Thursday, November 29, 2018

[Esquire] Travel Bhutan, Laya Village

Here's my October article for Esquire, a piece on what goes on behind the scenes of a boutique travel company. We did a recce trip together with Blue Sky Escapes founders, Krystal Tan and Chervin Chow up to the one of the most remote villages in the world, Laya Village atop the Himalayas in Bhutan. There, the Layap people herd yak and harvest the prized Chinese herb, cordyceps.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Provence and the Splendours of France

Monday, February 19, 2018

French in Spain by a Chinese-American from Singapore

I'm currently in the Barcelona airport, and a lady came up to me asking my Chinese-American face if I speak French (a little, incidentally!). Then, if I can help her connect her wifi registration on an all French language phone.
Ah the beauty of #omgineedinternet togetherness.

Good thing I eat a lot of French Fries. Improves my French.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Victoria Cheng, Channel 8 | The Food Bank x Nespresso

Thanks Channel 8 for covering Nespresso's efforts together with The Food Bank, an NGO focused on feeding the needy in Singapore. You can catch what I had to say from 14:10 onwards (or 18:20 onwards to get straight to it).

Friday, December 22, 2017

Nutrition, Real Nutrition Advice

Doing my Nutritionist studies now. I'm sick and tired of false nutritional information being spread on the internet, or articles that simply have no real research behind it, and are recommending nonsense super foods or fad diets.

I'm logging some theories that are being confirmed along the way as I research more. Figuring I should just share them publicly, in case anyone's curious!

- Good nutrition isn't about a particular diet or food choices, as much as it is about simply paying better attention to what you eat. Be mindful of what you're eating.
- One thing every decent diet plan has in common is not adding processed foods to your diet. Rather, whole, minimally processed, nutrient-rich foods. Better quality food = better health.
- Diets help you get started, but there's no one size fits all program.
- I don't like calorie counting. I stopped calorie counting (unless I have a very specific sport/health goal). And really, if you are aware of what you're eating, and eat good quality food/produce, you don't need to calorie count. Listen to what your body needs. The better the food is (nutritionally), your body will be fuller longer and perform better.
- It's not just about eating chicken and broccoli for days. Most whole foods are great to eat! In fact, the average grocery store chicken has so many hormones and chemicals in and on it, I wouldn't recommend a diet exclusive to this one bird.
- Eat foods you enjoy, even if it's processed. In moderation. It'll prevent monster bingeing.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

WTA Finals Singapore | The Coin Toss

Huge thanks to WTA for inviting me and friends down to the Racquet Club, and to do my first tennis Coin Toss!

Together with my buddies Felicia, Alex, and Hoirul, we witnessed WTA Singapore's longest match in history since 2014. The Venus Williams v Jelena Ostapenko match witnessed 21 breaks of serve in total with Williams finally getting over the line after three hours and 13 minutes on court with a 7-5, 6-7, 7-5 victory.

Following that, a relatively quick 1-hour match between Karolina Pliskova and Garbine Muguruza, two of the top three players in the world (. But to kickstart the match, I had the pleasure of doing the coin toss! It was a few minutes of feeling incredibly intimidated to standing between these Amazonian sized athletes (I always get girl crushes on women athletes, much respect and awe).

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

O Medical Clinic Brazilian SHR Review: Thumbs Down

Food. Beauty. Drink. Travel. Hotels. Services. Are you sick of bloggers and influencers and instagrammers only putting up sponsored biased reviews? Bloggers used to be the go to source for common person to common person's opinion instead of relying only on mass media, whom is sometimes influenced by advertisers or restrictions from the government or house guidelines.
Myself, I've done negative reviews, but seldom as I do feel a sense of responsibility before bashing a place. I need to have tangible reasons, and not just personal preference issues. With all this said, I have now sent in my opinion to this beauty clinic at least twice now. I'll show you what I've written now for the third time on their Feedback form.
Why? Because I hope some of you find an honest review useful, and consider more thoroughly how painless this SHR actually is.

