Remember i wrote about Benefit Cosmetics just recently? If you haven’t yet, read it *here* else you’ll be a bit lost what the brand is all about. To take the brand to new heights, Benefit shot a documentary film called Glamouriety. The movie shows how its vivacious founders Jean & Jane Ford grew up on an Indiana farm, took on modeling by storm in NYC, and how they started the global cosmetics brand to the cult it is today.
My invites to the premiere of Glamouriety in Shanghai
Some of the Benefit products i wore to the premiere that night. Missing from pic is Watt’s Up!
This was taken outside the Hyatt where we stayed, before heading to the event at The Peninsula, the most beautiful hotel in Shanghai. I decided to go for a bright pink cocktail dress from Gallo by Thian (i’m so sad to hear they’re closing down! i’ll never sell any of the clothes i got from them!) and fuchsia wedges from Topshop (that i got for my birthday)
We stayed at Disney’s Hollywood Hotel and it must be the happiest hotel in the world.
Mickey’s voice announces what floor you’re on in the lift,
and tinkly Disney symphony music plays everywhere.
Even the carpets in the corridor leading to our hotel room were colourful and trippy!
There’s Mickey and Minnie everywhere.
Even in the shower
Classic Disney cartoons play on a specific channel in the hotel. I LOVE IT!
I have a pile of Disney DVDs at home,
and Clem has become accustomed to his 27-year-old girlfriend popping one in whenever she wants to feel 5-years-old.
Which can be pretty often.
Before heading to Disneyland, we needed energy = food!
So we went to Crystal Lotus – an upscale contemporary Chinese restaurant in Disneyland Hotel.
Since i was going to Disneyland, i packed the most aptly colourful clothes i could
The great thing about being a big kid is having beer at Disneyland
All the food served came in the cutest cartoon shapes,
i felt almost evil for devouring them!
Steamed piggy mask buns
Even the carrot ends up being a hidden Mickey!
Little pig bbq pork bun + little green men pork and vegetable bun
Mickey’s seafood glutinous pancake
Double-boiled chicken and conpoy soup in petite coconut
Can you see there’s a Mickey in there too?!
There are 4 areas in Disneyland HK, the first one we found ourselves in upon entering was…
Main Street, U.S.A.
Walt Disney fondly remembers Main Street from his childhood,
hence implementing it into Disneyland.
Since Christmas is coming, they’ve put up one of the BIGGEST CHRISTMAS TREES i’ve ever seen on Main Street!
Lookee me… i’m smaller than the present.
Lots of shops selling Disney paraphernalia like the one above. Wilson not included.
We sat on the Disneyland Railroad,
which is a replica of an authentic 19th century locomotive.
It passes through all the different areas of the park so it’s like a sneak preview before actually running around the whole place.
Disneyland creates additional exhibitions according to time of the year and celebration.
I heard that they had a haunted house set up for Halloween (which we missed since it’s over )
But since Christmas is coming,
they installed an entire tiny town with snow on the rooftops.
It’s SO AWESOME THAT IT LOOKS SO FAKE.
I think i look like i’m taking a picture with a flat backdrop!
I couldn’t help taking another picture using a different filter on my camera,
click the picture below for a larger view.
Trust me, it’s really prettyyyyy
[click image for awesome larger view!]
On Main Street is where we bumped into most of the characters,
we saw Mickey and Minnie, but the line was so long i decided to skip it.
Got a picture with Chip & Dale!
Chip-chip-chip-chip ‘N Dale!
From Main Street, we went to…
Orbitron – children’s ride aboard flying saucers
Featuring science fiction fantasies,
and a fantasy future world where everything is shiny metal;
one of the biggest rides we anticipated in Tomorrowland was Space Mountain.
Thanks to some privileges as a blogger,
we were able to use the fast pass
Space Mountain is an indoor roller coaster that careens you through the darkness,
save for lights depicting the universe (i loved that bit!)
Well there are no pictures of the ride, for obvious reasons that i would have lost my camera!
Another ride we ran to try was the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.
It’s an interactive ride where we each got an infrared laser gun to join Buzz Lightyear in battling the evil Emperor Zurg.
