Expect new sites and community contributions coming together to form a part of the refreshed Bukit Timah experience
More than its eponymous hill and nature reserve, Bukit Timah is an estate steeped in history, with an old-world charm that comes from its unique mix of local and colonial heritage. From a road (Chun Tin Road) named after Cheong Chun Tin, who was the first certified Chinese practitioner of dentistry in Singapore, and whose descendants later founded the made-in-Singapore Pearlie White brand of toothpaste; to a former automobile factory (Former Ford Factory) that was the iconic site where the British surrendered Singapore to the Japanese; as well as home to Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site – the Singapore Botanic Gardens, Bukit Timah is a treasure trove of stories waiting to be discovered.
Interesting facts include how Bukit Timah, which means “Tin Hill” in Malay – though tin was never discovered in the area, was possibly called “Bukit Temak” by locals back then in reference to the Temak trees that grew in the area. Its name could have altered when it was subsequently transliterated into English.
Refreshed Trail Featuring New Sites and Community Contributions
These stories take centre stage in the National Heritage Board’s (NHB) refreshed Bukit Timah Heritage Trail. The trail was first launched in 2007, and its content has been updated and now encompasses 38 heritage sites, eight of which feature newly-installed trail markers. New sites on the trail include the Dairy Farm Nature Park, St Joseph’s Church, Adam Park, Former Command House, as well as the Fuyong and Former Princess Elizabeth estates. These sites were incorporated into the refreshed trail as new information was uncovered through oral interviews and new research materials gathered from archival newspapers, maps and other resources from government agencies.
Community contributions also feature prominently in the refreshed Bukit Timah Heritage Trail. To do this, NHB interviewed members of the public who lived and worked in Bukit Timah to document their memories, anecdotes and experiences. One of the key insights uncovered is the presence of kampongs and various local communities in the Bukit Timah area since the 1900s. These include Kampong Tempe (formerly located at present day Sixth Avenue), named after the fermented soybean cake known astempe as a number of families there produced the delicacy; as well as Kampong Quarry, which was named after the nearby Hindhede Quarry that was crucial to the construction of the Causeway and the Singapore-Johor Railway. Cross-cultural connections were also strong in these kampongs, and saw different religious communities and buildings, such as the Masjid Al-Huda and Hoon San Temple, existing in close proximity.
Shared Mr Azman Kassim, a former resident of Kampong Tempe and Chairman of the Masjid Al-Huda: “In the 1960s and 1970s, the Chinese temple at Jalan Lim Tai See (Hoon San Temple) had opera shows during festivals, and after prayers at the mosque, we Malays liked to go watch these operas even though we didn’t understand them! The actors would be flying across the stage and we would shine our torchlights at them. When they sold cheng tng (a Chinese sweet dessert with ingredients such as gingko, longan and barley), the Malays would be lining up as well.”
One of Singapore’s Oldest and Longest Roads with a Rich History
At the heart of Bukit Timah’s story lies one of Singapore’s oldest and longest roads – Bukit Timah Road, first built by the colonial government in the mid-1830s to expand their knowledge of the outlying districts and regulate rural land use by plantation owners. Serving as a cross-island artery, Bukit Timah Road connected the bustling town centre to the heavily forested north. With the subsequent introduction of the railway in 1903 that facilitated travel to other parts of Singapore and eventually Malaysia, Bukit Timah quickly became a vital node for industry and trade, and a prime location for settlements to gather, which subsequently gave rise to a lively residential suburb.
The significance of the area was not lost on the invading Japanese forces during World War II, who saw the strategic importance of occupying the main arterial road leading into the city and controlling Singapore’s main water catchment areas including the Pierce and MacRitchie reservoirs. The Japanese also occupied many colonial buildings in the area during the Japanese Occupation, transforming bungalows and the former racecourse into prisoner-of-war (POW) camps, and a rubber factory into a soy sauce factory run by the predecessor of today’s Kikkoman Corporation.
Mr Alvin Tan, Assistant Chief Executive (Policy & Community) of NHB, said: “Through the refreshed Bukit Timah Heritage Trail, we hope to present a more complete and updated story of Bukit Timah’s heritage, including how it used to house numerous kampongs, and how it contributed to Singapore’s industrial growth as one of the country’s industrial hubs during the 1950s with factories manufacturing a variety of industrial and consumer goods.”
