Bintan Lagoon Resort

Sorry I haven't been around for a while, I'll explain what's been going on in another blog post at a later time. Meanwhile, my postcard book giveaway winners have been announced! Congratulations to the winners and thank you everyone for taking part. ♥

As for this post, last weekend I was invited to an overnight media trip in celebration of the launch of Bintan Lagoon Resort's very own ferry terminal. I'm glad for the time off and the opportunity for a weekend getaway. Thank you Yiling for the invite!

From Singapore it takes just 75 minutes to reach Bintan Lagoon Resort's shores. With dedicated immigration counters at its ferry terminal, the arrival is extremely convenient and I barely felt any of the usual hassles of traveling to another country.
Time saved is time earned, the ease of not having to go through more travels after immigration is a big plus in my books. ♥

Besides the obvious swimming, dining, massage and spa, there's a plethora of beach and land activities including more than 30 water sports like snorkeling and jet skiing, and land activities like archery, laser quest and all-terrain vehicles to choose from.

I was very tempted to try archery but my super weak arms will probably not survive at all.

We got a guided tour around the vicinity after arrival, here are some pretty pictures courtesy of Mozaic Hotels & Resorts and Touch Communications. (Only the sky lantern photos are mine)

Deluxe Sea-facing Room

We stayed at the Deluxe Sea-facing room, there is a balcony attached to every room which I thought was a lovely nice touch.

The rooms also come with big, spacious bathtubs which I love, but unfortunately forgot to get a picture of and they didn't provide any. To be honest one of my favorite things about hotel stays are the baths because I never find anytime for them at home somehow.

Floral Suite Bedroom

The Floral Suite is especially pretty with its four-poster bed and a jacuzzi spa bath overlooking a private sun deck. I wish we got to stay in there instead. ._.

Angsoka Villa

For larger groups there are villas available, the interior decors seemed to be freshly furnished.

Verandah Poolside Dinner

The usual events dinner setup is at the Verandah poolside -- our welcoming dinner was on the golf course though, the food was really good, grilled prawns and lamb were especially yummy. 

The resort has two stunning championship golf courses designed by famed golfers Jack Nicklaus and Ian Baker-Finch! Really gorgeous view too.

Golf Course designed by Ian Baker-Finch
Golf Course designed by Jack Nicklaus

Nighttime we got to release sky lanterns at the beach!!! My first time! I was so excited, I've never gotten a chance to do it before ever. T_T

The sky was really pretty when they were more lanterns, but I didn't get any photos of that because I started getting distracted trying to release my own. :D

The next day we had breakfast buffet at Kopi-O. Then was presented with a bunch of things we could do after in the morning.

I kind of wanted to go snorkeling but my dear friend Joyce has a phobia towards fish so we skipped it. T_T In the end we decided to just chill and got a beachside massage instead which was awesome too.

Beach Massage

Can't complain about massages ever. :D

Lunch was at Rice, a bar/restaurant right next to the beach with a view of the sea, it might actually be one of my favorite place at the resort. We had more time after lunch before our late checkout, but we just lazed around because, well, food coma.

Bintan Lagoon Resort - Hotel Facade

Last but not least, I'd like to mention that the resort staff were extremely friendly and it made the stay superbly pleasant. Wrapping up I just want to say once again, thank you so much to Touch Communications for extending the invite and Bintan Lagoon Resort for the stay.

Bintan Lagoon Resort
Jalan Indera Segara Site A12, Lagoi, Riau, Indonesia 29155

Rooms start at S$140++ and ferry services from S$62
Room booking: www.mozaichotels.com/bintanlagoon
Ferry booking: www.journeyful.com/#/Find/Ferry

Lijiang: Part I

I did a shoot with Sugizo today.

I still can't wrap my mind around the surreality of the events so I'll just do my previous travel posts first.

I'd almost forgotten how my blog looked like over the five days while in Lijiang. Almost.

