I wrote about the Chinese New Year decorations in Queensbay Mall. Today I am going to write about Chinese New Year decorations in Gurney Plaza and Gurney Paragon.
If you are a local or a tourist that has visited Penang before, chances are you will know Gurney Plaza. After all, it is located on the famous Gurney Drive. If Queensbay Mall is THE shopping mall on southern Penang island, then Gurney Plaza is THE shopping mall on the northern side. In fact it predates Queensbay Mall, I think it has been around since the late 1990s or early 2000s.
My impression on the Chinese New Year decorations of this place? I think they are doing a good job in a completely different way compared to Queensbay Mall. While I think QBM has been rather flamboyant and in-your-face with their decorations, I think Gurney Plaza is being more subtle with their works.
You get the feeling that QBM is trying to set up their decorations to be a visitors attraction, where people would be induced to visit the mall solely for taking pictures with the nice CNY things and in the process will hopefully spend money in the restaurants and shops.
In Gurney Plaza, they place their decorations to be on the periphery. I get the feeling that the mall’s management is trying to convey this message: “Yes, it is the festive season, but we are still a shopping mall first and CNY photoshoot location second.”
I’m not saying that there is nothing interesting here though. Although less flamboyant, I think you will still be able to find interesting spots to take photos in this mall if you so happen to visit in the coming week or two.
I think Gurney Plaza paid more attention on Valentine’s Day. I noticed (or rather felt) that they try to incorporate romantic themed decorations with CNY based decorations.
As you make your way from the upper levels down to the Center Court, you will notice that besides the lanterns hanging in the center, there are many curtains hanging on the side, with lovely flower bouquets on each of them.
I tried like 30 different spots to take a photo with the flowers and the lanterns in it,
Because I arrived through the car park, I saw the interior decorations first rather than the outside decorations first. As I made my way to the front entrance of the mall, something caught my eye.
If you read my QBM post, you would have seen the Nian Gao 年糕 mascot. Here there’s the lion dance mascot.
The Prosperous Eight. I am beginning to wonder if they actually have eight different mascots scattered across eight different shopping malls in Penang. Do we have that many malls in Penang??
There’s this three goats decoration outside the front entrance. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that each goat (or sheep/lamb/ewe/whatever is it you call it) seems to have a different facial expression. So I did the only sensible thing that any man with a camera would do..
Man this goat #3 sucks. Can’t see the face!
This is where I am able to utilize yet another power of my new camera. Flip the screen out to 135 degrees, then place the camera downwards with lens facing upwards, and now I can see the goat’s face.
I didn’t think too much about it back then, but as I am sitting here looking at the photos now, those three goats don’t really have different expressions, do they? The only difference is how their heads are positioned. Tsk!
This is one of the newest shopping mall in Penang. It is very close to Gurney Plaza. In fact, only a hotel (G Hotel) separates them. You might wonder why the developers are so stupid to build a mall within walking distance to Gurney Plaza. Well, they are different alright. While Gurney Plaza is more a commoners’ mall, Gurney Paragon is supposed to be the place where the rich shops. This is where most of the luxurious brands and haute couture (custom made fashion) houses are.
Well, I made my way to this mall on foot, and I was rather disappointed when I arrived. There was no decoration at all on the front entrance. No, wait a minute, I think they designed the mall to have the front entrance on the opposite side compared to Gurney Plaza, so I was actually at the back entrance.
Even as I made my way into the mall, there was no sign of anything being set up to usher in the Year of the Goat. I had to make my way to the back concourse to see this..
I don’t know, but it somehow felt rather… pathetic. Maybe the rich and classy people do not care about decorations, so this mall pays no attention to decorating the place.
I have to confess here, this was the first time I went inside Gurney Paragon. The previous few times I came were always for lunch, outside the mall. This Gurney Paragon seem to be a rather small mall. I don’t think there’s a center court here like most of the malls in Malaysia. There’s a back concourse, a front concourse, and a walkway connecting them. And it was when I saw the walkway that I found more signs of an occasion.
I was not too impressed to be honest, after all the unique designs and decorations I have seen so far, to now see hanging lanterns was kind of… deflating. Then I made my way to the middle of the walkway, beneath the lanterns, and looked up. And I finally got it.
You see, this mall is actually 7 or 8 floors high. And those lanterns were coming down all the way from the 7th floor. I cannot imagine the amount of lanterns they used to complete this monstrosity.
I don’t think my pictures can describe what I felt standing at the bottom of all these. Let’s see. Have you ever watched those space travel movies where the spaceships fly at hyper speed and all the stars seem to fly by as beautiful strips of light? When I looked up, it felt that way to me.
If I have to summarize in words, simplicity done in an overwhelming manner? That’s about as apt as I can think of..
Then I made my way towards the front entrance and out of the mall and found this staring me in the face..
I think it was pretty cool. There were people doing the walk, but when they spotted a fatty aiming a camera at them, all ducked to the side to avoid being captured in photo. Oh well..
Ah yes, before I decided to call it a day, I spotted the third mascot..
Now I can say that I am very sure that there are five other mascots hidden in 5 other malls in Penang. Too bad (or too great) I realized this too late as I am heading back to KL soon, else I will be trying to hunt down all eight mascots. Just for the sake of it though, I don’t think they are very pretty to be honest 🙄 .
I’m not even sure if there are eight shopping malls in Penang island. Maybe they stowed some away in mainland Butterworth. That would complicate matters. Well, if any of you readers would be in Penang and want to hunt down the remaining five mascots, you might want to try these malls.
- First Avenue
- Prangin Mall
- Straights Quay
- Sunway Carnival
- and a big maybe, AEON Bukit Mertajam
I’m just guessing though, if you decide to follow my instincts and end up being disappointed, don’t kill me because of it 😐 .
Actually, you might want to check to see if other blogs covered these mascots. That would be the more reliable thing to do..
And that I think, closes my chapters of CNY decorations in Penang..