As if Melbourne needed an excuse to organize a party, or parties in this case, around food!
Happening now through February 22, the city is hosting heaps of festivities to celebrate Chinese New Year – Year of the Monkey. The easiest ones to find are located along the Yarra River, inside Crown Casino, along the Harbour Esplanade in the Docklands and of course, in Chinatown Melbourne. For a list of local events, please check the Only Melbourne website for more details. The city’s big Dragon Parade took place yesterday, but unfortunately we missed it because we’re traveling.
The other weekend, I watched lion and dragon dances in Federation Square kick off the Chinese New Year and enjoyed taking tons of photos. It was funny to watch the “Laughing Buddha” who is dressed in a mask and monk's robes and often teased the lion to make him dance around. The dances were accompanied with traditional Chinese drums and symbols.
During the week, I strolled along the Yarra River at dusk so I could photograph the colorful Chinese Zodiac lanterns installed near Southgate Melbourne mall. The lanterns lit up the city’s skyline beautifully, and I wished I had my tripod with me. However, I was still able to capture some good images, don’t you think?
At Queensbridge Square, you’ll find the Monkey Arch Corridor which is positioned as an extension to the currently decorated Sandridge Pedestrian Bridge. Nearby, there are a handful of food trucks here selling a variety of Asian food, tacos, burgers and ice cream for lunch, dinner or an afternoon snack.
Of course, Chinatown is always worth stopping by and finding a small place to enjoy steamed dumplings and other delights. One of my favorite spots is at Hutong Dumpling Bar whose stir-fried dishes are as good as their dumplings.
Happy Chinese New Year!