Posts tagged: DragonBoat Festival 龙舟节庆

Dragonboat Carnival 2010 – The Capsize!

By , August 17, 2010 7:25 pm

Dragonboats heading back to the startline
After fueling up on breakfasts, we headed to the Dragonboat Carnival at the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade. The three-day event was culminating that Sunday. The carnival saw 12 countries and 191 teams participating this year.

Dragonboats crossing Victoria Harbour
It was a beautiful day, despite weather forecast for rain and Typhoon Chanthu’s visit which flooded the Northern Territories.

Lots of fans waiting for their celebrities to show up
Lining the promenade were scores of people as far as the eye could see – athletes, spectators and supporters, with everyone feeling the buzz. Lots of screaming fans too, awaiting some celebrity participants. Korean boyband U-KISS would be rowing for the KBS Dream Team. I don’t really know any of the celebrities, so pardon me if I get any of them wrong.

Dragonboat supporters
Some dragonboat supporters went all out in wigs, colourful costumes and tattoos.

Our gallant brood of bathtub racers
We were participating too! Well, four of us (from left to right: Violet, Peter, Darren and Geck Geck) were in the “Bathtub Race” – a 100m race just for fun.

Aussie Pete and Darren cheered on by fans...right!
It was hard not to believe the rabid cheering was not for us.

"You mean the strategy is to capsize so we get on TV?"
Miss Ang Geck Geck, whom we affectionately call AGG for short. I mean, not because she’s short, although…well, umm. OK, just the name. She would be rowing with Pete, who is more than twice her size, weight and age rowing power. Here she is, and you can almost picture her saying, “You mean the strategy is to capsize so we get on TV?”

Getting ready for the bathtub race
Our four bloggers all geared up! They did some warm-up rowing exercises.

Some celebrities I don't know
I am guessing these are more celebrity paddlers. My apologies, I’m awful at recognising celebrities.

All set and ready!
This is the bathtub that paddlers will race in! When I first saw it from afar, I was going, “Oh no, surely not these wobbly plastic sinks!”

Well, that’s Pete and AGG waving their last goodbyes. What happened next…I will have to show via Jerome’s most excellent photos. Halfway into the race…


It looks like balance is more difficult to achieve than speed. Darren and Violet were streaking ahead though…and got second place, just like their boat number.


Poor Pete and AGG got a marine bath instead. Honestly, this was not planned, even though we joked about it. Fortunately rescue came quick. The saltwater taste remained a souvenir throughout the rest of the day, but the capsize memories will remain with us for a lot longer!

Check out Jerome’s post with all the close-up photos of the capsize!

The Pink Spartans won! They are a team for cancer survivors and supporters
Part of the special highlights is the Pink Dragonboat Race, which aims to raise awareness of breast cancer and to encourage survivors to lead active lives. We were there to support the Singapore team, Pink Spartans, made up of cancer survivors and supporters. They won first prize!

Korean boyband members waving
This must be the Korean boyband members. Looks like they won something? I had been a little skeptical if boybands knew anything about rowing dragonboats…

Korean boyband members
OK, I take it back. The guy on the right sure looks like he’s well-equipped for rowing!

The trophies featured ornate dragons
This is what all the paddling is for. The shiny trophies featuring ornate dragons along with some heavy-looking medals, plus the honour that comes with them. Congratulations to the teams who won, and kudos to everyone who participated!

Hong Kong Paaartaaay – A Video Pictorial

By , August 4, 2010 3:23 am

I was feeling a little ‘creative’ tonight (it’s a shame that my talents do not match my desires), so decided to savour the memories of our fabulous Hong Kong trip with some of my favourite moments in a short flash video pictorial – thanks and also apologies to all my fellow bloggers from whom I’ve ‘borrowed’ many of the pictures… :p

Sit back, turn up the volume and PAAARTAAAY along with me – Enjoy!!

[youtube 6FX8_GejWa8]

From Singapore to Hong Kong – A VIPs Perspective

By , July 24, 2010 11:39 am
Thousands of screaming fans at the opening ceremony of the Dragon Boat Carnival

Thousands of screaming fans at the opening ceremony of the Dragon Boat Carnival

Press at the Opening CeremonyOK, OK… I know I’m not a VIP!! However, I don’t think that our friends at the HKTB see it that way. We have been pampered, escorted, wined and dined and generally been made to feel quite important indeed! – and this was just the first day! Who would’ve thought that I’d be sitting in a fenced off media area, stage-front for the opening of the Dragon Boat Carnival watching superstars from Korea strut their stuff, while literally thousands of screaming fans and groupies lined the fences with their banners and signs?

So here’s how it happened… the team of bloggers arrived at Changi airport at 6:30am yesterday (Monday, 23rd July) – or at least most of us were punctual 🙂 Very few of is had any sleep to speak of on Thursday night, as we were busy preparing and social networking until almost 4am (poor Alvin was stuck in the office until after 3am, I think – how’s that for diligent and dedicated… maybe he could come and work with me!!).

