Travel

Airbnb Trips enters Singapore market

Airbnb Trips enters Singapore market
Learn how to make soon kueh at One Kueh At A Time. Photo: Facebook/One Kueh At A Time
Visitors get to experience making soon kueh and watch dragon kilns being used
Published: 1:50 PM, March 13, 2017
Updated: 5:05 PM, March 13, 2017

SINGAPORE — Airbnb has announced that it has debuted its Trips options in Singapore.

Trips — which gives users the option to book a local experience along with a place to stay — moves the company beyond a home-sharing concept, the company said in a statement.

The experiences on offer range from making soon kueh in Jalan Besar, to learning about how pottery is made in traditional dragon kilns.

Nick Soon, a “kueh evangelist” who gave up his insurance job and learnt soon kueh-making skills from his parents. He opened hawker stall One Kueh at a Time at Berseh Food Centre in 2014, and is one of Singapore’s first Experience hosts.

“Many people only see a certain side of Singapore — the modern metropolis that’s a high-tech economic and shopping hub — so they miss out on many of the things that make us tick, like our standards when it comes to that plate of noodles or understanding the stories behind Singapore’s hawker scene,” said Soon, 48, in a statement. “Food in Singapore isn’t just about how odd something tastes. It represents the way we live, how we think, and how we connect with one another as a community. It tells the story of our history.”

He added that he will share his parents’ story of how they were soon kueh makers back in the day.

Other Experience hosts include a trip to Thow Kwang Pottery, a family business founded in 1965 and home to one of the oldest dragon kilns in Singapore. The experience will include seeing the brick kiln in action. Pottery is fired now by gas and electric kilns, and the wood-fired dragon kiln is unique as the fire and ashes react with the glaze to produce unpredictable colours and textures in finished pieces.

Stella Tan, the niece of owner Tan Teck Yoke, will play host to Airbnb’s Trips experience here.

“Over coffee and local pastries, I’ll share the history of my family, the kiln, how it functions and teach you the basic techniques of both hand-building and using a potter’s wheel,” she said. “You can create anything you want: a mug, bowl, planter, etc. Finally you’ll glaze (colour) your own art pieces.”

Airbnb’s Trips experiences were first launched in Los Angeles in Nov last year (2016), and there are now over 800 Experiences available in 14 cities around the world, including Singapore, Bangkok, Tokyo, Seoul and Sydney. By the end of the year, Trips experiences will be found in some 50 cities.