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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Ghostly encounter, or maybe just paranoia

Been reading about First World Hotel at Genting Highlands being the most haunted hotel in Malaysia. I haven't been there for many years and was there couple of times when it first opened. Other than the fact that the rooms are basic and exceedingly small, never had any bad experience there. But am not surprised about being most haunted since it has a casino and people with crippling debt probably kill themselves there. I do remember staying in.. I can't remember was it Resort Hotel, also Genting Highlands and the windows are all locked shut. Now I think about it, I understand why.

And googled some more and am reading a lot of ghostly and frightening encounters at Ria Apartments, ALSO at Genting Highlands. And then there's even more for Amber Court Apartments. It is situated near Genting Highlands and not exactly there, new the golf club and is cheap. Read how everyone or almost everyone had spooky encounters and all disliked the place for its sparse, old furniture and badly maintained place. Really?

Well, I thought I was at Ria Apartments but now that I recall, I stayed at Ria Apartments, many years ago and it was rundown but nothing creepy. The one that now I remember is Amber Court. I remember I was there with my family when it first opened many many many years ago. I mistaken that for Ria Apartment but Ria Apartment is at Genting Highlands, a bit down but can walk to the casino and all but Amber Court is the one where we will have to drive up for can't remember how long but much much further. I didn't experience anything but my elder sister and mom did, or rather a feeling and I guess it is time I tell the story. No ghostly apparitions but something near.

When it first opened, the same older sister booked the place for one night stay. Usually we locals don't stay at Genting more than a night. Anyway it wasn't convenient so basically had to take bus or drive up and down to the main area which is the Genting Resort itself. Pretty cut off and isolated in its own strange location but cheaper and plenty of rooms.

The first thing I noticed about the room is, yes the furniture was new (so you can imagine how many years ago it was since most blog posts are about how run down the place is) but they were all haphazardly arranged, as if no concern where to put, just chuck it here and there. The rooms may be plenty since it is an apartment but very cramped due to the haphazard furniture. I don't like sleeping facing a mirror and here it was, a bed facing a mirror. Anyway I was very tired so my family went out (mom and 2 sisters) and so I was alone and frankly, nothing happened. No sounds or voices. Maybe because it was still new and so not very "occupied".

Anyway family came back, watched TV whilst I sit at the balcony outside sipping tea alone. The thing about this apartment is the balcony faces the hills. Many may think in the morning that it is nice but at night, it may be little eerie. I was happily sipping tea staring at the hills in front, nothing in particular, nothing nice to look at, just staring at the void when my older sister suddenly cried out to me to come back in, like urgently. Didn't question why and so went in. She said nothing. At night sleeping, I like to switch off the lights and yes I hated the stupid mirror where I can see myself lifting my arms and all, since I can't sleep. I could hear the wind howling outside because strangely, the room has a small window, tiny window above the beds and it wasn't opened, that was what I remember but I remember wind howling and all. I didn't even know it was windy. I do specifically remember looking at my mom, got moonlight shining in and so the room wasn't pitch black and I do remember seeing my mother sleeping soundly. You see, my mom was with me in one room, my two sisters in the other, two single beds when suddenly my mom cried out to me to switch on the lights. I refused. She was panicking and I was kinda worried since I was clueless so I then switched on the lights and she said leave the lights on.  Fell sleep.

Next day packing since one day trip and kinda notice the bed is stained red, like blood. I just assume someone had period but to my mom she felt exceedingly uncomfortable and frankly never seen my older sis and my mom leaving the place as fast as they could. My oldest sis and I didn't have such feelings. My oldest sis especially, since she doesn't believe in such stuff. She always say human beings are scarrier.

Back at home, comfortable and feeling protected and all, my mom and older sis finally told their tale of uncomfortable feeling.

I did remember telling my older sister that I didn't quite like looking at the dark hills. Other hills are ok but that one was like a void, like emptiness, nothing pretty. My older sister then told me she urged me to come back in when I was out there sipping tea looking at the hills because for a moment, she had this feeling of dread that I was gonna jump from the balcony. She panicked eventhough I had no intention of jumping but she felt like I was gonna do it.

Then my mom told me in the room that night, she couldn't sleep, her eyes wide opened. She suddenly felt heavy, and that she felt someone was in the room, other than me. I did remember seeing her sound asleep but my mom said she was never asleep. She did say she saw me lifting my arms and all, which was what I did but I insisted I saw her sound asleep! Anyway she grew very scared, she felt like she was being watched and all and that was why she quickly cried out to me to switch on the lights. 

