Thursday, June 26, 2014

Revisit Haw Par Villa


Haw Par Villa is a Chinese mythology theme park in Singapore. Many of you might visited to Haw Par Villa in the early 90's where Singapore do not have much attractions at that time. To some of you, Haw Par Villa was your childhood outing memories.

Some of you might remembered riding the water boat ride, where it will be travelled to 10 courts of hell via the Dragon Mouth to view the  sculptures. During the boat journey, many parents would told their children that if you did something bad, you will end up to the gate of hell and will be punished in differences courts which you committed the crime.

For those who are more adventurous, you would loved the water slide as it was the only thrill ride at Haw Par Villa. You also can get to enjoy the live Chinese troop performance at the arena.

Soon, Singapore leisure industry start to prosper and many new and latest attractions are being built and it gave Haw Par Villa a big threat to survive of it own attraction.

Soon after, Haw Par Villa are getting less popular due to their costly entrance fee, inaccessible of transportation and less attraction to visit. Soon, it just died off. In March 2001, the Singapore Tourism Board renamed it "Tiger Balm Gardens" and the park admission is free.

Although there is a MRT station built right in front of the entrance and the admission is free, but somehow it could not attract any visitors as the park lack of eatery and there are not much entertainment attractions.

I think we should preserve our heritage and revive Haw Par Villa to it glory era once again. As it brings a lot of memories to most Singaporeans.

The authority perhaps should organise more culture events at Haw Par Villa and let the young Singaporean and the tourist to know more on Chinese heritage and better understanding of the Tiger Balm Gardens. Or they could add on more entertainment attractions and eatery stall to attract more visitors.

Visit to my Facebook page here to more Haw Par Villa graphics photographs.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Journey to Seletar

Many of you might find Seletar very familiar but you are uncertainly not sure where Seletar is located. Seletar is an area of Singapore within its North- East Region. It near to Yishun, Sengkang West and Jalan Kayu.

Seletar used to house The British Air and Naval Bases in the 1930s. It served as both a military airbase and a civil airport until 1937, when the new Kallang Airport are ready and able to handle all civilian flights.

In 1965, Singapore gained independance. As part of the British military's withdrawal from Singapore, RAF began its phased handover of the airbase to the Singapore government in 1968.

To commemorate the memories of RAF personnel who used to station at Seletar during the British British colonial rule in Singapore, the RAF Seletar Association decided to display the cairn outside the main guardhouse and was sponsored by Rolls-Royce on 31st March 2013.

The Cairn wrote as follow:


This cairn, created using material from an old RAF building at Seletar,
was unveiled by members of the
31st March 2013
(exactly 42 years after the RAF Station Closed)

This Cairn commemorates the period 1926 to 1971, when the facility
was built for and operated by officers, airmen and airwomen of the
(From 1928 until 1937 it also functioned as Singapore Airport)

This cairn is also dedicated to the many thousands of British, Colonial and
Commonwealth civilians, who built, managed and maintained
the facility during that period.

I was posted to Seletar during my National Service. It indeed bring back a lot of memories when I revisited Seletar. I remembered, I used to wait for SBS #103 before the main guardhouse bus stop to the camp or took 15 minutes walk to the camp.

The main guardhouse are still functioning till year 2002 till the guardhouse shifted further inside. The guardhouse facade and the building still remain and refurbished with a new purpose. To educate our next generation to lead us in the future. You can find Chatsworth Kindergarten in the former glory of the main guardhouse.

I decided to walk in and took some photographs along the way. I remembered there used to have golf course during 2008 but after which, the golf course removed and it became empty field. Are you curious that why inside Seletar, you can find so many British Road name like Piccadilly, St Martin Lane, Oxford Street, Baker Street etc?

It because by naming those street name based in England, it will make the British less homesick and let them feel more comfortable as through they are at home.

I used to walk this long straight road to the camp in the wee morning but I loved it because it was so cooling and I enjoyed the morning mist.

Soon, I reached Blk 398 Canteen. This canteen kinda old school. Or rather Kampung Style of canteen. This canteen sell the cheapest drinks and food! Especially their coconut rice! This canteen used to be very near to Seletar camp before the camp moved to it new premises.

Those who posted to Seletar should recalled the old camp opposite Blk 179 CCO canteen used to sell very famous and tasty Wanton Noodles and mixed vegetable rice. The stall owners are very friendly. We used to patron them whenever we are free especially for breakfast.

In year 2011 onwards, Seletar went through re-devolpment to build a Aerospace hub. Some of the Colony houses are still managed to preserve but some of the Colony houses that near to the camp unfortunate demolished to make way for Aerospace Hub.

Now the guardhouse and the CCO canteen are gone (demolished) and it is now construction site where you can see from the photographs above.

I really missed their food and the CCO canteen. I am sure many of you agreed with me.

Nearby to the Seletar camp, you can find many abandoned colonial buildings around this area. I am not sure all those buildings, what are their story and what their purposes. If you stayed such building before, you are welcome to share the story with us.

Visit to my Facebook page here to view more Seletar photographs.