PEr FYI

December 2, 2017

The Compleat Strategist, New York…I left empty handed

This is a true aficionado’s pure nirvana in a tiny space near the Empire State Building. Not a single online or computer game.  This is role playing at its finest and board games galore.

This store isn’t really big but from the ground all the way to the ceiling it is packed with games. The walls are bursting with games. The narrow aisles have games, miniatures, books and other collectibles crammed along the shelves. They have brand new games, old vintage games, expansions packs for games you’ve never heard of, and most importantly: RPG books

They seem to have everything except the thing I’d wanted: a foam value set for the Star Wars Rebellion board game box.

Don’t come here for customer service, though. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

compleat strategist ny1

compleat strategist ny2

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October 18, 2017

Hogushi, Tokyo…I’ve had better massages

Filed under: Activities, Japan, Massage, traditional, wellness — Tags: , , , — PEr @ 1:27 pm

It’s no secret that Singaporeans are stressed, but when it comes to unwinding, we’re pretty competitive about that too—that’s where shiatsu massage in Tokyo come in.

Hogushi was recommended by the hotel concierge as a traditional shiatsu joint offering services with modest price tags. Privacy is precarious here, and the curtain separating the beds mean the moans and groans you hear may not be your own. Maybe it’s my high expectations but it was nothing special and nothing horrible. No matter how strong he was, the didn’t have the right technique no pressed the right spots. I left feeling like no work had been done on me.

If you want a real good deep massage, this place is not for you. I’ve had better massages. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

hogushi tyo1

hogushi tyo2

October 15, 2017

Hair Graphy, Seoul…ho-hum look

Filed under: Activities, hair salon, South Korea — Tags: , , , , — PEr @ 2:46 pm

I was in Seoul and was looking for good hair days ahead and selfie perfection. With so many celebrity-endorsed places, it can be tricky to figure out which ones are worth the (often extortionate) prices.

Hair graphy is a low-key salon with calm and a minimalist décor. The prices are reasonable. I do not have complaints about the hairstylist I was assigned, but was overall very underwhelmed with the end result and the service.

Finding a hairdresser you trust with your precious locks can be a bit of a nightmare. I left the salon with a ho-hum look. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

hair graphy sel1

September 24, 2017

Dao Spa, Shanghai…head back to your room and take a nap instead

Filed under: Activities, China, Massage, spa, Travel — Tags: , , , , — PEr @ 3:20 pm

We’ve all been there. Going into a spa with great anticipation, only to find that the massage room is falling apart or the masseur has brute strength but zero technique. Yes, a bad spa can ruin anyone’s mood, but when you are aching all over looking forward to a good rub-down, the stakes are even higher.

If your body is aching after a long day, and the nearest spa to you is Dao Spa, you might just want to head back to your room and take a nap instead.

Another option: Have a friend rub your shoulders. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

dao spa 5 & 16 sha

September 17, 2017

Dragon Hill Spa, Seoul…get naked with the locals

Sauna culture is common around the world — including the Japanese onsen and Turkish hammam — but the South Korean variety, a jjimjilbang, is an entire industry unto itself. These 24-hour spas are everywhere in Seoul – like starbucks.

You pay a flat fee for entrance and given a jjimjilbang uniform and a bracelet with your locker keys. But calling the jjimjilbang a bathhouse hardly begins to describe its attractions. Sure, you can take a bath and a sauna. You can sit in a steam room or in or around large, sex-segregated baths filled with extremely hot water. There are professional body scrubbers and masseurs. You can lie on a heated floor (a feature of traditional houses). You can also eat, sleep, date, watch television, read, play computer games.

For all kinds of good, clean fun. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

dragon hill sel1

dragon hill sel2

September 16, 2017

Fa So La Tax free Akihabara, Tokyo…top stop to shop for Japanese specialties

Few globetrotters set off for an overseas trip without a shopping list either for themselves or usually for friends, family and work colleagues.

Tokyo Banana is probably the most common snack most people will buy back from Japan. Choose either the banana caramel or strawberry cake. Royce, Kit Kats, Matcha cookies, the lot. Let’s not forget Calbee Jaga Pokkuru, the combination of french fries and potato chips, but much much better!

