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Singapore’s Museum Culture

It may be due to being starved of museums with English signage for the last couple of months, but Singapore seems to have a fantastic glut of top class museums.





The two pics on the right are the Fort Canning Museum - well worth going.

On our first day we tried the Cultural and History Museum at Fort Canning, and were well occupied with the hand held video devices that we got. We were amused for hours as we went around typing in the numbers, getting the full audio run down complete with video streaming. It made the already excellent exhibitions come alive in what is also a lovely piece of modern architecture fused onto the original colonial frontage.

For any visitors that could not access the video guide with headphones i.e. those with tearaway 2 year olds, then the full effect of the museum was a bit lost. But for the most part it was highly intoxicating.

Singaporeans are not keen on walking. If it is no a travelator, it is an escalator - or 5!

Another standout museum was the Asian Cultures Museum, once the original government house, the building occupies a prominent location on the opposite bank to boat quay right next to where Raffles was said to have landed. The main purpose of going to the museum was for the 14-19th  century Indian textiles (it had to be textiles to make up to Jo for missing the above mentioned audio/video delights). But the museum had so much more and we spent a few very pleasant hours looking in amazement at the skills of people with lots of time and only a little technology.

Maritime Museum on Sentosa

Our final success was the Science Museum. Yes it is a bit cluttered, it is a bit confusing, some of the exhibition areas are a bit weak, but on the whole, it is the biggest collection of fun educational things one can hope for. Highlights included the fire show with the 6m high spectacular fire tornado, the tesla atrium with a lightening show, the outdoor kinetic garden, the water gardens and the optical illusions gallery.

The only museum failure was the Discovery Museum – a thinly veiled and most abhorrent political propaganda museum – just awful – but with only one duff museum out of half a dozen, we think Singapore has some of the best museums we have ever been to. (saying that, the kids really liked it!)

With so many things to do, and so many still not done, Singapore definitely has more than enough to keep you occupied for a week. If you like shopping, you could lose yourself here for months. For us it was a welcome respite from Asia, and in itself, a cultural education of it’s own. Next stop – tough love – India.

Bye Bye nice clean Singapore


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