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Singapore
Botanic Gardens
Religious buildings
Chinese and Japanese Gardens
Cloud Forest Dome
Flower Dome
Southern Ridges Walk
Singapore Zoo
Johor Bharu

Singapore and southern Malaysia: a photographic record of a short visit

Singapore is a fusion of Asian with Western cultures and economies. There is plenty to see and do (and think about) on this tiny but fascinating island. At the time of my visit development was continuing at a high rate, and there had been significant changes since my previous visit in 2011.

This page gives some personal impressions of the place. The architecture, engineering and art, the vegetation and the park and zoo developments were what impressed me the most.

Earlier impressions of Singapore, in 2011, are on another page on this site.

Commenced 2015/03/20, modified 2016/11/26 – ©
Contact: email daveclarkecb@yahoo.com
 
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Average monthly temperatures in Singapore
Temperatures
Image credit guidemesingapore
In my home town, Clare, South Australia, the mean maximum ranges from 13° in July to 30° in January; I'd find Singapore's climate boring. Also see the Rainfall chart; every month is wet, but some wetter than others.
As an environmentalist, I was disappointed to find that Singapore seems to have made little effort to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions: more than 97% of its electricity is generated by burning fossil fuels and there doesn't seem to be much use made of solar power.

Temperatures have risen about 0.8°C in Singapore since 1948 and have been projected to rise by 1.5 to 2.5°C in the foreseeable future. This will have major environmental and human impacts (see NCCS). Singapore should be making a greater effort, even if only considering self-interest (as should my country, Australia).

While Singapore was cleaner than nearby Jahor Bahru, rubbish lying around on and near the streets is very noticible; in particular the number of discarded cigarette butts was quite shocking.

One of the most significant facts about Singapore is its size; it is tiny – an island 45km × 23km with an area of 716km2 – and crowded: 5.4 million people (in 2013). For comparison, Bali is 5,780km2 and has 4.2 million people, and Australia's Kangaroo Island is 4,400km2 with 4000 people. Australia has more than ten thousand times the area of Singapore, but only about four times the population.

We were in Singapore from 2015/03/07 to 2015/03/13 and Johor Bharu from later in the day 2015/03/13 to 2015/03/17.



Cloud Forest Dome

Singapore: A photographic record of a short visit

I suggest using the Index to find a particular section or simply use the 'Next' and 'Last' links on the left to scroll through the photos.

Click on the photos below to see them full size.

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Early impression



Architecture of Singapore

This photo was taken just outside of our hostel, 5 Footway Inn, Project Bugis, shortly after our arrival.


It shows a mix of architectural types and styles that is typical of Singapore. The two-story buildings – lower centre – with shops beneath and proprietor's accommodation above is very common in the older shopping/eating areas.

The tall apartment block, with imaginative modern architecture rather than simple cheapest-way-of-building-x-square-metres that seems common in Australia, in the background is also typical Singapore. (A notable feature of this building is that all the windows faced downward, which would greatly reduce the amount of heat from sunlight entering the building while not harming the view.)

The other two-story places – lower left and right – are perhaps of a style less common.

The street sweeper has significance to this page.

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Hostel



Accommodation in Singapore

My Son, Ken, in front of 5 Footway Inn Project Bugis, where we had rooms while in Singapore.

By Australian standards hotel/hostel rooms in Singapore are tiny and expensive. We paid over Aus$100 (roughly equal to Sin$100) per night for tiny rooms just big enough for a chest of draws, a large lounge chair (on which two people might just squeeze), a little floor space for luggage, and an en-suite bathroom. There was a double bed on a tiny mezzanine just big enough for the purpose above the 'living area'. The rooms were air-conditioned and comfortable.

A simple breakfast (white bread, toasters, spreads, cereals and low-quality coffee from a machine) was provided at no extra charge. All bowls, plates, cups and cutlery were single-use plastic that were dumped after use; no doubt convenient for the hostel operators – by minimising labour – but environmentally irresponsible.

The accommodation and breakfast offering we had in Johor Bharu, for a very similar price, was lavish by comparison.


