Hue, Vietnam - A Historical City, A UNESCO World Heritage Site


One wish of mine is to visit as many UNESCO sites as possible in this lifetime. I guess this will not come as a surprise since I love to travel, hence it seems that I will more or less travel to some UNESCO sites during my travel trips. Just last month in October, I had the opportunity to join in a media trip to visit Central Vietnam... Of which, I got to visit not one, but two UNESCO sites located in Hue and Hoi An. Read on to find out more about the two places that our group visited while we were in Hue, Vietnam.

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(1) UNESCO World Heritage Site in HUE

Visit the historic Imperial City of Hue, a 19th century Citadel, modelled after Beijing’s Forbidden City. This UNESCO World Heritage Site once stood as Vietnam's former Royal Capital City. It was a city within a city, but all walled up and guarded. Here, the Perfume River winds its way through the Capital City, the Imperial City, the Forbidden Purple City and the Inner City. Marvel at its rich architectural and beautiful landscaping within the Royal Palace compound.

The Flag Tower of Hue Imperial City
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Ngo Môn, also known as the Gate of Noon
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Ngo Môn, also known as the Gate of Noon, is the main gate into the Imperial City. It was used by the sovereign as an observation point for troop movements and ceremonies. This gate was also once exclusively used by the royal family and their eunuch servants. This is also where you purchase the entrance tickets to visit the remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Thai Hoe Palace, also known as "Palace of Harmony'.
It was an important ceremonial venue.
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The Duyet Thi Duong (Duyệt Thị Đường) Royal Theatre
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One of the massive porch areas in the Citadel
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The enormous complex features hundreds of monuments and ruins, such as the Forbidden Purple City (once the Royal Family’s residence but badly damaged during the Vietnam War), the Imperial City and the Inner City, royal tombs, pagodas, temples and a museum. Some buildings have been restored, whereas check out some others whose conditions have stood the test of time, hence the original rustic look.

(2) Tomb of Khải Định

One of the seven royal tombs in the former Vietnamese Imperial Capital of the city Hue is the Nguyen Emperor Khai Dinh’s Royal Tomb. Despite his unfortunate death in in 1925, the construction of his tomb was only completed in 1931, 11 years after it started in 1920. Located at the side of the Chau Chu Mountain, it is a total of 127 steps from the street level. Exhausting as it may sound, but the stunning Baroque-style architectural designs, influenced by the Europeans, will leave you amazed.

Reinforced concrete steel monument at 
Khai Dinh’s Royal Tomb
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Upon completing climbing up the steps, one will reach the porch area where there are the twelve stone statues which act as the King's bodyguards. Take a close look at the concrete steel monument that has carvings that were done so intricately. Look towards the mountains and get a good view of the natural scenery right infront of you.

These are stone statues that are to "guard and accompany"
the King while he continues his "rest".
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Enter into Khai Thanh Palace and marvel at the majestic glass and porcelain design around the hall. Look up towards the ceiling and admire the painting of nine dragons frolicking in the clouds. Also, check out the the tomb of the King, where there is a bronze life-size statue of him sitting on his Throne. One cannot help but to notice that the design of the whole place is heavily influenced by the European style... And this was because the King had a liking towards that.

Everywhere in Khai Thanh Palace are picture-worthy!!!
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The Le Residence Hue Hotel and Spa building was built in 1930 as part of the former colonial governor’s residence overlooking Hue’s Perfume River. This architectural treasure was restored and re-opened in 2005 as a deluxe hotel, and is now a gem in the Accor Hotels’ stylish MGallery portfolio. A quick room tour was conducted after lunch, and I was VERY IMPRESSED with the room decor! How I wish to stay there! What exclusivity and luxury!

