Chinese New Year Decorations @ Queensbay Mall (2016)

Hey! Hey hey hey! Guess what I’ve got for today?

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Yeah! Photos galore time!

I left earlier than usual today and managed to sneak into Queensbay Mall’s car park before the mad rush for Chinese New Year shopping began for the day. So… I’ve got pictures. Lots of them! I took over 300 shots with the camera and selected the most relevant 29 to put into this blog post.

I’ve not done a lot of work on the photos. Just a bit of cropping here and there, and compressing the size of the photos so the page won’t take ages to load. I’m not a huge fan of photo editing after all, mainly because I’m lazy, but also because I prefer to see a photo as it is, don’t want to end up with [it looks a lot better than it actually is] situations…

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I started from the sides of the mall. It is interesting to note that it is a bit more… subdued this year. Remember those flower shaped paper umbrellas hanging all over the mall last year? None of such decorations this year. Most parts of the mall look relatively clean this time around…

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As usual, there are special booths set up to sell CNY goodies. But I’m surprised that it isn’t the usual CNY cookies or drinks or that sort of stuff. Seems like the mall dedicated an entire area to accommodate the sale of hampers. A few different brands, all selling big ass hampers!

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Hampers are a big deal when it comes to CNY in Malaysia. It is basically a basket filled with food items, snacks and a bottle of wine/soft drink, stacked ridiculously tall, and then wrapped with shiny paper. It is some sort of a symbol of status and prosperity which you give to your business partners, your customers, or your girlfriend’s family. Especially your girlfriend’s family if your girlfriend has sisters and her sisters have boyfriends.

One thing I am particularly distressed with our hamper culture though, is how the winning criteria has slowly shifted through the years. You see, when I was a kid, an awesome hamper would be a super large one, stacked super high. Usually the stuff you find inside are cheap stuff: cheap wine, near expiry crackers, unknown brands of foodstuff, etc. But the actual items did not matter, the size did. The bigger it is, the more prestigious it is. The taller it is, the more important the recipient is perceived to be to the sender.

But nowadays, the size of a hamper seems to be less important. People seem to care more about the content rather than the size of the hamper they receive. Nowadays, the more expensive the hamper is, the better it is. I hate this. The only winners when people start to compare hampers based on the prices, are the supermarkets and vendors who sell these hampers!

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RM 1388 (US$ 300)

This RM 1388 one is the most expensive one I have seen this year, so far. I’m sure there are some that would go a few times more expensive…

Anyway, let’s get back to the decorations…

From the sides of the mall, I made it to the Center Court, where all the real actions are…

Remember how they walled up the entire area during Christmas? They did not tear down the wall. Good job I think, trying to recycle this part. I can only imagine how expensive it is to set up this walled area, it would be extremely stupid and wasteful to only use it for one festive season.

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Front entrance
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Side wall
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Side wall

As I was trying to get some shots from the front entrance, I can’t help but notice this patch of wall. I know, this isn’t a tiger, but… close enough. And it’s red. Since I am a Tiger child, this perfectly placed piece of wall is my personal CNY feng shui spot. And it’s not even a temporarily erected wall, it is the wall of an actual shop. I guess I should go inside and buy some clothes from them!

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Let’s move on…

I thought I was early. But I guess maybe I spent too much time staring at those expensive hampers. By the time I made it into the Center Court… chaos! Utter chaos!

It wasn’t even 10.30 AM yet, but… forget about being able to absorb the props and feel the right spots to frame my pictures nicely. I could barely find an empty spot just to stand on!

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Lots of heads intruding my shots
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Everyone taking selfies and wefies on 情人桥 Lovers’ Bridge

The main event, the masterpiece of this year’s showcase is undoubtedly that pond in the middle, with all those boats. Boats filled with precious cargoes.

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Boats and cargoes
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Boats and cargoes
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Precious cargo of wine

But actually, I personally am not too interested with this pond. In fact, I tried to stay away from this part after I got a couple of photos to show. I have my own twisted logic for it, I’ll explain later.

I am more interested with the props laying on the periphery. While everyone was busy taking selfies with the boats and on the Lovers’ Bridge, I was more interested with these, because these tell us more about life in China in the olden days…

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Rattan tools of the old
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Drying food in the sun (props only of course)
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Rattan… what’s this called??

