Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Birthday celebration at Eng Hoon Street 2009

I was reminded of a question that was asked by Chilipadi when I saw a lot of huge flags that line the road along Tiong Bahru Road and Eng Hoon Street.

As I was early for an appointment, I walked into the Monkey God temple at Eng Hoon Street to ask them if they have any up and coming activities.

I was asked to read about it on the notice that was pasted on the pillars on the temple.

"Eerrr, uncle, 请您告诉我这里什么时候有庆祝节目?"

(I'm bilingual but mono-literate and so I had to struggle real hard with the content of the notice)


"Eeer, uncle, ANG MO 是什么?"


"Ok, 谢谢"

I think I managed to grasp the essence of what he said to me and what the notice was about. Anyway, GOOGLE is still the laziest way to find out any information and this is what I found out :

Birthday of the Monkey God
This event, observed on the 16th day of the 8th lunar month, honours the beloved Monkey God and is celebrated in several Chinese temples in Singapore. Priests enter trances to channel the spirit of the Monkey God, making them behave like monkeys. To signify the Monkey Gods bravery, they skewer themselves through the cheek and tongue, or slash their arms and legs. A grand procession through the streets leads to the Monkey God Temple. An empty sedan chair is carried by devotees and the entranced, pierced priests file behind with spears and skewers. Chinese opera and puppet plays are often performed in the temple courtyard.

So with the information I had from the temple custodians, verified through GOOGLE, I think you can safely bring your DSLR down to Eng Hoon Street this Sunday at about 4pm.

I was told the procession through Tiong Poh Road, Guan Chuan Street, Seng Poh Road and Eng Hoon Street will take place at 5pm.

And this time around, it will take place on a weekend and hopefully many Tiong Bahru residents will catch a glimpse of the procession.

Past related post on the monkey god event :

The monkey god birthday procession

Wayang at Tiong Bahru Monkey God Temple

Friday, September 18, 2009

Mid-Autumn Festival Party

click on the image to enlarge it

Jot this event down in your PDA, smartphone, notebook or paste a note on your refrigerator.

Relive your childhood and get some friends to go carry some lanterns during this day night.

I think the Tiong Bahru Satay Man might be there as well.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Getai at Kim Pong Road

The Hungry Ghost Festival is soon coming to an end and the annual Dinner and Getai along Kim Pong Road took place tonight.

Some were passing by and stopped to watch while some even brought along their own beer and sat on the grass sipping their ice cold beer while they were entertained.

No respectable GETAI is complete without the laser and smoke!

Even the ice cream man was around.

While some were enjoying the performance, there was the usual sit down Chinese dinner and bidding exercise that was taking place over at the badminton court in between block 49 and 39 Kim Pong Road.

And the kitchen crew were furiously preparing food to keep the guest happy.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Tiong Bahru draws the inn crowd

The Straits Times
Sep 6, 2009
By Lisabel Ting

More hotels open in residential enclave, a draw with its rich heritage and location

The wallpaper is French, the bedsheets are Egyptian cotton, and the toiletries in the bathroom are Chopard.

But peer through the louvred shutters of the luxurious Nostalgia Hotel, and the view is undoubtedly Singaporean.

Located at 77 Tiong Bahru Road, the 50-roomer is the latest boutique hotel to call the sleepy, historical residential enclave home.

Singapore-based Lion Properties Group spent $20 million to build the mid-tier hotel, housed in two conserved shophouses and a four-storey extension built on a plot of land that once housed a Chinese temple and shops which sold songbirds.

Like others in its midst, such as Link Hotel, Hotel Re! and upcoming Wangz Hotel, location was the clincher.

'It's practically five minutes from Orchard, five minutes from Chinatown, and yet near the heartlands,' said Mr John White, the group's managing director.

Although Lion Properties has invested in industrial and commercial properties in Paya Lebar and Chinatown, this is its first hotel venture.

Opened last month, the boutique hotel will charge between $300 and $600 a night for a superior and balcony room respectively, although opening promotional rates are $190 to $480.

The rich heritage of the area has also been incorporated into the decor of the hotel.

Guests who enter the lobby are greeted by a display of traditional items, including an old radio and green-and-white coffeeshop cups.

Hotels in the area are not worried about the newcomer.

'We have a different concept and theme, and we're catering to a different price range,' said Ms Ariel Tan, marketing manager of Link Hotel, across the road from Nostalgia.

The 150-room hotel opened in 2007, and targets mainly tourists from China.

The rates for superior and deluxe rooms are $280 and $380 a night respectively.

Hotel Re!, a retro-themed hotel in Chin Swee Road, is also certain that there is enough business to go around.

'Boutique hotels are still a new trend in Asia and are only more established in markets such as Hong Kong and Thailand,' said Ms Jessica Loo, its marketing manager.

The hotel, which opened last year, has 140 rooms costing between $320 and $750 a night.

'Also, boutique hotels are all very different, and we each have our own niche area.'

Residents of Tiong Bahru are similarly unfazed by the mushrooming of such inns in their backyard, with another, Wangz Hotel, under construction in Tiong Bahru Road.

Although there was a furore over the opening of Hotel 81 in the estate earlier this year, residents The Sunday Times spoke to said boutique hotels are different from budget types which charge hourly rates.

'Maybe the guests constantly passing though the hotels will make our area more vibrant,' said housewife S.H. Chia, 42, who has been living in Tiong Bahru for more than 10 years.

While upcoming hotels may lead to more hustle and bustle, analysts said they are unlikely to affect the prices of properties in the vicinity.

'What they are likely to affect is the demography of the area, and F&B outlets.

If that's the case, then the value of properties surrounding the F&B outlets may rise,' said Mr Ho Eng Joo, executive director of investment sales, Colliers International.

For Mr White, the local food and beverage outlets are part of what makes Tiong Bahru an attractive experience for tourists.

'Although there's a restaurant in the hotel, we'll encourage our guests to go to the nearby Tiong Bahru market to eat, and we'll even recommend them what's good,' he said.