Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

Friends, I can finally say that I’ve been to Hong Kong. Cannot believe that for the past 4 – 5 times I’ve been here for work / holiday, I’ve never made it up to the highest mountain (1,811 ft) on Hong Kong island!!

It was close to 9 p.m. when we dropped Samantha back at our hotel at Causeway Bay. The tram took us to Central Station, and we walked for 10 minutes to the Peak Tram Lower Terminus. Tickets to the peak were pretty affordable (75HKD) and we were pretty surprised at despite how late it was in the night  the tram was still operating!

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On the way up: the tram actually tilts way more than 45 degrees sky-wards, I wonder how it has never in the history of its operations backflipped towards the foot of the mountains.20140301-002556.jpg

 

Right, to backtrack to the process of getting tickets: there was still a queue at 9pm so you can just imagine how popular this destination is to tourists and locals alike. They say you should mount the peak with your lover at least once in your life, if you’ve got the chance to.20140301-002604.jpg

 

After getting tickets, it’s a short walk through the museum which takes you through the history of the tram’s operations. Similar to the one at the peak of the mountain, but less wordy.20140301-002612.jpg

 

The tram ride takes a mere 10 – 15 minutes, but it’s definitely one of those moments which you’ll be stunned by shifting perspectives of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon as the carriage ferries you and another 20 odd passengers to the top.

Mandatory shot with Bruce Lee after we alighted from the tram and began the walk to the peak (yes you need to walk a bit).20140301-002624.jpg

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And then here we are…20140301-002645.jpg

…at the top!20140301-002705.jpg

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Pictures can’t produce the same effect – the view was spectacular and absolutely breathtaking. You can see the whole of Hong Kong, literally. It was soooo windy and cold, our fingers and faces were numbed. Professional photographers are stationed at the peak to take shots of you and your companions as well, but expect to be charged a high price.20140301-002742.jpg

Pardon how ghostly I look in the shots, camera flash does that to my pale complexion.20140301-002752.jpg

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There’s a lot more to this: you can choose to dine at Bubba Gump or various other cafés and restaurants overlooking the skyline from bird’s eye view, or just walk around the spherical walkways at the peak. Madame Tussaud’s Museum is also at the peak of the mountain. There’s also a board in the open space to pen down your love notes/confessions/declarations or whatever…which is kinda cheesy but sweet if you’re into it.20140301-002856.jpg

This is how it feels like to have Hong Kong at your feet…such an amazing view of an amazing city!

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

[THAILAND] oo7.Black Moon Party

Black Moon Party Koh Samui

This is Koh Samui’s very own Black Moon Party at Chaweng Stadium on a Friday Night. Thailand’s offshore islands of Koh Phangan and Koh Samui are best known for their Full Moon, Half-Moon and Black Moon parties. Us party-goers were a good mix of Caucasians, Chinese and Japanese tourists, as well as the local Thais, filling the stadium for just 200Baht per entry. Thai artists were offering to decorate our body parts in neon body paint for a 100Baht but we managed to get ours for free! Also enjoyed the awesome spinning by the island DJs and the crazy neon party lights in the house.

Black Moon Party Koh Samui Girls

Black Moon Party Koh Samui

Black Moon Party Koh Samui

Black Moon Party Koh Samui

Black Moon Party Koh Samui

Black Moon Party Koh Samui

Black Moon Party Thailand

Black Moon Party Koh Samui

Black Moon Party Koh Samui Drinks

Black Moon Party Koh Samui Girls

Black Moon Party Koh Samui

Black Moon Party Chaweng Stadium Koh Phangan Koh Samui

Black Moon Party Koh Samui

Black Moon Party Koh Samui

Black Moon Party Koh Samui

Black Moon Party Koh Samui

Black Moon Party Koh Samui

Black Moon Party Koh Samui

Black Moon Party Koh Samui

Black Moon Party Koh Samui

Black Moon Party Koh Samui

Black Moon Party Koh Samui

Full Moon Party Samui

Party Samui

Dark Moon Party Thailand

Island Thailand Full Moon Party

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Full Moon Party Samui Thailand Girls

Full Moon Party Samui Thailand Girls

Full Moon Party Samui Thailand Girls

Full Moon Party Samui Thailand Girls

We’re gonna make it for the Full Moon Party for our next trip, definitely! Partying’s always fun and safe when you’re with the right mix.

