AFRICA, MOROCCO, PHOTOGRAPHY, TRAVEL

Morocco Visual Diary: Falling In Love With Marrakech Again, part 2

3rd June 2016

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|| Marrakech ||

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Welcome to part 2.  The grit and all things beautiful of the ‘Red City’, it has full of unexpected surprises and hidden secrets this city has to offer, so many things to see and do, even outside the capital – Essaouira, Fez, Tangier and beyond; what’s not to love?

Enjoy the final instalment of my trip to Marrakech! I hope to visit Tangier, Fez next time!

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|| Tips for visiting the souks, more like how to survive in the souks ||

The souks is like a complex network of alleyways with shops-like Aladdin’s caves and market stalls, you’ll find all sorts of incredible things like spices, handmade babouche slippers and robes, leather bags, homeware, rugs, jewellery and trinkets and antique furnishings. chaotic and spectacular, it can be very overwhelming and frustrating to navigate around all at once.  Here my tips on how to survive in the souks.

  • Hire a local guide to accompany through the labyrinth of souks.  If you’re happy to wander alone and getting lost for the experience, get a map.
  • Keep an eye on what’s going on around you.  Expect dodging mopeds, carts and donkeys in the narrow streets of the medina, they come at you from all angles and beware of blind spots.
  • Bargaining is a skill and most of the traders spoke French and Arabic.  It would help if you had a grade A in French language, okay-ish negotiation skill and a firm attitude, you can survive.  If you can’t get a discount, smile and say ‘thanks’, move on.
  • Beware of pickpockets.  Theft happens all around you, so be vigilant and take care of your personal belongings and pockets.  It nearly happened to me once when my phone was taken out of my tote bag, thanks to my quick reaction I managed to grab it back like a bird of prey.

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AFRICA, BOTANICAL, MOROCCO, PHOTOGRAPHY, TRAVEL

Morocco Visual Diary: Falling In Love With Marrakech Again, part 1

15th May 2016

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|| Marrakech ||

Having visited Morocco multiple times and consistently magical.  Marrakech is the the city I’ll always come back to and fall in love again for many reasons – beautiful architecture and impressive decors, tranquil urban gardens, nice locals, snow capped Atlas mountains range providing impressive backdrop, beautiful mosques, arts and crafts, getting lost in the medina, hustle and bustle in the souk, savouring the flavours of Moroccan food, old colonial buildings, rich culture and heritage, hearing the call to prayer, when tradition meets new, stunning riads, seeing camels by the roadside, all under a pristine blue sky.

I start off with something ‘charming’ and ‘beautiful’ – beautiful Moroccan gardens in and around Marrakech, and a beautiful riad hotel that bodes perfectly with the garden themed visual diary.  Enjoy!

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|| Jardin Majorelle ||

Walking through through this postcard-ready serene garden of Jardin Majorelle restored by Yves Saint Laurent in the 1980s, was like something out of a fairytale.  Too Beautiful.  The garden sits just outside the medina walls of the ‘Red City’, features the famous cobalt blue house and Monet-esque water lily pond surrounded by exotic plants and lush greens, it’s one of the most beautiful gardens I’ve ever visited and an absolute calming effect on people and calming on the eye.  Although I have visited the garden twice it was worth a revisit.  Don’t miss the Berber museum, Galerie Love, and the famous Majorelle Blue square fountain, and Yve Saint Laurent Memorial.

Jardin Majorelle – Rue Yves Saint Laurent, 40090, Marrakech.

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BEAUTY, COMMISSIONS, HONG KONG, PHOTOGRAPHY

Christian Louboutin at The Nail Library

4th May 2016

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I’m very pleased to share with you my new work commissioned by Christian Louboutin and The Nail Library.  It was shot at their Po Hing Fong branch* (the best mani-pedi’s in town) in Hong Kong last year, it was a press release shoot to celebrate the exclusive beauty partnership for Christian Louboutin and The Nail Library.  The first partnership of its kind for the brand, offering customers premium pampering experience, showcase the brand’s beauty collection, and nail treatments off the Christian Louboutin Treatment Menu offered by The Nail Library, as well as spa-like treatment for hands and feet.

I have been a guest at The Nail Library and good friends with the founder for over a year, my experience with them has always been top notch, enjoyable, relaxing and I loved their lofty high ceiling space and dark wood library style, and industrial-like decors, it’s worth a visit.  I was very honoured to be asked to photograph their space and collaboration for their press release.


The Nail Library’s Christian Louboutin Treatment* is now available at their new flagship space at Level 1, 10-12 On Wo Lane, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong.  Check their Facebook page and Instagram for more details.

Photography by Kit Lee.


