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Pole dancing at Hong Lim Park

2016 January 28

Dressed in bright eye-catching costumes, thirteen pairs of pole dancers sent hearts racing at Hong Lim Park over the weekend. The dancers, all of whom demonstrated great skill, strength and coordination, were participating in the 9th International Lion Dance Competition being held over two evenings as part of Chinatown Celebrates Chinese New Year 2016.

The winning lion - from China's Foshan Huang Feihong Memorial Hall, in action. The winning lion – from China’s Foshan Huang Feihong Memorial Hall, in action.

The competition, which attracted thirteen teams from China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, required each pair of lion dancers to perform rather dangerous looking stunts atop ”plum blossom poles” or meihuazhuang (梅花桩).

JeromeLim-5411 The second placed lion form Taiwan’s Changxing Master Lu’s Lion and Dragon Dance troupe.

China’s Foshan Huang Feihong Memorial Hall (佛山黄飞鸿纪念馆) took first place with a score of 9.4 points, edging out Taiwan’s Changxing Master Lu’s Lion and Dragon Dance troupe (台湾长兴吕师父龍獅团) who scored 9.31 points.


More photographs

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The author also blogs on The Long and Winding Road.


Don’t under-ESTIE-mate this 8-year old

2016 January 26

All eyes will surely be on eight-year old Estie Kung when MAN VS. CHILD: CHEF SHOWDOWN premiers this evening (26 January) on A+E Networks’ Lifetime channel (StarHub TV Channel 514). The cooking competition series, which made its debut in the U.S., has some of America’s young culinary talents taking on professional chefs. The precocious Estie will be the youngest of the five young chefs who will feature in the 13-episode series. Hosted by chef and television personality Adam Gertler, the series also sees Dylan Russett, Emmalee Abrams, Cloyce Martin and Holden Dahlerbruch, who are between 12 and 14, pitted against a different executive-level chef in each week’s episode.

Estie Kung at Ikea Alexandra. Estie Kung in Singapore at Ikea Alexandra.

Estie was in town recently as part of an Asian promotional tour, making public appearances at two ‘Meet-and-Greet’ sessions. Held at the two IKEA stores, the sessions on 17 January had Estie, who has been in the kitchen since the age of three, exude a confidence well beyond her years in serving up two exclusive recipes - a vegetable ball Banh Mi and Pan Seared Salmon with New England Clam Chowder Sauce – both with IKEA’s products.

Estie, very skillfully dicing onions for the preparation of Bahn Mi.

The series premiere, titled “Don’t Under-ESTIE-mate Her”, will see Estie Kung whipping up a Korean fried chicken dish with kimchi mayonnaise and a gochujang gastrique. More information on the series, which airs every Tuesday at 7pm, can be found at Lifetime Asia.

Estie Kung’s IKEA Veggie Ball Bahn Mi. Putting the finishing touches on her pan-seared salmon with New England clam chowder sauce. With Jamie Yeo during the Q&A session.


The author also blogs on The Long and Winding Road.

The full moon of Thai

2016 January 26

Yesterday, the day of the full moon of the Tamil month of Thai, saw the most lively and colourful of festivals, Thaipusam, being celebrated by the Hindu community. A very visible part of the festival is a procession of devotees carrying kavadis. In Singapore, the kavadis, some weighing as much as 40 kilogrammes, are carried along a route from the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Serangoon Road to the Chettairs’ or Sri Thendayuthapani Temple at Tank Road.

The annual procession remains as one of the most colourful religious and cultural celebrations in Singapore even without the chanting, singing, music and dancing, which would have flavoured it in its pre-1973 days. This year, a total ban on music was lifted, and this saw musical instruments allowed at designated points along the procession route. The festival is one of two occasions during which kavadis are carried, the other being the Panguni Uthiram festival celebrated during the full moon of the month of Panguni.


Photographs from Thaipusam 2016

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More information on the festival from the Hindu Endowments Board’s website:

Thaipusam which falls in the Tamil month of Thai (usually January/ February) is an annual foot procession by Hindu devotees seeking blessings, fulfilling vows and offering thanks. Thaipusam is celebrated in honour of Lord Subrahmanya (also known as Lord Murugan) who represents virtue, youth and power to Hindus and is the destroyer of evil.

