Chinese New Year Decoration @ Queensbay Mall (2015)

So I carried my camera with me today on my grocery shopping trip. After all, I did promise myself (or was it to you guys) that I will take more photos with my camera over the weekend.

I saw many cars leaving Penang on Friday evening. It was supposed to be a long holiday as next Tuesday is another public holiday sempena Thaipusam and many people took Monday off as well. I was expecting Queensbay Mall to be less crowded.

How wrong I was! I checked into the mall slightly before 11.00AM. On a typical weekend, this means I get to park on the lower floors (3rd and 4th floor). Today even 5th floor was almost full. No matter, I headed straight for 6th floor.

Then I went grocery shopping. Then I carried my haul and went back to my car. I was planning to ditch my load in the car and head back into the mall to take photos. But as I got out of the escalator, I saw that the entire 6th floor was full! Bloody hell, it was just 11.30AM!

I hated seeing a full car park when I was not planning to leave. I knew what was going to happen. As I made my way to my car, a car slowed down near me and signaled his intention to occupy my soon-to-be-vacant spot. I waved him away indicating that I wasn’t leaving. He gave me a pissed off look and moved on. Then I took 20 seconds to settle my grocery bags in the car and when I was ready to lock the car, I noticed another car had signaled and was waiting beside me, again. I waved him off again, and saw another pissed off face again. I just pissed off 2 people in the space of 30 seconds, wonderful! That in turn pissed me off. In a fit of annoyance, I posted a status update on Facebook, and almost immediately got a comment on it..


What the… You see, I come to Queensbay Mall every weekend that I was not going back to KL, for the past 6 years. To me, this mall is, well, just a mall. Never once have I thought that Queensbay Mall is a tourist attraction. I mean, who comes to Penang to visit a mall? Right??

I was hungry, so I decided to have lunch first, at the porridge place. I remembered that I brought that pierogi girl here for a late lunch before, and I suddenly thought of my friend’s earlier reply on Facebook. If Queensbay Mall is a tourist attraction, then I actually brought her to a tourist attraction! I did not drop the ball! Yes!

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Anyway, why am I telling you all these grandmother stories? I just wasted 500 words of your time reading grandmother stories that are totally unrelated to what I wanted to blog about today. Damn…

As you may know, in about two weeks time it is Chinese New Year again, so the mall is filled with Chinese New Year themed decoration. Usually I would not pay much attention to these decoration, but since I am intent on being a tourist cum photographer today, I suppose it is time to pay more attention.

When I pay attention, I started to notice the little things. Like how the things that they stick to the ceiling are actually flower shaped Chinese umbrellas. How… interesting!

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I also spotted something that resembled a door frame, standing in the middle of nowhere. When I saw what shapes were hanging there, I realized that it is also going to be Valentine’s Day a few days before Chinese New Year.

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The usual me would shrug this door frame off and walk away. As it is, I was intrigued, so I inched closer. Great move. It seems like this door frame is a place set up for people to write love messages on heart shaped cards and clip on one of the ropes hanging. I saw a few with names written on the cards, but those are probably too P&C to have their photos taken.

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Simple yet so true…

As I made my way to the Center Court where the main decoration is, I noticed a few other things..

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More flower shaped decorations hanging around the mall
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Mock ancient Chinese wooden bridge and gazebo
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Special booths selling CNY goodies
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Doing brisk business it seems..

When I reached the Center Court, I realized it is true: this mall is loaded with tourists! Everyone is crowding the area to take pictures with all the decorations!

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To be honest, I always felt that it was stupid to take loads of photos on decorations in the malls. Today I did exactly that, so I felt pretty stupid. Then I saw hordes of tourists doing the same with their smartphones and iPads and I felt less stupid. Then I spotted a few other guys and girls with their DSLRs moving around, taking aim and adjusting their lenses and I felt great instead.

So, I think I should just post a bunch of photos and stop talking. Here we go!

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Courtyard entrance
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The traditional house. Or is it supposed to be a palace?

Besides the crowd, another thing that puts a damper to the photo-shooting experience are these barricades. It is quite impossible to exclude them if you want to capture everything in your shots. Or maybe it is just me not being skilled enough (more like not being skilled at all >.<)..

