Exploring Singapore: Geylang Mysteries

Growing up, the adjectives associated with the district of Geylang has never been quite positive, except for their great food outlets for Dimsum, Frog Leg Porridge and Durian. Naturally, it became a place to shun away from. But as its mysterious quality escalates, the curiosity to know more about it increases too. Going on ‘Geylang Adventures’ seemed the best way to go deeper to find out what’s really going on in this notorious place in Singapore.


The tour started at 7:30 in the evening along one of the back alleys. You might imagine something dark and dangerous, but on the contrary, most of them have become brightly lit with lampposts and security cameras to stop unlawful congregations and underground businesses. No more ‘Internal Affairs’ scenes here.

An interesting mix of vice and charity, Geylang houses many religious groups and dialect clans which have been relocated from the central business district in the 1900s. Right in the middle of all the bustle, Highpoint Social Enterprise Ark offers refuge and help for low-income families, sex workers and migrant workers, one that shows concern for a population less regarded by the rest of the society.



We stopped for a quick chat on the overhead-bridge along Geylang Road, transitioning from odd-numbered to even-numbered streets. The busy avenue branches out into smaller lanes, looking like a multi-legged centipede. The scene painted the prelude into exploring the legalised prostitution segment of Geylang…

Head to Journal for more.



Vogue Taiwan x Monaco August 2017

Extremely honoured to have represented Monaco Tourism in welcoming Vogue Taiwan and Asian Superstar Lin Chi-ling for their photoshoot in Monaco! Blessed to have witnessed first-hand, how photos are envisioned and created, soaking in some real fashion with pieces from Prada, Balenciaga and Andrew Gn.

Of course, my job isn’t just guiding them and assisting in the shoot, I took the opportunity to take some behind-the-scenes shoot with my iPhone. Behind the official lenses, how do my photos compare? You can be the judge.

Read the full article here and watch the video here.


– Jee –

20 Hours in Hong Kong – Travelogue

Arriving at the Hong Kong International Airport at 6 in the morning, with only 3 hours of intermittent sleep, it only makes sense to make wild and crazy decisions. How about creating a 24-hour travelogue? Yes, that meant 6am to 6am the next day. Unfortunately, I did not really accomplish what I planned, but 20 hours isn’t too bad right?


For a city that rarely sleeps, public transport operates early in the morning and ends pretty late at night in Hong Kong. For a more local experience, take their airport shuttle which brings you to most of the popular cities and towns in Hong Kong. I boarded the A21 which brought me right in the heart of Mongkok, my accommodation for the weekend.


Ranking at the top of my to-eat-list for breakfast is Australian Dairy Company. With HKD36, you get a set of macaroni soup coupled with a scrambled egg toast and a hot beverage. Of all the scrambled eggs that I’ve tasted, nothing can compare to the creamy texture of the eggs served at this local restaurant. While service can be rude and queues can go pretty long, I will still go through it again for the amazing breakfast here…

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Exploring Singapore: Woodlands Town Centre Memories

I vaguely remember as a 10-year-old kid accompanying my family to the famous Sheng Siong outlet at the Old Woodlands Town Centre, a period where the hypermarket chain has yet to commence its rapid expansion, let not its signature baibei, baibei on its hit TV game show series.

The buildings were old and I didn’t really enjoy my time there. But it was quite a frequent trip for a few weeks due to the relatively lower prices the hypermarket was offering. I just moved to the newer part of Woodlands then, with not a lot of choices for marketing.

Didn’t know that in a few years, Woodlands Checkpoint will become a popular spot for Singaporeans escaping the heightened prices locally for cheaper and better quality food and shopping. To ease human and vehicle traffic, and to enhance the security of the borders at the causeway, Woodlands Town Centre will soon be bidding goodbye, giving way to a larger complex for the Woodlands Checkpoint…

Head to Journal for full story.




New Zealand Diaries #2 – Picton & Cheviot

An unexpected journey

A journey becomes unforgettable when you least expect it to be. If you are a free-spirited traveller like I am, New Zealand, a country vast and limitless, is the perfect location for you to set yourself free. The beauty of New Zealand does not end with its natural landscapes, but continues to flow through its people: well-travelled, open-minded, and a true representation of a global citizen.


One might think that Picton and Cheviot, being such small towns in the South Island, will be a boring place to skip past in your itinerary. But thanks to the extremely hospitable hosts, not only were these my best travel experiences yet, I left New Zealand making friends that I never thought I would.