I tried googling for ways to get onto all these banned sites (blogger/facebook/twitter) upon my arrival but it was just way too much work. Even when I did find ways to surf, I still couldn't login. Sighhh.

Well I guess it wasn't so bad for the blog since I would have needed to consolidate pictures anyway, just kinda annoying that I couldn't update fb and twitter as and when.

So anyway, Lijiang... I was there... on a friggin' real holiday.

It was so awesome it was kinda like, work-less (well for the most of it).

I'd been meaning to go on a holiday for a while now, but it just never really quite happened. I'm kinda glad that Abby reminded me of the supposed existence of such a intended trip one random day or I would have scheduled the whole of December for work otherwise. =_=;;

Okay anyway pictures~!

We stayed at Sleepy Inn for the first three nights. It's in Shuhe Old Town, the room's spacious, there's a skylight and we could see the moon through it in the morning.

Love the view~ :3

Went to the Liming Mountains on our first day.

Passed by the Yangtzu River First Turn (长江第一关) at Shigu mid-way. Apparently the flow of the river turns 180 degrees here, from south to north-bound.

Then to Liming Mountain~

Atop the Liming Mountain. Up and down the path we walked it supposedly totals up to some 10000 steps or so. Bad bad idea to do climbing on the first day. Reaaaallly bad. Our legs could barely move the second day onwards haha.

Ah well at least it was fun~ Headed to Lijiang Old Town for dinner.

They had so much awesome stuff but there's only so much two girls can order. Aiiiii. T_T

A whole pathway of wooden prayer plates. Really really beautiful.

I really wanna put Day 2 in this post too but I'm too sleepy. I'd just have do a very long Part II later! :D

Oh man, I'm so incredibly behind on my posts. I have like, the New York Part II, Yale Part II and all those ads and editorial and shoot posts which I'd been meaning to blog but have never got around to... I need to get over the feeling that I'm spamming my page if I update anything out of my system.

Hmm looking back, I really have a lot lesser entries this year than the last two.

Ing Cup Finals - Part I

We're staying at The Fullerton Hotel.
I really love my job sometimes.

Beds are a bit small after they'd been split up, but awesome bathroom is awesome bathroom.

Shameless self portrait moment with the mirror which I have in almost every hotel I stay in. Hehe.

My roommate sleeps early. So for the first night I forced myself as well, and woke up at 1am having a hard time falling back asleep because it's just so different from my usual schedules.

8am a reporter called for Go Seigen's caretaker. (I was roomed next to him, but had swapped with the caretaker and daughter because their rooms were way too far apart) *sighs* There went my jingna-attempts-to-sleep-in and jingna-takes-the-elevator-with-go-seigen-everyday plan.

Oh then I had breakfast a table next to him this morning. Hahaha.

Headed for Singapore Flyer after lunch. We had surprisingly nice clouds today (which never, ever, appear, when I am doing my photoshoots. Why, oh tell me why.)

Marina Barrage from the Singapore Flyer.

Fast-forwarding my afternoon (where I had a shoot with everyone being about 1.5hours late), welcoming dinner was held at Lao Beijing. Go Seigen (I found out most generally address him as 吴老师, Joe and I were wondering a million possibilities...) actually insisted on taking the chartered bus with us instead of being chauffeured to the restaurant. Such a grand honour was something we never expected. He is 95 afterall. And frail like nothing else.

Go Seigen and wife. 吴清源和夫人。

Just seeing them was surreal. And she's really lovely and... cute. Back in the hotel after dinner while waiting for others in the lobby she started talking to me, despite my several attempts of "I cannot understand Japanese", “我不会说日语”, "Nihongo wo wakarimasen..." She continued on fervently. Hahaha.

Back to the dinner. While I was busying myself with taking photos of others someone suggested to take a shot for us. I was like. Oh. I didn't think about that. Lol?

Jingna with the go master and his wife. (Yeah, please pardon my really horrible hair, after a day of running around and all)

I was approached a couple times by teens in a youth weiqi connection group saying they'd seen my coverage on the Ing Cup Semi-finals, which somehow became a motivation for me to do this post tonight.