After a quite enjoyable flight with Cathay Pacific, we landed in Hong Kong around 15 minutes before schedule. Not one for sleeping much on a plane, I watched a movie before catching some shut-eye for around 30-minutes before we touched down.

As with any major international airport, the immigration queue was pretty substantial, and being one who doesn’t like lining up for too long, I leveraged my APEC priveleges and breezed through the diplomat lane (in hindsight, I feel bad that I didn’t wait with the rest of the team – but it did give me some time to ‘partake in my vice’ and also gave me the opportunity to watch everyone arrive through the arrival gate on the wide screen TVs they have set up at the airport).

We then travelled by charter bus to the hotel – many other bloggers have (and will) write more about the hotel, but as a regular business traveller across all of Asia Pacific and across the globe, I can tell you with certainty that for the price you would be hard-put to find anything better.

Upon arrival at the hotel, we were ushered into a private section (lounge bar) of the lobby where the pampering began (even got served what were like cream puffs of waffles, while the friendly staff looked after all the administration and checking in for us).

Next, we had around 40 minutes in our rooms to ‘freshen up’, familiarize ourselves with the amenities (and ensure that the wireless internet was all working well), a group of us reconvened downstairs for afternoon tea at the Hotel restaurant. By this time our stomachs were roaring in protest – so the afternoon tea was more of a ‘late lunch’ – and very well received.

The reconnaissance tour - scoping out our best route for the Bathtub Race!

The reconnaissance tour - scoping out our best route for the Bathtub Race!

The same group then travelled a short distance to the waterfront, where we took a stroll along the ‘avenue of stars’ (and I had a brief encounter with Jackie Chan), until we arrived at the location where the Dragon Boat races (and our now infamous bathtub event) will be held… let’s call this a ‘reconnaissance tour’. Any advantage we can attain is one worth achieving 🙂

On the red carpet again - Opening of the Dragon Boat Carnival

On the red carpet again - Opening of the Dragon Boat Carnival

We then received special ‘press’ passes and entered into the fenced off area for the opening ceremony of the Dragon Boat Carnival – the major atttraction were the group of Korean super stars, and I won’t even pretend to know who they all are (not sure if that’s a cultural thing – I suspect it’s more of an ‘age’ thing), but I’ve uploaded a couple of ‘crude’ iPhone videos and will embed them later below – if you recognize the artists, please comment and let everybody else know who they are.

Then came dinner!! Oh MY!!! How to describe this experience? Let me say to all of my male readers – if you want to impress your wife or girlfriend, this is the place to do it – Busy Suzie!! The name is a play on the well-known Chinese dining table, ‘Lazy Susan’. This is because the Japanese chef cooks in front of you and then serves the food on an ‘oar’ – after feeling the weight of this thing, it’s amazing that the chefs don’t look like Popeye with extra large forearms. The food was absolutely exquisite and the atmosphere completely unique. My fellow blogger and now good friend, Jerome has provided some wonderful images in his article here.

I really would love to write more – and will – but for now, I need to get ready to head off for another day of awe-inspiring adventures in this amazing place, Hong Kong!! Watch this space…

Official Opening of the Dragon Boat Carnival:  

 

[youtube fiPNI9kDzJE]

My screaming fans?? Wow, they really love the Aussie Pete blog!!:

 

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The drummers at the opening ceremony – so very passionate and dynamic:

[youtube W9bWjLKKReA]

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!!     🙂

香港之行不是梦

By , July 19, 2010 1:17 am

月黑风高。窗外蟋蟀声声起,此起彼落,一首不和弦的吱吱吱,直扰人入眠。

窝在暖窝,却,直打冷颤。

这时……

这时!

周公老爷突造访!

“我说啊,周公老爷,您亲临寒舍,鄙人固感三生有幸,可您怎么就不让我入眠啊?!” 锐伊睡眼惺忪,不屑瞧周公一眼。

“不敢不敢!周公,您大人有大量,就饶了我吧!”

“哈哈哈,我可没你那般没量,那般无!我给你带来了八件礼物!”

锐伊抬头,仰天长叹。唉……这周公……








“周公老爷,那是…… HNKNOGOG 什么?”

“周公? 周公? 别走!说清楚!“

锐伊捡起周公的八件礼物,仔细拼出个所以然。

“H……O……N……G……K……O……N……G,HONGKONG!”



“香港之行?香港之行!

周公竟送我……香港之行?

窗外忽起一阵风,直掀床垫……

啊!!!

锐伊 摔个四脚朝天,突省起 :

啊!!! 我赢了 新加坡部落格大奖 部落 Y 格斗,奖项之一便是香港之行!

感谢 周公 OMY.sg 与香港旅游局 HKTB 实现香港之行!

真期待与其他得奖者同游香江,观摩 DragonBoat Festival 龙舟节庆。

到时见! =)

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