Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Walking Through Heritage (2)

After the River Walk early this month, we continued our little "walking through heritage" adventure in one of the most historic landmarks in Singapore – Fort Canning. The park is located on a hill in the downtown area. Some parts of the park are being upgraded during our visit as such we were not able to witness other highlights of the property. Nonetheless, we enjoyed the lush greenery and tranquility of the place.

Sights at the Site

Next stop - Heritage Sites in Malaysia

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Pink Within the Green

Lonely shade, Happy shrub.

It was Friday, the sun shines so brightly and it would be such a waste to stay at home all day. Embarking on a peaceful walk to get up close with nature and greenery and reading a book on a bench under the tree, will be a perfect way to spend the afternoon. And so we did.

Read and relax.

We packed few sandwiches, sausages, fruits and drinks and brought along some books too. We hopped on a bus and alighted at a nearby nature park. The scorching sun of April was unbearable but as we walked through the lush forest tracks we spotted interesting plants and birds that made us seemingly forget about the torrid weather. We’ve seen different kinds of ferns and large native trees. Fruit bearing trees such as Langka, Rambutan and Pakak are  also evident in the mini forest.

Natural shelter, refreshing shade.

Dragonflies watching at the verge of the pond.

Before we continued our nature trail, we paused for a while at the Shelter and had a bite of the goodies we brought. Unlike other recreational areas we’ve visited, there were neither vendo machines nor drinking stations in this nature park. Luckily, we brought more than enough throughout the afternoon.

After recharging our empty stomach, we went down to the pond plaza and found an idyllic spot under the big tree to read books. It’s a quiet and relaxing paradise; a little haven in this busy city country. We went closely at the verge of the pond to check if we would find some fish, unfortunately, we didn’t see any. Instead, we witnessed dragonflies and butterfiles in the surroundings. Squirrels and monitor lizards are common in the area as well. There are few signs of “Don’t Feed the Monkeys” in the park, but no signs nor trails of monkey during our trip.

Tall and Beautiful.

At the bank of the quarry pool.

Near the pond plaza is a stairway leading up to two scenic lookout points. Since we’re still full of energy, we climbed to have a bird’s eye view of the pond. Atop, there’s another shelter where we sat for a while and ate some fruits. After eating and observing birds at the same, we packed our things.

Wild and rich flower kissed by the sun.

Wild sunflower along the way reminded me of my other home - Baguio City.

It was time to leave the park, but instead of taking the easy path going to the bus stop, we turned the wrong way which led us to a long steep path going to the War Memorial Park entrance. We searched for the nearest exit leading to the main road and as we walked down the road, familiar things greeted us. These many wild sunflowers swaying in the wind seemed to be waving at us. Saying hello or saying goodbye, it doesn’t matter. All I know is, these rich yellow living things reminded me of my former haven, my Baguio, my other home. I know it was really time to go home. J
~~~Pink and Green



Friday, April 5, 2013

Walking Through Heritage (1)

Singapore may not have a single "world heritage site" listed by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) but it has unique history and culture that are worth discovering.

The government through its National Heritage Board (NHB) is actively promoting the identity building, vibrant culture and historic sites of the country. The NHB presents "heritage programmes and curates exhibitions to connect the past, present and future generations of Singaporeans through a shared experience." Singapore has myriads of museums, heritage interpretative centres, institutions and precincts that both locals and tourists can visit to learn and understand further the Singapore story.

This April, I have started walking through heritage to rediscover the “uniquely Singapore” and revisit the past of my second home.
SG River & Civic District Trails
Raffles Hotel Singapore - opened in 1887 offering rooms
in an old bungalow-style building overlooking the beach
 and the South China Sea.

The old Kalachuchi stands beside the hotel property.

Arcade shops & restaurants within Raffles Hotel.
War Memorial Park leading to Esplanade and Riverside.

Exquisite Chandeliers

Singapore River Cruise
Cavenagh Bridge, the oldest bridge standing on the river in its original form,
named after the last Indiaappointed Governor of Singapore,
Colonel (later Major General) William Orfeur Cavenagh.

The Fullerton Singapore (Former Fullerton Building)
stands on the former site of Fort Fullerton,
a garrison constructed in 1829 to defend the town against attacks.
The building was painstakingly restored and converted into a luxurious hotel.
Empress Place or Asian Civilisation Museum - traces
the history of the Singapore River since the 14th century
 through artefacts, archival photos, video and sound clips.

Raffles’ Landing Site. This statue marks the spot where
Sir Stamford Raffles (1781–1826) is believed to have first landed on 29 January 1819.

Shophouses along the side of the river. These are usually two to four-storey
terraced buildings that incorporate a business premise on the
ground floor and living quarters on the upper levels.

Clarke Quay was a fresh water distribution point in the first half of the 19th century.
Named after Sir Andrew Clarke, the Governor of the Straits Settlements from 1873 to 1875.
Eldin Bridge - an iron bridge was constructed in 1862
and named after the Governor-General of India, Lord Elgin.
The Parliament House.

Resting our tired but happy feet.
Next Heritage Trails - Fort Canning, Kampong Glam, Jalan Besar and the list goes on and on... And I hope to finish my list before the year ends.