Sabre Brunei Travel Fair 2017

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in community, travel, Social News

 

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The press conference yesterday held at Mc Donald’s. Image courtesy of At-Taqwa Travel Tours.
 

Sabre Travel Network (Brunei) Sdn Bhd will host the annual Travel Fair on Saturday, 26 August 2017 at Banquet Hall, International Convention Centre, Berakas.

This two-day event organised by Sabre Travel Network Brunei provides travel partners including airlines, national tourist offices, hotels and travel agents with a unique platform to promote and showcase their products and services. The fair is open to all travellers, providing them with the convenience of shopping for a wide range of travel deals under a single roof.

“Brunei Travel Fair is an important event for the nation and Sabre Travel Network Brunei is proud to be once again organising this event for the benefit of Bruneians, the expat community, airlines, travel trade partners, national tourist offices and our other business partners,” said Ms. Irene Soon, General Manager, Sabre TN Brunei. “We thank our partners and travellers for their participation throughout the years and look forward to their continued support for the Brunei Travel Fair 2017, the fourteenth edition of the event.”

“With support of our partners, we will deliver new and unique content to travellers in search of their dream vacations. Over 12,600 attendees visited the Brunei Travel Fair last year and we are confident the numbers will increase at this year’s fair.” Sabre will provide more than 50 terminals to the ten participating Sabre-connected travel agencies at the fair to ensure the very best service for travellers. Mr. Abd Halim Haji Abd Rahman, Senior Manager, Sales & Marketing, Sabre TN Brunei said, “The fair provides an excellent opportunity for Brunei-based travellers to shop for both overseas and domestic travel packages, making it an event on the travel calendar not to be missed.”

Participating travel agents are: Anthony Tours & Travel Agency, At-Taqwa Travel Tours, Century Travel Centre, Darussalam Holdings, Freme Travel Services, Grace Travel, J J Tour Service, Pan Bright Travel Service, Southern Cross Travel Agencies and Straits Central Agencies.

National tourism organisations including Brunei Tourism Board, Sabah Tourism Board, Sarawak Tourism Board, Taiwan Tourist Bureau, Tourism Authority Thailand and Tourism Perak Management Berhad will again be participating at Brunei Travel Fair. Baiduri Bank Berhad, Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam, Standard Chartered Bank and Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) will showcase their own booths to extend support to participating travel agents and provide assistance to visitors.

 

 

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Due to popular demand, Pan Bright Travel Service has announced the comeback of their “Travel & Win a Hyundai OR Birkin” lucky draw promotion to be launched this weekend at the upcoming Brunei Travel Fair 2017 at the Banquet Hall of the International Convention Centre, Berakas.

One lucky winner will once again have an option of driving away a brand new Hyundai Car or bring home an exclusive Hermès Birkin Bag.

For the period between September 2017 to February 2018, one monthly ticket will be given out and the lucky customer will stand a chance to win one return ticket to any short haul destination of their choice on Royal Brunei Airlines or a return ticket to Singapore on Singapore Airlines.

The Grand Prize to be drawn in April 2018 will be a Hyundai Accent Car or a Hermès Birkin Bag, sponsored by Pan Bright Travel Service. Other prizes for the Grand Draw will include 2 return air tickets to any long haul destination of their choice sponsored by Royal Brunei Airlines, a return ticket to Brisbane sponsored by Singapore Airlines and return tickets to Kuala Lumpur for two person sponsored by Malaysia Airlines.

Last year’s Grand Draw winner of this promotion went to Awang Md. Taha Bin Ladin who opted for the Car. The winner of the “Travel and Win Car” 2015/2016 was Awang Wasli Hj. Hamid, whilst the winner for 2014/2015 was Dayang Zuriana Bte Abdul Latif.

As per previous years, for every BND200 spent on any travel related products and services from Pan Bright Travel Service, customers will be entitled to one lucky draw coupon.

For more enquiries regarding the promotion, please contact Pan Bright Travel’s offices at 2240980 for Bandar Seri Begawan, 3341154 for Kuala Belait or 3220078 for Seria or follow our Facebook @panbright or Instagram @panbrighttravel for the latest updates.

The lucky draw promotion will start from 26 August 2017 to the 31 March 2018.

 

Baiduri Visa Platinum Debit Card is here

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in bank, travel, lifestyle, Social News

 


Baiduri Visa Platinum Debit Card is now here in Brunei. I can’t wait to get my hands on this card 😀
 


Yusof bin Hj Hj Abdul Rahman, the Managing Director of Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (4th from left), the guest of honour with representatives from Baiduri Bank and Visa
 

Baiduri Bank unveiled the Baiduri Visa Platinum Debit Card at a launch event at The Empire Hotel & Country Club yesterday.

The guest of honour was Yusof bin Hj Hj Abdul Rahman, the Managing Director of Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam.

Also present was Mr. Pierre Imho, CEO of Baiduri Bank who said in his welcoming remarks that Baiduri Bank believe that our clients deserve only the best in life and hence they are proud to launch the Baiduri Visa Platinum Debit Card, a product that challenges the norms by enhancing daily conveniences while extending exclusive privileges to suit our clients’ lifestyles.

The newly launched card packs the best in market reads programme on top of the Visa payWave contactless payment feature and also on the spot card issuance and the card users can also enjoy the existing range of financial products, services and value-added benefits.

So what can you expect from being a customer of the Baiduri Visa Platinum Debit Card?

1) REAL TIME TRANSACTIONS

Customers to enjoy cashless convenience both locally or overseas as purchases on the Baiduri Visa Platinum Debit Card are deducted directly from an allocated Brunei savings or current account, eliminating the hassle of settling month end bills. Customers spend what they have and not beyond their means.

2) BEST IN MARKET REWARDS PROGRAMME

The Baiduri Visa Platinum Debit Card is linked with Baiduri Instant Rewards, the best in the market rewards programme that gives cardholders up to 4X bonus points with every purchase. There’s no expiry in accumulating points and the redemptions are also instant with no minimum required. You can enjoy over 2,000 participating merchant outlets in Brunei and just look out for the Instant Rewards logo.