Location: O Medical Clinic at Capitol Piazza / also known as ONLY Aesthetics
Service: Originally Brazilian IPL, but was convinced to get the Brazilian SHR (Super Hair Removal) package instead.
The last visit was fine, and in fact that particular therapist was the first one in a year who fully explained the whole process properly, which I appreciated.
Few things, which I've pointed out on this form before:
1- Charging $10 (or is it $20 now?) to shave is ridiculous. Especially when all that's provided is a throwaway 50c razer. Considering you're located in a place like Capitol Piazza, I expect better service and not penny pinching over little things that puts a bad taste in the customer's mouth. At less premium locations, other clinics provide shaving free since the customer is suggested to shave 2 days BEFORE coming in (which at O Medical, I was not informed until yesterday). It's a minor thing but very irritating since this isn't the standard at other clinics.
2- I upgraded my package from normal IPL to this other supposedly better and painless technique, SHR.  I trusted the sales pitch and trial session which was made to imply this (it was painless and quick during the trial), but it's been anything but painless AFTER I paid for a package. It's been extremely painful each time, quite frankly I'd rather get waxed at this point but I have this package I'm stuck with now. It's been a year now and results are barely minimal.
I can't recommend this service to anyone. All in all, I regret signing on a package way too quickly at O Medical, and this ridiculous shaving charge just makes me hate it even more.

On Facials:
PS. I've tried the laser facial once at O Medical Clinic (Capitol Piazza), and wasn't a fan. It didn't change much, my skin felt drier after in fact. But that might just be personal preference for my skin type.
Likewise at The Wellness Clinic (Paragon), while the rest of the facial services were amazing, the laser facial made my skin react badly (lumps on my face!). So far, the only place that I've left feeling really great about the laser results is at DERMACARE Aesthetic & Laser Clinic (ION). Otherwise I highly recommend the Hydrafacial at The Wellness Clinic for something gentler but very effective for clear, dewy skin.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Victoria in Buro247 x Clarins

Lots of fun working with Clarins and Büro247 Singapore about a day in my life! Full article here:

Meetings, so many meetings.

Wearing my trusty Adidas and Samsung Gear of course.


Saturday, July 29, 2017

Singapore Food Festival 2017

What happens when you put a bunch of gals on a bus that takes you around Singapore Food Festival 2017? Here's a vlog below on some of the highlights of the festival along with Bella Koh, Jemma Wei, Aarika Lee, Roz Pho!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Climbing Mount Kinabalu, Borneo

Standing majestically at 4,095m (13,435 feet above sea level), Mount Kinabalu is the highest mountain between the Himalayas and New Guinea. Mount Kinabalu derives its name from the Kadazan word, ‘Aki Nabalu’, meaning ‘the revered place of the dead’. It is also Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO.

Watch the video about our trip

Travel: We traveled in early May, hoping to avoid the rainy season.

2am at Summit Base Camp, ready to finish the ascent.

Shoes: You'll see some locals dashing from bottom to top in just crocs or slippers. I wore Merrell trail running shoes, Jeff wore his Asic sneakers, Adam wore supportive running sneakers, Celine and David wore trekking shoes... In summation, don't fuss over expensive trail shoes unless you want to spend; and boots will be overkill.

However, I had custom insoles that saved me a LOT of potential injuries or additional pain. Highly recommend that you see a podiatrist to get insoles made if you're often on your feet or going on long runs and treks; the Dr. Scholls stuff off the shelf isn't going to help. (I get mine done at East Coast Podiatry with Georgina Callahan-Tay. They also do insoles for high heels, which is just amazing).

Weather: We were fortunate. It was misty during the first half of our climb, so it was breezy and pleasant. You can see I'm wearing a sleeveless top and my friends are wearing short sleeved shirts. As we neared the summit base, it got cooler and only drizzled for a moment, which is when I put on a light Adidas windbreaker and a cap to block any light rain. Typically, you can expect it to be hot and humid at the bottom, and sudden gusts of unpredictable rain. Bring a small towel to wipe that sweat!

At the basecamp, it can get chilly especially after sunset. I wore a Lululemon fleece (so light and warm!), and a North Face windbreaker (also light, warm, and quick to dry!). I was a little cold, but was fine wearing light hiking pants, fresh socks, a buff/scarf, gloves, and a beanie. If you don't like the cold, consider wearing a much warmer jacket, and have leggings under your pants. The extreme wind at the top gets merciless at times.

