Siem Reap and her fabulous temples – Part 2

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(The walls in Angkor Wat, wall carvings depicting tales of the Mahabarata )

Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples have been blogged about and photographed by so many travellers,  my contribution here is just to encourage those that have not visited the place should do so one day!

Day 2 Small Circuit – Monday 18 May 2015

Small circuit temples consist of :

1) Angkor Thom (Bayon, Phimineakas & Royal Palace, Baphuon, Elephant Terraces and Terrace of the Leper King)
2) Angkor Wat
3) Chor Say Tevada
4) Thommamon
5) Banteay Kdei
6) Ta Keo
7) Ta Prohm
8) Prasat Kravan
9) Sunset @ Bakheng mountain

We started the day with Angkor Wat coming through from the East gate – quieter entrance. The main gate is the West gate where the buses of tourists will use. Our driver told us Angkor Wat can take about 2 hours to explore.

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Above is a Buddha statue inside Angkor Wat where the locals and tourists alike come to pay respects.

Angkor Wat was built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II , it started as a Hindu temple and then became a Buddhist temple. Angkor means city, so Angkor Wat means City Temple!

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TOILETS @ ANGKOR WAT : A tip , with the Angkor Wat pass, go to the South entrance, there is a clean toilet free for usage. Do not end up at the West entrance where the drinks stalls and signs showing toilets. Those are run independently and you have to pay.

IMG_0356Above a photo of tourists waiting to climb the Bakan Tower.

This temple is huge and I do recommend to have a tour guide with you for this one. I am hoping to come back a second time to do the sunrise and also to tour the other wings and go up the Bakan Tower. We chose not to go up this time due to the amount of people and the heat.

We proceeded to Prasat Kravan after Angkor Wat. Another red sandstone Hindu temple with wall carvings completed in the 10th century during the reign of Harshavarman I.   It is also known as the Cardamon Sanctuary. The reliefs in this temple best viewed in the morning.

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Inside, on the walls of the temple , you can admire the art work.

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From Prasat Kravan we moved on to  Banteay Kdei. I like this temple a lot too. It is also known as the Citedels of Monks, and its architecture incorporates Angkor Wat and Bayon. It is Mahayana Buddhist monastic complex built in the 12th century by King Jayavarman II.

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There is a courtyard that is known as the hall of the dancing girls. Here you have a carving of an Apsara dancing girl.

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Upon completing Banteay Kdei, you can rest under the tress and enjoy freshly plucked coconut for usd 1 per piece.

We then continued to Ta Keo, a relatively quiet and smallish temple with pretty nasty steps to climb.

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We spent 20 minutes at Ta Keo and then hit Thommamon next. Thomammon is a twin temple to Chau Say Thevoda. they lie opposite from each other.

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And then you have as small boy playing in the temple grounds, oblivious to his surroundings. He belongs to the lady selling the refreshments at the side of the temple.

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Across the road lay Chau Say Thevoda, which is slightly bigger than Thommamon.

IMG_0448Both Thommanon and Char Say Thevoda were built by King Suryavarman II in 12th century.

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Finally, we moved on to Angkor Thom. To enter Angkor Thom, you go through the Victory Gate and it is impressive as you enter its grounds. Imagine the wonder the travellers felt in 11 th or 12 th century visiting this kingdom. We started with Bayon, my must see – it is famous with the many Buddha faces.

IMG_0458I suspect this temple is best seen in the early hours or late evening. This is to get the best photos of the Buddha faces using natural light and the shadows. Above photo was taken in the afternoon – 2pm.

 

IMG_0376This temple was built by (including Angkor Thom – Great City)  by King Jayavarman VII in the 12th century who was a Buddhist. It is a very impressive structure. Across Bayon was Baphuon, a very large pyramid temple ( I believe the largest in the area). Be prepared to climb a lot and the steps are fairly steeped! Below is a photo of the tip of the temple right at the top!

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And the view from the top towards the entrance to Baphuon.

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While walking towards the next temple,  we spotted a horse carriage – just like out of a western movie!

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The neighbouring temple further on was Phimineakas and the Royal Palace.

IMG_0542We continued further to the Elephant Terraces and Terrace of the Leper King.

IMG_0547Our Day 2 ended with a thunder storm – which made us decide to skip the sunset at Bakheng mountain. That storm resulted in a black out in Pub Streeet which we found out later that evening. This reminds me of the advice I read online about choosing  hotels with their own generators, because it is not unusual to get black outs!  Lotus Blanc was spared from the black out.