3) INNOVATIVE VISA PAYWAVE FEATURE

Baiduri Visa Platinum Debit Card carries the Visa payWave solution. A breakthrough technology that allows customers to make purchase of BND 100 and below by a simple tap on the payment terminal. Awesome!! And you don’t need to sign. An SMS will notify for any transaction made on the card.

4) GLOBAL BENEFITS

Baiduri Visa Platinum Debit Card is accepted at millions of establishments worldwide and also over 700,000 ATMs in the Visa Global ATM Network. Cardmembers will also enjoy complimentary, 24/7 concierge service available worldwide and access to the Visa Global Exclusive Privileges.

5) ON THE SPOT DEBIT CARD ISSUANCE

For added convenience, applications for the new Baiduri Visa Platinum Debit Card can be fast tracked for on-the-spot card issuance. The service is available at Baiduri Bank’s Card Centre in Kiarong and selected branches including The Mall Branch, Sumbangsih Branch and Seria Branch.

6) ENJOY 5 YEAR ANNUAL FEE WAIVER

Until 31st December 2017, customers who apply for Baiduri Visa Platinum Debit Card can enjoy a 5-year annual fee waiver.

 

 


Officiating the launch yesterday
 


Pierre Imhof shared the new excitement of Baiduri Visa Platinum Debit Card
 

 


Imhof explaining the features of Baiduri Visa Platinum Debit Card and how it works on the terminal with its Visa payWave technology
 


Chris Skok, Senior Director, Product, Visa Singapore and Brunei (right) with Baiduri associates
 


Before I can get my own card, this huge debit card will do for now
 

 

6) WIN A TRIP TO PARIS FOR TWO

Between 9th August to the 30th November 2017, Baiduri Visa cardmembers stand a chance to win a curated trip for 2 to fabulous destinations all over the world namely Paris, Maldives or Tokyo. Furthermore, 5x consolation prizes of 2x return air tickets to exciting destinations are also available for grabs.

To be eligible, Baiduri Visa cardmembers simply need to use their Baiduri Visa Credit or Debit Cards when they shop. During the promotion period, Baiduri Visa cardmembers receive up to 3x lucky draw chances for every BND100 they spent using their Baiduri Visa Credit or Debit Cards.

Furthermore, those who apply for either a new Baiduri Visa Credit or a Debit Card will also receive a slew of sign up benefits. Successful applicants are entitled up to 3x chances in the draw. On top of this, new Baiduri Visa cardmembers enjoy a 5-year annual fee waiver as well as a 0% interest rate for the first 6 months when they transfer balances from their existing credit cards from other banks to their new Baiduri Visa credit card.

The Baiduri Visa Credit and Debit Card comes with an array of benefits, such as exclusive rewards and offers, easy instalment plans as well as ability to accumulate Bonus Points for the Baiduri Instant Rewards programme. With every purchase, customers enjoy Bonus Points, which in turn gets converted into Baiduri Dollars stored in the Instant Rewards card which can be used to redeem at any Baiduri merchant.

Terms and conditions of the promotion can be viewed on Baiduri Bank website at www.baiduri.com under the Promotions section, or on the Baiduri Bank mobile app – Baiduri Deals. For more information, customers may also contact the Baiduri Bank Customer Helpline at 2449666.

To be in the know of Baiduri Bank current promotions and events, the public can also like the official Baiduri Bank Group Facebook page or follow @baiduribank on Instagram and Twitter.

 

Acer Kicks off “Be Cool Everyday” Campaign

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in games, travel, gadget, lifestyle, Social News

 


Edmund Hoh, Product Manager, Acer Malaysia, Richard Soo, Miri & Brunei Branch Manager, Acer Malaysia, Jeffrey Lai, Product Manager, Acer Malaysia, Roseanne Ho, Assistant Manager, Marketing, Acer Malaysia, Jerry Soon, Director of Sales, Acer Malaysia and Perry Chong, Kota Kinabalu Branch Manager, Acer Malaysia during the launch of “Be Cool Everyday” campaign from Acer at Le Meridian Hotel last Tuesday
 

A big thank you to Acer Malaysia for inviting the media from Brunei to witness a launch of Acer products at Le Meridian Hotel, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah last Tuesday. I’ve been always impressed with Acer’s innovation and consistency in producing wide range of products especially in the computer segment. Acer is one of the leading brand in Brunei Darussalam and it has a strong support system from Concepts Computer that customers have high trust on.

Last Tuesday as mentioned, Acer Malaysia held a special launch under the theme “Be Cool Everyday”, with the introduction of a host of exciting devices. Among the products are a new gaming line-up for powerful to casual gaming, as well as a range of lifestyle devices that adds a touch of style to work on the go and to home entertainment besides offering efficient computing. As you can see, it’s not just about technology but adapting to the current trend and lifestyle to the growing needs of end consumers.

 

 


Perry Chong, Kota Kinabalu Branch Manager, Acer Malaysia in his opening remarks
 


Jeffrey Lai, Product Manager, Acer Malaysia, gave an insights on the notebooks from Acer
 


Be Cool Everyday
 

Headlining the range of new products is the highly anticipated Predator Helios 300 which features Acer’s proprietary AeroBlade™ 3D fan, the latest iteration of the world’s thinnest metal blade fan for advanced aerodynamics and a whopping 35% increase in airflow performance, and Acer Nitro 5 with Acer Coolboost™ technology to deliver superior cooling ability. Both devices offer a thermal solution to manage heat and keep the system running optimally at a low temperature for awesome, smooth gameplay. The Predator 21 X, the world’s first laptop to offer a curved 21-inch IPS display is also on top of the list. This gaming laptop is taking Acer’s Predator brand position in gaming to a new level with its showcase of advanced technology and never-before seen innovation.

Acer Malaysia Kota Kinabalu Branch Manager, Perry Chong said, “Acer continuously offers products with meaningful innovations and superior performance, leading the industry with new technology and solutions that benefit customers. Our products are specially designed with users in mind; with improved usability to meet the real needs of our customers. We are extremely excited to introduce our gaming and lifestyle devices line-up with innovative features, including the all new 3rd generation of AeroBlade™ 3D fan, Acer Coolboost™ technology, Acer LiquidLoop™ fan-less cooling system and the world’s first curved screen laptop.”

I shall highlight three products that caught my eye during the launch.

