The Most Kickass Fan Mail Ever™

A few days ago, I was asked to promote a local band’s new CD album.

That’s alright. is always happy to support Malaysian independent bands, especially one with a name as cool as Ben’s Bitches.
They sent me a package some time later, and in it are two CDs and The Most Kickass Fan Mail™ I have ever received.

This guy is gonna be such a good role model for kids.

Thanks CK. For such a kickass letter, I decided to give your album a free plug on
Granted, you’re probably not sober when you wrote me that letter. And granted, your music is probably not the kind that I’d listen to with my mom.

But when you have a love song on the album as hilarious as The Cha Cha Ska of Amber Chia, bashing up all of Amber’s rivals, it’s damn hard not to recommend it.

You can check out more about Ben’s Bitches here.
Meanwhile, I should be out “wrecking more havoc” for “Lord Satan”.

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Adventures In Sapa, North Vietnam

Our adventure in Vietnam didn’t actually begin until 12 hours after we touched down at Hanoi.

From the airport, we took a 45 minute taxi ride (US$10 / RM35) to Hanoi train station, passing by a stretch of Thit Cho (dog meat) restaurants along the way.
We slept in an overnight train to Lao Cai, which took 8 hours and costs us US$22 (RM77) each in a 4-person cabin. Dinner was French baguette dipped in condensed milk we bought from a tattered poor girl in hawking outside the train station.

When we reached Lao Cai the next morning, we had to endure another 1-hour minibus ride (25,000 dong / RM 5) up the windy roads to our final destination – Sapa.
Finally we can begin our adventure in Vietnam!

Sapa is a tiny agricultural town nestled on the mountain top near the Chinese border. It’s a little troublesome to get here from Hanoi, but our effort was worth it all.
We have arrived at the coldest town in Vietnam with the most spectacular mountain sceneries.

A H’mong mother and child

Sapa is an enchanting little place. It isn’t just the specatculars views that attracted many travellers to travel so far to get here. Sapa is also home to many ethnic minority tribes, the largest being the H’mong (苗族) and Dzao people (瑶族).

A Dzao lady (no, she’s not Santa Claus)

This is one of the very few places in world where we can still witness the hill tribes dressed in their colourful traditional clothings, going about their daily lives. Much of their culture and customs are preserved, isolated from the rest of the population in Vietnam.

It was cold and drizzling when our bus reached Sapa. Nicole and I sought refuge at a nearby souvenir shop. I went off to buy some disposable raincoats for later use, while Nicole stayed in the shop.
When I returned 5 minutes later, I received the biggest shock ever.
Our friend had transformed into a local H’mong girl.

I know they say “Do As the Romans Do”, but this is ridiculous.
Kenny: “We’re going to trek mountains later you know? How are you gonna go trekking wearing a skirt?”
Nicole: “Nevermind! Can one! :D”
Kenny: “……..”
Nicole: “So cheap. RM40 only!”
Kenny: “………………….”
Somehow, I had a baddddd feeling about this trip.
Anyway, we had breakfast and strolled through the local market while waiting for the rain to clear.

Life in Sapa is so simple and different from what we are used to. It is fascinating just sitting here idly watching life goes by. I’ve been to some fairly undeveloped rural towns before, but Sapa is the first true village experience I had.
An example would be when we were at an internet cafe checking our e-mails, and a herd of water buffaloes gently walked on by.

How often do you see water buffaloes walking past internet cafes?!
That was so cool! That was when we really know we’re at the countryside.

A common sight in Sapa is H’mong women persistently following hapless tourists, pestering them to buy jewellery and trinkets.
With the boom in tourism business a few years back, a lot of the H’mong women and girls had gone into the souvenir business.
We were being followed by a few during our short stay here. Some even went as far as to wait outside the restaurant where we had breakfast.
It is difficult to turn them down, especially when they are being so friendly and patient. But there’s an ugly side to everything.

When a frail old lady approached me holding a silver bracelet in her hand, I purchased one from her out of goodwill.
Big mistake.

Within mere seconds, hordes of tribe women swarmed towards our direction peddling their wares.
“Look! Look!”
“Buy from me!”
“You want earlings? Nor? Hawr arbout purse?”
Now, it WOULD HAVE been quite nice if the girls looked like those bikini babes from’s music video.
Unfortunately, reality wasn’t as kind…

Nice gold tooth, sista

We had no choice.