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Siem Reap and her fabulous temples – Part 1

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(Angkor Wat from the East Gate)

To travel to Siem Reap and see her temples has been on my bucket list for the longest time. C’mon .. ALL my friends  (almost) have been there which kind of made me feel – left out. What was I waiting for?  In all honesty…err the right time!! And yes I chose the best time – in May 2015 and when it was really hot – 38 degrees Celsius. Hey they say the hottest months (April – September) and rainy season is THE LOW SEASON. During the low season, you do get fairly decent deals with the hotels and tours. Now won’t you agree with me that is the best time to go? Yes yes yes – IF  you can withstand the heat! And boy were we in for a hot time!

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This is the best part – there are many tours and private drivers (cars with AC or Ramok) that can bring you around to the temples. Don’t break a  sweat on how the hell  you are going to get to all the temples? Tours with a private guide are aplenty too – I wrote to both Happy Angkor Tours and Pin Vannak a week before our flight and they both reply promptly to my emails and queries. You can read the reviews on Trip Advisor and decide for yourself. Pricing wise they are almost similar.

We decided towards the end, to go without a tour guide in order to move at our own pace and not felt compelled to be “overly guided”. The disadvantage of going on your own will be:
i) you better read up on what you are going to see, otherwise the temples will just be a blur and no recognition of what you are looking at.
ii) there is a lot to read up if you want to have that depth of knowledge to appreciate the temples fully and to ensure  you do not miss out any significant points.
Well I did only 25% of i) and felt overwhelmed (and asleep) trying to achieve ii) . I will admit it, I am not a temple or history buff nor do I have this crazy desire to know each god and the kings that built these temples and whether Vishnu looks better than Shiva and the great importance of the Mahabarata ( I actually have a book on it). I just decided what I knew was enough (what a slacker!) and off we went on our trip.

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We chose to spend 3 nights and 4 days in Siem Reap, and we flew directly in from Singapore. It is a 2 hour flight. We came in on a Saturday,late afternoon – did no temples that day. Instead after checking into our hotel “Lotus Blanc” on National Highway 6 ( this road will lead you to Phnom Penh by the way) – we headed straight into the Old Market area or “Pub Street” on a Ramok (tuk tuk). The ride costs usd2 each way. It takes about 15 minutes to get to this part of town. This is one area where all tourists will stop by at least twice during their stay in Siem Reap – okay some of you out there might beg to differ! This area is convenient because that is where restaurants and bars and shops are concentrated and packed within a 1km radius. Restaurants here are casual and very much tourist friendly. Meals and street food can be paid in USD (which is so common) or Cambodian KHR Riels.

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ADVICE #1: Please make sure your USD notes are clean and have no marks on them, because some businesses will reject dollar notes that look crummy or worn out.

For our first evening, we ate at the Khmer Kitchen Restaurant, easy casual Khmer food.. Portions are big and most dishes range between USD4.00 – 6.00 each. We had fresh spring rolls, chicken banana blossom salad (photo), vegetarian khmer curry and 2 plates of rice . We had 1 Angkor beer and a small bottle of water and all that added up to USD14.  Generally Cambodian food uses lots of coconut milk, tumeric, lemon grass, galangal, some fermented fish paste, etc but very little chillies. I love their jasmine rice ..mmm..

Once at the Old Market Area, you can follow the signs to the Night Market across the river if you wish to shop around a bit more for souvenirs but we wandered around Pub Streeet to get ourselves acquainted with the area instead. Soon we headed back to the hotel to ensure we had a good night’s sleep for our Day 1 of the temples, the next day.

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Day 1 Grand Circuit – Sunday 17 May 2015
We opted for a driver, in a Camry with a/c through our hotel. The advantage of that is I can bill that to my room and pay through my credit card and I can go after the hotel if anything goes wrong during the tour. They were flexible to mix the Grand Circuit temples with the Small Circuit temples for the 2 days I have booked with them. It all depends on your stamina. It cost usd80 for the 2 days. It is an extra usd10 for the sunrise at Angkor Wat.

