Madame Tussauds Hong Kong

On the first day of our Hong Kong trip, we visited Madame Tussauds and The Peak.

I’ve been to The Peak many times but have never gone to Madame Tussauds. I’m not sure why, but I’ve always imagined it to be small and probably not quite worth the visit. I’ve been so wrong. Madame Tussauds Hong Kong houses over 100 celebrity wax figurines! I had so much fun taking silly pictures with the figurines.

The entire place is split into the following themes:

–  Hong Kong Glamour,
– Historical and National Heroes,
– TV Studio,
– World Premiere featuring movie stars from early black and white Hollywood era,
– The Champions featuring sporting heroes,
– Authentic History that gives you a peek of what goes behind the making of  a wax figurine,
– Music icons; and
– Fantasy Kingdom that is newly expanded with different superheroes and characters.

A group shot before we boarded the tram that was going to take us up to The Peak and Madame Tussauds. The night city view on the way up is really beautiful!

Oh hi, just hanging with Brangelina. They are the first few figures that you’ll see upon entering Madame Tussauds.

Trying to look very important whilst hanging with Barack Obama in his office at the Historical and National Heroes room.

Us all at the TV Studio area with host Sandra Ng. This is a replica of the TV talk show, Sparkling Club.

Oh nothing much, just having tea with the beautiful Audrey Hepburn at the World Premiere room. I can’t focus on my tea. She’s gorgeous!

An OOTD shot, Wing Chun style with Donnie Yen. I love these Nike sneakers that I got from Tokyo!
In this Authentic History zone, you’ll see the step by step production process of how Donnie Yen’s wax figure was made. From the very beginning of measuring size, sculpting, moulding to the final stage of colouring.

 Hanging with the Beatles at the Music Icons zone. I grew up listening to their songs. What’s your favourite Beatles tune?

Pretending I’m cool and chic like Lady Gaga.

Tired of hanging with celebrities and icons, I suddenly find myself part of a classical painting. Trying my best to fit right in!

And, The Hulk got me at the Fantasy Kingdom zone! This newly expanded room houses Marcel Superheroes Iron Man, Wolverine, Monkey King, Doraemon and…
Spiderman! I was trying to re-enect that popular kissing scene between Spiderman and Mary Jane. If only Spiderman was hanging upside down too!
   
Went trigger happy taking selfies with all my favourite celebrities and icons!

This is not quite about Madame Tussauds, but we went to Tsui Wah Cafe before heading up to The Peak and these 2 dishes are so good! You’ve got to try this condensed milk toast and chicken wings when you’re in Hong Kong. I’m salivating already just looking at my pictures.

Are you tempted by all my posts to take a trip to Hong Kong yourself? Don’t forget to check out Hong Kong Tourism Board’s Summer Fun website HERE for accommodation, shop and dining offers and more ideas for a fun and exciting time in Hong Kong this Summer!

– xoxo –

The Happiest Place On Earth

On the second day of Hong Kong, we went to Disneyland.

Despite being such a grown up, Disneyland still holds a special place in my heart. I still get excited and look forward to visiting the park every single time although I’ve visited  Disneyland so many times. There’s something about Disneyland that is so magical and puts us all (at least for me) in a fantastic happy mood. It truly is the happiest place on earth! 

Knowing that I would be walking around lots that day, I wanted to pack and carry light so I wouldn’t be bogged down by heavy baggage. I decided to forgo my camera and relied on my new Samsung GALAXY S5 phone as my camera for the day. [Thank you Samsung Asia for giving me this  Samsung GALAXY S5 LTE!]

It was my first time taking my new tech toy out to play and I was so excited. Thank goodness, neither the phone nor the camera functions let me down. In fact, the picture quality quite blew me away. I was all ready to compromise on the quality of my pictures being without my point and shoot camera. I was pleasantly surprised.

All pictures in this post were taken by the Samsung GALAXY S5 LTE’s camera. The 16MP back camera is amazing, just look at the photos that I’ve taken in this entire post.

Here’s me, looking very pleased with my new phone. 🙂 

First ups, we had lunch at Crystal Lotus Chinese restaurant located at the Disney Hotel. The food were all presented Disney-style and it was crazy cute!

