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    Friday, March 25, 2011

    The Asian Civilisation Museum

    The first of the three artifacts that piqued our interest was this pair of chopsticks, that had a silver cover. It was from the early-mid 20th century, in Northern Thailand. During that time, silver was also more valuable than gold.

    Next, there were some wooden shields with intriguing motifs. We later found out that the Dayak warriors used these shields and attatched their hair to show off their prowess. The motif was to ward off evil spirits.

    Lastly, we have a gourd-shaped ladle (phew! I am DEAD tired). It has an intricate design on the end of the handle, like those found on the prow of a dong son boat. Then there is the bird with a large beak holding a fish. These gourds are thought to be part of a weaving process as they are found in burials.

    Thursday, March 24, 2011

    Predicting the shape course of the Singapore river

    Based on photographic evidence of the Singapore river, I doubt that the shape course of the river would not change as on the side of the river are pretty well established landmarks, like for example Boat Quay, the Fullerton Hotel, etc. The once dirty river of filth was cleaned up and now became the clean river where recreational activities now take part along with leisure around the river we know now are offered to people. 

    Basically the river cuts through the city area of Singapore, where trading takes place. The parliament was located along with some of the important activities took part in the past. Also, as the river ultimately leads to the ocean, that means that the main commercialized part of Singapore is directly linked to the strategic trading route where Singapore is.

    In the past, as the river that was directly connected to the main trading square, it was easily for traders to dock in and trade more easily, and in all these years, this route wasn’t changed at all. Also, bridges that were built in the past that linked each end of the river like for example Elgin Bridge, Coleman Bridge are still in use today that illustrates the importance of the Singapore River.

    The once commercial activity buzzed river is now converted into a more of a tourism area with various attractions, such as the Duck and Hippo Rides, but however some of its commercialized heritage still remains, such as the UOB bank office is located there, and the shopping mall, Central is located there as well.  Basically, the Singapore River is already integrated into the Singaporean Culture and its shape course would never change for generations to come. 

    What happened along the Singapore River last time?

    Going back I time, we inferred from the atmosphere of the place and also the special metal statues/models of people or typical situations last time. They were quite easy to spot (as you can imagine) we did not really have to look (where else in Singapore do you see these things?!).
    Below is a picture of Daniel posing with one of the figures.

    Next are some other models, like discussion between traders, or ox-carts.

    There was even a model of some coolies lugging gunnysacks up the steep steps at Boat Quay (pronounced Boat-Kee). Unfortunately, we did not have a picture, but we did get this:

    Some children playing around by jumping into the water. I am sure you would be able to spot the small bit of stairs to the right?
    Anyway, it gave us a pretty good idea of what happened last time. Boats would come into Singapore and dock near the stairs. Then coolies would come and lug the gunnysacks onto the ox-carts to be transported somewhere else. Meanwhile, the trader would come up from his boat and talk to other traders for business opportunities.

    Now, places along the Singapore river like Boat Quay, which used to be a very busy port, is now a stretch of shops housing restaurants (mostly seafood we noticed) , bars, etc. Fullerton hotel which used to be the General Post Office and Exchange building, is now a Five-Star Hotel that only the rich can afford to live at. You can find the Asian Civilisation museum, and even Raffles' landing site (refer to previous posts). There is a great contrast between the Singapore River's present state and its past.

    Tuesday, March 22, 2011

    4 Landmarks

    Fullerton Hotel, which used to be a bank.
    Find out more here:

    Raffles' landing site

    Boat Quay, where coolies used to take goods up from the boats

    Cavernagh Bridge

    Panoramic view of Singapore and group picture on Coleman Bridge

    Panoramic view of the singapore river.

    A swf panoramic flash file from:

    Group picture at Coleman Bridge with the Singapore River in the Background.

    Sketched Scaled mapping of Singapore River from Coleman Bridge to Anderson Bridge

    Click on the picture to see the full one