Err… what’s this called? I can’t recall!!

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Traditional Chinese wine

Seeing these wine jars reminds me of those TV series with ancient China as setting, series such as [岳飞 Yue Fei]. Those war generals would always drink wine straight from such jars to prove that they are real men是豪杰必有真情 大丈夫岂无酒量!

While admiring the props, I came across a table. Or rather, I came across a lot of heads surrounding a table. So I made my way there to see what the fuss is all about.

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Some girl writing calligraphy

Ahh… I think I’ve seen this before in Claire’s blog! But I’m a nerd, and nerds don’t do well with being the center of attention, so there’s no way I would try my hands at that! Furthermore, it’s not even real calligraphy. There’s no ink involved. They’re just props. Pre-printed sheets of paper with inkless brush pen.

And then I was distracted by another blob of heads surrounding something, so I moved there…

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Ooh.. a 龙须糖 Dragon Beard Candy counter!

Maybe there’s someone giving a demo on how to make 龙须糖 Dragon Beard Candy? Let’s get closer…

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Yes! They’re really making some!
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One person kneading the shell, one person dealing with the fillings
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They’re even for sale!

Nice to see, but… nope, I didn’t buy it. I’m actually not a huge fan of this thing. I don’t like how the filling sticks to my teeth. Don’t ask me why I am alright with a Snickers bar though, there’s no logical explanation to it.

Speaking of snacks, I spotted another counter, but there was no one manning that counter…

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冰糖葫芦 Bing Tang Hulu

At this point of time, the glass of white coffee that I had during breakfast finally made its way to my bladder, so I made a quick trip to the toilet. When I came back, surprise surprise…

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Someone finally showed up!

And the lady even busted me trying to secretly shoot a picture of them working. Tsk!

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Cooking the sugar coating
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Err… this…

Don’t look much like a traditional bing tang hulu, do they? What’s with those strawberries, grapes and orange pieces? And… a stick of this is gonna cost me RM 8?? Nope… no thanks…

One last photo before I get my ass out of this congested area. An informational photo for those of you who plan to visit this mall in the coming weeks.

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Chinese New Year activity schedule

Seeing the word Monkey Drum reminds me: where are the monkeys?? I thought this is gonna be the year of the monkey?

Anyway… time to get out of the crowd. I went upstairs to get a clearer view of the area from a good vantage point.

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I think Queensbay Mall did a very good job with the decorations this time around. It looks elaborate and nice, and the best part is, the main building blocks are recycled from the Christmas decorations. Thumbs up for being environmentally responsible, not to mention the savings that comes with it.

Is it worth visiting this mall to see these decorations? Now that I’m done with my last round of grocery shopping and will not come again until after CNY, totally! Come come come!

Okay… explanation time. Why did I not want to spend too much time admiring that pond of water with the boats?

Bear in mind that this is just my personal brand of twisted logic. Please just read this as a reference of how twisted my mind is. Don’t think what I think and definitely don’t do things based on what I think.

Okay… you know I’m a Cantonese, right? In Cantonese, water ( sui), when used as part of a term, sometimes does not mean water. For example, 过水 (guo sui), 搒水 (bong sui), or even 猪笼入水 (zhu long yap sui), when we use  like this, means… money.

So… that pond of water… if it is a real pond of water, that would be great. A pond of real water, that would be real good feng shui for signifying a pool of wealth.

But as it is, it is just a sheet of canvas painted to look like water. In other words, the way I see it, it is not real water. If it is not real water, then it is fake water. Fake… money.

Guys… you know what fake money means, don’t you? That’s why… I’m so not gonna admire that pond.

But.. I re-iterate, this is just me and my twisted logic. Pay no heed to me, I’m no feng shui expert… Please just refer to the pictures and to what I’ve written prior to these italic words and ignore these italic words…

Queensbay Mall will kill me if people start to be tainted by my twisted logic… but this is my blog, I can’t help but record down what my brain really thinks…


  1. The decorations in the mall are very nice, traditional with festive mood without having to cost a bomb like KL styles. You seem to have better eyes than the other bloggers for CNY shots. I want to see more please!!

