Monday, February 3, 2020

How i spent my Chinese New Year

Hi Dearies,

I think you will be curious what Chinese will do during CNY, I will share with you how I spent time with family this year.

1. Giving Red packet (Ang Bao)
This year is my first year celebrating CNY as a married person. There are two legends about Ang Pow in ancient china. In one of them, the Eight Immortals transform themselves into coins to help an elderly couple save their son from a demon named Sui. On the eve of Chinese New Year, these eight coins were wrapped in red paper and placed under the child’s pillow to ward off the demon. Parents eventually adopted this practice and would give their children money wrapped in red paper, which was termed ya sui qian 压岁钱(money that can suppress the evil).The second legend recounts the joyous occasion of the birth of the son of Emperor Xuanzong, during the Tang Dynasty. The emperor gave gold and silver coins to his concubine to be used as charms to protect the baby. The people subsequently adopted this practice and began giving money to their children as gifts, normally for people younger than you. So it is a bit heart pain, if you have lots of relatives because in Singapore, we will give $6, $8 or $10 (in even numbers), because Chinese believe good things come in pairs.

2. Reunion Dinner on Eve of CNY

It is often considered the most important get-together meal of the entire year and symbolized full family together in Chinese Traditions.

3. Putting up Decorations

The color red is much loved by the Chinese in general as it represents happiness and good fortune. Below are some popular decorations used to create festivity for the celebration.The most common word is fu 福, happiness and good fortune. It is written with calligraphy onto a square piece of red paper. These can then be pasted onto walls, doors or windows.

5. Lou Hei

In Singapore and Malaysia, we love to Lou Hei and eat Yu Sheng. “Lo Hei” in Cantonese, where 捞 “lo” (literally mixing) means “tossing up good fortune”, refers to the ritual adopted in Singapore of tossing the yu sheng and saying of auspicious phrases before eating it. We believed that the higher the toss, the better your prospects and fortune in the year ahead so you will see all kind of tossing online, and the purpose is wishing good luck in the coming year.

6. House Visiting to friends and relatives house
Once in a year event, you will need to get kids gifts and CNY goodies to express good wishes to each other and an important Chinese New Year tradition is to visit relatives. Generally speaking, people drop in at relatives and friends' houses, bringing gifts or red envelopes, and greeting one another with 'Happy New Year' within these 15 days.

 7. Visit River Hong Bao 2020

Once a year even you shouldn't miss. Dress up in your new clothes and take nice photos with the lovely decorations and read up your chinese zodiac prospect this year. Also, enjoy some live calligraphy artwork by some chinese association, and bring home a piece.

I love the fireworks and the performance there.


Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Chiang Mai Trip

Hi Dearies,

Just back from my Thailand Chiang Mai Trip with family. I took my flight with Scoot, the flight duration is around 3 hours.

Yes after reaching at Chiang Mai airport, remember to find a taxi with airport crew in uniform. Fixed rate of 150THB to any city location.

And there we reached our guest house: Phathai House, they have excellent big 4 person family room and walking distance to night market and old city.

Booking link
 2 night markets available during weekend, Sunday Walking street is the biggest runs from Tha Pae Gate going towards Ratchadamnoen Road in the west. There are plenty of foot massage on the street, and eateries as well. You will need to take your time and find a table and grab all the food you like.

Opening Hours: Sundays 16:00 – 22:00
Location: Tha Pae Gate to Ratchadamnoen Road

Wualai Walking Street happens on every Saturday. The market is named after Wualai, which links to Thipanet Road – just off the south side of the old city walls.

Apart from visiting their famous temples, I booked a tour to Chiang Rai to visit the famous white temple depicts heaven and hell. We will visit some local tour group to compare the price and you can ask for discount. Remember to check with them whether the entrance tickets fee is included.

From Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai, the ride is about 3.5 hours, and we paid around 980 baht for a day trip, includes a simple buffet lunch.

Wat Rong Khun - White Temple
Super beautiful temple created by artist Chalermchai Kositpipat.

The bridge of "the cycle of rebirth" is so pretty. Inside the wall in the temples, you get to see Doraemon, Harry Potter, all the super heroes, according to the tour guide, it means if you did good deeds like saving people, you will be in heaven.

Inside the temple, we are not allow to take any photos :(

Wat Rong Suea Ten - Blue Temple

The name ‘Rong Suea Ten’ in Thai, translates as ‘house of the dancing tiger’ because historically, the area surrounding the temple, was full of wildlife, in particular tigers who leapt into the nearby Mae Kok river. The creator of Blue Temple was an artist named Putha Kabkaew who is the apprentice of Chalermchai Kositpipat, the artist who designed the White Temple.

You can try their beautiful coconut ice cream at the exit of the temples

Royal Park Rajapruek

A must visit place for beautiful flowers, architectures, and places to learn about agriculture.
The place is huge, you can take the free buggy ride, comes with the 200THB entrance fee to explore the whole garden. I personally recommend the orchid garden. Inside you get to see nice tulip too :)

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep
A must visit temple when you are in Chiang Mai. You will need to pay 50 baht for admission and 30 bath for cable car so you dont have to climb the 300+ naga staircase.

But the view is absolutely worth the visit.