No ghostly encounters but just a feeling. Since it was a new hotel then, maybe by the time everyone blogged about that place, someone or some things may have moved inside. To tell you the truth, I didn't like the hotel at all. I remember telling my sisters when we were leaving to never rent that place ever again. At that time I thought it was because of the haphazard placement of the furniture but now that I recall, it was a feeling that I did not recognise back then. An uncomfortable feeling, not quite fear but something was not right.

But I stress, I was alone in that apartment for a few hours, nothing bad or untoward but yes now I think about it, there was this uneasy feeling.

[O] LORD OF SHANGHAI / 梟雄 [2015][TVB]

This is a collection of various commentaries and opinions about this series under one post. If you see this at the top, this means it is updated. For more under this post, do click Read More link. I welcome your comments and your thoughts as well so do use Post A Comment and do indicate which episode you're talking about. Since this is a threaded comment system, you can reply directly to any given comments you wish to reply to. SPOILERS ALERT!!

 梟雄 / Hiu Hung

English title
Lord Of Shanghai


Broadcast period
26.10.2015 until TBA

Cast-Character & Synopsis
See here

More Writeups

When was the last time I ever said "WOW! So many people! Can't remember the names!!" for a TVB series? Never until now.

Anyway no recap. But I am doing a "Anthony Wong Chau Sang Flawless Acting Watch" which basically means I am watching him in every episode hoping each episode he exceeds my expectations with one singular moment of greatness. Just one, I am not greedy. Like Francis Ng, Anthony Wong gracing our TV screen is a blessing for all. He may not be a handsome guy or young or the slightest bit humble or friendly, but man can he act! Subtle and yet everything. Wayne Lai next to him seems a tad amateurish! But just a tad. Delicious combination. Kent Tong is the weakest of the 3 but even he is ok since he never was famous for his acting (more famous as the man who drove Barbara Yung to  suicide even if that is not accurate at all or maybe the love rat and even that is also not quite true). Anthony wasn't always a great actor, like Sean Lau and Francis Ng and Tony Leung and even Stephen Chow, they all started at TVB and they were mediocre actors once but with great potential even if they weren't exactly heartthrobs level. They weren't Andy Lau. But look at Anthony now! I wasn't planning on watching this series but I was hooked after episode 1, simply because of the level of performances I see and also so many people!Hopefully the story justifies the level of talent we see onscreen.

So let's begin with my "Anthony Wong Chau Sang Flawless Acting Watch". I hope I can fine screencaps but somehow I don't see those bothering with screencaps will ever watch this show let alone screencapture his scenes. 

The momentum is still high with some amazing performances even if some strange editing. Like how the scene of opium burning happened and then our 3 tycoons had a meeting and Anthony informed them the central government has taken the opium. Very strange. And how Ron was talking to Anthony and suddenly out of nowhere some flashback scenes involving Myolie that has ZERO connection to what was going on.

But other than that, wow... Wayne is indeed a rabid dog!

Anyway Anthony is still going strong, alternating between smiling to showing that disgust on his face, all subtly done. Best?

Three tycoons having  a meeting where Anthony informed them the opium had to be taken by the central government's guards and he found out before that someone stole the opium and it was some commander (from the war lords) who took it who had info from someone... and he was casually pointing to Wayne... 

Brilliant moment, how casual and yet how obvious and everyone's expression was simply fantastic.

Maybe too early to tell, and some dodgy editing and then there's Myolie but overall, very entertaining so I am enjoying it before it goes insane. Even Ron is good.

Ok, he really does look like he just walked from Ip Man movie. Too much powder on his face so good luck in turning back the clocks when flashback scenes unless someone else is playing him and so less flashback. I still am not sure where this series is coming from. But one scene stuck in my mind for a man like Tin who is playing a dangerous games juggling between everyone, every authority and then his own conscience.

Wayne is the angry arrogant explosive one and he and Kent are just never on the same page despite all 3 are sworn brothers running the same company selling opium. Kent is the big brother and probably the most educated. Wayne is the least educated, probably from poor background whilst Anthony, the youngest still has his small town accent which I believe he doesn't shake off perhaps as his defiance against the change of times, like he is keeping one part of himself true for himself. Anyway he is from small town, least educated and the most reasonable one of the 3 even if he will kill if he has to. Anyway Kent just beaten Wayne's man to a pulp and is at Wayne's house uninvited. Anthony was there, invited. Kent wasn't happy and Anthony was worried about these 2 explosive men meeting when suddenly Wayne appeared and apologised to Kent and even kneel and apologised again!! Kent was shocked, everyone was but Anthony, moment of genius where one second he was thinking hard trying to diffuse the "bombs" when suddenly Wayne apologised and so next second Anthony was so shocked his eyes huge and bulging and basically was shocked into total and absolute silence. 

