Singapore, sometimes referred to as the Garden City, is a global city located in Southeast Asia. It is the only island city-state in the world, and it is located at the southern tip of the continental Asia. Due to its greening policy, the island is covered with tropical flora, gardens, and parks. Singapore is also rich in arts, and cultural centers, and here are a few attractions.
1. Asia Civilizations Museum
The Asia Civilizations Museum (ACM) is located in a historical building near the Singapore River. ACM reveals the stories of Asian civilizations in its collection. Singapore has earned a reputation as the cultural melting pot of Asia with its mixed races and cultures. To display this diversity in heritage, the ACM offers visitors a grand exploration of the people in the region who have settled in Singapore over the past two centuries. Housed in a space of 14,000 square meters, the ACM has 11 thematic galleries that display over 1,300 artifacts from China, West Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.
2. National Museum of Singapore (NMS)
The National Museum of Singapore is Singapore’s oldest museum. The NMS tells you the intriguing story of Singapore’s history and culture in a fun and rewarding manner. The NMS has a history dating back to 1887, and it is one of the city’s architectural icons. Its Living Galleries and Singapore History are permanent offerings that piece together the past and the present of the town in a compelling narrative. The NMS building is a magnificent structure that seamlessly fuses the old and the new. The museum has a modern extension of metal and glass and hosts a range of events such as art installations, festivals, film screenings, and performances throughout the year. It also presents exhibitions that involve important cultural and historical collections. It also houses cafes and restaurants, and retail spaces where visitors can buy souvenirs.
3. Singapore River
Along the Singapore River, visitors will find the Raffle’s Landing Site, where Sir Stamford Raffles first set his foot on the island in 1819. Its river bank is deep enough to be a port. In the past, all ships had to pass through Singapore River to reach the shophouses and godowns at Boat Quay. When the trading expanded, other quays such as the Robertson Quay and the Clarke Quay were developed. In the 1970s, the shipping trade was moved, and the river metamorphosized. Visitors can take a river taxi or cruise to explore the coolies and the water-hands (swaylos).
4. Esplanade Theatres on the Bay
At this premier arts center, guests can catch a series of world-class performances. At any time, they will find an enormous display near the main entrance and excellent performances staged here. These shows cover various cultures and genres. Guests can also catch concerts by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, or plays inspired by great artists such as the late Kuo Pao Kun. Nicknamed by the locals as “The Durian,” here free programs including music, theater, and dance take place.
5. People of the River
At the edge of the Singapore River, there is a collection of statues that depict scenes of past eras. Visitors that are fond of pets, especially cats, should look out on the right-hand side while crossing the Cavernargh Bridge. The Kucinta Cats is a sculpture depicting three playing cats, each with thick tabby coats.
6. Singapore Arts Museum
The Singapore Arts Museum (SAM) is Singapore’s museum of contemporary arts that focuses on contemporary art from Southeast Asia. It makes accessible and advocates for interdisciplinary art through evolving and research-led curatorial practice. The SAM, opened in 1996, has one of the most important artistic works from the region. The exhibitions change regularly, and they feature paintings, sculpture, moving media and installation arts. The SAM also collaborates with renowned international museums to present shows that cover cutting-edge artworks, local and international art expressions.
7. Singapore Discovery Center
Located in 510 Upper Jong Road, the Singapore Discovery Center (SDC) is a state-of-the-art attraction that celebrates Singapore’s culture. The center strives to share the story of Singapore and to inspire people to contribute to the future of Singapore. This site appeals to persons of all ages and races. It offers a broad range of multimedia presentations, movies, and games. It has several galleries that include the Gateway, No Singapore, Singapore Works, and Singapore Way galleries.
8. Utterly Art
Utterly Art is an exhibition center that hosts a collection of local and regional artwork as well as photographs by world-famous artists. These works can be viewed for free. Among the famous artists whose works are showcased include Ansell Adams, Chong Seok Tin, Loh Jahan, and Robert Freeman. This site is probably an artist’s best friend.
9. Singapore Philatelic Museum
The Singapore Philatelic Center (SPC) offers insight into Singapore and the entire world through stamps. Stamps are tiny pieces of art that depict significant events, cultures, and histories. They record the past and everyday life events. The SPM offers a collection of stamps from Singapore and other countries. Here, visitors will see the world’s first stamp and other excellent collections of Singapore from the 1830s until after independence.
10. Peranakan Museum
For individuals looking to understand the Peranakan heritage, the Peranakan Museum is the place to go. This site houses the world’s finest Peranakan artifacts collection such as jewelry, textiles, and furniture. The Museum has ten permanent galleries located on three floors. Here, various aspects of Chinese, Indian, and Malay culture are brought to life through multimedia and interactive exhibits. Some of the attractions of this museum include stories about famous Peranakans, the 12-day Peranakan wedding, and the evolution of the Peranakan culture. In Malay, the word “Peranakan” signifies “locally born.” It is used to refer to descendants of foreigners who came as traders and intermarried with the locals of Southeast Asia centuries ago.
Singapore is a beautiful island that is rich in history and cultural heritage. Any person that visits this island will not fail to notice the cultural diversity and friendly people. There are many attractions in Singapore that will captivate travelers of every age and origin.
Michelle is a native of Singapore and imparts her experience and knowledge daily about this glorious SouthEast Asia jewel.