Monday, September 27, 2010

A Beautiful Honeymoon Destination

Hey folks!
I'm back from my holiday..and it was an AMAZING PLACE! No, I did not go on my honeymoon :P, I'm not married. However, I think that this country is a fantastic place for you lovebirds to go on a honeymoon, or holiday together!


Land of the Thunder Dragon

above: The view of Tiger's Nest (Tatkshang), after a 5km trek to 900m above ground level

Ok, I can hear the questions now. Where's IS Bhutan? Who are the people there? Is it part of another country? Can they speak English?

The Kingdom of Bhutan is a small country in the Eastern region of the Himalayas, it's neighbours are China, Tibet and India. There are about 700,000 Bhutanese people inhabiting this land. Their National language is Dzongkha, which is very similar to Tibetian, but almost everyone speaks English (and I dare say, some speak better English than Singaporeans :P). They also speak Hindi & Nepali, if you were thinking of flexing your language skills too!

They have four seasons and it's always a great time to go, although they do say that spring is best because of the blooming flowers (I say it could rival those korean travel brochures!), and winter, for the clear skies and visibility (You can see the tips of the Himalayas!)

above: At the Dochu-la pass on a cloudy autumn day. During Winter you can see the right to the tips of the Himalayas.

What's there to do in Bhutan?

For starters, there's always a monastry or temple located right down whichever street you're on.

Your journey can begin in Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Spoil yourself and check into the majestic Taj Tashi Hotel to begin your romantic honeymoon and enjoy a local Hot Stone Bath or Indian Ayurvedic Massage.

Each of the major cities has a Dzong, a monastry fortress built to keep out Tibetian invaders, which will have a large courtyard for festivals, a monastry for the clergy and other blocks for administration.

above: Tashichhoedzong, and the Thimphu Tshechu Festival

Head down to the 12th Century Changgang Kha (Goddess of Compassion) Temple where it has been said that you make it in, you can make any wish and it will come true. Look for the dice once you enter the inner sanctum, make a wish, roll the dice, and there will be a monk who will tell you if your wish is good and if it will come true.

Although the hours of driving from town to town can get long, there are always interesting sights along the way. Roadside stands are set up selling local produce - always fresh, organic and grown in the wild, or roasted corn, yak cheese and other snacks.

Driving through the mountains will give you peeks of waterfalls, valleys, streams, farms, paddy fields and monastries set against dramatic backdrops of rich blue skies.

above: 108 Stupas built at the Dochu-la pass. The road runs from the current capital Thimphu to the ancient capital city of Punakha

Punakha is the winter home for the Monk body as it is at a slightly lower altitude and set in a warmer valley. Here, the Dzong is romantically set in between two rivers, the Male river & Female river.

Inside the monastry, the floor to ceiling paintings of Buddhist teachings, philisophies and stories, and statues of Guru Rinpoche and Buddha will completely blow your away with their details and colours, painstakingly restored and maintained.

above: Share a quiet moment in the Punakha Dzong under the Bodhi tree

above: The Punakha Dzong and the Moochu (female) River. I don't have any pictures within the monastries as photography is forbidden inside.

A town that you must not miss is the city of Paro (also where the airport is located at). It is also here where the world famous Tiger's Nest sits, right at the top of a cliff, 900m above ground level.
The Tiger's Nest monastry is built over a cave where Guru Rinpoche was said to have meditated for three months, when he flew (rode) into Paro on the back of a Tiger.
There are also little houses built right on the top of the cliff, where you can stay for three months to meditate.

Well, but for the rest of us, and for honeymooners, a stay at the Uma- Inland Retreats would be much more comfortable. Guess what? Tony Leung (hearts!) & Carina Lau had their wedding right at this resort! If it's good enough for them, it sure is good enough for us!

above: the start of the trek. see the little speck of white up there? that's where we are going! To the Tiger's Nest!

above: The view when you reach the top is worth the hard climb

I promise you, you'll fall in love all over again when you're in a place as beautiful as Bhutan, and not just with your partner, but in love with nature, religion, culture, and life.

And as for me, I know I'm going back again there someday soon :)

With Thanks:

To Sonam from Bhutan Nor Ter Adventures,
He's like a walking Bhutan history book, with tons of local information and a knack for outdoorsy activities like trekking, biking (KTM! or Mountain bikes) or just bringing you to the best spots you'll ever be at.

Get in touch with him if you'll like a customised tour across Bhutan or even India & Nepal

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Her World Brides Editorial

Hi Everyone! I'm been really bad, not updating this page for a while. It's been hectic, with editorials, commercials & brides! The Christmas season is around the corner, I know you might be thinking, it's 3 months away, but in media calender, it's when everyone starts this mad rush to prepare their Christmas ads.
As I really don't want to disappoint anyone, please do book me in advance, as my schedule fills up pretty quick (besides, I give a 15% discount to all brides who book me 5 months in advance :D )

I've firmed up my travel schedule for the next couple of months, No Bali trips! I miss Bali! If you are doing a pre-wedding photoshoot in Bali, Melbourne or Sydney, I'll be more than happy to give you a super super discounted rate. :)

I'll be away from:
18 September - 24 September
10 November - 15 November

Anyways, enough of words, here are the PICTURES!

Photography: Aik Chen
Styling: Furqan Saini
Hair & Makeup: Joanna Koh using Redken & Clinique, assisted by Angeline Chan
Models: Yana & Sandra/ Upfront

The full series is available on my FACEBOOK page

And incase you're wondering, what's this lovely foundation for the model's skin, it's Clinique Superfit Makeup, which I also use on almost all my clients. It's one of my favourite foundations simply because it lasts 6-8 hours through your oil, sweat and tears (sounds familiar for your big day?), doesnt clog pores, and gives a beautiful buildable coverage.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Manicure at Shine Studio @ Far East Plaza

Today I tried out the manicure at Shine Studio (under Citispa at Far East Plaza.

I chose a shade of cobalt blue, OPI's Blue My Mind ..this shade is amazing!

My nails are cut super short, so there was not much filing for her to do.
Rather disappointed at the way many manicurists here file nails. A zig-zag sawing motion will end up splitting your nails. Never file your nails that way. Instead, file your nails in a single direction, best to file them always towards the center of your nails.
Cuticle pushing & trimming were fine, she did briefly sanitise the metal instruments before beginning.
The arm massage was so-so, ho-hum..

What I was nicely impressed by was her speed and even-ness of her painting. At $18 for a manicure in town, done in 45mins, no one can really complain!
Mani & Pedi go for $38

Shine Studio
14 Scotts Road, Far East Plaza. #02-94
Tel: 6738 0700
Open from 11:30am

Next up.. I'm going to try Bliss Spa's Mani & Pedi! Once my nails grow out abit.. give me a couple of weeks :)