Sunday, 25 December 2016

Merry Blessed Christmas 2016 !!!

It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air :D
And the best of all gifts around any Christmas tree, is the presence of happy friends & family all wrapped up in each other. 
He is the reason for the season! Feeling really blessed to be able to celebrate this Christmas with good friends and family with lots of joy and laughter.

Here's wishing you a very Merry Blessed Christmas wherever you are! 

Next, it's time to get ready for the New Year Countdown!! I'm feeling very determined to complete my blog post on my Cambodia adventure before NYE! Hahaha


Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Paris: The 2017 Pirelli Calendar Unveiled - "Emotional"

Apart from being known for their high performance tyres, Pirelli is next most famous for their....


This is something that many people in South-East Asia don't know about, and I cannot feel more privileged to have attended the exclusive launch of the 2017 Pirelli Calendar here in Paris. I'm gonna share all about it right here with you!


Paris, 29 November 2016 – It was a night of glitz and glamour with international hollywood stars gracing the red carpet, as the world witnessed the official launch of the 2017 Pirelli Calendar today.

Created by one of the world’s top photographers, Peter Lindbergh, the 2017 edition sees the Calendar diving in a completely different direction.

Gisele Bundchen

Breaking away from the usual nude and scantily-clad supermodels in the previous copies, the German master takes "being more nude than naked" to a whole new level, with the women featured in this edition, completely dressed.

Peter Lindbergh

Peter is the only photographer to have been asked to produce the Pirelli Calendar for the third time.

It was he who shot the Calendar of 1996 in the El Mirage desert in California, and the one of 2002 at the studios of Paramount Pictures in Los Angeles. In 2014, it was again Lindbergh, together with Patrick Demarchelier, who took the photographs to celebrate 50 years of the Calendar, which was first launched in 1964.

Nichole Kidman

The Pirelli Calendar has now reached its 44th edition, and the photographer explains the underlying theme of the 2017 Pirelli Calendar:

“In a time when women are represented in the media and everywhere else, as ambassadors of perfection and youth, I thought it was important to remind everyone that there is a different beauty, more real and truthful and not manipulated by commercial or any other interests, a beauty which speaks about individuality, courage to be yourself and your own private sensibility...”.

Julianne Moore

Lindbergh has chosen the title “Emotional” in order to emphasize how the idea behind his photos was “to create a calendar not around perfect bodies, but on sensitivity and emotion, stripping down to the very soul of the sitters, who thus become more nude than naked.”

In order to convey his idea of natural beauty and femininity, Lindbergh has portrayed 14 internationally renowned actresses. They are:

Jessica Chastain
Penelope Cruz
Nicole Kidman
Rooney Mara
Helen Mirren
Julianne Moore
Lupita Nyong’o
Charlotte Rampling
Lea Seydoux
Uma Thurman
Alicia Vikander
Kate Winslet
Robin Wright
Zhang Ziyi

He has also included Anastasia Ignatova, professor of Political Theory at MGIMO - Moscow State University of International Relations.

These choices once again reveal Lindbergh’s love of the cinema which makes the Cité du Cinéma in Saint Denis, one of Europe’s most important film studios, the natural setting for the traditional gala dinner where the new calendar has been presented.

“My aim was to portray women in a different way”, says Lindbergh, “and I did it by calling in actresses who’ve played an important role in my life, getting as close as possible to them to take my photos. As an artist, I feel I’m responsible for freeing women from the idea of eternal youth and perfection. The ideal of perfect beauty promoted by society is something that simply can’t be attained.”

All these years, majority of the media have portrayed women in an image whereby if they want to look attractive, they've gotta take their clothes off. But true beauty was never about how much clothes you have on or off. Rather, just embracing who you really are and not let anyone dictate that identity in you - that, is a powerful message the world needs to hear and Lindbergh have so successfully captured.

The result is a calendar consisting of 40 warm and beautiful images – with portraits and environments – that showed fully-clothed women appearing way more appealing than your usual pinup poster girls.

"You take everything away, you take the perfection away, you take great hairdos and wonderful make up away - You take everything away and you say, "These are the twelve of the most sensivle, emotional (actresses)." If you shoot in on women nobody knows, well, that's a good idea too, but then you would not make the connection." 

Peter is very well-known for his unique photography that goes pretty much un-retouched or edited, and the images came out just so raw, with the actresses showcased in their most sensible and emotional form, you could almost literally feel the connection between them and the photographer.

And that is simply beautiful to see.

While the world or the fashion industry may not change their perspectives on unrealistic standards of beauty, Lindbergh would still like to share,

"Beauty today is really twisted, for commercial reasons, so people think beautiful is what you see in advertising and magazines - all these retouched women. You have to be perfect, you have to be thin, you have to be young - your have to be all this, and this is bullshit. It's so awful, and this image of beauty is imposted on people for commercial reasons, because you can't take money (if) you say to someone, "You know what, you're beautiful just the way you are." 

