Friday, February 28, 2020

Singapore's Chinatown

Chinatown is Singapore's largest ethnic enclave, with five districts packed with things to do and see (not to mention, eat).  We arrive shortly after the Chinese New Year celebration and many of the decorations are still up.


We wander through the covered pedestrian streets, admiring the shops and restaurants and stopping to purchase a thing or two.

Streets of Chinatown

On the far side of Chinatown, we come on the Budda Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, with an extensive collection of Buddhist culture, art, and relics, including what Buddhists consider to be the left canine tooth of Buddha, recovered from his funeral pyre in India.  The temple is spectacular and even includes a small tea house for relaxation.

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum

On the outskirts of Chinatown, Ann Siang Hill was known for its residences of rich Chinese and Straits businessmen and was the locations of Chinese clan associations, trade guilds, and entertainment clubs.  It is still a great-looking neighborhood.

 Streets and street art of Ann Siang Hill

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Fort Canning Park and Clarke Quay in Singapore

Fort Canning Park is the highest elevation within walking distance of Singapore's business district and in the 1800s, a fort was built on the site to defend Singapore's harbor.  It is believed that the hill was the center of Singapore in the 14th century, consisting of a palace and other religious and commercial buildings.  Now it holds Singapore's reservoir and a great park with hiking paths, an aquarium, the national theater, concert sites, sculpture, great trees, and fabulous views across the city.

 Paths of Fort Canning Park

The reservoir at the top of the hill holds 30 million gallons (114 million liters) of water that is pumped up into the reservoir and then flows downhill to the houses and offices of Singapore.  They're also serious about security at the reservoir.

 Don't mess with the reservoir!

Across River Valley Road from Fort Canning is Clarke Quay, five blocks of restored warehouses on the Singapore River, now holding restaurants, nightclubs, and shops.  With many of the locastions directly on the river bank, there are also river cruises, river taxis, and floating pubs and restaurants.

 Clarke Quay

All through Clarke Quay there is great street artwork on the walls and buildings of the complex.

 Street art in Clarke Quay

And, even the restaurants and clubs have a whimsical side to their displays.

 Guess what this restaurant serves (yummm)

We need to return at night, when the joint is hopping!