchase of an Apple Air Pods Pro to upgrade my current Air Pods. The Bluetooth headset came on the market around two months back and has received its fair share of positive and negative reviews. As an Android user, here’s my review on this product!

What I like

Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and transparency

Unlike the AirPods, the AirPods Pro provides active noise cancellation which reduces the surrounding’s white noise. Such a feature plus the transparency feature turned off provides users like me with the ability to completely tune-off to the surroundings especially when traveling on public transport and cafes. Will test this feature out further when on the plane!

When the transparency feature is turned on, one can also easily eavesdrop on conversations surrounding you as the microphones on the AirPods Pro pick up surrounding sounds and amplifies it in the AirPods Pro. This feature is good in situations where you need to be constantly aware of what’s going and allows you not to be shut-off from your surroundings completely.

Comfort

The AirPods Pro comes with three pairs of in-ear rubber tips (small, medium and large). The default medium size fits my ears snugly and provides a good level of comfort even when wearing for extended periods of time. I believe that the in-ear rubber became an option not only to replace the hard AirPods but also to aid in the noise cancellation feature. As a patented in-ear rubber tip, I’ve really got to make it a point not to lose these rubber tips as the conventional tips will not easily replace it.

AirPods Pro – In-Ear Rubber Tips

Battery-life

The battery-life is considerably longer than my AirPods with each charge lasting around four hours with the ANC feature turned on. The charging case also holds around four to five charges of the AirPods Pro. A 10-minute charge in the wireless case charged the AirPods by about 40%.

Haptic feedback

While not a main feature, the haptic feedback on the tips of the AirPods Pro gives the button-like feel when clicked. Instead of a pure tap of the earpiece where I sometimes find a bit insensitive on my AirPods, the tip of the AirPods Pro has a button-life feature that is only usable when the AirPods Pro are in your ear. The feel of clicking a button to control is still pretty amazing imo.

What I dislike:

Android users do not get all the perks!


The AirPods Pro is designed to work seamlessly with complementary Apple products (i.e. MacBooks, iPhones, iPads, iWatch) and Siri can easily be called out to assist you. However, for Android users, while Siri is not available, I’d expect the microphone to be able to activate my Google Assistant – but it doesn’t! So that’s something I’m a tad disappointed with, especially if my mobile phone isn’t near enough to pick up my Google commands.

In addition, the ear tip fit test can only be done via Apple products (iPhone specifically) and therefore this feature does not apply to me. Not a big deal in my opinion, but something I’d use if I’d own an iPhone.

Intermittent pairing

I’ve faced two instances of intermittent headset pairing with both my MacBook and my Android phone.

For my MacBook, it somehow only managed to pick up one side of my AirPods Pro and did not pick up the other. This resulted in an imbalance in sounds and was annoying till I placed the pair of AirPods Pro in its casing and removed it again for a refreshed connection.

For my Android phone, the AirPods Pro connection could not be picked up by my mobile phone’s Bluetooth in one instance – an issue I didn’t really have with my previous pair of AirPods. Again, a quick reset solved it.

Like any other Bluetooth headsets, there is bound to be some pairing issues, but I was just shocked to see that it happened (I had higher hopes for these expensive pair of AirPods).

Thoughts

AirPods Pro

I had originally considered buying the Sony WF-1000XM3 Noise Cancelling True Wireless Headphones but ultimately decided on purchasing the AirPods Pro as my previous pair AirPods was pretty reliable and I wanted the seamless pairing it had with my MacBook Pro.

While there are some issues which I dislike about the AirPods Pro, I would still recommend it to anyone who is looking for a noise-cancellation earpiece with decent audio quality. The comfort level of this earpiece supersedes its predecessors and if you own complementary Apple products, the seamless pairing is definitely a perk!

You can learn more about the product here.  

It’s a match!

Growing up as a kid, I’ve built many fond memories while playing physical board and card games. Be it a simple game or a really difficult one, playing games provided a platform for me to learn something new and satisfy that competitive streak in me. However, in recent years, many have turned to playing games on their mobile devices which, in my opinion, is a huge pity. Playing games outside of technology promotes greater interaction and more connection with the crowd you are playing with. 

A game I’ve had for a while which is not bulky, and can be played in a group of up to 8 people, by children ages 7 and up is Spot it. Kept in a light tin, the spot it deck is a series of 55 cards with 8 symbols or simple words on it (out of the 50 possibilities). With only one symbol or word in common with another card, this game is one of matching and speed. 

There are many ways to playing this game but the one that I play (as it’s the easiest to explain) is “The Tower”. So how do you go about playing it?

  1. Each person will draw a single card and place it face-down in front of them. The remaining cards will be in a pile with the images facing upwards. 
  2. When the game begins, each player will flip the card in front of them and try to find the matching image from the top card in the pile of cards. 
  3. The first person that shouts out the matching image will get the top card and place it on top of the first card in front of him.
  4. The match continues as the middle pile will be drawn down and players gaining new cards as the game goes on. 
  5. When the middle pile runs out, the game ends. The winner will be the one with the most number of cards in his pile.

This game is popular with children and adults alike as it straight-forward and is a fast-moving game. This game is a match for me (pun-intended) as it is portable, easy to explain to friends, brings about loads of laughter and is suitable for people of all ages. Mobile games may be enticing to the main player but physical card games like this encourage greater interaction out of the technology space and promotes interaction. 

You can purchase the game here and find more ways on how to play the game here. Do leave a comment on which is your favorite way of playing Spot It!