For the past decade, the tyre company have stuck to featuring nude or almost-nude women and seeing the latest work of Peter Lindbergh is oh, so refreshing.

What goes on behind the scenes, the shoots, the stories and the personalities of the 2017 Pirelli Calendar can be found on the dedicated website here.

Remember, be your own kind of beautiful, because that is evergreen.

What a powerful message, what a truly memorable experience this is.
Not just of any other calendar, but the iconic 2017 Pirelli Calendar.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Day 9 #SG-Cambodia: Hat Yai (Thailand) - Malaysia - Singapore : Home Sweet Home

I don't have an iron butt, but I'm determined to get home safely today.

So if it takes me 1,000km of riding to press through, so shall it be!

Still on the train as I woke up at about 7:05am, and caught the gorgeous sunrise.

After a good 10 hour rest, I packed my bags one last time for this trip, as we approached into Hat Yai Railway Station. Just one last leg more to go and I'll be home sweet home..

First thing I did was head towards the cargo section to retrieve my bike.
Praying again that it survived the train ride haha while standing by for the unloading.

Head out first.


Next is taking my bike's full weight to bring it as gently as possible to the ground.
Look at the faces of these guys.. feeling every ounce of that 800kg machine. LOL. I can't remember how many times I pleaded for them to be careful. I was so nervous once again.

They were as careful as can be, and my bike's safely on the platform! Tipped the guys and thanked them a whole lot!

Time to load up the bags and strap em down for the ride home!

Rode out of the train station and,

went to get my final dose of awesome Thai street foooddddzz first!
This will definitely fuel me up for the long ride through North South Highway as I will not be making any more stops apart from refueling until I get back to Singapore.

This morning's looking pretty cloudy as I made my way towards Sadao Border. No fear of wet weather with my full RS Taichi Drymaster gears on and my waterproof TCX boots!

Cleared the Thai and Malaysia Border smoothly and onto North South Highway we go.

The truth is, it can get pretty discouraging looking at the big chunk of amount in kilometres you have to clock for the day. So what I normally do, is break it down into 4 - 5 sections.

Like now, I've about a thousand km to do, so I broke them down into sections of 200km each, and just keep my focus on finishing one section at a time. Base on about 200km per section, it is also the time when I will refuel. That is when I'll reset my mind, recharge, and start my focus on another section. It's much easier to swallow. Rather than travel 200km and telling yourself you still have 800km more to go.

Halfway through my journey on North South Highway, a storm hit and it poured heavily. Thankfully just for a while, though heavy enough to get my gloves a little damp.

Even though the sections of the journey is broken down, which really helps keep me going, the fatigue from the ride is still very real.

I rode and rode.. until I finally saw the sign to "Tuas". Happiest moment of my life at that point. LOL because gawwwddd it's been such a damn long ride.

I continued on until I arrived at Singapore's customs, and man, it feels really good to be back on home ground. It's so easy to get complacent when you're so close to home, but I kept reminding myself as long as I'm still on the roads, I've got to be as careful and cautious as I have been through Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia.

The journey is then finally completed, when I'm back home safely. Back chilling on my couch, with this naughty fur ball of mine which I missed dearly.

So so thankful to be back home safely, reunited with my chromie!

SG > Hat Yai > Bangkok > Sihanoukville > Phnom Penh > Siem Reap > ANGKOR WAT > Siem Reap > Bangkok > Hat Yai > SG

Singapore to Cambodia and back to Singapore, all in a total of just 9 days.. that's seriously one hella ride. I lost 3 kg, but I gained a ton full of beautiful precious memories that's gonna stick with me a lifetime.

Say it wasn't possible? I've just showed you how it's done.

Some may say that it ain't enjoyable because it seems like such a rushed trip. But actually, I found that it was alright, apart from the first 2 days of intense riding where we covered 2,000km due to the unavailability of the train ride. The truth is, not many people have the luxury of Time, to go on touring rides like this.

Some may take a longer time, some may take a shorter one, up to the individual's preference. The whole point is, you did it, and that's what matters the most.

Some say, when you've money, you don't have time. Or when you've time, you don't have the money. But I beg to differ. Life has always been about priorities and balancing everything together. No one said it was gonna be easy, but it's definitely worth it.

I may not have the luxury of time to go on long touring rides where I can take my own sweet time, but then again, it's something I don't really want to do either because too long away from home and I'll miss my family, my dog, my friends, and yes! I actually miss work.

I take just the amount of time I deem adequate to finish the trip, slot it into my schedule, and once I've completed it, another wonderful memorable adventure fulfilled, I dive right back to work and home!

That's life to me.

Anyway, Cambodia has been amazing.. and I miss the country.

