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Thailand Songkran Water Festival 2013
 

Celebrating New Year is always fun and exciting. It is when the town is filled with exciting activities and colourful decorations. The same goes for the Songkran Festival in Thailand. Songkran is a traditional new year celebrated in Thailand from the 13th to the 15th of April. Also known as the Songkran Water Festival, it is a part of Thailand culture. It marks the beginning of the Thai lunar calendar and is the most significant holiday in Thailand. It is also one of the festivals that are promoted by Thailand Tourism, and many tourists plan their holiday to coincide with the water festival.

 

The New Year is usually held at the end of a dry season. However, you won’t feel the heat for long if you’re in Thailand during Songkran. That’s because the streets of Thailand are overflowing with people armed with water guns and buckets of water filled with scented water, ready to fire to whomever passing by. They use water and fragrance to express love and peace to one another, so don’t be alarm. Of course, you can join in the fun too! Just be prepared with a water gun and you’re good to go. It will be a massive water fight that you cannot experience anywhere else in the world!

 

But Songkran is not just about having water fun. This is the time of year where the Thais pay respect to Buddha, offer alms to monks, and visit their elders. You may observe the images of Buddha cleansed with water and Thai fragrance, which is believed to bring prosperity to the New Year. The elders will also get a sprinkling of scented water used on the Buddha for good luck.

 

The Songkran Water Festival usually last for up to five days. So if you plan to visit Thailand, then do travel there during the Songkran Water Festival period for an exciting and fun experience that you will never forget.

 
 
2013 Malaysia F1 Grand Prix
 

Vroom your way to Sepang International Circuit for the 2013 Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix. Driving into its 15th year, the grand prix will be a great complement for your holiday trip in Malaysia. It will be held from the 22nd till the 24th of March 2013, and will be the second race of the season. Familiar names like Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa, and many others will sweep the race track with their high-powered race cars. Here, you will witness the supremacy of the racing machines from the likes of Ferrari, Renault, Lotus, Mercedes, and others.  

This high-pulse racing event will keep you gripped to your seat, while the drivers race neck-to-neck as they navigate through the sharp corners on the 5.543 km track. Designed by German architect Hermann Tilke, the circuit features a long back straight divided by only one tight hairpin, which makes it unusual and challenging for the drivers. Last year’s race saw Fernando Alonso of the Scuderia Ferrari team division dominating the circuit. Will he win again this year, or will another driver take home the cup? Be sure to visit Malaysia and cheer on your favourite team as the engines roar!

And be entertained by international artists and local celebrities before and after the Malaysia Grand Prix. Among the artist that will be performing are Guns N’ Roses, Demi Lovato, Rainbow, and others.  There will be two different concerts, namely the Twin Towers @Live 2013 and After Race Concert.

The Twin Towers @Live 2013 will be held on the 22nd and 23rd March, and will feature Demi Lovato, an American singer-songwriter and actress. The 20-year old singer will be performing her hit singles from her previous three albums. Other artists in the line-up include Korean boyband U-Kiss and girl group Rainbow.

Also, don’t miss the chance to catch Hall of Fame inductee Guns N’ Roses, who will be taking the stage at the After Race Concert. Helmed by AXL Rose, the band has been around since 1985. You would definitely remember their hit songs such as Sweet Child o’Mine, November Rain, and Welcome to the Jungle. Do take this once in a lifetime opportunity to catch them live!

 
 
For the Love of Music
 

Music has always been an integral part of entertainment. It has been around since the prehistoric era, and has since evolved to become what it is today. Different genres of music were created to cater to different audience, and new ones are emerging to offer more choice and diversity.

Sophisticated mature audience would usually listen to classical, jazz and old school rock, while the hyper young would prefer alternative rock, pop, or the rising electronic dance music. But whatever their preference in music may be, it can’t be argued that music brings people together. And the two upcoming music festivals in Singapore will do just that.

