Sunday, August 17, 2014

Orchard To ECP - A Singapore Sunday!

After a hectic week for Neeti and well deserved 12-hour rest at the hotel, we ventured out to soak in the modernity of Singapore at Orchard Road.
Much unlike its evocative name, Orchard Road is a concrete jungle - a mecca for the indulgent shopper with miles of shopping malls and hotels catering to tourists who come to Singapore just to shop.... But then, thankfully for me, there is just so much more to Singapore than just the glitz of Orchard...


A jungle of glass and concrete - that's what Orchard Road is today...


Orchard Road was developed in the 1830s. The road led into the nutmeg, pepper, gambier and fruit plantations in the area and the nomenclature of the road was an obvious consequence....

By 1846, the residential development of the area began with houses coming up on Tank Road. 
Much around the same time, graveyards began to appear along the road. By 1846, the Chinese had a large graveyard around what is now the Meritus Mandarin Hotel and Ngee Ann City, while the Sumatrans from Bencoolen had their burial ground where the current Hotel Grand Central stands today. Later a Jewish cemetery was also established, only to be demolished in 1984. It was located where the Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station is located today.

In the 1860s, Orchard Road had a great number of private houses and bungalows on hills looking down through the valley where the road passed through. Early in the 1890s, King Chulalongkorn, the then King of Siam (Thailand), acquired "Hurricane House" in the vicinity of Orchard Road through Tan Kim Ching, the Thai Consul in Singapore. Two further pieces of adjoining property were added later and these subsequently this became the site of the Royal Thai Embassy at 370 Orchard Road.

It is said that in the early 20th century, Orchard Road "present[ed] the appearance of a well-shaded avenue to English mansion[s]," comparable in its "quiet but effective beauty to Devonshire lanes.
The Chinese called the area in and around Orchard, tang leng pa sat koi or "Tanglin market street." The Tamils refer to the road as vaira kimadam or "fakir's place", and muttu than (high ground), a reference to the hilly nature of the area.

Commercial development began in the twentieth century and took off in the 1970s, and today, we have "orchards of the retail kinds"!



We attempted to indulge in a bit of retail therapy... and we forgot the rule that we were on a budget trip!



High-end retail chains proliferate Orchard...


The Marriott here is designed like a Chinese temple...



Way to the MRT...



The Devil may wear Prada, I don't for sure....


Headed to Ngee Ann City....


Who would have believed that a Chinese graveyard would transform into this....
I hope the place isn't haunted with ghosts of those buried here.... And it should be time to move on, on that scary though...


Umbrellas on sale outside Ngee Ann City made for an interesting photograph...



Happy 49th Birthday, Singapore!!!!


Her bag should say "I ♥ SG"...



What a hot and humid day... The weather here really sucks....



Behind the trees is the Istana Palace, the official residence of Singapore's President...


Stopping by at Istana Park, opposite the Istana Palace... 


Singapore was built with the labour and toil, blood and sweat of immigrants...


Realising that we were completely bored on Orchard, we headed for something interesting to Chinatown...


Couplets on Chinatown at the Chinatown MRT station....


Landed up at Pagoda Street.... I can't seem to get enough of Chinatown...



The Sri Mariamman Temple in the heart of Chinatown...

The Sri Mariamman Temple was founded in 1827 by an Indian Tamil, Naraina Pillai, eight years after the East India Company established a trading settlement in Singapore. Pillai was a government clerk from Penang who arrived in Singapore with Sir Stamford Raffles on his second visit to the island in May 1819. 
Pillai went on to set up the island's first construction company, and also entered the textile trade. He rapidly established himself in business and was identified as a leader of the Indian community. He established a textile trading base in what is today's Raffles Place

The temple was intially made of wood. But there were numerous renovations to ensure longevity of the temple. The oldest parts of the existing brick structure date to 1843. Pillai brought in skilled craftsmen from the Nagapattinam and Cuddalore districts of Tamil Nadu to construct the kovil in true South India, gopuram style...

The temple is a gazetted national monument and is an institution for the local Hindu community. Sri Mariamman Temple has served as a refuge for new immigrants, particularly South Indian Tamil Hindus. The temple granted the immigrants shelter until they found work and more permanent accommodation in Singapore...




This shophouse dates back to 1910....


A traditional Chinese medicine store in one of the shophouses on Pagoda Street...



More on the Chinatown Food Street later.... it deserves a separate blog post!

After roaming around Chinatown for a few hours, I pulled an ace out of my sleeve....
I took Neeti to the North Bridge Road. We went to same perfumery I had visited earlier this week. Perhaps the lovely fragrances here would please Neeti, I thought! And yes, she was delighted!


Our next pit stop was East Coast Park, where we had to meet my old school friend and his family...

Built in the 1970s entirely on reclaimed land, the 185 hectare East Coast Park is the largest park in Singapore. Known popularly as the ECP, it has a man-made beach which is protected by breakwaters....
The park has barbecue pits, chalets, food and beverage, and amenities for sports activities. A cycling and inline skating track runs along the perimeter of the park, which measures over 15 kilometres long. 

ECP is a popular recreational area, and it teems with locals especially on weekends. for people to relax and enjoy themselves. 


Another outlet of Jumbo, which is popular for its crab....



After roaming around ECP for 3 hours, it was time to head back to Balestier, a place we are calling home on this exciting sojourn....


1 comment:

Uttpal K said...

Neatly written. please write more.. :)

Aviation Photo Search Engine
Biggest aviation photo database on the 'Net
Aircraft Type...[ Help ]
Airline...[ Help ]
Country / Airport...[ Help ]
Category...[ Help ]
Uploaded... [ Help ]
Keywords... [ Help ]
Range...[ Help ]
Sort By...
Limit...
Display...


Include only photos for sale

Stop searching after hits [ Help ]