May 20, 2016

When in Singapore: DIY Walking Tour Feat. Monument Trail

It's been over a month since my short stint in Hyderabad (and even shorter visit to Singapore). I've been busy with work once I got back to Manila, thus was not able to publish the last narrative of my trip left in my queue.

It always amazes me how Singapore is able to show me new stuff to explore, each time I visit that little red dot on the bottom of mainland Asia. First time I went to Merlion Park, only the Esplanade was there. Then on my second time, there stood Marina Bay Sands. And now on my third time, there was the Gardens by the Bay. New things are sprouting like mushrooms on that one area!!! This is one of the reasons why hindi nakakasawa pumasyal sa Singapore, even if that country is barely the size of Luzon.

But first, an obligatory photo of the Gardens by the Bay, because the Merlion is so passé. This isn't part of the tour, but I had to see it because it is soooo preeettyyyy.

Captured using Samsung Galaxy S6. Post-processed by VSCO Cam.

Monument Trail

For my third visit, we decided to do the Monument Trail, a half-day walking tour around the different landmarks along the Singapore River.

I think, we were able to cover pretty much everything listed in the guide, even if we weren't able to follow the correct order of the sights to visit.

Here are some of the landmarks I am able to capture in photos. Oddly, there are some landmarks missing in my photo albums, even if I'm sure as heck that I was able to take pictures of them. Oh, well papel.

(Blogger's note: Information below came from this link; I'm too lazy to paraphrase.)

Cavenagh Bridge: The oldest bridge across the Singapore river

Built in 1868 by Indian convicts serving their sentence in Singapore, the bridge was named after Lieutenant-General Sir William Orfeur Cavenagh, the last Governor of the Straits Settlements (1859-1867) appointed by the British India. This bridge now serves pedestrians travelling between the financial district and Empress Place.

Captured using Samsung Galaxy S6. Post-processed by VSCO Cam.

Empress Place: Where old landmarks meet new installation art

Named in commemoration of Queen Victoria and possibly the oldest pedestrian space in Singapore. This area houses some important landmarks such as the Statue of Sir Stamford Raffles, Victoria Theatre, Victoria Concert Hall, Old Parliament, and Singapore's First Pedestrian underpass.

Statue of Sir Stamford Raffles/ Victoria Theatre and Victoria Concert Hall

The statue of Sir Stamford Raffles was originally erected on the Padang (near St. Andrew's Cathedral) in 1887 to commemorate the Queen's birthday. Then, the statue was position to face the sea to salute the people who were instrumental in the founding of Singapore. The statue was relocated to its present state in 1919.

The Victoria Theatre, built between 1856 and 1862, is of 19th-century British Neoclassical architecture. This building first served as the Singapore Town Hall and later became a theatre.

Victoria Concert Hall, then known as Victoria Memorial, was built later in 1905, in memory of Queen Victoria. This building was used as a hospital when the Japanese bombed Singapore in 1941 to 1942, and after World War II in 1945, it was the venue for Japanese war crime trials.

Captured by Samsung Galaxy X6. Post-processed by VSCO Cam.

Anderson Bridge (not sure if it is this one; but if not I'm sure its pretty close by)

This bridge was built in 1909 to replace Cavenagh Bridge. It was named after Sir John Anderson, Governor of the Straits Settlements and High Commissioner for the Federated Malay States (1904 - 1911).

Lim Bo Seng Memorial: Always remember the heroes who died for your freedom

The 3.5m tall marble pagoda was built as a tribute to Major-General Lim Bo Seng, a local hero who headed the anti-Japanese resistance movement during World War II. Subjected to torture by the Japanese, he died a martyr in 1944.

Singapore's City Skyline: Where the views change every several years

Iconic buildings include the Esplanade -- Theatres on the Bay, the Singapore Flyer and Marina Bay Sands, with its iconic ship-like roof structure. The Marina Bay Sands SkyPark's rooftop greenery is one of Singapore's many greening efforts as it evolves into a City in a Garden.

Captured using Samsung Galaxy S6. Post-processed by VSCO Cam.

Cannonball Tree: In Singapore, even the trees are a thing for tourists to see

This unusual and fast-growing tree is a popular attraction among locals and tourists alike. It is deciduous and sheds away its leaves every six months. It has one of the largest flowers for a flowering tree in Singapore.

Old Supreme Court Building: The dome reminds me of Manila Cathedral

Build on the site of former Hotel de L'Europe in 1939, was gazetted as a National Monument. Even from Esplanade Park, the interesting architecture, particularly the large Corinthian columns can be viewed. The dome is a miniature version of the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

Captured using Samsung Galaxy S6. Post-processed by VSCO Cam.

The Cenotaph: We need more of these landmarks to help us remember

Gazetted as a National Monument in December 2010, it was built in memory of British soldiers who died in World War I. It was unveiled on March 31, 1922 by the Prince of Wales, who later became King of England. After World War II, the names of those who died in the war were added on to the Cenotaph.

Civilian War Memorial: Never forget

Also known as "chopsticks," this war memorial was built to honor civilians killed during the Japanese Occupation. The four pillars of the memorial, standing at 67m, symbolize the Chinese, Malays, Indians, and people of other races who died in the war. A memorial service is held every year on February 15 (Total Defense Day) to commemorate the anniversary of the fall of Singapore to the Japanese in 1942 and the people killed during the occupation.

Captured using Samsung Galaxy S6. Post-processed by VSCO Cam.

Bonus 1: National Museum of Singapore

Ten years in the making, this museum was opened to the public on November 24, 2015. Fresh paint smell!

Since we were quite pressed for time that day, we were only able to roam the open/ free areas of the museum, which includes this cute interactive exhibit for children, where you can create your own animal to roam around the virtual forest.

Check out the animal I created!

A video posted by Miriam P. See (@ako_si_iam) on

Bonus 2: Singapore HDB

I stayed with my friend who lives near the airport (like, two stops away with one transfer or something). Being far way from the city center is actually quite nice, as you get to experience a relatively quiet residential life.

Other links showcasing my short stay in Singapore (but really, they're mostly the same pictures haha):

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