Singapore Journals

Culture and History in Singapore

Best of IgoUgo

A June 2008 trip to Singapore by marseilles

Fort Siloso  Photo, Sentosa, Singapore More Photos
Quote: Returning to Singapore for a long weekend, after more than 20 years.

Culture and History in Singapore

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Victoria Street Hawker Centre Photo, Singapore City, Singapore
Quote:
Singapore has enormous potential to be one of the most interesting countries in the world. It has an interesting history, an incredibly rich and diverse culture, a populace that cares deeply about its motherland.But from its independence in the 1960s, the country had to squarely face two serious threats: the threat of racial/religious tensions, and, for a tiny island nation with barely any natural resources, the threat of obliteration. And so, Singapore had to rise up to meet these threats. And rise up they did. Singapore's miraculous transformation from third-world to first-world in just two generations is one for the books. And although the different ethnicities that compri...Read More

Kampong Glam and Sultan Mosque

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Attraction

Sultan Mosque Photo, Singapore, Asia
Quote:
Kampong Glam is a Malay Muslim neighborhood in Singapore. Despite the frenetic pace of development along Singapore's main roads, the government has made some effort to retain a lot of the old ethnic flavor of this area. The shophouses--shops above which shop owners used to live--no longer have many residents, but the shophouse structures themselves are still there, in their colorful colors.I found Kampong Glam to be a little more touristy than Little India, but not as bad (in terms of touristy-ness) as Chinatown, and nowhere near as bad as the rest of central Singapore. Looking around, I noticed that this was becoming a haven for bohos, hippies and the indie artistic crowd. One street was li...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 1, 2008

Fort Siloso

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Attraction

Fort Siloso  Photo, Sentosa, Singapore
Quote:
The bus tour I'd taken the day before included a free bus ride to Sentosa, so I decided to do the touristy thing and visit the island. I'd been to Sentosa as a child, before it became the Disneyland of resort islands, and I was curious to see how much it had changed.Of course, there isn't much for a pregnant woman traveling alone to do in Sentosa, so I decided to limit my itinerary to just one thing: scratching my WW2 itch.See, I've always been really interested in WW2. I've been reading WW2-related books since childhood. Both my grandfathers as well as my grandfather-in-law fought in that war, and my grandmother was a war nurse of sorts.So being in Singapore, such an imp...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 1, 2008

Fort Siloso

Sentosa

Malay Heritage Center

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Attraction | "Malay Heritage Centre"

Malay Heritage Center Photo, Singapore City, Singapore
Quote:
The Malay Heritage Centre is a small museum dedicated to Malay culture in the old Muslim Malay neighborhood of Kampong Glam.Singapore used to be part of the Malaysian federation before it became independent in the 1960s. Malays continue to comprise Singapore's second-largest ethnic group (next to the dominant Chinese), and even though the language of business, commerce and law is English, Malay is still considered the national language on paper. (The national anthem of Singapore is in Malay.)The Malay Heritage Center was my last stop in Kampong Glam. There was an exhibit about the Malay people in general, including their traditional culture and art forms. What I personally...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 1, 2008

Malay Heritage Center
85, Sultan Gate
Singapore 198501
+65 63910450

Little India/Tekka

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Attraction | "Little India and Thieves' Market"

Little India/Tekka Photo, Singapore City, Singapore
Quote:
South Asians (people who trace their roots to the Indian subcontinent) comprise the third largest ethnic group in Singapore (after Chinese and Malays). Most of these Indians (as they're officially called) in Singapore are Tamil, and Tamil is one of the three "mother tongue" languages students may choose from in government schools (the others being Mandarin Chinese and Bahasa Melayu).Of the three ethnic neighborhoods I visited in Singapore--Chinatown, the Muslim Quarters, and Little India--I found Little India to be the most interesting.To begin with, it was in Little India that I found -- finally! -- the Singapore of my childhood!!! Shophouses, "coffee shops" (Singaporean slan...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 1, 2008

Little India/Tekka
North of Kampong Glam
Singapore

Quote:
Changi's Budget Terminal was, to be quite frank, a huge disappointment.Arriving in the Changi Budget Terminal wasn't much of a problem. You deplane onto a tarmac, walk through an unairconditioned but covered walk to the immigration area, and the immigration area itself is nice, clean, and relatively modern.But the departure area was a different story. The entryway to the departure area of the terminal is misleading. Everything looks clean and new. The staff is courteous. But then, things slowly change.When we entered the immigration area, we found that suddenly the consuls weren't anywhere near as friendly as the staff members outside ... but maybe ...Read More