Bite-sized Thematic Routes to Enhance Self-Guiding
To enhance the accessibility of the refreshed Bukit Timah Heritage Trail for trail-goers, NHB has created three easy-to-follow, bite-sized thematic routes covering different segments along Bukit Timah Road. They span an average of 2.5 km each and cater to different interests. They allow visitors to easily explore in their own time the buildings, structures, religious institutions and sites of natural heritage that make up Bukit Timah’s multi-faceted history. They are-
- “Kampong Life Trail” (1 hour: bus and walk) – This trail features buildings and institutions that were once part of Bukit Timah’s kampong past, including a former railway station as well as houses of faith for communities that used to live there.
- “WWII Legacy Trail” (1.5 hours; bus and walk) – This trail explores WWII-related sites as well as places that carry the memories and legacies of the Japanese Occupation.
- “Leisure and Learning Trail” (2 hours; on foot) – This trail covers some of the social and leisure landmarks well-loved by residents and Singaporeans, including popular eating destinations, Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as vital centres of research and education.
Mr Alvin Tan, Assistant Chief Executive (Policy & Community) of NHB added: “As with all our heritage trails, we hope that the Bukit Timah Heritage Trail will showcase Bukit Timah’s rich and diverse heritage, foster a greater sense of pride and belonging amongst residents, and provoke a sense of curiosity amongst Singaporeans and entice them to visit and look at the estate through fresh eyes.”
The refreshed Bukit Timah Heritage Trail booklet and map are available in four languages (English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil), which members of the public can download from NHB’s heritage portal, Roots.sg, or pick up at the Former Ford Factory.
For more information, please visit here.
Other avenues to pick up the Bukit Timah Heritage Trail booklet and map are the Asian Civilisations Museum, the National Museum of Singapore, the Peranakan Museum and NHB’s office at 61 Stamford Road, #03-08.
About the National Heritage Board
The National Heritage Board (NHB) was formed on 1 August 1993. As the custodian of
Singapore’s heritage, NHB is responsible for telling the Singapore story, sharing the Singaporean
experience and imparting our Singapore spirit.
NHB’s mission is to preserve and celebrate the shared heritage of our diverse communities, for
the purpose of education, nation-building and cultural understanding. It manages the national
museums and heritage institutions, and sets policies relating to heritage sites, monuments and
the National Collection. Through the National Collection, NHB curates heritage programmes and
presents exhibitions to connect the past, present and future generations of Singaporeans. NHB
is a statutory board under the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth. Please visit
www.nhb.gov.sg for more information.
8 New Year’s Eve Celebrations to end 2018 in Singapore
It’s finally time, 2018 is coming to a close. No current plans to end the year? We got you covered!
Before we bring in the “New Year, New Me” memes and start coming up New Year Resolutions that we “commit” to, here are a few places to celebrate and spend the last moments of 2018 with your beaus.
To new beginnings!
1. Block Party Countdown 2018 at Clarke Quay
Unleash your inner child in this year’s epic Block Party Countdown at Clarke Quay’s Fountain Square! The block party theme, “PLAY”, will feature vibrant coloured interlocking play blocks, specially constructed three-dimensional structures, and a pedal-powered illuminating LED wall, all designed to bring a fun and imaginative playground element to the party.
Get your Instagram-worthy photo moments and interact with dancing green toy soldiers and unicorn mascots that will be roaming the area.
Hosts, DJs Gerald Koh and Kimberly Wang from 987FM, will kick the party into gear high with music from award-winning local bands, Shirlyn and The UnXpected, and entertainment from plenty of fun stage games prepared.
After the countdown, remember to not leave as the party continues all around the various clubs and bars at Clarke Quay!
For more information: https://www.capitaland.com/sg/malls/clarkequay/en/events/block-party-countdown-2018.html
Address: Clarke Quay Fountain Square, 3 River Valley Rd, Singapore 179024
Time: 9PM – 1230AM
Ticketing Price: Free
2. Mediacorp Let’s Celebrate 2019 at The Promontory
Why watch the live telecast when you can be there? This year’s celebration is hosted by Chua Enlai and Sonia Chew at The Promontory.
Dance your way through the night in a Dance Party done by Republic Polytechnic’s Electronic Music Production.
Catch performances by local acts such as Taufik Batisah, Joanna Dong, Gentle Bones, Shabir, Sufi Rashid, Yung Raja & Fariz Jabba, Shak and the Baits, Joie Tan and Nadi Singapura.
Jarrell Ng, Newly-crowned SPOP SING! winner, and finalists, Marcus Tay, Daryl-Ann Jansen and Karena Yeo, will be performing as well.