In other words, perfect expression if you have seen the earlier part about Wayne and Kent, both egoistical men whereas Anthony was more humble.


And Matt Yeung is Wayne's son. A tad too old. Problem is TVB don't have younger actors. Well they have but they don't want to use them. I wonder why? Maybe to show Matt and Ron are same age so must look the same but even Ron is too old for his role even if he does look good, not chubby. And since Matt is a nice guy in here, my prediction is he will die.

Remember Matt Yeung's roles;

Bad guy > alive (Captain Of Destiny/Outbound Love)
Nice guy > dead (Storm In A Coccoon 

Ok, weird accent, looks like he just walked from that Ip Man movie into this series but one moment made me shut up and excited exclaimed; NOW THIS IS WHAT I CALLED ACTING!

Anthony was just informed his mentor was beaten whilst saving his opium addicted son... Anthony looked concerned and next second he was told his mentor died on his way to the hospital and suddenly Anthony was silent, in shock and seconds later as he said he is fine, his reddened teary eyes betrayed his emotions that he is keeping in check. As the seconds ticked by, his eyes got redder, still expressionless but you can see his grief, his turmoil, his pain at the news.


Anthony! I salute you!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


This is a collection of various commentaries and opinions about this series under one post. If you see this at the top, this means it is updated. For more under this post, do click Read More link. I welcome your comments and your thoughts as well so do use Post A Comment and do indicate which episode you're talking about. Since this is a threaded comment system, you can reply directly to any given comments you wish to reply to. SPOILERS ALERT!!

The episodic reviews in here are for episode 20 and onwards. For the previous episodes, please go to


English title
Captain Of Destiny


Broadcast period
21.09.2015 to TBA

Cast-Character & Synopsis
See here

More Writeups
First Impressions and full episodic thoughts from Episodes 1 to 20 can be found HERE. This present post will have my brief write ups from episodes 20 onwards.

No one dies except those stupid admirals who tried to kill perfect Man Ho. What a stupid ending. I jumped a few episodes so I still don't get how come cool killer Bowie is suddenly nice guy Bowie and whether whatever he did in the first few episodes really happened. I mean he did shoot those people. I am thinking if I should watch the last few episodes. I am fed up with this series. This series don't deserve Ruco, the perfect specimen in this series filled with so much flaws.

I can only say skip unless you love Ruco because this has his best performance todate and proves why he must be cast in a male centric palace intrigue series and yet skip because he is supported by such weak casts and even weaker story that in the end it feels like he is the only guy who turned up having done his homework and even helped complete the workbook for the teacher.

Yes, the story is THAT bad.

Oh my god! I haven't seen the latest but someone major dies. Seriously?

EPISODES 22, 23 & 24
For Ruco, I will give him all my love. For the rest, I am very annoyed this series just wants to be everything and master of none.

"You are such an unreasonable man! You're deeply dissatisfied. You hate CPT for humiliating you, first by pushing you to destroy your own ships and then the taunts with the emperor's robe. You show everyone you stern face, you're never satisfied. Sometimes, it doesn't hurt to be nice to people, to say encouraging things to people, to say good things and do good things. You don't know how lucky you are! At least you're a prince! You were born with a silver spoon in your mouth. You have all the luxury and the power in the world. Why are you still the way you are?" - Mui

Oh Mui, how bloody wrong you are!! Too many things have happened but I got a few things right. A few questions;

Is Mui in love with Man Ho?
I also don't know. She says she has the same feeling for him like she has for CPT which isn't answering the question because I am not even sure how she feels about CPT. And why should ho she feels be the centre of this series? Get lost Mui!!

Is Man Ho in love with Mui?
Yes. Here is a guy who is in love with a woman he calls unique and by unique he means someone who dares to scold him. Ha Sim! Quick! Slap him! He needs it! I will say he will love Chu Suk Kwan then! She is different for a woman of her era!

Is Man Ho a real prince?
Evidence 1 : At the age of 3, Man Ho was down with a contagious disease I think and the Emperor did not see him for 1 year. When the emperor saw him again, he noticed Man Ho was slightly different and also a huge change of temperament, more combative, more assertive, more opinionated. That was why the emperor neglected Man Ho; he likes kind sons or useless ones. And even now the Emperor has his doubts.

Evidence 2 : Does the other prince strike you as that smart and opinionated as Man Ho?

