Sunday, February 06, 2011

37th SSEAYP 2010 - Loy Krathong & Fire Flowers

Day 27 - 20 November 2010

The bed was so comfortable that I didn't want to get out of it. The house was a great paradise for relaxation. Ever since the 37th Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Programme (SSEAYP) commenced, there were no emails/SMS/calls intruding into my life. We interacted with one another by face-to-face and by writing. It seemed like the "reset" button was pressed. A brand new appreciation of life.

The laundry was dried thanks to the weather.

Our Host Mother specially made breakfast for all of us. 

Over breakfast, our frequent-traveller host parents asked about our countries and shared their experiences in our countries. It was pleasing to know they enjoyed their stays in Singapore. Host Father even kept a packaging box from a restaurant he patronised.

Our host parents are both educators. They set up schools and each of them runs their own school. We also got to know that our Host Mother is a Judge.

Photo of Judges

After breakfast, the teachers took us out to the Beach.

There were lots of seagulls! As we threw food to them, they came so close to us that the moment seemed magical.

We also played a game - using a rod to pluck off coloured papers on the tree. The coloured papers would contain numbers which would tell us what prizes we won.

I won an unflattering packet of orange juice, just sufficient to quench my thirst, but I thought it would be a great game to bring to grassroots activities after returning to Singapore.

We then left for Ancient Siam, which is the world's largest outdoor museum with 116 structures of Thailand's famous monuments and attractions. The structures were situated in the same geographical arrangement as they were in Thailand.

We opted to start off the tour with a tour bus. The guide spoke in fluent Thai, so we couldn't appreciate what she wanted us to know.

We stopped over for lunch near the pond.

SomTam - Papaya Salad

Pad Thai

Roi mak mak (very delicious!)

After feeding ourselves, we also fed the fish (with fish feed of course!). We also went round buying some souvenirs.

We met many other Participating Youths (PYs) around the pond, beginning with Jun Yi and then Fairuz, etc...

We continued the tour by bicycle, stopping at many scenic spots for photo taking.

We then checked out a temple.

Loy Krathong floats

The occasional plane reminded me of the Youth Leaders returning to Thailand from their Lao trip.

The hot sun drenched us with our perspiration. We headed back to the house and took our refreshing shower to get ready for dinner.

Feeding the fishes

In the evening, we learnt how to make Krathong - Water Lanterns. Loy Krathong festival would be held the next day, when Fuji Maru had sailed off Thailand.

Making a Krathong is actually very simple.

Step 1) Wrap the banana stem with the decorative leaves (alright, this was ready-made else it would be tedious) and use pins to attach them together:

Step 2) Cut the flower stalks and insert the flowers:

Step 3) More Flowers:

Step 4) Some roses would be lovely:

Step 5) Insert the incense sticks, candles, and flag:

Tada~ There you go~

I kept a stalk of rose as a gift for Mortal, using soaked tissue to wrap around the stem, in hope that it would last until then.

We set our Krathong aside and dined in.

Tom Yam soup!


Besides buffet dinner, we also had Korean hot pot.

And then came the time to set release our Krathongs.

I was so excited to see the fire flowers since they are banned in Singapore for safety reasons.

Banned in Singapore

For fellow Singaporeans who want to know how a fire flower works:

We released it at the pond beside our house. I understood that the entire Krathong, except the metal pins, are biodegradable. Fishes would eat the banana stem, so Krathongs do not pose environmental issues.

After dinner, we went to the Suan Lum night bazaar for shopping!

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