ASIA, INSTAGRAM, SRI LANKA, TRAVEL

Sri Lanka Visual Diary: Colombo

23rd April 2016

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A train ride through the mountains from Kandy to Colombo, was one of the highlights of the trip with spectacular views over the valley – mountains, villages, farms and trees ruffling elegantly as the train goes past.  I arrived in Colombo 3 hours later, a dramatic change of scenery was somewhat different, from the lush countryside to hustle and bustle of the big city.  Colombo has so much to offer, and becoming one of the fastest growing cities in the world with heavy investments on infrastructure – power, transport, communication.  One of the exciting infrastructure projects invested by the Chinese, is the soon-to-be Colombo Port City, making Colombo a global competitive city alongside Singapore, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Dubai and Mumbai.

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Where to stay:
I stayed at the chic new modern hotel OZO Colombo, a 2 nights stay, courtesy of the OZO Colombo.  The award-winning hotel is located within the suburban district of Marine Drive, a couple minutes from the famous Galle Road, Wellawatta Beach and the city-centre.  Stunning views overlooking the Indian Ocean and railway tracks across the road.  Opened since 2014, OZO Colombo boasts 158 cosy rooms, a gym, a rooftop pool and ON14 lounge.  Like all OZO hotels, there’s technologically-advance modern service – iPad fast track check-in system at the reception, free wifi, a cool interactive web bar ”Lectern”, features city guides, weather forecast and other information on digital touch screens.  Breakfast bar offers energising and healthy delights and Boost juice to you buzzing in the morning.  Ready yourself for a day of sightseeing with a quick bite, like mini pack lunch, from EAT2GO Grab and Go station, the and for the evening with doze-off treats with herbal teas and other warm drinks help you to get a good night’s sleep.  OZO focuses on sleep, energy and connectivity, and there’s one motto; ‘sleep tight and wake bright.’ Oh yes please.

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View from my hotel room overlooking the Indian Ocean.  In awe of the golden Sri Lankan sunset.  What a pleasant treat.
OZO Colombo – 36-38 Clifford Place, Colombo.

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ASIA, PHOTOGRAPHY, SRI LANKA, TRAVEL

Sri Lanka Visual Diary: Kandy

28th March 2016

Kandy - Sri Lanka - Kit Lee

Kandy - Sri Lanka - Kit Lee

Kandy - Sri Lanka - Kit Lee

This is Kandy, the last royal capital city of Sri Lanka.  Thanks to its spellbinding rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, this is by far one of my favourite countries to visit – with an oasis of wilderness, lush green and stunning scenery of rolling hills and valley between tree covered hill ranges, lingering smell of salivating spices, on the main road filled with hooting tuk tuks, British designed Lanka Ashok Leyland buses and colourful trucks zooming past.  Goodness me. This is Kandy.  This is Sri Lanka.

I can’t imagine it was a once a peaceful country and turned into a civil war nightmare overtaken over by the gurellia organisation, Tamil Tigers.  After 26 years military campaign, the Sri Lanka military defeated the Tamil Tigers in May 2009, bringing the civil war to an end.  In 7 short years this stunning little island became a thriving country relies heavily on tourism, resulting as one of the ultimate travel destinations.  What more could a traveller want?

To bring this trip to light, here are my visual moments highlighting the sightseeing places during the 2 day visit starting with Kandy.

Kandy - Sri Lanka - Kit Lee

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Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
It has always been my dream to visit an elephant sanctuary in Asia, a place where they are protected from harm and outside influence, ethical and cruelty-free, and gentler elephant tourism, sometimes it’s not always the case depending where you go to. I visited the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage which houses over 80 wild elephants, it was a lovely experience to see the majestic creatures up close and watching the happy elephants bathe in the river exhibiting their natural behaviours.  Thankfully it was quiet (large tour groups arrived later at peak hour) so I was able to watch the elephants munching on food, playing in the mud, scratch their behind from a rock stump, I did not see any mistreatment from the handlers. But given how this elephant orphanage is one of the hotlists for tourist attraction and the opportunity to see and bottle-feed the baby elephants, it was too commercial for my liking, but watching the elephants bathing in the river and roaming freely in the open field was the highlight of the visit.  It’s worth a visit, but be prepared it’s a tourist attraction.

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ASIA, COLLABORATION, HONG KONG, MACAU, PHOTOGRAPHY, TRAVEL

Life Well Travelled: Hong Kong and Macau

26th February 2016

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As part of the Life Well Travelled campaign with Cathay Pacific, I chose Hong Kong and Macau as my first choice of destinations.  Why Hong Kong and Macau?  First of all, I love Hong Kong even though I’ve been back so many times it feels like home, it’s a city rich with history, culture, traditions, and food, and I haven’t been to Macau before.

