Pampered by a right Royal treat


It was simply wonderful to meet up with my friends in Desaru Coast at the recent Raya Open House event. It was not about the sumptuous spread in festive fare but always about reconnecting with the (important!) people.


Twilight view of the Sea.Salt.Fire from the lobby
level of Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas

Then the table next to the one I was at started to fill up with familiar faces who included key people from Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast and Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas.


After two years of lockdown and uncertainties, it was so good to meet in person again. The prevailing vibe was an overall anticipation of better times ahead, particularly with the borders reopened and the imminent start of services at the Desaru Ferry Terminal in July 2022.


With the June school term holidays upon us, destinations in Desaru Coast were often fully booked and this was a very promising and positive situation business-wise.


A warm welcome back to the
Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast

When Anantara Desaru extended an invitation to a gourmet dinner hosted at the Sea.Fire.Salt, I was politely informed that the resort was fully booked and that the invite did not include a stay.


This was an exclusive event by Pernod Ricard Malaysia for their loyal clients in the southern region and Executive Chef Fahdrul Abd Malek will curate a delightful menu to showcase the signature dishes served at Sea.Fire.Salt. that are exquisitely compatible with Royal Salute whiskies.


The Sea.Fire.Salt. has the honour of receiving the Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator, two years consecutively since 2020 & 2021, and I knew that the excellent service and fine food paired with whisky, will present a rare experience for gourmands in Johor.


While I was delighted to receive this invitation, I was (responsible!) not prepared to drive on the Expressway after the whiskey dinner. With this in mind, my response to the invite was, I would accept the invitation only when I have arranged accommodation in Desaru Coast.


My check-in at the Rock Royalty Lounge

When I received the email that confirmed my room reservation with the Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast, I did not know that the Director of Rooms, as an added gesture of their goodwill, had upgraded my room to Rock Royalty level.


On arrival that afternoon, I checked in comfortably at their Level Six Lounge but I did not make the connection yet.


When I looked around the cosy interior, the Lounge seemed vaguely familiar because I then recalled that the Hard Rock Speakeasy event was hosted here.


While I am familiar with the hotel [I had experienced the hotel since its preopening days and had the privilege to witness it official opening at its Grand Opening Party), I listened patiently as the reception team member provided all the helpful information to make my stay complete.


A light snack with flower tea at the Lounge

While considering the options offered, I thought I could enjoy the afternoon tea and cocktails, served after 5pm at the Lounge before I dressed to leave for dinner.


But first, I had to set up my wi-fi connection to join an online meeting at 4pm. With the help of the team member at the reception, I quickly got my devices connected.


“Back here again!” I captioned the photograph of my socked feet wearing the hotel bedroom slippers, sent to my family to let them know that I had checked in comfortably. That done, I prepared to log-in for the online meeting.


The menu for the Royal Salute whiskey dinner
at Sea.Fire.Salt

When I logged out of the meeting and glanced at the time, it was just on time for afternoon tea.


Back at the Lounge, the team members were putting the final touches to the tea buffet spread and offered to open the warming dishes to show me the contents.


To save space to enjoy a delightful dinner later that evening, I declined the kind offer because I only wanted a cup of tea with a light snack.


From where I was seated, the curtains at the floor-to-ceiling glass walls were pulled back to present a panoramic view of a section of the adjacent Adventure Water Park where water-lovers were having a splashing good time.


Pouring Royal Salute
whiskey to pair with each
course in our dinner

As I watched the holidaymakers enjoying the Water Park, I recalled the excitement of my first visit to this wet, wet world when it was newly opened.


My musing came to an abrupt end when a cool young man approached to introduce himself. He was Executive Chef Alexander Chong, who welcomed me to the hotel and when I invited him to sit down for a chat, I could not help but noticed the elaborate tattoos on his arms…


The Royal care I received (thus far) at the Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast continued at Anantara Desaru as my host welcomed me into the Sea.Salt.Fire, the restaurant located adjacent to the Infinity Pool.


When I was seated next to my host, I noted that aside from the couple opposite us, I was the only other guest at the table for this (very!) exclusive dinner invite.


Appetizer pairs with 21 Year Old
Royal Salute Signature Blend

I reached for the menu propped up on the table and read that we were about to experience a four-course set menu that comprised the restaurant’s signature dishes paired with Royal Salute whiskey.


