44/365 Feb. 14, 2010

After another lazy start followed by tennis, swimming or walking, we headed down to Marina Bay to check out the River Hong Bao event, a Chinese New Year tradition according to the website.

When we first arrived, we spent some time enjoying the view of the harbor.  Near the middle of this picture is the famous Merlion fountain which is an iconic image here.  Behind it is the grand Fullerton Hotel, a gem of an old hotel, full of lovely woodwork.  


Across the harbor is Sentosa Island. Here you can see the new Sands Integrated Resort which will house a casino at the top.  Yes, they are building a boat on top of the three hotel towers.  Our friend Faizul left SAS to go be a lead systems engineer there.  The resort looks to be about six months from opening.


The River Hang Bao event was small. Not much going on. It appeared that everything there lit up at night so that is probably when most people go. The handicraft booths were empty at this time of day.

Of all the displays, the giant inflated God of Good Fortune was the tallest.  


Since this is the Year of the Tiger there was a big tiger display which also appeared to light up.  Behind it is the Esplanade where I saw the opera a week or so ago.



And here was something I’d never seen before, a sculpture made of ceramic spoons.  One side had a peacock and the other side had a dragon.  It came all the way from Chengdu, China, brought as part of an exhibit from the Chengdu Tourism Board.



Here is an exhibit that would also be illuminated at night.  It shows Chengdu girls dancing with peacocks. 


There was also a display for each of the twelve zodiac signs of the Chinese Lunar Calendar.  Kent and Thom were both born in the Year of the Dog so I snapped their photos in front of that exhibit. 




Even the street outside of the Marina Bay area was decked out for the holiday.



As we walked over to Boat Quay and the Clarke Quay I snapped this shot of the Esplanade and the Singapore Flyer.


On that walk we bought a real ice cream sandwich to split. The man cut off a slab of Wall’s ice cream and then nestled it between two crispy wafers. We went with chocolate ice cream but since there was only one knife, Ginny had a bit of durian ice cream on her bit.   They were sold out of corn ice cream.  Instead of wafers, you could have two slices of white bread instead. That was actually a more popular option than the wafers, based on our observations of the crowd.

Nearby was a group of Falun Gong devotees meditating and distributing literature. We had never seen that before in Singapore.

We had drinks at Clarke Quay, then struggled to find a taxi to take us to the Singapore Botanical Gardens. The gardens were as lovely as ever.  From there we hiked up to Dempsey Hill and ate dinner at the Red Dot Brewery.  Since it was Valentine’s Day we received heart-shaped balloons. When we reached home, it was our good fortune to see two very little girls sitting on the bench waiting for their dad who was talking with the guards.  The tiny girls were delighted to receive the balloons. Our last glimpse of them was with huge smiles on their faces as they admired their new toys.  It was a nice ending to a fun but very sweaty day.







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