So..... guess what's happening in 2017? ;)

[Singapore. Malaysia. Thailand.Sihanoukville, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, ANGKOR WAT, Cambodia. Bangkok, Hat Yai,Thailand. Malaysia. Singapore]
[Mileage Clocked: 5,002KM]
[Weather/Temperature: Cloudy/Thunderstorms/27°C]
[Terrain: Road/Tarmac]

Friday, 18 November 2016

Day 8 #SG-Cambodia: Siem Reap (Cambodia) > Bangkok (Thailand) > Hat Yai - Back For The Train Ride

Sometimes traveling at this fast of a pace (not in terms of speed but no. of days spent at a place), zipping through from one country to another can feel a little like teleporting haha especially when all this is over, and I look back to relive what just happened.

With a heavy heart, I bid farewell to Cambodia as today is my last day here.

My strong baby here has seriously did an incredible job throughout my journey so far, not failing me once despite me clearly depriving it of any TLC here. It's gonna get the spa session it deserves when we get back!

Meantime, I'll be covering over 1,400km riding from Sieam Reap to Bangkok today, including hopping on an overnight train from Bangkok to Hat Yai!

I reallyyyyyy hope to catch the train this time round because damn, I wouldn't wanna do what I had to do on Day 1 & 2 of my journey ever again hahaha. Way too exhausting!

Don't I look just wide awake? Hahaha
Got my baggage loaded, and off we go, diligently pushing off at about 7:45am in the morning.

Now when I first entered Cambodia, it was via Koh Kong Border. But since I'm not really a fan of repeating routes, this time, I'll be exiting Cambodia and entering Thailand via Poipet Border instead!

Poipet is just 150km away from Siem Reap, and the ride has been cooling so far. Apart from taking in as much of what's remaining left of my ride in Cambodia, the custom procedures kept repeating in my head.

Was I nervous about crossing the border?

You bet I was.


Because no one I know have crossed Poipet border before, not even my friends in Cambodia. Plus I was alone, and language might be a barrier in case anything happens, so I was really praying everything would go through as smoothly as it could.

So, the first step was to locate the Immigration Checkpoint, which I'm glad I managed to find haha.
The night before, I googled the image of how it looks like and just matched it with what I see now.

It wasn't that difficult to find, just have go slowly and look out for it.

Poipet is a very busy border, with heavy human traffic and vehicles all around.
Many seems to be importing/exporting goods via this border.

Upon arriving at the Departure Hall of Poipet Border at Cambodia side, I joined the queue and got my passport stamped.

And that's it! Easy peasy for exiting Cambodia!

And next, is getting back into Thailand!

The motorcycle lane is on the left, and all other four wheelers are on the right. This is where I got a little lost because I didn't know where I could get the white custom form for my vehicle. Without it, my bike will not be allowed to enter Thailand.

Smiling a lot and asking the locals nicely where I could go to get the form using sign languages got me directed to the Immigration Office.

And when the officers there learnt that I was traveling alone, they were kind enough to assist me in getting the form and filling it up for me before I went on to get my passport stamped :)

Love the hospitality of the Thai people.

Next, I proceeded to the Customs office to get clearance for my motorcycle. The officers there were all smiles too, and so welcoming!

With everything in place, it's time to make my way back to Bangkok!

Hello Thailand again!

I think it's almost 40 deg now, not kidding at all. I'm sweating bucketssss on the inside!
It's so so important to keep hydrating riding in such heat.

Pressed through about 150km of intense heat waves over two hours+ and here we are, at Bangkok Railway Station! Back for the train ride!

The time now is 2:00pm, and I went straight to purchase my ticket. The price for a bed in the 2nd class overnight train, is 905 baht/pax. The ticket price for bikes goes according to the capacity of it. For my 800cc Ducati Hypermotard, cost is about 1,360 baht.

Thank goodness, there's a slot for my baby and I this time round and we're gonna be catching some rest on the 15 hour train ride from Bangkok to Hat Yai!

Up goes my darling, man-carried by just four guys, onto the cargo's high platform. This is not the first time my bike has been on Thailand's train rides but ah I'm always so anxious and worried whenever I watch the loading/unloading of my precious.

Upon seeing my baby nicely tucked in a corner, firmly secured by strings,

I made my own way up the train too, into the passenger cabin.

Got to my seat, sat back, and can't believe I was just in Siem Reap this morning. Haha this is what I mean when it feels a bit like teleporting from one place to another.

We have one last leg to complete tomorrow, that is to ride 1,000km straight from Hat Yai, Thailand, through the whole of Malaysia, and all the way back home to Singapore.

But for now, I'm gonna take that well-deserved cold shower,

and rest for the night before the long ride back home tomorrow!

[Singapore. Malaysia. Thailand.Sihanoukville, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, ANGKOR WAT, Cambodia. Bangkok, Thailand]
[Mileage Clocked: 3,828KM]
[Weather/Temperature: Scorching Hot/38.5°C]
[Terrain: Road/Tarmac]

Next stop: SINGAPORE