The serving staff came to our table to pour the whiskey into delicate goblets to introduce each blend of Royal Salute whiskey to pair with each course of the meal.


Smoked Salmon Mousseline, the first appetizer, was paired with the 21-Year Old Royal Salute Signature Blend, an elegant blend of vanilla and dry oak with subtle notes of sherry and smoke.


The second appetizer of Pan-seared Foie Gras paired perfectly with the 21-Year Old Royal Salute Malt Blend.


The Royal Salute line-up

From the main course choice of Lobster Tail or Beef Rossini, I picked the Beef choice that was beautifully paired with the Royal Salute 62 Gun Salute, a whiskey which has a powerful flavour, bursting with intense, sweet orange and a deep, nutty, oaky flavour.


I was impressed that the Royal Salute 62 Gun Salute was presented in a midnight blue, hand-crafted Dartington Crystal decanter, adorned with 24-carat Gold and crowned with a cut crystal stopper, truly a work of art.


To end the meal sweetly, Mont Blanc, the restaurant’s signature dessert, made up of a Manjari Log Mango Brulee with a side of Cinnamon Gelato, found its match in the Royal Salute 38-Year Old Stone of Destiny.


Handcrafted Dartington Crystal 
decanter, truly a work of art

With each sip of Royal Salute 38 Stone Destiny, I savoured a mature, sophisticated nose and a remarkable depth of flavour with the fragrance of rich dried fruits and bold spices, tastes of cedar wood and almonds with rich, sherried oak leading to an enduringly smooth finish.


No, this Royal Salute whiskey experience was not turning me into a whiskey snob but I must confess that this one-off, exclusively curated dinner menu paired with Royal Salute blends, was truly something special.


After our delightful dinner, we took a pleasant walk on the garden path to the car park to retrieve our cars and on the short drive back to the neighbouring hotel, I paused to capture the night scenes, rarely seen because I was seldom out here at this hour.


A slice of fried cod fish with a side of 
prawn dumplings topped with caviar

As I snuggled down comfortably to sleep, my last thought was… “I could get used to being treated like Royalty.”


The next morning, I read the WhatsApp message from Chef Alexander, “…let me know what time you will go to breakfast… I just need 15 minutes in advance to prepare…”


Wow! The Chef was ready to delight me with dishing out something special for my breakfast so just as I was about to head out of my room, I replied his message.


Sweetness in the yogurt and fresh fruit

When I arrived at the Lounge, I was greeted by name and welcomed to a reserved table. The waitress offered me a cup of tea – because she remembered my choice for flower tea yesterday – but I told her that I could enjoy a coffee to start my day.


Then my breakfast dishes were served together: A generous slice of fragrant fried cod fish resting in a pool of sauce, topped with asparagus sticks and deep-fried ginger floss to savour with a bowl of steaming hot rice congee… along with a tiny side dish of crispy char-kway rings and shallots with a sprig of Chinese coriander as garnish.


This was not all because there was also a small plate of har-gau or prawn dim sum topped with… caviar.


Thanks very much for
the Royal treat!

Two more sweet items served in glass tumblers, were homemade yogurt with a layer of raspberry puree while the other was a small measure of orange juice topped with colourful cubes of fruit, I recognised as dragon-fruit, pineapple, honey-melon and honey-dew.


Chef Alexander was all smiles when he joined me for a coffee, probably because he knew that the delightful dishes, specially prepared for specific Rock Royalty guests, matched with my taste.


As I sipped on my second cup of coffee and appreciated the privilege for this Royal experience in Desaru Coast, I had a flashback to the previous time I was hosted by the Singapore Tourism Board and pampered by a perfectly posh weekend.


More guests with young families had arrived for breakfast in the Lounge and when the noise level increased, it was time for me to leave and start on a slow drive back – and return from Royalty to reality.

Drumming up a double celebration!


On a bright Sunday morning, with the Johor Straits and busy causeway for a backdrop on 12 June 2022, 100 drummers drumming Chinese drums to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Johor Baru Tiong Hua Association and the 34th anniversary since the founding of the 24 Festive Drums on 12 June 1988.


A spectacular show by 100 drummers along
with wushu artistes on 12 June 2022

It was wonderful weather for a double celebration and I was privileged to be among the invited guests to witness such a momentous occasion for the Chinese community in Johor.