There will be also a collaboration between Mediacorp celebrities, Pierre Png, Romeo Tan, Carrie Wong, Sheila Sim and Joel Choo, and ten of Singapore’s top fashion models, to put up a special item with homegrown singer Aisyah Aziz, to showcase some of the works done by local designers.
And of course, it isn’t a New Year’s celebration without the iconic mass display of fireworks! An explosion of technicolour fireworks will light up Singapore’s beautiful skyline at the stroke of midnight.
For more information: https://tv.toggle.sg/en/channel5/shows/lets-celebrate-2019
Address: The Promontory at Marina Bay, 11 Marina Blvd, Singapore 018940
Time: 730PM – 130AM (Doors open at 7PM)
Ticketing Price: Free
3. Star Island Singapore Countdown 2019 at The Float at Marina Bay
If fireworks are the only thing that sparks your interest in New Year celebrations, you won’t want to miss the multi-sensory technicolour fireworks and light show at The Float at Marina Bay. Be the first in Singapore to experience the futuristic magic of fireworks as Star Island Singapore will debut for the first time outside of Japan.
It is a one of a kind fireworks musical with a new action-packed universe of world-class fireworks, 3D surround sound, synchronised light displays and performances.
Individual LED bands will be given so attendees can fully immerse themselves in the multi-sensory show.
Pre-show activities such as the Food Truck Fest with various food and delights and a bazaar selling quirky items will also be featured.
For more information: https://star-island.sg
Address: The Float at Marina Bay, 20 Raffles Ave, Singapore 039805
Time: 5PM – 130AM
Ticketing Price: $30 – $148
4. New Year’s Eve Countdown at Esplanade
Music lovers, this is your chance! Esplanade is hosting six hours’ worth of dynamic music at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre to usher in the new year. The celebration will be carried by celebrity host, Timothy Nga.
Be entertained all night long with performances by Nick Zavior, Amni Musfirah & The Hustlers, NovoBloco and Bloco Singapura. Spend the last moments of 2018 moving to the grooves and dancing to the beats!
Address: Esplanade Outdoor Theatre, 1 Esplanade Dr, Singapore 038981
Time: 7PM – 1AM
Ticketing Price: Free
5. New Year Countdown Celebration at Heartbeat@Bedok
Newly-opened early this year, Heartbeat@Bedok is hosting its first countdown party.
Catch a performance by TMD (Too Much Drama), a multi-lingual band from Singapore and put your dancing to good use and help break the record of the “Largest Silent Disco” in the Singapore Book of Records, by dancing non-stop for 5 minutes.
Participants are provided with a wireless noise cancelling headphone and can choose between channels of disco, house and rock. What are you waiting for? Every thing is provided, you just have to show up and dance into the new year!
Address: Heartbeat@Bedok, 11 Bedok North Street 1, Singapore 469662
Time: 7PM – 1AM
Ticketing Price: Free
6. Our Tampines Hub Countdown 2019
Join Our Tampines Hub for a fun-filled evening with local celebrities, Jade Seah and Suhaimi Yusof.
There will be community performances, and for the first time ever, 10-minute synchronised fireworks, laser and wave flames display at the stroke of midnight.
Our Tampines Hub has got you covered. Attendees will be given a party pack and a special eco-gift for the new year.
Address: Our Tampines Hub, 1 Tampines Walk, Singapore 528523
Time: 7PM – 12AM
Ticketing Price: Free
7. Sentosa Siloso Beach Party 2018
Calling all beach fans, here’s where you can have a beachin’ time! The annual beach party is back once again for its 12thedition.
The iconic party promises a night of non-stop fun with a medley of international and local DJs from all around the world and spectacular fireworks.
Jay Hardway, South Holland producer best known for his collaboration with Martin Garrix, will be headlining the party this year.
The full list of acts are DJ Kaylova, DJ Luane, Make You Freak, Twins Gone Wrong, DJ Ezra Hazard, DJ YouKeep, DJ Jensen, DJ Caden, DJ Xin, DJ Kevin O’Hara, DJ Boy and DJ Natchang.
The stellar DJ line-up will keep you pumping adrenaline all night as you party next to the coastal waves and sand.
For more information: https://www.sentosa.com.sg/silosobeachparty
Address: Siloso Beach, Sentosa
Time: 6PM – 6AM
Ticketing Price: $48 – $108
8. New Year Eve Party at Wave House Sentosa
Spend the night riding the waves at Wave House Sentosa’s countdown party!
