Portraits: Lai Pei Si

With 20 years experience in retail banking in Singapore and Brunei, Lai Pei Si is a force to be reckoned with.
Friday 25 October 2019
Travelling done right with Standard Chartered Malaysia country manager Lai Pei Si. Photo: Standard Chartered Malaysia

A Bachelor’s (Honours) degree holder in Economics & Political Science from National University of Singapore, Lai is also an avid world traveller though she admits to not planning her trips well in advance and prefers to get quick and easy deals. Here she reveals her handy insider travel tips.

Favourite holiday destination?

Japan.

Last holiday you took?

Barcelona, Spain.

What is the next holiday you have planned?

We are last minute planners, so no specific plans yet.

Best hotel or resort you’ve stayed in and why?

Club Med – I love the full immersion experience, and Westin – I love their beds.

The funniest or most memorable travel experience you’ve had?

An adventure I had with my family with sea urchins in the Mediterranean Sea.

Any destinations on your holiday bucket list?

South America, the only continent I have yet to visit.

What do you have to pack when you travel?

Moisturiser.

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Photo: iStock

Are you a planner or someone who is free and easy when you travel?

Free and easy.

Are you a books, magazine or Kindle person?

Books.

Last book you read?

Kite Runner (for the fifth time in the last 10 years).

Tips on getting flight or hotel upgrades?

I’m a lazy planner but quite an easy spender. I do not always look for the best value, but I’m happy as long as I get fast, accurate and relevant deals.

How do you maximise spending miles?

I always use my Standard Chartered Priority Visa Infinite Card when I travel as I get automatic insurance. All I need to do is to spend at least once using the card and I will be covered for overseas medical treatment of up to RM50,000, emergency assistance up to RM100,000 and baggage loss.

Travelling tips for business and leisure?

Always have your emergency contacts with you including your bank’s contact details. Bring extra cash, at least two credit cards, separate your valuables in different bags and get insurance.

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Photo: iStock

Airbnb or hotel?

Airbnb.

Shopping or see the touristy sights?

Both – I like to take something back with me from all my travel experiences and take in the sights. My favourite thing to do though is to immerse myself in the local culture and activities to experience what’s truly unique to that country.

Beach, mountains or city?

All three! Our recent trip to Barcelona presented opportunities for sea, mountains and the city.

Are you a morning or night person?

Morning – I like taking in the morning’s freshness and the smell of dawn.

What’s your business philosophy?

Our customers are centre to all that we do – if we help others get what they want, we can get what we want.

What do you spend the most money on?

The kids.

What do you spend the least amount of money on?

Vanity.

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