Just a day ago, in a telephone conversation with Tan Chai Puan, co-founder of the art of the 24 Festive Drums, Tan invited me to the event planned to be held at the R&F Princess Cove Sales Gallery at Tanjung Puteri.


Tan said that it would be a brief event in the morning, with three speeches by only three people: himself as the co-founder of the 24 Festive Drums, the R&F Group Chairman, Richard Hu, and Johor Baru Tiong Hua Association president, Ho Sow Tong.


I signed in on a traditional Chinese guest book

This would be followed by a 24 Festive Drums performance by the JB Drums troop and the auspicious ceremony where 100 drums would be drummed by VIPs and guests to commemorate the 100th year anniversary of the JB Tiong Hua Association.


I pictured this scene in my imagination… and it turned out exactly as he described.


When I walked from the R&F Mall along a familiar path towards the Sales Gallery, I knew I was on the right track to the event when I saw a drummer – in his costume – standing next to a stack of three Chinese drums.


Tan Chai Puan, presenting his speech

At the reception desk, I had the pleasure to sign my name in shining silver ink on a page of auspicious Red in a traditional Chinese guest book.


As I settled into my seat in the event hall, I had a sudden flashback to my previous time at the R&F Princess Cove Sales Gallery for the 32nd anniversary of the 24 Festive Drums in 2020, where I participated with Tan in a Facebook live-sharing event, conducted in English.


I was also honoured to be part of the 30th anniversary of the 24 Festive Drums, first at the Johor Old Temple where the original drum troop from 1988 graced the event and I was invited to join them for a national level celebration in Kuala Lumpur in 2018.


Front Row Left to Right: Mrs Tan Hooi Song,
Tan Chai Puan and Ho Sow Tong

As I was familiar with the proud heritage of the 24 Festive Drums in Johor, I was pleased to observe that Mrs Tan, widow of the late Tan Hooi Song, the other co-founder of the 24 Festive Drums, and daughter, were also present at the event.


It was so good that Tan and the 24 Festive Drums Association were sharing these significant milestones with Mrs Tan and her family, just as they did when the art of the 24 Festive Drums was proudly recognised as a National Cultural Heritage by the Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry on 14 February 2009. 


An auspicious ceremony with 100
VIPs and guests drumming 100 drums

During his speech, presented in Mandarin, Tan spoke a line in English to acknowledge the presence of Chairperson of the Iskandar Malaysia Social Heroes Award (IMSHA), Mrs Thanam Visvanathan Suresh.


Tan was working with Thanam and the IMSHA team as part of the original Leadership Council for three years before he was released from that role.


This was because Tan was an IMSHA nominee who deserved to win for his contributions to the development of arts and culture here.


Upon his release from the Council, Tan could then accept this much deserved award in IMSHA 2017 for the Arts, Culture and Heritage (Individual) category.


A dramatic drum performance by JB Drums

When the Johor Baru Tiong-Hua Association vacated their premises at the city’s heritage quarter and moved to their new building in Taman Sri Tebrau, their property was refurbished and opened as the Johor Baru Chinese Heritage Museum. 


At its official opening in 2009, the then Johor Menteri Besar declared Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, a Heritage Walk.


Between 2009 and 2014, the Tan Hiok Nee Heritage Walk committee worked hard to organise a series of public cultural events at the Heritage Walk on Saturday nights. 


One for the album: a group photograph

These events were very successful as the road was closed to vehicular traffic in the evenings to encourage more people to come into the city to enjoy the street carnival activities.


When Tan was involved with organizing cultural events here, he actively cooperated with me to provide relevant information so that I could write about Chinese cultural events in English. This was the start of our collaboration which continues to this day.


Among the Chinese culture-heritage pieces that I had researched and shared in English language to benefit the Chinese who do not read Chinese, was the origin of the Johor Baru Tiong Hua Association.


A cheerful crowd at the celebration!

To understand its origins, we need to go back to the 1800s when the Chinese accepted the Johor ruler’s invitation to come to open up land for the cultivation of pepper and gambier
in the kangchu system.


In 1844, Tan Kee Soon, leader of the Ngee Heng Kongsi or society, led his followers in the Teochew clan to settle in Johor. The Teochew was the dominant Chinese dialect along with the Cantonese, Hakka, Hokkien and Hainanese who made Johor their new home. 


While the Ngee Heng society started as a quasi-military revolutionary brotherhood that was opposed to the Ching dynasty, their activities in Johor Baru evolved into valuable social, political and administrative work that contributed to Johor’s early economic growth. 