On the day before Thaipusam, a statue of Lord Subrahmanya decorated with jewels and finery and together with his two consorts, Valli and Devayani, is placed on a chariot and brought in procession. In Singapore, the chariot procession begins from the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple to Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple at Keong Siak Road. The procession symbolizes the blessings sought by Lord Subrahmanya from his elder brother Lord Vinayagar.

Thaipusam ceremony starts in the early hours of the morning when the first batch of devotees of Lord Subrahmanya carrying milk pots and wooden kavadis leave Sri Srinvasa Perumal Temple for Sri Thendayuthapani Temple at Tank Road. The milk in the pots they carry are offered to the deity of Lord Subrahmanya at Sri Thendayuthapani Temple. Some devotees pierce their tongues with skewers and carry a garlanded wooden arch across their shoulders. Others devotees may carry a kavadi (semi circular metal structure decorated with peacock feathers, flowers and plam leaves). The spiked kavadis which require elaborate preparations leave the temple in the later part of the morning and continue till 6pm.

Carrying kavadi is a popular form of devotion for Hindus. It is usually carried in fulfillment of a vow that a devotee would have taken. Placing a kavadi at the end of the foot procession at the altar of Lord Subrahmanya and making an offering of milk symbolizes the cleansing of the mind and soul and seeking of blessings.

In preparation for carrying a kavadi, a devotee has to prepare himself spiritually. For a period of about a month, the devotee must live a life of abstinence whilst maintaining a strict vegetarian diet. It is believed that only when the mind is free of material wants and the body free from physical pleasures that a devotee can undertake the sacred task without feeling any pain.


More information on the kavadi, its origins and some of the various forms it takes from the Thaipusam.sg site:

There are many types of offerings, which the devotee makes to his beloved deity Sri Murugan. A special offering is the carrying of kavadi and there is a Puranic legend behind this practice.

There was once a great saint called Agasthya who rested at Mount Pothikai. Agasthya dispatched one of his students, Idumban, to Mount Kailai Range instructing him to bring back two hills called Sivagiri and Shakthigiri belonging to Lord Murugan.

As instructed, Idumban having arrived at Mount Kailai, picked up both the hills, tied them and swung them across his shoulders.

Lord Murugan had other plans. He wanted the two hills to be placed at Thiruvavinankudi (Palani) and at the same time test the devotion and tenacity of purpose of Idumban.

Idumban who was on his way back with the hills suddenly found himself lost. Lord Murugan appeared as a king, riding a horse led Idumban to Thiruvavinankudi (Palani) and requested Idumban to rest there so that he could continue his journey later.

Having rested, Idumban tried to carry the two hills but strangely found that he could not do so. A perplexed Idumban looked up and saw a child in loincloth standing atop one of the hills. Idumban requested the child to get down, however, the child refused claiming that the hills belonged to him. An angered Idumban attempted to attack the child but found himself falling like an uprooted tree. A scuffle ensued and Idumban was defeated. Only then did Idumban realize that the child was none other than Muruga or Subrahmanya Himself – the ruling deity of the region. Idumban craved the pardon of the divine child and also sought the boon that anyone who comes to the hills to worship Sri Muruga with an object similar to the two hillocks suspended by a load bearing pole, may be granted his heart’s desire. Idumban’s wish was granted. Murugan also said that he would bless those who bring sandal, milk, flowers, etc. in a kavadi to His shrine. Hence, the practice of carrying a kavadi.

At the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple, one can see a small sanctum dedicated to Idumban. Devotees who usually fast for Thaipusam break their fast one day later after offering their prayers to Idumban.

The simplest kavadi consists of a short wooden pole surmounted by a wooden arch. Pictures or statues of Lord Murugan or other deities are fixed onto the arch. The kavadi is decorated with peacock feathers and a small pot of milk is attached to each end of the pole.

There are more elaborate kavadis that devotees carry. The alagu and ratha kavadi are common forms of kavadi carried by devotees during Thaipusam. Kavadis are affixed on a bearer’s body by long sharpened rods or by chains and small hooks. A kavadi bearer not only carries a gift for God but the whole kavadi is seen as a shrine for God Himself.