Vegetables and mushrooms shaped in Mickey hands and Mickey’s head. Even the prawns were shaped like Dumbo. I almost couldn’t bear to eat anything.

Mango pudding and fruits, Disney-style.

Group shot!

Unfortunately, the weather was really bad that day. It kept raining sporadically and that rained on our parade a little.

Thank goodness, the Samsung GALAXY S5 LTE is water resistant (IP673),  so I could still take pictures with my phone without a worry in the rain! In fact, the GALAXY S5 LTE can withstand water up till 1m deep for 30minutes!

Don’t believe me? Take a look at how clear and sharp my photos are despite the rain!

A marching band performance at the main square. Captured with the Shot & More, Best Photo mode. This mode takes 7 pictures at a go for you to select the best one. 
Perfect for capturing moving objects! 
Just to share a little bit more on the Shot & More function, other than Best Photo mode, there are also other modes under this function: Best Face, Eraser, Drama and Planning Shot! 

My outfit of the day.
One of my favourite highlights at Disneyland was the Disney parade. All the popular Disney characters come alive and come out in full force on their colourful floats. So pretty!
I love this picture of Winnie the Pooh and crew!
The colors are so vivid and everything looks so colorful and happy! 🙂
The Lion King is one of my favourite childhood cartoons!

I used the Fast Auto Focus mode for all the pictures taken during the parade. There were so many elements moving at every one time and everything was happening so quickly. The Fast Auto Focus captured all the movement quickly and most importantly, had everything in focus. 

After the parade, we went to the Toy Story Land!
This land is the newest addition at Hong Kong Disneyland and definitely one of my favourites. The whole place is like the cartoons coming to live from the movie!
And here’s me, stuck to my new phone checking out the pictures that I snapped from the parade. Very impressed by the picture quality I say again!  
A wefie with Szes and Roseanne using the Beauty Mode on the Samsung GALAXY S5 LTE!

Love how the Beauty Mode smoothens out our complexions and hides blemishes and flaws – perfect for concealing the tiredness on our faces from having too much fun all day! This is one of my favourite camera modes on the phone by far, ‘cos it really cuts down on my tme spent on picture editing!

A group shot outside the Philhar Magic 3-D animation show complete with animation effects, scents and water to give you a full sensorial experience.

A must-watch at Disneyland! Other attractions that I recommend are the Mystic Manor ride in the Mystic Point section and the Winnie the Pooh ride. Both are dark rides that take you through a journey on a trackless ride system. Very much a visual feast and treat to the eyes and senses!

So, after a long day of fun, non-stop photo taking, and walking around in Disneyland, we were hosted dinner at Corner Cafe. I have to say, the food and drinks there were really good, will definitely recommend everyone to visit it! 

This popcorn drink is amaze balls. It’s like having popcorn ice cream. I took all these food shots using the Selective Focus mode on the phone. 
With the Selective Mode, I can choose to blur out certain objects in the image, and even the foreground or the background. This allows me to decide on what to focus in my picture and make it really stand out from the rest of the objects in the image too. Best part is, I think it really makes my photos look high-res and like I took them with a DSLR! 😉

And do you notice how my photos are all so vivid and sharp? This is all thanks to the Real Time HDR mode in the GALAXY S5 LTE camera! It allows me to take photos in clarity and vividly, by adjusting the lighting of the picture automatically so that it looks bright and clear

This truffle mushroom soup is also so so good. You have to try it if you do go to Hong Kong Disneyland!

Mains. I shared the ribs, lobster and beef with a couple of others.
Towards the end of the day, almost everybody were lamenting that their phone batteries had gone flat and were desperately trying to borrow mobile phone chargers. Thank goodness for the Ultra Power Saving Mode on the Samsung GALAXY S5 LTE, I still had a working phone!
When the Samsung GALAXY S5 LTE is at 10% battery and this mode is enabled, it shuts down all unnecessary applications and turn the screen to black and white to conserve battery consumption, while leaving only 6 essential applications turned on. This 6 applications includes SMS, Call, and Email, and you can choose the other 3 from this list: Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp, Line, Calculator, Voice Recorder, Memo, Clock etc.!
Super handy, don’t you think? I can foresee myself relying on this mode very often, and the best part is, I no longer have to worry about being uncontactable when I run out of battery! 