A dramatic drum show by 
Foon Yew School students

When Sultan Abu Bakar recognised the strength and solidarity of a brotherhood like the Ngee Heng society, he legalised it as an association in 1873 with membership opened to all Chinese clans and assigned it to take charge of Chinese community affairs. 


United with the other Chinese clans as a legal society, the Johor Old Temple was built to house the deities worshipped by the five Chinese clans, a common cemetery called Kongsi San was established and the Foon Yew School was opened to accept students from the five Chinese clans.  


The legalised Ngee Heng society eventually developed into the Johor Baru Tiong Hua Association in 1922 and remains an integral part of the history of Chinese-Malay relationships that undergirds the strong support between the Johor sultanate and the Chinese community here.


VIPs and guests enjoying the drum show
at this meaningful and memorable celebration

The double celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Johor Baru Tiong Hua Association and the 34th anniversary of the founding of the 24 Festive Drums, continued outdoors in the open space where 100 Chinese drums were arranged in rows.


An impressive 24 Festive Drums performance by the JB Drums troop was followed by the auspicious ceremony where 100 drums were drummed by VIPs and guests to commemorate the 100th year anniversary of the JB Tiong Hua Association.


The event topped-off with a dramatic drum show that was performed by JB Drums, Foon Yew High School, UTM and Randrumteam drummers as well as other individual drummers, along with wushu artistes who wielded flags, traditional weapons and swords.


It was a most meaningful and memorable event on a bright Sunday morning with the Johor Straits and busy causeway for a backdrop on 12 June 2022, where 100 drummers drummed Chinese drums for a double celebration for the 100th anniversary of the Johor Baru Tiong Hua Association and the 34th anniversary of the founding of the 24 Festive Drums on 12 June 1988.


Congratulations and best wishes for many more anniversary celebrations to come!

From bank notes and coins to postage stamps


If you are in Johor Baru this weekend, head to Paradigm Mall where a Bank Note, Coin and Stamps Fair will be held from Friday to Sunday, June 17 to 19, 2022.


Postage stamp to commemorate our nation's
independence day is priced in Cents and Sen

I have a wide collection of coins and foreign currencies – left over from travel abroad – but this is not quite the stuff serious bank note and coin collectors are after.


Serious collectors would be keen on rare commemorative coins in gold or silver issued for special occasions and events that are preserved in mint condition, and come complete with certificates and proof of authenticity.


Or rare bank notes that were unintentionally misprinted which deemed them so special that they became collectors’ items…


While many communities may have gone cashless during the global pandemic, we are still using currency so bank notes and coins are here to stay…


Postage stamp designed with
English and Jawi writing

It may sound strange to this generation of people but there was a time when written correspondence was mainly through the postal system where letters were written, folded into envelopes and postage stamps pasted [at top right corner!] to post them to the addressee.


There was even an era of pen-pals where friendships were developed through letter-writing to people in foreign countries. Some of these friendships even continued into serious cross-cultural relationships.


Then as young people went abroad to further their studies, written correspondence with family and friends at home was through the post.


[Telephone calls were rare because calls were expensive. Each call – that was placed with the help of an international operator – was charged by the minute and due to the different time zones, it was often a challenge to call abroad except when absolutely necessary or in emergencies.]


Johor was then known as Johore

Air-mail correspondence was also expensive because each letter was weighed and charged according to its weight.


Aerograms was the economical answer to frequent air-mail letters because it was a single sheet that was conveniently folded and its edges pasted to seal it before posting.


Aerograms sold at the Post Office often came with a postage stamp printed on it while blank aerograms (blue sheets of thin paper!) from stationery stores needed a postage stamp to be pasted on before posting.


In the UK, some aerograms were produced to commemorate festive seasons like Christmas and in Malaysia, some aerograms were printed with colourful designs to showcase our culture and heritage.


Three First Day Covers
Postage stamps from the era of British Malaya, the Straits Settlements, and the Federation of Malaya when Johor was known as Johore, was priced in the currency of Dollars and Cents.


Interestingly the currency printed on the stamps to commemorate our nation’s independence on 31 August 1957 was both: Cents in English and Sen in Malay.


First Day Covers are the first day issue of a postage stamp on a matching cover or stamped envelope franked on the first day the issue was authorised for use.


