Bryan Wong pampers family with “freaking expensive” Europe trip

S$240 meals and S$800 luggage bags – can the actor-host adopt us, please?

Photos: Tammi Tan, Bryan Wong/Instagram
Photos: Tammi Tan, Bryan Wong/Instagram
21 Dec 2017

Photos: Tammi Tan, Bryan Wong/Instagram

For over two weeks starting in late November, Bryan Wong was making all his Instagram followers green with envy with picturesque updates of his 18-day European adventure. The actor-host kicked off his journey by leading a tour in Norway for 12 days and spent the rest of the time with just his mother and sister (who had also joined the tour) in Italy.

And yes, the getaway was just as fabulous as it looked on social media. In fact, Bryan claimed that out of the many expeditions he has headed, this one was probably the best in terms of the standard of living – or in this case, holidaying – and “level of achievement”, specifically, their success in catching the famed northern lights in Tromsø.

“There is no guarantee that you will get to see the northern lights, so we came up with a contingency plan just in case,” the 46-year-old told Toggle at Wednesday’s imaging session for his new long-form drama Reach for the Skies.

They didn’t need a plan B: they were fortunate enough to get a glimpse on their first night, and they were treated to an even more spectacular view the next day.

That’s not the only good blessing they experienced. When they first arrived in the city, it hadn’t snowed yet – bad news for a bunch with reindeer sledding and dog sledding on the itinerary. “Everyone said that we had to pray for a miracle,” Bryan recalled. It clearly worked, and the next day, they woke up to a land that was “covered in this much snow” (Bryan indicated the thickness with his hands held about six inches apart).

Wah, really very lucky.

Continued on next slide: Bryan splurges on designer suitcases

Bryan splurges on designer suitcases
Bryan splurges on designer suitcases
21 Dec 2017

Bryan splurges on designer suitcases

Of course, not every single moment of Bryan’s journey was flawlessly smooth-sailing, particularly during the extended leg with his family, mum Margaret and big sis Varilyn, in Rome, Milan, Venice and Florence.

For starters, he lamented about the trip being “freaking expensive”. That’s to be expected for one trekking through Europe, but if you’re also shelling out the dough for two other travellers (yes, it was an all-expense paid vacation – flight, accommodation, everything – for Bryan’s mum and sis), that credit card bill is bound to come up to something rather terrifying.

Bryan, quite expectedly, refused to specify exactly how much he spent in total. However, he did let on that they stayed in hotels and easily blew an average of 150 euros (about S$239) per meal. Per meal. And then there were the RIMOWA suitcase splurges – four of them, for around 500 euros (about S$800) each.

We guess you can do the math from there… if you dare.

Continued on next slide: Bryan’s frustrations with his mum and sister

Bryan’s frustrations with his mum and sister
Bryan’s frustrations with his mum and sister
21 Dec 2017

Bryan’s frustrations with his mum and sister

When we asked which one out of the three of them is the hardest to travel with, Bryan named his sister without hesitation. “She has bleached hair, so she has to bring her own special shampoo, infrared hairdryer, everything! I was constantly worried about her lugging so many heavy things around,” he sighed.

If those weren’t troublesome enough, both women – whom Bryan described as “crazy about body lotions” and other beauty products – were happily stocking up on loads of bottles whenever they could. “And guess who had to do most of the carrying?” It was a no-brainer. “Me!”

Despite his obvious frustrations, Bryan said that – to his amazement – there were no arguments or fallouts during the trip. There was a bit of nagging on his part, though, thanks to his companions’ less-than-punctual natures.

“I’m the kind who, if I need to be somewhere at 9am, I will be there at 8.30am, but they will come down at 9.15am,” he chortled. “So at 8.45am I would go to their room and keep knocking; no one wants their family to be the last to arrive to a tour group gathering!”

Other than that, Bryan happily reported that all was well between them. “It was a good trip and I would do it all over again,” he said with a smile.

Continued on next slide: Bryan’s love triangle with Kym Ng and Pan Ling Ling in 'Reach for the Skies'

Bryan’s love triangle with Kym Ng and Pan Ling Ling in ‘Reach for the Skies’
Bryan’s love triangle with Kym Ng and Pan Ling Ling in ‘Reach for the Skies’
21 Dec 2017

Bryan’s love triangle with Kym Ng and Pan Ling Ling in ‘Reach for the Skies’

While Bryan has co-hosted numerous programmes with Kym Ng for two decades, Reach for the Skies will only be their second acting collaboration, after 2008 sitcom Folks Jump Over the Wall (which the both of them had almost completely forgotten about until someone reminded them).

In the show, their characters start off at loggerheads with one another until their abrasive relationship eventually blossoms into romance (as its bound to happen in drama land), forming a love triangle between Bryan, Kym and Pan Ling Ling on screen. That’s certainly a change of scenery from their days hosting City Beat together 20 years ago.

Bryan and Kym had hilariously different responses to our question of whether the long-time friends and colleagues would feel weird filming kissing scenes for the series: while Bryan calmly expressed his belief that they are “past that age of being awkward,” Kym dramatically begged, “Please, I hope not, or I will faint!”

Jokes aside, the consummate professional declared that if lip-locking is truly required, she has one condition for Bryan: “Don’t drink coffee for a week; I can’t stand the smell of coffee breath!”

Continued on next slide: Kym Ng dreads keeping the same hairstyle for almost a year

Kym Ng dreads keeping the same hairstyle for almost a year
Kym Ng dreads keeping the same hairstyle for almost a year
21 Dec 2017

Kym Ng dreads keeping the same hairstyle for almost a year

As someone famed for her adventurous hair colours, it’s no surprise that when Kym first heard about Reach for the Skies (her first long-form drama), what worried her the most was having to commit to the same brown bowl-like cut until shooting wraps in September 2018. “I don’t know if I will get bored of the way I look!” she lamented.

Another concern of hers is not being able to control her chuckles on set, especially with easily amused Ling Ling around. “Don’t judge a book by its cover – Ling Ling’s laughter can get out of control sometimes!” she said. “As for Bryan, however, he gives me the impression that he’s very serious while filming, so I think part of that will rub off on me as well.”

Bryan Wong's collage of all the places he visited
Bryan Wong's collage of all the places he visited
21 Dec 2017

Bryan Wong's collage of all the places he visited

Bryan Wong and his family were lucky enough to catch the gorgeous northern lights in Norway
Bryan Wong and his family were lucky enough to catch the gorgeous northern lights in Norway
21 Dec 2017

Bryan Wong and his family were lucky enough to catch the gorgeous northern lights in Norway

Bryan Wong and his mum enjoy snowy Norway and some dog sledding
Bryan Wong and his mum enjoy snowy Norway and some dog sledding
21 Dec 2017

Bryan Wong and his mum enjoy snowy Norway and some dog sledding

Bryan Wong and Kym Ng pose a photo together
Bryan Wong and Kym Ng pose a photo together
21 Dec 2017

Bryan Wong and Kym Ng pose a photo together

Reach for the Skies premieres on April 2, 7.30pm on Channel 8.

Report a problem