30.12.15

A glimpse of Hangzhou ...

I like Hangzhou, the folks living there are an healthy lot and I heard from the tour guide that they have the longest lifespan in China. Well, I guess this is due to their healthy lifestyle of rest and recreation. They also drank lots of the Lung Ching tea which was a local produce there. Since it's almost winter there, it was dark by 6pm , which is equivalent to almost 8pm here. I saw a lot of folks hanging around the park near West Lake at around 3pm-4pm, either enjoying the sceneries of  the lake, playing chess, singing, line dancing, performing taichi and etc. 

We walked around the streets of Hangzhou after lunch, as well as go to the other section of the West Lake, before leaving for our next destination. It was around 3pm+ then and it was very cold. I can't see the sun too.  How I wish I could stayed longer here for another day or two. It was so nice to be here, beautiful places, peaceful, cool and serene.

Another view of the West Lake

Yours truly again... very poetic ...hahaha

A cruise around West Lake

Love this beautiful Pagoda around West Lake , lots of folks took pictures here!

Many yellow leaves trees around that area

Elderly folks spending their past times playing cards and chess

Folks walking on the pathway around the lake

A view of Hangzhou city


This one is eye-catching!

Walking along the streets 

The famous and historical Liuying Road

Love the mixed of old and new buildings along the street at a peaceful and cold street.
Oh..I mentioned about the lunch. We had local cuisines over there with rice and dishes. They usually put the rice on a big bowl and then we helped ourselves with it and we can asked for more rice where they will get us another big bowl. The best dish here is none other than the DongPo meat...hahaha... The fats were smooth while the meat was nicely marinated.

The restaurant ... sort of located at the outskirt of the city

Fish slices ... they have lots and lots of bones!

Radish...I love it! 

Small marinated scrimps

Soup with lots of ingredients 

And the DongPo meat in a bamboo casing.

28.12.15

Beautiful West Lake ...

My family and I were  in China last week for our annual vacation and we embarked on a trip to the Jiangnam area , which is a place of the south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. A lot of histories are discovered there where popular personalities and events like the Wu dynasty during the three kingdom, scholar Tang Bohu's resident, resident of popular wuxia novelist  Jing Yong, Empress Qi Shi stories, Emperor Qing Long visits, Sun Yat Sen resting place and etc. It was a great trip where we visited quite a no. of cities like Hangzhou, YiWu, Suzhou, Nanjing, Haining, Wuxi and the cosmopolitan Shanghai. However, the weather was freezing cold as it fluctuates from 0 celsius to 8 celsius. I can feel my palm and fingers numb after a short while exposing to the cold weather and gotta wore gloves. Anyway, I love the cold weather, the air was so clean and pure.

Perhaps my favourite of all the places during the trip was the visit to West Lake in Hangzhou. I have long heard of West Lake and it's like a dream come true to be able to visit it. Its not a big lake but the scenery was so beautiful that it really mesmerize all of us.  We took a cruise around the lake and I like the cold wind blowing across us while cruising. Now I know why there are so many poets like to recite poems for the lake as I also feel like doing one there ...hahahah... There's also the story of the White Snake Madam which based on this lake, if you have read it and the pagoda in the story was sitting there on top of the mountain. Of course, that's fictional. Here are some pictures.

The entrance to the park is heavily guarded ... nice!

A history of the park dating from the Yuan Dynasty

Trees I won't get to see daily but thru the chinese arts 

Map of the West Lake

Statue of Song DongPo or  Su Shi , the famous poet but we know him more for the Dongpo pork meat ..hahaha

Walking to the lake ... love the cold wind blowing towards us as well as the beautiful surroundings

A nice traditional house selling tidbits and souvenirs

The jetty in the lake


Trees near the lake... it's like those Chinese Arts

A view of the Lake

My best picture of the lake with the Pagoda sitting on the hill 

Beautiful red leaves tree everywhere there. if I come two months earlier, I can see more colors!

