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    Dry spell in Norway as well - two days ago, finally the rain was back!

    I think spring is just around the corner here in Norway!
    With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

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      Hip, hip Hurray!!! The rain is back in Singapore. We had some good afternoon showers yesterday, at least some places on the island did.
      This morning we had solid rain from abt. 0900 hrs. to nearly 1400 hrs. It is dry now, but the Monsoon front (TCZ) is over us and Peninsular Malaysia, so we should see something like spring awakening in nature soon. The storm drains got a good washing out and the reservoirs will soon be full again. Things are looking good.

      PS>When I looked at the thermometer at around 1400 hrs. it showed only 25.4 C, which is cold for Singapore, in daytime.


        More nostalgia!!

        Singapore in 1932:
        With Penang and Bali thrown in for good measure.
        Before my time, but some recognizable places still.


          We have now had a few days with heavy rain and some days with the normal afternoon showers. Nature is recovering from two months of drought.

          Remember the flowering tree in the neighbour's garden?
          Here it is now:

          The grass patches (as seen in earlier pictures) turned green within a day or two from the first heavy rain.
          Here is the nearest patch of grass as it looked yesterday:

          Time for the grass cutters to go to work again after their long rest.

          But some bushes and trees may not recover.
          Here is a look across Bukit Timah Canal at one that may or may not make it:


            The Read Bridge across Singapore River at Clark Quay is a popular place to hang out:

            The 7/11 outlet provide "cheap" beer and drinks and the Clubs at Clark Quay play loud enough music to be heard across the river.
            If that is not enough, Buskers compete to entertain with their own music and various stunt.


              For those with a special interest in the history and development of Singapore, from Self-governing British Colony through independence in 1965 and to the thriving metropolis it has become, here is a few links to interesting blogs by non-professional historians:



              It could be titled: "From colonial backwater to among the world's richest countries in little more than a generation".

              I have seen it with my own eyes, from 1959 until today, and can confirm that it is as near to an economic and political "miracle" as it is possible to get.
              Last edited by ombugge; April 15th, 2014, 15:43.


                From the above blogs I picked a couple of pictures from a place that is totally transformed, Tuas Village:

                Standing on stilts in a mangrove swamp and accessible only by boat, or a dirt track from Old Jurong Road.

                20 years later the end is near for this place, which used to be a thriving Chinese Kampong, with the best Ikan Bakar in town. (Grilled Skate wings with Chilli, served on Palm leave):

                No NOW pictures on hand from the replacement Tuas Amenities Centre, which is on dry land. (I'll take some on my next visit. (Subject to memory serving me)

                But I can at least show you what the Ikan Bakar looked like:


                  On a little walk in Chinatown we came across this statue of a Samsui Woman:

                  There used to be hundreds of them working in the construction industry. Always wearing their "uniform" of dark blue top, black pants and red hat.
                  Here is their story:
                  I remember them well from the 1960s and 1970s. Some of them could still be seen hard at work into the 1990s.

                  The last of the Samsui women still alive and kicking in Singapore:


                    The grave shown in #953/1&2 is still well tended:


                      This Heritage tree in Tg. Pagar has an impressive root system:

                      Here is the plaque next to it:

                      Do they know its Easter???
                      These trees full of yellow flowers is blooming all over Singapore:

                      Not a very flattering picture, shot from the window of a taxi. They are much more impressive than that many places.

                      I have never notice these trees with flowers before.


                        This the Qing Ming season, where the Chinese in Singapore honour their dead ancestors.
                        In that conjunction we visited Peck San Theng Temple in what used to be Kampong San Theng, where my wife's Grandmother's and Grandfather's ashes are kept in the huge Columbarium, as we do every year.

                        The urns are kept in small crypts like these:

                        Here is a link to a Wikipedia article about Peck San Theng:

                        It replaced the small Temple and large cemetery that used to be here, covering much of which is now the New Town of Bishan:

                        My wife's Grandmother died at the age of 102 in 2006. She was known as "Mamma Bishan" in the community there.

                        I first visited here back in 1974 to get the blessing of the ancestors to marry my wife. I had visited Taoist Temples before, but newer participated in any activities.
                        This visit brought back nostalgic memories when we noticed that some of the things from the old Temple was still there, like this rather crude Alter, around which my wife liked to play when she was small:

                        This alter, found in a small crypt attached to one of the buildings is also from the old Temple:

                        As is these decorations:


                          These decorations are also from the old temple:

                          No, not the fans.

                          As was two Lanterns:

                          And this vase and stand:

                          More on Peck San Theng in the appropriate Temple thread later.


                            My wife's Grandmother owned a vegetable farm in what is today part of Toa Payoh back in the 1940s and 50s.
                            This picture has been posted here before, but it shows the area as it looked than:

                            We have a painting made from this picture.

                            Originally the house looked something like this, with Attap roof:

                            But in the 1950s my Father-in-law built a better house for his in-laws, looking something like this:

                            And the interior something like this:

                            None of last three pictures are from that actual house, however. I was not much into photography at that time, unfortunately.


                              Here is Kampong San Theng as it looked in 1972:

                              Here is the temple on the upper right, with the cemetery around it:

                              Not sure when this picture was taken, but probably older than the one above.

                              The Temple Community meeting outside the Temple:

                              Kampong San Theng Teahouse was a center of activity:

                              Unfortunately I have not been able to find a picture of the Market, where Grandmother used to have a stall, selling vegetables.

                              Here is a quote from " From Village to Flats - Part 1:
                              The land of Peck San Theng was acquired by the government in 1973. After exhumation, the area was developed into a new town of what Bishan is today. Peck San Theng, standing next to Raffles Institution, is the only remnant of the demolished Kampong San Theng.
                              PS> The people was not moved out until 1978-9 and given flats in the then new Ang Moh Kio HDB Housing Estate
                              Last edited by ombugge; April 19th, 2014, 11:53. Reason: Ad PS


                                Ombugge, there is so much to study in all these recent pictures, I'll have to return again and again to absorb it all and to follow up on the many links. I was delighted to see the photo of the grave in #987. I remembered the story behind it to which you gave the links when you first showed the image on this thread and have just back-tracked to make sure it was the same one. I was fascinated - there are still flowers there and it is obviously so well cared for.
                                Seeing those old photos, even though you do not have present-day ones for comparison, we can still imagine how the areas probably look today, knowing what has been accomplished elsewhere in Singapore.
                                Thank you for letting us in on all this history.

                                "To thine own self be true.......
                                Thou canst not then be false to any man."