I didn’t think i was going to play with the laser gun,
but when Clem and i realised there were scores on the dashboard,
our competitive streak kicked in and we were ON IT. He won.
The displays throughout the ride are large,
i think one of the little green men were only slightly smaller than me 0_0
While walking to Adventureland,
Clem stopped to get drinks
and i watched two little girls playing with bubbles.
We took the Jungle River Cruise ride,
with different surprises around every bend -
elephants, crocs, hippos (ok fine. one of the hippos were really big and it scared me)
geysers, waterfalls and an explosion even.
I loved the narrator on the boat,
she had a sense of humour saying things at the end of the ride like, “Wasn’t that an exciting ride!? That’s why i ride it 50 times a day, every day!”
We bumped into Timon at Adventureland!
I love Timon!
Clem didn’t like him as much.
He claims Timon pushed him away after the picture to take one alone with me.
So he thinks Timon was hitting on me hahaha.
Sleeping Beauty Castle
Fantasyland – the happiest land of all!
THIS IS MY FAVOURITE RIDE IN THE WHOLE OF DISNEYLAND
We sat in little Hunny Pots,
and went through the life and adventures of Winnie the Pooh!
I love Winnie the Pooh and know all the stories by heart,
so it was amazing to see them all played out in 3D with their voices and accompanying sounds!
And below is my favourite part of my favourite ride -
the Heffalumps and Woozles!
If you’ve never watched it,
YOU MUST WATCH THE VIDEO HERE >
Just like the video, this part of the ride was all whacky and crazy and lucy in the sky with diamonds!
Happy endings, of course
I loved the ride so much i made Clem sit it with me a few times.
And you know how they take pictures of you during the ride so you may buy it after?
On our 3rd time, i had an expression of complete enchantment…
while Clem was caught yawning!
“Look at your face! How can you yawn on the WINNIE THE POOH RIDE?!” “We sat it so many times!!!”
We also went for the Golden Mickeys show,
which we had to time properly on when to arrive but i’m glad we did!
Set like a glamourous Hollywood awards show,
we got to see all the different Disney characters sing and dance
in a Broadway-style theatre.
Woody & Jessie from Toy Story!
Lilo & Stitch (but i don’t have a pic of them)
The Little Mermaid
We waited around on Main Street for the fireworks show after that
and both agreed it was pretty spectacular.
Not only was it fireworks,
and light images on the castle walls,
and fire shooting up,
and laser lights…
It wasn’t just fireworks man,
it was an entire SHOW.
If you’re thinking of where to go for Christmas holidays this year, Disneyland would be perfect cos all their special deco and additional shows will be on!
I’m so psyched that i’ve been asking Clem whether we can make time for EuroDisney in Paris next week.
I’ve been to Disneyworld LA, Disney HK, now just EuroDisney to tick off my Disney list!!!
+ + +
For more info on Disneyland HK, click *here* For info on ticketing, click *here*
We stayed in South Pacific Hotel which was near the Causeway Bay MTR station in Central HK. Also just around the corner from the hotel entrance,
was a market that was open from morning till night.
I love walking in markets when i travel.
And supermarkets as well.
You get to see so many things!
The type of food they produce and consume,
the designs on the packaging,
and gauge what their lifestyle is like based on the prices. (my fave supermarket i’ve been to so far was in Spain,
the packaging designs are colourful and cartoon-ey
and i took loads of pictures but never posted them hoho)
Just looking at all the fresh slabs of meat and flopping fish made me wonder in greed how i would cook and eat them all!
I almost wished we were staying in a service apartment with a kitchen so i could buy some stuff to cook.
This thought made me question how far i’ve brought my interest in cooking… to the point i want to cook when i’m on holiday -_-
Just keep swimming… just keep swimming… just keep swimming swimming swimming…
Ok sadistic i know.
Always love admiring fresh produce – the colours, textures and scents!
And in any Chinese city, you’ll definitely find some animal parts that are gory to look at when raw
(i had to add in ‘when raw’ cos i unabashedly eat them when cooked in stew!)
And pigs’ trotters 0_o
We went to Lan Kwai Fong,
a square in Central HK chock full with bars and restaurants.
A couple of people on Twitter said that we MUST go to Yung Kee and try their roasted goose.