Another view of the beautiful lake 

Weird looking 'cabbage' like plants over there 

The greenery park at the lake


And yours truly in my usual signature pose
These pictures didn't do much justice to the beauty of the Lake and park and it's best to visit it to see for yourself. :) Have a great week!

25.12.15

Christmas isn’t Christmas till it happens in your heart.....

If you still don't feel any Christmas mood by now , read or listen to the below ...

Christmas isn’t Christmas till it happens in your heart
Somewhere, deep inside you, is where Christmas really starts
So, give your heart to Jesus, you’ll discover when you do
That it’s Christmas, really Christmas for you.

Jesus brings warmth like a winter fire, a light like a candles glow
He’s waiting now to come inside, like He did so long ago
Jesus brings gifts of truth and life and makes them bloom and grow
So welcome Him with a song of joy, and when He comes you’ll know

That Christmas isn’t Christmas till it happens in your heart
Somewhere, deep inside you, is where Christmas really starts
So, give your heart to Jesus, you’ll discover when you do
That it’s Christmas, really Christmas

Christmas, really Christmas
Christmas, really Christmas for you




MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

15.12.15

2015 resolutions .... errrr...

At this time of the year, I usually likes to blog about an old school subject - have you achieved your new year resolutions ? Well, I guess this is a good time to review our goals before the year ends. Of course, there's another school of thoughts that don't really believe in setting goals on the new year, they set goals anytime they wanted. I guess there's nothing right or wrong as long as we achieved what we set out to do. If its a motivation to follow the crowd to set goals on the new year, so be it, at least we set ourselves some targets to meet.

As for me, I didn't really achieve much which I attributed to  my procrastinating self. I guess I gotta repeat some of my goals for 2016. However, I exercise a lot this year and it's really a lot! I almost workout 5 times a week and that includes running long distance. I also joined some running events which I never did before my maiden run last Dec. Thus, at least, I met one of my objectives which is to run a half marathon. Well, let's see if I can go for a full marathon in 2016..muahahaha...

How about you ?

And, well, I had a Miso Tonkotsu Ramen last week, besides a bento on the following day...hahaha... Seems like the Japanese food bug is back!!

Miso Tonkotsu Ramen
Have a great week!

11.12.15

Running bug...

I have two friends who joined me for the Standard Chartered Marathon, Singapore (SCMS) last Sunday and both were doing their maiden runs. One of them did the 10KM while another one joined me for the half marathon. They were casual runners who jogged regularly but entering a running event never really cross their mind until they signed up for SCMS. The one who did the HM with me was a fast runner, who's paced for a 15KM run averaged around 6 minutes plus and sometimes he hits 5 minutes +. Well, he was a trained policeman before and I guess that was one reason he can run fast. hahaha... After finishing the SCMS, both seems bitten by the running bug and started looking for other runs next year. Well, me too, after I did my maiden 10KM run last Dec, I was also interested into it and the rest are history, though I only participated once every quarter of this year. And, I am also planning for my next runs for 2016. Well, I guess it is addictive after all and I am glad I have more running companions!

Oh.. it's been a while I had my bento, thanks to my late gym workouts. Here's one to reward myself before the weekend! :)


Have a great weekend! :)

8.12.15

Standard Chartered Half Marathon 2015 ...

I have finally completed my humble running events, which are four in total this year. And, it's always nice to end it with a bang in SCMS. I participated in the half-marathon again as I don't think I am fit for the full marathon yet and this statement was a reality last Sunday. It was so so tough running in the hot blistering sun (where everybody saying the sun was extremely hot in this year's event) which I gotta resort to walking most of the time, like most of the crowd. And, it also didn't help with the water points so far apart especially during the last 10KM at the Ayer Rajah Expressway, which a lot of folks dubbed it as 'Highway of Hell' as the sun was shining directly on us during the entire stretch of the highway! I got sunburns on my face too , where I forgot applied sunblock as well as wearing a shade. Anyway, on the other hand, I feel that if you want to be a good runner, mental and physical endurance must be there as well as good stamina and not forgetting to prepare our own hydration and energy bars. Luckily, I brought my own bottle of isotonic drink which I finished even before reaching the 15KM mark. I remember I didn't finished my water bottle when running the Sundown HM...hahaha..

