It is a very picturesque time of the city, namely if there is Chinese New Year celebration. We have experienced it and it was great - though very busy, but we have suceeded to watch the spirits dance (Lion dance) in the district as well as in one of the temples. sometimes you find low (max 2 floor houses and picturesque environment) but in other parts it all becomes a bit more modern and higher rise buildings. One of highlights for us was hidden temple among the skyscrapers of the Bank District of the city. Gate between two different worlds.
1 Boat Quay at night. The colourful lights provide magical atmosphere and beautifully lit the former chinese peranakan terrace houses and shops and you can choose from many restaurants and bars to enjoy hot evening outside (of course, if it does not rain).
2 Chinatown is bustling, all is open and lively - busy colourful Peranakan shop-houses, people walking to eat and omnipresent sounds and smells.
3 Tan`s coconut cakes were the best ones we have ever tasted. We returned there everyday when in Singapore.
4 Chinatown offers a lot more than just the restored Peranakan shop-houses, ethnic places of worship and eateries, but at some point human needs ask for food.
5 You can never get hungry in the Chinatown. There are so many outdoor restaurants that offer delicious food. This is somewhere near but not in Boat Quay.
6 Sticks, flowers, offerings and beautiful decoration. All that is inextricable part of any temple in Singapore.
7 When you leave the front streats with shops and restaurants, you can find relatively quiet places that show you the other side of the modern life requirements. This is the number of the air-conditioning units. It is also true that for dress-code at work some cooling is necessary to be able to survive in a shirt and suit. However, the abrupt changes in the temperature between outside and any inside including public transport is enormous.
9 New Bridge road decorated for the Year of the Goat celebrations. From the crossing next to the Furama hotel.
10 Waterloo street is one of the centres to get the right temple offerings and flowers. It is a wide pedestrian street only, but stalls made it quite narrow and walking by may be quite crowded. The flowers sold are beautiful.
11 Lion is to bring happines and protection against evil spirits this is based on a story that a monk had a dream in which there were many sorrows and evils plaguing the land. The monk prayed and asked the gods how he could prevent the misfortune. The gods told him that a lion would protect them and fight back the evils.
13 Lion dance ceremony is performed to scare away evil spirits and to summon luck and fortune. We have seen many of dances in various places - restaurants, shops and even temples. The lion dance varies in different countries, but Singapore lions have various colours and constitute of 2 people. One bearing the head and the other is 2nd half of the body. Head is huge with large eyes and a horn in the top of the head, movable mouth to eat offerings.
14 The lion dance is usually performed by various Kung Fu schools as it requires powerful moves and strength in stance. Style varied during years and it looks like that He Shan style is the one performed in Singapore - because of its richness of expression, unique footwork, magnificent-looking appearance and vigorous drumming style. When the dancing lion enters a village or township, it is supposed to pay its respects first at the local temple(s), then to the ancestors at the ancestral hall, and finally through the streets to bring happiness to all the people. The dancers are given task to do - find a hidden offering, test/taste it and entertain people. Lion groups are awarded with offering and a red envelope (with money) if they performed well.
15 Chinese Thian Hock Keng Temple in the Financial District in Singapore is beautifully decorated with dragons and many other statues and paintings.
16 Yueh Hai Ching Temple, also known as Wak Hai Cheng Bio (translated as Temple of the Calm Sea), is a Chinese temple in the Financial District in Singapore. We were amazed by its court with hundreds of burning large incense coils, huge red terracota ovens in which offerings to gods and ancestors are burnt to ask them for help and honour them. Splendid decoration and yet the surroundings of this temple of dignity is totally different, high, strict and correct Financial District. What a contrast! We have loved these huge incense coils, it was the first time we have seen them. Just learned that it closed for restoration since February 2011.