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Indulge in a French-Vietnamese fusion meal at the
hotel’s La Perfum restaurant and have a
memorable gastronomic experience.
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This trip was made possible with the kind cooperation with Jetstar Asia airlines and the participating hotels and tourism board in Central Vietnam, via Will be having future posts of the trip in more details, and more photos... Be sure to stay tuned to check them out! :)

Salon De Choix - Hair Color & Highlights Last Longer with Olaplex

My pampering moments at Salon De Choix are what I look forward to every month. In my recent trip down to the salon, I got to have my hair base re-colored, had a new color for my hair highlights, protected my hair with the Olaplex range (healthier hair with the colors lasting longer), did a hair treatment and had my hair trimmed. I can't express my heartfelt thanks to the wonderful peeps at the salon for taken of my hair for the past THREE years --- My hair looks good and healthy, and more manageable! Three years on this journey with Salon De Choix..... Wow! XOXO!

Lovely hair = Happy me!
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Preparing to get my hair treated and pampered!
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Snacks + Drinks + Magazines
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Simply needed a touch-up at the hair roots area!
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Chester (My wonderful stylist) and I had a short consultation and discussion. He suggested that I could try a different shade for my base color since I had the brown base color for awhile. In addition, since I felt that I would like to have brighter highlights. Chester suggested trying out a darker shade for my base color, which he promptly suggested that I try burgundy as it has been a while since I had this colour.

My highlighting color is from the Majiblond series.
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A burgundy shade from Loreal's Majirel series was selected.
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The dye for my highlights was the first to be applied onto my hair.
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For this hair makeover session, Chester recommended a different highlighting technique instead of the usual "several streaks applied in each section on a few areas". His suggestion was to have a full section of hair to be dyed in the highlight shade (under the Majiblonde series) in the inner layer. Initially, I was taken aback, as I felt it would be like color blocking, or rather like a patch of brightly-colored highlights. He assured me that as our hair moves freely when we move, it would not be like what I thought since the highlighted area will "mix" with the base color.

The highlighting technique that he suggested as shown in below picture 
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Once the dye application for my highlights was completed,
it was time to allow the dye to settle into my hair.
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Next, the burgundy base color was applied to the remaining parts of my hair.
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It was my first time that I heard of this brand "Olaplex".  This brand hails from California, and only to  be used in salons. It has been widely raved about in many international publications like Cosmopolitan, Vogue and Elle. In fact, it is said to be the "HOLY GRAIL FOR COLORED HAIR" since it protects your hair no matter how bold the hair color is, and how you want to bleach your hair to achieve the awesome color. Even Kim Kardashian swears by it, and no she was not being sponsored nor is Olaplex's spokesperson or brand ambassador.

 The products are marketed as a form of "insurance for your hair". From my understanding from what my stylist Chester had shared with me, the use of Olaplex products dramatically reduce hair breakage, for healthier hair, and to have your hair color last longer. Don't get me wrong, this is not to replace the hair treatment procedure. It is to be done BEFORE any hair treatment procedure.

The Olaplex range has 3 different steps:

No. 1 is a single ingredient additive mixed into hair color/balayage dyes and/or lightener/bleach. This multiplies molecular bonds inside the hair while the hair is being coloured - Meaning no more damage when colouring hair. This also means that the hair color lasts much longer as the internal structure of the hair has been enhanced.

No. 2 is a cream-based version of No. 1. This is to be used just after rinsing off the color dye, leave it for 20 minutes before shampooing the hair. This perfects and strengthens the bonds inside the hair while using conditioning agents. By now, your hair integrity is greater and more enhanced, hence making it to be more receptive to all other products and treatments. Example, more effective conditioning treatments, styles last longer, and less styling products need to be used to achieve the desired effect. 

No. 3 is to be used at home to strengthen your hair in between of chemical services.

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Hair professionals also dish out advice that we should only color our hair once every three months as frequent colouring will cause the hair to be weak which will lead to hair loss or breakages. Isn't it good that there are the Olaplex products out there that helps in making our hair stronger and more resilient to hair breakages? In addition, we can start playing with our hair colors more often, since our hair will be well-treated with Olaplex, having healthier  hair and a more vibrant hair color which lasts longer! After a few weeks, my hair still looks very healthy and feel smooth, and not that dry-looking despite all the hair color jobs!