My visit to Hong Kong Disneyland was made so much sweeter with my Samsung GALAXY S5 LTE. With so many unrivalled features, it’s no wonder that it’s such a popular phone amongst my circle of friends. I’m so happy that I have made that leap to hop onto the Samsung smartphone bandwagon; I’m so loving all the phone features and huge screen!
There’s so much for me to go on raving about Disneyland but my blog post will go on forever. I’m going to stop here, and let you experience the magic yourself when you do visit the park.
Do share with me in the comments what are some of your favourite Disney park rides and Samsung GALAXY S5 LTE phone features! 

P/S Check out Hong Kong Tourism Board’s Summer Fun website HERE for accommodation, shop and dining offers and more ideas for a fun and exciting time in Hong Kong this Summer!
-xoxo-

Hong Kong Tales – Part 1

I’m just recently back from 5 awesome days in Hong Kong with the Gushcloud family. A big thank you to Cathay Pacific, Harbour City and Tap Dogs for the wonderful time and pampering us so. I’ve been to Hong Kong countless of times and I almost never ever get bored of this vibrant city. Here’s some bits of adventures that we had and my recommendations of must-visits and must-eats. 
A shot of the Cathay Pacific plane just before boarding. I’ve always had a good impression of this airline and it’s always been one of my choice airline to fly. Stewardesses are usually friendly (and pretty!), food onboard is good and the seats are comfortable. The leg room for economy is by far one of the largest I’ve had on planes! Cathay even has 9 flights daily to Hong Kong and that gives you such flexibility and convenience when planning your flight itinerary.

Cathay Pacific also has an eNewsletter that brings you exclusive fare and holiday deals, right to your email! CXpecials is now having a special promotion and if you sign up by 30thJune 2014, you can stand a chance to walk away with a round-trip economy class ticket to Hong Kong! Because good things must be shared, click here to get your own subscription of CXpecials and chance to win the tickets! 

We stayed at The Marco Polo Hotel and this was the view that greeted me when I entered the room. Whoa. I was blown away. How awesome is this view! The room was huge with a walk-in pantry, mini walk-in wardrobe and study desk area.
Super comfy bed. I fell asleep almost immediately every night when my head touched the pillow. The hotel is super conveniently located beside Lane Crawford and Harbour City, the huge shopping mall. It’s also walking distance to Tsim Sha Tsui. 
                           
This is me in the mini pantry room. I just couldn’t help myself when I saw the cosy ‘lil room….Ohmm….
We were hosted by the lovely people at Harbour City on Monday (3rd day in Hong Kong) and they pampered us silly that day. It started with this manicure treat at A Beauty Bar. The hand massage was absolute heaven…I almost nodded off sitting up!
With the warm and friendly A Beauty Bar team and Gushcloud manager, Audrey.
My nails after the manicure session. I love the colours!

We were treated to this gastronomical lunch feast at Canton Deli + Chiuchow Restaurant after my manicure session. Check out our feast below. We were so lucky to have food from both separate restaurants!  I had happy finger nails + a very happy tummy.

Every dish tasted good. I can’t even pick favourites. If I really had to, I’ll vote for the egg tarts and ‘bo luo boa’…only because I’m bias and I usually love these 2 dishes. One of the best dim sums I’ve had in Hong Kong, you have to eat at this restaurant if you visit Hong Kong!

With our lovely hosts.
We popped out to look at the Happy Moments sculpture installation by Kim Gyung Min. There are art pieces sprinkled all over Harbour City. What a treat for the art lover in me! 🙂 And yes, we were all trying to mimic art and be sculpture installations ourselves. What fun!
From left to right, the Gushcloud influencers Rachel Wong, Reiee Kok, Audrey Faith Lim, Nicole Chang, Julian, Tyler, Szes, Roseanne Tang and me. 
My #ootd. 
Top: Bershka
Skirt: From Tokyo
Shoes: Fendi flatforms
Bag: Givenchy Antigona
We continued with a macaron tasting mini tour after at Pierre Herme and Laduree. Am I lucky or what?! How awesome is Harbour City to have both macaron shops under their roof. 


