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    We are reaching the end of the Forest Walk and crossing Alexandra Road at a more normal height, via the Alexandra Arch:

    We have reached our destination, which was Alexandra Park, but the trail continues through the HortPark.
    It is now an attraction in itself:
    This area used to be a Malay Kampong and the Nursery for the Park Service at the time we stayed in Alexandra park, back in 1975-80.

    This trail ends on Kent Ridge Park. Today much of the ridge is occupied by the National University of Singapore.
    Kent Ridge was the scene of one of the most ferocious battles of the Second World War in Singapore:

    If you want a different kind of scenery, it is a short walk from Alexandra Arch to Labrador Nature Reserve at Tg. Berlaya:
    Also a relic from the war, with fortification to protect Keppel Harbour, since the British was convinced that any attack would come from the sea, not from the hinterland of Malaya.


      This has been a really fascinating account showing a very different side of Singapore - a wonderful trek. I have enjoyed every moment. I agree about the "boxes" in #1005 - I would not like to live in any high-rise accommodation but to be in one of these must be to feel very disorientated! And yes, in #1022 there is no sign of how they managed to construct the walks. Roughly when would that have been done, Ombugge?
      I did a quick check on the link in #1013 and found it to be about the bird count. The RSPB in the UK, of which I am a life member, does this each year. I'm afraid my return is very uninteresting but that is irrelevant in itself for obviously it is the overall results of the survey that matter. I just wish that I had a better line-up of local birds in the garden for my own interest, instead of just 2 robins, 3 sparrows, 1 blackbird and a blue-tit. Oh, I forgot the ever-present 3 collared doves, they are part of the furniture!
      Many thanks for the report.
      I hope I'll find time to follow up on all the links.

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


      Have I mentioned Asia Insurance Building here before?? OK,OK several times, but it can bear being mentioned again.

      It was THE skyline of Singapore for over 20 years:

      The building on the left is Ocean Building, which was the second most prominent when seen from Eastern Anchorage.

      Standing proved above Finlayson Green:

      The blue building to the right is Denmark House. (No price for guessing why it was blue)

      It is still there, but not very visible as part of today's skyline:

      It is now the Ascott Raffles Place Serviced Residences:

      The other day we actually went in to see what have become of AIB, where the company I worked for in the early 1970s had their offices on the top three floors and my Father-in-Law had his office on the 7th floor from 1968 until 1985.
      There are a Lobby Bar and a Restaurant on the two lowest floors, which is open to the public.The upper floors are only for residents so we could not go up to the open air swimming pool on the 19th floor, but the Security Guard was proudly showing off the old Royal Mail Collection Box in the lobby. (Nicely polished brass).
      The old manually operated lifts and Ahmad, the Lift Walah, had been retired.

      Finlayson Green still exists, but in a different form:

      This "monument" is supposedly depicting the struggle of the working men in Singapore, reaching for the peak. (Fitting subject for 1st of May)


        This type of "every day street scenes" from old Singapore is dotted around in the preserved part of Chinatown:

        This model was seen in a former Temple in China Square. It depicts a scene of the original beach along Telok Ayer Street:

        This was designated as a Chinese settlement by Sir Stamford Raffles.

        Yes, everything from here to the present day beach line at Marina South has been reclaimed from the sea in several steps:

        Even most Singaporean is not aware of the earlier reclamation, since it "has been there forever". (Reclaimed abt 1879-87)

        Here is the original plan for Singapore settlement as drawn up by Mr. Phillip Jackson in 1822 at the behest of Raffles:

        The original coastline and early Malay, Bugis and Baja Kampongs can be seen. Even a Dhoby Village is part of the plan.
        ​The principle was "divide and rule", with the different races and Chines dialect groups kept separate.

        If you walk along Telok Ayer Street today you would not have seen many signs of it being the original landing place for Chinese immigrants.
        Except the Temples for the various dialect groups that still exits in the area dedicated to MaZhu, the Goddess of Seafarers.

        Here is the oldest Hokkien Temple in Singapore:


          A model of the type of Junks they arrived in from Southern China:

          If anybody want to know more about Telok Ayer Street and the temples there, here is a link: https://thelongnwindingroad.wordpres...yu-huang-gong/


            Battery Point on the old map from 1822 is still in existance:

            It is on the left here, at the mouth of Singapore River. Fullerton Building and Anderson Bridge is much later additions.

            As is all this:

            And this:

            Free concerts are held on a stage outside the Esplanade many nights:

            It is mostly by amatur bands wanting to be noticed by somebody who can give them a break.