The Mosaic Music Festival and the Timbre Rock & Roots are annual music events showcasing musical talents from around the world. Talents include Grammy winners who cater to the masses and independent artists with unique sounds that are rarely heard. This will be a chance for music lovers to not only watch their favourite artists, but discover innovative sounds that may be the new soundtrack of their lives. So make it a must to visit Singapore this March!

 

MOSAIC MUSIC FESTIVAL

This year’s Mosaic Music Festival’s line-up is nothing short of spectacular. This festival will run from the 8th till the 17th of March, featuring different music genres from jazz and soul to hip hop and electronic. It will start off with Grammy-winning powerhouse Joss Stone. Only 25 years old, the R&B-soul singer started her career at the tender age of 15 and has since produced 5 studio albums, which were all critically acclaimed. Another young talent in this festival would be Esperanza Spalding, the first jazz musician to win the Grammy’s for Best New Artist. She will be performing a combination of jazz, soul, and funk numbers that will get you hyped-up.

Ska legend, Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, is another great act worth watching. Hailing from Japan, this band was formed in 1988 and initially started playing the streets and clubs in Tokyo. They have produced 17 studio albums since then, becoming one of the most influential and respected bands in Japan. You will start ‘skanking’ (a type of dance associated with ska) once the band begin their show. Other artists in the roster include Grizzly Bear (indie rock and psychedelic folk), Gilbert O’Sullivan (pop, soft rock), Mutemath (alternative, indie, and electronic), and many others. There will also be free performances by local and regional artists, which will give you more choice and a jolly good time.

The Mosaic Music Festival is not to be missed! This 10-day event will be one of the most memorable music events that you have ever attended. Visit www.mosaicmusicfestival.com to get your tickets and view the list of artists that will be performing there. Act now to avoid disappointment!

 

TIMBRE ROCK & ROOTS 2013

The Timbre Rock & Roots is a two day festival featuring top-class musicians, Grammy Awards winners, and nominees. This joint collaboration between Timbre Music Pte Ltd and Bluesfest Pty Ltd (the organiser behind East Coast Blues Festival in Australia) will be held on the 21st and 22nd March this year at Fort Canning Green. Following previous standards, this year’s roster will feature world-renowned Grammy Awards winner and nominees.

One of the artists that will sweep the stage would be Robert Plant, the lead singer of legendary rock band Led Zeppelin. After the defunct of Led Zeppelin in 1980, Plant began his work on solo albums. In 2007 and 2010, he won six and two Grammy Awards respectively for his efforts. His performance in Singapore will feature his loose band, the Sensational Space Shifters, and will include performances of his Led Zeppelin hits.

Another act not to be missed is Paul Simon, known as the half duo of Simon and Garfunkel who won 12 Grammy’s throughout the group’s career. He received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003, and is in the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, all due to his work in Simon and Garfunkel. He will be performing tracks from his latest album, “So Beautiful or So What”, which has been getting positive reviews from music critics. Other world-class artists in the line-up include Rufus Wainwright, Bonnie Raitt, Jimmy Cliff, and Tedeschi Trucks Band.

The Timbre Rock & Roots festival is not an event to be missed. Not only will you catch music legends perform, but also mingle with other concert-goers who share the same passion in music as you do. For more information and ticketing details, visit www.rockandroots.com.sg.

 

 
 
Being seen at "The Corners"
 

The busiest and most boisterous parts of Wanchai are “The Corners," two intersections of Lockhart Road, one by Luard Road and one a block away at Fenwick Street.

The areas of congregation are centered around two of the more upscale, less sleazy bars in Wanchai. Mes Amis, an open facaded bar, is generally considered the epicenter of Wanchai.

Mes’ central location on the corner of Lockhart and Luard make it a great meeting spot and crowds spill onto the street. Further up Luard Road, on the corner of Jaffe Road, there's Irish pub Delaney’s and the somewhat less reputable Amazonia, both adding to the allure of this corner.

The Fenwick-Lockhart junction is not as central to the ‘Chai but draws crowds around the nautically-themed Typhoon bar. Free shots are given out here during a Typhoon 8 warning. Hong Kong is a place where people want terribly bad weather.