We did the Grand Circuit first because the Bakan Tower of Angkor Wat was closed for visits ( it was a holy Buddhist day) on that day. The Grand Circuit consists of the temples of Pre Rup, East Mebon, Ta Som. Neak Prean, Preah Khan and Banteay Srei. But we added on Day 1 , Ta Phrom (which is part of the Small Circuit) too.  Do allow yourself 7-8 hours to do these temples in a stretch. Our driver drove us first to the Angkor Wat temple pass office to purchase a 3 day ticket. It costs usd 40 per person. You need to have these passes with you for all the temple and will be checked before you enter the temples.

Angkor Wat pass is run by a company called Sokha (mother company is Sokhimex owned by a Vietnamese Cambodian businessman). When the deal was reached in 1999 with the Cambodian government, only 5 cents for each dollar went to the upkeeping of the temples. There had been issues prior with fake tickets being issued, now with Sokha there is better control. Nevertheless, this deal with the government on a national treasure that cuts out a bad deal for the temples and the locals, is always questionable.

ADVICE #2 : For temple visits please dress modestly. Please wear tops with sleeves and pants or skirts that are down to your knees. If you are wearing shorts, you can bring a sarung / scarf with you and tie it around your waist as a skirt. Do wear comfortable shoes too. You will be climbing and walking a lot.

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Our first temple for the day was Pre-Rup, close to the big lake Sras Srang. The temple itself was already quite amazing (remember these temples were built 900-1000 yrs ago) and I have not yet seen Angkor Thom or Angkor Wat. There is some climbing you can expect to do in this temple. You have varied styles of temples, from a sprawling Hindu temple with lots of walking to a temple pyramid with lots of climbing. Pre-Rup is your a typical temple pyramid with red coloured bricks,, laterite and sandstone. Pre Rup is a Hindu temple (dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva) built by King Rajendravarman in 961AD. Another temple East Mebon is somewhat similar too. We drove by East Mebon and headed for Ta Som next.

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ADVICE #3 : You can expect, for some can be an annoyance, by the temples and Old Market area, touters and beggars around. You will have men, boys, ladies , children all trying to sell you their wares or drinks. They are generally harmless, but some can be overly persistent. Do remember Cambodia is a poor country with corrupted government officials around. The boom Siem Reap experienced with tourism, are not being distributed fairly to all her people. The general poor have adopted this as part of their “business” yes even to beg is a business.  At some places you may find people asking for “donations” for simple things like taking care of your shoes for you in a temple to kids begging for money to buy milk powder. It is tough to decide when and who do you give to and if your donation will encourage this vicious cycle to continue, for e.g. kids dropping out of school because it is more lucrative to sell wares to tourists or beg. On a positive note though, some of the kids I spoke to selling their wares at the temples, are interested in improving their English by conversing with you and they DO go to school. There are also burgeoning businesses (run by locals and foreigners) providing vocational training , supporting local edu-scholarships and encouraging responsible farming making eco and social responsible tourism very “trendy” in Siem Reap. This is a form of increasing the awareness of the local people to get themselves educated and own a legit business to support the tourism in Siem Reap.

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Ta Som is a temple with Sprung / Ficus tree roots growing over it. It was built by King Jayavarman VII in the 12th century. It is much quieter temple than Ta Phrom.

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These temple towers have faces of Avalokiteshvara depicted.  I have added the photo inside the temple grounds (below).

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After Ta Som, Neak Pean – is in a middle of a pond and there is a long walkway on planks to reach the tiny temple. You can only see it from afar. This temple you can do in like 15 mins. This temple was the least impressive in my opinion.

Then we moved on to Preah Khan – one of our favourites. As you approach the temple, you walk up a stretch of asuras and devas carrying the 5 headed Naga across the moat .   IMG_3803

This was also built by King Jayavarman VII in the 12th century . There is a giant silk cotton tree growing atop one of the temple walls. We noticed an increasing number of decapitated statues of Buddha or Apsaras.

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Some of the decapitated figurines were the result of the war (Khmer Rouge) regime that had sold these artefacts in the black market to raise funds for their campaign.

The inside of the temple walls, and the crumbling structures and stones.

IMG_3812After Preah Khan, we left for Banteay Srei (the Pink Lady temple) which is famous for its intricate wall carvings and ornate lintels. It is made of hard red sandstone.  It is a  25 minutes drive from Preah Khan. It was built in the 10th century and not by a monarch. but by a courtier named Yajnavaraha  who served as a counsellor to king Rajendravarman II . It was a Hindu temple dedicated to the God Shiva.

