Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Dinner and the Diwali Festival in Singapore

I meet ChongBee outside my hotel and we walk toward Little India, following the same path I had taken earlier in the day, looking for a place to eat while waiting for the sun to set.  Even though ChongBee lives here, he's not familiar with this neighborhood and we search for something that calls to us.  We spot a small Thai restaurant that smells great and pop in for dinner (in Europe, I look for the restaurants which start to fill up early, here, my nose serves as a guide, with all the great smells of the dishes).  Dinner turns out to be:

Tom Yum Talay:  shrimp/seafood soup, with lemongrass, coconut milk, lime, ginger, curry paste
Pork with red curry and green beans
Pla Sam Rot:  Fried Fish Three Flavors (sweet, sour, spicy)

 Seafood soup and pork with red curry and green beans

 Fried fish three flavors, happy ending

Night falls while we eat and, as we exit the restaurant, we can see the lights of Little India decorated and lit up for the Diwali Festival.  Diwali celebrates the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair.  The lights illuminate the night sky are accompanied by fireworks in the streets.

 Diwali festival lights (and crowds)

In the morning, I walked down this street and it was packed with people going about their business and hiding from the rain, now it's full of the festival crowds.  We work our way through, enjoy Little India at night, and head across the river into Kampong Glam, viewing the mosque at night, along with the (now open) market stalls and restaurants packed with people enjoying themselves and their meals (I have to come back here for dinner sometime).

Mosque at night, market stalls adjacent

Happy diners near the mosque

From the mosque, we walk to the river to view the lights on the modern buildings and one of the famous sights of Singapore, surrounded by tourists, the Merlion, with the head of a lion and the body of a fish, representing the combination of Singapore's original name ("lion city") and its early days as a fishing village.

 Riverfront at night


After the Merlion, we head down the river, where we discover the Halloween festival at Clarke Quay (previously described in an interrupt to our normal programming).

 Riverfront view as we walk

We stop in at Clarke Quay, listen to a few bands, have a few beers, and I head back to my hotel after a full and exciting day in Singapore.

No comments:

Post a Comment