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Soi Reggae, Chaweng Beach,
Chaweng, Koh Samui, Thailand

Book Review: Hard to Handle

I received this book in exchange for an honest review, and here it is!
hardto
Published October 1st 2013 by Forever (Grand Central Publishing)

MY REVIEW:
Coming across a Jessica Lemmon work for the first time, I’m impressed by her clear and illustrative writing. Unlike most chick-lit or contemporary popular fiction, she doesn’t have a lag or a black-hole in the plot… plus she has a way with suspense and I suspect she could also write a rad thriller piece too!

With a Harley and tattoos to boost, Aiden Downey is one helluva guy. His ex-wife left for his real estate business partner, and his mother had recently died from cancer. Tragedy turns a guy batshit crazy, or so it seems! When thrown together for a year, Sadie Howard cannot imagine the life ahead of her…having had her heart broken once by the same man she’s not about to make the same mistake – not when the sparks are obviously flying and she’s about to fall for a guy with more baggage than than she can handle.

The nice twists in the middle leaves readers wondering what’s about to happen next! A good romance fiction, definitely.

SYNOPSIS
ONCE BURNED Sadie Howard never dates a guy more than once-but Fate has other plans for her when it comes to Aiden Downey, the one that got away. Aiden loved her, left her, and broke her heart. Yet suddenly she’s bumping into him at every turn, driven to distraction by his wicked grin and rock-hard body. Now she can’t resist finishing what they started-as long as she doesn’t let herself fall in love…

TWICE AS TEMPTING Aiden Downey threw away the best thing he ever had when he let Sadie go, and now he’s determined to win back the woman he’s always wanted. Sadie agrees to let him into her life-and her bed-as long as there are no strings attached. But Aiden’s not about to make the same mistake again. Can he convince her to take a second chance on a once-in-a-lifetime love?

Book Review: Breaking Nova

I received this book from Forever (Grand Central Publishing) in exchange for a review, and here it is!
nova
Published 3rd September 2013 by FOREVER

MY REVIEW:
“Do you ever get the feeling that we’re all just lost?…Just roaming around the earth, waiting around to die.” – Landon

Jessica Sorensen is a powerful writer who knows how to play with her plot, and work her characters till they become her puppets coming to life. When an author is a master of words, he/she wields the power to stir up emotions stronger than one has ever felt before by pulling the strings on her Pinocchios.

Sorensen’s prologue takes her readers to the psychology behind why the lead characters behave the way they do, and I was drawn to Nova’s sadness and Quinton’s tragedy. So much darkness enshrouds the book that its impossible not to feel moved. For the record, this is the first review in which I’m raving about an author’s ability to create an atmosphere, and not so much on her characters!

“There’s a strange kind of serenity that comes with silence, but maybe that’s because it’s nearly impossible to achieve. Not only do I have to shut out the outside noise, but I also have to tune out the noise within me…”

Nova and Quinton are forced to deal with very harsh, very real issues. Nova’s serious OCD is punctuated by the post-traumatic stress from discovering her deceased boyfriend’s body. Quinton’s self-destructive behaviour stems from guilt over the deaths of his cousin Ryder and girlfriend Lexi.

“One, two, three. One, two, three. I can’t seem to get the counting and the obsessing out of my head. I’m always drowning in it and the memories of that god awful day that I can’t quite remember, but can’t quite forget. It owns me. I just want to feel alive, but all I feel is numb. But then I meet Quinton. He makes me feel alive and for the first time in my life, I can breathe.”

As the tragic heroes collide, so do all their fears, scars and insecurities. Each seeking solace in learning about their pasts and finding a way to move on, neither knowing how and where to take this further. When Tristan, whose sister was killed in Quinton’s accident, confessed that he likes Nova and wants Quinton to back off, the latter gives in to his guilt and packs up his feelings for Nova…briefly.

