Sunday, 13 March 2011

Can I be a role model if I don't have a family?

Morning Iyengar yoga with Miss Loli since no friend wanted to go hiking this morning despite the gorgeous weather in HK - 25C, sunny, not too humid. Anyway, we had breakfast at 兰芳园 prior to the class and was lamenting how few female executives there are in the company that could be our role models.... That made me started to wonder if I could qualify as one if I'm merely successful in my career without a family? Am I considered a failure through the lens of the traditionalists?

Many friends, associates (whose opinion I didn't seek!) commented that I'm too picky, therefore no
date, no boyfriend... I used to just give my standard reply of "No la, I'm not that picky. Others just don't find me attractive." I would like to change that now - Yes, I am picky! Why shouldn't I be? Time is one of the most precious commodity we own, at our disposal. Why wouldn't I be discreet in how I wish to spend my time?

Whilst I'm not apologetic for being careful in my considerations for a date / bf, I did come home and started doing something that I've been resisting - looking for a dating service. Friends and family have encouraged me to try this in the past and I was skeptical, but now I'm intrigued as to whether this type of service can really cater for a fairly atypical profile like me. Came across this article while googling around:

港女大平反 單身只因被動

Been trying at least one new experience every year for last few years (think it's fear of aging that's driving this, but that's for another blog) - learning to ski, bungee jump, buy a property, live in a new city, etc. My new experience for 2011 is going to be using dating service, wish me luck!

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Thailand International Balloon Festival 2008

I jumped on P'Dao's invitation to go to the International Balloon Festival held in Khao Yai (literally means Big Mountain) National Park. It's a 2-hr drive from Bangkok. Road trip with one of my best friends and her lovely daughter (N'Maii) sounded like good fun.

En route we visited Lam Tad Khong dam in Nakhon Ratchasima province. We had lunch at a restaurant with a gorgeous view of the reservoir.

There were 2 launches of the balloons everyday - at 7am and 4pm. On our first day, we managed to catch the launch in the afternoon. There were 20+ balloons from all over the world, less than the organiser expected because some participants were affected by the protests at the Bangkok Survanabhumi airport in the preceding 2 weeks unfortunately.

There was a daily lucky draw for visitors to fly on te balloon (which I thought was a great egalitarian idea, giving everyone a fair chance). N'Maii was very disappointed that we didn't win the draw...

Sunday, 8 July 2007

龙脊梯田 (dragon's back rice terraces)

It was worth it. We had to get up at 6.30am in order to make the 3hour trip from 阳朔 to 龙胜 (which turned out to be much longer, but that's a diff story) in order to visit the rice terrace (梯田) since we had to catch a flight back to HK at 6pm the same day.

The view of 龙脊梯田 up at 龙胜 is absolutely breath taking. The multi level of rice terraces have been built over hundreds of years by generations of farmers. Comprehensive irrigation system is in place to distribute water from nearby catchment areas to each section of the terrace.

Despite the rain, we still had an enjoyable time hiking up beside the terraces. We only had enough time to go to 七星伴月 (picture above) which is the must-see in 龙胜. Would certainly like to come back here in a different season, eg the autumn to see the hills all turned golden with the ready-to-be-harvested paddy...

Perhaps due to difference in micro climate, while we saw quite a lot of paddy fields in 阳朔 starting to bear flowers and the fields beginning to dry up, the paddy up here has only just come out from the nursery and terraces are still filled with water (and happy ducks...).

[Images courtesy of Chai Yew Wei]


One of the highlights of visiting 桂林 and 阳朔 is to enjoy the scenery of 漓江 between and around these 2 towns.

Didn't realise that 漓江 comes all the way down to 广西 province (just goes to show how little I know about China geography...)

The picture on the right is taken on 遇龙江, one of the offshoots of 漓江, easily accessible from 阳朔 town. Someone had the brilliant idea of slowing down the gushing water and turn this place into a tourist spot. The guy in the picture is crossing 遇龙江 by walking on one of the many 堤 built to provide a calm surface for tourists to leisurely 漂流 ( see picture below) along the amazing scenery.

This is one of the few places in China where you see local people appreciating the value of protecting the environment. No motorised boat is allowed of this stretch of the river to ensure that this place is as unpolluted as possible (and hence keeping the tourist dollar coming).

[Images courtesy of Chai Yew Wei]

Noodle and massage in 桂林

This not very exciting looking vermicelli is the famous 桂林米线. Since we are actually in Guilin, it's simply called 米粉. Seems like 米粉 is the staple diet of the place as we saw locals eating it for breakfast, lunch & dinner! There are slight variations of the way it is served by different places - you can sometimes get soup to be poured on the noodle, the condiments also vary by place. I don't know how they made the sauce but this simple looking dish is very delicious.