And even if the weather is fine, Typhoon's barman Paul would like us to know that “it’s the best party here, especially during the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens, it gets crazy.”

Mes Amis, 83 Lockhart Road, Wanchai, +852 2527 6680 www.mesamis.com.hk
Typhoon, 37-39 Lockhart Road, Wanchai, +852 2527 2077

 
 
Dancing on bars with railings
 

One of the most popular 18-year-olds in Wanchai, Carnegie's has been propping people up on top of its bar since 1994.

In fact, as dancing on the bar top at Carnegies is so popular, the owners installed brass railings to prevent any inadvertent stage dives into crowd or staff.

With its unpretentious, grungy American rock atmosphere, Carnegies generally brings in a younger crowd than one typically found in Wanchai bars. A mix of university students, tourists and international school kids pack the place.

Whether it's a school night or not is irrelevant in Wanchai.

Carnegies, 53 Lockhart Road, Wanchai, +852 2866 6289 www.carnegies.net

 
 
Loving "Club 7-Eleven"
 

Cast aside preconceived notions that drinking outside a convenience store is something that hobos and underage kids do. “Club 7-Eleven” is a Hong Kong institution.

The franchise sells everything from Cabernet Sauvignon to Hennessy XO. Prices are low. Customers are allowed to linger.

Sounds like a great watering hole to the average Hong Konger.

“People in Hong Kong are really economical, we don’t have a big concern about drinking outside if we can get a good deal out of it,” said local Hong Konger Dan Lau, who we found tipping back a bottle of Guinness with a crowd by the 7-Eleven outlet on Luard Road.

“It’s the Hong Kong thing to do.”

There are three 7-Elevens within one block of Wanchai, forming a sort of Bermuda triangle of cut-price self-service booze.

7-Elevens in Wanchai party area: 20 Luard Road, 42-50 Lockhart Road, 64 Lockhart Road.

 
 
Embracing the dentist’s chair
 

The first bar to hit on Lockhart Road is Coyote's, which has more than 75 margaritas made from a choice of 35 tequilas.

This Mexican bar and restaurant also happens to have one of the last remaining dentist chairs in Wanchai. For a while, dentist chairs were really hot after the English football team tried one out in Hong Kong in 1996.

The antique chair at Coyote's is usually hidden in the back of the bar and brought out on request.

After handing over HK$50, lie back on the chair and think of Cancun as the obliging barman bathes your tonsils in a four-second deluge of Triple Sec and tequila direct from bottles.

A group of visiting American servicemen and women were making full use of the chair when we visited and they all gave it the thumbs up.

“Everyone knows I LOVE to drink," said Flo, from Jacksonville, Fla. "But I’ve never done anything like this. Holy s***, it’s awesome!”

Coyote’s Bar and Grill, 114-120 Lockhart Road, Wanchai, 2861 2221 www.coyotebarandgrill.com

 
 
The dirty-fun guide to Hong Kong's Wanchai bars
 

Dentist chairs, bar-top dancing, cheap drinks and how we love it all
By Dan Pordes 20 March, 2012

So many cheerful Wanchai activities; so little nighttime.

At Wanchai bars in Hong Kong, we could be sipping a rare craft beer out of a sweaty crystal chalice and still feel like we're doing something dirty.

Not quite able to shake off its history as a port of call crawling with prostitutes, Wanchai is one nightlife hot spot where the "World of Suzy Wong" image of Hong Kong still feels alive. In fact, the 1960 movie was filmed here.

Today, flashy new Wanchai bars and clubs sit in a backdrop of aging topless bars on the Lockhart Road bar strip. No matter how the chrome shines at the grand opening of a Wanchai nightclub there is always an undercurrent of sleaze.

And it's great. A Wanchai party just feels more uninhibited than other parties.

Drink prices are also attractive -- often half of those in Lan Kwai Fong -- drawing drinkers to Wanchai bars like fat flies to hot dung.

It all makes Wanchai the unofficial post-game party district for the upcoming Hong Kong Rugby Sevens weekend on March 23 to 25.

This is what people will be getting up to in Wanchai.

 
 


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