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The famous monkey guardians in the temple grounds. By this time it was nearly 2pm, we got quite hungry . The eating places around this temple are quite expensive – a dish can cost usd7 compare to a similar dish in downtown Siem Reap costing usd4.50. It is a tourist rest stop for the hordes of us getting our refuelling. Just  be prepared . With the heat though we were happy enough with some buns or energy bars. We kept ourselves hydrated with water, coke and coconut water and lots of mangoes along the way.

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It takes about 30 minutes to explore this relatively small temple.

On your way back to Siem Reap do stop by and buy palm sugar (Gula Melaka). It is about usd1.00 for 4 pieces. I regretted not getting them as I was convinced I could easily find them in town. At the end I didn’t have the time to run by the market on the last day. So grab them when you can! You may just run out of time.

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The last temple we did for the day was Ta Prohm made famous by the movie “Tomb Raider”. It was a Buddhist monastery and a university. You can easily take 1 hour to explore this vast temple grounds and ruin.

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It was built during the reign of King Jayavarman VII , in the 13th century. You will get to see giant silk cotton trees growing on the roofs of the temples too. Pretty amazing! Please take your time with this temple. It is pretty vast and like a maze.

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We ended our day around 4pm , tired back to the hotel to rest and refresh. I was hungry by the time we reached the hotel and I had the nice assistance from the bell boy Adam (with a cheeky spark in his eyes) to negotiate the purchase of a comb of sweet little bananas from the fruit seller lady across the road. There is a small minimart across the hotel too where you can stock up on your water.

We left for dinner at 5.45pm for Chanrey Tree based on a recommendation from our hotel concierge Christina – a really sweet and well spoken girl. It was a lovely dinner, well prepared and delicious in a nice modern setting. We had the Beef lao lak (sweet creamy peppery stir fried beef – almost like an Asian stroganoff), fish amok curry  (yellow turmeric coconut creaminess with river fish and amok leaves), pomelo salad, fresh summer spring rolls and rice. We did a dessert – a yam filled glutinous rice ball deep fried , served with coconut ice cream. It came up to usd45 including a beer and a mango smoothie. I can certainly recommend this place.

Summer Vacation 2012 – Copenhagen

This year for our summer vacation we decided to be in DK (Denmark) – primarily to spend max time with the family. And again this year we wanted to make a reservation at Noma but they were closed – for their summer vacation . (NOMA is closed by the way between end July to mid Aug). Dang…! I may need to write a private note to Rene Redzepi now as it is getting too frustrating. This is the 3rd year in a row we have tried.

For the first week we rented a summer house in Naestved by a coastal town called Kaerrebaeksminde (what a mouthful – the name!) on a little island called Enoe – off a fjord.  Here is a site on the town. www.visitnaestved.com/international/en-gb/…/karrebaeksminde.htm

There are several popular seaside villages dotted along the coast line of Sjaelland (the island where Copenhagen – the capital is located). Enoe holds a special place for my husband because he has had many fond memories of this quiet town from his childhood. The area has certainly developed since, and can be quite busy during the peak summer months. Down there too, you have the outlet by the local danish design brand Kahler who is famous for ceramic works. For the shophardy fans , there is something to do after all.

Thank god the weather held, and what a relief! Beautiful danish summer weatheris one needs when you are planning a vacation by the danish seaside.  Having lived in Denmark,  I truly understand what’s all the excitement about. It is the unpredictability of the danish weather system that can throw any ideal assumptions of a nice seaside vacation down the drain and when you have to face 6 months or so with rain/grey weather – yeah a good sunny day is very precious.

Each morning started typically Danish, with pastries and fresh breads from the bakery. One of our favourites are romsnegle and tebirkes (photo above) . Tebirkes – is a mix between pastry and bread, topped with poppyseeds and a buttery and slightly sweet coating in the middle. It is so light and delicate (if made right) – something I have yet to see outside Denmark.

The seafood shops were abundant with their catch from the nearby seas daily. I don’t even know how to translate what they have there to English. One of my favourites are “roedspaette” (plaice) ,the “forel” (trout), kulmulle and the smoked fish like herring,salmon and mackerel. And ‘fiskefrikadeller’ on ryebread (photo below) – fresh from the fish shop is ultimate. One of the classic danish dishes is ‘roedspaette med persillesovs’ – plaice with parsley sauce – tastes absolutely sublime by the seaside, when especially home made! A post on that to follow – courtesy of my mother in law! 🙂

Denmark is famous for their beers too for those of you thinking, why is she going on about food only? Yes but since I dont’ drink I won’t pretend I know more than the little I know of beers and don’t forget ‘snaps’ – quintessential akvavit paired with your smoerreboerd (danish open sandwiches)!

