Saturday, May 2, 2009

A walking tour of Singapore landmarks

Arrived at City Hall MRT station earlier than expected. It's 8:30AM and we're supposed to meet up with a friend still by 9:00AM. As we do not want to waste our limited time, we consulted our map and saw that there are a few landmarks we can visit to kill time.

Civilian War Memorial is dedicated to those who risked and gave up their lives during the Japanese occupation between 1942-1945. The monument is comprised of four pillars of equal importance that symbolizes chinese, malay, indian and other races. Burried underneath the monument are unidentified war victims.

Immediately, we went back to City Hall station to check if our friend is already there. It was already 9:20AM when we began sending him SMS messages. By 9:40AM we were thinking that he might have overslept and would not show up so we decided to leave and connect with him later when we get back to the hotel. Instead of going far, we previously have decided to explore the nearby surroundings.

St. Andrew's Cathedral, which I initially thought was a Roman Catholic church. It is the largest Anglican cathedral by far in Singapore and is now considered a national monument. Designed in 1856 and completed years after, it is actually a replacement of two earlier churches, the second of which was damaged by a lightning strike.

Heading towards the river, we passed by the City Hall, previously known as the Municipal Building prior to being granted the status of a city by King George VI. Built between 1926-1929, this building is also marked as a national monument of Singapore.

A video shoot was being held at that time. We don't know who these guys are nor understand the lyrics of the music, but it was fun catching a live video shoot of what we assumed is a music video.

Beside the City Hall is the Old Supreme Court Building, built between 1937-1939 and is said to be the last classical architecture building built in the city. The courthouses had moved out since 2005 and relocated its offices to a newer building behind the City Hall.

In front of these buildings is the Padang Besar or simply Padang, an open ground formerly called as the Padang Cricket Ground. Just like how the former namesake meant, a few guys were playing the game on the grounds, as this is where the Singapore Cricket Club is currently housed. A number of national events are held in Padang because of its central location and historical significance.

As we approach nearer the river, we came across Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall. A monument of Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles, the founder of Singapore now stands here. The said monument, once stood in Padang Besar, was moved during 1919 in celebration of the city's 100th year of foundation.

Finally reached the river side where another statue of Raffles stand proud. The monument is said to mark his landing site in 1819 and was erected here 1972.

Finally reached the Singapore River. A number of boat cruise companies are here but we opted not to take one because it will cut time. Boat Quay can be seen across from Raffles' Landing Site.

The skyline of Raffles Place can also be seen from here.

Our next destination is the Merlion Park but to go there, we have to pass a few other landmarks along the way. This is Asian Civilisations Museum housed in another landmark, the Empress Place.

The Fullerton Hotel Singapore is a five star hotel housed in what was an office building completed in 1928 housing the General Post Office, Singapore Club, Marine Department, Exchange and the Import and Export Department. Nearby is a the Cavenagh Bridge, one of the oldest bridge and the only suspension bridge in the city, which opened in 1870. We had to cross this historical bridge to get to Merlion Park.

Crossing the main road from the hotel, we went down the Esplanade Bridge and finally reached the Merlion Park.

Looking below, I think it's funny to see a Starbucks Coffee shop hiding under the bridge.

the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay, Marina Centre skyline and Singapore Flyer view from Merlion Park

The Merlion is a mythical combination of the head of a lion and the body of a fish. Constructed in 1972, this is the original statue among 5 others located around the city. It was moved to its current location in 2002 after the completion of Esplanade Bridge 1997 blocked its view and significance of standing at the entrance of the Singapore River. It was damaged by a struck of lightning in February 28, 2009, underwent a couple of weeks repair and was unveiled to the public, once again, last March 20, 2009.

me and Chester

drinking fountain?

All of these landmarks and monuments were done in under 2 hours of walking at an easy pace but under the heat of the sun and unusual hot weather in Singapore.

More to come as we visit other landmarks and interesting places in Singapore!


atto aryo said...

uy! ayos na pala yung lion. nabalita kasing tinamaan ng kidlat. nway, i really wish i could have some spare time so i could see singapore. with your account, i now know what to look for.

ßrigida ∫chmidt © Copyright said...

The Backpack boy is in Singapore! I should've been there too by this time, but dang, I have two more weeks before I can finally hop around the Hawaiian Chain and off the Hawaiian Islands. I can't wait. Where's your next destination?

Jasper said...

@r-yo - yeah okay na sya :)

@bridge - oh not sure yet where's next. come what may! you should start going out for trips again!!!

mhel said...

Haay, I just realized there are still many places I haven't visited in sINGAPORE. I was there last Feb. 2009 at the Singapore Changi Airport only.:)

aceychan said...

lol @ last pic!

RennyBA said...

I might have told you before that I've been to Singapore almost 15 years ago - so thanks for taking me down the memory late - a great guided tour!

I even was at Raffles' Hotel and had a Sling :-)

RennyBA's Terella

Jasper said...

@acey - :D

@rennyba - wow it's been a long time. lot's of things have changed now! :)