I loved the fact that Salon De Choix believes in not beautifying our hair... They believe in giving their precious clients healthier and stronger hair. Think about it, what is with having beautifully-done but unhealthy and weak hair? Hence, do request for the Olaplex treatment when you are at Salon De Choix! Paying a bit more and to have healthier hair in the long run is worth it!!! I would love to have this incorporated in my future sessions at Salon De Choix.... IT FREAKING WORKS!

Other than the Loreal professional salon range, Salon De Choix carries the Shu Uemura brand too. 
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For this makeover session, I got to try the hair treatment products from the Shu Uemura Art of Hair range. I was glad to be able to try it, as I I have always loved the makeup range from this brand. From their website, it was stated that "the brand offers a beauty ritual for the hair. Built around the philosophy of Mr Shu Uemura and his experience in the field, the company supplies haircare and hairstyling products to the finest of salons, drawing on rare, natural ingredients magnified by science". There are different ranges of products to cater to different hair conditions and needs. The Shu Uemura Color Lustre range was used in my case.

Allowing the treatment cream to be fully absorbed into
my hair strands after it was applied onto my freshly-colored hair
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After rinsing off the treatment cream and having my hair to be towel-dried, the stimulating concentrate from the Kerastase Densifique range was massaged into my scalp. This serum helps in strengthening the hair bonds so that there will less hair breakages. It also helps to promote hair growth and gives a thickening effect, which is good for the long-haired us since we tend to lose more hair strands on a daily basis.  This was the second time that I used it. The first time was during my previous session in July. I could witness the improvement within one month, hence this is one treatment serum that I highly recommend! 

Stimulating Concentrate serum from
the Kerastase Densifique range
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As I am currently trying to grow my hair longer, Chester did only a bit of snipping to give my hair some layers and snip off a lil at the ends. Next, it was the hair blowing/styling moment to give me the final end-result of this hair makeover session - Of not just beautiful-looking hair, but HEALTHY and STRONG hair too!

Love the hair curls which Chester did for me! 
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Simply love the highlighted streaks which matches well
with my base color, yet very contrasting as well.
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Back view
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Chester did his finishing touch to my hair using
the Moroccan Oil Glimmer Shine.
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Ask for the Moroccan Oil procedure when you are Salon De Choix.
They offer the full range to use at the salon,
or you can buy and use it back home.
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Remember I told you the highlighting technique which
Chester suggested to me? As you can see, this is how it looks like...
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And when you flip the upper layer down, the "color block" area would not be so visible.
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Instead, it blends in well with the other layers of my hair,
giving it gives an overall harmonised look.
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No awkward color block at all! 
Chester was right. Glad I took up his recommendation!
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In fact, I grew to love the highlighted area.
It looks prefect, especially when it is kinda visible when I
clip my fringe backwards into a high bump and thicker highlighted
streaks can be seen. Something different and unique!
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This is the final look! Love the whole outfit and of course,
my newly-done hair! Thanks Salon De Choix and Chester!!! 
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If you are interested to make an appointment at
Salon De Choix,

mention my name 'Feliza'  when you call to the salon 

and get 20% discount off your total bill for the month of SEPTEMBER

(Not applicable for promotions)

CALL TO BOOK AN APPT: +65 6836 2959!

My stylist's name is Chester! 

For more information about Salon De Choix, 
check out their FACEBOOK!

Salon De Choix is located at: 
3 Killiney Road #01-06 
Winsland House 1
Singapore 239519

Thanks for reading my blog post.
Hope that you will visit Salon De Choix for your next hair session.
Give your hair the opportunity to be well taken care of by the professional team.

Here's a photo taken with my stylist, Chester!
Do get him to attend to you especially if you like my hair color!
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DBS Marina Regatta 2015 - Not Just Dragonboat Races

The DBS Marina Regatta 2015 took place this year over three weekends, and I was part of it as one of the Social Media influencers engaged by DBS Bank. You would have probably known about it, if you were following me on Twitter or Instagram.