Devotees who intend to carry kavadis are customarily required to observe strict physical and mental discipline. Purification of the body is a necessity. This includes taking just simple vegetarian meals and observing celibacy. According to orthodox doctrine, rigid fasting and abstinence have to be observed over a 48-day period prior to the offering of the kavadi on Thaipusam Day.

Piercing the skin, tongue or cheeks with vel skewers is also common. This prevents the devotees from speaking and gives them great powers of endurance.


Photographs from previous Thaipusam celebrations:


The author also blogs on The Long and Winding Road.

Art Stage Singapore 2016

2016 January 21

Southeast Asia’s flagship art fair, Art Stage Singapore, is back for its sixth  edition. The four day event, with an intended focus placed on contemporary Southeast Asian art, is being held at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention from 21 to 24 January 2016.

The sin-full creations of Kittisak Thapkoa at Number1Gallery. A reflection on Qin Chong’s Evolving Ink.

For 2016, Art Stage Singapore brings the Southeast Asia Forum – an extension of the Southeast Asia Platform it introduced in 2014. The forum in its inaugural year is titled Seismograph: Sensing the City – Art in the Urban Age – and has an emphasis on urbanisation and will have both an exhibition and a talk component. The projects of 19 Southeast Asian artists, which relate to issues and sentiments in the wake of rapid urbanisation in their own countries, will be brought into focus. More information on the Southeast Asia Forum can be found here.

Takeshi Haguri’s Tengu, presented by Toki-no-wasuremono. Entang Wiharso’s Feast Table: Undeclared Perceptions presented by ARNDT.

This year’s fair, the anchor event for Singapore Art Week, features 173 galleries from 34 countries with some 75% or 133 galleries from Asia. Art Stage Singapore 2016 will also see several public artworks being exhibited at public areas, a special exhibition of photographs and oil paintings by Hannes Schmid - best known for his iconic Marlboro Man series in the 1990s, and a return of Video Stage .  The fair runs until Sunday. More information on it can be found at http://www.artstagesingapore.com/.

Yayoi Kusama’s Kei-Chan and Reach up to Heaven ‐ Dotty Pumpkin (Black) presented by Opera Gallery. Close-up of Pink Collar by Ma Han – a public artwork. The $170.4 million sale in 2015 of Modigliani’s “Nu Couché” to a Chinese based collector points to the rise of Asia in the International art market according to Art Stage President and founder Lorenzo Rudolf.


The author also blogs on The Long and Winding Road.

Chinatown Celebrates Chinese New Year

2016 January 18

Photographs from yesterday’s launch of Chinatown Celebrates Chinese New Year 2016 and Light-up at New Bridge Road. The especially colourful event, which was graced by President Tony Tan Keng Yam, officially opened the Chinatown Celebrates Chinese New Year more information on which can be found in a previous post: Monkeys, monkeys everywhere.

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The author also blogs on The Long and Winding Road.

Steve McCurry: The Iconic Photographs

2016 January 17

The “world’s most famous photograph” the Afghan Girl, is just one in photographer Steve McCurry’s amazing portfolio of work, all of which have the quality of being immediately recognisable. Fifty-three of McCurry’s celebrated works, spanning an illustrious three decade long career, go on display in Singapore for just over a month from today. I got a peek at the exhibition,  Steve McCurry : The Iconic Photographs at the Sundaram Tagore Gallery at Gillman Barracks and hear from the man himself at a preview that was held yesterday.

Steve McCurry in Singapore with the Afghan Girl. Steve McCurry with the Afghan Girl at the Sundaram Tagore Gallery.

McCurry and many of his works, bring life in areas of conflict, places well off the beaten track, to our living rooms. The images serve as an inspiration to many, myself included and what McCurry had to say about how he went about taking some of the most stunning photographs to be circulated, his experiences in creating them, and his general approach to photography was especially enlightening. 