Funky decor at Pierre Herme.
Mmm…macarons galore! I want 1 of everything!!

The flavours that I tasted. I like the rose and salted caramel best. 

In macaron heaven!

Laduree is all pink, pretty and polka dots. 

Pretty macaron tower

Even the macaron colours are so prettyyyyy.

One of each, please!

Happy macaron campers. We each got to take home a box of macarons and a bottle of jam. Thank you, Laduree!

Special Hong Kong edition Lauduree box.
And like all that macarons weren’t enough, we were hosted for tea at the newly opened Dalloyau cafe. More sweets for all the sweet tooth monsters! 😀
                           

More yummy macarons!
I love lemon tarts.

The interior of the cafe is really pretty.

Dalloyau’s signature, the Opera cake. If you’re wondering, yes, it’s very good. You’ve got to try it!

Interior of the cafe.
With Gushcloud managers, Sheena and Audrey, and Roseanne.

The cakes taste as good as they look.

Le menu!


As if the day wasn’t going well enough, we bumped into Gigi Leung at Dalloyau and got a picture with her.
We had some free and easy time to explore the shops at Harbour City after tea and here is where we all ended at: Style Nanda. We all got really excited at the stand alone store and all went a lil crazy buying 3CE makeup.

Tyler, Nicole and Xuen looking like models in the store.
Harbour City is one of my favourite malls in Hong Kong. I never fail to visit this shopping heaven every time I go to Hong Kong. It’s got everything under one roof – shopping, dining entertainment and sightseeing. I have to reiterate again that it’s pure shopping heaven. It’s got Lane Crawford and so so many shops (at least 400 I think?) and possibly every brand name that you can think of. You’d probably need a whole day to cover all the shops in this mall. They’ve also got Greyhound Cafe from Bangkok!
Finally, to end the already perfect day, we were hosted to an Italian dinner at Cucina. Located at the Marco Polo Hotel where we are staying, the view at dinner was this amazing. 

The fish came encrusted in what looked like a salt crust covering the entire fish. The waiter had to break the salt case apart to serve it. It was so good.

There’s always room for dessert!

And just like that, this sweet treat was the perfect ending to a wonderful day.
This is all the Hong Kong tales that I have for now. Check back for Part 2 and more soon! 
-xoxo-

I Fell In Love With Boracay

For those who are following my Instagram account, @thepinkflaregirl, you’d have seen the gorgeous pictures of Boracay (like this one below) that I posted. 
Roomie, Kay Kay and I on a speedboat cruising into the sunset on our way to parasail.
I was completely blown away by the beauty of Boracay and fell absolutely in love with it.  Almost every picture taken there was completely picturesque and such a dream. Thank you Gushcloud and Tiger Air for sending us there! A big thank you too to our accomodations, The District Boracay for the wonderful hospitality. I’ll recommend this luxurious hotel to anyone who’s thinking of going to Boracay. I loved the contemporary, minimalist design, the staff are really warm and friendly, and the location is superb; it’s right by the beach. The beach is literally right outside its door step. You can trust me on The District Boracay. I’m usually fussy with accommodations. 
The District Boracay – see what I mean by having the beach right at its doorstep?
There’s so much to love about Boracay – the soft white sand, clear blue waters, iridescent sunsets, yummy and affordable seafood, delicious fruit shakes (must-try!), beachside cafes…and the people are generally nice and friendly too. You don’t get shot dirty looks when you decide not to buy something from a shop. Water sports and activities are also affordable, the beach not overcrowded and it’s easy and convenient to get around. Most places are walkable, or you can hop onto a tuk tuk (similar to Bangkok’s) to take you to your destination. Oh, and massages are very affordable too! I was getting foot massages everyday when I was there (super happy!). I’ll recommend that you hit ‘Manggo Spa’ located along the beach at Station 2. The spa premise is very clean and the prices are affordable. I paid 490pesos (about S$15) for a foot massage. We tried some dodgy massage shops. Although cheaper, but the experience was definitely less pleasant. Also, as travel time to Boracay is quite long (we took a 4hr flight, 1.5hr bus ride, half hour ferry ride and then 15 min bus ride to get to our hotel), so I’ll recommend a longer stay there – at least 3 full days or more. 
These are some activities that I did and recommend:
Snorkling and Island Hopping
I didn’t quite enjoy the snorkling – the water wasn’t very clear and there weren’t many variety of fishes. We spotted 1 rainbow coloured fish and lots of clown fishes. Getting to Puka beach however, was completely worth the trip. Puka beach is absolutely beautiful. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.  
Kay Kay, Joanna, Valerie, Szes, Jolene, Lucinda and Sheena – before hitting Puka beach. 
It reads, ‘PUKA’ if you’re wondering what the sticks are.
With Nicole, Serene, Melody, Joanna and Tricia