 

 


Predator Helios 300 – A Highly Accessible Powerful Gaming Laptop
 

Predator Helios 300 – A Highly Accessible Powerful Gaming Laptop
The Predator Helios 300 is armed with a dual fan system that features the all new AeroBlade™ 3D Fan with the world’s thinnest metal fan blade at only 0.1 mm, to boost the thermal system and keeps the laptop running at optimal temperatures. With the preloaded PredatorSense application, gamers can monitor and control their gaming experience from one central interface. Featuring Windows 10, gaming is made better and more social than ever.

With an overclockable NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060 GPU, 7th Gen Intel Core i7 (7700HQ) desktop processor and 8GB DDR4 at its core, Predator Helios 300 offers outstanding gaming and entertainment performance. This tastefully designed laptop comes with a fast 256 GB SSD and a 1TB HDD. The red metal chassis and iron red backlit keyboard provide a hardcore yet edgy look and feel to the Predator Helios 300.
Designed as a gaming device in mind, the Predator Helios 300 is ideally suited for first-person-shooter (fps) games. Its 15.6-inch FHD IPS display provides vibrant, vivid visuals, while Dolby Audio™ Premium and Acer TrueHarmony™ deliver immersive audio with crisp, rich surround sound quality. The Predator Helios 300 connects wirelessly through fast 2×2 802.11ac technology, and it includes a Gigabit Ethernet port for those preferring a hard-wired ultra-fast connection.

I would that The Predator Helios 300 is the next best thing for gamers and it’s quite affordable considering the specs given. It is priced at BND1,998.00 at Concepts Computer.

 

 


Acer H7850 Projector – Bring Cinematic Entertainment Home
 

Acer H7850 Projector – Bring Cinematic Entertainment Home
Featuring Ultra High-Definition (UHD) resolution, the Acer H7850 projects razor-sharp images on to screens of up to 120 inches (10 feet) and brings cinematic picture quality in to the home. With 8.3 megapixel on screen and TI XPR technology, the H7850 brings fine details of images to live.

The H7850 supports Acer’s proprietary AcuMotion technology that enhances picture clarity in fast-moving scenes and reduces motion-blur. Equipped with Acer’s ExtremeECO power-saving feature, power consumption can be reduced by up to 70% and lamp life extended by up to 15,000 hours.

The Acer H7850 is HDR-compatible (High Dynamic Range), reproducing a greater dynamic range of luminosity with expanded contrast and a wider range of brightness, producing true-to-life colours. The projector offers a DynamicBlack™ contrast ratio up to a whopping 1,000,000:1 thanks to its frame-by-frame analyzation and dynamic adjustments of lamp power for black-level optimization.

The H7850 also features a sleek, elegant design that was honoured with a Red Dot Award: Product Design 2017. Catering to a wider range of user preferences, the H7850 has a brightness advantage with a 3,000-lumens rating. It is also compatible with Rec. 2020 signals, the UHDTV standard for superior colour reproduction.

With a dimension of 398 mm X 297.5 mm X 127 mm and weighing 5.5 kg, the Acer H7850 is priced at BND2,998.00. This could be ideal for my entertainment room as I am huge movie fan.

 

 


The flight case for Predator 21 X – World’s First Curved Screen Laptop
 


Playing with the Predator 21 X and it’s estimated price is around BND 13,000 #gulp
 

Predator 21 X – World’s First Curved Screen Laptop
With an overclockable 7th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 processor, dual NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1080 graphic cards in SLI (Scalable Link Interface) and 64GB of DDR4-2400 memory, the Predator 21 X takes the AAA gaming experience to new heights. Offering an ultra-wide 21:9 aspect ratio, the laptop’s curved screen features NVIDIA® G-SYNC™ technology to ensure smooth and sharp gameplay.

The laptop also integrates Tobii eye-tracking technology which allows gamers to identify enemies, aim, and take cover simply by gazing at objects on the screen.

Featuring an advanced cooling architecture with five system fans, of which three are ultra-thin AeroBlade™ metal fans, the Predator 21 X is capable of keeping all its features running at optimal temperatures for super-smooth performance during intense gaming sessions.

A Taiwan Excellence Gold award winner, the Predator 21 X comes with a full-sized mechanical keyboard featuring Cherry® MX Brown switches for super-responsive tactile feedback and pure precision for fast and accurate gaming experiences. Its numeric keypad also touts a unique design that allows it to be flipped over and turned into a Precision Touchpad.

 

 


Tom of United Daily won a bag from Acer as part of the lucky draw
 


A big thanks to Richard Soo and Vincent Pao, General Manager of Concepts Computer, for hosting the media in Kota Kinabalu
 


Dining at Welcome Seafood while in KK. Highly recommended and affordable too.
 

Hello Seoul. Part II

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in community, culture, travel, lifestyle, Social News

 


Friends I made during my 5 day trip in Seoul, Korea. Taken late June 2017.
 


My group mates – Ogia (Papa New Guinea), Ulzii (Mongolia), Mark (Korea), Andrea (Indonesia), Daniel (Korea), Deva (Indonesia), Ron (Indonesia) and Khulan (Mongolia). A huge thanks to Daniel for taking care of our group since Day 1.

I’m still reminiscing my day in Seoul, Korea during my short visit for the Asian Cultural Young Leaders’ Camp 2017 (25th June to 30th June). It seemed like yesterday but it has been almost a month since that experience. I made the conscious choice to accept the offer even though it was during the first few days of Eid Mubarak celebration. My deepest gratitude to the Korean Embassy to Brunei and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Korea for giving me this opportunity in the first place.

The hospitality was top notch and MOFA (Korea) knew how to take care of all the representatives from Asia Pacific during their stay in Seoul, Korea. We bonded on the first night with the youth from different walks of life. From Japan to Australia to Mongolia to Afghanistan, you name it. It was an emotional farewell on the final dinner before we departed back to our own countries. This is my biggest highlight of the Asian Cultural Young Leaders’ Camp 2017 #ACYLC2017 #2017ACYLC – the diplomacy and friendship among different nationalities and cultures. This is a sign of world peace where all of us can get along and make a difference in the world. I just wish for longer days and freer time to further strengthen the bonds and friendship among my newly acquainted friends.

