I’ve wanted to visit Singapore for some time now, and I even included the city in the early planning stages of my travels this past summer. That didn’t work out, but I was fortunate to have the opportunity to present some research at this month’s JMComm 2014 conference for Journalism and Mass Communication, which was held in the city (great conference, by the way).
I left Amarillo early on a Thursday morning and made connecting flights in Dallas-Fort Worth and then Incheon-Seoul before arriving late Friday night. Saturday was my first full day in the city, so my strategy to fight jet lag and take advantage of some air conditioning (Singapore is very humid) was to make it a museum day.
Photos of museum items can be quite boring, so I’ll just provide a few of them with some comments.
National Museum of Singapore
I started with the National Museum of Singapore to get a sense of the city-state’s history.
This is an excellent museum, and I definitely recommend visiting it. One quick note about the bell in the photo above: it has a cool tie to American history. It was given to Singapore by Maria Revere Balestier, the daughter of Paul Revere and the wife of America’s first Consul to the city.
Singapore Art Museum
The Singapore Art Museum has some terrific examples of modern art and special interactive exhibitions. It’s great for children, too.
I learned something completely new at the Peranakan Museum. Peranakans have a culturally- and ethnically-mixed heritage that dates back centuries to the time of booming trade throughout Asia. Some traders from other parts of the world decided to stay, marry local women, and have families. The Peranakan Museum celebrates and preserves that history through artwork (such as the hand-made beaded table decoration seen below) and traditional cultural displays.
Singapore Philatelic Museum
I admit it: I don’t normally go to museums focusing on the history of the postal service and its stamps. But the Singapore Philatelic Museum has a special exhibit right now on DC Comics’ Justice League.
Asian Civilisations Museum
The Asian Civilisations Museum is totally worth your time. As its name implies, this museum focuses on Asia as a region and has a really great selection of historical items from across the continent.
The item above is titled “Emaciated Buddha” and, according to the information display, “depicts Siddhartha Gautama during a period of extreme asceticism prior to his becoming the Buddha.” It’s the first time I’ve seen him depicted in this manner.
Bonus Formula 1 Photos!
The 2014 Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix was in full throttle on the weekend I arrived. Many roads were blocked and protective metal fences seemed to be everywhere. I took a photo of one of the grandstands, a ticket booth, and shot a quick video to give you a sense of how loud it was as Formula 1 cars went screaming past.