Before we knew it, Nicole and I had escaped onto the path to a H’mong village.
The ethnic minorities don’t live in Sapa. Most of them live in traditional villages around the area, coming to Sapa only to go to school or do business. The nearest H’mong village is Cat Cat Village.
Contrary to its name, there’s not a lot of cats in Cat Cat Village.
Anyway, the boy from Cat City went to Cat Cat Village.

We met a 16-year-old H’mong girl called Ha along the way. This one is a little different from the rest.
Not only does Ha look way younger than the 16 years old she claimed to be, she also spoke to us in perfect English. Unlike the other H’mongs we met who are mostly shy and quiet, Ha is one loud and feisty little lady.
When she approached us, she wasn’t pestering us to buy her wares.

“Are you crazy?!”, she pointed to Nicole’s incorrectly worn tribal belt. “You wear your belt like this, it means death!”
And that was pretty much our opening topic.
Maybe it was Nicole’s tribal dressing, but Ha took an immediate liking to her. Ha warmed up to us and stuck with us through the remainder of our stay here.

Ha liked Nicole a lot. She gave her a flower, put it on her ear, made her a crown our of fern leaf and helped tie her hair up into a pig tail.
I kinda suspected Ha didn’t quite like me as much though. All she seemed to care about is my man boobs.

Throughout our journey, the feisty little H’mong girl repeatedly:

  • pinched my nipples
  • slapped my ass
  • said I’m fat like a buffalo 🙁

Yeah I’m pretty sure Ha liked Nicole better, eventhough she still squeezed her boobs and felt up her skirt.

Anyway, as much as we were being bullied by a 16-year-old, it’s great to have Ha come along with us. Nicole and I didn’t wanna hire a tour guide to save money, so Ha ended becoming our impromptu guide and translator in Sapa. Not once did she try to force us to buy anything.
The hike down Cat Cat Village was easy and the sights are breathtaking. Even with the fog obscuring much of what lies in the distance, we had magnificent views over the rice terraces and small houses below.

Life in the villages is as basic and simple as it can get. There are no TV or fridge or any other modern amenities that we take for granted over here. There’s not even basic water, electricity and gas supply.
Over here, the water comes from the sky, lunch means cooking freshly-plucked vegetables with charcoal and going to the loo means hiking out to the nearest bush and pee there.
There are no iPods or Xboxes. Whilst kids in Malaysia fight over the latest handphone and gadgets, kids in Sapa keep themselves entertained by sliding their bare bottoms down the staircase in flattened water bottles.

But they’re still happy. Look at the brilliant smiles on their faces.
I was almost convinced to take off my pants and join them.

I love it here. Being the countryside, there are no shortage of farm animals and small lifestock around.
A little toddler girl would be eating their lunch. Then next to her will be three puppies sucking frantically on their mom’s titties.


Out of nowhere, a man would be chasing a bunch of mountain goats down the footpath.

These are the kinda sights you don’t get to see everyday.
Within just a few hours here, we are already relaxed into the slower pace of life here. I’m just glad to be away from all the hectic schedule back home.

Cat Cat Village isn’t big. We reached the end point of the trek after roughly an hour.
As we still had tons of time to spare, Ha asked if we wanna go to her house in nearby Sin Chai Village where she would cook us some lunch.
Authentic H’mong hospitality? Of course!

Unfortunately for us, she must have exagerrated the use of the word “near”, because her house ain’t even close to being near.
Sin Chai is located much further away Cat Cat Village and access is only possible with a motorcycle ride (US$1 / RM3.50).
For once, we had gone well and truly off the beaten path, into a place only the locals knew.

Still, we were glad we came here.
Sin Chai is a lot less touristy and a lot more authenticH’mong village. For the first time in my life, I was inside a true countryside village that is as every bit as I imagined it to be – water buffaloes ploughing through the rice fields, workers harvesting from the terraced hill slopes and a small stream flowing through the valley in between.

It was surreal.
I felt like I was in one of those water-coloured paintings we used to always do back in secondary school.

If only I knew how to use Photoshop back then, I wouldn’t be getting a ‘C’ for Arts.
From where the motorcycles dropped us off, we had to trek nearly an hour up and down muddy terrains and slippery rocks.