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Rubbish

Rubbish

Compared to at least some other nations of SE Asia Singapore streets were fairly free of rubbish, but it was not hard to find. Cigarette butts were by far the most numerous bits. (Chewing gum cannot be legally sold in Singapore.)

There are similarities between the mind-set of those who dump rubbish wherever it is convenient for them to do so and the mind-set of those who dump waste carbon dioxide into the atmosphere causing climate change – and those in government who encourage it. I have written more on this elsewhere.

While rubbish lying around on and near streets is unsightly it doesn't do a lot of harm. If it washes off the streets and into lakes or the ocean it can do a great deal of environmental harm.

I cleaned-up some of the rubbish near the hostel we stayed in. Why chose to live in an area that is strewn with rubbish? Why chose to live in a world where wastes are carelessly dumped into the atmosphere? Do something about it.


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Singapore Flyer


Singapore Flyer

Few people would visit Singapore and not do a cycle on the Singapore Flyer which is one of the tallest Ferris wheels in the world and 30m taller than the London Eye.

More of Singapore's engineering features are elsewhere on this page: Helix Bridge, Cloud Forest Dome, Super Trees, pedestrian bridge, Forest Walk, Henderson Waves, Sentosa mall and Cavenagh Bridge.

An aspect of Singapore that many Australians would find striking is the amount of vegetation to be seen. It is no doubt made possible by the high humidity and all-year-round rainfall. Perhaps the incentive to pack the place with so much vegetation comes from so many people, with their homes and commercial buildings, being crowded into such a small island.

Singapore monthly rainfall
Rainfall chart


Australia is mostly much dryer than Singapore, and even in the wetter areas, the rainfall tends to fall mostly over only one half of the year.

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Singapore Flyer

In the Singapore Flyer

  My family enjoying the view.

In the distance is the Cloud Forest Dome and the Flower Dome; on the right can just be seen some of the Super Trees.

The climate in Singapore, which is a very little north of the Equator (1.3° North), is consistently warm to hot and humid. By comparison with my home towns, it gets four times the annual rainfall of Clare and six times as much as Crystal Brook, both in South Australia.

Fortunately for tourists, most popular indoor places, including the capsules of the Flyer, are kept at comfortable temperatures by air conditioning.

Less happily, the electricity for running all these air conditioners is generated by burning fossil fuels. Singapore's electricity is 97.4% fossil fuels generated and is ranked 48th of 61 ("very poor") countries in the Climate Change Performance Index. My country, Australia, is ranked 57th; our excuse – at least at the time of writing – is that Tony Abbott, who cannot see beyond the coal technology that is being phased-out in more enlightened nations, is our Prime Minister.

While Singapore probably has poor wind resources it could make far more use of solar power than it does.

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Singapore Flyer


View from the Singapore Flyer

On the left is a part of the Flower Dome and the Super Trees are just beyond. This area is called the Gardens by the Bay.

Both of these features were added to the Singapore landscape since my wife and my last visit in 2011.

The Super Trees are lit up at night by many coloured LEDs.


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Bay area


The Bay area
Architecture and engineering

On the left is the Helix (pedestrian) Bridge, above it is the Marina Bay Sands building – which would have to be a top contender for the most remarkable piece of architecture in the world – and on the right is the ArtScience Museum.

There is more on the Marina Bay Sands building below.



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ArtScience Museum


ArtScience Museum

Another piece of Singapore's outstanding architecture is the ArtScience Museum building.

We intended to visit this, but somehow missed it; limited time – will have to see it on another visit.



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Cloud Forest waterfall


Cloud Forest Dome

This is the view as one enters the Cloud Forest Dome.

The plants and artificial climate in the dome is that of a tropical mountain area 2000m above sea level.

The dome includes a small theatre with a continuous movie explaining the risks to the planet from climate change. (One wonders how the owner and operator of the Cloud Forest Dome feels about the impact the huge energy consumption the air conditioning of the Dome must have on greenhouse gas emissions, considering that 97% of Singapore's electricity comes from the burning of fossil fuels.)

