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Mark's World Tour 2007-08

Day 72: A lesson in Singaporean history

SINGAPORE | Wednesday, 16 January 2008 | Views [731]

Downtown Singapore

Downtown Singapore

Wednesday 16th January

I once more set out on a mission to see more of the cultural and historical side to the city. Since I didn't get round to eating breakfast, I made my way back to Orchard Street – I just couldn't avoid the place, and was starting to get embarrassed at the regularity of my trips there. But, my intention was to get some Japanese yakitori from a place in the food court of the massive Paragon shopping mall I had passed the day before. Other people had something similar in mind, as it was packed when I turned up, so had to settle for a sandwich and soup, which was also very good.

I spent the next few hours in the 'Battle Box', an underground bunker complex that was used by the British Army during the Second World War, inside of which was an interactive audio-visual tour which presented the story of their surrender to the Japanese in February 1942. It was quite interesting, and reasonably well put together, but it lacked the same impact and sigificance as the Cabinet War Rooms in London, against which the 'Battle Box' is comparable. But, it was good to learn a bit more about the place.

From there, I walked around more of the city centre, taking in some of the sights including the Esplanade Theatre on the Bay (a.k.a. 'The Durian', because it looks like the popular durian fruit), The Merlion Statue, Lau Pa Sat Food Centre, and the skyscrapers of the Central Business District. The whole city has a very American feel to it, from the layout of the streets, to the sign posts, buildings, and even the customer service seems to be modelled on that of the US ('What can I get for you today?'). It's ultra clean and orderly, but I like it and find it a relaxing place to get about.

Once I got back to the flat, I spoke to my folks on Skype, and it was great to chat to them again. I grabbed some food from the hawker place next to the flat, and the noodles were very good, especially considering that my whole meal cost about a quid. After watching some TV, I turned in for the night, tired out after a day spent on my feet.

Tags: Sightseeing


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