It was difficult navigating up and down the hill, and this is coming from a guy who had climbed Mt Kinabalu before.
Ha was easily hopping from rock to rock like she was previously born a mountain goat. After all, she has been doing this everyday since the day she was born.

Things didn’t go too well for Nicole. At one point she slipped and hurt her shin.
She was alright, but the little H’mong girl was almost in tears. “I’m sorry!”, she said, guilty that she led us through such a difficult path just to go to her house.
I didn’t know why she had to apologise. I just feel sorry for ourselves that we couldn’t even keep up with a 16-year-old girl half our size!


Ha’s house was such a welcome relief when we finally reached there.
As simple as it might be, it had all the basic creatures of comfort.

Wash area

Looking around her house, it hit us hard on how poor the H’mong people are. We are on holidays but this was a tough reality check to swallow.
The entire house is only about the size of a standard classroom. The walls are made of wood and the floor is nothing but harderned mud.


The bedroom has a mattress that has seen better days. There is no wardrobe to store any clothes.
The living area, which is also the dining area, is basically a wooden table with two small benches. There was some corn hanging dry over the roof and some maize piled in the corner. The washing area has a barrel to catch rain water, but no doors. The cooking area is just a stove pit to put the charcoal in.


There are no electricity, no toilet, no water pipe, no gas stove, no lights, no carpet, no TV, no couch, no Astro, no computer, no phone, no internet. Pretty much all the things that we took for granted, they don’t have it.
How they managed to live in such conditions, I have no idea.
All they have is roof over their head, and few simple clothes they could wear. There are very few personal belongings, if at all.

This is no Venetian Macao that’s for sure.
And yet, despite living in extreme poverty, Ha was among the most hospitable person I have ever met. She didn’t have much, but she gave us what she could. I was touched by her generosity.
She washed my dirty sweater in a hollowed log. She invited us into the comforts of her simple home and cooked us lunch. Nothing fancy, just rice and vegie fresh from her backyard. But it was her sincerity that shows.

Honestly, one of the best-tasting meals I’ve had in Vietnam. I yearned for her fragrant rice even until today.
Sitting in Ha’s house, part of me feels sad for the H’mong community. Tourism in Sapa may be booming, but little of it directly benefits the ethnic minorities. Many of them still live in extreme poverty and requires Oxfam assistance. Enterprising businessmen had flocked to Sapa to chase tourist money, but the locals didn’t like it.

It’s little wonder why the H’mong don’t even regard themselves as Vietnamese. They may be from the same country, but the H’mongs think differently and at least treat their visitors with more dignity than mere cash cows.
Before I left, I bought a traditional handwoven tribal men’s shirt from our little tour guide.

Look at my shirt, don’t look at Su Ann

Ha didn’t name me the price and I didn’t know how much it should cost, but I paid her 150,000 dong (RM30) for it. I knew I paid more than what she expected when her face lit up instantly.
I was happy to. What’s 150,000 dongs compared to her spending the whole day with us, showing us her village, guiding us through the paddy fields, inviting us into her home and cooking a nice lunch for us? When’s the last time a complete stranger did that for me?
It was a token of gratitude from me and I’m sure she’ll put the money to good use back within the H’mong community.

We left Sapa that evening with a warm fuzzy feeling in our stomach. Sapa is a beautiful place and true paradise on Earth, and it is made even more endearing by the presence of the great H’mong tribe.
We were truly humbled by how caring and close-knit they are, and how they managed to remain so happy eventhough they’re so poor.

Perhaps, us city folks oughta learn a thing or two from them.

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Guide To Planning Your Own Holiday On A Budget

It’s no secret that I enjoy travelling.

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Since moving back to Kuching, I have hopped on flights to Hong Kong, Macau, Shanghai, Phuket, Jakarta, Hanoi, Egypt, Auckland as well as KL, Penang, Ipoh, Malacca, Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia.
That’s an insane number of place to cover in a short time.

Macau night view

For all those places, I travelled independantly. That means I planned my own trips and booked my own flights, accomodation and tours without using a travel agent or joining a tour group.
In fact, I hate joining tour groups. I hate it with a vengeance. I hate it so much because they are so bloody expensive, their schedule is so rigid, and half the time they cater for boring uncle-auntie types who don’t wanna walk too much.