We were taken to this little 大排挡 (sounds funny to say little big "pai dang"!) by our lady taxi driver who brought us from the airport to the hotel. She managed to convince us that we should book the ferry tickets to go to 阳朔
for tomorrow on the night we arrived. She then offered to show us a local place for supper and even offered to pay for the noodles (mmm.. I wonder how much commission she made from the ferry tickets). Anyway, we didn't let her pay for the noodle - it's only RMB 2.50 per bowl and we were initially so skeptical that we only ordered 2 bowls among 4 of us...

Thinking about getting a massage after 米粉 and so happened there were quite several of them just next door. Initially we thought they didn't seem too dodgy, but after a dressed up woman walk past in 4-inch stilleto plus the guys noticing that the girls in the massage place opposite wearing hot pants under their white coats (what's the deal with these white coats by the way...? They do that too in HK. Are they supposed to somehow imply professionalism?). Another tell-tale sign was girls sitting outside some of the massage places on the same road. In the end, no massage that night.

From the photo on the right, you can probably make out the 按摩院 next to 龙记.

[Images courtesy of Chai Yew Wei]

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Chill out in Taipei

Had some airmiles expiring in Q4 2006, so thought would do a short trip somewhere in Asia just for a weekend. Ying has been over to HK for the same reason, so thought it would be nice to see the Yang's in Taipei.

It wasn't the best weather to take photos. This shot of the 101 tower was taken from an institution of the city - 园山大饭店

The hotel used to be THE place that foreign dignities were entertained. The internal deco is probably a little OTT by today's standards of slightly preferring minimalist style. Anyway, the Yang's took me there for lunch after I touched down. The Chinese/Cantonese restaurant in the hotel is one of the few places you can get decent dim sum in the city.

The young man was very well behaved, bless him. He would play in his room for hours and recite stories that he heard from daddy & mummy to keep himself amused :)

Anna has turned one!

Decided to spend New Year with OB and family in Shanghai. Happened to coincide with Anna's first birthday. As parents go, I think my brother & sis-in-law were pretty restrained in the celebration :)

Old2 was in town too. Sharon came over for dinner too.

We bought Anna an ice-cream cake from Haagen Dazs with a lovely picture of a young girl.

With a rough brother like Josh, I'm sure Anna will grow up to be tough girl (like me!!).

Despite being so naughty, Josh's still melts my heart when he smiles, makes cheeky face, holds my hand.... Dunno whether it's a family thing or he's just good at manipulating adults!
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Is this really London?

Thanks to KL & Irene's ( hospitality, I managed to see another side of London. Within 15 min of where they stay, we managed to visit an animal farm (, eat freshly baked scones (don't forget to ask for home made ginge ale), play tennis at the Greenwich Park (the oldest royal park;, see egrets flirting with each other, pay tribute to what's remain of the Cutty Sark (destroyed by fire on 21st May 07; ....

This photo is taken using my Sony Ericsson K610i under the twilight of London skies, so doesn't realy do much justice to the lovely couple I just spent the weekend with.

Don't miss the orange trees

Went to Hanoi with Tony & Andy to meet the MOF just before Chinese New Year of 2007. Perhaps I should call it Lunar New Year to be more PC...

The determination to display orange trees at home certainly rivals that in HK. These scenes were common on the streets of Hanoi.

Tony made an interesting observation that there doesn't seem to be many traffic lights in the city. Despite the appearance of chaos, the traffic does somehow sorts itself out. Could this be an example of rule of reason prevailing over the need for rule of law? Tony insisted that I must take some street photos as they would disappear in a few years' time.

Musee Rodin

I don't know very much about arts and culture, especially not French ones. For some reason, I very much like sculptures that are displayed outdoors.

Musee Rodin (www. in Paris is one of my favourite museums. It's small enough that you don't get overwhelmed (unlike le Louvre) but rich enough to keep you busy for at least half a day. Not to mention the wonderful garden of Hotel Biron (in which the museum is housed) where several amazing pieces of Rodin's work are displayed.

This is a close up of one of the most famous pieces by Rodin - Les Bourgeois de Calais - a bunch of bourgeouis about to be executed. The intensity of the moment is very clearly communicated through the facial expressions and body language.

Another famous piece is Le Penseur (The Thinker). This shot is just trying to be cute. Can you spot him in the garden on the right?