Dragon Boat Races

Sunday 24 June 2001 – Singapore

Breakfast with Ric and Ryan – pancakes with maple syrup and crispy bacon. Went to Marina Bay to see the dragon boat races, which were OK.

Dragon Boats ready to race in Singapore
Dragon Boats ready to race in Singapore
Dragon Boats ready to race in Singapore
Dragon Boats ready to race in Singapore

More impressive were the Wushu Lion Dancers who were holding a contest at the Dragonboat Festival. Pairs of dancers join together in a single lion costume and dance on a series of narrow pole-top platforms, 8-10 feet in the air. They perform highly acrobatic feats, leaping as one from one pole to the next. The tops of the platforms are only a few inches across and can be several feet apart. At the same time, they manipulate the lion costume, which has articulated eyebrows, with great skill.


My exertions on Palau Ubin were taking their toll, manifesting in quite sore neck and shoulder muscles, so I indulged in a shoulder massage at a reflexology place near Outram Park MRT station. Felt much better after 20 minutes of pummeling from an aged Chinese masseur.

Dragon Boat Races, Singapore
Dragon Boat Races, Singapore

Decided to attend the closing event of the Singapore Arts Festival, an outdoor attraction at Choa Chu Kang, in the north-west of Singapore Island. Fortunately it was easily reached by MRT. The show was performed by a British company. A large representation of a lighthouse was erected in a field. Prior to the show, a taped history of lighthouses was played, although it was hard to hear because of chattering Singaporeans paying absolutely no attention. What little I heard sounded quite interesting.

The show consisted of three people in fireproof suits who came in playing the fool and then proceeded to launch a series of quite spectacular pyrotechnics. It was all quite dazzling, but didn’t seem to have much to do with lighthouses – more to do with blokes who like playing with fire! To get home I caught the MRT again, in what ended up being the long way around the island (although I’d not done the circuit before).

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