Perfume shop in Egypt. “Factory Outlet” price: US$10. Outside price: RM10

Then 99% of the time they’ll throw you into some overpriced “souvenir shops” in the middle of nowhere, forcing you to waste time in there, just so you might buy those useless junk which you know they’ll be getting commission for.
I don’t want that kinda crap when I’m on holidays. That’s why I always prefer to plan my own travels.

Taking the overcrowded Bandung-Jakarta economy train in Indonesia

I’m pretty much on a limited budget when I travel. After all, I paid for most of these trips entirely out of my own pocket.
After working so hard day and night, a holiday is only something I deserve. Going away takes my mind off things for a while. And I come back with fresh ideas and new perspectives, ready to take on the world again.

Nexus Karambunai Resort, Kota Kinabalu

When I travel, I document my experiences on my blog. But lately I’ve been travelling so much that is in danger of turning into a pure travelogue.
A lot of readers have also been e-mailing me, asking for advice on the places I’ve been. Almost every other day, someone will be asking me how to go about climbing Mt Kinabalu or how to find cheap lodging in expensive Hong Kong.
I try my best to answer lah. But with the limited free time that I have, it is difficult to be of much help.

South Peak, Mt Kinabalu aka the picture on the RM1 bank note

I don’t mean to ignore. The thing is, it is easy for peple to take 5 seconds to shoot an e-mail. It is not easy for me to explain in detail how to go about actually doing it. It’d be easy if I were a travel agent, but I’m not. I’m just a regular guy with a full time job.
What’s worse, on rare occasions when I DO take time and effort to reply to those e-mails, the only form of gratitude I get is “Oh. Ok. Thanks. Bye!”
Very tulan ok.

Lantau Island, Hong Kong from the plane

So here’s a guide for those who wanted to do what I’ve been doing – plan your own holiday, reap the most out of your destination, get the best value out of your spending, and still have a comfortable good time.

I reckon we are very blessed to live in centre of South-East Asia.
Within a radius of a 4 hour flight, we get access to hundreds of interesting places and different cultures. We have the most beautiful beaches in the Philippines and Thailand, the best shopping centres in Singapore and Hong Kong, the safest and best low-cost airlines in AirAsia.
Along with the rise in spending power and intense competition between airlines, its no wonder budget travel is becoming trendy.

Wish I could stay like this all the time (The Venetian, Macau)

First thing you gotta take care of is accomodation.
If I’m travelling alone or with like-minded travellers, I usually opt to stay in guesthouses. Hey, all I needed is a place to sleep. Not like I’m trying to impress someone.
Why pay for the swimming pool, the gym, and the 10% service charge when most of the time I’ll be outside exploring the city anyway?

But I can only afford to stay like this most of the time (Dragon Hostel, Hong Kong)

For me, staying at hotels is an unneccessary luxury. If you’re in an expensive city like Hong Kong or Singapore where a decent hotel would cost you a minimum of a whopping RM600 a night, you’d rather stay in a guesthouse.
Unless you print money for a living, it’s silly to pay that much money just to sleep ok! Money could be better spent on shopping and booze.
A lot of people have this misconception that guesthouses are not clean because they’re so cheap. That is not true. From my experience, the guesthouses I’ve stayed at are heck A LOT cleaner, comfier and cheaper than those dodgy hotels in the red light districts.
You just gotta know how to choose.

Damn cheap accomodation

To pick the right one, go to Else, try your luck scoring cheap hotel rates from or
If you’re REALLY on a budget, you may try instead.

When you go to some place new, you don’t wanna be left hanging wondering where to go or what to do. Remember, you’re only there for a limited time. It’s always a good idea to read up a bit on the place before you depart. and are my favourite websites to start. It gives me an idea on what to look out for. For something more substantial it’s a good idea to purchase one of those Lonely Planet guidebooks. The scams you’ll avoid and the time you’ll saved is worth the price of the book already.

9 hour train rides from Hanoi to Lao Cai, near the Vietnamese-Chinese border

The best a city has to offer is usually not within the city itself. Sometimes it’s a rewarding to travel long distances to reach an attraction few tour agencies would bring you to. has a comprehensive list on how to travel by trains, buses and ferries. The website is a little outdated but still helpful nonetheless.