I previously shared my story on PyeongChang, the upcoming Winter Games in February 2018. Now let allow me to share my other interesting trips at Korea. First up was the visit to the Ojukheon House at Gangneung near PyeonChang, a few hours ride from Seoul. If you really keen to understand the culture of Korea, this is a must visit territory.

Ojukheon House. According to history, Ojukheon House was where Shin Saimdang (1504-1551) lived and where her son Yi I (penname Yulgok; scholar and politician of the Joseon Period) was born. It was built during the early Joseon Dynasty and remains one of the oldest wooden residential buildings in Korea. It was designated as Treasure No. 165 in 1963 and has been maintained by the descendants throughout the generations.The house is made of black bamboo trees and still holding up. The interesting fact is that Shin Saimdang is featured on the Korean Won 50,000 note and still is. Her contribution as a artist and poet back in the 16th century and she’s the only lady being featured on Korean currency. If you are heading for the Winter Olympics at PyeongChang, then do visit Ojukheon House.

Seongyojang House. Another place I found interesting was Seongyojang House which was built back in the 1750s. Now why this is a unique place is because it reminds me of Air BnB. Let me share you a bit of history. It was created in 1703 by Yi Naebeon, an 11th generation descendant of Prince Hyoryeondaegun, part of the Hyoryeong royal family during the Joseon Dynasty. The idea behind Seongyojang House was to promote happiness and joy among relatives living there. Now I was told that back then, the owner of the residence would welcome guests and visitors to stay and they won’t accept any form of monetary in exchange. The guests were also well fed by the host and in return, they would shower the host with gifts instead as a sign of gratitude.

I’m still surprised that the Seongyojang House is very well maintained after 300 years and has past 10 generations. The structures are still intact and well preserved and it was even selected by Korean Broadcasting System as the top 10 well preserved original dwellings in Korea. A must visit destination if you are around PyeongChang area. I’m glad that such historical places do still exist and well maintained.

 

 


Lunch around PyeongChang while being briefed on the Winter Olympics
 


The view outside Seongyojang House. An interesting and historical place to visit.
 

Samsung Innovation Museum. According to Visit Korea, Samsung Innovation Museum (SIM) is a business hall as well as the largest sized industrial electronics museum in Korea, displaying the growing steps of Samsung Electronics Corporation at a glance. It is located inside of Suwon Digital City where Samsung Electronics Corporation was initially established 47 year ago. Starting from the time when electronics were first produced to the current trend of cutting-edge smart devices, the electronic industry has become more and more innovative. This history of innovation and the future of electronics are reflected in the museum while looking at the various exhibition halls, comprised of History of Samsung, Seeds of Innovation, Core of Innovation and Inspiring Innovation. The halls of Samsung Innovation Museum give a meaningful experience to figure out what innovation really means.

Ok, here goes my version – WWWOWWWW!!!! It’s like a city of its own and I could see associates of Samsung just cycling around to get to the other building. It’s also very heavily guarded so no one can simply just enter the Suwon Digital City. I seriously don’t mind working in this environment and it does feel quite futuristic (like in the movies). Too bad our group only tasted 5% of the Suwon Digital City. I wanted more but I guess there are restricted area.

In the museum, you will get to learn of the history of Samsung and also other inventions by inventors and also recognizing other brands that made an impact on our daily lives through time. For instance, the birth of washing machine or vacuum cleaner which helped to cut down longer hours of house chores. We were being educated on the existence of not just phones and TVs but also on other electrical appliances that play a part in our lives.

The admission is free and you will be guided by a museum presenter. It’s open from Monday to Friday but there won’t be any guided tour on a Saturday. You can take pictures but no filming recording is allowed. If you are not even a Samsung fan, this place is still worth a visit. I began to appreciate all these innovations after the tour. Thank you to all the inventors for making all these technological advances possible.

 


At the Suwon Digital City where Samsung Innovation Museum is located. This is one of the signs on the street. So be mindful when you walk 😉
 


You’re not allowed to take close up shots in the SIM or even video recording. But this kind of shots or selfies are welcomed 😀
 


Viewing the gallery while learning the important inventions which lead to our current technology
 


The 105” inch Samsung Curve UHD TV. The price for this is valued at USD 110,000 *Gullllpp*
 

Arirang’s Heart to Heart show. It’s not as easy as 1-2-3 to be selected to be featured on Arirang News, one of Korea’s leading broadcasting news that has global reach of 138 million households. A big thank you to MOFA Korea for making this possible as I was one of the special guests for Heart to Heart show in Arirang TV. The other special guest was Ashani Yusron, a big Hallyu fan from Indonesia. The recorded show for our session will up in one or two weeks’ time. Thank you to Manu (the producer) and Jennifer, the host for Heart to Heart and not forgetting our special friend, Mary.

This particular episode talks about our take of Korean culture and how it has been well received in our respective countries and also a bit of background of what we do professionally in the line of being social influencers. I shall keep you posted when the show will be set for release. Thank you once again to Arirang TV for having us on your show. This is definitely a milestone for 2017.


Thank you, Jennifer (right) for being such a sporting host
 


With the producer of Heart to Heart, Manu 😀
 


An awesome session with Jennifer. Can’t wait to see the actual show
 

Making bimbibap. Yes, this is the real deal. I normally being served at Korean Restaurants in Brunei but this one .. this one is the real deal. You get to see the traditional way of making bimbibap. For your info, bibimbap means mixed rice and in Korea, bimbibap is served as a bowl of warm white rice and topped with namul (sauteed and seasoned veggies, gochujang (chilli paste), soy sauce or doenjang (fermented soybean paste). Other additions are such as fried egg and slice beef. Then you stir the contents inside the bowl before you eat.

That day we visited a Korean restaurant (can’t remember the name) and we were given the experience to mix the bimbibap in a humungous bowl that is enough to feed at least a hundred people. I love the authentic taste of it too and the hospitality from the restaurant owners. Now being back in Brunei, I have more appreciation of how bimbibap is being served and maybe, just maybe, my expectations in terms of presentation and taste have slightly increased.