In the entrance area of the two domes (Cloud Forest and Flower Dome) are some great sculptures and petrified trees (not shown on this page).

See also Gardens by the Bay and Flower Dome.

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Cloud Forest


In the Cloud Forest Dome

While the outer part of the Cloud Forest was covered in vegetation, the inside contained sculptures and other interesting displays.

Art works were numerous and very wide-spread in Singapore and I found art to be mixed with Singaporean architecture and engineering.

More of what might strictly be called art is on this page: Lego in Cloud Forest, flower sheep, dragon, Hindu temple, Bhuddist temple, year of the goat, flamingos, Sentosa Island Mall, silver balls, map of plants, Singapore history, three men, Koran, animal seats, Parkview and Miniland.

Beyond that, were the gardens; the Japanese Garden in particular would have to be classed as art.


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Cloud Forest


In the Cloud Forest Dome

This section of the vegetation had a wide variety of colours, vein patterns and textures.

My granddaughter Anna.


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Cloud Forest


In the Cloud Forest Dome

Some of the vegetation and walkways.

The wire across the scene just below the centre of the photo was being used to run a camera across the dome.


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Cloud Forest


A hint of Legoland

Carnivorous plants made of Lego in the Cloud Forest Dome.

Legoland in Malaysia is about 50km north of the Cloud Forest Dome.


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Marina Bay Sands


Marina Bay Sands building

As mentioned above the Marina Bay Sands building(s) is an outstanding piece of architecture. There is probably little point in my going into detail here, read more about it on Wikipedia.

It is a pitty that architecture like this is wasted on what is primarily a casino. It is hard to imagine anything more symbolic of modern pointlessness, selfishness, narcissism, decadence, inequity and excess.

The mauve 'flowers' in this photo are bougainvilleas; very common in Singapore; and mauve is by far the most common colour of bougainvilleas to be seen. Plants are used extensively as architectural features on Singapore's high-rise buildings. Considering the warm, damp climate, the bougainvilleas – a quick growing plant at any time – would require a lot of trimming.


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Inside Marina Bay Sands


Inside Marina Bay Sands

There is an elevated walk-way that passes right through one of the three sections of the Marina Bay Sands building. This photo was taken from that walk-way.

While the Marina Bay Sands is one building, it could be called three buildings, or even six. The three main sections are each split into two for most of their length, as shown above and in this photo.


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Super Trees


Super Trees

The Gardens by the Bay are open to the public with no admission charges but there is a fee to go onto the walkway shown in this photo.

The Super Trees had LED lighting on them at night, perhaps powered by solar electricity generated during the day.

Solar power in Singapore

There are some solar PV panels on the tops of at least some of the Super Trees and on the tops of tall buildings, but on the whole, we saw little evidence that solar power was used much in Singapore, and we saw no wind turbines (I would think that wind speeds would generally be light at a point so close to the Equator).

Singapore's peak power demand in 2014 was 6,880MW. At the time there was just 15MW of solar PV installed; equal to 0.2% of the peak demand.

Of course the high population density in Singapore means that people do not generally own the roof space under which they live; most live in high-rise blocks of flats. So a typical individual is not in a position to install solar on his roof.


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Super Trees


Super-Tree walkway

There is a pleasent, but fairly short, walk along this walkway. The views are excellent, but not greatly different to the views from ground level. There is a fee for entry onto the walkway.

Again, the Marina Bay Sands building is in the background. This building does tend to dominate views in the central city area of Singapore.


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Flower Dome


Flower Dome

This is similar to the Cloud Forest Dome, but concentrates on regional temperate vegetation communities.

This photo is of the Mediterranean section; olive trees are prominent. Some of the olive trees here appear to be older than any I have seen in Australia; the landscape gardeners must have gone to great expense and a lot of trouble to import very old trees.

I'd estimate that at least some of these trees would be several hundred years old.


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Sheep


Flower sheep

In the Flower Dome; note the sculpture mountain-goats on the poles.


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Sculpture


Dragon sculpture

In the Flower Dome.

