The ’Jalan Jalan’ cast members’ travel woes: Broken train tracks, love hotels and more

Can you guess which of the cast members had the worst luck when it comes to traveling?

The ’Jalan Jalan’ cast members’ travel woes: Broken train tracks, love hotels and more
The ’Jalan Jalan’ cast members’ travel woes: Broken train tracks, love hotels and more
25 Aug 2018

The ’Jalan Jalan’ cast members’ travel woes: Broken train tracks, love hotels and more

The cast of upcoming Channel 8 longform drama Jalan Jalan started filming three weeks ago, and yesterday (August 24), we were invited down to their set for an experiential tour. Terence Cao played our tour guide for the day, introducing us to the set and the cast members at the same time.

The story revolves around the Zhang family, who runs a tour agency business, and is made up of Chew Chor Meng and Lin Meijiao, along with their four reel-life children Dawn Yeoh, Jeremy Chan, Jayley Woo and Joel Choo. 

The drama, which is slated to film until April 2019, will debut on Channel 8 on October 30. The cast, who revealed that they have filmed for about three weeks so far, shared that they even have filming scheduled on weekends, but chuckled that it’s not that bad after all as they’ve built up a camaraderie in the short amount of time that they’ve worked together.

So much so that they’ve even started a snack fund within the group - whoever sneezes, yawns or farts will have to contribute S$2 to the pool, and they intend to use the fund for an outing when it gets large enough. (Ed’s note: At its current state of S$6, we doubt they’re going to go very far)

While we were on set, we caught up with the cast, asking them about their jalan jalan (it means to go walk around in Singlish) habits, where we found out some shocking facts: Hong Ling ended up at a love hotel on her first day in Japan, while James Seah and his friends were in a seemingly haunted hotel (also in Japan). Jeremy also told us a bit more about the misfortunes he faced while on honeymoon with Jesseca Liu, while Joel Choo hilariously told us about his white lie to his mother when he missed his flight back home.

Read on for more!

What’s your favourite jalan jalan spot?
What’s your favourite jalan jalan spot?
25 Aug 2018

What’s your favourite jalan jalan spot?

Joel: I like going to Japan, because I like eating Japanese food.

Jayley: I actually prefer to stay at home…

Jeremy: Her version of jalan jalan is walking from the kitchen to the living room, and back into her room.

Jayley: But if it’s going overseas, I like going to Japan too! I usually go to Taiwan more often, though.

Dawn: I really like going on holiday!

Jeremy and Jayley: She does. She’s been everywhere!

Dawn: I really want to visit all the corners of the earth. If it’s just one place, I’d pick Switzerland. I went there recently and I really love it a lot.

Jeremy: I enjoy traveling too. For me, as long as I’m with the right person, I’ll be happy.

Toggle: Who’s this right person that you’re talking about?

Jeremy: Of course, it’s my other half (Jesseca Liu)!

What’s the most interesting thing that has happened while you went out jalan jalan-ing?

Joel: I just came back from Thailand. My return flight was supposed to be at 6am, but I overslept and only woke up at 8am. I told my mum I spent S$100 on a new ticket, but I actually spent a couple of hundred dollars (chuckles sheepishly).

Dawn: I think mine was worse than that. I went to Perth, but I made a mistake when I was buying my entry visa. When I was at the airport, the staff couldn’t find my passport number, and asked if I was sure that I applied for it online. I said, ‘I’m very sure, I did it a week ago, and it was approved as well!’ I showed him the email confirmation with a lot of confidence, but the airport staff told me, ‘I don’t think that’s your passport number…’ As it turned out, I filled in my old passport number rather than my new one! Our passport number changes when we get a new one…

Jeremy: That makes sense doesn’t it? You should get a new address when you move homes as well, isn’t it?

Dawn: I remembered the old one too well that I keyed it in automatically (…) Thankfully, I could apply for a visa on the spot, so I received one within five minutes! It’s just that I had to spend a little more money to get it.

Jayley: I’m quite safe when I travel because I prepare everything beforehand. We usually have a free and easy vacation, and explore the surroundings. I don’t remember any major issues, except for that time that I didn’t bring enough money (laughs).

Jeremy: What left the deepest impression [on me] was when I went on honeymoon. That was really quite amazing. The railway broke when we were on the train, the bus broke down while we were not he way to the airport, we didn’t get the visa to enter Morocco, we couldn’t get a flight out of the country, and our flight was delayed when we were on the way to Italy. None of our plans went the way we wanted it to, but because of what happened, we had a very memorable trip.

Who’s your jalan jalan buddy?
Who’s your jalan jalan buddy?
25 Aug 2018

Who’s your jalan jalan buddy?

Jeremy: I can’t answer this question because the only person I’ll go overseas with is my wife.

Dawn: I really like going out with Jeremy! We’re the new #BFFs around here.

Jeremy: Sorry, I don’t know what you’re talking about

Dawn: Fine. Usually, if we don’t have filming, I like going out with three to five of my close friends for some drinks.

Jeremy: When you’re in Singapore with your friends, you might get along really well, but if you were to go overseas with them, you’d realise things about them that you never knew about. At the same time, you might have some differences because there are some people who can shop nonstop for the entire day, while there are others who want to stop for a coffee after a while. You have to go overseas with the right people.