 


I had the privilege to stir this around. One massive bowl for bimbibap. This is how authentic it gets 😀
 


The customary selfie pose, of course, with bimbibap
 


One of the best lunches during our trip
 


Having fun after an awesome bimbibap lunch

Farewell dinner. The awesome about this program was that we were fed very well and also on time. The program was so structured that they made meal times a priority and also on time. I don’t know how they did it but they pulled it off consistently for 5 straight days. Amazing!! Our final dinner was Seoul Marina which was like an hour away from our hotel, Koreana and we hoped for a variety of choices as we had too much of kimchi during our previous meals. And yes we did!! The food was great and it was also an emotional farewell session as a few representatives from each group shared their learning and experiences from the #ACYLC2017.

We have our own Facebook group page and it’s flooded with pictures and memories. You were right, this is not a good bye but merely a transitional period where we will have newer opportunities to meet once again. It has been three weeks and it’s still fresh in my memory. Thank you once again, MOFA Korea and The Korea Foundation for hosting us and this has been one of the best experiences in a long time. I hope to see more of this in the near future.

 

 


One of our cute volunteers from Korea. Thank you for helping us out.
 


The volunteers from Korea Foundation
 


She’s one awesome emcee and is a TV presenter for Arirang TV.
 

 


Nice shot with the Samsung 360 camera. Taken at Anmok Beach.
 


I had a nice bingsu at GongCha by Anmok Beach
 


Strolling by the beach
 

Rano in Seoul – Part I

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in community, culture, travel, lifestyle, Social News

 


Thank you, Daniel, for picking me up at the Incheon Airport upon my arrival last weekend
 


Our first Open Talk session where each country given an opportunity to share about their latest trends of social media and internet of things in their respective countries
 

So how have your Hari Raya (Eid Mubarak) celebration been? It has been almost a week and I can’t wait to get back home after spending almost a week in Republic of Korea. A big thanks to the Republic of Korea Embassy in Brunei Darussalam for selecting me to be part of the recent Asian Cultural Youth Leaders’ Camp 2017 in Seoul, Korea.

The ACYLC 2017 was organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Korean Foundation. The 5 day program was attended by other representatives from 20 other countries in Asia Pacific. I even made acquaintance with a friend from Papa New Guinea and Fiji. The most important outcome were the friendship and the diplomacy that was created (or re-created) among other different nationalities. I just don’t know where to begin. All I can say for now is that #2017ACYLC program has achieved its objective in forming strategic cultural diplomacy among other nationalities. Even in a short period of time, the hardest part was the goodbyes and the see-you-next-time gestures.

The event started with an orientation or what we call the ice-breaker session with all the delegates. Each of us were given a min or two to introduce ourselves and I was selected to be in Group B (with Indonesia, Korea, Papa New Guinea, Mongolia) during the first evening. We weren’t warm up until the next day when we started to do our presentation during the “Open Talk” session. It was the most interesting part as we learnt the culture of how internet and technology play a part in their respective countries.

While Brunei has a higher internet penetration which also equates to higher social media penetration, other countries have different levels of penetration and social media presence. Did you know that Brunei has more than 100% of mobile penetration in the region? This means at least one of us have dual sim cards. As for Brunei, Instagram and Facebook have been the main source of updating statuses while Youtube remains the most popular for pleasure viewing.

In Korea, Facebook is widely popular with Instagram on the rise. Around 70% of the Koreans I met recently own an IG account while all of them have a Facebook account. Kakao Talk is Korea’s leading messaging app and not many of them communicate like how Bruneians do – WhatsApp. I downloaded the app to give a shot since I have more than two Korean friends. I would say that it’s similar to Line but cleaner and efficient. I like it but I won’t be using it as much since it’s not a frequent app being used in Brunei.

 


Around 20 representatives from different countries in the Asian Cultural Youth Leaders’ Camp 2017. Thank you, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Korea and Korean Foundation.
 


Shooting with a fish eye lens
 


We had a brief appearance at Arirang TV news. Awesome!!!
 


Seung-Hye Sun, Director of Cultural Cooperation Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, sharing an interesting insight on Korea’s Digital Diplomacy and New Media. It really gave me a different perspective on MOFA’s initiative and I wish other countries can do the same to strengthen the diplomacy between countries.
 


I shared the trends in Brunei and how internet penetration is quite high in Brunei Darussalam
 


With the beautiful ladies from Mongolia, Uzi and Khulan
 

We spent one and a half day in Seoul before heading of the PyeongChang, the official city for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Republic of Korea. We have a small preview at one of the sporting venues at PyeongChang, the Alpensia where the ski jump will be held. Now it’s the summer period so basically there isn’t any snow or ice for the matter. All we could see was a massive long slide for ski jump and a football size field and I believe the surface looks like artificial grass. It’s like seeing the ski jump venue but butt naked *lol*

Now here comes to the awesome thing – there were doing practice ski drills literally on the carpeted grass surface. It was as if I was watching a defying stunt in real life. I was worried that one of them would miscue a move and start rolling down the steep slope. However, all the attempts they performed were successful. Watching them practice was definitely some cheap thrill to watch them practice. The Ski Jumping event at Alpensia will be one of the biggest draw for the PyeongChang Games 2018.

I learnt something interesting about PyeongChang. Did you know that they lost first two bids for 2010 and 2014? And Pyeongchang ain’t giving up the fight to win the bid for 2018. According to one of the spokesperson of the PyeongChang Games Organizing Committee, it’s their facilities and capabilities that stood out and they are well prepared with contingency plans should there be unseen circumstances related to the weather conditions. In this case, it could be the lack of snow or ice due to the climate change. But not to worry as PyeongChang is ready for contingency plans.

PyeongChang Games will also introduce the first ever 5G telecommunications services. I was told that the 5G network is 20 times faster than our current 4G. Wow!! That’s simply fast… I can’t wait for that technology to come to Brunei but Korea will be the first to test its 5G capabilities during the Winter Games. You will be able to experience things such as 5G bus connection, 360 Virtual Reality and get this, an omni view from the athlete’s point of view (Awesome!!) in real-time and also holograms. Other than that, the area will be wifi ready around PyeongChang and you will be updated with traffic information and even parking information. The organisers have planned this ahead to make it more convenient for Olympic fans/goers. Kudos to them 😀

All these bits and pieces are just the attractions that I myself am keen to fly and check out the Winter Games at PyeongChang. It’s a wonderful city in Gangwon Province, South Korea. A mountainous area and also place home to several Buddhist temples including Woljeongsa Temple.