At the end of the dinner Go-sensei 题字ed for Singapore (the Weiqi Association, rather).

It's so painfully difficult for him to get up I can't believe they put him through this. Oh god, and I think more camera flashes went off than at the finale of Christian Dior Couture runway's finale walk backstage.

Go Seigen and wife, with Choi Chul Han (崔哲澣) 9P (apparently this is the spelling I saw on the roomlist provided by the hotel, but on the official pamphlets it's all Choi Cheol Han?) and Lee Changho (李昌鎬) 9P, the finalists.

Did I mention I don't agree with Choi Chul Han's new hairstyle? D:

A closeup of 吴清源老师's题字:“河山一局棋”

Alright, that's all for this update (oh Wireless@SG, thank you so).

Tomorrow the first game begins.

PS: Please pardon any grammar and vocab misuse, I'm severely lacking in rest and time. >_< More on Ing Cup:
Ing Cup Finals - Part III

Ing Cup Finals - Part II
Ing Cup Finals - Part I
Ing Cup Semi-Finals

Bangkok: The Ing Cup Semi Finals

Day 1: The Arrival

Just a little introduction. I'm here for the Ing Cup (应氏杯)'s semi finals with Hansiong, Joyce (my assistant) and Phil.

The Ing Cup happens once every 4 years, it's like the "Olympics" for weiqi. One of the most important weiqi championships and has one of the highest payout for prize award of around US400,000. (Players are paid just for making it into the qualification games, and thereafter for each game they play, and it increases as you advance towards the finals).

We stayed at The Sukhothai. Beautiful serene place~

Lobby

Lift lobby~

The pillows, the bed. Omg. Comparable with my Parisian experience. (The TV is from Bang & Olufsen too!)

Serene view from our room~~

The bathtub, which, for the first time, actually allows me to stretch my legs out all the way. It means so much to me.

Awesome is awesome.

We headed out for a late lunch around 3.30 or so. Then back to for the press conference. I was super underdressed. Argh.

Lee Changho autographing for someone at the opening dinner.

Someone pulled me over at some point of time, dragged me all the way to Lee Sedol and then said something along the lines of me being his major fan. *winces*

Our first meeting thus.

Absolutely out of focus thanks to Joyce, my dear assistant. It's kind of candid all at the same time, so, it's okay. Lee Changho is at the bottom right corner of the shot~! XDD

On the way to checking the competition venue we bumped into Choi Cheol Han and Lee Changho around the lobby and took a photo with together.

Left to Right: me, Lee Changho, Choi Cheol Han, Joyce.

At that point of time, I felt like I could have just died happily there and then.

-------------------------

Day 2: The First Game + Joyce's 21st.

The first round started on the 23rd morning, 9.30am. We were allowed 10min in the game room for photography.

Lee Chanho (李昌鎬) 9P vs Lee Sedol (李世乭) 9P

Liu Xing (刘星) 7P vs Choi Cheol Han (崔哲澣) 9P

Discussion of the 2 games in the viewing room downstairs.

12.30, breaking for lunch.

Beautiful view overlooking the pond. It was so amazing~

I'm skipping food shots all the way here, too much photos...

Back to the game.

In the press room, the reporter across from me commented saying he doubt there were even more than 50 people in the world who understood the game at that point of time.

Lee Changho and Choi Cheol Han won the first game.

Onward to Joyce's birthday celebrations.

We went for Korean barbecue.


Then headed to Lebua (where we were originally supposed to stay for this trip, but didn't) to cut Joyce's cake.

Epic view is epic.

Birthday cake :D

Can I say awesome Chocolate Nougat?

And the birthday girl.

Happy 21st birthday darling~!!!

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Day 3: Excursion.

ha ha. =_=

Man I haven't heard this word since primary school.

