1. Try the latest drink at New Zealand Naturals, called Citrus Tangerine. A perfect blend of juicy tangerines and zesty mango sorbet, this drink is the solution to thirsty throats during the infamously hot CNY weather. Also, you can buy three tubs (two regular, one large) of ice cream for only RM88, till 28 February 2010.
2. Order a different yee sang. The must-try is the Thai-inspired yee sang served at Kinnaree Restaurant in Jaya One. Another interesting one is the fruity version, served at EEST Restaurant in Westin, KL. Replacing the fried crisps with crunchy fruits like pear and melon, Chef Kuan Geo believes this is a healthier alternative. Other ingredients include avocado, pacific abalone, grapefruit and Avruga caviar.
3. Bake cookies and give away little tubs and jars of them to orphanages. Instead of the usual tarts, try the seaweed crisp. Easy to make, all you need are popiah roll skins, sheets of seaweed and eggs. Use the eggs to seal a sheet of seaweed between two popiah skins, slice them up into little one-inch squares and deep fry till crispy (don't burn or overfry them, though). Yum!
4. Check out the Chinese New Year decorations at malls like Pavilion KL and Mid Valley Megamall. The ones in Pavilion, especially outdoors, are tastefully done. Pink cherry blossoms on the trees with red lanterns hanging from the brances set against the grey walls create a pretty sight. The indoor décor in Mid Valley Mall's centre court is more elaborate, and very brightly lit.
5. Watch Chinese movies, inspired by its customs and traditions. One is Tiger Woohoo!, which is a local film. Based on the lesser-known skill of the tiger dance, the film is worth a watch as it is quite entertaining. Its cast includes actors Jack Lim, Jason Yeoh, Royce Tan and Bernard Hiew, and Chiu Keng Guan directs it.
6. Visit Pavilion between the 14th and the 28th of February (14 - 20 Feb, 3pm; 21 - 28 Feb, 8pm), to watch the acrobatic lion dance performance. This is no ordinary lion dance, as this one involves a combination of skill and nerves of steel. Usually, the public would gather and be mesmerised by the feats, where dancers jump from pole to pole, more than ten feet above the ground.
7. Take advantage of the Air Asia Valentine's Day special and book a ticket to Penang for as low as RM49 one-way. Booking period is from 1 - 16 Feb. You can fly to Johor for the same price, and if you're feeling adventurous, backpack to Singapore since it will be impossible to get a bus ticket there.
8. While you're in Penang, celebrate the Hokkien New Year, which the locals call Thni Kong Seh (Jade Emperor). This year, the date would be 21 February, the eighth day of the festival. The Hokkiens celebrate this day on a grand scale, with tonnes of food laid out for prayers to deity. Fireworks will be released, to praise the god's triumph over evil.
9. If you're planning to stay in Penang till chap goh meh, then make it a point to stop by Gurney Drive on the 15th night of the New Year, and watch the women throw mandarin oranges with their name and number written on it, into the sea with hopes of finding the right man. Chances are, only the fishermen will find them.
10. Last but not least, a treat for the sweet-toothed. Krispy Kreme is twisting their doughnuts into the shape of the auspicious number 8. Also, we haven't forgotten that the first day falls on V-Day, and we've included this for lust's sake. Get mushy with Krispy Kreme's 'Chocolate Lover', a heart-shaped doughnut filled with strawberry and dipped in chocolate; or the 'Strawberry in Love', filled with strawberry and vanilla milk.PS: Unsure about the rest but the Krispy Kreme donut look interesting ! ^^.