This is a beautiful work of art. There is an eagle almost as good right adjacent; not shown in this photo.


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Yaccas


Yaccas

The botanical name of these quintessentially Australian plants is Xanthorrhoea (species). The common name in South Australia, where I live, is yacca (alternatively spelled yacka or yakka). In other states they can be called black-boys (not politically correct!) or grass-trees.

They are very slow growing and difficult to transplant. These plants would have to be around a hundred years old.

One way they can be transplanted is by cutting all the leaves off before the move. They will then, if the transplant is successful, grow a new set of leaves over quite a long period. To grow such a complete canopy of leaves as these have would require, I would think, several years.


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Lake


Artificial lake

Adjacent to Crawford Street in the vicinity of our hostel.

The maximum use of the available space for water, lawn and trees is typical of Singapore.


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Temple


Sri Mariamman Hindu temple

This temple is in Chinatown.

Singapore has a big mix of religions; Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity are all common and conspicuous. No doubt there are various others including Chinese traditional ancester worship and hybrids.

All, of course, are totally delusional. It can be shown that an immortal soul is a rediculous concept, so most religions have no basis.


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Temple interior


Temple interior

Sri Veeramakaliamman Hindu temple in Little India

Hindu temples are always colourful and interesting, but with its thousands or millions of gods Hinduism strikes me as one of the most ridiculous of religions.


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Mosque


Mosque

Masjid (Mosque) Abdul Gafoor, Little India

We also visited a mosque in Chinatown.

Islam strikes me as one of the great threats to an open and rational society. Christianity, as it was practiced about five hundred years ago, was equally dangerous, but thankfully most people in the West do not take it so seriously any more, even when they are nominally Christian.


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Temple


Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

In Chinatown

This struck Denece (my wife) and I as by far the most beautiful of the places of worship that we saw in Singapore.


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Temple interior


Buddha Tooth Relic Temple interior

We happened to visit this temple when a service was underway. The chanting was pleasant and the building beautifully decorated.

Buddhism, as a religion, has the advantage over the others in being a very positive, happy, delusion.


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Temple interior


Feature wall

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

This seemed to be the main wall in the main part of the temple.

There were several other levels including a very beautiful section where the 'Buddha tooth relic' was stored and displayed. Photos were not permitted in that section. Right on the top was an attractive roof garden.


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Temple interior


Temple interior

While the temple was beautiful, one would have to wonder if the money involved would have been better spent in good works.

The Buddha Tooth relic area, on one of the upper levels, was paved with gold. Presumably this would be only a thin gold plating, but still the cost must have been great.

Would Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, have approved of this extravagence? I doubt it.


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Temple interior


Temple interior

Each of the small niches contains a Buddha image. There were many other similar sections in the temple and a note somewhere about this being a temple of 10,000 Buddhas.

There is an even greater number of little Buddhas in niches in Bai Dinh, in Vietnam. The more Buddhas the better it seems? How can anyone believe this sort of thing?

I can't help wondering what Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, who told people not to worship him, would have thought of this.


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Temple interior


Rooftop garden

This high-contrast image has been treated with high-dynamic-range processing.

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Church


Saint Andrew's Cathedral Church

This seemed to be one of the main (Anglican) churches in Singapore. The interior was attractive; especially so at the time we visited, with the coloured sunlight coming through the stained glass windows.

This church had far more spacious ground than the other religious buildings on this page – a block 170m × 230m – probably due to the economic and political dominance of the Christian British in the development years of Singapore.

I was raised a Christian. Fortunately I realised that Christianity, God and religion in general, was a myth in my teens.


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Tiger


Singapore Zoo

The zoo would be sufficient reason to visit Singapore on its own. It is extensive, very well landscaped and has a large and impressive collection of animals.

Tigers are rare and endangered; the usual story, loss of habitat and clearing of forests. Singapore Zoo has several white tigers and supports tiger conservation.

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Flamingos


Flamingos

Pink flamingos get their colour from their food. In the wild this comes from algae in saline lakes.


