Sunday, January 20, 2019

Chinatown Festive Decoration for Lunar New Year 2019 - Year of The Oink Oink (Pig) @ Singapore

It's the official light up today to welcome the upcoming lunar year of the pig but knowing how terribly crowded Chinatown would be; i purposely took afternoon leave last Friday and made my way down for some photo-taking! 

As documented in quite a number of blog posts, the best place (that's also open to the public) to take top-down photographs of the centrepiece for the festive decorations in Chinatown would be level six of the People's Park Centre (opposite Chinatown Point). Click here

Here it is - the family of eight that took over the iconic centrepiece in between New Bridge Road and Eu Tong Sen Street this year! As it's the zodiac of the pig, be prepared for the display of everything that's piggy!  

I am a bit confused over the height of the struture; sources mentioned either 9.6 meters or 12 meters. Nevertheless, the two humongous hogs would draw attention from those walking or driving past. 

Another 180 small, little pigs were placed along the 600-meter passage separating New Bridge Road and Eu Tong Sen Street. It's too far from this angle; hence, we should proceed to the ground floor for more photos! 

Centrepiece from different angles! Designed by 11 students from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and handmade by 42 craftsmen from China, feedback for the pig lanterns this year has been rather negative.. 

To be frank, even i commented that the pigs appeared 'dirty' and not quite adorable when i first saw the photos on the web. Thankfully, the negative reviews provided an opportunity for clarification which i thought is essential given that many people, keyboard warriors inclusive, are just laymen. 

You need wires to shape the pigs and we have to admit they look rather fit for slaughter. With their purpose as lanterns, you would also require the shade for the pigs to turn pink at night. If they are already showing a light pink in daylight, they would literally turn white when lighted up! 

Pretty legit reasons although we could only confirm at night. I thought i would have to come back another day to take photos in the evening but my dad decided to join me after his work and being the filial son; i waited for him at Chinatown.

The 180 little pigs along the 600-meter, non-accessible passage; honestly, they are cute (one has a graduation cap on its head) and it's a real pity people can't, easily, take photos next to them.

Other lanterns that made up the 2,688 in Chinatown included those hung across the main roads; the simpler coin and flower kind. After the backlash from the Disney-themed Christmas decorations along Orchard Road last December, it's best to go back to the basic. 

Weirdly, the festive street bazaar started on a different day from the light up ceremony and on the day of my visit last Friday, there were a number of media companies conducting interviews and taking videos for the start of bazaar. 

I am always looking forward to the overhanging lanterns along the parallel South Bridge Road after the darn impressive one during the year of the snake. Sadly, it was utter disappointment that greeted me.

Dad met up with me and i brought him around the bazaar to soak in the festive atmosphere. If i recall correctly, he has not been to the Chinatown Lunar New Year bazaar for a long time and i am glad to be his company! More on the street bazaar in another post.

There are two bridges cutting across New Bridge Road and Eu Tong Sen Street and i would strongly you check out the one connected to People's Park Complex from Pagoda Street! 

Aside from being way wider, it doesn't feel like an overhead bridge and for the purpose of the upcoming lunar year, you can find a number of adorable pig statues for photo-taking! 

As mentioned before, dad makes a good model although he would demand the same from me. I would accommodate as i know he wouldn't upload my photos to anywhere else. 

The lanterns started to light up and the illumination from the lanterns resulted in an atmosphere that's prettier and more sparkly than daytime. 

For those naysayers, do pay a visit at night as the pigs actually look way better, lighted up. Yes, father and mother pig could have smiled more but with constant provocation from our neighbours up north; it might be good for us to remember to be defend ourselves in the year ahead.

On a lighter note, dad giving a thumbs-up for the piggy lanterns! 

Since it's his first visit in a long time, i had to bring him up to the best place for top-down photographs of the centrepiece and also an amazing view of the modern skyline behind the historical district. 

Last picture showing a closer view of the lighted up centrepiece! 