Join the exhilarating flowboarding experience by riding the FlowRider and the FlowBarrel. It is an endlessly fun ride with the waves creating a safe, non-curling, endless sheet of water flowing over a composite vinyl surface, much like a trampoline. For a more sporty new year’s celebration, experiment and perform tricks by carving up and down the surface, just like you would in other board sports!
Apart from the waves, there will be comfortable sofa seating where you can chill and count the hours away to 2019. Choose from a variety of extravagant food and drinks from the restaurant and bar whilst listening to the feel-good music.
For more information: https://wavehousesentosa.org/nye_party/
Address: Wave House Sentosa, 36 Siloso Beach Walk, 099007
Time: 9PM – 4AM
Ticketing Price: Free (18 years and above only)
C3 AFA 2018: A taste of Akihabara in Singapore
Since the days of Naruto in 480p to present day Boruto in HD, Anime Festival Asia (AFA) has been a staple for local fans of anime and Japanese pop culture. The annual affair has grown tremendously since it first reached our shores back in 2008, solidifying its status as a pilgrimage of sorts, akin to the wonders of Akihabara.
Back for its tenth anniversary, AFA 2018 proved to be the best its ever been with performances from a star-studded lineup at the I Love Anisong concert series, renown cosplayers and more exclusive merchandise than ever before. Didn’t get to attend? Fret not, here’s everything you missed from the greatest anime exhibition of the year.
Walk in and you’ll be greeted by this massive Gundam model. I don’t know about you but the sooner we get actual functional Gundams the better!
Fans of Gunpla were also in for a treat with this huge selection. There’s even more selections at the back!
Of course, AFA wouldn’t be complete without the game taking Japan (and frankly, the world) by storm. Whether you love or hate the Gacha mechanics of the game, it’s hard to argue with Fate Grand Order’s (FGO)’s success. Staying true to the game mechanics, at the center of the exhibition was a summoning circle where fans could place their phones to summon in-game characters.
Gaming was also a huge part of AFA this year. Apart from FGO, Honkai Impact also featured a booth where players could compete in time trials. Scattered around the exhibition were also other games such as Taiko Drum Master, Touhou and even PUBG.
My favourite part of AFA though, was undoubtedly the food. It was like a taste of Japan without actually flying there!
The Day Stage also featured a ton of prominent celebrities and guests, from Eri Sasaki (pictured) to the creators of Pop Team Epic and even famous cosplayers such as Hakken (pictured).
And this pretty much sums up AFA in one picture. It’s a celebration of all things Japan. It’s quirky, fun, and fans can be another side of themselves, even if it’s for just a day.
What to expect at C3 Anime Festival Asia 2018
Celebrate a decade of Japanese pop culture at C3 Anime Festival Asia (AFA)’s tenth anniversary. The three-day event promises anime fans and Japanese pop culture enthusiasts the very best of content and experiences straight from Japan.
For the first time, AFA will be holding a red carpet event in front of Suntec to usher in the event. An online portal will also be launched as part of the Anime for a Cause initiative, where fans can participate in lucky draws to win items donated by celebrities and partners.
Tickets to the ever-popular I Love Anisong concert series are selling fast thanks to a star-studded lineup featuring the likes of TrySail, GARNiDELiA and May’n.
Concert tickets start from SGD$88 for one-day general admission, or SGD$158 for one-day VIP tickets. All VIP tickets come with an autograph opportunity and one Anisong lightstick. Attendees will also get access to special showcases and guest talkshows.
Full concert line-up and details can be found here.
Cosplay enthusiasts are also in luck with celebrity cosplayers from around the world making an appearance. Expect Angie, KANAME and Siutao amongst others.
Local cosplayers are also in luck with the chance to pit their skills and craft to emerge victorious at the World Cosplay Summit Singapore Preliminaries. Winners will fly to Nagoya, Japan next year and battle it out with the best cosplayers across the globe. Competition guidelines can be found at here.
Of course, what would AFA be without anime? Fans can expect exclusive premieres for January 2019 shows such as Mob Psycho 100 2. Voice actors from Frame Arm Girls, Love Live! Sunshine!! and Sword Art Online Alicization, amongst others, will also be at the event.
Anime merchandise will also be available. Stock up on the latest merch from Bandai, GOODSMILECOMPANY, and others.
AFA 2018 runs from November 30 to December 2, 1oam to 8pm daily. Tickets for the exhibition start from SGD$15 for one-day admission. More details on ticketing and activities can be found here.