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Lizard


Komodo dragon

This is the world's biggest lizard species. It is native to Komodo and nearby islands in Indonesia, not far from Singapore.

It is rare to see one so well as this in a zoo. I don't recall where I have previously visited a zoo that had a Komodo dragon, but it was largely hidden in a hollow log or similar.

Maybe the warm Singapore climate brings this one out into the open.


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Lemur


Ring-tailed lemur

These were remarkably tame. Visitors can walk right through the cage and even touch the animals.

All the world's lemurs, a type of primate, come from Madagascar where there is huge environmental damage ultimately due largely to poverty.

These few photos cannot possibly do justice to the Singapore Zoo. (Completely seperate to the normal zoo is the Night Zoo, also very popular and well worth visiting.)


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Orang-utans


Orang-utans

This would have to be one of the most impressive displays in the zoo. There are two orang-utan exhibits and they are claimed to be unique. The zoo management writes of them as being free-range.

Orang-utans are the most endangered of the great-apes and are indigenous to a few Indonesian islands and Malaysia.

On a sign in the zoo...

"The forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence, that makes no demands for sustenance and extends generously the products of its activity; it affords protection to all beings, offering shade even to the axeman who destroys it."

Gautama Siddhartha (Buddha)



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Vegitecture


Mixing vegetation and architecture

I'm not sure of the exact location of this building. As with the next photo, we saw it before visiting the Botanic garden. Both buildings are outstanding examples of Singaporean incorporation of gardens into architecture.

For more Singapore architecture see:
ArtScience Museum,
Marina Bay Sands building,
religious buildings,
a group of spiral stairways,
Raffles Place here and here,
on the Singapore River,
Parkview Square
and a building seen from Southern Ridges Walk.


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Vegitecture


Mixing vegetation and architecture

I'm not sure of the exact location of this building. As with the last photo, we saw it before visiting the Botanic garden. Both buildings are outstanding examples of Singaporean incorporation of gardens into architecture.


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Year of the goat


Year of the goat

Some of the street decorations for the beginning of the Chinese Year of the Goat.




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Botanic Gardens


Singapore Botanic Gardens

The Botanic Gardens, like the zoo, were extensive and very well done. In addition to the plants, there were many artistically landscaped sections such as this fountain at the entrance.

Particularly impressive was the National Orchid Garden, within the SBG.


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Botanic Gardens


Singapore Botanic Gardens

Visitors strolling and relaxing on one of the paths


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Botanic Gardens


Singapore Botanic Gardens

In the National Orchid Garden within the SBG


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Botanic Gardens


Singapore Botanic Gardens

In the National Orchid Garden within the SBG


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Botanic Gardens


Singapore Botanic Gardens

In the National Orchid Garden within the SBG


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Botanic Gardens


Singapore Botanic Gardens

A fountain at a junction of paths


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Botanic Gardens


Singapore Botanic Gardens

At another path junction was this tree with a very interesting 'woven' appearance to its branches.


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Botanic Gardens


Singapore Botanic Gardens

Back in the National Orchid Garden


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Botanic Gardens


Singapore Botanic Gardens

My granddaughter went to sleep before we finished in the gardens. Her head kept on falling forward in her pusher, so my daughter put a strap around to hold it up. She slept soundly like this.


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Botanic Gardens


Singapore Botanic Gardens

A magnificent Johor Fig tree in the Rainforest Walk section


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Southern R. Walk


Southern Ridges Walk

The point we started on the walk was this very interestingly designed pedestrian bridge over Alexandra Road.

The people, from left to right: my wife Denece, daughter-in-law Claire, son Ken and son-in-law Shayne with granddaughter Anna on his shoulders. Just visible are my daughter Julia and granddaughter Beth.




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Southern Ridges Walk


Forest Walk

This photo shows a very small section of elevated walkway on the long and beautiful Southern Ridges Walk. Forest Walk is a part of the Southern Ridges Walk.

My wife Denece and Shayne with Anna on his shoulders.


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Southern Ridges Walk


Forest Walk

A section of the walk shaded by an impressive stand of bamboo.