Ultimately they can’t stay away from what promises to be the start of a long arduous healing and crashing process for the two of them. Breaking Nova is the first book, and with the epilogue, we catch a glimpse of Nova’s attempt to save Quinton from himself, as she sinks further into her own depression.

As dark as everything sounds, I beg to differ that this is a depressing novel. Instead, its enlightening aspect outshines the gloom, throwing the psyche of 2 very dark minds into perspective. I’m definitely looking forward to the sequel.

If Breaking Nova was ever to be made a movie,
NOVA REED: Minka Kelly
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QUINTON CARTER: Adam Gregory
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SYNOPSIS:
Nova Reed used to have dreams-of becoming a famous drummer, of marrying her true love. But all of that was taken away in an instant. Now she’s getting by as best she can, though sometimes that means doing things the old Nova would never do. Things that are slowly eating away at her spirit. Every day blends into the next . . . until she meets Quinton Carter. His intense, honey brown eyes instantly draw her in, and he looks just about as broken as she feels inside.

Quinton once got a second chance at life-but he doesn’t want it. The tattoos on his chest are a constant reminder of what he’s done, what he’s lost. He’s sworn to never allow happiness into his life . . . but then beautiful, sweet Nova makes him smile. He knows he’s too damaged to get close to her, yet she’s the only one who can make him feel alive again. Quinton will have to decide: does he deserve to start over? Or should he pay for his past forever?

♛ Scarlet Carousel | Prologue V

{Prologue} Noemie Matsumoto’s

2017,
South Korea

When Noemie first laid eyes upon his handsomely flawed face, her heart squeezed with unexplained intrigue.

Everything about him screamed perfection, right down to his seeming lack of passion for love, lust and women, which was totally atypical considering his type. Usually, a once-over was Noemie required to have men stripped down to the bone. These creatures ran on instincts, and above all, physical needs. A rare and very fine specimen was this man.

Considering, also, the fact that he was marching down a street full of scantily clad prostitutes throwing themselves at his feet and he shrugged them all off without sparing a glance.

He was headed in her direction, his strut purposeful and quickening with the pace of her heart. Her breath caught when he was barely a foot away…

The look of menace he conjured when she attempted to catch his eye manifested as a grimace that was not unlike interminable pain. She then thought, even the silhouette of his back casted a spell of mystery on those who had the luxury of perceiving.

Just one look from him and she lost all sense of self-control.
He had a mask of a devil, albeit a painfully handsome one.

Fascination gave rise to curiosity. She tiptoed down the alley, retracing the tall, dark and charming stranger’s footsteps.

✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫

Scarlet Carousel
Searching for the centre of the universe, the centrifugal force that holds everything together.
Each spinning out of control, yet inevitably riveted.
Is this a journey with an end, or does the weight of the world settle in places where the spinning never stops.
Where then will the spiral lead them?

To be continued…

✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫

xoxo
Viktoria Jean

carcassonne & citadel

When I get a 3-day-off,
I’m catching the next flight to Paris.
After being home for 2 whole days, it’s too hot and stuffy.

pari

Perks of being sick consists of reading in bed all day and night.
I’m barely three-quarters through the 700-page novel,
and already am a newly converted Kate Mosse fan.

Kate Mosse’s Citadel painted this mysterious, though time-slip fictional, picture of Carcassonne,
complete with a load of other names I can’t for the life of me pronounce
(Languedoc, l’Oredora, Audric Baillard, Raoul Pelletier).
That aside, it’s the passionate bittersweet victory that consumes me,
the miniscule triumph of small-town Parisians/French against the all-engulfing Hitler and Nazi German,
complete with a supernatural ghost army summoned by the monk’s heretical Codex verses.
Intertwined with love-at-first-sight and war memoirs we’d never get tired of hearing.
A real lose-yourself tale to remind the modern man of ancient struggles and courage.