Evidence 3 : Man Ho has no recollection of life before 3. He did have the fever, lost memory.

Evidence 4 : Shun was praying and said she did something when Man Ho was so sick and she did not finish her sentence. In K drama she would have continued in her mind, stating the full story. Obviously in that 1 year Man Ho died and so she plucked a similar looking child with same disease and make him Man Ho. She said she had no choice to do what she did since the competition amongst concubines were high.

Evidence 5 : Flashback of CPT with his older sick brother some episodes ago. Except did that sick boy strike you as being ONLY THREE YEARS OLD?!
So the answer is pretty obvious. Man Ho is no prince. Question is does Eunuch Lai know? I mean who could have got the kid for her? Oh this is TVB; concubines can leave the palace like it is the Hilton.

Why Yat Hin refuses to marry Suk Kwan?
Because he doesn't like being threatened and then tied down. He basically distrusts women. And he wants to marry someone of his status or better, not a prostitute.

Why Suk Kwan wants to marry Yat Hin?
Because of 1st wife status and because she is in love with him.

Did Suk Kwan sleep with Palatine?
Nope. Palatine sees her as his goddess, so he did not touch her. What a sellout. So why is our Mui so dark skinned? Because great grandma Suk Kwan is also dark skinned. Still a sellout.

How come Mui's Ipad still works?
Still got I believe 10% battery or something. Hence it works. Or she can just recharge it by using a kite to fly it to the sky during lighting and thunderstorm. Kidding but this is TVB, to them that's perfect logic.

Is Ha Sim in love with Man Ho?
Not yet but no worries, she will be. A hot man like Man Ho can't be single for the rest of his life. It will be a disservice to all women out there.

Let me gather my thoughts. More to follow.

Ok. Got time to think about these several episodes and I feel for the most part, I absolutely enjoyed the story of Man Ho but it was Yat Hin/Suk Kwan that is not really connected to the story that seriously is most enjoyable. Man Ho is really because of Ruco and nothing else. I was very disappointed Man Ho suddenly hugs Mui at the back proclaiming his love for her, all of a sudden which isn't a shocker since already expected that. The series is now more than half way and still there's new characters like the weird Thai pirate Queen, Wosana (I think) who is supposed to be CPT's love interest. But such a late introduction is really not impacting the story much. Mui and CPT is sorta 70% in love already, you know what I mean? And after a while the story is less pirates and more everything else.

The intro of Wosana frustrates me because it takes on an element of sorta supernatural. No no, the fact that Eunuch Lai was as Astrologer and who can predict weather or whatever and can do supernatural stuff has already rubbished the series. But at least his story has a purpose. Wosana has no purpose. It suddenly becomes this supernatural Wuxia series that has less and less of the fact that our heroine is from modern day HK. Oh come on, that period of time is XXX from modern day, not XXXX from modern day. It is not so far off in the past. I hated those scenes.

Some issues also were pointless such as Wosana threatening CPT.

Some were ridiculously unfair, such as the rule that whoever wins the one to one fight becomes the pirates' commander. Well, didn't Wong Yi did just that? He won fair and square and yet suddenly Wosana appears and suddenly all the pirates agree to play some guessing games and last one standing or whoever drinks the poison wins the position. Why would they even listen to this Wosana? I mean who is she to dicate the rules? I don't like Wong Yi but he did beat the crap out of Yat and CPT fair and square.

Then there's Mui who has been consistently scolding Man Ho and suddenly, when drunk, she is attracted to him. There is no bridge to the fact that Man Ho looks like Bowie. Did her prejudices stem from the fact that he looks like villainous Bowie or suddenly that didn't matter anymore? And what makes her think CPT will ever agree to surrender to the Qings when all of them became pirates because the Qings in one way or another forced them to? Such as Kiu who was a sex slave? I don't get it.

And the kneelin apology from Yim to Shun in front of everyone with Eunuch Lai being especially vocal on how she must do it and even Ha Sim ensuring Yim apologises twice is overdone. That woman is carrying the emperor's child, if she got a son, they're all doomed. And I also don't get the emperor. I have a feeling he is pretending to be nice. That man has an agenda.

What I do get is Yat Hin and Suk Kwan's story which is enjoyable. There were also some good moments which were funny like how Man Ho was learning dancing and he looked more like he was practising kung fu.

Performance wise, this is seriously Ruco's show and no other. Love the fact how he was dressed in western clothing and enjoyed his own looks in the mirror. That man knows he is hot.

