Searching for “Ibiza” on Google image and the photo below pops up as the first result. What a fantastic looking place isn’t it? Now imagine if you get to be there to watch the UEFA Champions League Final..
Let that sink in a little bit.
Located some 80 km off Valencia in Spain, Ibiza is the party capital of the world. It’s got awesome nightlife, fantastic electronic music, awesome beach, and on the 25th of May 2013, a private party none other than “IBIZA FINAL” hosted by Heineken, the official sponsor for UEFA Champions League seventh year running.
The good news is, you (or me!) have a chance to be there, and I do mean REALLY have a chance, cos I was once a winner, but more about that at the end of this post.
Participation of this contest is pretty simple and straight forward.
The location of the hidden Ibiza Final tickets needs to be unveiled. After figuring that out, clues will be sent out in an exclusive invitation. Those with the invitation can then proceed to the on-ground final and challenge for the all-inclusive VIP experience at Ibiza Final!
In simple English, you will be flown to Ibiza, Spain!
The first step to win then is simply by tweeting or checking in to Ibiza on the facebook application.
From now until the 20th of April, the more check-ins and tweets from the application you create, the sooner the location of the hidden tickets be revealed. So you know what to do!
By the way, remember to update your profile at the application as well to ensure that the invitation will be sent to you and only you.
In 2009 Suan, Horng, and I actually participated in the on-ground challenge (then at TTDI) and came up as the winners to the Exotic Island Tickets! We had our all inclusive invitation to Krabi and watched the EUFA Champions League final there, a match between Manchester United and Chelsea, where MU prevailed. You can read about our experience at Heieneken Star Final 2009 here & here.
I can only imagine that the party at Ibiza will be even more awesome. *keeping fingers crossed*
For the uninitiated, Oktoberfest is a month long celebration of good beer, good food, and plenty of performances and of course, that calls for huge celebrations.
This year is no different than previous years, GAB will again celebrate Oktoberfest in various restaurants and pubs across the country on the whole month of Oktober.
Oktoberfest at Bulldog, expect more of these!
There will be quite a lot of places celebrating Oktoberfest. On these celebrations, Paulaner, Strongbow, Guinness, Tiger Beer, and Kilkenny will be on happy hour all night long on draught.
Furthermore, available exclusively during Oktoberfest festival are Paulaner Oktoberfest Bier, Hopf Ice Beer, and 111 Zwickl. You won’t want to miss out!
If you haven’t been to one, you should! I went to Oktoberfest at Bulldog last year and had a whale of time. There were tonnes of beer to go around and they are usually coupled with awesome food, and all with very good deals too, just in the name of the celebration.
Check out the video above to get an idea of what’s awaiting.
Check out the massive beer mugs in FA’s hands
At every GAB Oktoberfest celebration, you’ll also get a 1 Litre Oktoberfest Mug with every purchase of 1 Litre Tiger Draught, look at the photo collage above, the bottom right mug is about the size of the Oktoberfest Mug you’ll be getting (held by FA, the lady in red).
All GAB brands are involved in the celebration, including one of my favorites - Guinness. In fact, I suspect that this might be even genetics as it too was my late dad’s favorite choice of drink. The black creamy beer with the distinct aroma and slight bitter taste that simply has no competition for the past 250+ years.
Everyone can enjoy this awesome goodness, bottled or draught
I’m also a huge fan of Kilkenny as well, and this brand too will be on happy hour all night long during Oktoberfest with GAB. Yes!
At whichever location, it will certainly be an entertaining night, with games and a special appearance by Die Dorf Fest Kapelle, a “Bavarian Style’ Oompah band who will be performing for the night.
KY & Haze having a Kilkenny over supper
For the definitive green beer fans, Heineken too is one of the beers featured in this celebration. Ale, Lager, or black beer, we’ve got everything covered.
So, fellow beer lovers, here is the list of Oktoberfest celebrations in Malaysia with GAB:
7/10/2011 – 798 Wine Bar, TCM
8/10/2011 – The Beer Factory, Sunway Giza
9/10/2011 – SOULed Out Sri Hartamas
11/10/2011 – Jupiter Club
12/10/2011 – Royal Selangor Club
12/10/2011 – Metro Club
13/10/2011 – The Beer Factory, Old Klang Road
13/10/2011 – Season’s Club
14/10/2011 – Cold Storage Special at Solaris, Mont Kiara
The very first Oktoberfest is said to be taken place in Munich on October 12, 1810 to commemorate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. They decided to do it again the very next year since it was a lot more successful than everyone anticipated.