Being the foodie and not wanting to miss out on it,
i dragged Clem, determined on finding the restaurant that reputedly received 1 Michelin star a few years back.
Their restaurant was so full, we took a number for a table that would be available in an hour.
So we went to kill time… by having drinks at one of the bars nearby
They didn’t have Guinness on tap, but the one in the can that releases the gas instead.
I tried it.
It’s not that great.
Only Guinness on tap for me next time!
Went back to Yung Kee and we ordered half a goose,
a bowl of porridge with spare parts (for sick me)
and a fried rice with BBQ pork (for Clem).
The porridge texture was smooth but it could be less watery.
Liver and other spare parts in there were luscious.
Unfortunately, they somehow forgot Clem’s fried rice and it came an hour later,
when we had whacked most of the goose by then.
Goose was juicy with thin crispy skin.
The dish lost its lustre (when we were down to the last 4 pieces) when we found an insect embedded in it.
(I SHOULD HAVE TAKEN A PICTURE WHAT KIND OF BLOGGER AM I!?)
We stared and stared at it for a good few minutes wondering whether it was an insect. “It IS. LOOK. A leg just fell off. That’s a leg! Herbs don’t have legs!”
Flagged down a waiter to show him the piece of meat with the insect,
and he took it away mumbling something about asking the kitchen.
He never came back.
“They’re not going to say anything? What kind of restaurant is this? And now we lost our evidence too! -_-”
We later found out they removed the goose dish from our bill,
which is what they’re supposed to do when they find an insect in it,
but i was still disgruntled noone came back to apologise.
Walked around Lan Kwai Fong after dinner to get a drink before going home.
We were both feeling poorly so wasn’t in the mood to drink gilababs and party :p
I commented that LKF is like Bangsar in the 90s…
Clem said he thought it’s like Phuket cos of all the noisy bars filled with mostly white people. Except that they were wearing warm clothing.
When we were leaving, we saw a couple dozen drunk people dancing in the street spontaneously. “It’s like a street party haha.”
After a minute, someone started choreographing some dance moves which the rest followed,
and before i knew it,
i was watching an impromptu music video scene with rows of people dancing in the same sequence.
People were stopping to stare and snap pictures,
but i’m pretty sure they were loving the attention
After smiling at their antics,
we caught the train home,
popped some Panadols for our flu,
and tumbled into bed.
Friday night partying in HK was so not meant to be for us!
Just got back from HK last night and am happy to be home!
City holidays are always tiring…
cos it’s lots of running around and trying to see as much as possible.
Nothing like a beach holiday..!
When we were in a taxi in HK, i noticed a poster advertising The Flaming Lips were to perform there…
I don’t know any of The Flaming Lips’ songs.
I know about them.
And i know how some friends were making their way to Singapore for their concert,
but seeing i wasn’t a fan, i wasn’t going to go for someone i don’t listen to!
So it was really impulsive with the chance that we were in the right city at the right time!
Clem didn’t mind going cos he hasn’t been to a concert in a while.
I didn’t mind going cos i thought it looked like the sort of whacky band i’d like (after watching their YouTube vids)
Since we bought our tickets at 6:30pm and the show was an hour’s train journey away at the Expo (i know, damn last minute right!)
we had half an hour to rest after a whole day’s sightseeing before shooting out the door again.
The expo was crowded cos some other events were going on with old Chinese people,
and it was quite funny how the expo staff kept trying to point obvious concert-goers to the right direction.
Even when i wanted to use the bathroom in another area,
someone blocked my way and said, “Flaming Lips or toilet? Flaming Lips not here!”
Me: “Erm… toilet…”
First few things we did as new visitors to Shanghai,
was visit a couple of the tourist spots.
It’s one of those things which you do just so you can say, “Oh yes, i went there,” before graduating your way up to the more interesting hidey holes of the city.
My favourite picture of the day *cough* was this cat in the window.
It’s such a jolly cat!
I just stood there staring and laughing back at it.
I even continued laughing to myself when i looked back at the picture i took, while walking around the area.
Clem thought i was a bit crazy (but he knows that already).
I don’t usually do the whole perching on some rock and taking a touristy picture.
But don’t know why i succumbed to it this time.