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What is apparent is that much on display at the exhibition, are of people and places in India. The country says McCurry is a favourite of his and to which he has made more than eighty trips. One of his favourite photographs is the especially striking one of brightly dressed women clustered together to shield themselves from a fast growing sand storming Rajasthan, stopping his taxi to capture the developing scene. In describing the photograph, McCurry also reflected how sad he felt that some of what made for such scenes, such as the way the women were dressed, would eventually disappear and that people in such places ”would all end up like us”.

McCurry describing a photograph of what he feels is quintessentially Mumbai. It is a scene that isn't there anymore - a flyover now runs over the road. McCurry describing a photograph of what he feels is quintessentially Mumbai. It is a scene that isn’t there anymore – a flyover now runs over the road.

The vivid colours McCurry captures in much of his work would also not go unnoticed. Colour, however is not what interests McCurry in creating the image, but the content – the story it tells and the emotion it captures. Images if converted to black and white, should, in McCurry’s opinion, still work.

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McCurry readily admits to being an advocate of the digital age and besides shooting with digital cameras, he also admits to shooting with his cell phone. ”Two or three” photographs that will feature in a book being published in September, he says, were taken with his iPhone6. Photography to McCurry seems all about story telling and the joy it brings – he goes out on the streets, immerses himself in what surrounds him, and lets what he observes develop the story and pays attention more to shutter speed rather than aperture or depth of field.

Steve McCurry : The Iconic Photographs runs until 21 February 2016. More information on the exhibition can be found at the Sundaram Tagore Gallery’s website .


The author also blogs on The Long and Winding Road.

Colours of the harvest

2016 January 16

The Tamil month of Thai brings much celebration to Singapore where a large majority of its Indian population is of Tamil ancestry. One festival that brings colour to the streets of Little India is Pongal, the celebration of the winter harvest over four days. The streets are particularly lively in the lead-up to the festival as decorated clay pots, sweets, flower garlands and sugar-cane (which I am told signifies sweetness and longevity) fill up Campbell Street – where the annual Pongal bazaar is set up.

Sugarcane - signifying sweetness and longevity. Sugarcane – signifying sweetness and longevity.

More on the festival can be found on my previous posts, as well as on Your Singapore. A description of the festival by Mr Manohar Pillai is also provided on a post on the Facebook Group “On a Little Street in Singapore“:

Pongal is the biggest and most important festival for the Tamilians, since ancient times and transcends all religious barriers since it signifies thanks giving to nature and domestic animals. Cattle, cows, goats, chickens are integral part of a farmer in India. It is celebrated for three days in Tamilnadu starting from 15th to 17th. Jan’, 2016. and strictly vegetarian food will be served only in all Hindu households. Thanks giving prayers will be offered to the Sun, Earth, Wind, Fire, Water and Ether, without these life cannot be sustained on Mother Earth. The celebrations comes on close to the harvest season which just ended and Jan,15, is the beginning of the new Tamil calendar.

Clay Pots are used to cook flavoured rice with traditional fire wood in the open air and facing the early morning Eastern Sun. The Sun’s early morning rays are supposedly to bring benevolence to the household. The cooked rice is distributed to all the members of the household and with it the festivities begins. Everyone wears new clothes and very old and useless clothes are burnt the previous night.

The next day the farmer turns his attention to the animals especially the Cattle and Cows.

The third day all people celebrate it with gaiety and grandly.

Decorated Clay Pots. Decorated Clay Pots.JeromeLim-3600 Sweets for the sweet.JeromeLim-3611 A bazaar stall doing a roaring trade.JeromeLim-3666 A well stocked shop.JeromeLim-3577 A dairy cow.JeromeLim-3606 Campbell Lane dressed for Pongal.JeromeLim-3631 More sugarcane.JeromeLim-3636 Flower garlands on sale.JeromeLim-3686 The festive atmosphere also spill over to the nearby streets.


The author also blogs on The Long and Winding Road.

Monkeys, monkeys everywhere

2016 January 15

Monkeys, lots of them, promise to set Chinatown alight come Saturday. For 53 days, some 406 of them, in the form of lanterns, will add to the crowd of monkeys that is already very evident on the streets of Chinatown. The lanterns are part of a record setting display of 2688 lanterns that include ones depicting longevity in the form of peaches, prosperity in the abundance of gold zodiac coins and spring blossoms to celebrate the arrival of Spring and the lunar year of the Monkey. The lanterns on display, the centrepiece of which is a 12 metre tall peach tree, have all been hand-crafted and were designed in partnership with final-year students from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).