But where to buy?

Many frequent flyers to Tokyo will agree with me that Fa So La Tax free Akihabara remains one of the favourite airport shops when it comes to sheer availability of all the Japanese specialties under one roof. Moreover, with the short expiry dates on those Tokyo Bananas, it’s best to grab them last minute at the airport on the way out of the country.

stop by if you didn’t have a chance to stop by the electronics area, Akihabara in Tokyo or if you’re looking for TOKYO BANANA! This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

akihabara tyo

September 3, 2017

ATV Tour, Phuket…escape the boring 9-5

Filed under: Activities, ATV, Flying fox, Thailand, Tour, Travel — Tags: , , , , — PEr @ 5:06 pm

Visiting a Thai massage barely sounds like the place to grab a quick adrenaline fix – but there are still plenty of knuckle-shredding activities to indulge in within Phuket.

August is the rainy season in Phuket and the ATV was a muddy ride for sure! They provide crocs sandals and I definitely recommend using them. They provided ponchos to wear over your clothes when it started raining , but expect to be sweaty under than poncho. A couple of colleagues purposely wore old clothes  that they were willing to throw away.

With the flying fox, you can let out your inner baboon and go through the 100m Adventure bridge comprising various obstacles. Clamber up two flights of steps and whizz along 110m zipwires.

The crew were friendly and informative.  Everyone in our group felt so safe, even those who were not huge adrenaline junkies.

A great way to escape the boring 9-5. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

atv phuket

July 30, 2017

Hanboknam, Seoul…looking like a local in Seoul

Filed under: Activities, South Korea — Tags: , , , — PEr @ 7:29 pm

Looking like a local in Seoul is surprisingly easy. One of the costumes that you want to try at least once when you visit South Korea is a hanbok. I don’t often write reviews about traditional dress-up/photo shoot but my experience with Hanboknam is worth sharing.

Wear a traditional Hanbok and get sophistically styled up for your exclusive photo shoot in the Seoul. They offer more than 300 different types and even help you with all the traditional accessories including a hat, bag, shoes and wigs. You can transform yourself into a emperor or princess. Get a few pictures in the studio or even on the rooftop. The more adventurous walk around the  alleys of Bukchon fabulously dressed in hanbok.

It’s a truly welcoming, worthwhile experience. And one, quite frankly, I’ll probably never forget. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

hanboknam sel

 

June 26, 2017

Muay Thai Live, Bangkok…1 1/2 hours simply flies by

Thai boxing, also known as Muay Thai, is similar to regular boxing but with the addition of kicks, knee and elbow strikes and various clinching techniques.  It is reputedly one of the fastest-growing sports in the world.

In a nutshell, Muay Thai Live at Asiatique Bangkok is a choreographed live performance combining entertaining performances with sounds, lighting and music effects and muay thai fights with storylines. Directed by award-winning Thai film director Ekachai Uekrongtham, the 90 minutes show traces the history of the art of Thai boxing and its place in Thai culture.

I never thought I’d say this of a local production but one and a half hours simply flies by. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

muay thai bkk2

 

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muay thai bkk1

May 6, 2017

PlearnWan, Hua Hin…traditional charm

A stroll in PlearnWan is an exercise in time travel, with many buildings recreating the 1950s feel. The atmosphere is casual and uncrowded.

Explore everything from liquor, inexpensive plastic-and-tin toys, snacks as well as a beauty salon, photo studio, outdoor cinema screen and a 20-room guesthouse or ‘Piman Plern Wan. Hard-to-find snacks, such as ‘tong muan sod’ (sweetened pancake) and ‘ka lor jee’ (similar to Japanese mochi), are cooked up a’la minute at one of the hawker carts lining the walkway along with typical fare such as noodles and barbecued pork over rice

It’s not all chocolate box perfection but while in Hua Hin, there’s nothing better than strolling through the unheralded but absurdly charming streets of PlearnWan. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

plearnwan huahin2

plearnwan huahin1

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