Due to some odd alignments of stars I was sat next to Lee Sedol on the way out of Bangkok in the lower deck area of our bus, with Choi Cheol Han next to him on the other side.

.....

I think I can compare it to sitting next to Yoshiki with Sugizo next to him on the other side -- I have absolutely nothing to say and nothing I wish to say or ask. *laughs weakly*

We headed to the floating market in the morning. Pretty cool.

The Chinese team. On the most right w/ a camera is the reporter I spoke of earlier, Xie Rui. Super funny and fun guy. And kept saying I should go back to China to shoot, I do plan to, so I told him so.

Next to him is Wang Ru Nan, not sure of the one in red cap... the lady is someone from the Chinese Go Association. To her left Liu Xing and Shao Wei Gang 9P. Shao started the trend of calling me cameraman, funny. =.=

Afternoon consisted of terrible lunch and cultural dance. No pictures here.

Joyce sleeping on the way back.

Brought Joyce, Hansiong and Phil's roommate to shop at Suan Lam at night, and afterwards in an epic failed attempt to find a place to play pool, we ended up back in Lebua beside a swimming pool playing cards.

We continued further back in the Hotel, and towards 2-3am, I won Hansiong enough in one hand to reach the cap for the night to stop the game. Boohoo~

-------------------------

Day 4: The 2nd Game.

Lee Changho
Lee Sedol
Choi Cheol HanLiu Xing

Rare moment of Lee Changho the "Stone Buddha" smiling during an interview after the winning the 2nd game, making him the first to advance into the finals.

Lee Changho won Lee Sedol 2-0, Choi Cheol Han won Liu Xing 2-0.

Watching the games was kind of painful. Oh well.

Headed out for dinner with Joyce, Hansiong and Phil at Chamchuri Square with rei-i and asuka111.

rei-i loves me, I know~ *grins lamely*

And Asuka and rei-i both bought my book.

(this is the overdued haircut photo. My hair's till my waist now, previously it was somewhere near my hips. But well, it'd grow again~)

For the rest of the trip we gave up our attempt at trying to play poker without chips so we played bluff and big2 instead.

Due to Joyce losing every single game with more than enough cards to fill up both of her hands, she insisted on never playing the bluff anymore. We stuck to big 2.

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Day 5-6: The Last Days.

Was going to spend day 5 lazing around, but Shao Wei Gang caught Joyce and I at breakfast and had us join him and some others for the morning tour at the palace.

Afterwards, with respect to Xie Rui's non-stop compliments for the cabaret show on the bus back to the hotel, we decided to watch it in the evening afterall.

Playing cards became a nightly routine. Joyce slept most of the previous nights, but she played a few rounds this time. Liu Xing joined us too. :D

It went on till I complained I was hungry and finally we stopped at 7am and go for breakfast.

Continued some more with Liu Xing, Joyce and Phil till 11 or so afterwards.

Didn't do much for the rest of the day other than walking around and preparing to check out and pay my omfexpensiveghotelbills.

Overall it's been an awesome awesome trip. The experience was great. I love the chinese team. The players and officials are somehow all so approachable, unlike the chinese shooters I used to hang out with sometimes, only the kids and coaches talked to us...

Lee Sedol is bishie~ but so fussy it was almost funny. He has a really strange hi-pitched voice which really doesn't suit his face. Everyone's jaw was dropping each time I said it (his voice) kinda grows on you after listening to it after a while. Because they all thought it was just way too weird...

Liu Xing has good language, is super shy to strangers, and we both drink milk at night. :D

Lee Changho is extremely soft-spoken and has this amazing grace about his gestures and personality. If all the players had a scoring system without their strengths coming into play, I rate Lee Changho 10/10. Yes yes, my respect for him just went up a couple stops.

Choi Cheol Han is, as his age is, like a child and restless. I saw his instruction games on the last day with some of the local amateur dan players, omg he was totally impatient to kill everything. *bangs head on wall*

Right, so that kind of concludes the trip. I'm happy~

Ing Cup Finals - Part III
Ing Cup Finals - Part II
Ing Cup Finals - Part I
Ing Cup Semi-Finals

Paris Day One.

