PEr FYI

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

May 1, 2017

Camp Greaves, Seoul…reel to real

The chance to spot movie locations is a favourite game the world over. But even better than spotting recognisable places on the screen is spotting recognisable film locations in real life.

Home to one of the major hit 2016 South Korean television series – Descendants of the Sun – Camp Greaves,  the former US military camp near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Paju, north of Seoul, is one of the best movie sites in the city. Here you get to visit Song Joong-ki’s waiting room, try on soldiers’ uniform, make military dog tags, get a photo taken in front of a green screen photo booth.

Though I am not familiar with this K-drama, judging by the high octave excitement of the folks in my group, this has been a reel to real experience for them. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

camp greaves sel3

camp greaves sel4

camp greaves sel1

camp greaves sel2

 

March 26, 2017

Calypso, Bangkok…burlesque, or rather more appropriately boylesque

Filed under: Activities, attraction, cabaret, restaurant, show, Thailand, theatre — Tags: , , , , , — PEr @ 8:41 pm

Bangkok is, without question, the world capital of gender-bending performing arts.

At Calypso, the ladyboys take the stage for a 75-minute-long splashy show that features dancers, lavish costumes, musical interludes and comedy. Some of the boys-as-babes try their best to impersonate and lip-sync some of the most well-known female musicians.

Yes, everything is opulent and over the top. But the prices are steep and the bar staff can be snooty.

My advice? If you’ve seen this kind of cabaret before, there won’t be a lot of surprises here. But if you never have — or if you’re a fan — it’s probably worth the coin to take in Calypso. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

calypso-bkk1

calypso-bkk2

 

September 25, 2016

Temple of heaven, Beijing…A haven for the lazy art of people watching

Located south of the Forbidden City, the original Altar of Heaven and Earth was completed together with the Forbidden City, which was later renamed the Temple of Heaven in the reign of Emperor Jiajing. It was here that the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties offered sacrifice to heaven and prayed for bumper harvests. Tiantan Park as it is otherwise known, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Unlike the Forbidden City with its majestic awe, if I had to name one thing I love about Temple of Heaven, it would be the unique Chinese park life. It is hard to think of better scenes to partake in people watching. Silver-haired citizens doing line dancing and tai chi or squaring off on chinese chess.There’s the impromptu performances of Chinese opera and jam sessions with traditional chinese instruments like the pipa and erhu. Then there’s my old childhood game “chapteh” ( Jianzi) played by senior folks. During this game, these silent generation players keep the shuttlecock (with a rubber sole/plastic disk) off the ground using their feet and other body parts, but not their hands. There was around 70 people patting their thighs 30 times, then their knees, shoulders, backs and heads to allow their Qi to flow freely. There were a few who were shouting, almost yodelling: “voice exercises”. Several people appear to be wrestling with trees, gripping trunks and pushing against them.

I love this lazy art of observing and admiring unique cultures and happenings of day-to-day park life in China. Next to no skills needed, other than some discreet positioning. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

temple-of-heaven-tpe

August 27, 2016

Jiu Fen Old Street, Taipei…winning combination of crazy good food vendors and a bustling stretch of shopping

Jiufen is a great mini-trip out of Taipei, less than an hour away. With gorgeous views of the ocean, quaint streets and beautiful tea houses, Jiufen thrives as a trousit spot for a taste of Taiwan culture and history. When it first formed, there were only nine families, so the city would always request “nine portions” when shipments came in, hence the name.

Jiu Fen Old Street is series of narrow alleys which feature stand after stand of local snacks and handmade souvenirs. Be prepared to shove past throngs of tourists crammed into the narrow alleys. The offer samples of ginger tea which brings with it a host of powerful health benefits. Another popular food item is the mochi – glutinous rice balls which are as soft as marshmallows.

Don’t worry, there alleys are all covered by awning should the heavens open. It’s worth planning an adventure to Jiufen as well as an obligatory stroll down Old Street. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

jiu fen taipei3

July 6, 2016

The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 3/4, London…a Potter fan’s paradise

Harry Potter’s Platform 9 and three quarters is real and it’s at London’s Kings Cross Station.

