“It” girl Venice Min has always loved traveling even before trying her hand at commercial modelling. The former ballerina and now car racing enthusiast has been writing about her trips to Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York, and other breathtaking cities around the world in her blog and posting gorgeous photos on her Instagram.
These travels inspired Lifestyle Asia KL to organise a trip and bring her — together with a few other #LSAFriends — on a nine-day trip to Switzerland and France earlier this month. We stayed at Tropical Snowman Chalet, an 8,800 square feet property located in the rustic Saint-Gervais-les-Bais in Rhone-Alpes. This charming little French village is near the popular ski resort area of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, where a plethora of adrenaline-pumping activities await.
With the help of Malaysian entrepreneur Nicholas Wong, we were able to give Venice her first paragliding and hot air balloon experience, sending her flying over Mont Blanc — the highest peak in Western Europe. The small team eventually joined her for a once-in-a-lifetime white water rafting experience with the scenic views of the French Alps in the background.
In between days filled with exciting sports activities, we also brought the country’s top commercial model to gastronomic journey in France and Switzerland. From home-cooked French fare to haute-cuisine flavours in Geneva, here are highlights of Venice’s #LSAExperience in the French Alps.
After landing at the Cointrin International Airport in Geneva, Lifestyle Asia KL took Venice and a few #LSAFriends on more than an hour drive to Evasion Mont Blanc in France. This picturesque view greeted the entire team upon arriving at the Tropical Snowman Chalet, an 8,800 square feet chalet that is located in Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, Rhone-Alpes.
After a quick rest, Tropical Snowman Chalet owner Nicholas Wong brought our small contingent to Megeva, a beautiful ski resort village in Southern France. Foodie-friendly and upscale, the cobblestone alpine village is also known for its upmarket hotels and designer boutiques.
Taking it slow the next day, recovering from jet lag wasn’t so bad at all. The panoramic views surrounding the ski resort area of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc made the team forget about their exhaustion.
After enjoying a sumptuous lunch in Chamonix, Venice and the rest of the gang decided to stop by Carrefour — a chain of proximity convenience stores and supermarkets — to buy food and other groceries. The model and car racer couldn’t resist playing with donkeys that were around the neighbourhood on their way back to the chalet.
Fully rested and recharged, the team woke up at around 5 o’clock in the morning on the third day to get an early head start for an exciting day at Mont Blanc, which is the highest mountain in the French Alps as well as Western Europe.
Excited and a little bit nervous, Venice didn’t mind the cold as she stretches under the sun surrounded by the beautiful mist and snow-capped surrounding of the French Alps. Can you guess what’s on her itinerary?
Chamonix may be known for skiing, but it’s also a good jump off for paragliding. It was her first time to do the extreme sport and she couldn’t get enough of the spectacular view of the French Alps 2,317 metres above the ground.
With adrenaline still pumping, Venice joined Lifestyle Asia KL to go on an 8-kilometre water rafting, which is one of the white water sports that are also popular in Chamonix. They also stopped by nearby commune of Sallanches to take in the fantastic view of nature.
Getting a breather from the active alpine lifestyle in France, Venice followed Lifestyle Asia KL the next day to visit the factory and headquarters of Longines in Saint-Imier, Switzerland. After a nice luncheon, Longines executives gave the team a tour to their museum, which houses around 800 written records and logs of all the watches that Longines has ever made and sold between 1867 and 1969.
Aside from seeing the collection of iconic Longines watches, the group was also shown a special room, where watch mechanisms and components down to the smaller wires and screws of every single Longine timepiece ever assembled from 1867 onwards are kept.
The rains pouring down Saint-Gervais-les-Bains prompted the group to stay at Tropical Snowman Chalet and explore the neighbourhood for the most part of their fifth day staying in France.
The good weather that followed the next day allowed the team to do another thrilling activity that’s popular in Chamonix — riding a hot air balloon.
Perhaps one of the highlights of the trip was to silently sneak up on the mountains and follow in the steps of Jules Vern as the wind carried the team up and away over the mountains of France, Italy, and Switzerland in this 90-minute hot air balloon flight.
The day was too good to be spent just hanging out doing nothing in Chamonix, prompting the team to drive for a nice lunch in Geneva, Switzerland.
The hub for diplomacy and banking, Venice enjoyed dining in one of the city’s dearth of high-end restaurants, where they had a taste of haute-cuisine.
On the way back to Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, this beautiful French restaurant caught Lifestyle Asia KL’s attention that they had to stop by for a hearty dinner.
France, indeed, has no shortage of fab restaurants like this chalet-chic eatery where the team enjoyed home-cooked French fare.
On our last night in France, Tropical Snowman Chalet hosted an intimate dinner for Lifestyle Asia KL before the team’s flies back to Kuala Lumpur.