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Category: Asia

By Lisa-Anne Sanderson

Singapore is often regarded as a very modern city because of its huge, bright shopping-centres, high-rise buildings, and luxurious hotels.  However, it was once a British colony and the colonial area of Singapore is one of its most interesting.  Here the visitor can find many grand and imposing historical buildings, such as the Raffles and Fullerton Hotels, St. Andrew’s Cathedral, and the Supreme Court and City Hall.

It is easy to imagine being back in the days of long Edwardian summer days as one walks around the wide, tree-lined streets in this area.

RAFFLES

Raffles Hotel, founded in 1887 by the American Sarkies brothers, has a long and illustrious past. The Singapore sling was invented here. No visit to Singapore is complete without enjoying this relaxing cocktail in the cool garden courtyard at this famous hotel. Hollywood stars, including Ava Gardner and Charlie Chaplin, stayed in sumptuous suites at the elegant white building. The dark and stylish Writer’s Bar pays tribute to them and features photographs of some of the great authors, such as Joseph Conrad and Somerset Maugham.

Studying the history of the hotel at the Raffles Museum is well- worth it.  Here there are photos of the many famous guests, antiques, and travel items.  One can imagine the elegance and excitement of travel in bygone days in this museum.

Most people can’t afford to stay at Raffles but there is a wide choice of eating places which range from expensive restaurants to the rather cheaper Empire cafe. This has large American-style meals and delicious desserts.

The modern extension includes an exclusive shopping arcade with purveyors of luxury items, such as Louis Vuitton.

THE FULLERTON HOTEL

The Fullerton Hotel overlooking the Singapore river is another luxury hotel worth seeing.  This building with its wide columns used to be the site of Singapore’s General Post Office and exclusive Singapore Club and other government buildings.  Staying here is very expensive but having a drink at the tastefully furnished Post Bar won’t ‘break the bank’. The huge lobby with its atrium and extremely modern look is worth exploring and doesn’t clash with the colonial style of the building.

CAVENAGH BRIDGE 

The Victorian Cavenagh Bridge, the oldest bridge in Singapore, is near the Fullerton Hotel.  This iron and steel suspension bridge is worth walking over to see the spectacular views, especially at night.  An old-fashioned police sign at the end which forbids some vehicles and all cattle and horses ‘by order of the Chief Police Officer’ adds an air of nostalgia.

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ST. ANDREW’S CATHEDRAL

Consecrated in 1862, this Anglican cathedral was built by convict labour.  The large light-filled church built in the Neo-Gothic style with its romantic arches and a towering ceiling is a pleasure to visit.  Interesting memorials to eminent people in colonial Singapore line the naves.

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OLD SUPREME COURT BUILDING 

This impressive colonial building features wide Corinthian columns and a large dome. The Italian artist, Cavalieri Nolli, designed the murals inside.

CITY HALL

The long rectangular structure also has Roman columns but isn’t as attractive as the Supreme Court Building which looks more elegant. This is probably because of its classical dome.  This building was the site of the Japanese surrender to Lord Mountbatten in 1945.

The Old Supreme Court Building and the City Hall are soon to be converted into the National Art Gallery of Singapore.

OLD PARLIAMENT HOUSE 

Built in 1827, this was originally the residence of a Scottish merchant, John Argylle Maxwell.  Although Singapore now has another Parliament House, this Neo-Palladian building has been restored and now houses the Arts House in which exhibitions and concerts are held.

Colonial Building: The Old Parliament

Posted by Hang Siu on Wednesday, July 22, 2015

SINGAPORE CRICKET CLUB

Located in the Padang (the CBD) of Singapore, this is another historic building worth seeing.  Cricket was once the most popular game in countries of British origin and the grand style of the building reflects this.

After the bustle of the shopping and Chinatown districts of Singapore, it is a good idea to wander around the much more peaceful colonial area of the city and become immersed in the history and grandeur of its early days.

SCC Introduction Video

Welcome to the Singapore Cricket Club.

Posted by Singapore Cricket Club on Monday, June 18, 2018

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By K. Ong

Spend your holiday vacation in the scenic island nation of Maldives, the smallest country in Asia. The Maldives Islands makes up for its small land area and population by hosting some of the most stunning atolls and five-star beach resorts in the world. 

In addition, the following five great Maldivian tourist attractions should be enough reasons for you to make the country your vacation destination this year.

Maldives National Museum

NATIONAL MUSEUM

Located in Male, the capital of Maldives, the National Museum should be one of your first stops. The museum is part of the gorgeous Sultan’s Park, another Maldivian tourist attraction. A varied collection of artifacts and memorabilia are housed in the museum, including the prized eleventh-century coral stone Lord Buddha. When you tour the National Museum, learn about the country’s rich history from its Buddhist-era heritage to its Islamic influences.

HUKURU MISKIIY OR OLD FRIDAY MOSQUE

After visiting the National Museum, take a quick trip to Hukuru Miskiiy, which is also located in Male. Hukuru Miskiiy, which dates back to the 1600s, is one of the oldest of its kind in Maldives. The historic architectural beauty has carved walls made of coral stone. Ancient tombs built in the memory of Maldivian notables surround Hukuru Miskiiy.

CONRAD MALDIVES RANGALI ISLAND RESORT AND SPA

Situated in the Alif Dhaal atoll, this spectacular luxury resort features Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, a one-of-a-kind underwater restaurant where you can dine in style and feast on spicy local cuisine. You can choose to stay in one of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island’s dreamy water villas or modern villas surrounded by tropical greenery. Complete your holiday vacation with a soothing spa treatment at the Spa Retreat.

MIRIHI ISLAND RESORT

At South Ari Atoll, this paradise of a tropical island resort basks in the middle of turquoise blue waters. From Male, take a thirty-minute ride on a seaplane to reach the picturesque Mirihi Island Resort. Take a walk along the white sandy beaches bordered by pine trees and catch a glimpse of stunning house-reefs.

NIYAMA RESORT

This Maldivian tourist spot and luxury beach resort is famous for serving as home to Subsix, the first underwater nightclub in the world. At Subsix, dance the night away and have the most memorable clubbing experience of your life. Niyama resort is relatively small, but it makes up for its compactness by offering breathtaking island views, glorious beaches, and sumptuous food. Go to Sub-Lime, and pamper yourself with a private spa relaxation treat. For foodies, try either Epicure or Tribal.