These covers made attractive collectibles and collectors would queue up at post offices on the days of its issue to buy the franked copies, not only to add to their own collections but often bought an extra piece to exchange/trade with other collectors.


Another two commemorative
First Day Covers

There was also a time when festive greetings for Christmas, Chinese New Year, Hari Raya and Deepavali, were exchanged among family and friends through the sending and receiving of greeting cards.


The greeting card industry was BIG then and Hallmark became a household name because they produced some of the most beautifully designed cards with meaningful messages printed inside for birthdays, addressed to specific family members, special occasion like Valentine’s Day, graduations, weddings, new babies and even bereavements.


In fact, there were shops opened to sell solely greeting cards and gifts. Now, it was rare to find quality greeting cards or even the Card section in any department store.


As travel and tours became popular, I always bought postcards at destinations to post them home for my collection of postcards and postage stamps.


Postage stamps that featured the iconic P. Ramlee

With the introduction of electronic messaging through email and Short Message Service (SMS) (and now, WhatsApp!) the art of letter-writing, postcard-writing and greeting-card writing, all died a natural death.


At the demise of card and letter writing, postal services were probably reduced to only delivering catalogues, bills and bank statements. But as banks and telephone companies gradually went paperless, there were even no more bills and statements to send.


Postage stamp to commemorate the Diamond
Jubilee of Sultan Sir Ibrahim of Johore

Post Offices nationwide then expanded their range of services to being One-Stop Payment centers for utility bills, Insurance and Vehicle Road Tax renewals, among other services.


If reading this has intrigued you about rare bank notes, coins and postage stamps, then head over to the Bank Note, Coin and Postage Stamps Fair at Paradigm Mall this weekend, to see for yourself and meet collectors who are passionate about their priceless collections.


Paradigm Mall, opened from 10am to 10pm, is situated along Jalan Skudai, Johor Baru and the Fair will be held in the event space on Level One, easily accessible by escalator from the Ground Floor, near Uniqlo.

Leaping lions compete in Johor Baru


Fans of High-Pole Lion Dance in Johor Baru had a wonderful adrenaline-pumping treat over the past weekend when they witnessed the National High-Pole Lion Dance Competition, hosted at the central concourse of Plaza Sentosa.


A spectacular show at the National competition
held in Plaza Sentosa, Johor Baru

Organized by Kun Seng Keng (KSK) Lion and Dragon Dance Association annually and hosted in various venues nationwide, this competition was held in Johor Baru this year with the support of the Malaysia Dragon & Lion Dance Sports Association.


High-Pole Lion Dance enthusiasts who are familiar with KSK, the award-winning team who have established a reputation as world-class multiple champions of International and National High-Pole Lion Dance competitions, had the privilege of enjoying a live show at this exciting competition.


Tan Chong Hing, founder of the Kun Seng
Keng Lion and Dragon Dance Association
in Muar, with a KSK Lion Dance team

Tan Chong Hing, who founded the Kun Seng Keng Lion and Dragon Dance Association in Muar in 1988, had made it his mission to organize Lion Dance competitions annually to actively promote the culture and heritage of lion dancing.


However, due to the global pandemic, this annual competition was deferred for two years. During this challenging time, Tan noted that some 30% of lion dance teams nationwide, had no alternative but to be dissolved.


In his opening address, Tan expressed his hope that this National Competition will reignite the passion among enthusiasts and revitalize the sport to keep the culture and tradition of Lion Dance alive in this nation.


In 2007, the art of High-Pole Lion Dance by the Kun Seng Keng Lion and Dragon Dance Association was recognised as an Intangible National Cultural Heritage by the Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry.


With Master Siow, King of Lion Heads
For this competition, participating teams from Negeri Sembilan, Perak, Penang, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Melaka, Johor and Sabah, had their own drum and cymbals musicians, and each team took their turn to perform their routine.


Details of the event remained sketchy until I arrived at 2pm on June 4 and learnt from reliable sources that the competition was in fact, divided into two parts.


Part One was the competition for Traditional Lion Dance where teams would perform a routine around a circuit designed on the floor.


The judging criteria included the lion’s posture, footwork, teamwork, portrayal of the lion as it skillfully danced through this circuit, paused to drink some wine, then climb onto a wooden table in a drunken dance…


Performing a routine in the Traditional Lion
Dance Competition; Observe the skills of the
two players - where is the front player?