Dawn: I agree with this. People that you get along with in Singapore aren’t necessarily people that you’d want to travel with. You can really get to know someone by going on holiday with them.

Jayley: I usually go overseas with my sister (Hayley). Recently, I got to know the cast better so we went out to play a card game, Avalon. It’s quite intense and I’ve played it with Joel so far.

Jeremy: We played it that day, just not with you. (Dawn) is really good at it! It’s almost as if she’s not there when she’s playing the game, and that’s a really amazing.

Jayley: You have to lie a lot when you play Avalon.

Jeremy: Not only do you have to lie, you have to show your acting chops so that others will believe you.

Dawn: This game is too tiring. We act when we’re at work, and even after work, we still have to act - it’s too tiring for me!

What’s the most interesting thing that has happened since you started filming?

Jayley: We were filming along Orchard Road when we ran into the cast of You Can Be An Angel 3. It seemed like all the actors were along Orchard Road that day!

Jeremy: I have the deepest impression of Joel so far. I’ve never seen someone who can laugh at the same thing 20 times. I can do the same action 20 times and he’ll laugh every time. My character has a signature move, and he’s still laughing at that same action till now. This is something I remember very clearly.

Dawn: Honestly, it’s really hard to control your laughter when you’re filming with Jeremy. It’s not just Joel who has this problem. I have it too! It’s really hard to hold yourself together, and the director was telling me that even when my back was facing the camera, he could still see my shoulders shaking from laughter because I was trying so hard to not laugh out loud.

What’s your favourite jalan jalan spot?
What’s your favourite jalan jalan spot?
25 Aug 2018

What’s your favourite jalan jalan spot?

Hong Ling: I think they (points at Shane Pow and James Seah) probably go somewhere for drinks.

James: No way! I like to jalan jalan to my gym. I don’t drink!

Shane: By not drinking, you’ll be able to stay safe.

Hong Ling: Your nose will grow longer if you lie

Shane: I realised one thing about the three of us. All of us like going to the beach: Hong Ling is always at the beach, and the both of us recently visited beaches as well.

Hong Ling: You can call us beach boys and beach girl.

What’s your usual jalan jalan attire like, and do you pay attention to what you wear?

Shane: Of course! I like to dress up nicely. Putting aside the fact that we’re public figures, I feel that I should be considerate of others’ eyes when they go out. If I look sloppy, people might think that I’m that kind of person.

Hong Ling: I feel embarrassed to admit that I usually go out wearing quite sloppy clothing. When I come to work, I usually don’t really care about what I wear. Sorry for hurting your eyes! But if I’m going out, I’ll pay more attention to my dressing.

James: The amount of effort I put in depends on how far I’m traveling away from my home. If I’m just going downstairs to get something, I’ll still make sure that my hair is tidy and I wear something presentable. If I’m going to meet friends, I’ll pay more attention and dress up accordingly.

How long do you take to get yourself ready?
How long do you take to get yourself ready?
25 Aug 2018

How long do you take to get yourself ready?

James: I don’t take long…. Maybe 30 minutes?

Shane: Picking clothes is the hard part. When I had to attend a dinner, I thought about what I would wear but once I tried it on, I felt that it didn’t go well together. After I picked out the outfit, I realised that my shoes didn’t match. After putting on makeup and doing my hair, I took about an hour.

Hong Ling: I sometimes think that I’m quite boyish in the sense that I can finish my makeup and hair within 10 minutes.

What’s the most interesting thing that has happened while you went out jalan jalan-ing?

James: I went with my friend to Japan once. We booked our hotel for the wrong dates, and we arrived a day before we were supposed to check in. All the hotels were full, so we had no choice but to stay in a hotel called Hotel Toyol. If you know what Toyol is, you’ll know why i was afraid. (Ed’s note: Toyol is a mythical spirit in Malay mythology)

We had no choice but to stay there for a night. Our room was tiny and when we opened the window, the only thing we could see was a brick wall. The light was really dim as well. The scariest part was that when we were leaving for a meal, we suddenly heard a very scary sound: an phone started ringing out of nowhere. We were so sure that it wasn’t from our handphones, so we were really scared, but it turns out that our phone’s ringtone was reset when we changed our SIM card, so it was really from our phones. We were a bit silly.

Hong Ling: My story also happened in Japan! When I was in Osaka, my housing reservation was suddenly canceled a day before I was supposed to arrive. I had to stay in a love hotel for the first day because of that!

Shane, James: The question is, who did you stay in a love hotel with?

Hong Ling: I was alone! I felt really awkward because there were a lot of things which I felt were really strange. I only stayed there for one night and left for Kyoto after that. It was a really weird experience.

Shane: Mine was when I went to China for filming. I was in a village somewhere in Yunnan and the toilets are built quite differently there. They basically have a drain that is separated by walls. Nobody cleans the drains as well, so whatever is in there stacks up pretty high.

On the day that I had filming, I was wearing long pants but had a sudden stomachache. Can you imagine what I had to go through? After that experience, I concluded that there’s no toilet that I can’t use. Even digging a hole in the forest is a small matter to me now.

Jalan Jalan debuts Oct 30, 7.30pm on Channel 8.

WATCH: The cast of ‘Jalan Jalan’ tells us about their ‘jalan jalan’ tales!

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