Snorkelling in Phuket, Thailand

Lastly, nothing beats information from people who have already been there and done that. is good, but I much prefer to use Google Blog Search to dig out all the travel blogs by other people, just to note to myself where to go and what to avoid.
These are priceless and honest information you know you could trust.

Egyptian kids outside Mohammed Ali Mosque

Anyway, that’s about it from me.
With good prior planning on your own, you could easily spend less cash and STILL see a lot more of the city than the people who joined tour groups. If you’ve never travelled on your own before, give it a shot. Who knows? You could like it better that way.
Some people might call it daring.

I call it having a life.

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Venetian Macao Gala Dinner

When you’re invited by the 3rd richest man in America for dinner, you know even the food you’re eating is gonna be different.

You see her smiling now, but half an hour later she was shivering uncontrollably because of the aircond

Immediately after Venetian Macao‘s grand opening extravaganza on the 28th August, the invited guests emptied the arena straight for the casinos, while the few special ones were ushered into the Venetian Ballroom for an exclusive Gala Dinner.
Now I have been to some big dinner banquets before, but this is just too impressive for words. Not even my camera could capture the splendour and opulence we’re enveloped in.

The Venetian Ballroom housed almost 400 dinner tables for 4000 guests. There’s an attendant in sight every corner. Each table is intricately decorated with flowers, candles and utensils from the East and West.
We even get a souvenir in the form of a masquerade ball mask bracelet.

In front of a ballroom is a theatre stage adorned with red curtains. We can only wonder what treat is in store for us behind those curtains.
It’s beautiful.

Even the Thai girls I shared the table with are beautiful.

Gotta love the image on the cover of their dinner menu.
It shows a European-style masquerade ball mask on the left halve versus a Chinese Opera mask on the right halve. It’s a fitting reference to Las Vegas Sands Corp establishing itself in Macau, China.

The gastronomous delight on offer.
Coming from a humble little town of Kuching where cheap hawker food is so embedded into our everyday life, I must say I’m not used having such expensive dishes. I gained 3kg in 3 days in Macau, and this is why.

First item on the menu is the appetiser: Atlantic Lobster with Sea Urchin Tofu.
Lobsters for appetisers? Sea urchin tofu? In some places, we call this the main course already!
I got so excited I swallowed down two bowls of those. Divine!

Entertainment for the evening comes in the form of a live performance from the original cast and ensemble of the Phantom of the Opera from Las Vegas.
It was a short performance but they did all the well-known scenes, including the romantic duet “Say You Love Me”. Too bad the crowd was busy chattering and indulging in the food, paying little attention to the performers.

Next came a soup interestingly named Buddha Jumps Over The Wall.
It’s a Chinese soup with all the expensive ingredients like abalones, scallops and shark’s fins all thrown in and stewed in a pot for two full days. Whoever invented it called the soup that way because they claimed it tasted so good, even a vegetarian like Buddha would jump over the monastery wall to steal a sip.
Controversial, I know. But I don’t think it’d have the same effect if it’s called Jesus Jumps Over The Wall.

The main course is a fantastic dish comprising of braised abalone and seared prime beef tenderloin served with foie gras.
Knowing that shark’s fins and foie gras was served to some 4000 guests in attendance is enough to send any animal activists up in a frenzy. But they were so darn good, I gladly helped the skinny Thai girl next to me finish the dish.

Venetian Macao certainly saved the best for last. After the main course, We were served the most unusual dessert dish I have ever seen in my life.
On a long plate were some strawberries, a slice of Tiramisu cake and then there’s this.

What is this, you ask?
My friend, this is what they called Bird’s Nest Creme Brulee. Served with Gold.
Yes, GOLD. An actual sheet of pure GOLD!
This is ridiculous. I’m used to finding stawberries and ice-creams on my dessert. But what in the world is a sheet of GOLD doing on my dessert!
Gold is meant to be worn as an accessory to show off how rich you are. NOT EATEN AS DESSERT.
Heck, I didn’t even know you could eat gold!

But yes, eventually after overcoming my surprise finding gold on my dessert, I took a bite.
It was tasteless. But weird knowing that there’s a piece of gold metal swimming in my body now waiting for digestion.
Or maybe the gold I ate wouldn’t even be digested.
In that case, there’s a chance whoever handles the plumbing at Venetian Macao might shift through the shit to look for the gold sheet and make himself a gold ring.