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Southern Ridges Walk


Forest Walk

On the left, Claire and Ken


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Southern R. Walk


Architecture

Another imaginative bit of Singaporean architecture seen from a high section of Forest Walk. Note the gardens on the top and on the bridges between sections.




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Henderson Waves


Henderson Waves

Fascinating engineering that made up a part of the Southern Ridges Walk.

I think the 'waves' were effectively arches supporting a particularly high section of the elevated walkway.

Quoting from Your Singapore:

"True to its name, the bridge mimics the undulating shape of a wave, curving and twisting along its entire 274-metre length. Its form is anchored by steel arches and filled in with curved 'ribs' – slats of Balau wood, a dense hardwood used in heavy construction and which is found only in Southeast Asia."



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Southern Ridges Walk


Henderson Waves

This section of the walk had timber flooring. Most of the elevated sections had galvanised steel mesh floors.

Shayne with the pusher in the foreground.


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Southern R. Walk


Solar panels

We didn't see much renewable energy in Singapore. In fact Singapore seems to have done very little about changing from fossil fuels to renewables; see Solar power in Singapore

Perhaps there are a number of solar PV installations on the tops of buildings and not easily visible from ground level.







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Southern Ridges Walk


Monkeys' lunch

The bigger monkey chased away the two Japanese girls who were eating their lunch. The girls' lunch became the monkey's lunch.

Monkeys can carry diseases including rabies. They can bite if they are annoyed, so it is prudent to not annoy them.

If this monkey grabbed my lunch I think I'd be inclined to give it a quick backhander rather than let it get away with it. They rely heavily on bluff; and I'm not necessarily prudent.

This is still on the Henderson Waves section of the Southern Ridges Walk.


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Southern Ridges Walk


Monkey having lunch

The larger monkey seemed to almost entirely ignore the smaller who had to get whatever it could (see last photo). (I thought the pair were mother and young, but I was corrected. The larger monkey was a male.) I suppose the small monkey was following the larger one to learn 'monkey tricks'; it probably had a good teacher.

Note the foot on the tray; to make sure the girls can't easily take the tray back.


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Sentosa


Sentosa Island

This island, off the southern coast of the main island, is marketed as a place to go to enjoy yourself. There is certainly a lot to see and do, including Madame Tussauds (no photos on this page).

There are several ways of getting to Sentosa, we used the cable car (again, no photos here).


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Sentosa


Sentosa Island

In this mall there is a typically Singaporean mix of art, architecture and engineering


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Ship


S.E.A. Aquarium

The entry hall to the aquarium contains impressive maritime displays, including this mock-up of, I think, the stern section of one of the ships in Admiral Zhou Man's fleet as described in Gavin Menzies book '1421: the Year China Discovered the World". The limitations of wood in ship building, I believe, does not allow such big ships.

The "planet's largest window on the ocean"
Big tank
Unfortunately this photo is not sharp enough for a larger image



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Aquarium


Aquarium

The S.E.A. Aquarium boasts over 800 species of sea creature on display and the world's biggest 'window on the sea'; a huge Perspex wall maybe 20m long and 5m high; see above.


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Aquarium


Aquarium

Several eels.

My photos did not do justice to the aquarium, so I have only included three here.


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Cemetery


Muslim cemetery

This place, between Jalan Kubor (Kubor Street) and Victoria Street, was within easy walking distance of our hostel. It was on the same block as the huge Madrasah (Islamic school), Aljunied Al-islamic.

The cemetery was vaguely similar to a Christian cemetery, but the 'headstones' were much smaller, much closer together, and anonymous; we saw no names on any of them. The flat stones seemed to generally face the same direction (Mecca?).

The whole area had an air of neglect. What incentive would there be to look after your parent's grave if it was not marked as such?


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Wall


Wall around Muslim cemetery

Like the cemetery itself, the wall around it showed neglect.

The way the vegetation was taking over reminded Denece and me of the temples at Angkor.


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Wall


Wall around Muslim cemetery

The trees were taking over this section of the wall too.