In the latest news, South Korean President Moon Jae-In on Monday urged the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to help North Korea participate in next year’s Winter Games, saying it would contribute to regional and world peace. We could see that Moon renewed his push for “sports diplomacy,” urging IOC’s help to enable the North to take part. We shall see how this will unfold in the coming weeks or months.

Nonetheless, PyeongChang will be the biggest attraction for Korea in 2018. I have faith that the Winter Olympics will be a huge success and help to boost the economy of the country.

I shall share my other visits of my trip in Korea in my latter posts. Images taken by delegates of the #2017AYCLC

 


Posing with the official mascots for PyeongChang Games 2018
 


Taken at the Alpensia Ski Jump Centre. Behind the beautiful ladies is the actual ski jump hill. It looks weird without the snow/ice. And the athletes were still practising their jumps.. Amazing but risky!!
 


The view from the top of the Alpensia Ski Jump Centre. Can you see the inclination of the slope for the ski jump? Scary… I can feel the magnet pulling from my groin area HAHA
 


Group photo with the delegates at Alpensia Ski Jump Centre.
 

Malaysia National Sales Campaign 2017

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in travel, Social News

 

 

Tourism Malaysia has collaborated with Top 4 prominent local travel agents selling Malaysia namely Anthony Tours and Travel Agency Sdn. Bhd., Century Travel Centre Sdn. Bhd., Freme Travel Services Sdn. Bhd. and Pan Bright Travel Service to promote ‘Malaysia National Sales Campaign 2017’ holiday packages in conjunction with the Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival to be held from 15 June – 31 August 2017 and Malaysia Year End Sale (MYES) that will start from 1 November – 31 December 2017.

The ‘Malaysia National Sales Campaign 2017’ holiday packages was jointly launched by Director of Tourism Malaysia Brunei Darussalam, Haji Ibrahim Seddiqi bin Talib along with each representatives from Anthony Tours and Travel Agency Sdn. Bhd., Century Travel Centre Sdn. Bhd., Freme Travel Services Sdn. Bhd. and Pan Bright Travel Service. Also present at the launch were members of the media.

Malaysia’s shopping branding is centred on the “Experiential Shopping” concept that promotes Malaysia as a fun and wholesome shopping destination, complemented by entertainment and recreation activities, gastronomic adventures, luxury treatments and visits to popular spots. It is made possible by the support of more than 500 integrated shopping malls and retails outlets in the country whose numbers are increasing every year. New retail and lifestyles hubs coming up this year include KL Gateway Mall in Kuala Lumpur and Genting Premium Outlets in Genting Highlands, which will further stimulate Malaysia’s shopping scene.

“Shopping in Malaysia has always been the number one choice for Bruneian tourists, Hence, Tourism Malaysia is grateful for the continuous support extended by our local travel agents all these years and we look forward to welcome Bruneian shoppers to Malaysia” said Haji Ibrahim Seddiqi bin Talib, Director of Tourism Malaysia Brunei Darussalam.

The packages which are offered as below:-

Anthony Tours and Travel Agency Sdn. Bhd.

Package in conjunction with Malaysia Mega Sales Carnival 2017 (MMSC)

The 3 days 2 nights Kuala Lumpur Free & Easy package is priced from B$247.00 per person with minimum of two passengers travelling together. The package includes:-

i) 2 nights’ accommodation (twin share basis);
ii) Daily buffet breakfast; and
iii) Round trip private airport transfers.

The selling period is effective from 15 June 2017 until 31 August 2017.

The 3 days 2 nights Kota Kinabalu Free & Easy package is priced from B$168.00 per person with minimum of two passengers travelling together. The package includes:-

i) 2 nights’ accommodation (twin share basis);
ii) Daily buffet breakfast; and
iii) Round trip private airport transfers.

The selling period is effective from 15 June 2017 until 31 August 2017.

Package in conjunction with Malaysia Year End Sale 2017 (MYES)
The 4 days 3 nights Kuala Lumpur & Melaka package is priced from B$348.00 per person with minimum of two passengers travelling together. The package includes:-

i) 2 nights’ accommodation (twin share basis);
ii) Daily buffet breakfast; and
iii) Round trip private airport transfers.

The selling period is effective from 1 November 2017 until 31 December 2017.

The 3 days 2 nights Kuala Lumpur package is priced from B$247.00 per person with minimum of two passengers travelling together. The package includes:-

i) 2 nights’ accommodation (twin share basis);
ii) Daily buffet breakfast; and
iii) Round trip private airport transfers.

The selling period is effective from 1 November 2017 until 31 December 2017. For enquires, kindly contact Anthony Tours and Travel Agency Sdn. Bhd. at 2221747, 2341747 and 3331787 for package enquiries and bookings.

Century Travel Centre Sdn. Bhd.

Package in conjunction with Malaysia Mega Sales Carnival 2017 (MMSC)
The 3 days 2 nights Kuala Lumpur package is priced from B$113.00 per person with minimum of two passengers travelling together. The package includes:-
i) 2 nights’ accommodation (twin share basis);
ii) Daily buffet breakfast; and
iii) Round trip private airport transfers.

The selling period is effective from 15 June 2017 until 31 March 2018.

Package in conjunction with Malaysia Year End Sale 2017 (MYES)
The 3 days 2 nights Kuala Lumpur package is priced from B$99.00 per person with minimum of two passengers travelling together. The package includes:-
i) 2 nights’ accommodation (twin share basis);
ii) Daily buffet breakfast; and
iii) Round trip private airport transfers.

The selling period is effective from 1 November 2017 until 31 March 2018. For enquires, kindly contact Century Travel Centre Sdn. Bhd. at 2221747, 2341747 and 3331787 for package enquiries and bookings.

 

 

Freme Travel Services Sdn. Bhd.

Package in conjunction with Malaysia Mega Sales Carnival 2017 (MMSC)

The 3 days 2 nights Holiday package to Kuala Lumpur / Penang or Ipoh is priced from B$135.00 per person with minimum of two passengers travelling together. The package includes:-
i) 2 nights’ accommodation (twin share basis);
ii) Daily buffet breakfast; and
iii) Round trip private airport transfers.