Maybe i was thinking why not, who knows, maybe in twenty years time i can look back at a picture of myself sitting on a rock in china and have good memories.
Yes that would totally happen.
Of course Wilson didn’t miss out on the holiday.
He got a free flight.
We also went to the City God Temple that was built during the the Ming Dynasty (after 1403).
After the opening of Shanghai Port, merchants swarmed around the temple and surrounding areas and fostered a flourishing market. Today, the market around the temple is rebuilt into a large-scale tourist and shopping center of traditional Chinese features.
Dom, Clem, Serge
top, baci; floral leggings, copenhagen; scarf, vintage from london market
We separated a few times while walking around the temple.
Clem found me in a corner with rather gleeful look on my face…
… I found a fan.
You have no idea how a fan will be your best friend in the stifling heat of a temple!
Here’s another picture of the fan because it was my favourite thing in the temple *blasphemy!*
‘Twas my first time in China, and i thought it ironic:
1. i was going with a French family.
2. i couldn’t speak a single word of Mandarin to save any of us.
Okay so i know a grand total of six words in Mandarin – ‘no’, ‘thank you’ and ‘i don’t know’.
Knowledge of 3 Mandarin phrases in China = Super Fail. *covers face with hands*
Random notes about Shanghai:
1. I LOVE THE FOOD
The one thing i was most excited about was being able to eat different types of Chinese food – Shanghainese, Hunan, Si Chuan – loved them all. So different from Malaysian Chinese dishes, and spicier too. I was really lucky to pick up an issue of TimeOut there, which happened to have a feature on Cheap Eats. The TimeOut team basically combed thru the city selecting the best places with a varied selection of yummy and affordable food. That issue became my bible when i was there and i carried it around EVERYWHERE. More posts to come JUST ABOUT FOOD later!
2. Taxi/MRT fare is cheap
Before i went to Shanghai, people were telling me that it’s expensive and i was expecting something like Copenhagen. So far, no other place beats Copenhagen in terms of price where a pack of gum in a 24-hour costs RM5. The way i judge whether a city is expensive is by observing prices of their petrol/transport, food, alcohol :p, rent, and basic amenities like mineral water, gum, etc. I don’t think Shanghai is expensive… getting around was incredibly cheap, with MRT/subway tickets costing RMB3 (RM1.50) a trip; and cab fares usually around RMB12-25 (RM6-13).
3. It’s really clean.
The roads were exceptionally clean, probably due to the World Expo going on. Occasionally i’d come across some smears of shit (sorry but there’s no kinder way to put it) on the pavement and i’d gingerly hop over it, inwardly screaming for my shoes.
4. Good luck finding someone who speaks English.
I probably came across one person daily who spoke English. Waiters, taxi drivers, store attendants, all don’t speak English. Most of the time, one person in a restaurant could speak English if you’re lucky. If i went to a Western restaurant there was no problem at all. All the Chinese people were really nice to us (but i told Clem i bet it’s because he’s white) because the ONE time i was alone and smilingly tried buying something in the pharmacy, the girl rolled her eyes at me and refused to try and understand my gestures.
5. The city is massive.
I never thought of Shanghai as an ultra megalopolis till i went there. See for yourself! >
[Pix above taken by Clem, have to give credit, nanti the fellow say i steal his pics -_-]
We went to Cloud 9, a bar on the 87th floor of the Grand Hyatt with a spectacular 360 degrees view.
i’m wearing > top; gift from mum
scarf; flea market
Clem + his mummy Dom
Serge + Dom
We also took long walks around the less commercial areas,
which were my favourite!
Lanes where no tourists ventured,
filled with colour,
locals going about doing their daily thing,
and clothes hanging everywhere.
People taking care of their old, and young.
[click for larger view]
[click for larger view]
Saw quite a few men (like the one above) who liked to walk around with their shirts hiked up above their tummies.
[click for larger view]
I really like the picture above for some reason.
The red and green garments sticking out yet blending in with its surroundings.
I wasn’t joking when i said clothes hung everywhere.
On strings tightened from one building to another,
on telephone wires,
below low rafters and roofs,
over shop entrances,
on chairs and parked bicycles,
heck, i even saw someone’s bed comforters hanging on the highway divider (wish i took a picture of that now!).