From Evelyn Garden, South Kensington, together with a bunch of university mates we headed to west-end London where the famous Chinatown is in Bus 14. When we arrive at Chinatwon, the street was already filled a huge crowd. In fact, there was a good blend of races. In fact, more non Chinese there than Chinese!
The main street of China Town was nicely decorated with many red latterns. Make-shift stalls were set-up to sell chinese and oriental delicacy towards the end of Chinatown. Most of the shops and restaurants put up CNY decoration. Restaurant waitresses dressed up in traditional red or gold colour cheong-sum trying to attract tourists to have meals there. Dim sum restaurants were packed with patrons and tourists eagering to enjoy Cantonese style dim-sum in the heart of London. CNY in Chinatown is bustling and full of fun!!!
To my pleasant surprise, I found a stall that was selling Malaysian's favorite food - sate with peanut source. One pound for one stick. That is RM7.2 for one Sate!!! Haha.. what to do.. it is one of my favorite foods since I studied in Uniten and stayed in Kajang fpr 3 years - a town that serves the best sate in Malaysia. So, I got myself two sticks. Hymmm.. it was not as good those back home but they surely satisfied my urge for sate. Hahaha.. :P
After sampling some food in Chinatown, we moved on to Leicester Square. This square was famous because of many International movies were premiered here. From time to time, there are barricades being set-up to lay red carpet for celebrities and movie critics attending movie premieres here. But, on this day the crowd that gathered here are no movie fan but the curious ones awaiting to witness the only legitimate large scale fire crackers show in London. Haha... security was quite tight and the workers were busy making last minute safety check before the show.
Soon, the fire crackers were litted by using remote control and instantly the loud fire crackers sound spiced up the CNY environment there. Occasionally, I could also hear and see children that cried their way towards their parent because of being shocked by the crackers! At the finale of the show, the crowd cheered in excitement and applauded the effort done by the organizer (Chinese Assembly of London and City Hall) when the final and huge cracker exploded in fasionably loud "ka boom". :)
Immediately, after the fire cracker show ended came a group of all-non-chinese dragon dance team parading in red shirts accompined in the constant beats of Chinese drums. Cool huh! Non Chinese performing dragon dance. Something you don't get in Malaysia. :) Of course, there are the "Chinese" Man and Woman clowns that followed the dragon with occasional comical actions and teasers that brought out laughters from the spectators. :)
Not forgetting this cool old Chinese man in traditional Sum-fu (Chinese costume) and hat standing with his colourful Chinese fans. He was showing off his skill in spinning all the fans which drawn curious tourists towards him. He even offered the tourists to try out his cool gadget. :) It was quite heavy though... :)
To all the friends that joined me there, thank you for the precious moment I have had there even though I was far away from my family back in Malaysia.
To those who read my blog during CNY, I would like to say ...
~ Elvin Ong ~