Yesterday was a crazy adventure! We had a late start and went to Chinatown for lunch at possibly Singapore’s most famous hawker: Hawker Chan and it was truly mind blowing. The line seemed endless, although fast moving, but you need to come early, they tend to sell out and for good reason. Two people after us, they closed the show for the day (well before 1pm!). And yes’m the hype does really do it justice, this food was by far the most tastiest I had in Singapore! After an amazing (and cheap!) lunch we walked around in Chinatown until it was time for something we have been patiently waiting for for over a month!
Have you ever tried an Airbnb experience? Me neither, well until yesterday that is. A and I found this amazing experience and decided on a whim to sign up for this: Where Gods are born (for details check here). For several decades Chwee Lian (87) has run this Taoist deity shop and let me tell you, she knows her stuff. Her grandsons, Chong and Yong, materialized this most amazing idea of bringing their family history closer to locals and foreigners and man, by far, this has been the most fun experience I’ve had in Singapore!
I won’t go into many details, because I want you to pack your bags, make your way to Singapore and experience this for yourself, I promise you’ll love it! The family runs this workshop about once a month, so you need to plan your visit early and we’ll in advance and spots tend to fill up quickly. The second you meet Chwee Lian you know why!
We got introduced to the myths and stories about some gods and how their statues were created from a single block of wood and further how this family of masters, I cannot say it any other way, painted and decorated these wooden figures. It’s truly fascinating what some people can do with their hands and determination! Chwee Lian made it seem so easy as she drew a dragon for all of us. When we attempted to recreate the same dragon, with her very close instruction, A got a thumbs up while I got a head shake and a hearty laugh (story of my life) at my miserable attempt to recreate her mastery.
I figured this experience was enough to put me in my place when it comes to drawing but that was far from true. Chwee Lian proceeded to show us how to make the dragon come to life out of Clay and decorate a wooden statue with it. Again, with such ease, Chwee Lian produced the most dainty looking thing and again, I failed miserably while A got a double thumbs up. He didn’t let me hear the end of it, how he was just a better artist than I could ever dream to be… I guess, where the gods are born is definitely not where humbleness and humility are born.
After this incredible experience we decided to head down back to the Gardens by the Bay (or as A calls it, the guardians of the galaxy) and enjoyed the most amazing display of lights and nature and wonderful ness that Singapore has to offer. We were in awe for the long after the lights had disappeared.
Arm in arm we made our way back to our hotel where we decided to have a drink at one of Singapore’s best bars, the Manhattan! After all, we couldn’t travel all this way and not try a Singapore sling and it was totally worth it. Do yourself a favor and try it, it’s by far one of the best drinks I ever had, and the Manhattan is really gorgeous. Relaxed and comfy and a place where I could have easily spend all night, if I wouldn’t have been so exhausted from the day’s events.
If you only have one day in Singapore, this is how you do it: Have lunch at Hawker Chan in Chinatown, go have an amazing Airbnb experience, see the light show at the gardens by the bay (and if you haven’t already seen the cloud forest, do that first) and then have a drink at the Manhattan. I promise you, your heart will fill full and happy!