Posts tagged: Violet Lim

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!

Ms Matchmaker’s Guide to Hong Kong #4: THE Makeover

By , August 6, 2010 6:59 pm

Some of my lady clients at Lunch Actually simply refuse to believe me when I tell them,

“There are no ugly women, only lazy women…!”

Hence, I was extremely excited to find out that 4 of us (Elaine, Geck Geck, Gin and I) would be undergoing a makeover by Celebrity Stylist Celia Wong! Celia is a well-known stylist in Hong Kong and she has worked with stars such as Kelly Chen and she has also been featured in various magazines.

Our first stop was of course Celia’s store/office somewhere at Causeway Bay. The name is cute! dada! 🙂

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Celia started out by asking us about our preferred style and our objective for the makeover. For me, I told her that my usual dress style is ‘corporate’, so I would like to try something different… perhaps something more ‘lifestyle’. And I did share with her that my favourite colour is purple.

She got to work really quickly, and chose a purple dress for me. But subsequently, she felt that the dress might not be the best choice, so she chose a second attire for me. I must honestly say that what she has chosen for me is not what I normally would wear… but I guess that’s what a makeover is all about right? 🙂

Here’s the ‘BEFORE’ photo, courtesy of Alvin from omy.sg.

Violet - Before Makeover

Actually, that’s not really the ‘BEFORE’ photo since I had some light makeup on. The following is really the ‘BEFORE” photo… after my makeup artist Anita from Make Up For Ever Academy has wiped away the makeup from my face. 😉

Violet - No Makeup

As you can see from the BIG grin on my face, I am rather pleased with the make up!

Violet - During Makeover

I am so amazed by how BIG she has made my eye appear! I really believe that makeup can do wonders! However, that did take about 1.5 hours though… 🙂

And the ‘Finished Product’?

Violet - After Makeover (a)

What do you think? 🙂 I am still not sure if this is something I would wear on a regular basis, but it’s good to know how I would look in something more frilly and feminine. 🙂

And the team that made it all happen! Celia and Anita!

Violet - Makeover Celia and Anita

And here I am, with the rest of the girls – Geck Geck, Gin & Elaine, together with Celia. Photo courtesy of Elaine.

Violet - Makeover Group

Actually, I have done quite a number of makeovers in the past when I am interviewed by some magazines. But this is the first time that I have had the chance to capture the ‘Before’ and ‘After’ process. And I am so happy to share these shots with you.

I hope this has proven once and for all that by spending some time and effort, we can all look absolutely gorgeous and beautiful! 🙂

Ms Matchmaker’s Guide to Hong Kong #3: My Love Affair with the Fragrant Harbour

By , July 30, 2010 8:50 am

The truth is, I have found this trip to HK rather challenging to blog about.

The reason is… I am not really sure I can be classified as a tourist… and the trip is sponsored by the Hong Kong Tourism Board after all! 🙂

Prior to the trip, I asked my HK friend, “Hey, what are the attractions I should check out in HK? I am going as a tourist this time!”

My HK friend replied, “唔好讲笑啦!你係四份之一个香港人哦!” In other words, she’s saying, “Stop kidding me! You are a quarter of a Hong Konger!”

Erm, I guess she’s not wrong. I actually go to HK once a month because we have a HK branch.

Come to think about it, HK and I go a long, long way back…

My “love affair” with the fragrant harbour HK started when I was 5 years old. That was my first overseas trip, and my parents brought me to HK for a vacation. Looking at the photos, I had a blast at Ocean Park!

My first trip to HK without my parents was when I was 17 years old. And that was the first time I stayed in a HK condominium. It was indeed an eye opener! I have been told that Hong Kongers rarely would invite friends to stay in their homes. The reason is not that they are not hospitable or not friendly. The reason is because they do not have space in their homes! My friend’s place is probably quite big compared to the normal standard, but compared to my home in Malaysia (where land is not as ‘precious’ as in HK), it is really rather tiny. I remembered my friend’s kitchen… after both of us squeeze into it, there’s hardly any more space for a third person!