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Lian Lian, Penang Nian Gao 年糕 mascot?
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Flower Umbrellas Tree
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Fake Flowers

Something else that camera-me noticed are the wire frames of 12 animals from the Chinese Zodiac 十二生肖. They were rather inconspicuous, scattered across the entire courtyard. I don’t think most people paid attention enough to notice these. The usual me would be one of them. But since I noticed, it would be my mission to capture each and every one of them. It was not easy, some of them were hidden behind the barricaded area, I had to use zoom to get to them.

Rat 鼠
Cow 牛
Tiger 虎
Rabbit 兔
Dragon 龙
Snake 蛇
Horse 马 (zoom)
Goat 羊 (zoom)
Monkey 猴 (zoom)
Rooster 鸡 (zoom)
Dog 狗
Pig 猪

I almost missed the last two, the dog and the pig was hidden behind a tree, not directly visible to the people. You need to look for them to be able to spot them.

I also went out of the mall to take some photos of the outside, but those are not related to the Chinese New Year decorations, so I think I’ll save them for the next post. 😉

I suppose this is the first post where I gave my new camera a serious shakedown. Most of them are still using the Intelligent Auto Mode. A couple of them were on Shutter Priority Mode where I set the shutter speed and the camera automatically adjusts the correct aperture setting, and a couple of them I used Landscape Scene Mode just to see what that setting does indoors. Other than that, the only edits that I made on the PC are crop and resize.

Come on, what do you think? (About the CNY deco or about my lousy photography skills, or both)…


  1. Came via Marta’s blog to check out the CNY decorations, and I’m not disappointed! I really love all the flower/flower umbrella ones, wouldn’t mind smaller versions for my house, hehe! The zodiac animals dotted about was really clever as well. 🙂
    Glad I dropped by and I look forward to seeing more! ^^)/

  2. i like the decorations coz it gets the mall full of CNY ambience, but i hate the crowds…I seldom go to malls before CNY, coz it is so crazy to get a parking spot plus the crowds dampen my shopping mood.

    • Go on CNY eve, the few hours after lunch is when the malls are already deserted but the shops are not ready to close yet. Best time to shop 😉

  3. These decorations are very unique and pretty. That mall seems to be quite stingy in earlier years for CNY decorations.
    I am waiting to snap photos of the 4 malls in KL that have fierce competitions!

    • The truth is, since last year, business has been bad all around. That’s why all the malls and shops and restaurants go heavy on decorations to lure visitors, and promotions/discounts to encourage people to spend money. If you noticed, Christmas decor last year also went heavy compared to previous years.

  4. I know the parking lot thing, I’ve a very bad attitude, coz girls always went into the car not just start engine and leave what!! I’ve to switch shoes, then put things nicely, drink some water then only start engine to move! So I don’t like got car aside to wait for me, I’ll felt very stress of it!! If really can I always snake snake walk quietly to my car!! But sometimes depends on my mood, if my mood good I would be quicker to let people park le……

    • I would always try to leave as soon as possible, if I am leaving, but I agree with you. In the end, that person needs your place, so he/she should wait. And you are right to take your time to be ready. It will be more dangerous if you start to drive when you are not ready!

    • haha…same here too, i will snake snake and dun let people know tht i got into car…maintain low profile, take my own sweet time but of course i m still considerate of the next waiting car….Is just that i dun like that other car trying to ‘rush’ me by honking and giving a piss-off look!

      • You are well within your rights to ignore that kind of ‘pressure’. It is better to take time to ready yourself before taking off. Driving when not ready is more dangerous!

  5. Oh wow, those decorations are great! I still didn’t see any Chinese New Year decorations in the fancy malls in my street! But in my office they changed the Christmas decoration into Chinese New Year decoration today so I will have to take pictures also! (and yes, we’ve had the Christmas tree and the golden reindeers besides the reception desk until today…).

    • Nothing weird about that, same goes to my office (factory), the Christmas decor was hanging there until it was time to change to Chinese New Year ones.

      I still want those reindeers though! 😀

  6. I thought the photos of the decorations were great, especially of the zodiac decor. I like the flower umbrellas too, they are really pretty.

    With the exception of Chinese New Year, if I were to go to a shopping mall on a public holiday or a few days approaching the public holiday, I expect it to be more packed than usual. Walking in the mall is safer than walking outside in the streets, and much more comfortable too with the air-con.

    • That is very true, especially for the past 2 or 3 weeks, the weather here is almost like that of Dubai. Scorching hot!