However, it is pretty safe to say that even the original couple couldn’t have envisioned the appeal of Oktoberfest to be this huge. It took 200 years, but Oktoberfest is now a in full swing right here in KL! (someone should edit the Oktoberfest Celebrations article in Wikipedia if it’s not done already).
Five big celebrations of Oktoberfest happened right here in Malaysia, SOULed Out, Sid’s TTDI, and Laundry Bar in KL, Upper Penang Road in, well, Penang, and Waterfront in Kota Kinabalu.
In conjunction with Oktoberfest, Tiger Beer has some pretty awesome promotions too:
RM50 mug of 1 litre Tiger beer (you can keep the Oktoberfest mug)
A bucket of 5 Tiger Beer pints Free when you spend more than RM200 on your food bill
Free Oktoberfest Hat when you grab the 12-beer cans pack at participating hypermarket
I went to Sid’s to break my Oktoberfest virginity.
To be honest, the celebration turned out to be quite a lot bigger than I had anticipated. There was a big tent set up outside Sid’s, with hundreds of people partying right on the streets (this despite the fact that it was a weekday too), check out the video above.
After getting back from Aonang beach the night before and having decided that there isn’t exactly anywhere to have authentic Thai food at the area, Mell and I decided to seek local food elsewhere.
Thai beef noodle, with beef balls and meat
Instead of having lunch provided by Heineken at Sheraton, we walked out of the hotel and chanced up upon this little beef noodle place just a block away to the south. With some finger pointing and my super limited Thai language, we managed to order a bowl of beef ball noodle for Mell, and another bowl of mixed beef and beef ball noodle for me.
The portion was quite small, reminding me of hawker food in Penang, but they do however, tastes rather good. The beef was tender and the beef ball had a good texture going on too. I particularly like the abundance of bean sprouts and vegetables served here. It was pretty good for brunch, and it was only 30 baht each.
happiness is when you have good breakfast to start the day
While horng and suanie were still on the island hopping trip arranged by Heineken (their accounts here, and here), Mell and I thought about heading to Krabi town. That idea was scrapped as soon as we saw that the hotel shuttle charges 400 baht per person for a round trip ride, which just doesn’t make economic sense.
And I had thought that hotel shuttles are free. Thanks Sheraton, for building your resort so far away from civilization and charge significant dollars for your shuttle services, hmph!
another nameless Tomyam place near Sheraton at Krabi, Thailand
After brunch, we spent some time walking around the hotel and chilling. We also discovered that there were computers with internet access at the business center for hotel guests, free of charge! That was when I took the opportunity to check my mails and go on twitter for a bit.
Since brunch was relatively light, we got hungry again by early evening. For the early dinner, we again went exploring at the small strips of shops outside the hotel and came to this little nameless restaurant with an old lady as the head chef.
two bowls of tomyam (prawn and chicken), and omelet
Again with my limited Thai language, I tried to order a tomyam prawn (tomyam kung) and a basil chicken dish to go with rice. After spending at least 5 minutes pointing and talking, I thought I had nailed it down.
When food came, it was two bowls of tomyam instead – tomyam prawn and tomyam chicken. Mission 50% passed. I then went to the kitchen and ordered an omelet dish so that we have some variety.
The tomyam soups were not as strong tasting as those we had at Pradiphat street in Bangkok, but they were pretty good in their own rights. We finished everything and only had to pay some 200 baht for a couple well fed and satisfied stomachs.
BBQ dinner with Heineken
At night, we gathered at the hotel for a Thai BBQ dinner that was actually pretty delicious. Highlights of Champions League games were played and we met quite a few hardcore fans in the ballroom. It was hilarious how some of the fans from Cameroon reacted when Eto’o failed to score as if it was a live game. VJ Utt from MTV Asia hosted the event with another pretty lady, but I didn’t pay much attention.
