Friday, April 17, 2015

An Afternoon at Raffles

Over the weekend, S and I went for the hilarious Faulty Towers lunch performance that was passing through Singapore on its way around the world. What we didn't realise until a few days prior was that it was to be held at the iconic Raffles Hotel

The colonial-style hotel has been around since 1887 - going through receivership, passing through a few hands, and undergoing massive refurbishment. Naturally, its exclusivity has decreased over the decades - and much of the hotel grounds are now open to the public, encouraging visitors to wander the beautiful space.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Oh! Joo Chiat

Singapore, like Malaysia, is a country of rich heritage, which is most obvious from its architecture. So between our trips to Saigon and Tokyo, we went on a walking tour to one of Singapore's most interesting neighbourhoods - Joo Chiat. Which unlike many HDB-heavy suburbs, is home to beautiful preservation buildings. 

The event, organised by OH! Open House, was touted as an art tour, rather than a historical one. Although one can't talk about Joo Chiat or be inspired by it without a description of how it came to be: Chew Joo Chiat, its namesake, was a wealthy Chinese merchant who owned a hectares of plantations in the area. He then sold and gifted parcels of his land to various people, whether rich or poor, which resulted in the area increasing in diversity in economy and architecture. These days, wealthy expats and locals live in those pretty Peranakan houses (mostly the former and most definitely in renovated dwellings), alongside less-economically-able migrant workers from India and Vietnam sleeping in cramped flats. 

Joo Chiat is something else, so be warned that the following post is photo-heavy. It is but a feeble attempt to show you how unique the area is.