Boats out!

Waking up in Picton with nothing planned for the day, our host Tim invites us to a fishing trip with his friend out along Cook Strait in the Marlborough Sounds. With the sun as a warm companion, the autumn winds didn’t seem so chilly after all. While Tim geared up in his diving suit to catch some huge lobsters, we stayed on the boat to learn the techniques to fishing well with his friend.

It was 4 hours well spent with glistening emerald waters and lusciously green knolls as the background. As socially responsible individuals, we caught 8 fishes and 6 crayfish, each measuring more than 33cm length for the fishes and 60mm width for the latter. These are the official guidelines from the Ministry for Primary Industries, in maintaining the balance in the marine ecosystem.


As if catching seafood wasn’t exciting enough, eating fresh lobsters cooked to perfection tops it all up. The tender yet bouncy meat oozes its naturally sweet flavours after every bite. I volunteered to cook some Asian style food – ginger and spring onion blue cod, egg fried rice, and a chilli French beans stir-fry – with thanks to the ingredients bought by his wife, Anne.

Gathering for dinner with Anne and Tim at the dining table, it felt like we were truly embraced into the family. Experiences like these were costless but truly priceless.

Chateau de Cheviot

While most of us live in houses built by construction companies, our host Ellis decided to build a house he could truly call his own 12 years ago. A mixture of cement, wood and natural materials make up this incredible living space he proudly calls ‘The Tree House’. An adventurer at heart, Ellis is a true representation of hard work, perseverance and positivity.

Coincidentally, Ellis and his partner Sanna were embarking on a new treehouse project and invited us to be a part of it. With no agenda for the day, we agreed to be builders of the day, albeit with the wrong attire. From climbing up trees to measure the appropriate heights of the wooden pillars, sawing planks and mixing cement, it was a full-body workout without a doubt. But I never thought being a part of this rustic construction will bring about so much inspiration and accomplishment.


The morning fog weaves through the hills and the trees, and I couldn’t resist walking out to the backyard barefooted just to feel in sync with nature while witnessing this dramatic entrance into a brand-new day. Approaching mid-day, the sun takes over and warms up the autumn temperatures. Then it was lunch with Sanna and Ellis talking about our passion for travel, and their pet dog lazing and basking in the sun. At night, Ellis brings us out again to show us the constellations above us, identifying certain star signs and the milky way. At the end of the day, I really wanted to stop the alarm clock so I will never have to wake up from this dream.


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Do we really need to shut the doors on people all the time?

Let me describe a very typical day that happens to us too often – you walk into the lift with a few others and we are headed to different levels. Someone leaves the 5th floor and immediately the person nearest to the lift buttons hits the ‘Door Close’ button almost instantaneously.

I’m not pointing my fingers at anyone because I am honestly guilty of showing signs of impatience on the poor lift too. And it has finally been proven that the ‘Door Close’ button is feeding our need for control and efficiency. A recent New York Times article revealed that most of these buttons are in fact placebo buttons that do not actually work since a major lift redesign in the 1990s.

Seeing this phenomenon happening among city dwellers of the world, it makes me think whether or not we should remove this ‘Door Close’ button, considering that it is a catalyst for encouraging even greater impatience in our community. Lift doors open for 10 seconds on average, each lift can hold the weight of about 15 people, while there is only that many levels the lift could arrive at. Are we really that rushed for time, for that few seconds that do not even add up to a minute?

We have to admit that we get trapped inside a ticking stopwatch most of the time – getting frustrated over train delays, over a long queue at our favourite coffee place, or even at the person in front of you who walks too slowly… What if we slow down, just a little bit, and enjoy that few seconds of delay?

I vividly remember my recent trip to Seoul, where my subconscious behaviour led me to reach for the ‘Door Close’ button and to my surprise it wasn’t there. The lift had only the ‘Door Open’ button and I quickly retreated my hands into my pockets and waited for the doors to close on automation.

After spending a few days there, I would go all the way inside the lift instead of assuming the role of the ‘Button Presser’ as I always would. That also gave me the chance to greet strangers with a simple ‘Good morning’ or ‘Good afternoon’.

Living in a fast-paced society like Singapore where ‘time is money’, perhaps we should train ourselves to be more patient and forgiving. By removing something so trivial in our lives, it might just motivate us to pay more attention to the ‘Door Open’ button – allowing people to enter the lift. No more shutting people at the door, literally.