We set off for China town really early. About 9.15 in fact, and got there before most shops had opened. Then we realised it was Sunday and they may not open at all. We strolled around for a while, Ann bought a few presents and souvenirs and I bought a pair of Italian sandals. Also I succumbed to a 0.5 lens attachment that effectively makes my 18 to 270mm Tamron telephoto into a 9 to whatever Wide angle lens at a fraction of the cost of a new lens. We will have to see when we hit the wide vistas of Australia and NZ to see how it performs.
We saw lots of blossom on the road side, not all of it genuine, but effective none the less. It would appear that some light up at night. We will return. Also we had thought that I might get a linen jacket made up for me while we are here. They are famous for this fast service. The first tailor said yes no problem, “We will have it ready for you tomorrow night…. 680 S$… that’s about 340GBP. We said no thanks….. several times, and his last offer as we left the shop was 280 S$. I think there is a lesson here. The next shop did a similar sales patter, but offered more expensive cashmere cloth and started over a 1000 S$. Again we left the shop resigned to be buying in Next or Primark for ever more.
We stopped for a coffee and a biscuit and I had a pretty pattern drawn on the top of my latte by the waitress. We checked the map, asked our way and walked on down the road trying to find Banda Street where later tonight there is to be some special street performance as it is Chinese New Year. Every one wishes you “Happy New Year” and your first thought is….. that’s 2 weeks ago. But no, we are just starting the year of the rabbit and they are everywhere. They must have been breeding well these past few months. Also we have heard… “Have a nice day”…. Did not think I would hear that until we hit the USA.
We came across the Siri Mariamman Temple which had the most impressive gateway. As it was another “Shoes off” place and the ground a tad damp, we decided to keep looking for Banda St. when we came across the “Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum” This is very touristy and they let you keep your shoes on, provided you stay off (yes off) the carpet. Magnificent interior and exterior, but the incense fumes were a bit too much for our sensitive chests after the coughs we are just getting over and we had to leave after a short time. We have tried our first Chinese medicine for that, some slightly bitter liquid containing Chuan Bel, almond, coltsfoot flowers, brown sugar and water.
Behind the temple along a lantern lined walkway there is a fruit market where we found huge grapefruits (Tambun Pomelo) and some guys eating some strange fruit. If it tastes like it smells, they are welcome to it. We also wandered into a food hall where all manner of food was being prepared and eaten there and then by the locals. Ann had duck and noodles and I had pork and rice. Half way through we swapped. Both were very good and cost just 5.50 S$ or just 2.75 GBP for both dishes. No ill effects yet! Back at the hotel now to fire up our three hours of Internet. Ann has had a swim and we now know which pool is attached to this Hotel. Later tonight we will return to China town for the evening entertainment, providing it does not start raining again. A few more photos this time here.