There was still a big plate of chocolate truffles to go around, but by this time it was getting quite late and most of the guests have left already.
I later helped myself to all the untouched truffles left on the tables as I watched the entertainment on stage.

It was really great ‘cos unlike in the stadium-like Venetian Arena, we get the chance to go up close and personal with the performers.
I got so ridiculously close to them, I could even see the hair in their nostrils.

What the hell, right?

Diana Ross is definitely one of the most impressive 63-year-old grandmother I have met. It was surreal to be physically inches away from such a legend.
If you’ve watched Dreamgirls before, the movie was pretty much based on her life and career, with Beyonce’s character playing the role of Diana Ross.

Someone’s hand touching Diana Ross’ left boob

She belted out classics like I’m Coming Out, Baby Love and finishing up with I Will Survive – a song that even up till today is a major hit.
How many 63-year-olds you know could move and sing like that?
I can’t imagine my mom doing that, and she’s not even 63.

For the second time in the evening, Grasshoppers came out again.
Dammit somebody’s gotta call the pest controller.
I know I’ve said some pretty nasty things about Grasshoppers, but you gotta give them credit lah.
I mean, not a lot of people I know would dare to go up on stage wearing THIS.

What do you call that thing? SANITARY PAD FOR MEN?
Grasshoppers have always been known for their energetic dance moves, and they didn’t disappoint tonight.

This one they called it, “Rooster Crows In The Morning”

I believe this one is, “Mommy! I Want Candy!

Finally this one is called, “Scare The Shit Out Of Your Backup Dancer”

Alan Tam’s performance was in contrast, a lot more subdued.
Too bad I don’t listen to Cantopop a lot, so I’m not familiar with many of his songs. For the finale, the crooner sang Pang Yao (“Friends”) – a fitting end to the most amazing evening.

Here’s an edited video of Diana Ross, Grasshoppers and Alan Tam’s performances during the Venetian Macao Gala Dinner.

Anyway, this finally concludes my multiple blog entries on my Macau trip.
I must say, getting a media invite to the Venetian Macao’s grand opening is almost like winning jackpot in the lottery. The resort must have spent at least RM10,000 on each of us. Flights, rooms, food, everything. I almost feel obligated to ask my readers to buy a ticket to Macau and visit The Venetian right away.
We’re literally treated like kings. I have no idea when’s the next time I’m even gonna get something similar.

It was so amazing to stay in a resort that was almost made of gold. We’ve seen gold, touched gold, EVEN TASTED GOLD.
On our way out of the Venetian Ballroom, we’re even given a gift from the hotel as souvenir.

What! MORE gold!

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An Impossible Defeat

I am feeling so very the tulan right now.

Timothy, Lance and I are in this Cornetto contest. We’re supposed to form an all-male team to participate in the contest, so that’s what we did.
We called ourselves the Lurve Squad.

Check out our kickass group logo.
The way this contest works is that we collect points by eating ice-creams, and then use the points collected to compete with other groups to win prize packages.
Sounds simple right?
Eat ice-creams. Collect points. Bid prizes.
Even kids can do that.

With an ice-cream junkie like Tim and a fat ass like me in the group, you’d think that we’d have absolutely no problems racking up the points and send all the other contestants back home to their momma crying.

There’s a grand prize on offer every three weeks. That is the prize that everybody wants.
In the first round of the contest, the grand prize was to go diving with the sharks at Aquaria KLCC.
We didn’t bid. The winner was this other group called ‘WSC’ who accumulated 7300 points to bid the top prize. If 1 Cornetto = 100 points, that’s 73 Cornettos they consumed in two weeks!

That’s alright, because the Lurve Squad decided to let them win. (Ok lah. In actual fact, we were too slack to get our group organised until the last minute)
Second round comes along.
This time the grand prize is one night to live up the glamourous high life and go on an evening date with Hannah Tan at Maison and Tarbush Starhill.

We didn’t win.
I was frustrated. How the heck could ANYONE eat so many Cornettos in such a short time?!
So I clicked on this WSC‘s group profile, half expecting the three of them to look like this.

Instead of having three overweight pimply teenage kids staring back at me, I was confronted with three Nicole Richie lookalikes.

