Sunday, July 31, 2011


I am often game to try out new things. My cousin San, being the outdoor-type guy he is, arranged for a Segway tour for us in Bangkok last Sunday, with a little help from a Bangkok-based friend Shin.

It's a pretty cool experience once you get the hang of it. Two and a half hours flew by quickly. We took in some sights, had a bit of a race in a park and navigated quite a lot of traffic, both human and vehicle. We had a good time.

For me, a new experience is always enticing and enthralling. Whether I ultimately like it or not is not the point. The point is to have a go. So many fall into the trap of a sedentary lifestyle. Sure, I have routine in my life too but that hasn't stopped me from exploring new horizons, participating in fascinating activities. I try to live life to the fullest. I may not succeed all the time but I sure as hell try.

Photo shot in the streets of Bangkok, Thailand.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Surprise Birthday Trip

I am always game for a surprise and it is pretty rewarding when the surprise comes good. My cousin Siew Yoong was celebrating a birthday and her hubby San had planned for some of us to show up in Bangkok to celebrate.

Siew Yoong and I practically grew up together during our childhood and we've remained close over the years, despite us living in different countries for the past two and a half decades or so. We were in fact competing against one another during the swim leg of the Bali Triathlon in June but there was no talk about this trip to Bangkok; I made sure that I would not be the one to let the cat out of the bag if it ever were to happen.

The long weekend in Bangkok was great. Good company, good food, group activities, some shopping, massages. I designed Siew Yoong a cocktail dress as a gift and was pleasantly surprised that it fit almost perfectly; for this I have to thank San for the size measurements he scoured from her closet. In return, I got a little surprise myself. Siew Yoong set me up for a session at Elemis Spa at The St. Regis Bangkok on the last night of our trip. Certainly a wonderful, relaxing way to end an enjoyable holiday. Thanks San for the invite and planning!

Photo shot at Erawan Tea Room in Bangkok, Thailand.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I often get asked how I manage to afford time off for regular holidays. Here's the deal. I still work while on holiday. I allocate at least 2 hours a day to answer emails, write and so forth. I am not one who likes to be deluged with work post holiday, so I would rather get some cleared while away. I am disciplined in that way.

Since beginning of June, I have been working for approximately 3 weeks followed by a week's holiday or thereabouts. Seoul done. Bali done. This cycle will run through beginning October and I am certainly looking forward to another 3 trips. The downside to all this is the intense work rate during the 3 work-weeks. Although I still have my off days, I do work half the time. I've noticed too that I am even more task-oriented and those working with me have had to roll up their sleeves and pull up their socks even more, so to speak. I am pretty sure they like the peace and quiet when I am away. They can then work on the list of tasks I leave them with peace of mind, without my constant scrutiny and demands, though I still keep in close touch via email.

Even though rather stressed at times, I ain't complaining, as I still manage to find time to swim at least 3 times a week, gym twice, read, network socially on the internet, coffee and dinner with family and friends, even a movie every now and then, plus 2 blocs of newsreading per week at RTM. Suffice to say, I have no time to waste. And there is always that upcoming holiday to look forward to. This I know for sure though, a 3-week-1-week cycle may be a tad ambitious. Well, come November, perhaps I'll have a re-think and see how a more reasonable cycle may be attained. In the meantime, it's full steam ahead.

Working in the coffee house of Ubud Inn in Bali, where I am joined by my friends Shirley and Richard.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Journeys For Two 2011

Here are some of my thoughts as Publisher and Editor-In-Chief of Journeys For Two - Destination Weddings For The Stylish And Chic 2011.

It's been two years in a row that I've attended a destination wedding. Both were beach weddings and both were in one of my favourite holiday destinations, Bali. Naturally, the venue plays a big part in any wedding. However, what I've learnt from these past two weddings is that the crowd is just as important.