  2. Looks lovely. Never really experienced CNY as I have been always in Europe during that time. Only once I went to the CNY celebrations in Helsinki city center with food stalls, dances, Chinese TV Programm on a huge screem, fireworks and a huge dinner in the casino.
    All the other times we just stayed home and watched the new years program on Chinese tv while overeating on snacks..

      • I think it is pretty common in cities around Europe with bigger universities/ many students from Asia. For example in Germany I know that Hamburg had CNY celebrations for the past years as Hamburg has also the largest amount of permament Chinese residents (around 10.00 -12.000 )

  3. You took a LOT of pictures! I tried doing that at 1-U today but failed big time hah..hah.. Anyway, I agree with you regarding the fake water. I mean, I wouldn’t be admiring fake water. That would be weird.

    • Actually here, every holiday is important! Important to lure potential visitors to come to the malls and spend money. The decorations are like a small investment to attract bigger returns in the form of customer spendings… 🙄

  4. For some reason, I’m not that into CNY deco like I’m into Xmas deco. 300 shots…pengsan! O_o If I were to blog, I’d take like 10 shots (ok maybe 12-15) and post 10 shots…hehe! 😀

    I thought those things drying in the sun (especially the mushrooms) were real until you mentioned they were props (I was wondering if the mushrooms would disappear over the course of the day) ;D Looks like a lot of shoppers still…nobody’s tightening their belts?

    • I normally do the same like you when I’m shooting with my phone. But when carrying a camera, have to pretend like I know what I’m doing and snap away hahaha! 😀

      Er… CNY is still a festival where the kiasu Chinese people will spend spend spend regardless. But.. I think the number of people spending money is still the same, but the amount being spent is probably a lot less than before. 🙄

  5. Wow.. so many shots! Good, CL.. thanks for sharing in more details, I just took mine at random cos in my condition, very difficult to go here and there to snap every corner. Furthermore, my girl hastened me so that she could do her shopping! So you remember I have put up the calligraphy in my blog.. you don’t find it surprising! hahahaa…

  6. I like that they reuse the Xmas decorations walls for CNY. Great planning! 2 in 1 use. What did the lady at the ping tang hulu stall say to you when she saw that you were taking photos of her stall? I hope they won’t take down the CNY deco so early because i think I will go there after CNY day 1 and 2. Thanks for the detailed description of each photo. 300 photos!? Wow, so many photos that you took. No comments about hampers because I have never received any and I have never bought any to give to anyone. Neither has my spouse. About your logic, there are many fake water all over so die lah if think like that, cannot go near those places lah.

    • Hahaha, no lah, you click on that photo to enlarge, she was staring at me and giving me a smile, just to let me know she realized what I was doing, hahaha!

      No worries, they should still be around until at least Chap Goh Mei…

      Er.. you over-reacted lah. I don’t mean avoid those places. What I mean is I just be indifferent to fake water situations and not to admire them like they are the most beautiful things in the world. Is like, you see fake money, you indifferent to it, but you won’t go and “Wah!! Good ahh!! Lots of fake money for me!!”, would you?

      • I will admire the fake pond setup because of the boats and work and hours and effort put in to make the boats and bridges look realistic lah. Not admire them because got money in it for me. I don’t even pray to choy san lah.

        • Yala, that’s what I am asking you to do. Don’t do things based on my crooked thinking. Please go ahead and admire the efforts that they put in to create the atmosphere. 😉

  7. Like you, I don’t like the mentality surrounding the hampers today. All those years back, my parents and relatives would suss out the hampers that came with abalone…to them, those were the hampers worth buying.

    From your very nice photos, it does look like there were many people there so early in the morning. I suppose by afternoon it was shoulder-to-shoulder.

    Your logic makes sense 😐

    • Another one who understands my superstitious logic. I thought we’re all living in a modern era?! 😀 😀

        • Very true, that. Sometimes fate and superstition can be quite freaky. Maybe there’s really something there, just that science has not evolved enough to measure them. 🙄

  8. I am still in hibernation today as it is still so cold. However, I don’t think the dept stores here will have displays as cool as this one. Love the last pic. And I actually thought it was a real pond [until you pointed it out] and I understand your logic at the end of the post.

    • I thought I’m the only superstitious old fart here. I’m stressed that you see my superstitious logic LOL! 😀

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