Are you kidding me? This is ridiculous.
How the hell can our group of one guy, one ice-cream glutton (Tim) and one fat ass (me) with a kickass group logo, lose to three stick-thin skinny dudes!?
What has the world turned into!?
This isn’t fair!

So for the next round, we decided to get our act together.
The grand prize is an Airplane + Go-karting + iPod Shuffle package.
In the beginning, WSC got the early lead, but Lurve Squad was ruthless. Over the next two weeks, we went on so many trips to 7-11 and ate so many Cornettos until our jaws got frozen. But the results paid off.
Finally, we knocked them off the top spot!

WSC is no more. Come, let’s all laugh at them.
Lick on that, suckers! Too late to shop for ice-cream now.
As the clock ticks down to zero, it seems almost definite that we’re taking home the big prize. We refreshed the page many times, making sure we’re not outbidded.

Then right at the lasttttttt second…

WTF. These people go swimming in Cornettos or what?

counter stats

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Venetian Macao Grand Opening Concert

When you’re invited by the sixth richest person in the world for a grand opening event, you gotta be expecting something extra-ordinary.

Sheldon Adelson did not disappoint.
Quite simply, the grand opening ceremony of the Venetian Macao Resort Hotel was hands down the grandest and most amazing event I have ever attended.
Like I said before, it really is good to be a blogger.

The who’s who of Hong Kong and Macau were all in attendance for this monumental event.
It was clear that I was grossly of under-dressed of the lot.

Everyone was looking fine in either their tuxedo or evening gown.
If they’re not in their tux or gowns, they are in their national costumes.

These are journalists from Japan. As cute as they are, they aren’t actually the most eye-catching international journalists we had.
The Taiwanese journalists are definitely the hottest among the international media contigent. They are so hot, I didn’t even take any pictures of them.
I tried, but my camera melted before I could hit the shutter.

The opening concert was held at the Venetian Arena – an indoor stadium located within the same resort complex.
I’m still amazed by how they managed to fit everything so close to each other.

The Venetian Arena is just across the corridor from my lift lobby. Total walking time to get from my room to the arena: 2 minutes.
Any closer and they might have to do the opening ceremony in my hotel bedroom.

When I got to the arena, an act was already underway, featuring a troupe of China girls beating on drums.
Somehow these dragon ladies made girls-beating-on-drums less lesbian than it looks. In fact, their performance was so great I thought that was already main event of the opening ceremony.
But no, that was only a pre-show appetizer.

The show began, and out comes the emcee Astrid Chan.
Astrid is a TVB actress quite popular in some of the Hong Kong soap operas shown here. Coincidentally, I bumped into Astrid Chan during my trip to Hong Kong last year.
Damn TVB actress keeps stalking me.

The theme to Venetian Macao is “Renaissance Venice”, and we were treated to a parade of dancers coming out looking very “Renaissance Venitian-like”.
Gotta love their elaborate outfits.

Gotta love their models too.
The performance line-up to the Venetian Macao’s grand opening event was so secret none of us knew who to expect. Before the show, all I heard was that Cirque du Soliel will be performing and that Andy Lau turned down an offer to sing 6 songs for HK$6 million due to a conflict with his concert schedule.
I had to pay other people that much money to hear me sing.

As the curtains were raised, we were treated to a surprise in the form of Taiwanese superstar diva Zhang Hui Mei!

A-Mei sang two songs, “Gei Wo Gan Jue” (which translated to English as “Give Me A Feeling”) and the perennial karaoke favourite “Lei Hai” (Ummm… “Ocean That Cries”? Chinese song names are weird that way).
All I gotta say is that A-Mei’s performance is a lot better than some of the torture I had to endure in karaoke joints *cough*nicole*cough*.

I’m not sure how much of her performance the international audience understood. But I was still reeling in awe over having watched one of Asia’s top artists sing live when they announced the second performance of the evening.

Here’s one guy whose music I actually listen to. At the height of his career, David Tao’s popularity could rival that of Jay Chou.

David Tao sang two songs as well, “Zhao Zi Ji” (“Finding Myself”) and another perennial karaoke favourite “Ai Hen Jien Dan” (“Love Is Easy”).

He also spoke in fluent English in front of an international audience about how it was his first time in Macau and how he felt under-dressed in front of all the tuxes and frocks.