Coincidentally during this trip the Olympics were on throughout. So it was really a hectic time racing to the beach  plus long afternoon walks and timing it to come back in time to catch some sports. While watching tv, we were stuffing our faces with danish jordbaertaerte and droemmekage. Life is good – yeah!

All in all had a wonderful vacation – at Enoe. Thank you to everyone in the family for making it great..muah!

Mooncake Festival

Chinatown in Singapore – street decorations

Mid autumn festival for me represents 2 things, mooncakes and lanterns. It is one of the most romantic celebrations, firstly because it is in honour of the moon Goddess of Immortality and lanterns, lighting up in various forms of flowers, animal shapes, or large lanterns send alight and afloat up in the air, sparkles in the dark of the night all over, like stars.

Buying mooncakes at a chinese confecrtionary stall

It coincides with the autumnal equinox (of the solar calendar), the 15th day of the 8th month of the chinese lunar calendar, when the moon is at her fullest and roundest.

A mooncake

Mooncake festival started like last week culminating on the 22nd Sept 2010 . The restaurant, bakeries and hotels are producing and selling them like hotcakes. These delicious cakes are a delicacy on its own, heavy in calories and popular gifts to family and friends this time of the year. The perfect accompaniment is the chinese tea.

There has been queues everywhere and people snapping them up like there is no tomorrow. These chinese pastries come with various pasty fillings. Today the array is mindboggling too – from traditional ones like lotus seed paste to modern fusiony flavours like chocolate ganache , durian, green tea , ice cream, etc.  However, I am rather a purist – when it comes to traditional celebrations I like to stick to traditional versions of the mooncakes. The ones I knew growing up were the piglet biscuits, baked mooncakes with the lotus seed paste and melon seeds , with or without salted duck yolk, or red bean paste or the ultimate decadence – jin hua ham and wu ren, 5 nuts, consisting of walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, sesame, pistachio, macademia, watermelon seeds and winter melon) –  it really reminds me of the Italian paneforte.

Jin hua ham and nuts mooncake

Due to the convergence of regional specialities throughout China showing up in our shores, both Malaysia and Singapore – we now can get besides the baked mooncakes, the snow skin (unbaked) or flaky pastry (shanghainese).

So what is a good  mooncake? How does one judge? In my humble opinion, it is so individual. The addition of salted duck egg yolk gives it a harmonised balance  of salty savoury angle to the otherwise cloying sweetness of the lotus seed paste or red bean paste. Melon seeds give it a nice crunch. Traditionally one judge a good mooncake from the finished look, the imprints should be clear, skin is baked smooth, and golden brown. The skin should not be too thicked, with a slight separation from the filling itself. The filling must have the right consistency, not overly sweet or heavy and yet when one takes a bite, the paste should not be overly sticky or oily but yet holds together in a semi solid form. Have a few and be the judge yourself what you like best! I personally go for mooncakes made from known chinese restaurants or bakeries , hand made and are famed for using good quality ingredients.

As for the legends related to this celebration, there are many versions. A story about an Imperial General Houyi, a very skilled archer, was ordered to shoot 9 suns out of 10, as the earth was heating up. Succeeding he was given a pill for immortality which he hid . Unfortunately his wife Chang ‘ e found it and swallowed the pill, she flew away ( or was banished) to the moon. There, she coughed out the pill. She befriended the Jade Hare on the moon who is still pounding the pill so she could return back to earth. She lives in a palace on the moon, while her husband who made himself a palace on the sun, visits her once a year on the 15th day of the 8th month. Hence you see many mooncake imprints show a lady silhouette on the moon.

Snowskin mooncake – this is rose flavoured with red bean paste filling and melon seeds

Another story is about a revolt overthrowing the Mongul rulers by the Chinese. Secret messages were hidden in the mooncakes and distributed to the chinese inhabitants, to organise a revolt which was eventually successful.

A paper lantern using a thin candle.

As for the lanterns, rather unsure how it came about to be a part of the mooncake festival, either to recreate light on a mid autumn night or representing the 10 suns, or maybe to show Chang’e her way home to earth. Whatever the reason may be, it is a delightful addition to the festival  especially for the children and romantics like myself.

