Singapore Event: River Hongbao 2016

For Chinese New Year, we often alternate between staying in Singapore and going to Genting Highlands in Malaysia.

This year, we have a newborn so it was not possible to travel. Besides, the two days of Chinese New Year on weekdays were too short to go anywhere. Thus, on the first day, we visited the River Hongbao 2016 to take some pictures against the colourful displays. Dar also looked forward to playing some fun structures during the carnival.

This year being the Year of the Monkey, the theme for the River Hongbao revolves around the Chinese story, Journey to the West, which tells about the Monkey King. It is also River Hongbao’s 30th Anniversary at the Singapore’s iconic floating platform and a dedicated area was set up to showcase information and photographs from previous years.




The displays at the float were actually lanterns and would light up at night prettily. We prefer to go during the daytime however because the pictures would look nicer under sunlight and there are lesser people to obstruct our photo taking.

We usually start on the right side with the large structures first before proceeding to the left side exit where it’s a must to take a picture with our Chinese Zodiac signs.




By the way, it would be difficult to handle at stroller with a large crowd at the event. Therefore, we took turns wearing the baby. Vin wore her most of the time at the event until she didn’t want him at night and I had to take over. While we walked around, she looked around curiously. When she’s tired, she just falls asleep in it. Therefore, we didn’t need to deal with a fussy, crying baby and could enjoy much more.



I was surprised that the organizer of the carnival changed. Nevertheless, the games to play were about the same.

At $2.50 per ticket, we bought a package of ten tickets since it was cheaper than buying individually. Each play station costs 2 or 3 tickets and the play was only 5mins. It is costly but since it’s only once in a year, we are willing to spend for our boy. There were not many people in the afternoon on the first day of the Chinese New Year so Dar did not need to queue for long before he could play.

He tried the bouncy island and ship first and had some fun bouncing before time was up quickly.


There was automated bumble boats at another area but Dar was not interested in driving those, preferring to operate these paddle boats by hand. He had tried them last year and enjoyed it.


Then, he wanted to do this “Walk on Water” and was happy to go inside a ball filled with air. It was quite funny to see the children struggling to maintain their balance and move about inside the ball.



With the remaining three tickets, he tried the bouncy island again and we decide to head to Marina Square at around 6 pm, so I can feed the baby and have our dinner. It was a bad mistake though as we waited for more than an hour just to queue for food at Mac. All the rest of the restaurants were fully packed and had long queues too. Next time, we should just buy from the food street located in River Hongbao or go for an early dinner.


We quickly ate and took note of the time as there would be a fireworks display. I thought we would miss it when it didn’t exactly light up at 9pm. Just when we were almost stepping out to the float area, the sky exploded with the fireworks and laser display!


It was loud and I was surprised that Dar didnt mind the sound. He hated fireworks before. What’s even more surprising was that, the baby didn’t cry at the loud noise too and was actually looking around curiously!

After the fireworks, we went into the crowded Float area to look at the lighted displays.




Frankly, in comparison with last year’s theme, we were a little disappointed with the lantern displays. Nevertheless, it was quite fun as a family activity to walk around and immersed ourselves in the New Year atmosphere.


Dates: The event starts on Chinese New Year Eve and has ended on the 14th Feb but it is an annual event with different themes each year.
Location: The Float @ Marina Bay
Entry: FREE
To Reach: We dropped off at Esplanade and walked to the Float so there was no need to cross the road. Otherwise, from Marina Square Mall, walk out of it and cross the traffic junction.