Excitement and anticipation are definitely in the air once the bridal party and their guests arrive at their destination of choice. An easy-going group, one with an adventurous streak and a sense of fun, all add to the merriment. They complement the exotic and serene surroundings, they somehow make the beautiful landscapes come even more alive. Most of all, these are the people who are most dear to the couple. When such a perfect combination comes together as one, we can be sure of a meaningful, loving and memorable occasion. Now, isn't that what every bride and groom hopes for?

Explore, enjoy and be inspired ........

Kris Wong

Cover of Journeys For Two 2011.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Do As The Locals Do

When in Rome, do as the Romans do, so they say. When in Bali, do as the Balinese do. With this in mind, we headed to Pasar Senggol night market in Gianyar one evening to sample Babi Guling and Bakso.

Gianyar, not too far from Ubud, reputedly has some of the best Babi Guling in Bali and whilst I am not particularly a fan of pork, some of my travel friends are. I settled for Bakso at a nondescript stall and this I have to say - it is important to have a diverse travel experience. Being willing to try streetfood is often rewarded with a memorable experience.

A simple but tasty meal, good company and an authentic atmosphere, what's not to enjoy?

L to R : Our guide Putu, Richard, Eileen, yours truly, Uncle Lui and Auntie Lillian. Photo kindly shot by Shirley at Pasar Senggol in Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Bit Of Work In Bali

I tend to include a little bit of work whenever I holiday in Bali. We have a number of partners in Bali with whom we jointly promote destination weddings and it is always good to catch up with them and share new ideas.

This time, we made the rounds to Kayumanis Nusa Dusa, Kupu Kupu Barong Villas & Tree Spa as well as Furama Xclusive Villas & Spa in Ubud. These properties are featured in the latest edition of Journeys For Two - Destination Weddings For The Stylish And Chic and we had the opportunity to tour their venues and chat over tea with our collaborative partners.

I don't really mind mixing business with pleasure when such pleasant opportunities arise.

Photo shot at Kayumanis Nusa Dua in Bali, Indonesia.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


My friends and I always head to the same places whenever we are in Bali, so we made it a point this time round to stay a few nights at some place which we haven't visited before. So to Canggu we went.

Quiet and laid back, a little rural, but that will all change soon with the massive construction going on. Apparently the new commercial development will be ready by next year. I suppose we are lucky to have been able to experience it as it is now, rather than its more touristy incarnation in the future.

Echo Beach in Canggu is a surfers haven from what I witnessed. Great surf. Too bad I don't surf but am inclined to learn soon. I've been to Bali 8 times and have still to surf. It's on my 'to do' list for sure. Echo Beach has inspired that in me.

Photo shot at Echo Beach in Canggu, Bali, Indonesia.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Bali Triathlon 2011

I have always believed that if I put my mind to it, almost anything is possible. Case in point, the Bali Triathlon. What started as casual banter with my friend Eileen, an enthusiastic triathlete, ultimately turned out to be an extremely enjoyable and satisfying experience.

My team-mates, Richard (bike) and Lee Kuen (run), and I (swim) combined to race our first triathlon relay in Bali last Sunday, 26 June. Granted, we only participated in the sprint distance, it was an achievement nevertheless considering it was our first try and we did reasonably well, finishing in 16th place among all the teams taking part.

I had taken the effort to train for the past six months in the pool but no amount of training would prepare one fully for a swim in the sea. In fact, I only had one training swim in the sea the afternoon before race day but that allayed some of my concerns as the waters of Jimbaran Bay were relatively calm and not as cold as I had expected. I had a great time during the race per se. Apparently I came out of the water in 12th place, and we definitely swam more than the original distance as there were claims that the transition buoys shifted positions. What I didn't train for was the run on the beach from the water to the bike transition area. Although only 800m in distance, I struggled as I don't normally run, not even on the treadmill in the gym. I'll have to be better prepared next time. Yes, next time. We are already planning for our next race, so exciting and fun this experience was.

Photo of Richard, Eileen, yours truly and Lee Kuen shot by Shirley Hoo at Jimbaran Bay in Bali, Indonesia.