The Langham Place Mongkok Revisited
October 28, 2008, 2:25 pm
Filed under: holiday, hotels, photos, reviews | Tags: , , , ,

Nearly nine months after my first stay, I found myself back at the Langham Place Mongkok (check out its blog).  While the rooms typify that of most Hong Kong hotels (read: small), through the expansive use of mirrors, windows (they wrap the entire one wall of your room), and glass (the bathroom and the bedroom are separated by a pane of clear glass), the rooms appear larger-than-life.

Amenities-wise, the rooms are as well-appointed as one might find in a five-star hotel, but the powerhouse of the room is a smart phone featuring an interactive menu which allows guests to do many things.  TV is a remote-controlled LCD.

Other facilities I especially appreciate are the well-equipped fitness center, which gives users added inspiration with its commanding view of the cityspace, and the adjoining Langham Place mall–a gargantuan shrine to capitalism which offers everything from gastronomic delights to fashion-forward streetwear to the latest blockbusters on the silver screen.


Sexy, sweet Sandy – Straits Times’ review of Sandy Lam Concert (Oct 18, 2008), Singapore Indoor Stadium
October 19, 2008, 11:14 pm
Filed under: concerts, reviews | Tags: ,
Sexy, sweet Sandy

By jocelyn lee
Veteran singer Sandy Lam wowed with her sexy get-up and fast numbers, but it was in her love ballads that she truly glowed. — PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

Singapore Indoor Stadium, Last Saturday

Hong Kong veteran singer Sandy Lam proved that good things come in small packages with a surprisingly showy performance at her concert at Singapore Indoor Stadium last Saturday.

For more than 2 1/2 hours, the petite 1.59m-tall vocalist entertained the almost full-house crowd of over 6,800 enthusiastic fans with a mix of fast numbers and classic love ballads, coupled with energetic dancing.

The songbird kicked off with dance track My Heart Is Dancing in a sexy get-up of black long-sleeved ripped jacket and black shorts, complete with garter belts and black knee-high boots.

Sporting spiky blonde hair, the radiant and cheerful Lam was greeted by screaming fans, most of whom were in their late 20s to early 40s.

She wowed the crowd with her sleek dance moves and crisp powerful vocals as she switched smoothly from emotive love songs to fast dance segments and back to ballads again.

The 42-year-old got everyone on his feet in fast-paced Cantonese song Run For Cover as she turned up the heat with a sexy African-style tribal dance, complete with back-up dancers.

However, it was in her love ballads that the popular diva truly glowed.

Familiar favourites such as Lovers’ Tears and Chilled Wind were what fans had come for and the diva returned to her usual low-key style when crooning these crowd-pleasers.

Staying true to what she had promised when she came to promote her concert here in late August, Lam brought a little present for her Singaporean fans – a customised Mandarin medley of five slow classic love songs.

The affable vocalist said she handpicked the songs as she knew that her fans here loved them, which drew cheers from the audience. The singer seemed genuinely touched by the warm reception as by the time she sang At Least There Was You, tears welled up in her eyes.

Chatting with the audience in a mix of Mandarin, English and Cantonese, she made sure she covered all sides of the stage to acknowledge fans.

She also obliged them with a second encore after singing Goodbye Sadness and Clang Rose, returning to the stage with English song I Swear.

The Hong Kong International Airport – A Gleaming Gateway to a Metropolis
October 19, 2008, 5:12 pm
Filed under: airports | Tags: , , , , , ,

Having been to numerous airports in Asia–Singapore, Tokyo, Bangkok, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Taipei, etc–I’ve to say the Hong Kong International Airport ranks high for design, aesthetics, amenities, and retail.

The Hong Kong International Airport (IATA: HKG), popularly known as Chek Lap kok Airport replaced Kai Tak Airport as the gateway to one of the most dynamic, cosmopolitan economies in Asia.  Costing some US$20 billion and six years to build, HKG was not without controversy.  Environmentalists feared the deleterious effects the reclamation of Chek Lap kok and Lam Chau would have on marine life in the surrounding bay.

Ten years on, HKG serves the world’s major airlines as a key aviation hub of Asia, winning multiple awards including Skytrax’s World Best Airport Award in 2007-2008.

Cirque du Soleil’s Zaia – A kaleidoscope of Colors and Dazzelment
October 12, 2008, 3:21 pm
Filed under: holiday, photos, reviews, vacation | Tags: , , , , ,

I was in Hong Kong recently–and what trip to HK would be complete without a sojourn to neon-light city Macau these days–and by pure serendipity caught one of the earliest shows of Cirque du Soleil‘s newest resident production, Zaia.

Staged in a purpose-built, state-of-the-art theater, which according to market materials is “one of the most impressive theater ever created by Cirque du Soleil,” Zaia depicts “the dream of a young girl who journeys into space on a strange, yet familiar voyage of self-discovery.”

This was my first exposure to Cirque du Soleil, although I had previous read rave reviews of its touring shows when they came to Singapore (most recenly Quidam in 2005).  Credited with, among other accolades, reinventing the circus, the Quebec-based company has come a long way since its early days which were fraught with financial difficulties.

Zaia stems from a Greek name denoting life, and indeed the show is as much a magical, reflective, metaphorical perspective on the wonders of life and the beauty of humanity as it is a showcase of the best of human calisthenics, high acrobatics, exploding pyrothenics, and a rich, dazzling tapestry of song and dance.

Zaia is now showing at the equally wondrous The Venetian Macau, Cotai Strip.  This is my first introduction to Cirque du Solei, but it won’t be the last!