Posts tagged: Celebrate Life

Good-to-know facts about Hong Kong

By , July 20, 2010 2:00 pm

Thanks to omy.sg and Hong Kong Tourism Board, Shinnpark.com has won the e-Commerce Blog this year. 3 more days to go and we’ll be off to Hong Kong! Here is a mini list of what I have trawled over the net for a good-to-know bite-size list.

#1 Victoria Peak Imagine yourself standing from the tallest point and you’ll see the most magnificent harbors on Earth! The one thing that is on top of my list would have to be The Victoria Peak. Even my friends, who have been staying there for years, raves about it.

If you think you have a slight acrophobia like I do, and in need of almost real to life virtual walk, take a peek here.

#2 Its in the name — ‘Fragrant Harbor 香港 A vivid aroma. Buttery egg tarts, freshly made dumplings and pipping hot fish congee. Hong Kong derives its name from a Cantonese word meaning “fragrant harbor.” Do you know that their national flower rendering in the National flag is a Bauhinia blakeana flower discovered in Hong Kong?

#3 Get your fortune read! You’ll see many fortune tellers with differing skills, from reading tea leaves (yes, the one for drinking!) to Tarot Cards. According to my girlfriend who is residing there, fortune telling is very popular and is chargeable at around HK50-150, my girlfriend swears that her reading was 80% accurate! and that is through palm reading style.

#4 Cha Chan Teng 茶餐廳. For some odd reason, I love to hang out in these ageless charm of the 1960s decor cafe. Maybe it has to do with my childhood, hanging around my grandmother’s vintage ware and rolling chinese tea leaves into my plastic cup for play. Soak into that old-fashioned and romantic ambient! Thick toast, half boiled eggs and tea — all served in a vintage ware will totally make my day! *screams

#5 A Symphony of Lights at the Avenue of Stars. Well known by the Guinness World Record as the world’s “Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show”, this is defintely Hong Kong’s version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It celebrates icons of Hong Kong cinema from the past century, and the seaside promenade offers fantastic views, especially at night.

#6 Wi-Fi. This could possibly be a good place for my tired legs and also an e-update on my trip — Starbucks offers free internet access for those who like to connect with friends over a cuppa.

#7 A cheap sightseeing tram ride. Hop on to one of these cheap tram rides and see how Hong Kong is the epitome of east-meets-west culture! Through the slow-paced journey, you’ll be able to see the neighborhood area gradually changing from old eclectic buildings to all mighty skyscrapers.

#8 Sail with Bounty The original Bounty was built in 1784, and carries a legendary story in the British nautical history. She is the only European tall ship that resides in Hong Kong! I’ve never sat in one like that before. Thanks to The Bounty, we’ll be enjoying a nice cruise ride and wonderful BUFFET dinner!

#9 Getting Around in a Taxi Although I love to take the MTR with the Octopus card, sometimes you will need to get to a destination, fast. With the first two kilometers priced at only $2, and a charge of $0.90 for every kilometer thereafter, taxis are one of Hong Kong’s great bargains and can be hailed almost anywhere. Here is a tip — try and write out the destination in Chinese.  The drivers are generally more familiar with this language and also, they are able to get to your destination at the soonest time possible.

#10 Bring home a slice of Hong Kong’s unique culture If you are bored of getting the usual souvenirs for your friends, head over to G.O.D. (the initials are a homonym of the Cantonese phrase “to live better”) instead. I’ve seen them on an interview in Singapore’s Channel News Asia and I tell you, every single item sold in their store echoes a past erain Hong Kong. They have almost everything from lifestyle and living products and much of them have incorporated the 20th-century Hong Kong imagery.

Symphony of Lights and the Transformation

By , July 20, 2010 12:34 am

SYMPHONY OF LIGHTS

A "Symphony of Lights" is staged every night at 8:00 pm and the show comprises five major themes, taking spectators on a unique journey celebrating the energy, spirit and diversity of Hong Kong!

A "Symphony of Lights" is staged every night at 8:00 pm and the show comprises five major themes, taking spectators on a unique journey celebrating the energy, spirit and diversity of Hong Kong!

One of the key things that I’m completely committed to checking out while I’m in Hong Kong this weekend, is the world famous ‘Symphony of Lights‘. This visual and auditory spectacular has been awarded the world’s “Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show” by Guinness World Records. It occurs every night, and combines interactive lights of 44 key buildings on both Hong Kong Island and Kowloon with “musical effects to showcase the vibrancy and glamorous night vista of Victoria Harbour”.

What would be even cooler, would be if we could manage to get aboard one of the sight-seeing ferries on the Victoria Harbour which apparently offers one of the best vantage points of the show in its entirety (I’m going to use all my powers of pursuasion to get my fellow bloggers / travellers to take part in this)!

The participating buildings on the Hong Kong side

The participating buildings on the Hong Kong side

And the participating buildings on the Kowloon side

And the participating buildings on the Kowloon side

 

THE TRANSFORMATION

Majula Singapura

Majula Singapura

Now back to another very important topic that’s been getting a lot of airplay recently on our joint Hong Kong blog and across the social media networks!! – the competitive spirit brought about by our participation in the World Media Bathtub race.