Ahead of the competition, I observed the pairs of players while they rehearsed their routines. These pairs did not wear the Lion Head and costume so I could see their fancy footwork and the synchronized coordination between the two as they moved as one.


I was always impressed by how the two players could coordinate their movements while the front player was carrying and moving the heavy lion head, and also flapping its ears and eyelids, according to the music.


Meanwhile the player in the rear was bending over most of the time and he not only had to wag the lion’s tail at appropriate times according to the music but also needed to have the strength and stamina to carry the front player up to stand on his own thighs or shoulders.


Participating teams assembled for the
event opening ceremony

Among the officials at the event, I recognised the distinct image of Master Siow Ho Phiew whom I met and interviewed when he participated in the 8th Johor Baru Arts Festival, held in the city’s heritage quarter.


He probably could not remember this so I reminded him that my story on him aptly entitled, King of Lion Heads, was published in Johor Streets, a pull-out section of The New Straits Times, in July 2011.


A team of judges were stationed at various spots around the competition circuit for their judging criteria and at the end of each team’s performance, each judge would display the scores to show the audience before all scores were tallied up in a grand total.


Mighty skill and strength for a lion
to stand upright on top of a high-pole

The Traditional Lion Dance competition took a break to conduct the event opening ceremony that kicked off officially with our National Anthem and the raising of our National Flag.


It was fascinating (for me!) to observe that KSK had their official flag and anthem, and this flag was also raised as their anthem was sung (in Mandarin) with passion and vigor.


The Traditional Lion Dance competition resumed after the opening ceremony and the teams delighted the audience with their clever choreography and dancing skills.


At the close of this competition, the teams who scored the highest in the Traditional Lion Dance were Hong Guan Wushu and Lion Dance Sports, Johor Baru, in the top spot, Sheng Wai Dragon & Lion Dance Kepong Association, Kuala Lumpur, in second place and Kun Seng Keng Lion and Dragon Dance Association, Butterworth, Penang, in third place.


A lively portrayal of a lion

Meanwhile, Part Two of the competition for the High-Pole Lion Dance was scheduled for 8pm that evening.


This highly anticipated part of the competition attracted an even bigger audience where many enthusiasts found strategic spots on the upstairs corridors of Plaza Sentosa for a panoramic view of the High-Pole Lion Dance.


The art of High-Pole Lion Dancing was certainly not for the faint-hearted as the players had to jump 1.8m from pole to pole, bearing the weight of the lion head and costume while mimicking the lion’s movement to thrill and enthral a captivated audience.


Clearly, it was even more challenging in the High-Pole Lion Dance because part of the routine was for the rear player to carry the front player and for both the players to stand upright on the top of a single high-pole that was raised up to 2.5 meters high.


A leaping lion in action!

This reminded me of the discipline and strict training the players had to go through to perfect their coordination and routines together.


Inspired by the KSK code of ethics and principles in the art of lion dancing, High-Pole Lion Dance had developed into an extreme sport where players not only needed to be committed to training and honing their skills in lion dancing but also in developing a strong bond with each other as each pair went out to perform with unquestionable trust and confidence.


I appreciated the spirit of sportsmanship that prevailed at this National competition that encouraged the players who unfortunately, missed their footing or lost their balance and fell from the high poles onto the foam-lined ground below.


While the mishap might have been disappointing and demoralising, the loud cheering and clapping encouraged the players to get up and go on to try again – and to succeed in completing their routine with a grand flourish.


A truly adrenaline-pumping event

In the High-Pole Lion Dance competition, Xu Xiang Dragon and Lion Dance Sports Club, Sabah, clinched the top spot while second place went to Kin Ket Lion and Dragon Dance Association, Sabah, with Hong Teck Sports Kepong, Kuala Lumpur, in third place.


While these teams may leave the competition with trophies, each team was already a winner for their participation.


The experience garnered from such an event would go a long way to inspire and encourage the teams to train and excel in this sport and prepare themselves for a better performance in the next competition.


As for High-Pole Lion Dance enthusiasts (like me!) who thoroughly enjoyed the live experience, it took some time to wind-down from the adrenaline-pumping show before falling asleep and drifting off into sweet dreams, filled with lions leaping from high-pole to the next high-pole, to the beat of drums and cymbals.

Photo Credits: BrandCulture PR Marketing & Communications