I arrived safely in Hong Kong after a 10 hour flight from London, an hour early than scheduled.  Not knowingly, the day I landed was the hottest day of November at 31’C, I was wearing multiple layers plus a thick and warm leather jacket, what a wardrobe disaster, I was sweating like buckets and I literally hung my head in shame.  I could not wait to return home to the rural village of Tai Po in North Territories, and turn on the air-con on full blast, eat fried noodles and drink Hong Kong style tea at my locals, ride the famous ‘ding ding’ tram, explore the unexplored, visit my favourite places, and catch up with friends and family.  This is what Life Well Travelled is all about, having fun and enjoy the moments of being in the city.

And without further ado, I’m sharing my patchwork of images and experiences along the way, and I’ve compiled a list of recommendations of things to see and do in Hong Kong and Macau.  I hope my Life Well Travelled moments inspire your next holiday destination!

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Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden – both places are one of the most beautiful and pleasant places to visit in Hong Kong. Chi Lin Nunnery is a large Buddhist complex made of elegant wooden timber, built in the style of Tang Dynasty, treasured Buddhist relics, lotus pounds, temples, and small garden.  Nan Lian Garden is a small walking distance from Chi Lin Nunnery, a winding path leading through a magnificent well kept garden and tranquil setting landscape.  Both places are located in Diamond Hill, and it’s 5 minutes walk from the MTR station.  Free entry.

Chi Lin Nunnery – 5 Chi Lin Drive, Diamond Hill, Kowloon.
Nan Lian Garden – 60 Fung Tak Drive, Diamond Hill, Kowloon.

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ASIA, COLLABORATION, HONG KONG, TRAVEL

Life Well Travelled: Cathay Pacific Business Class

3rd February 2016

Hong Kong International Airport

I can’t count how many times I have visited Hong Kong International Airport, on arrival, departure, picking up and dropping off family members in the past couple years.  With over 500 boarding gates and the airport continuing to expand to cater for more international visitors, it’s like a giant structured beehive full of busy bee workers coming in and out. The stunning modern architecture designed by British Architect legend Norman Foster continues to fascinate me when ever I come here, it’s definitely Hong Kong’s very own architectural gem.

I remember those times when I was a young child, my family travelled altogether and flew to Hong Kong, and we were seasonal flyers with Cathay Pacific.  We conquered boredom, discomfort, battled for window seat, turbulence, sleep deprivation, the best part were the amazing in-flight food.  It wasn’t easy for parents travelling with 5 young children on a long haul flight.  Fast forward to present time, a lot has improved since then – flight journeys are getting shorter, more choices of in-flight entertainment, more legroom and wider seats, and of course, customer service.  Have you heard the news that Cathay Pacific will launch a 4- times weekly service from Gatwick Airport on the 2nd September 2016?  That’s certainly good news for people who are based outside of London.

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As part of Cathay Pacific’s Life Well Travelled* campaign, I’ve partnered with Cathay Pacific to take you to a trip back to my second home, Hong Kong.  An up-coming post will follow, capturing the city’s epicentre of greatness has to offer, the hidden gems, and my top 5’s.  Visiting Macau for the first time and I chose to explore the city without a map.

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JEWELLERY, LIFESTYLE

Travelling With Jewellery

29th January 2016

Stow

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Stow

Packing and travelling with jewellery can be quite troublesome sometimes, I was never a stylistic self-indulgent person until I started adorning myself with jewellery 2 years ago, from wearing literally au naked to wearing more than 4 pieces in a day everyday.  I feel it’s important to stay stylish while travelling without shouting itself ‘come and mug me’ or looking too over done, less is more ladies!  I have a terrible habit of shoving jewellery into one dust bag or an ankle sock for last minute panic-packing, it’s disheartening to see your favourite pieces get all tangled up, scratched, bits and parts missing, and not able to wear them to an evening dinner or cocktail party, you basic look naked with a missing halo.

Thankfully a magic box came to my rescue, a beautiful hand-crafted jewellery organiser by Stow.  This stylish luxury travel jewellery case set in sandy stone colour fits neatly in all the right places, it features vibrant blue suede exterior, 2 compartments, 1 slip pocket, 1 drawstring compartment big enough to fit a chunky cuff/bangle or a watch, leather stowaway envelopes for rings and ear studs, ring box inside with ring cushion and a small compartment to fit another item, gold-tone zip around fastening and a signature orange zip pull embossed with the word Stow.  The case is made from the finest Spanish leather and Italian goat suede, hand-crafted by a traditional leather manufacturer in Southern Spain, which makes Stow travel jewellery case set ultra special and luxurious to travel with.  It’s a perfect size to store inside my carry-on or my handbag without worrying about security, thankfully I haven’t experienced any troubles travelling with it on a flight from Hong Kong to London.


Stow luxury travel jewellery 2 case set comes in sandy stone, amber orange, rose pink, jasper brown and topaz blue. They’re available to buy online, Harrods and Stow.  Thank you Stow for the beautiful jewellery case set!