The One With Novotel Bloggers Hong Kong 2010

Also known as the Night With Too Much Wind. No, the bloggers didn’t do a flash mob to collectively fart in one place; though that would be a cool idea.

Now allow me to explain.

Novotel Bloggers Hong Kong 2010

The good folks of Novotel Hong Kong, with a generous blessing from the Hong Kong Tourism Board, invited a group of bloggers both local and overseas for the inaugural Novotal Blogger Hong Kong 2010. Organised by the social media pros of PRDA Asia, I was decidedly honoured to be part of the event; thanks to Josie for the invitation.

The host was very generous in accommodating the overseas bloggers with a series of activities held over what turned out to be the busiest weekend in Hong Kong. The couple of local bloggers (including yours truly) were delighted to meet some of their online friends whom, till that night, have only tweeted and PM-ed each other.

Novotel Bloggers Hong Kong 2010

This blogger event introduced Novotel Hotel to a group of influential bloggers the hospitality that is the trademark of the chain. There are three Novotel hotels in Hong Kong, located in Wanchai, Kowloon and Tung Chung. This was my first time in a Novotel Hotel, and the experience was pleasant. I was totally pampered during the few hours spent at the Wan Chai hotel at which I attended a poolside dinner together with the overseas bloggers.

Novotel Bloggers Hong Kong 2010

To me, the dinner was also affectionately known as The Night With Too Much Wind. For the record, the temperature plunged so low that night that some of the ladies were talking with chattering teeth despite the alarming number of shawls covering their shivering bodies.

Thank god I had the foresight to bring a thick leather jacket (ignoring some advice for a one piece suit) so my entire mind faculty was at my full disposal that night as I chatted up with the various bloggers for the night.

In no particular order:

Indonesia: Budi Sutomo blogs exclusively in Bahasa Indonesia. Chatting with him that night was a true test to my almost dormant Malay language. I hope I didn’t make too much of a fool of myself that night, Budi. Hope you did manage to check out the nightlife in Lan Kwai Fong! (Budi’s blog post on the event)

Australia: Minh Giang was seated at my table and humbled me and my little Canon Ixus 60 with her professional looking DSLR camera. When I said as much, she simply declared, “We all started with a digicam!”. That so sweet of you, girl, but looking at the quality of my photos from that night, I simply have to get a new camera. Perhaps not a DSLR one, but something which allows me better photos at night without flash!

Australia: Deborah Dickson-Smith writes exclusively on spa and the like. I am not an expert in the area, but I reckon it would be quite a chore to indulge in such pamperment while staying alert enough to observe bits and pieces to write about them. I would totally understand how you fell asleep at the hotel spa; I never been able to stay awake during my monthly foot massage! (Deborah’s blog post on the event)

Novotel Bloggers Hong Kong 2010

India: Ajay Jain was there with his wife, shopping his way through Hong Kong with alarming speed. Going through his travel site (which focused predominantly on India travel) gives me inspiration on how to write my own travelog better… which reminded me that my blog posts on Europe 2009, New York 2010 and Bangkok 2010 are still incomplete; shame on me!

Malaysia: Lee Khang Yi whom we spent a couple of happy minutes discussing the culinary scene of my home country, while comparing the merits of gastronomical adventure that dotted the many alleyways in Kowloon. Now you know why your friends make so many return trips to Hong Kong, don’t you?

Novotel Bloggers Hong Kong 2010

Singapore: Brad Lau, the one whom I have been reading lots about online, following his tweets and his incredibly informative food blog with gorgeous photos. Allow me to repeat that once again: the gorgeous photos. I wish I had discovered his blog while I was living in Singapore… but then again, probably that was a blessing in disguised for my then-volatile waistline. But dude, how did you manage to dine out as much as you did but never had that tummy to show for it?!

Japan: Owen Schaefer, the lone blogger of arts and the like, and with whom I exchanged more tweets that actual words at the event. But like you said (or rather, tweeted, do come back. And perhaps we can have real conversations then over some delicious dim sum. (Owen’s blog post on his first impressions on Hong Kong).

Novotel Bloggers Hong Kong 2010

And of course, a final shout out to my fellow local bloggers whom I had the pleasure to meet:
Jason Tse whom I finally meet up. Let’s hope that would be the first of many more to come!
Kelvin Ho whom, believe it or not, has not started blogging about food until recently, but he is learning the ropes fast! It’s never too late, brother. And what about those late nights you are so eager to join me in? Hehe.
Lo Yan blogs entirely in Chinese. Her detailed blog post on the event would be the definite food review of the excellent, excellent food we devoured for the night
Fabrice Lau whom unfortunately I did not manage to talk very much too, but hey HK is not that big (foodie scene wise) so I am sure our paths will cross again.

The ultimate aim of the weekend-long event was of course to introduce Hong Kong to these travel, food, art and lifestyle bloggers. To many of them, it was their first visit to this metropolitan city. With so many activities thrown into the mix – meals at Michelin star restaurants, Halloween treats at Ocean Park & Disneyland, nights at Novotels – the overseas bloggers certainly got a wholesome taste of Hong Kong, on top of the many side trips they made all over the place.

And what is there not to like? Hong Kong surprises me at every turn. In the short time I have lived here, I have enjoyed the sunny beaches, gorgeous outlying islands, popular tourist spots and traditional villages.

Living in Hong Kong is and will always be an adventure.

P.S.: For you Novotel bloggers, if you have blogged about your Novotel experience, drop me a line so that I can update the link in this post!

7 Thoughts on “The One With Novotel Bloggers Hong Kong 2010

  1. You just need to make sure you go to the ones in all the other countries now!

  2. If there is a place I would really like to experience for the first time, it would be Manila. There is something about the place which both attract and repulse me.

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  4. HK Epicurus on 17 November, 2010 at 3:46 pm said:

    Nice to meet you too Raz,

    as for the late night outs keke, I am still up for it definitely ~ just came back to HK and still need to sort out a few things :P

    Talk to you again soon,

    K. aka HK Epicurus

  5. I figured you must be away. Haha, cool, you know what number to buzz!

  6. Nice! Would have liked to be in one of those events :D

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