            I don't know why I took this, but it looks nice:

            Looking across the open area outside the Esplanade and towards the downtown area.


              The Ascott building further up here certainly have some ART DECO traits to her design.
              With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

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              • ombugge
                ombugge commented
                Editing a comment
                Maybe that's why it is described as an Art Deco building??

              More mysterious places in Singapore that few have ever heard about: http://thelongnwindingroad.wordpress...ury-singapura/
              More Malayan history lessons as well.


              • Seagull
                Seagull commented
                Editing a comment
                So much fascinating reading you have been providing me with lately ombugge - thank you so much.

              Here is more reading material for you. One of the bleakest moments in Singapore and British Colonial history was the fall of Singapore to the Japanese in 1942.
              Here is one account of that event:

              One of the main battles of that war in Singapore was at Kent Ridge, which was mentioned in post #1024.


                Before the end of the war the British and their allied had planned an invasion to re-capture Malaya and Singapore, which would have involved extensive bombing and would likely have caused a lot of civilian casualties:
                Fortunately this did not happen, since the Americans dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, forcing the Japanese Emperor to surrender on 15 Aug. 1945.

                But the formal surrender of the Japanese in Singapore was not before 12. Sept. 1945:

                In the meantime there were no effective Government in Singapore and a lot of looting and unlawful activity took place.
                Here is from a Wiki article:

                After the Japanese surrendered, there was a state of anomie in Singapore, as the British had not yet arrived to take control. The Japanese occupiers had a considerably weakened hold over the populace. There were widespread incidents of looting and revenge-killing. Much of the infrastructure had been wrecked, including the harbour facilities and electricity, water supply and telephone services. It took four or five years for the economy to return to pre-war levels. When British troops finally arrived they were met with cheering and fanfare.
                Banana money became worthless after the occupation ended. Many individuals who had acquired their wealth through banana currency were rendered penniless overnight.


                  The Port of Singapore was and is one of the main reasons for the existence of this place. Without it there would not be much "need" for a British trading post cum Settlement come Crown Colony.
                  I found this "Short History of the Port of Singapore" written in 1922, which give a good insight into what it was like at that time, shortly after the First World War:


                    Originally posted by ombugge View Post
                    But the formal surrender of the Japanese in Singapore was not before 12. Sept. 1945
                    That I had not known. The two dates 8 May and 15 August 45 are embedded deep in my memory. Strangely I cannot recall any image of what I was doing at the time the first was announced, not even the time of day. Considering it was the end of the horrendous experiences we had gone through under all the various forms of bombing descending upon London I would have thought that a mental picture of that moment would still loom large in my memory. As a result of the end of that part of WW2 my mother and I had dared to come up to this part of the world where I live now for a week's holiday, my father being unable to get time off. And we were listening to the radio at the lodgings where we were staying when the words came through that the Japanese had surrendered. I still feel the overwhelming sense of relief, a wondering that now we would experience this state called peace, which I was yet to know.
                    You have supplied many links for all of us to browse through, Ombugge, and I'm doing my best.

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


                      On Saturday we visited a family member warded at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in Yisun, which proved to be a surprising place. Alternatively described as "a hospital in a garden", or "a garden in a a hospital":
                      There are plants and gardens and fish ponds all over the place, with 100 species of fish listed.
                      There is even a communal vegetable garden and fruit orchard on the roof of one of the blocks:

                      Unfortunately I did not take a lot of pictures in the hospital grounds, but here is a picture taken from the near by Yisun Park:

                      Here is a picture from the hospital grounds:

                      Not very descriptive of the park, since I took the picture to show that the street lights in the grounds are actually solar powered.

                      There is a lot of pictures from this award winning Hospital on the web.


                        Still in Yishun, but now on the way to Yishun Park.

                        The purpose of this structure is not easy to see, but the walkways are allowing wheelchair access from the ground to the pedestrian bridge across a busy road much easier:

                        What can you do to make a concrete surface on a pedestrian bridge a bit more interesting?:

                        Across the road is the large Yishun Park, which we have never visited. But remembering Kipling, we decided to get out of the hot afternoon sun.
                        We visited the SAFRA Club in stead and watched some maintenance work going on on their smaller climbing walls:


                          I have be posting links to things from the early history of Singapore here earlier, but here is one about a man that doesn't get much credit, although he was the one who implemented Raffles early plans and lay the foundation for modern day Singapore:
                          He doesn't have a statue or a street named up after him here, although maybe a more important person than Raffles in ensuring that the history of Singapore didn't become failure.