PEr FYI

August 9, 2019

Corgi in the Garden, Bangkok…a whole new level of cuteness

Lovers of corgis, beware: you might not want to leave this place. Behold its stubby little legs and equally stubby tail. You can now cuddle with these adorable cuties in a cheerful and homely ambience.

Everything the humans need to know:

You can feed, touch the little cuties while sitting on the floor sipping coffee or tea. A selection of 12 corgis are on hand to be cuddled and offer highly Instagrammable photo opportunities. You need to love that they will climb on your lap and lick your iPhone. The entry fee covers entrance, a drink and a time slot of 120 minutes with your favourite furry friend. Get there early to avoid long queues.

It’s bound to lift your mood, as dogs do. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 4, 2019

Phantom of the Opera, Singapore…still awesome spectacle after all these years

It has been more than 15 years since I first saw, and was not particularly entranced by, “The Phantom of the Opera,” the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical that has been playing for more than 33 years (longest-running show in Broadway and the West End history!) and grossed $6 billion dollars worldwide (more than any other musical or even, gasp, movie!). But after watching it for the third time, I am made to love the lush, romantic, string-filled songs, the effect is offset by the comic jauntiness of Prima Donna or the pavane-like stateliness of Masquerade with neat lyrics (‘Masquerade-paper faces on parade,’)

The score, story, and visual wonders of this grandest of all current Broadway musicals,  the intoxicating power of songs such as “The Music of the Night” and the thunderous title number remains irresistible. The design is a heady barrage of ravishing costumes and lavish sets that change frequently, working in everything even to a descent into the underworld via a tilting bridge that leads to a candle-filled lake. No one can ever say that they’re not getting their money’s worth from this ticket.

There are musicals and musicals—and then there is the incomparable Phantom of the Opera: Awesome in scale. Luscious with melody. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 3, 2019

Otaru Music Box Museum, Hokkaido…never fail to dazzle

Otaru is home to a brilliant museum that never fail to dazzle visitors.

Comprehensively housing over 25,000 music boxes dating as far back to the 19th century, the museum continues to draw crowds from all over the world. Oh, and forget to check out the roof space where you may design your own music box, with options including music played and external design. Loads to see and do, and thanks to the vast variety of music boxes, it makes for a brilliant day out.

Then of course, there is the building’s 1912 architecture too – Otaru Music Box Museum is definitely worth a visit. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 23, 2019

Sandbox, Singapore…I battled zombies for 30 minutes and it was awesome

If you’ve ever fancied a high adrenaline zombie killing spree with 3 of your best mates, look no further. At sandbox, you can finally find out how you and your friends would fare if you ever found yourself in fighting off rabid, flesh-eating zombies and infectious rats.

Using cutting-edge virtual reality technology, this is a totally unique and immersive experience that will chill you to the bone. With Hyper-Reality it means that this is not just a passive VR journey, where you sit in a chair and get bombarded with visual information that doesn’t match what your body is telling you is happening. When I walk forward in Deadwood Mansion, I actually walk forward. Of course, pictures and words cannot come close to conveying how immersive the whole experience is, you’ll have to try it for yourself. Or you can take my word for it that, thanks to the sensations and blasters and rumble packs, there was a sense of panic as I battled these ghouls and, in particular, something approaching genuine peril as a certain giant monster appears towards the end. I confess I was sincerely relieved when that chapter was done.

A must for your Halloween itinerary, if you’re brave enough of course. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 25, 2019

ShanNaNa, Shanghai…never again

Filed under: Activities, China, Massage, spa, Travel, tui na — Tags: , , — PEr @ 3:48 pm

Have you ever had a bad massage? Have you ever felt so unsatisfied/uncomfortable throughout a massage experience that you just wished the time away, but you were too embarrassed/uncomfortable to say anything or stop the treatment? You are not alone!

My masseur at ShanNaNa barely did anything at all.  She lacked the hand/arm strength to give the type of deep tissue massage I craved. My mother gave better bedtime backrubs when I was a tot! The masseur clearly had no idea what she was doing, I was about ready to leave 10 minutes into the massage.

Massage is such a highly personal thing… everyone has different needs and while it is my responsibility as the client to select the appropriate type of massage technique or tell the masseur what I like, the front desk folks need to assign the appropriately-skilled masseur.