The climb: Approx 4-7 hours. Stairs, so many stairs of all shapes and sizes. Keep your backpack light! You don't need to carry much, especially if you end up hiring a porter. Water, some snacks, toilet paper, face towel is all you need besides clothes.

Starts to get a tad cooler with each kilometer up.

Our path was lit by moonlight luckily.

Summit climb: Approx 4-6 hours. The top is a very different challenge in the dark, in the cold, and at higher altitude. There are vast flat granite slopes that can be slippery if wet. There are steeper inclines where you will need to use the rope to climb up short distances. We were also fortunate this night to have full moon lighting our paths – thankfully because my headlamp was not very bright.

Toilet breaks: There is a sheltered modern western style (no squatty potties) toilet and sink every 1-2 kilometers. Bring toilet paper. There are no toilets during the final summit climb, but honestly, you'll be too cold and tired to even want to pull down your trousers.

Summit Base camp 

Camping overnight: It's not glamping, but it's not camping either. In a multi-story shelter, you get a room, a bed with sheets and a pillow (bunk beds if you share a room), clean toilets and showers, and a dinner (6pm) & breakfast (2am) & brunch (6am) buffet spread. They provide you with towels, slippers too. The heaters are solar powered though, so if you need motivation, remember that hot water is in limited supply. First ones there get more, last ones might not get any! I had the ice cold shower option.

Bunk beds

Our view from the window

The showers (heaters are solar powered)

It's basic accommodations, but I was happy with it – it's much better than sleeping outside on granite ground in a tent with no bathroom. Some friends however have complained about it not being comfortable enough, the bunk beds being rickety, or the mattress being too short if you're a tall person. Bring extra cash here if you need to refill on bottled drinking water or a cuppa hot Milo; food is included if you are on the Amazing Borneo package (worth it).

Bugs, leeches, mosquitoes: We had no issues with any of these critters! If seen, Mosquitoes and leeches are usually around base level, the latter of which loves to show up during rainfall. It gets cooler and less humid as you ascend, so you don't see them much as you climb. I got mosquito bites only when I was boarding the van to leave the mountain base.

Descending after sunrise, you realize how steep it all actually was.

When locals zoom past you holding giant beams, wearing simple shoes.

Emergencies: There is a helipad for emergency evacuations at several points, and a few measures to minimize casualties in case of natural disasters (presumably in response to the earthquake a few years ago). On the way up, we saw a young woman being carried down the mountain on someone's back because she sprained her ankle at the summit. The experience didn't look particularly comfortable for anyone involved.

The Summit trail starts from the Timpohon Gate (1,800m; 5,906 ft) which is located near the Kinabalu Park Headquarters. Before reaching Panalaban (3,273m; 10,738 ft), climbers will encounter a series of trail shelters (pondok)—Pondok Kandis (1,981m; 6,499 ft), Pondok Ubah (2,095m; 6,873 ft), Pondok Lowii (2,286m; 7,500 ft), Layang-Layang (2,702m; 8,865 ft), Pondok Villosa (2,690m; 8,825 ft), and Pondok Paka (3,080m; 10,105 ft). The climb from Timpohon Gate to Panalaban takes approximately 6 to 8 hours.

Big Thanks to Amazing Borneo!
Special deal for Gastronommy readers:
SPECIAL DINNER CRUISE & CLIMB COMBO: Get your CRAZY CLIMBERS PRICE for the North Borneo Cruises Now when you book your climb package!

Option 1) Sunset Dinner Cruise @ RM199/pax (U.P. RM365) 4.50-7.00PM Daily Cruise Session
Option 2) KK City Night Dinner Cruise @ RM120/pax (U.P. RM365) 7.50-10.00PM Daily Cruise Session

- Booking Period: Now till 31 July 2017
- Travel Period: Now till 31 March 2018

Terms & Conditions for Promo: 
- Promo rates are Exclusive for Mount Kinabalu Climbers only (International and Malaysian). 
- Applicable for all Mount Kinabalu Climb packages. 
- Cruise dates are subject to availability and schedule. 
- Promo rates are not applicable for the following Peak Season Dates: 
24, 25, 31 December 2017
01 January 2018
14-17 February 2018

To book with Amazing Borneo tours, visit

Special thanks to David Yeow Photography!


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