X Japan concert~!!!

Yeah I wish.

Sorry, bad joke. Hahaha.

On the way out of the Charles de Gaulle airport.

The train station.

The first thing I purchased: train ticket into Paris, 8.20euros. :D

And because I'm absolutely clueless to what I should do, I headed to the only place I know that's supposedly near to my hotel:
It was quite surreal, I sat there for a while. Just stoning. 9am in the morning, I don't think I ever get out back home so early in the day ever, to just watch people walk by.

Wonders of having maps at the bus stops. I found the road I'm supposed to head to, it's quite a bit of a distance, but I had ample time.

Along the way:
After some time, as slowly as I'd have had myself walk, I reached my destination. Left my luggage at the reception, it was still only 10.

I figured I might as well check out the neighbourhood.

A little bit down the road is Kenzo with empty mannequins in the windows.

Givenchy with the season's Haute Couture collection pieces.

And YSL.

Then I sat down at a bus stop a bit further down for half an hour. Surfed the net on my iPhone, and decided I was hungry. The cafes behind me looked really good and somewhat affordable, but I thought, maybe I could head back to the hotel and eat something and try sitting there till I can check-in into my room.

Fundamental error.

A cheaper option on the menu but still, I have to admit that this is the most expensive breakfast I'd had to pay for yet. (We might have had more expensive ones in the past, then again those were usually buffets and paid for by the association, but I highly doubt that much were more expensive than this hm)

The list consists of: pretty nice yogurt, cup of cut fruits, so so cappuccino, orange juice that's somehow a bit too bitter, and toasted slices that were so hard I feared about my teeth breaking as I bit down (it's actually not too bad, but, er, oh well).

That's roughly SG$80. -_-

So apparently I started feeling a bit cold, after surfing the net some more and reading a chapter of Sherlock Holmes on my phone, I decided to I try again at the reception around 12+.

Finally at 1.30 or so, I was shown to my room. Mwahahhahaa.

Beautiful isn't it.
Random self portrait~

Bang & Olufsen TV. (When they came later, Quentin and Gigi were totally going all over how cool the remote control was when we turned on the radio haha). B&O, plain awesome.

Slacked around for a while and decided I was too tired - a very hyper boy sat behind me during my flight and was kicking my seat throughout the whole night making it impossible to really sleep. So, comfy bed, comfy pillows = sleep. Hohoho.

Around 6 they sent in chocolates. I was half awake, but hungry. So I ate one, it's so nice I became awake enough to wanna blog about it.

Moments later they also sent in a weather card, tomorrow is partially cloudy, 15-27 degrees. :D

By then I started worrying. I was all alone~! The rest of the team was supposed to touch down at 5+ T__T

I started calling my photographer, it wouldn't go through. I could only pray very very hard that the flight got delayed and I didn't somehow end up in Paris due to some complications and mistake in planning.

Eventually the call came around 9+. The sky was only starting to get dark.

Finally at almost 10pm they reached. Yay.

Tomorrow we shoot! I am an assistant this time round, and I am nervous. Hahahaha.

I actually wanted to talk about how happy I was to be contacted by Ogilvy, but now I probably have to drop it because I'm here. But advertising jobs can come in anytime, chances like this one don't.

And as for STCC, I'm really really sorry for those who went down on Sunday just to see me. The trip came up really last minute T_T

It was great meeting so many people on Saturday, seeing some old faces from the SGMA days was totally unexpected.

Many thanks to Sonny Liew for informing me of the event, Gilamon and SoraWorks for being very very kind in agreeing to share the booths with me, Joyce my dear assistant for helping out at the event both days, Wacom for the collaboration, the guys from IFS for dropping by often, and everyone else for the support~~~

PS: If the print you wanted was sold out or you missed the event, I'll be back in time for Cosfest this weekend with new stock, so fear not. XD