Short Getaway to Singapore – Part 3 (National Museum of Singapore)

We’ve been receiving endless questions by our families and friends on why both of us will go to the museum when we travel to a new places? As for us, every places that we visited holds and carries their hidden charms of its traditions, customs, culture and last not but least, history. Besides, curiosity or eagerness is another factor that make both of us to look beyond of things that are currently visible to us. We definitely try our best to visit the local museum as long as the time permit us, the place are easily accessible by public transport and not to forget the cost of visiting the museum (entrance fee) which can be expensive as well.

While we were in Singapore, we managed to fit our times to visit the National Museum of Singapore. This museum is the oldest museum in Singapore and also one of the city’s architectural icon. The museum is easily accessible by MRT and the nearest station is definitely Bras Basah MRT Station. 5 minutes walking across the Singapore Management University and you will then reach the destination.

The tunnel passing through Singapore Management University

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National Museum of Singapore

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The museum operated daily from 10.00am to 6.30pm while the last admission of the day is at 5.30pm. The admission fees to the Museum building is free and charges are only applicable to the galleries and selected exhibition or programmes. While we there, there’s a few exhibition currently running which is the Genesis and We Defining Stories.

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There’s a few selection of cafes and restaurant within the museum too which offered a wonderful dining experiences too.

Flutes

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Once we entered the main entrance of the museum, we extremely amazed with the wondrous structure of the building where it is a mix of an old and new structure. While keeping the elegant classical building as the grand entrance, it then extended with a new modern glass and metal structure. The combination are totally amazing!

The elegant classical building section

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The new modern structure

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The 1st exhibition that we went through was Genesis by Sebastiao Salgado. It was mentioned that the most epic of his 8 years photography journey was first unveiled in Asia here in Singapore. This collection of black and white photography covered 5 amazing geographic section of landscapes, seascapes, animals and peoples in the Amazonia, Planet South, Africa, Sanctuaries and Northern Spaces.

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2nd exhibition was the ‘We Defining Stories’ in conjunction of the Singapore Independence Day celebration. We spent most of our times here turning back time to the good old days. ‘We Defining Stories’ is a series of photojournalist images of Singapore’s iconic moments since the post war years from 1950 till 2013. At this exhibition, one could revisit some of the significant events in the Singapore’s history and how all of this could continue to define their future. Some of the photos that attracted us are definitely the photos of Tunku Abdul Rahman (Malaysia’s 1st Prime Minister) and Lee Kuan Yew in tears announcing the separation of Singapore from Malaysia. Besides, riot in between Muslim and Christian in related of Natrah (or Huberdina Maria Bertogh). It brings back all the memories as we actually read the whole book by Datin Fatini Yaacob.

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Taking a short break before we continue to the next exhibition hall in the upper floor.

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The highlight of all is definitely the Singapore History Gallery. Reason why? The gallery is using a narrative approach and without using even a single printed word to describe seven centuries of Singapore’s history. As there is no printed text anywhere around the gallery, visitor will be given a companion throughout the journey which is the audio visual guide that comes in four languages, LCD display, a pair of earphones and a keypad which enables us to enjoy the audio, visual and the content. Every visual display in the gallery amazed us. It gave the gallery a total new fresh face!

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In overall, we spent more than 3 hours here. National Museum of Singapore is totally a place to learn the history and culture of Singapore. It tells you the whole story of the country in a manner that both fun and rewarding!

One happy face!

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We will continue our journey on the one and only themepark located on Sentosa Island, Universal Studio Singapore (USS) soon.

Simply us,
Zara AB & FF
The Province of Chroma

Short Getaway to Singapore – Part 2 (City Explore)

As mentioned earlier, we are here in the Lion City this time around for our annual family trip. Yeah, we’ve been here a few times around but we just love to explore the city even more. Insha Allah, there’s always new things to see and explore. Again, we would like to apologize that it takes us more than 2 months (from our earlier post) just to finish up the Singapore entry. Our desktop doesn’t treat us well lately. That’s about it. Let us just continue with the post.

Upon reaching the Singapore Island, it looks like we are at a war zone. You can see big ships scattered around the open sea. Alhamdulillah, nice weather too! We finally landed at Singapore Changi Airport, one of the busiest and best connected in the world.

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It’s fairly easy to get around the city with their reliable public transport system. The most convenience and the fastest way to travel around Singapore is definitely by the Mass Rapid Transit Train System or MRT but the stops are sometimes far apart. Not to forget that we did found that the bus system works comprehensively, convenient and comfortable. And cheaper too! We rarely have to wait more than a few minutes for the bus. You just need to swipe your EZ Link card and to swipe again right before you disembark. If not, maximum fare will be charged. In this trip, we did used the bus system more than the MRT. Taxi was not in the list as we need to safe our pockets. :D

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Our first destination of the day is definitely to visit the most famous images of the country, the Merlion. The 8.6 metres high with 70 tonnes weight statue is located in the vicinity of Merlion Park, right in front of Fullerton Hotel and facing the beautiful Marina Bay. Looking at it closely, the head of the statue represent ‘Singa’ or Lion and the lower part of the body are fish tails which symbolise the old city of Temasek.

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The Fullerton Hotel
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Marina Bay
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Next on the list will be the Singapore Botanic Garden. It’s very convenient to get here and what you need to do is just make a stop at Botanic Garden MRT Station via Circle Line. It’s open daily from 5 am till 12 am and it is the only botanic garden in the world that opens early in the morning till midnight without any entrance fees (except the National Orchid Garden) every single day of the year. If you come early in the mornings on weekend, you’ll get to see families having their picnic, joggers and even tai chi and yoga practitioners too. Hope it will be listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site soon!

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Since the Orchard Road shopping district is just a mere away from the garden, the whole family decided to go to the shoppers paradise and do some damages to our pockets and credit cards. These 2.2 km stretch of Orchard Road offers a wide range of local and international labels and boutique. This is a definitely a place for a retail therapy. Oh ya, allowed us to share about the Singapore Tax Refund Scheme. As a tourist in Singapore, you’re illegible to claim a refund of 7% GST paid on the purchases of more than SGD100 at participating outlets. The best things to do is to check with the retailer whether our purchases are illegible for a refund or not.

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We will continue our journey on the National Museum of Singapore soon.

Simply us,
Zara AB & FF
The Province of Chroma