Photos: Teo Sijia
Video: Charlene Chong
Are you a light or heavy packer? Organised or messy? A last minute packer or a well-prepared traveller?
These were a few burning questions we posed to the cast of Channel 8’s long-form drama series Jalan Jalan at the show’s press conference, where we invited them to bring and share with us some of their must-have travel essentials when they are on an overseas trip.
It was an intimate session, to say the least, with the actors airing some of their insecurities and deepest, darkest secrets, and we had it all captured on camera.
We picked up a couple of interesting celebrity trivia about the cast of Jalan Jalan: there is a self-professed fitness nut who needs to work out every day when he’s travelling because of his sweet tooth; a gadget girl who can’t live without her arsenal of techy stuff (even though it weighs a ton); and an idiosyncratic traveller who packs two of everything, just to name a few…
This week, we have Hong Ling, who plays ‘Qing Qing’ (Jiang Xiao Qing), a simple girl-next-door who works at the Zhang family’s travel agency. Despite her humble upbringing, there’s more to Qing Qing’s family background than meets the eye, like how well-kempt Hong Ling is also the tardiest person around.
The actress admitted that she has a bit of a reputation for leaving her things “all over” since her 118 days in the studio. “My wardrobe area was really messy – my clothes would be turned inside out, my bags were strewn all over the place and Chew Chor Meng da ge would say things like he feels he’s at the Salvation Army (laughs).”
Hong Ling’s ‘messy’ habits have been carried forward to the Jalan Jalan set too.
“When I reach the artiste’s rest room [for Jalan Jalan], I’d just leave my bag at one corner after I change into my character’s outfit, and my shoes and bag are strewn all over the place. Sometimes even Jayley [Woo] will help me to put things neatly,” she added with a chuckle. “It’s like she cleans up after me and I feel so embarrassed about it.”
Her messiness also translates into a haphazard style of packing– especially at the end of the trip when her suitcase is filled to the brim with clothes and she has no choice but to “randomly stuff” things inside.
What is one toiletry item that Hong Ling swears by to avoid unnecessary stinky experiences? Read on for more, and watch the video below!
Jalan Jalan is now showing weekdays, 7.30pm on Channel 8. Watch past episodes of Jalan Jalan on Toggle.
Hong Ling's must-have toilet drops and bath bomb.
#1 Exercise band
“This is something I must bring because you know how we tend to eat a lot when we’re overseas? Which is why I need to exercise. This is a very convenient and light exercise band – you just have to tie it around one leg and raise the other leg to help firm your thighs. Isn’t this great? You can use it for your thighs and even your gluts, and you can use it anywhere – except on the plane perhaps.”
#2 Toilet drops
“When you’re overseas and have to share a room with your friend and you need to do your ‘big business’ in the toilet… it might stink. So if you’re embarrassed [about the smell], you just need to drop two drops of this in the toilet bowl and it’ll smell fragrant. And when you’re done with the loo, your friend might go: ‘Wah, why does Hong Ling’s ‘big business’ smell so good?!’ Because, you know, you shouldn’t leave a negative impression [on others] when you’re a beautiful woman (laughs). So this is really important. Thanks Shane, for introducing this to me.”
#3 Bath bombs
“This looks like a tablet but it is a soap bath bomb and a must-have. I love taking baths because I don’t have a bathtub at home… You must relax when you’re overseas and when you put this in the bathtub and see it bubbling, it feels good and smells fabulous. It’s very fantasy-like. So when booking hotel rooms, I always make sure to check if it comes with a bathtub. For a 10-day trip, I’d need to have a soak in the bathtub at least twice.”
#4 Dry shampoo
“This was introduced to me by [He] Ying Ying… Sometimes when I visit a cold country, I don’t want to wash my hair – and I’m a lazy person by nature (chuckles). So if I don’t wash my hair, I can use this dry shampoo instead.”
#5 Medicine bag
“[I have everything] from Panadol to sore throat lozenges and even plaster. When you are abroad, you don’t want to be unwell, so you need all these medication to keep yourself safe. A mask [is also important] and a must-wear in the airport because I’m afraid people might recognise me when I’m there. (Laughs)”
Kayly Loh’s the gadget girl you’d want to travel with
Joel Choo’s packing problems (and fails)
Why does Michelle Wong always travel with a face roller?
James Seah and his love for ‘basic’ underwear
Dawn Yeoh, the ‘reformed’ traveller
The ’Jalan Jalan’ cast members’ travel woes: Broken train tracks, love hotels and more