Mell and I decided to take some rest before the game and we ended up sleeping in the hotel room while Horng & Suanie danced away at the canopy with giant screen. It turned out to be a decent choice, Suan was too tired to watch the game by the time we got there, and Horng was so spent after the game he ended up not able to go to work the day after. Hahaha
Champions League Final – MU vs Barcalona
Heineken did put up a great show before and during half time of the game with their over energetic cheer leading squad flipping and jumping to the music. However, the game itself was a bit anticlimactic, MU basically went to sleep after 15 minutes. Two goals later, Mell, being an MU fan, couldn’t take it anymore and so we headed back to the room to watch it on TV instead.
We had an early breakfast at the hotel and headed to the hotel by 10 something in the morning to fly back to KL. It was a pretty enjoyable holiday in spite of the rain that fell quite heavily 60% of the time we were there.
That was 3 weeks ago, I wouldn’t mind another holiday now!
Sometimes last year I went to a Heineken sponsored event at TTDI Plaza. It was a bit of a last minute plan that Horng and Suan ended up joining me to form a team of 3 and participated in a flash game competition, a game that we ultimately won against the other 9 teams of players. I had previously blogged about the game here.
The prize was a 3 day/2 night trip to Krabi for the 3 of us together with some 280 winners and media guests from all over the world during the Champions League week. Mell decided to join us to the trip as well.
Heineken basically booked the whole of Sheraton
We took an Air Asia flight to Krabi last Wednesday and arrived at the destination at around 1pm, bright and sunny. Heineken had apparently booked pretty much the whole Sheraton for the event.
I had previously stayed at the very same hotel (probably the same block), the room was very nice with its lush bed tastefully done interior design overseeing the huge garden and beach. We were each given a hotel room as the winners of the competition.
KY, Mell, Horng, and Suan enjoying lunch
After checking in and got our programs all sorted out, we were treated to the buffet lunch at the hotel. I must say that the lunch was a bit lackluster and I had initially expected a lot more out of Sheraton, but well, at least the drinks was good.
It would have been a lot more awesome if we were able to go to the Duck Noodle place instead but the hotel proved to be too far (at least 45 minutes and probably 800 baht worth of taxi ride) from where the restaurant is located.
kayaking and swimming at Sheraton (pic from Suanie.net)
After dinner, we adjourned to the beach for some fun under the sun. There were kayaking, wind surfing, beach football and a variety of other activities organized by Heineken. Mell decided that she was going to join us in kayaking while Suan was happy to be the photographer. As you can see, Mell did a great job “kayaking”, no?
We then spent some time at one of the two very nice infinity pools, it was both relaxing and tiring. A perfect start of the holiday.
Thai steamed fish, seafood tomyam, and green curry
Not wanting to risk another bad meal at the hotel, we decided to head to town for some Thai food. The taxi we managed to get was actually not exactly a proper taxi, but the lady who runs a massage place just opposite Sheraton. We negotiated with the lady to send us to Aonang town for 700 baht round trip, and we were there some 30 minutes later, it is that far.
Dinner at one of those touristy restaurants
Aonang is basically a very touristy town that is much like Batu Ferringhi in Penang. We walked for some 20 minutes and before concluded that there were no “authentic” dining place, so dinner was at a touristy restaurant by the name of Krabi Tour Thai Cusine.
We ordered seafood tomyam, green curry, vegetable, and a Thai style steamed barramundi to go with some steamed rice. The food was quite good (especially the fish), but not to the standard of those Mell and I had at Pradiphat street, Bangkok. It came to about 900 baht, a bit pricey for Krabi standard, but at least it tasted pretty good.
Thai massage is a must, look at Horng’s facial expression when he saw his masseuse
We walked along Aonang for a bit, the town is littered with shops selling a variety of art works, t-shirts, and souveniers. Suan and Horng bought an soft plastic camera underwater casing for 340 baht that turned out to be a very wise investment.
Before heading back to the hotel, we went for a Thai massage at one of the many massage parlors (for 200 baht an hour). I’ve always enjoyed Thai massage, a bit of stretching and human pretzel actions always make my body feel very relaxed and rejuvinated. Horng was a bit apprehensive of his big masseuse but she turned out to be very good at what she does. Suan, on the other hand, complained that her first massage experience did not go so well as the lady was not strong enough.
We then called our taxi and headed back to the hotel to crash, it was a pretty tiring but very enjoyable first day at Krabi.