The selling period is effective from 15 June 2017 until 31 March 2018. For enquires, kindly contact Freme Travel Services Sdn. Bhd. at 2234874 -76 for package enquiries and bookings

 

 

Pan Bright Travel Service

Package in conjunction with Malaysia Mega Sales Carnival 2017 (MMSC)
The 2 days 1 night Kuala Lumpur Free & Easy package is priced from B$209.00 per person with minimum of two passengers travelling together. The package includes:-
i) Return economy airfare on Royal Brunei Airlines;
ii) 1 nights’ accommodation (twin share basis);
iii) Daily buffet breakfast;

The selling period is effective from 13 March 2017 until 31 July 2017 for travel from 15 August – 30 August 2017.

Package in conjunction with Malaysia Mega Sales Carnival 2017 (MMSC) & Malaysia Year End Sale 2017 (MYES)
The 3 days 2 nights Kuala Lumpur Shopping package is priced from B$259.00 per person with minimum of two passengers travelling together. The package includes:-

i) 2 nights’ accommodation (twin share basis);
ii) Daily buffet breakfast;
iii) Shopping tour as per itinerary; and
iv) Return airport transfer.

The 4 days 3 nights Kuala Lumpur Shopping package is priced from B$351.00 per person with minimum of two passengers travelling together. The package includes:-
i) 3 nights’ accommodation (twin share basis);
ii) Daily buffet breakfast;
iii) Shopping tour as per itinerary; and
iv) Return airport transfer.

The selling period is effective from 15 June 2017 until 31 August 2017 and 1 November to 21 December 2017.

Package in conjunction with Malaysia Mega Sales Carnival 2017 (MMSC) & Malaysia Year End Sale 2017 (MYES)
The 4 days 3 nights Penang Shopping package is priced from B$299.00 per person with minimum of two passengers travelling together. The package includes:-
v) 3 nights’ accommodation (twin share basis);
vi) Daily buffet breakfast;
vii) Shopping tour at Penang Design Village Outlet & Penang Half Day Tour; and
viii) Return airport transfer.

The selling period is effective from 15 June 2017 until 31 August 2017 and 1 November to 21 December 2017. For enquires, kindly contact Pan Bright Travel Services at 2240980, 3341154 and 3220078 for package enquiries and bookings.

Taste of Australia

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in hotels, travel, food

 

"
Chef Jake Nicolson awarding first prize at Taste of Australia in Brunei. Congratulations to Julie Marker who won with her Chili Lime and Salted Egg Pie! 
 

The Radisson Hotel, Bandar Seri Begawan was abuzz yesterday with the sounds and smells of the Australian High Commission’s Taste of Australia event. The crowds came out to see renowned Australian Chef, Jake Nicolson, in action in the kitchen, to show off their own culinary talents and learn about great Australian food products available in Brunei.

Speaking at the event, Australian High Commissioner, H.E. Nicola Rosenblum said “Australians and Bruneians have many things in common – countries endowed with natural beauty, warm and friendly people, a common Commonwealth heritage – but if there is one thing that truly brings us together it is our shared national obsession with good food! Today has been an opportunity to share in this passion, both by showcasing quality Australian products which are available in Brunei, and by also celebrating Bruneian enthusiasm for cooking and for fabulous flavours.”

Mr Daniel Havas, Senior Trade Commissioner, of co-sponsor Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), said “Australia is fortunate in that the rich variety of terrains and climates across our continent allows our farmers to produce an abundant variety of premium offerings all year round, but Australian farmers are also committed to constant quality improvement, research and innovation to ensure that our vegetables, meat and dairy products are the best they can be. Austrade is pleased to work with our local partners and distributors to bring these exceptional products to the Brunei public.”

 

 

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Australian High Commissioner, H.E. Nicola Rosenblum, renowned Australian Chef, Jake Nicolson and Siti Zaleha Kaprawi of Astera Consultant
 

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Chef Jake Nicolson and Thanis Lim judging the food competition at Taste of Australia
 

"
Chef Jake trying out the delicacies at Tamu
 

The event saw renowned Australian chef, Jake Nicolson, sharing his culinary skills with the crowd, demonstrating two dishes which will be served to VIP guests at a dinner this evening, and judging a cooking competition with local food celebrity Thanis Lim. Chef Nicolson said “I have been so impressed by the inventiveness and passion shown by the Brunei cooks today! It has been such a pleasure to learn about Bruneian ingredients and recipes, and to taste everyone’s food. I will certainly be taking a few new ideas back to Australia with me.”

The Australian High Commissioner also thanked the event’s sponsors and participating businesses, saying “An event such as this one relies on the support of a wide range of people. I would like to convey my sincere thanks to our sponsors and participating organisations who have supported us so generously.”

During his visit to Brunei, Chef Nicolson has also been exploring Brunei flavours at the Kianggeh Fruit and Vegetable Markets, Kampong Ayer and Gadong Night Markets. Images taken from Australian High Commission Facebook Page.

 

More choices to Turkey via RB

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in travel, Social News

 


Mr. Karam Chand, Chief Executive Officer of Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) and Mr. Bilal Ekşi, Chief Executive Officer and Deputy Chairman of Turkish Airlines (TK) are pleased with the new expansion to provide customers with more options to travel to Turkey
 

Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) and Turkish Airlines (TK) began its code share agreement in February 2016 that allows passengers to connect seamlessly from Bandar Seri Begawan to Istanbul via Dubai (and vice versa). Both airlines are pleased with the results and plans to further enhance this connectivity via Singapore.

So effective 1st May 2017, flights from Singapore to Istanbul (and vice versa) will be operated by Turkish Airlines whereas the flight between Bandar Seri Begawan and Singapore will be operated by Royal Brunei Airlines.

 

 


To Turkey via Singapore through RB
 


To Turkey via Dubai through RB
 

Mr. Karam Chand, Chief Executive Officer of RB said, “We are very pleased to have partnered with Turkish Airlines to provide our customers with more choices. The results to-date have been very encouraging and as a result, we are expanding our partnership. The RB and Turkish Airlines code share flights offer the best connection to Istanbul and vice versa and we believe we will further enhance the tourism and business links between two countries.”