The show took a break from all the singing to showcase a performance by world renown acrobatic act Cirque du Soliel.
I’ve heard a lot of about this circus troupe but I have never seen them performed live.

Actually, to call the Cirque du Soliel a circus act is an insult. They may have performers dressed as clowns, but the feeling they gave me was a lot more surreal. Their acts do not just involved death-defying acrobatics, but it was a combination of that and theatre and opera.
The Cirque du Soliel will take up residence at the Venetian Macao beginning next year.

After two HUGE acts by A-Mei and David Tao, and an exhilirating performance by the Cirque du Soliel, the audience at the Arena was left wondering what else the Venetian Macao could do to top that.
Is Gwen Stefani gonna come on stage and sing “Wind It Up”?
Will Justin Timberlake bring his Sexy Back to Macao?
Or will Andy Lau squash those rumours and make a surprise apperance?
We all await with bated breath as the emcee announced the next performance by none other than…

Oh. My. Goodness.
Why Sheldon why!

If the year was 1992 and I was still studying in my primary school, MAYBE I’d still get excited over hits such as “Bao Bei, Dui Bu Qi” (“Sorry baby”) and “An Lian De Dai Jia” (“Cost of A Crush”).
But these guys disappeared from the Cantopop circles for the longest time, and then suddenly decided to make a comeback. Problem is, they weren’t even that big to begin with! To have Grasshoppers come and perform is like the equivalent of having VANILLA ICE come on stage and sing “Ice Ice Baby”.
Sorry guys, you came fifteen years too late.

A lot of the ang moh audience members actually left during Grasshopper’s performance.
Thankfully the torture didn’t have to last long. From above the ceilings, a contraption descended onto stage and out comes Alan Tam to save the day.

Alan Tam only sang one song on his own.
He spoke in VERY broken English, saying that the Venetian Macao is a place where dreams come true. And tonight, a dream of his own has come true.
He then introduced the biggest surprise of the evening.

Specially flown in all the way from the USA!

Alan Tam and Diana Ross sang “Endless Love”, yet again ANOTHER karaoke favourite.
Diana Ross was wonderful. Her flawless voice gave me the goosebumps throughout her performance.

“Endless Love” is a timeless love song that has been performed many times by many different people. None of them does it better than the original singer Diana Ross herself.

As a fitting end to the grand opening concert, Diana Ross performed her number one hit classic from the 70s, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”.
I actually forgot how this song sounded like after watching American Idol contestants butchered it so many times.

You gotta give credit to Diana Ross. The woman is 63 years old and she still grabbed the attention of the entire arena full of audience like she was still 20.
A woman may age but her voice clearly doesn’t.

Click to check out the video I took throughout the evening.
Of course, the point of this whole concert was to celebrate the grand opening of the Venetian Macao.

At the Feng-Shui-master-recommended auspicious time of 7:18pm on the 28/08/2007, Sheldon Adelson and his team declared the Venetian Macao Resort Hotel officially open.
Las Vegas has well and truly landed in Asia.

For me though, the night has only just begun. 😉
[to be continued…]

Continue reading Makes Normal Humans Do Stupid Things

This is my friend Anna-Rina.

Anna is a contestant in’s Living With Ika, Serena C and Pietro Contest.
As part of the contest, she have to go about her daily life with cardboard cutouts (!) of the radio DJs for three bloody weeks. The person who gets spotted most wins RM50,000, which is why if you walk around KL now, you might see a lot of these kiasu zombies walking around.

I’m giving her some free publicity here because Anna has always been massively supporting me without asking much in return. So must give her some back lah.
Anyway Pietro, I know you sometimes read this blog so if you happen to be seeing this right now, you know what to do. 😉

Hey, if Anna wins RM50,000, maybe she’ll share it equally among‘s 20,000 readers. THEN YOU WILL ALL GET A MINDBLOWING RM2.50 EACH!
Nice anot?

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If Vietnamese Speak Hokkien

We are on our second last day in Vietnam.

Nicole and I are staying at the “Old Quarters” in Hanoi. We got a clean and comfortable guesthouse that costs us only RM23 a night each.
It seems like everytime I travel, I am fated to come across places with funny names, like Similan Island in Thailand and Ni’ama Bay in Egypt.
Not far away from where we stay, I saw this guesthouse with a pretty bizzare name.

My Cock Guesthouse!

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