Someone had left his hand-cart here; it had ropes tying it to the trees – I suppose to make it more difficult to steal.


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Spirals


Art, architecture and engineering

This and the next few photos are of art, architecture and engineering (architecture and engineering are a combination of art, science, technology and know-how).

These spiral stairways were at the back of a block of flats near our hostel.

More architecture is Typical Singapore?, Helix bridge and Marina Bay Sands building, ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands building, Inside MBS, Super Trees, Super Trees, Masjid (Mosque) Abdul Gafoor, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, BTRT rooftop garden, Mixing vegetation and architecture, Mixing vegetation and architecture again and Imaginative building.

There is a blurry line between architecture, art and engineering. The three disciplines can be mixed.


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City centre


Art, architecture and engineering
Sculpture

This was in the city centre: Raffles Place.

It reminded Denece and I of a big pair of silver balls in Rundle Mall, Adelaide; commonly called Donny's Balls after the state premier of the time of construction.


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Map


Art, architecture and engineering
Vertical garden

Also in Raffles Place, this garden formed a map of Singapore in vegetation.

Vertical gardens are not so easy in Australia, due to the dry air.


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Sculpture


Art, architecture and engineering
Street sculpture

This would have to be one of the best pieces of sculpture I have ever seen. It was based on the historical development of Singapore. A two-dimensional photo cannot do it justice.

Raffles Place again.


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Shapes


Art, architecture and engineering
Regular polygons

The cross section of this building, in Raffles Place, is a combination of a regular octagon and squares at two orientations.


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Raffles Place


Art, architecture and engineering
Raffles Place

A high dynamic range image (computer generated from three images exposed at different levels) of a view from Raffles Place.


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Sculpture


Art, architecture and engineering
Indian, Chinese and Englishman

As I recall, the plaque for this bronze sculpture said that it was of an Englishman mediating in a dispute between an Indian and a Chinese.

It symbolises the amicable relationship between the several races of people who call Singapore home. In addition to British, Indians and Chinese are many Malays.


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Bridge


Art, architecture and engineering
Cavenagh Bridge

Strictly speaking, this is engineering rather than art or architecture, but then, there is art in good engineering.

Cavenagh Bridge, opened in 1870 is one of the oldest bridges in Singapore and is the oldest that still is in its original form.

More engineering: Singapore Flyer, Helix Bridge.


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Mix


Art, architecture and engineering
Two architectures

An interesting juxtaposition of the two- or three-story red-roofed buildings on the Singapore River and the skyscrapers of Raffles Place.






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Koran


Asian Civilisations Museum

A rendering of the Koran; for more detail see the next image.

There was far more of interest in this museum, but my photos were not sufficiently good to be worth adding here.






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Koran


The Koran

In the Singapore Asian Civilisations Museum. For more detail of this amazing work of calligraphy click on the photo for a higher definition image, or for a more general view, see the previous image.


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Chinese Gardens


Chinese and Japanese Gardens

This bridge goes from the Chinese Garden, in the foreground, to the Japanes Garden, across the stream.

These gardens are within easy walking distance of the Chinese Gardens station of the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit system.


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Chinese Gardens


Seats in the Chinese Garden

The only other place I have seen seats like these is at the Kek Lok Si Bhuddist temple in Penang, Malaysia. (See Flickr here and here.)

There was much more in the Chinese Gardens, but my photos didn't do it justice.


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Japanese Gardens


Japanese Garden

While the Japanese Garden was small in comparison to the Botanic Gardens it is quite pretty and restful.

Denece and I visited on a fairly hot afternoon and we found it peaceful and comfortable to sit in the shade at this point and simply admire the view.


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Japanese Gardens


Japanese Garden

Why is it that Japanese gardens are more artfully laid-out, and contain more art objects (the bridge, the stone lanterns, the carefully chosen and arranged rocks) than most other gardens?

My local Lions Club has taken on some of the responsibility for the Gleeson Wetlands at Clare, South Australia. It includes a tori gate which, I believe, was donated by Clare's Japanese sister city. I would love to see a modest Japanese garden established around the tori gate.