Mandatory jump shot at the beach! (we took jump shots at our last Gushcloud trip to Bali last year too) From left to right: Sheena, Rosanne, Me, Kay Kay, Melody, Tricia, Serene, Lucinda, Kife, Szes, Jolene, Valerie, Fiona, Nicole, Joanna, Lydia.

With the Gushcloud team, Audrey, Xuen, Sheena, Jasmine and Freda.

ATV

This was one of my favourite activities. I was so wishing that I could go a lot faster with the ATV vehicle, but we had to be in one line. We drove up and did a mini hike up to the highest point of Boracay. Again, it was absolutely beautiful.

The ATV vehicles

The view from the top.
Left to right: Rosanne, Lucinda, Kay Kay, Tricia, Me, Serene, Jolene, Audrey.
Check out Serene’s hair that completed the ‘E’! Oh why was my ‘L’ lopsided. 😦 
Helmet Diving

As I posted on Instagram, those who dive for real will probably find helmet diving really gay. But it was my first time so deep underwater – 5m, walking on the ocean bed and feeding fishes. So fun! You wear these huge helmets (that are super heavy) with tubes attached and you can breathe completely normal and not get your face and hair wet at all underwater.

The helmets
Us all underwater.
Here’s a short video to give you a sense of what helmet diving is like.
Parasailing
Definitely my favourite activity. It was so surreal and calming to be up so high and again I say, the view was magnificent. Although Kay Kay and I did have a somewhat physics discussion of what would happen if the parasail ropes snapped and we tumbled into the sea and we were worried about how we were going to land at first because we had no clue and were slightly scared. We eventually found out that we landed really gracefully with the speedboat reeling our line in slowly till our feet touched the boat. Phew! Oh, and you have to do this at sunset! It’s makes the whole experience even more amazing with the view. 

With Althea, Freda and Kay Kay on the speedboat. 

And off we went!
Higher…
…and higher…
Food Recommendations: 
It was superb traveling with Lady Iron Chef because he’ll have his readers recommend the must tries and would have done his homework before helping us decide where to eat.
Mesa
      

 
Located at Station 2, the menu had a wide selection of Filipino cuisine with a hint of Asian fusion. I’ll recommend the salted egg rice, seafood platter, and curry pork dish. The pork leg was supposedly recommended, but it failed to live up to its standards. Food was overall good and the ambience was nice.
Talipapa Market

Awaiting our food at Talipapa Market. No doubt a bunch of bloggers we are – we  whip out our phones at every chance!
A shot with Melody whilst waiting for our food.
This place has an interesting concept where you have to buy your seafood from the various stalls at the market and then bring it to a separate restaurant to have them cook for you. Seafood is definitely very fresh, but you have to haggle prices. 
Cyma Greek Taverna
Located at D’Mall, Station 2. The rib eye steak and crab pasta is a must-try. The steak is super juicy and tender, and the crab pasta is super yummy. 
Before I end my post, you can stand a chance to win tickets to Boracay and experience all the wonderful things I did! Tiger Air is giving out $1 million worth of flights in their year-end draw. 100 lucky travellers will walk away with $10,000 worth of flight credits each and every booking you make gives you 1 chance in the draw! For more details: bit.ly/1milliondraw.

Till we meet again Boracay!

-xoxo-