Joel Chan also manages to steal some limelight from Ruco. He has improved tremendously. Even Mandy Wong is tolerable since her Suk KWan is unique, more unique than Mui is. Oceana Zhu can act, and she acts well even if her Cantonese is off, it suits her character.

Problem is almost everyone else is not living up to the limelight especially 3 names.

Tony just absolutely lack the charisma to be CPT. Acting is fine until it requires him to be more subtle in the face of in your face moments.

Grace Chan is ok during times when she is not super excited or super cute but she is also OTT when she is super angry when everyone else is measured in their response. Most disappointing is her character is slowly losing her grip on the story; I couldn't tell she time traveled to the past since there is no reference except for her knapsack and her ipad.

Kelly is mostly ok when she is suffering or in a serious mode. But recent episodes she is acting super cute and it is super annoying and superflous sort of acting because it is so put on. Her Ha Sim should be more natural and it is not natural watching her being cute. It becomes tolerable when Ruco is next to her because Ruco tends to be like a stern parent to her but the problem is I can't stand why on earth she is putting and pulling all those faces and opening her mouth wide and all. It is pretty obvious he will end up with her anyway. He is relaxed with her. I like the fact that Ha Sim does not see herself romantically linked to the perfect Man Ho so she knows her position but I am sure later things will change.

This series is ending soon, believe it or not. And still it doesn't seem to be heading anywhere at this moment.

Very frustrating to watch.

EPISODES 20 & 21
"Ha Sim, you don't need to be a vegetarian for 3 years to absolve my sins. Those who were killed were pirates who when they were alive bullied our poor defenseless people. They deserved their end. What sins have I committed?" - Man Ho (Ep 20)
"Why not like this? I will cover my eyes, pretend I can't see anything and you (Yim) can take this emperor's robe and cut a hole through it and with it behind my back stab me once and for all with another trumped up charge... will that do?" - Man Ho (Ep 21)


For Man Ho but for the last act of episode 20 and the idea behind episode 21 ...

Just when things were going oh so well, the final act of this episode turns supernatural and suddenly we have throne fighting drama. It seems this series wants to be everything. And as expected, Mui is flip flopping between the two sides whilst Man Ho knows his place but also is a reasonable man. I hate the last act and the sudden throne fighting elements. I absolutely hate it. This series is ruining itself. It just turned stupid. But the first 35 min or so was brilliant thanks to Ruco's commanding performance. His Man Ho is as sexy as he is scary. Not sure to run away from him or run towards him.

As for Episode 21, heavenly performance by Ruco. Seriously, there should be a full palace drama with Ruco as the lead. I am pretty annoyed this series is heading that way.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

My Hua Qiangu/The Journey Of Flower photobooks

I received my HQG Fan Arts photobook today and I have to say, I am in love with it. Quality is excellent because the originals were all huge. A few small mistakes with alignment and text is sorta big but other than that, wow.

The cover is hardcover, size is 11 inches X 8.5 inches landscape. Price is not cheap. Bought with coupon at Groupon  PLUS 8 additional pages still had to top up RM30 plus. So worth it! This is a keeper even if got some alignment mistakes.





I have said and wanted to make a series of photobooks for this series and I have 5 books pending. Mainly to check out several printing companies out there since most are rather cheap.

Well, Part of my photobooks for HQG has arrived. This is the BTS version split into two books because cheaper than doing it in one book. 40 pages, 6 inches x 6 inches in size all for RM5 plus delivery I think RM12. Cheaper than printing yourself and less the hassle. I went mad a bit with the font size thinking the book's gonna be small, must be able to read but the book size is actually decent. I can actually carry them in my handbag, albeit a medium sized handbag.

Book 1 Cover

Book 1 Back

Book 1 inside
You can see the difference in print quality since one picture is better quality than the other. If they all had been great quality, it would come out clear. Now some are quite grainy despite its small size.

Both great quality

Some not so

Book 2 Cover 

Book 2 Back

Book 2 inside
Right is clearer than left

Books 1 and 2 together

Demon God kiss scenes
In Book 2, 4 pages worth!

Quite satisfied with them. Can't fault the book binding and paper quality since this is reputable company. However I would have wished for smaller text font (my fault) and making the pictures all at least 3 times brighter since this is matt paper and tends to print darker (my fault). I did make them all 2 shades brighter!

Coming soon is my Fan Art book which is bigger, hardcover and I expect that to turn out great. Now I am just afaid the font may be too big.

Still ongoing is two more books, this time solely on the scenes from the series. That will be smaller than my Fan Art version but in landscape mode. 

I am wondering how anyone could print from instagram or facebook when picture quality is worse than these. The best is using DSLR cameras.