If you want to go for an hour long back tickle then this is the spot, but if you are looking for anything that even resembles a massage, stay away. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 5, 2019

Snow activity Land, Rusutsu, Hokkaido…hits and misses

So what if temperatures are plummeting? Your excitement level life is heating up with exciting things to do in the powdery snow of Rusutsu. Rusutsu in the snow is a spectacular sight and whether you prefer to take to the slopes on skis or simply mosey on through the snow-dusted fields, there’s usually something for everyone to enjoy.

Snow Activity Land is a one-stop shop for dog-sledding, snowmobile tours, etc. The most disappointing activity was the dog-sledding. I don’t know if I have ever been more personally disappointed by any activity at Rusutsu than I was with Snow Activity Land’s dog-sledding. It wasn’t as long as I thought it would be. For a one hour activity as advertised for JPY3,780, the ride was over in 30 seconds. It’s a total rip-off, not worth the money. On the other end of the scale the snowmobile Adventure Course is worth every dollar. Conquering the snowy terrain as you zoom along on a snowmobile is the best way to enjoy a wintry landscape. If you’re a thrill seeker, you can zip up and down through the woods; if you prefer something more relaxed, you can opt for a scenic tour of the well-groomed trails. Nabin Tamang (email: paddletamang@gmail.com), our guide the best there can be, bringing with him hot coffee for a pit stop on the powdery snow.

Hit and misses with Snow Activity Land. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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April 19, 2019

Beauty Box, Singapore…It’s an image straight out of a Tatler magazine

Filed under: Activities, Photography, Singapore — Tags: , , , — PEr @ 5:27 pm

I look very sensitive and contemplative in the picture.

I liked the way they light up their subject and how they go about preparing their lighting set up. They highlight each person’s individuality whilst giving the series equality, everyone photographed in the same way against the same background. They shared some amusing anecdotes when we arrived at the shoot, and  this lightened the mood. We seemed to be on a level of trust quite quickly. They have the unique ability to capture the essence of the subjects and to focus the viewers attention on the subject’s greatest attributes. In short., very highest artistic and photographic standards.

The result…a quality image which reveals inner and outer beauty. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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March 30, 2019

Yu no hana, Otaru, Hokkaido…an antidote to Singapore stress

I am up to my neck in hot water. And it’s wonderful. Around me, naked Japanese men soak contemplatively. I am sitting in an onsen (natural hot spring) bath in Hokkaido’s hot water hotspot, Yu no hana. Utter bliss.

Yu no hana has a bit of everything….indoor and outdoor rotenburo (open-air, natural hot spring pools), massage, even claw and jackpot machines. Falling snow accentuates the charm of the rotenburo. And it is all made particularly easy by the English-speaking information centre at Otaru station and a free shuttle to and from the station. It was reasonably priced and an hour is long enough to take in the setting and to let your body completely relax.

Onsen is a pleasurable experience that will make you want to live in Japan . This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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March 3, 2019

Asahiyama Zoo, Asahikawa, Hokkaido…don’t miss the penguins

What’s cuter than penguins enjoying an afternoon waddle? Their webbed feet were made for walking, and that’s just what they’ll do. It’s great to see them outside their habitat and see them walking right beside me. I’ve never been this close to one of these delightful birds.

Asahiyama Zoo is an intimate Hokkaido zoo with a number of fun and interesting exhibits. Look for the adorable polar bears and watch them at feeding time in the polar bear pool.

Asahiyama Zoo may not be as large or extravagant as Ueno Zoo, but it does feature beautiful surrounding scenery and some of the most exotic animals in the world. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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December 23, 2018

Old Trafford Museum and Stadium Tour, Manchester….a day to remember

As a Manchester United fan since 1976, this 80-minute tour around the historic ground is like a pilgrimage to football mecca for me.

There is no match on today, so we’re able to access areas that are rarely seen by the average punter. We make our way to snoop in the players’ dressing rooms, through into their bathing room, walk through the tunnel on to the pitch, stand in the manager’s spot in the dug out, sit in the heights of the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand for a bird’s eye view of the pitch and marvel at the splendour of this impressive stadium.

After the tour, make sure you stop for a bite at the Red Café Restaurant. The gammon, egg and chips – 8oz gammon steak, served with double egg, pineapple, grilled cherry tomatoes & chunky chips is a plate full of goodness that will leave you feeling full but not bloated in the slightest. English staple at its best.

A day to remember. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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