21 February 2011


Beside the river, behind the remnants of the Portuguese fort:

The Dutch town hall, Stadthuys, and Christ Church:

There are pineapple tarts for sale everywhere. I love these things, but alas, we only managed to buy some bad ones...

We did, however, find an excellent local eatery that was overflowing with people and was far too hot. But we put up with all this for a couple of great laksas, and a superlative cendol (the dessert):

There's a shoe store here where they used to make the traditional footwear for women who had bound feet ("lotus feet"). YIKES!

Weird ugly statues at a temple:

Gravesite of a semi-mythical character:

St Paul's Church, at the top of the hill:

The remains of the guardhouse, Porta De Santiago, from Fort A Famosa:

Tasty dried lizard for lunch?

Giraffe at the Cheng Ho museum. Unbelievably, early Chinese explorers managed to ship one of these from Africa to China!

Yahoo! paintball

Our legal team challenged the editorial team to combat by paintball, and a date was duly set for the match. Full of nervous excitement, but quietly confident thanks to a battlefield and tactics assessment and briefing by Captain Clarence Lee of the Singapore Armed Forces, we turned up to do battle. Fear increased all-round as we were given a demonstration of the punitive speed/force of the paintball guns. The owners were proud of their new high velocity equipment, freshly delivered.

Under a blazing sun, my legal squad went first, taking our positions at the far end of the field, and squinting through our face masks. At the whistle, we ran to fulfill our prearranged goals. Dodging incoming pellets, I made it to the line marking no man's land, and proceeded to nail a dozen or so opponents. Best of all, I hit many of them a second and a third time as they re-entered the arena at too casual a pace.

Alas the heaven's opened up and the game was cut short at the halfway point. We were drawn, though would have been the victors but for one point lost to a technicality. In any event, it was clear that legal dominated the field, and were a force to be feared...

11 February 2011

Chinese New Year #3

Took a taxi to the Labrador Nature Reserve, a coastal area on the southern part of the island.

The seaside cliff here led the British to identify Labrador as a defence site to protect the entrance to the harbours of Singapore, and Fort Pasir Panjang was built here to house a series of batteries. Two six inch 37-ton guns were installed in 1938, together with searchlights that faced the sea.
While an “impenetrable fortress” from any seaward approach, the Japanese invaded Sinagpore via the Malaysian peninsula, and much of the equipment at the fort was put to waste. However, contrary to urban legend, the guns did not stand idle, and were turned to fire on the mainland. Just ineffectively.

Machine gun post on the beach:

Flying a Chinese lantern. This little fellow went all the way out to sea, disappearing over the hundreds of cargo ships at anchor:

No fishing?

This lizard had an extremely long whip-like tail:

View from up top:

Chinese New Year #2

After spending too much time inside, we had a super big day out and about as tourists in Singapore. Started out with a walk up to the river, and across the historic Cavenagh Bridge (no cattle please):

Caught a lion dance outside the Asia Civilisations Museum:

Walked through Esplanade Park to see the Cenotaph, and the Lim Bo Seng memorial (below), which remembers a World War II anti-Japanese resistance fighter:

Along Esplanade to "the Float", a floating performance platform, currently filled with CNY light displays:

Crappy Tom Cruise picture at a temporary amusement arcade:

Fish head soup anyone?

Went on the Singapore Flyer, a London Eye ripoff:

And then on an open-air tourist bus, driving around the city:

Finishing up at the incredible Marina Bay Sands hotel and shopping complex:

With its in-door canal and gondola rides!