  7. haha!! so you are now carrying your Sony everywhere you go?? good, promoting places in Penang to readers from all over the world.. I actually wonder if I have been to Queensbay Mall?? but if you said it’s a tourists attraction, probably I’ve not been, haha!! 😀

    • LOL! You can ask the friends who brought you around, maybe you have been, who knows? But this is not in Georgetown area, it is in Bayan Lepas, near the airport. 🙂

  8. The décor is absolutely amazing! I especially love the flower shaped umbrellas – very nice indeed! You had a great day experimenting with your camera and the results are awesome.

    Your experience in the parking garage sounds like Costco on a weekend – everyone is trying to claim a parking spot and everyone is annoyed when the person is not leaving! haha

    • I always thought the parking spot problem is a uniquely Malaysian one. Guess it is not, huh. Definitely need to see the world more!

  9. I too don’t particularly like to take photos of mall decorations but if I do, I’d rather take photos of Christmas deco which I find is a bit more creative than the predominantly red themes of CNY.

  10. Lovely flowers! Clever use of those umbrellas. Very nice!

    Those rattan or whatever frames with all the animals – looks as if the leaves did not have enough time to grow all over them to be trimmed nicely to show the animal shapes.

    • Those are wire frames, and the leaves are fake leaves too. In fact nothing of the decorations here are from natural plants. You do have a point, they should’ve covered those frames with trimmed leaves instead. As it is, if it weren’t for the signage, I would have a hard time figuring out some of those animals.

  11. Very nice lah! Your photography is pretty decent I would say. Seeing that the only editing you did was crop and resize. The new camera was worth every cent then 🙂 The CNY decorations are quite nice too and I especially like those umbrella flowers. Shopping malls are crowded like crazy since the last few weeks. I really hate that 🙁

    Talking about those carpark stalkers, those people are so annoying. Let me share one story. Many years back, I was walking home from a nearby mall and I had to cross their huge open air carpark. This lady in her car spotted me and she actually tailed me. So I decide to have fun with her and walked all over the carpark for a bit only to exit after driving her up the wall. hah..hah… 😀

    • Wah you evil! Have pity on them lah, they also frustrated much while looking for parking. Maybe they tailgate to prevent other cars from cutting in, I think. But I hate that situation too, that’s why I prefer to do my shopping early in the morning, 10AM+, 11AM..

  12. I give you 200% marks on this post – for both photography skill and content. Not easy to take the photos of those almost invisible chinese zodiac animals from far. Content because many photographers will not make the extra effort to locate all the animals but you have the commplete set. Well done!

    I know what you mean about everyone taking CNY decor. Me too here in KL. The challenge is to take the photos at an angle where it will give the readers a very good idea on how the decor look and the ambiance it projects. So photo composition is very important. The lense cannot capture everything the eyes see so the photographer has to frame everything in his limited scope nicely.

    I am looking forward to more CNY decors from you at the other malls in Penang, ok? *putting the pressure on* lol – just joking! ;p

    • Hahaha, using zoom cannot be considered skillful lah, it is more the power of the camera 😛

      At first I wanted to wait for the people to move away, but after awhile I realized it was futile, so I just shot with people still in whatever I was shooting.

      Other malls.. Penang doesn’t have too many malls.. Maybe First Avenue and Gurney Paragon left.. Not sure if I want to go there or not. Wait and see 😉

    • Very crowded leh.. But I guess shopping in Penang is much better than shopping in Taiping. Still, best is go to KL, Penang also sometimes out of stock on many items because most suppliers are based in KL anyway.

  13. Eh at this time ahh, everywhere is crowded la, don’t care what the time is.. Here in MidValley, as early as 9.45am ahh, many many cars liao.. And at this time, ppl bz buying ‘lin for’, so better prepare early and no last minute shopping if possible la.. Oh yes I’m expecting the roads to be less jam tomorrow since Monday is KL public holiday and Tuesday is Thaipusam, so I guess many ppl sekaligus take leave kua..

    On your last question, both are good la 😀
    Very clear wor, no shaky or blurry ones, not bad your skill.. And CNY decor, everywhere sure angang red red one, then tuktuk chiang, headache, hehe..

    • Haih, if next week then expected lah, in fact I think next week I will grocery shopping on weekdays instead to avoid the crowds. But I thought this week okay geh, since saw so many cars leaving Penang. Dim zhi..

      Tuktuk chiang not so much yet, maybe next week will start. The only place tuktuk chiang right now is my office cafeteria. Walao, I can hardly have lunch there now..

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