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Period for the Street Light-Up
Until 06 March 2019

Website 

Or Tor Kor Market - Known as the Best Fresh Market in Bangkok and Beside Chatuchak Weekend Market [Thailand]

I have heard of Or Tor Kor market in Bangkok but coming from Southeast Asia where wet markets are not that uncommon, i didn't think of making a trip down until i read somewhere that it's a great place to sample good quality Thai durians!

Hence, i intentionally arranged a visit after Chatuchak Weekend Market as Or Tor Kor market is connected to the humongous weekend market via the Kamphaeng Phet mrt station.

My initial assumption was that it might be as huge as Chatuchak Weekend Market but the reality shows that the single storey market could be smaller than the ones we have in Singapore. The above was taken when i was standing in the middle of the market; effectively showing half the length of Or Tor Kor market.

The durians stalls were concentrated mainly near the main entry point to the market and i didn't need to do any searching; not that i needed to since the market has a straightforward, tidy layout! I shall show you the map later on.

First thing - trying out Thai durians! It's an interesting experience as Thai durians differ from our usual Malaysian imports; even the way to eat Thai durians is different! You can check out my review here.

There's obviously more than just durians in a fresh market - sections were available for meat, vegetables and seafood as shown above. I didn't bother with the meat section as i usually couldn't stand the smell of raw meat.

My mom would likely go crazy over the dried products like dried shrimps, dried cuttlefish; nothing better than the source and she is a veteran when it comes to exploring wet markets. I should count my lucky stars that she feels that Bangkok is too hot for her liking as she can buy a ton of stuff for herself and her friends.

Aside from raw meat, i also couldn't stand the stench of salted fish; they smell like little bursts of concentrated stale sea water that irritate the nose! To be fair to those who love salted fish, their affection for it would be similar to my obsession with stinky tofu.

Processed squids and cuttlefish snacks! When i was younger, they always made me happy but sadly, they are not known to be healthy and now that i am reaching the big four o next year; i can't indulge in them that frequently anymore.

Biscuits and nuts which i would have considered buying for my family and friends if samples are readily available. I believe i can ask the stall vendor but there's always a personal obligation to buy if i 'ask' directly.

In addition to Thai durians, you can also find a wide variety of seasonal fruits that hailed from Thailand itself; for example rose apples, mangosteens.

From young, my dad has been insistent on having fruits for the family and the fridge is always filled with fruits. Durians are my favourite although custard apples came at a close second. The above are the local Southeast Asian kind which are smaller and mushier than the Taiwan's unique pineapple custard apples.

Cooked food section where you can buy your food for takeaway; similar to those street vendors but in way more hygienic conditions. Pity the Great Kon didn't join us; if he did, i bet we would try a bit of everything!

You can even find boxes of cooked crab meat for sale; guess you can easily make your own crab fishes similar to those found at the popular Nong Rim Klong.

Bags of crispy pig rinds; the ultimate sin!

Stalls selling appliances and accessories suitable for the kitchen and dining. Strange to find those sticks with hand-like ends as they are mainly used to scratch our backs since we humans can't cover 100% using our own hands whenever there's an itch.

One of the rare shops with air-conditioning in the whole Or Tor Kor Market; Kaopeenong which offers traditional Thai desserts and sweets!

Like many of Singapore's wet markets, there's a hawker centre at Or Tor Kor Market where you have a comfortable variety of Thai cuisine awaiting you!

Didn't try out any this time but given how often i visit Bangkok; i now know exactly where i can have my lunch whenever i drop by Chatuchak Weekend Market. So long i don't get waylaid by the coconut ice cream, Spanish paella and grilled honey roast pork.

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Those who are unwilling to visit Or Tor Kor market because they think it's stinky, dark and dirty should be assured that it's in fact much cleaner and tidier than most wet markets in Singapore!

Address
101 ถนน ย่านพหลโยธิน Khwaeng Chatuchak, Khet Chatuchak,
Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10900, Thailand

Location Map

As above.

Floor Plan
As above.

Website


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