And finally, when I turned 28 years old, my dream of working in Hong Kong finally came true! After my numerous visits to HK where I enjoyed myself so much, I told myself, “One day, I want to work in HK!” Having quit my job in 2004, I was not too sure how I was going to fulfill this dream. The opportunity presented itself when we decided to set up a Lunch Actually branch in HK, having done our market research that there is a demand for a modern dating service in HK! And that was when I started my monthly visits to HK.

What do I love about HK you might ask…

There are so many things that I love, and here’s just among the top 5 things I love about HK!

P10402431. The Energy and The Vibrancy of the City

If there is a city that never sleeps, it has to be Hong Kong! Many shops in the shopping belt are opened till 10pm or 11pm. When you walk around Causeway Bay or Tsim Sha Tsui, you will feel like it’s 8pm when in fact it’s already 11pm! There are still lots of people walking around or out shopping! Some people find the city claustrophobic. But I love the hustle and bustle of the city. I like the fact that people go around with a sense of purpose and urgency. I expected to take 4 months to set up our HK branch, but it only took us 2.5 months, and I think a big part of it is attributed to how fast and efficient the Hong Kongers are!

2. The Cantonese Language

My mother tongue is not English, nor is it Mandarin, it is actually Cantonese! My dialect group is Hakka, but because my mum does not speak Hakka, we ended up speaking Cantonese at home. Do you know that as compared to Mandarin, Cantonese might be even more difficult to learn because Mandarin only has 4 different sounds (or some may say 5), but Cantonese has 9 different sounds! When I come to HK, I feel as if I am home… because everybody speak Cantonese! And when I connect with people in Cantonese, I just feel instantly closer to them! 🙂

3. The Tram or better known as ‘Ding Ding’ to the locals

The tram system on HK island is convenient and affordable. In fact, it’s extremely cheap! You can get from one end of the island to the other end with HKD2. Yes! That works out to 40 cents in SGD! I love to take the tram especially in the winter months. The cold wind will be blowing on your face while the tram saunters through the new and the old Hong Kong. I remember telling my friend how much I love taking the tram. And she said, “我睇你叮啲几耐!” (Let’s see how long you can take the tram!) Haha, and she’s right! Because when the summer months come by, it becomes extremely hot and humid and I do not advise you to take the tram then, unless you want to have a free sauna treat!

4. The Desserts

Hui Lau Shan Mango Dessert Drink

HK is a food paradise, no doubt about it. But more specifically, it is a desserts haven! If you are a mango lover, you have to check out 《许留山》which serves delicious mango-themed desserts! You cannot miss it because its branches are spread all across town. Another of my favourite haunts is 《满记》(Honeymoon Dessert) which has absolutely amazing durian pancakes! And if you enjoy milk-based desserts, I love the 双皮奶 (double skin milk pudding) at 《杏花楼》. I always have it when I am in HK! 🙂

5. A City of Contrast

new old contrastIf you love contrast, you will love HK. It is a city where you can have a delicious and fulfilling meal by spending either HKD30 or HKD3000. You can admire the amazing skyscrapers or enjoy the serenity of its mountains. You can go clubbing at Lan Kwai Fong or enjoy a relaxing day at the beach at Stanley. You can shop at Prada, Gucci, LVand the likes or you can hunt for a bargain at Temple Street or Ladies Market! The options and opportunities are endless and in my opinion, that is what makes this city always exciting and intriguing.

You will always think that you have it all figured out, and then it will throw you yet another surprise!

And that is why HK is definitely one of my favourite cities in the world.

What about you? What would make it to your top 5 list for Hong Kong?

Ms Matchmaker’s Guide to Hong Kong #2: Discovering our Not-So-Humble Abode…

By , July 25, 2010 1:25 am

As the saying goes, ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’… I shall let the photos do the talking…!

Hong Kong OMY

We were warmly welcomed at the airport. Our transport for the next few days will be the minivan! 🙂 From the airport to the hotel, managed to capture some street scene of HK!

When we arrived at The Mira (the gorgeous hotel that we are putting up for the next 3 nights, we were warmly welcomed by their hospitality team.

Hong Kong OMY1

And when I got into my room, I was suitably impressed! 🙂

2010-07-24

And being the gadget-crazy person I am, I simply love all the gadgets in the room! 🙂

1) Do you see the mobile phone below? It’s a mobile phone that you can bring with you wherever you go and if someone calls you at the hotel, you can pick up the call even though you are out shopping! How cool is that?