Fisrt, let me state for the record, that my blogging buddy, Darren and I are definitely on the same side. Although we are in different tubs, we are both in this race to represent both OMY and Singapore!! (MAJULA SINGAPURA)!!

Having said that, I cannot help but feel intimidated by the much better shape that Darren Ng is was in (I say ‘was’, because over the last week of daily training and a strict diet of raw egg smoothies and boiled pigs brain, a truly incredible transformation has taken place). Not only was I concerned about how I might look alongside Darren, I see in his recent article that he is an experienced Dragon Boater – What the??!! How to even come close to this? How good does he look here, girls??

Darren as he was in Dragon Boating Days

Darren as he was in Dragon Boating Days

Well here you have it… I told you some days ago about my intense training schedule, and now I’m proud to reveal the ‘Before and After’ results…

Aussie Pete Before and After the strict diet and intense Bathtub Racing Training

Aussie Pete Before and After the strict diet and intense Bathtub Racing Training

 ‘Eat Ya Heart Out’ all you other country media competitors – Darren and I’ve got this race sorted right out now!!     🙂

Secret Bathtub Training – The Challenges

By , July 16, 2010 2:23 am

With only just over a week until I travel to Hong Kong with my fellow bloggers, it’s time to let everybody in on a little secret.

The last few days has seen a steep curve in the training schedule for the International Media Bathtub race to be held on the 25th July (as part of the much larger Dragon Boat Festival).

My preparation for this event has not been without its challenges.

Firstly, on Sunday I had the contractors come in to hack the training tub out of our bathroom… as you can imagine, my wife was none too impressed to lose our brand new bathtub out of our newly renovated bathroom (nor were my neighbours very happy – HDB do not allow any kind of noisy renovation-type works on the weekends).

The stringent training regimen starts off each morning – the alarm starts buzzing at around 5:00am… I then tie down the bathtub to the roof of my Toyota Wish and head off to Marina Bay to begin a two hour paddle. It’s actually very difficult, because as you can see from this picture, I can’t put my OMY Blog Awards trophy down for long enough to pick up an oar. So really I just float around in the bay in a piece of porcelain for a couple of hours.

"Jia You, Aussie Pete!! Jia You!! 加油!!"

"Jia You, Aussie Pete!! Jia You!! 加油!!"

Then it’s back home again for a quick change of clothes before heading off to hit the pavement in a ‘Rocky’ style 5km run. It’s not uncommon for all the young kids heading off to school to join in behind me and offer me encouragement – “Jia You Aussie Pete!! Jia You!!“. With the ‘Eye of the Tiger’ sountrack buzzing in my head, it culminates with a fist into the air – of course I’m still holding my Blog Awards Trophy!

OK – of course, I jest… there is no Bay Paddle nor even a morning run – and if you try waking me at 5:00am, expect a very grouchy Aussie Pete!… and there’s no way that my wife would ever consider allowing me to dismantle her beautifully designed bathroom.

Having said that, I am concerned with how we’re going to perform in the Bathtub event in Hong Kong. From what I’ve read on the website of the Hong Kong Tourism Board and from people I’ve spoken to, this event covers around 100 metres and may take about 40 minutes to complete… Huh!!? 100 metres in 40 minutes?? How tough is this particular activity, I wonder? Also, given that we’re representing OMY, is the expectation to actually win this race or is it merely just to be able to finish with the bathtub still upright?

The next challenge I’ve got, is what to wear. Darren Ng (Celebrate Life) will be also competing with his blogger counterpart, Violet Lim. If you’ve visited Darren’s website or seen him on RazorTV, you will be no doubt aware of his very ‘hunky’ (as I’ve heard the girls put it) physique. My team mates from the Singapore Wombats Aussie Rules footy team have been daring me to wear just a pair of speedos – should Darren and I both do that, then I’ve definitely lost even before the race has begun!!

A huge thank you to the Hong Kong Tourism Board!

A huge thank you to the Hong Kong Tourism Board!

The official finalized itinery for the four day trip to Hong Kong is almost with us, at which time I’ll be able to decide what some of the extra activities and sites I’d like to do and see – I’ve been to this wonderful place many times, but it’s always been for work (with no time to play). The HKTB has been extremely helpful in ensuring that we are fully armed with as much information on the many things available to us while we’re there – stay tuned for my detailed itinery!! (one outing will definitely be shopping – my wife has given me a ‘leave pass’ for the four days on the proviso that I meet her shopping list requirements… she tells me that Hong Kong is a hub for branded handbags etc – thank goodness for the ‘Visa Card’ competition. I think I’ll need to win the grand prize of HK$500,000 just to pay the credit card bill!!)

I’ll post here again as soon as I’ve finalized my itinery. In the meantime, I’ve been researching other creative ways that Geck Geck and I might be able to win this Bathtub race. I think I’ve found the solution – check out this video below:

[youtube GcQcibnFh0k&NR=1]

Panorama Theme by Themocracy



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