And for the mooncake recipe – I don’t have it, my mom does, but she has not made one for a very long time. Truth be told, it is a lot of work , if you intend to make everything on your own, from the lotus seed paste to the pastry. When I do manage to dig her recipe out one day, I will post it on my blog , and if any one of you are game to try it out – let me know how it went.

Rice Dumpling Festival

Above is ‘kee chang’ – made from lye water and glutinous rice, eaten with gula malacca syrup. My all time favourite

Or otherwise known as ‘chang’ festival. In Singapore somehow, one does not realise the passing of many traditional chinese festivals despite the fact that Singapore’s population is predominantly Chinese (although of various ethnic groups). I supposed I would have to head to Tiong Bahru or Chinatown (I always feel weird to speak of Chinatown as an area in Singapore when we are surrounded by chinese anyway). Maybe I am living in the wrong neighbourhood.

Chang festival, falls on the 5th day of the 5th month every year – which is also the chinese summer solstice. In China, Taiwan and Hong Kong,it is a public holiday.

Duan Wu Jie is a widely celebrated festival amongst the Chinese, to pay respect to the patriotic poet, Qu Yuan (pronounced as Chue Yuan). The legend involves a really long and complicated throne-fighting war and political history. But to make a long story short: Qu Yuan was an important minister back in Chu Kingdom in ancient China. He had been known for his loyalty for the emperor of Chu, and loved his country greatly. However, His Majesty had not taken Qu Yuan’s advice seriously, and he eventually got himself trapped and captured in a foreign land by his enemies, which then lead to his own death.

Sad and angry at the corrupted, dying Kingdom, Qu Yuan tied himself to a big rock and threw himself into the River of Puo Luo. The people then made rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves and threw them into the river. They believed this would stop the fish from eating Qu Yuan’s body. Some would even row down stream in a boat, beating drums and shouting out loud in the hope to scare the fish away (it was believed that it is how the Dragon Boat event is related to the festival.

Since then, the 5th day of the 5th month in the Chinese calendar has been set as Duan Wu Festival to remember the incident. Although there were versions of legends and stories that indicate Duan Wu has existed way before Qu Yuan’s death, the tradition still carries on.

from http://www.knowingfood.com/rice/rice_dumpling_festival.html

I know, why must all chinese festivals involve food? Because us Chinese love food too much – that is why!

A stall selling ‘chang’

The chang comes in many different flavours, like bak chang – hokkien style, has tau eu pork (pork cooked in soya sauce), mushroom, chestnut and salted egg yolk, encased in glutinous rice seasoned with black tau ee, wrapped in lotus leaves or bamboo leaves. Others are the nyonya style (called pua kiam tee meaning sweet  & salty), made from peanuts, candied winter melon, shredded pork, shallots, etc – another would be the cantonese tau chang, with mung bean filling and pork. One of my favourites. Some are filled with red bean paste or black eye peas.

Tomorrow marks the day of the festival, 16th June 2010 – and I will be off to hunt for some dumplings in Singapore. If anyone knows of a good place to get them, please let me know!

ps- I was told Hoo Kee Rice Dumplings at Amoy Street (7 Maxwell Road #01-18 Amoy Street Food Centre)  is very popular, sold out daily by 1pm. Other places to check out would be the major hotels, most of their chinese restaurants would make dumplings of their own concoction to celebrate the festival.

I found out from my friend Pei Fern, there is apparently an activity – egg standing game, popular amongst young people and children. The peak time to do it is 12noon, on this chinese summer solstice day. Only once in a year you can try to defy gravity.

NB – She tried it and well it worked! See photo above from her FB.

Laksa in Penang

Further on about my food trip in Penang, I finally had time to check out the famous Penang Laksa stall in Jelutong. It was a very hot afternoon, and having laksa at that time is really asking for it. With the spicy fish soup dunking deep fried springrolls into it, was heavenly but a torture at the same time. I left a bucket of sweat on my seat when I got up, I promised you. But it was all worth it. Nothing beats laksa with spring rolls, eaten the true Penangite way.

The stall is in fact a van, parked at the roadside, just after you turn into the small road before the Jelutong Post office if you are coming from Gelugor on Jalan Jelutong. Manned by 3 ladies (sensed the irony?) , they only sell their yummy laksa in the afternoons.. see no choice but for me to eat it in the heat.