2) And there is a super big flat screen which is connected to a PC, and you can use it to go online! 🙂

3) Check out the wireless keyboard. So you can access the Internet from the comfort of your bed!

Hong Kong OMY2

Hong Kong OMY3

Love the hotel that we are staying in. It’s so cozy and comfortable that sometimes, I contemplate staying in rather than going out! 😉

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.

Ms Matchmaker’s Guide to Hong Kong #1

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By , July 18, 2010 11:46 pm

Having submitted my blog a month or so ago for the omy’s Singapore Blog Awards 2010, I never thought that I would eventually emerge the winner of the ‘Most Insightful Blog’! I have checked out the various nominees and eventually the finalists, and I thought that there were definitely many deserving bloggers who would win the award. Hence, when I knew I won, I was like ‘Wow… am really blessed!’ A big thank you to the organizer – omy.sg, the wonderful panel of judges, as well as all my readers who have been voting for me daily!

Having known that I have won was the FIRST surprise. Knowing what I have won was the SECOND surprise! And boy, was I in for a pleasant surprise! Not only we each receive an ASUS netbook, 10 of us are going on a sponsored trip to Hong Kong, courtesy of the Hong Kong Tourism Board from 23 – 26 July. How generous is that!?!? Now, I understand why so many people turn into full time bloggers! 🙂

Pre-Departure Preparation:

To prepare us for our upcoming trip, omy organised a pre-departure briefing for us on Wednesday where I met up with the 9 other bloggers! 🙂 And today, finally, after putting the kids to bed, I have time to sit down and have a peek into the HK familiarization kit provided by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) after our meeting on Wednesday.

Love the tagline… Hong Kong. Live it. Love it! Especially the word ‘LOVE’, since I am a matchmaker after all. 😉

HKTB Trip 2010 001

Was very happy to see what was inside!

I have been meaning to get a new luggage tag for my new luggage bag, but never found the time to do so.

Inside the paper bag, there was a big folder with all the information, a pen, and a leather luggage tag (which can also double up as a name card holder or a staff pass holder)!

HKTB Trip 2010 002

After going “ooh and aah” over the luggage tag, I finally opened the red folder to devour the information provided! They have definitely provided us with lots of ‘homework’ to do! 😉

HKTB Trip 2010 006

When you have a business to run and two kids in toll, what do you do? You start to think out of the box! And voila!

My iPhone to the rescue!

I was amazed to find so many apps based on the search keyword ‘Hong Kong’. And some of these apps are actually developed by the Hong Kong Tourism Board!

HKTB Trip 2010 007

Here is one of the apps I really like!

When you think of HK, what is the first thing that come to mind?

For me, it’s great food! 🙂

HK Delicacies is one of the apps developed by HKTB. And it’s divided into 4 different categories – Rice, Congee, Noodles and Rice Noodles. And they are dishes placed on a revolving table, which we see in Chinese restaurants. So on the app itself, you can rotate the table to choose the category you would like to view.

HKTB Trip 2010 008

I wanted to share with you one of my favourite HK delicacies…

HKTB Trip 2010 009

Yes, and it’s none other than Cart Noodles, or better known as 車仔麺!

10 years ago, when I went to HK to visit my friend, she being the wonderful host she is, brought me to expensive restaurants to try out various cuisines e.g. Shanghainese, Japanese etc. And on the last day, she brought me to a simple, humble looking restaurant to try out Cart Noodles, and I declared it the best food I have tasted! She was like, “Aiyoh… I could have saved so much money if I knew earlier!” Haha! 🙂

Anyway, the app even shows you where you can go to try out all these various delicacies recommended by famous personalities in HK!

HKTB Trip 2010 010

Looking at all these wonderful delicacies, I am wondering how many KGs I will be putting on when I am in Hong Kong! 🙂

Am really looking forward to see ‘Fragrant Harbour’ (香港) once again as this will be one of the first trips in a long time where I am in HK for pleasure and not just work!

Looking forward to catch up with all my friends too! So for those of you who are in HK right now, drop me a message if you are free to catch up between 23 – 26 July! 🙂

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]

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