JeromeLim-3458 Monkeys have already invaded Chinatown in anticipation of the arrival Chinese new year of the monkey.Monkey lanterns - some 406 of them will add to the monkey madness. Monkey lanterns – some 406 of them will add to the monkey madness.The twelve-metre tall peach tree lantern. The twelve-metre tall peach tree lantern.

Along with the light-up, there will also be much to look forward to during this year’s Chinatown Chinese New Year Celebrations. Organised by the Kreta Ayer – Kim Seng Citizens’ Consultative Committee, the lead up to the Chinese community’s main festival will see events involving the community, performances, a lion-dance competition and a festive bazaar and carnival. The lion dance competition (a ticketed event) features 14 teams from 8 countries will take place at Hong Lim Park on the weekend of 23-24 January.

There will be a lion dance competition to look forward to. There will be a lion dance competition to look forward to.

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Along with performances that will feature both local and foreign performers. Along with performances that will feature both local and foreign performers.

The Festive Street Bazaar, which runs from 15 January to 7 February, is always well worth a walk through. Lining Pagoda, Smith, Temple and Trengganu Streets - much as the street and festive markets of old Chinatown did, the bazaar adds much to the festive atmosphere. This bazaar will see some 440 stalls this year and on offer will be a range of festive goods such as decorative items and traditional delicacies and snacks.

The Festive Street Bazaar, where items such as traditional Chinese New Year snacks can be purchased, will feature 440 stalls. The Festive Street Bazaar, where items such as traditional Chinese New Year snacks can be purchased, will feature 440 stalls.Stalls already stocked to welcome the year of the Monkey. Stalls already stocked to welcome the year of the Monkey.More monkeys in evidence. More monkeys in evidence.

Colour will also be added to Kreta Ayer Square. Nightly stage performances featuring festive songs, cultural music and dance will be held from 8 to 10.30 pm. Other modern interpretations of the celebration include a “Mother Tree” that will respond to postings on social media. Set up by students from the SUTD on the Garden Bridge, the pink tree reacts to every count of 18 posts on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter that are hash-tagged #CNY2016SG, and give an 18 second show of lights. Another “tree”, the Wishing Tree at Chinatown Point, is where one’s wishes can be hung. Wishing cards are available at $2 each and proceeds will be donated to the Kreta Ayer Seniors ‘ Activity Centre.

The Mother Tree. The Mother Tree.

There will also be an attempt to recall the traditions of our forefathers – in an exhibition, My Father Tongue. This would be held at the newly revamped Chinatown Heritage Centre from 28 January to 6 March 2016. The exhibition will look at the three main Chinese dialect influenced sub-cultures in Singapore and their festive practices. There would also be dialect workshops conducted during the period of the exhibition.

Dr Lily Neo, Grassroots Adviser and MP for Jalan Besar GRC, penning her wishes at the Wishing Tree. Dr Lily Neo, Grassroots Adviser and MP for Jalan Besar GRC, penning her wishes at the Wishing Tree.

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The celebrations 2016 and the light-up will be  launched on 16 January 2016. The event will see a retelling of “Journey to the West” that will involve both local and foreign performers Fireworks and firecrackers are expected at both this an at the Chinese New Year Countdown Party on 7 February. More information on the events can be found at http://chinatownfestivals.sg/chinatown-chinese-new-year-celebrations-2016/.

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51 photographs taken in Singapore that will take you away from Singapore

2016 January 6

51 images of the Singapore of today that you will not  immediately associate  with the Singapore  of today (see also the original post: 51 photographs taken in Singapore that will take you away from Singapore).