The store packs a large variety of different merchandise – wands, clothing, snowglobe, plush white owls, unique art, sweets, and recreations of artifacts from the books – into a very small space. This looks like a cheap disney store (I do love Disney stores). No magic, just a display of merchandising to capitalise on some of the best books and movies out there. It is small and does get quite overcrowded and quite hard to navigate through.

One very good thing is that outside, there’s the cart filled with suitcases and an owl cage halfway through the wall. There’s a snaking queue to pose for a photo opportunity: while you’re holding on to the cart, a member of staff gives you a scarf and swings the scarf up to make you look like you were really flying through the platform, while another takes a picture.

Be ready to get really uber-nerdy here but you’ll be surrounded by the equally nerdy, so no worries. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

934 lhr1

934 lhr2

April 10, 2016

Mitsui Outlet Park, Kuala Lumpur…you will be sorely disappointed

As the economy and inflation continue to pinch consumers’ wallets, outlets are a great way to save money on your favorite brands. Who doesn’t love a deal?

There are 13 Mitsui Outlet Parks across Japan but this is the first one outside of the country. Located 60km from KL and 6km from KLIA, the outlet offers 127 stores with brands such as Nike, Levi’s, Versace, Polo Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, Samsonite and Swarovski.

Plenty of stores here really aren’t discount stores, they’re just there to confuse consumers into thinking they are. Here are some hot tips : be familiar with current merchandise to be able to identify clothing that may be a few seasons old. Knowing retail prices before entering a store can help you make better decisions.

If you’re looking for a good buy at great discount, you will be sorely disappointed. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

mitsui outlet kl

March 20, 2016

Penang Trick Art Museum, Penang…become part of a painting

Two dimensional painting that trick the viewer into thinking they exists in three-dimensions allowing visitors to ‘crawl into’ the paintings to take amusing, and often bizarre, photographs. This art form originated in Japan and is gradually gaining worldwide popularity.

Sitting on a flying carpet, pulling Sadako out of the TV by her hair, battling mummies are all possible at Penang Trick Art Museum. Unlike other museums where signs such as “do not take photos” or “do not touch” abound, this museum is all about taking photos and being part of the art. It’s a surreal experience walking among art that seems to leap out of the frame.   This is a great place to have some silly juvenile fun.

During an age when ‘virtual reality’ is taking over the digital world, artists have shown that all you really needed is a brush and a canvas to trick the mind. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

pg trick art

penang trick art2

March 12, 2016

Escape room, Petaling Jaya…The Great Escape gets a lot of things right

The Escape Room @ eCurve is absolutely a dream come true! I mean, as a lifelong puzzle lover, how could it not be!? Over the past year, I have been become involved in the growing fad of Escape Games.

THIS Prison Break room is my new favorite of all time. The way we were let into the room absolutely blown me away. We were handcuffed to each other, blindfolded and led. When they removed the blindfolds, we were standing in a prison cell. The room did look the part. If it wasn’t for the countdown clock, you could imagine you were in a real prison. How cool is that? Prison wardens do come in to check on you. Little details like this really added to the experience. While the decor was thematically appropriate, not all the puzzles elevate the story.

If you like this type of thrill, I recommend giving it a go. Tell them the Room Escapist sent you.This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

escape room kl

November 1, 2015

Madame Tussards, Singapore…How much fun did I have? About 15 minutes worth

Since I am obviously not cool enough to have real celebrity friends, I usually like to spend a day at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum everywhere I go and pretend to mingle with the A-listers.  I would take selfies of me shaking hands with President Obama, posing with Angelina Jolie, or fulfilling my dream of doing sit-ups alongside David Beckham!

Madame Tussauds, which considers itself the plus ultra of wax artistry has sunk to the depths with this overpriced and cheesy display in Singapore. The exhibits in Singapore are boring and it’s way too short. The four-minute boat ride called Spirit of Singapore does not add any value to the museum. If you have been to Madame Tussaud’s in London, Los Angeles or New York City you will be extremely disappointment by this museum.

How much fun did I have at Madame Tussards Singapore? About 15 minutes worth. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

tussards sin2tussards sin

Older Posts »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.