Most happy to be in the company of the other influencers involved in this event like >> (FROM LEFT TO RIGHT)
Aik Beng Chia (whom I have been following on Instagram for his wonderful photos even before Instagram became "mainstream"), and long-time blogger-friend Geng Hui.
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Taken using my selfie camera + selfie stick

This was actually my third year visiting the event. Last year, it was a collaboration with PUB (as they are in-charge of the Marina Bay Area). You can read my previous blog posts [HERE] and [HERE]. It is not required under my job scope to blog about this year's Regatta event. But I simply want to, so to share with you the many fun-filled and interactive activities that took place, that were very distinct as compared to last few years'.

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It was the first time that DBS held the Regatta event for three weekends, instead of one, as a way to celebrate Singapore's 50th birthday, and due to the SEA games. There were other activities, other than the dragon boat races. In fact, it was an event for sportsmen, families, couples and friends.

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Here's photos from the first 2 weekends at the DBS Marina Regatta.
I was there on 30 May, 31 May, and 07 June 2015.

A close-up shot of the drum used for the dragonboat races
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A view of the towering skyscrapers in the background
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Accidental shot of the life vest which I had to wear when going down to the pontoon platform
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I loved the framing of this photo as it showed the dragon
boat, the participants, the regatta signage, and of course, the DBS
building in the background
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A selfie shot with Genghui
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Photos of the Marina Bay area:

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Photos using my selfie-flipscreen camera:

Wefie with Adrian, GengHui and WeiLi
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Wefie with Adrian, GengHui and WeiLi
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Mr Brown trying out the selfie mode with ABC. Haha!
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I was the thorn among the roses...
Being the only female influencer out of the 8-9 men haha!
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Photos of the dragon boats and the racers:
(Maybe you can spot your friends or yourself in them)

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Liked this spontaneous and cheeky shot.
Seemed like he was not nervous at all about his upcoming race!
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DBS Female Dragonboat Team
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Marina Bay Sands dragonboaters looking at the race
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Paddling furiously to the finishing line!
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Towards the end of the day...
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Supporters and Photographers at the Event:

Supporters looking at races showing on the mega-size screens
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Kudos to the videographer who was directly
under the hot sun for the whole day!
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Cosplay performances and competition:

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Other activities that took place at the Bay:

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Bikes, helmets and safety vests provided.
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Or you can be like this cosplayer and ride the unicycle haha!
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Dance Competition
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Dance Performance
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Kid's Entertainment Program
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Paddle to raise money for charity!
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Paddle to raise money for charity!
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Wall Climbing
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Flying Fox
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Live art illustrations by local artists
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Giant image board in the background is the work by one
of Singapore's most important artists and a guiding figure
in Singapore's art scene, Liu Kang.
The image depicts Life By The River, which is also the name of this painting.
(Angmo man not included haha!)
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There was an artisanal flea market, such as this social enterprise
stall which sells handmade crochet products.
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Watch movies outdoor, under the stars! (At night only)
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 Drink Milo like this female fellow!
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Photo taken with Dennis..
No idea why the camera cannot focus on us... 
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Doodle4Google contest.
Whereby the Winner gets to have their doodled Google logo uploaded on Google Singapore's homepage on National Day AND a trip to Googleplex in California!
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Cheerleading Performance
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Kid's Programmes
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Selfie with Mr Brown while we were at the stage front
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The three days which I were there for the DBS Marina Regatta were delightful as there were non-stop activities to keep me busy. The weather was quite hot, so thankfully there was the air-conditioned kid's activity tentage and media room, and of course my trusty sunblock. It was enjoyable to be in the company of the other social media influencers like those mentioned and pictured above.

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This being my 3rd year being involved in the Regatta has been great! Shall blog about the SEA Games for Sailing and the DBS Urban Beach one day... Till then, hope you enjoyed reading this photo-intensive blog post of mine. Have a great week ahead!

Photo taken after Day 1 of DBS Marina Regatta 2015
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Photo taken before heading to Day 2 of DBS Marina Regatta 2015
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