JeromeLim 277A2189 (1) The woods at Upper Peirce Reservoir.Terumbu Semakau in the moonlight. (2) Terumbu Semakau, a patch reef off Pulau Semakau, in the moonlight.Junk Island at low-tide. (3) Pulau Jong, the last untouched southern island, seen at low-tide.The beautiful setting in which the 'black and white houses' of Sembawang find themselves in. (4) The green housing area of the former Naval Base at Sembawang.277A2544 (5) The ’spinning tops’ off Tampines Road.JeromeLim IMG_0784 (6) The gateway into a lost world at the former Kampong Tengah in Sembawang.The former Seng Chew Granite Quarry. (7) The secret lake at Bukit Gombak (the disused Seng Chew Granite quarry).The light at the end of the tunnel under Clementi Road. (8) The light at the end of the tunnel to a lost world under Clementi Road.A remnant of the western reaches of the line in an area now taken over by nature. (9) The western reaches of the lost railway.The intertidal zone at Tanjong Merawang looking out towards Merawang Beacon and Pulau Merambong. (10) Tanjong Merawang, Tuas, with a view towards Malaysia and Indonesia.JeromeLim-1328 (11) The pier at Sungei Pandan.Paddling through the watery forest at Sungei Khatib Bongsu. (12) The mangrove forest at Sungei Khatib Bongsu.More views of Beting Bronok at first light. (13) The flats of Beting Bronok, a designated nature area off Pulau Tekong, seen at first light.(14) A sandbar at the Terembu Pandan with a view to the container terminal at Pasir Panjang. (14) A sandbar at the Terembu Pandan with a view to the container terminal at Pasir Panjang.JeromeLim-0721 (15) A tributary of Sungei Kranji, near the Jalan Gemala nature area.JeromeLim-3028 Terumbu Pempang Laut 20140601 (16) A view across Terembu Pempang Laut, a submerged reef four nautical miles from Singapore’s southern coast.A village house on Pulau Ubin. (17) The last Malay kampung at Pulau Ubin.The totems of the new age seen on Pulau Ular, from Beting Pempang, with the silhouettes of trees on Pulau Hantu in the foreground. Pulau Ular is an island that is now part of a larger landmass that has it joined it to Pulau Busing to its west and Pulau Bukom Kechil to its east. (18) The petrochemical complex on Pulau Ular as seen from Beting Pempang (the silhouettes in the foreground are of trees on Pulau Hantu).A sense of the space on the flat. (19) The intertidal flats of Pulau Semakau.JeromeLim 277A1293 (20) The greens of the Bukit Course as seen from the western shores of MacRitchie Reservoir.Masjid Omar Salmah, at Jalan Mashhor which was built in the 1970s and is now long abandoned by Kampong Jantai it was built to serve. (21) The kampong mosque, Masjid Omar Salmah, at the site of the former Kampong Jantai.The greenery that now surrounds the area. (22) The magical (and some say haunted) Jalan Mempurong.JeromeLim 277A1299 (23) The western shores of MacRitchie Reservoir.A very natural looking man made stream close to the area where a village, Kampong Beremban, once was. (24) A stream at the former Lorong Halus landfill, close to where Kampong Beremban once was.A stairway. (25) A pre-war outpost on southern slopes of Pasir Panjang (Kent) Ridge.The site of the Syonan Jinja where remnants of what was once South-East Asia's leading Japanese Shinto shrine is today an eerie yet peaceful spot. What is seen in the photograph is one of the more visible remnants, a sacred granite water trough for ritual purification. (26) A trough belonging to the demolished Syonan Jinja Shinto shrine in the MacRithcie forest.The wooded oasis that is now the grounds of the former Bidadari Muslim Cemetery. (27) The wooded oasis found at the grounds of the former Bidadari Muslim Cemetery.img_1636 (28) The sand store at the construction aggregates receiving terminal at Pulau Punggol Timor.Little Guilin is an area of much beauty that some suspect hides several secrets. (29) A view through the woods at Little Guilin.Mangroves at Pulau Hantu. (30) Mangroves at Pulau Hantu.(31) One sister to another - across the channel between the two Sisters Islands. (31) One sister to another – across the channel between the two Sisters Islands.(33) The swimming lagoon on Big Sisters Island. (32) The swimming lagoon on Big Sisters Island.The last rural sundry shop, Tee Seng Store. (33) The last rural sundry shop, Tee Seng Store. It has been in the hands of its proprietor, Mr Ang, for some six decades.The angry glare of the gods of the new age. (34) The illuminated towers of the petrochemical complex at Pulau Ular dwarfing the observer at the edge of the fringing reef at Pulau Hantu Besar.JeromeLim-4784 (35) A newly established Hindu shrine behind the Wei To Temple on Pulau Ubin.JeromeLim-4891 (36) A Tibetan Buddhist shrine at the Wei To Temple on Pulau Ubin.JeromeLim-4904 (37) A below ground shelter and storage complex at a 1930s 9.2″ gun battery.JeromeLim-5191 (38) The view up a deep escape shaft of a pre-war Command Bunker located some 20 metres underground.More rocks ... (39) Exposed parts of the Jurong Rock Formation seen on Pulau Jong.The violin, Pulau Biola a.k.a. Rabbit Island close to the southern reaches of Singapore's territorial waters. (40) The violin, Pulau Biola a.k.a. Rabbit Island close to the southern reaches of Singapore’s territorial waters.(40) Tanjong Tajam on Pulau Ubin. (41) The cliff faces of Tanjong Tajam at the western end of Pulau Ubin.A sandbar at the Cyrene Reefs. (42) A sandbar at the Cyrene Reefs.(43) The calm before the storm - Lower Seletar Reservoir. (43) The calm before the storm – Lower Seletar Reservoir.(44) Light and shadow - Sembawang Shipyard and the Beaulieu Jetty. (44) Light and shadow – Sembawang Shipyard and the Beaulieu Jetty.(45) Bukit Brown Municipal Cemetery (45) Bukit Brown Municipal Cemetery(46) MacRitchie Reservoir near the Syonan Jinja. (46) MacRitchie Reservoir near the Syonan Jinja.(47) Remnants of the Jurong Line near Clementi. (47) Remnants of the Jurong Line near Clementi.(48) Another of MacRitchie Reservoir. (48) Another of MacRitchie Reservoir.(49) The Straits of Johor at Sembawang. (49) The Straits of Johor at Sembawang.(50) Masjid Petempatan Melayu at Sembawang and its 6 decade old rubber tree. (50) Masjid Petempatan Melayu at Sembawang and its 6 decade old rubber tree.(51) Changi Beach. (51) Changi Beach.


