Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Beijing 2016 - Great Wall of China

You have not been to China if you had not been to The Great Wall of China. It was one of the best highlights of my trip and a much anticipated one. What makes China so special to me is its history and ruins that could wonder anyone on how driven the ancient Chinese were in terms of invention and innovation in many aspects of their life.

The Great Wall of China needs no introduction. It serves as a fort which was majorly built during the Ming dynasty. History of China spans over many dynasties and the Great Wall serves as a protection from invasion by nomadic groups. Contrary to popular belief, the renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site was built since 7th century and through time, it was progressively extended into one lengthy great wall. Hence, the name - Great Wall.

While many parts of the wall are now remnants consumed by weathering, several parts of the walls were restored for exploration. There are several locations that you could choose from depending on your appetite for adventure. I chose the Juyongguan Great Wall. This section was built on a valley and is considered as one of the steepest section of the Great Wall.

This location has great vantage point and it is the closest section to Beijing. Given that my itinerary was packed, it was only convenient to go to the nearest one! Besides, it is one of the greatest forts defending ancient Beijing. Genghis Khan once led his troops through Juyong fort during his conquest of Chinese territory. The gate and fort of this part of the wall were reconstructed with Ming architectural features.

Hiking this section of the great wall does not only require basic physical fitness, but also the aptitude to care for your steps. Not for the faint hearted! The ancient architecture of forts were not as precise especially on the slope of a mountain. Therefore the steps are very, very irregular. I could be taking one small step and a huge one after. It was quite alright when I was going up but it was not funny going back down and chasing for time! I could only pray my knees did not give way and made me miss any part of the continuous step.

The great wall definitely will not pass today's building code!

My hike at the Great Wall was symbolic and meaningful. The climb was tough but the view was great. It could not have been more true. It inspired me to work harder to achieve my goals and I definitely have a new found appreciation towards life.

Life is a climb, but the view is great!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Melbourne 2016 - Dandenong Ranges

Is it me or Melbourne is all about healthy living? Food is great and healthy, and places that you go to mostly requires to to walk or hike. Unless you are in the city with the accessibility to trams, walking is pretty much a breeze especially at Dandenong Ranges. It is windy, and you get to see the city centre from afar. Great vantage and the cold front made hiking more fun and less sweaty!

Lots of crazy photos and here are a few for you to feast on! I am not narcissistic but I felt that it was well taken!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Looking Forward to JewelFest 2016!

Bedazzled. That is how I would describe Singapore JewelFest (SJF) and this year it will get better! I am excited for so many things lined up in this coming 14th edition. Last week, I got the chance to visit Action Hair Salon at Paragon where they hosted an exclusive preview for patrons and partners on what is coming up in the 14th edition of SJF.

We were not only shown the few impressive jewelries (yes, we got to touch that million dollar pieces!) but also got to see first hand how the models for the upcoming fashion shows will have their hair professionally done by SJF's official hairdresser Action Hair Salon.

Then on we were given a demonstration on how jewelry pieces could be donned with high-street fashion by no other that G-Star RAW. SJF in collaboration with high-street fashion label, G-Star RAW will manifest Raw-Luxe in fashion – to be among the first in fine jewellery world in juxtaposing super blings with high-street fashion.

Being a regular supporter of Singapore JewelFest (SJF), I was thrilled to see several exclusive pieces that were not only stunning but distinct in its own ways. Mouawad's Poseidon's Power jewelry set is one of the many that will be showcased this coming October!

It has been a tradition to see runway shows of renowned and emerging designers at SJF!

The festival kicks-off with a private curtain-raiser on 6th October with an unprecedented showcase of Balmain Hair Couture styled with rare gems and jewels by Singapore’s renowned coiffeur, Vinn Wong from Action Hair Salon. With the theme Glory, this is the first time that SJF showcases the versatility of fine jewels that can be transformed into beautiful headwear.

The festival officially opens to the public the following day with Asia’s fast emerging designer label, FIZIWOO. They will be premiering their latest haute couture line showcasing impeccable artistry and craft in fashion paired with million-dollar and investable jewels.

The finale runway show features Singapore’s most celebrated designer, Thomas Wee, who will be creating an exclusive couture collection of two his signature strong and structured style for the SJF to be presented with powerful jewel statement pieces.

Speaking of investable jewels, this year is special if you have vested interest in investable gems to diversify your investment portfolio.

Güeblin, a leading international gemological laboratory and academy will be revealing the top ten rare gemstones in the world that have seen hikes in their value over the last decade. SJF will present The Connoisseur Series, a by-invitation showcase on 10th October to provide insights into these rare gems.

As SJF over the years has firmly positioned itself as one of the few in the region that has the ability to attract jewellers with million dollar and investable jewels, these investment pieces for the collectors will remain an attraction in SJF16!

In commemoration of fifty years of diplomacy between Singapore and Japan, SJF too has partnered with Ikebana Society International to showcase the traditional Japanese art of flower arrangement through masterpieces inspired by works of artistry, craft and innovation from jewellers and designers. They will be displayed throughout make new air for the festival!

An impressive 13.73-carat Afghan Emerald valued at USD1.3 million from Caratell (Singapore) and an extremely rare and notable 4.90-carat Fancy Intense Green heart-shaped diamond ring (valued at USD2.7 million) from Vihari (Singapore) are amongst some of the million dollar pieces to be showcased at SJF16.

Diamond is the hardest object in the world but it does not necessarily be the hardest on your savings. Standing by to the festival's DNA, Singapore JewelFest promises quality, craftsmanship and great value for money!