It all started with me waking up at 3.45am and had a McD big breakfast. I was off to the train station where mostly all the passengers are filled with runners, mostly in their blue and green attires. I stopped at the Harbourfront MRT and it was really a big crowd there.

Yours  truly waiting to board the train with fellow runners

Maximum overload at Harbourfront MRT...hahaha

Taking as selfie at the starting point

We ran into Sentosa Island and cut thru Universal Studio (without having to buy a ticket) and that was my first time in Universal Studio ..hahahaha.. The run in Sentosa was not very pleasant as the paths were narrow and the folks have to squeeze to get ahead, though I love the nature and fresh air there. Sometimes, there seems like a jam there and I gotta stop and walk. We were out of Sentosa at the 9KM mark and that's the start of the blistering run!! There was a climb to the highway and though I managed to run up slightly steep roads while in Sentosa, I was too tired to run this time round and decided to walk up. I tried to run the remaining of the distance but somehow it was too hot and it was really a struggle along the highway. Thus, I resorted to walk and run till I reached the 20KM milestone.

It was nice to reach the 15KM point but it still seems a long way ahead! 
I was glad I have reached the end of the highway and I speed up a bit at the 19KM mark since it was downhill as well as there was a water station nearby, and then ran to the 20KM mark. It was so sweet to see the 20KM signboard and I decided to take a selfie with it!! There were also shades around there since I was near Robinson Road where shophouses and buildings covered the sun away.


Phew.... I have come that far!!
The sweet HM medal to add to my collections... :)

Look at the hot day where we walked back to t he Padang to collect our medals and given drinks.

Yours truly in action...
I must say this is the toughest run I have been through so far and there's still lots of rooms for improvement especially on physical and mental endurance. It's definitely not a fun run for me but this journey has exposed a lot of weaknesses in me which I need to work on it, and maybe joining a running club might helps. Anyway, it's an achievement to finish this tough race! I look forward to next year's edition! :)

4.12.15

Standard Chartered Marathon 2015 kit collection...

Well, I always likes those major marathons like Standard Chartered and Sundown where there were always lots of exhibition booths selling all kinds of sports apparels, devices and other stuffs. The organiser always held it in bigger place like Expo or Suntec City. I always love to check out the booths and see if there are any good offers , which usually there are. My colleague got an arm-band for $7 only where it was sold at least S10+ outside. I didn't bought many stuffs except two dri-fit sports tees for my kids, where it was only at $3 per tee. I got myself two power bars to be used during the run.

I usually was early to collect my running kit in order to avoid the crowd. And, I was right and lucky that there are only three persons in front me waiting for their turns. I am sure by evenings, especially Friday evening, it will be very crowded. I was there at the Expo around 12pm. Not too bad, it was fast and I got more time to visit the booths.


The not so crowded queues at Expo Hall 6

One of the major booths as well as main sponsor, Adidas

Another pix of the Adidas booth , below and above. It was not really crowded then.


The other booths , the folks are having a good time shopping around.

Yours Truly having some fun taking  picture  at the pacers'  booth
The event will be held this Sunday and as shown in the pic above, I will be doing half-marathon where last year, I did my maiden run for 10 KM at the same event. Well, I will try to improve on my previous Sundown HM timing and try to finish below the 3 hours mark but then, it depends on that day itself, my body conditioning and my mental toughness. I will tell myself to enjoy the run, be patience, take it as a way to relax myself but will motivate myself to do well.

Meanwhile, you guys have a good weekend! :)