The author also blogs on The Long and Winding Road.

Seeking the familiar in the unfamiliar

2016 January 2

I love a wander around the streets of the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur. KL, as the city is fondly referred to, not unlike Singapore, has seen an incredible transformation over the last three decades. But unlike Singapore, which has discarded much of what that made it what it was, KL has retained pockets of of the old world; a world that gives me that sense of familiarity that is missing from the streets of the city I spent most of my life in.

One area I am particularly fond of taking a stroll through is in the part of KL around Petaling Street. Much about it has changed - and is still changing, in its back lanes and kaki-kaki-lima (five-foot-ways) I am able to find enough familiar to me from my excursions to it of two and a half decades past. Still around are the busy places of worship and the old but now shrinking back lane wet market and familiar food-stalls at Madras Lane. The old shophouses along Jalan Sultan are also still there, although some of the trades found in them – such as an old denture workshop, seemed in the two years since I last visited the street, to have closed for good.

A peek into the late 19th century Kuan Ti temple at Jalan Tun H S Lee. A peek into the late 19th century Kuan Ti temple at Jalan Tun H S Lee.A five-foot-way along Jalan Tun H S Lee. A five-foot-way along Jalan Tun H S Lee.JeromeLim-1963 The front of an old pet bird shop along Jalan Sultan.JeromeLim-1972 Kneading dough at a back lane pau stall.JeromeLim-1973 A back lane kopitiam (coffee shop) at a back lane flea market, Pasar Karat.JeromeLim-1980 The back lane wet market at Madras Lane.JeromeLim-1983 The well-known Four-Eyed (bespectacled) One – Sze Ngan Chye roast duck cart along Petaling Street.JeromeLim-1994 Slaughtered birds at a live chicken stall at the wet market.JeromeLim-2003 KL favourites in a back lane – the Madras Lane Yong Tau Foo and Laska stalls.


The author also blogs on The Long and Winding Road.



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