Monday, July 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Singapore from Tiong Bahru!

Thank you for coming to visit my blog.

On 9 August, Singapore celebrates its 44th birthday. The same year I celebrate my 54th! After more than a 100 years of British colonial rule and 2 years under the Malaysian Federation Singapore was declared a sovereign and independent nation on 9 August 1965.
This is a very big occasion. Singapore only allows its citizens to display the national flag in public in the official period of the celebration.

I won't be in Singapore to take photos next weekend. But I thought I could show you a rather special part of Singapore called Tiong Bahru. While Singapore is celebrating it's independence it is good to look back to one of the few places left that have pre-independence history.

Hope you enjoy it!

Happy birthday Singapore!

Do come back again. I update my blog every two weeks.


It is one of the oldest parts of Singapore left
standing, built in the 1930's when Singapore
was still under colonial rule.

Many consider Tiong Bahru to be Singapore's
most charming residential area

The building style is a mixture of art deco and
local Straits Settlements shophouse
architecture. The Straits Settlements
consisted of Malacca, Penang, Singapore and

Traditional local hot-pot eatery

Small side streets are characteristic

As are external spiral staircases
Other features of the architecture
are rounded balconies, flat rooftops,
and underground storage and shelters

Perhaps one of the first penthouses?

All the streets are named after Chinese
Pioneers of the 19th and early 20th century

The whole estate has recently been re-painted

If you look at the top of the
photo you will see the traditional
Singaporean way of drying the
laundry for people living in flats

Close up! The poles are bamboo and are iconic
of public housing in Singapore

Somebody loves their plants. The slatted
windows are also common in Tiong Bahru

This small traditional Kampung (village) is
dwarfed by the modern high rise private

What a great 'street'! The Kampung
is a village where the inhabitants
know and look out for each other.
Despite modern lifestyles and
architecture the collective community
spirit is still strong in Singapore

Love the windows and the red brazier

Before the war not many peole could afford
to live here. The upper class and the rich &
powerful kept their mistresses here. During this
period it was known as Mei Ren Wuo
(Chinese for “den of beauties”)

Our visit to Tiong Bahru was made special by
meeting a family that invited us to see their
lovely house. This is a picture taken outside.
I haven't posted photos of the house to
protect their privacy

Classic shophouse unique to Tiong Bahru

The juxtaposition of the old and new in this
and the next photo is part of the fascination
of Singapore

The tallest building is Capital
. A famous landmark in
Singapore (I work in the block
next to it). The round tower is
Temasek Tower, the tallest
cylindrical building in the world

Tiong Bahru hawker food centre, recently
renovated. Tiong Bahru is famous for being
a great place to eat.

Close to sunset. More clothes out to dry. Locals
quantify the amount of washing they have done
by sticks. "I did 5 sticks of washing today"

Singaporeans eat early in the evening.
We liked the way the restaurant has
incorporated the public bench to extend the
number of tables. Rare to see tablecloths.
Probably a special occasion

Colourful advertising

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Images of Singapore

Hello, and a warm welcome (back) to my blog.

I saw an exhibition of Steve McCurry over the weekend called "The Unguarded Moment". If I ever got to be half as good as he is I'd be smiling! Wonderful photos.

An inspiration for me!

I have chosen some photos of Singapore for this edition. This photo was taken on the island of Sentosa, south of Singapore. It is the underside of the Tiger elevation tower that is 110m high. You can see both Malaysia and Indonesia from the tower. It is sponsored by Tiger Airways.

Have a good two weeks and hope to see you again


Clarke Quay, away from the water has a
covered street with outside air conditioning,
to keep people cool. You can see AC panel
where the air blows out on the right, There is
a boy playing with the fountain.

Another view. The street has a central square
with the fountain. It is a street of restaurants
and bars.

Recently the Government arranged for the
bridges in the central tourist area to be lit up
at night. This bridge is on Boat Quay.

Singapore is constantly renewing itself and
doing everything it can to attract tourists and

The Fullerton Hotel on Boat Quay used to be
the Post Office before the Second World War.
When the Japanese invaded they made it their
central command.

I have posted photos of the Arab Street area
before. Here's a few more on a sunny day. The
golden dome of Sultan Mosque is a striking

There are some interesting shops in the Arab
Street area. This lovely Vespa is standing
outside a shop that specialises in retro objects.

Sultan Mosque

Daniela with the Vespa. She used to have
one of these when she was a younger girl
in Italy!

Masjid Sultan is the biggest
mosque in Singapore.

This is Bussorah Street. Great shops and cafes.
The Arab Street area is on the edge of a larger
district of Singapore called Bugis, Bugis used to be
famous for its prostitutes. When my Dad was in
Singapore with the RAF in the early 1950's
Bugis was a no-go area. It was compared to the
Patpong area of Bangkok. Now it is one of the
biggest shopping areas outside Orchard Road

Sunday, July 05, 2009

The beauty and the beast

Hello! Thanks for coming to see my blog. These photos were taken at the Singapore Botanical Gardens or in the garden in front of our "villa" on Gili Meno Indonesia.

A mixture of the beautiful and not so beautiful, but, nonetheless, wonderful. I have taken these with my Nikon macro 105mm lens. I still have a lot to learn about macro photography. None of the photos are taken with a tripod. I rely on the "VR" (vibration reduction) mechanism to allow me to be free of the tripod.

I have very little knowledge of flowers. I don't know what this first one is called. Do you? Leave me a comment if you do and let me know.

This one is not shy. Very striking, whatever
it is!

I do know this one. Plumeria or Frangipane.
It is one of my favourite flowers. A plumeria
tree fully in blossom is very beautiful, and
the scent is intoxicating.

Butterfly on Gili Meno, Indonesia

The dragonfly. Possibly the most photographed
insect by amateur photographers!

I loved this little guy. I took about 30 shots
of him to get one half decent. I've cropped
the photo a bit to get two different

That flower again. So gorgeous!

This cricket is Singaporean

This one Indonesian

Somebody else likes these flowers! Bet he
doesn't know what it is either!

This creature is amazing

Lunch! Move on quickly if you are squeamish

Look at the pincers on this spider!

I leave you with his photo from Gili Meno. It
must be the original eggplant!

Hope to see you again in a couple of weeks