Singapore is the last stop of this holiday. The initial plan was to stay only 3 nights and then head to Jakarta for another 2 nights and return from there back to Amsterdam. Due to the floods from the beginning of the year in Jakarta I decided to spend the rest of the holiday in Singapore and fly to Jakarta only for the return flight to Amsterdam.
In these past days I revisited some places and also discovered new ones. I will share some of my favourites spots.
I will start with Gardens by the Bay. This is one of the spots I revisited and I loved walking around during night time. Daily at 7.45pm, 8.45pm you can enjoy the Garden Rhapsody, a signature light and sound show at Supertree Grove.
|Supertree Grove by night|
|The trees change the colours during the show|
Until 15 March 2020 you can also enjoy one of the outdoor exhibits #futuretogether.
|Autonomous resonating life on the water @ Dragonfly lake|
The ovoids of light standing on the surface of the Dragonfly Lake shine brightly together with the trees on the lakeshore. The light of the ovoids and the light of the trees are autonomous: they shine brightly and then fade slowly, as if breathing.
When an ovoid is pushed, the colour of its light changes, and it emits a sound tone specific to that colour. The light resonates out to the ovoids and trees nearby. The sound tone resonates out continuously in the same way as the light, spreading throughout the ovoids and trees.
It just calms you down and invites you to be still.
Do you know that feeling of being at the right moment and place? Well, we were in the right place to celebrate the Chinese New Year! And what a better place to feel the festive event than on Chinatown's bustling streets.
|Night street market in Chinatown|
|Chinatown street decorated for CNY|
|South Bridge Road, which happens to be the street where the first steam tram in Singapore ran in 1886|
Returning back to CNY celebration, stunning fireworks displays cannot be missed. The best place to witness dazzling fireworks lighting up the night sky is at Marina Bay waterfront.
|City's sky bursts with colour to ring in the Year of the Rat|
|My favourite is Tanjong Beach which is less crowded.|
|Rope bridge connecting Palawan beach to Southernmost point of continental Asia|
From the beach directly to the National Gallery. I was looking for a place to spend a couple of hours away from the heat and I came across National Gallery, a must see in Singapore. National Gallery of Singapore is an art museum housed in a restored municipal building dating to 1929. In 2015 the former City Hall and the Supreme Court building became the National Gallery. I easily spent around 3h admiring the galleries set over 6 floors. It's fascinating how many things you can learn from art about the history of a place. The artists over the time tried to express the social, political context. That's how I learned about the main events from Singapore's history such as the British colonisation from 1819, the Japanese occupation during WW2, the independence declaration from 9th august 1965.
|View from Padang deck from City hall wing 6th floor|
|Upper link bridge between City Hall wing and Supreme Court wing|
|Corridor in Supreme Court wing|
|One of the modern exhibitions|
|I liked these individual portraits which together they complete one to each other|
|And a grumpy lynx on a Monday morning|
Another discovery during my visit was Emerald Hill, a neighbourhood and a conservation area located in the planning areas of Newton and Orchard in Singapore. Former home to many members of the city-state's wealthy Peranakan community, it is located near Orchard Road. Many of its homes feature Chinese Baroque architecture.
|Homes featuring Chinese Baroque architecture|
|Singapore skyline from Mr Stork sky bar|
|Haji Lane during daylight featuring street art|
During this visit I didn't go to the Botanic Gardens, but I did on my previous one and I decided to share it now. It is one of three gardens, and the only tropical garden, to be honoured as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can easily spend half a day wandering around.
|Symphony stage located in Botanic Gardens|
And you can't leave Singapore without a stroll down Clarke Quay, a historical riverside quay located within Singapore river planning area. The best time to go is from evening till late at night. This is when the various warehouses and storage facilities of the past, which have been repurposed into iconic clubs and restaurants, come into their own.
|Clarke Quay by day with the skyscrapers in background|
Clarke Quay might be delightful at night, but this is still an area bursting with history. If you happen to be around during the day, check out the nearby Fort Canning Park, also known as Singapore Hill or Bukit Larangan (Forbidden Hill). This place is where the British colonial founder of Singapore, Stamford Raffles, built his residence. Some of the earliest graves from the colonial era can also be seen here.
Interesting to note, it is called Forbidden Hill by the indigenous Malays because they believe the ancient kings of Singapore are laid to rest here – making this a solemn and haunting site.
The park features nine historical gardens, from which Sang Nila Utama Garden is the most impressive from my point of view. The garden is named after Singapore's first king, as recorded in Malay Annals. The place is an oasis of serenity, meant for the king to meditate or entertain guests in seclusion. The garden was separated from the outside world by high walls constructed from bricks, the only non-perishable building material used in ancient Singapore, apart from sandstone.
|14th century Majapahit-era brick split gate, Trowulan, East Java|
|Its strategic position allowed to overlook the port|
|Fort Canning Tree Tunnel|
|The spiral stairs where pre-wedding photo sessions are taken.|
And few footsteps away, at Hill street you can find Old Hill Street Police Station, a historical building from 1934 and former police station. It has more than 900 eye-catching colourful windows. With balconies, columns, blinds, and gable walls set off against each other, it displays a neoclassical architectural style. It used to be a police station under Britain's rule and has now become a place for photographers to take pictures, as well as for various exhibitions and business events in Singapore.
|Old Hill Street Police Station with more than 900 rainbow coloured windows|
|Rain Vortex @ Jewel Changi airport|