Mr. Bilal Ekşi, Chief Executive Officer and Deputy Chairman of TK stated that; “This expansion in the scope of the codeshare will not only provide our respective passengers with varied options for traveling to Brunei, but also create a great opportunity for a seamless travel with the reduced layover durations. It is a pleasure for us to improve our service to Bandar Seri Begawan, which I believe will eventually contribute to the enhancement of the good relations between two countries.”

Customers can now choose to travel to Istanbul, Turkey via Dubai or Singapore. For further information on the Turkish Airlines cooperation, please contact your nearest Royal Brunei Airlines Office.

 

The 388 deal to KL

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in travel, lifestyle, Social News

 


Mr. Brett McDougall, Executive General Manager – Sales and Marketing, Royal Brunei Airlines, His Excellency Datuk Ghulam Jelani bin Khanizaman, High Commissioner of Malaysia to Brunei Darussalam, Hj Ibrahim Seddiqi bin Talib, Director of Tourism Malaysia (Brunei) and Ms. Nur Khadijah, Sales and Business Development Manager of Pan Bright Travel Services during the press conference recently
 

As one of the representatives from Royal Brunei Airlines said, it’s a better deal than the normal packages as you can save almost $100. It’s a real steal to get BND 388 for a 3 Days 2 Nights with accommodation stay, return economy airfare on RB, daily breakfast, return airport transfer and even private transfers to Bukit Jalil Stadium. All these package is only applicable from Pan Bright Travel Service and it’s called the “3 Days 2 Nights Kuala Lumpur SEA Games package”.

Another incentive is that Pan Bright Travel Service is giving BND 20 discount for first 20 pax who book this package.

The hotels that are packaged in the deal are Star Points Hotel Kuala Lumpur (3 star hotel with 7.7 rating in booking.com) and Corus Hotel Kuala Lumpur (4 star hotel with 8.0 rating). I’ve stayed at Corus Hotel before I kinda like it.

The selling period is effective from today till 31st July 2017 for travel from 15th August to 30th August 2017. For bookings, you can contact Pan Bright Travel Services at 224 0980, 334 1154 and 322 0078 for their package.

 

 


The guest of honour launching the BND 388 package deal
 


A pretty good deal indeed
 

Launching the event was His Excellency Datuk Ghulam Jelani bin Khanizaman, High Commissioner of Malaysia to Brunei Darussalam. Also present were Hj Ibrahim Seddiqi bin Talib, Director of Tourism Malaysia (Brunei), Mr. Brett McDougall, Executive General Manager – Sales and Marketing, Royal Brunei Airlines and Ms. Nur Khadijah, Sales and Business Development Manager of Pan Bright Travel Services. The event was also witnessed by local coaches, athletes and representatives from the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sports.

Pan Bright Travel Service has a very good track record in providing quality and cost effective travel services to their clients in Brunei Darussalam. It’s no surprise that they received the award from Royal Brunei Airlines recently for being the “Top Selling Kuala Lumpur destination” during the 12th Belait Travel Fair and Brunei Travel Fair (2016). Did you know that they are also one of the nominees under the Best Foreign Tour Operator (Southeast Asia) for Brunei Darussalam category at the 19th Malaysia Tourism Awards 2014/2015?

SEA games 2017 will again be the highlight for 2017 and this package is a good incentive for Bruneians to fly over to KL and also enjoy the SEA Games experience in Kuala Lumpur. Will I travel to KL for the SEA Games? We shall wait and see.

So do call Pan Bright Travel Services at 224 0980, 334 1154 and 322 0078 for their packages.

 

 


One of the hotels I’ve stayed before – Corus Hotel. My recommendation.
 


The look of the room at Corus Hotel.
 

Md Taha now owns an Accent

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in travel, lifestyle, Social News

 


The top 4 winners of the Pan Bright Travel Service “Travel & Win Promotion” Grand Draw with the management and representatives from Royal Brunei Airlines and Singapore Airlines at Deli Bites, Royal Brunei Recreational Club yesterday
 


Md Taha Bin Ladin is a happy man after winning the Hyundai Accent
 

Congratulations to Md Taha bin Ladin, who chose the Hyundai Accent over the Hermès Birkin, after winning the grand draw of Pan Bright Travel Service “Travel & Win Promotion” Grand Draw. The event took place at Deli Bites at Royal Brunei Recreational Club.

The grand prize was sponsored by Pan Bright Travel Service whereas the consolation prizes were sponsored by Royal Brunei Airlines and Singapore Airlines.

The second place winner, Lilies Indah Turwahyuni, could have won the grand prize but settled for a trip to London (economy class) and the prize was presented by Aji Puteh, Head of Asia Sales of Royal Brunei Airlines. He also presented the third place winner who was Lam Mei Choi, winning a return trip to Melbourne (economy class).

The other winner was Goh Nyuk Chen, represented by Nurul, who won a trip to Tokyo via Singapore Airlines. The mock ticket was presented by Mr. Aldrin Arumugam, General Manager of Singapore Airlines (Brunei).

Pan Bright Travel Service would like to extend their appreciation to all the customers for their continuous support. The lucky draw promotion ran from 1st September 2016 to 31st March 2017.

Pan Bright Travel Service has been making name for its great marketing gimmick. Last month, Pan Bright Travel Services won the prize for top-selling travel agent during the 12th Belait Travel Fair 2017 that happened earlier in March. Top-selling destinations namely Kuala Lumpur, London and Singapore were purchased by customers from Pan Bright Travel Services.

Keep up the great work, Pan Bright. You can follow them on their social media accounts on Facebook and @panbrighttravel instagram.

 

 


Nurul, representative for Goh Nyuk Chen, won a trip for Tokyo, and the prize was presented by Mr. Aldrin Arumugam, General Manager of Singapore Airlines (Brunei)
 


Lam Mei Choi, winning a return trip to Melbourne (economy class), presented by Aji Puteh, Head of Asia Sales of Royal Brunei Airlines
 


Lilies Indah Turwahyuni, the second place winner, winning a flight to London.
 


Md Taha is still young at heart
 

Contact RA

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About RA

A blogger since 2002, using platforms from blogspot, joomla and now currently wordpress. A readership that stands on average of 20,000 visits per month. Also on active on social media platform on IG, Facebook and Snapchat (@ranoadidas)

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