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Japanese Gardens


Japanese Garden

A lot of work has gone into trimming these many shrubs.


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Japanese Gardens


Japanese Garden

Parts of the garden were undergoing renovation on our visit.

It seemed that there should have been a small artificial stream at this point, but it must have been out of order at the time of our visit.


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Parkview


Parkview

The top of the impressive Parkview Square building.

Apparently it was built by a very wealthy man who wanted to leave the world at least one really beautiful building.

Also see the next two photos.


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Statuary


Parkview statuary

From left to right: Dante, Dali, Chopin and Newton. On the other side of the forecourt (not shown here) were statues of: Sun Yat-Sen, Churchill, Lincoln and Plato.

The next photo shows a little of the interior.


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Johor Bharu
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Interior


Parkview lobby

We were intending to have a coffee in the Parkview Square, but were told no children were allowed.




Links to external pages on Singapore

Singapore: a walk with Paul Barter




Johor Bharu, Malaysia: Impressions and a photographic record of a short visit

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Hostel


Bliss Boutique

Our family group stayed the first two nights of our time in Jahor Bharu at Bliss Boutique Hotel. The rooms were far more spacious and comfortable than in Singapore, and the prices similar.

The breakfast choices provided by Bliss were vaste and luxurious compared to the very basic offering at the Singapore hostel.


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Family


Our group

At Bliss Boutique Hotel


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Rubbish


Rubbish

Rubbish was more plentiful and conspicuous in Johor than it had been in Singapore. This lot was on an intersection near Bliss Boutique and close to a major highway.

Carelessly dumped rubbish is a huge and growing problem world-wide. The mind-set of those who dump rubbish on road-sides is, I believe, similar to the mind-set of the corporations that dump waste gasses such as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere causing climate change and ocean acidification – and of the governments that allow it to happen.

Rubbish lying around is unsightly; but worse, if it is washed into waterways and streams, lakes and the ocean, it can do huge environmental harm.


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Legoland


Legoland

One of the Starwars displays; there were at least six just on Starwars themes. Not a good photo; the lighting allowed only a quarter of a second exposure.


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Ride


Legoland ride

This is one of at least three roller-coaster rides in Legoland.


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Ride


Boat ride

When the boat hit the ponded water at the bottom of the slide the riders all got pretty wet.

The weather, of course, was hot, so the wetness was not uncomfortable.


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Miniland


Miniland

While the rides provide the excitement in Legoland, it was the Lego models that I found most interesting, and most photogenic.

This is a few of Malaysia's most impressive buildings.


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Taj


Miniland

Taj Mahal

The next photo shows detail of the model.


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Taj


Miniland

Taj Mahal detail

I visited the Taj Mahal in about 1972. One often sees distant views of the famous building. While it is beautiful from a distance it was the amazing detail that could be seen close up that really impressed me.

This model also has great detail, as can be seen by viewing the high definition image – click on the image and then enlarge it.


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Central city


Legoland Miniland

Central city, Singapore


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Flyer


Miniland

A detail of the Singapore Flyer model


Legoland view

From our Legoland Hotel window

 
Legoland view





Index

Asian Civilisations Museum
Architecture
Art
Art, architecture and engineering
ArtScience Museum
Botanic Gardens
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
Chinese Garden
Cloud Forest Dome
Engineering
Flower Dome
Forest Walk
Henderson Waves
Hostel, 5 Footway.inn
Japanese Garden
Johor Bharu
Marina Bay Sands building
Monkey's lunch
Muslim cemetery
National Orchid Garden
Olive trees
Parkview Square
Rainfall chart, Singapore
Religious buildings
  Christian
  Buddhist
  Hindu
  Islamic
Links to external pages on Singapore
Rubbish 1
Rubbish 2
Rubbish 3
Sentosa Island
Singapore
Solar PV panels on top of a building
Solar power in Singapore
Southern Ridges Walk
Super Trees
Temperature chart, Singapore
Yaccas
Year of the Goat
Zoo

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