“Tourist at home” photo series

I asked a New Yorker if he’d ever visited the Statue of Liberty and his answer was a resounding “NO!”

It’s true, isn’t it? We never quite visit the “places of interest” where we live. So when my friends went for a “staycation” at Fullerton Hotel last Christmas, we decided to do the touristy thing, right down to the Singapore River bum boat cruise!

Here’s the first of the series. In and around Fullerton Hotel. A destination in itself. Before it was converted into a hotel, it used to be the General Post Office, then Fullerton Building.

The atrium

It was really festive with all the decorations.


Awww…. It’s a teddy bear-themed Christmas tree at Fullerton. But traditionalist that I am, I still need my Christmas star et al adorning my Christmas tree.

Don’t expect the mail. It’s a Charity postbox made of real macaroons! I love raspberry macaroons. Mango. Dark chocolate too, while we’re at it.

We went across to One Fullerton via the underpass for a late lunch and saw this quaint sight. No trishaw ride for us though. I know they are making an honest living. But honestly, I couldn’t think of subjecting them to all that weight from my not so tender years. It was my mode of transport to and from school, in my primary school days, so it’s ok, we let Ah Pek (“old uncle” in Hokkien – a Chinese dialect) rest. He looked like he’d settled in for a nap anyway, as it had started to pour.

We were back at the hotel for tea then another evening stroll. Awash from the afternoon shower and with the crowd only beginning to build, it felt like as if we were thrown back in time. It was surreal.

Below is Cavenagh Bridge, the oldest bridge along the Singapore River. It was built in 1869 to link the North Bank to the South Bank of the river and remains in its original form – the first steel suspension bridge in Singapore. The bridge was designed by the Public Works Department and was manufactured by P & W MacLellan in Scotland. The parts were then shipped here and assembled by Indian convict labour.

Cavenagh Bridge was named after Colonel (later Major-General) Orfeur Cavenagh. He was the Governor of the Straits Settlements from 1859 to 1867.

By the late 1800s, the bridge could not withstand the growing volume of vehicles and Anderson Bridge was opened in 1910 to ease the flow. Cavenagh Bridge became a pedestrian bridge.

A police notice put up to regulate the use of the bridge, banning heavy vehicular traffic exceeding 3 cwt (hundred weight) or 152 kilogrammes, still stands today at either end of the bridge. (Info on Cavenagh Bridge adapted from  “National Heritage Trail” site).

Full view of the bridge

It looks so idyllic. But turn the corner and it will be the Central Business District. Replete with skyscrapers.

This is Boat Quay. Where F & B outlets and pubs now populate what used-to-be old residential shophouses. In the olden days (I sound like my grandpa!), it was bustling too; but with bumboats, packed bow to stern, loading and unloading cargo.

Now we really turn the corner to Raffles Place, home to skyscrapers in the Central Business District. Following this, part of the 162 baby elephants in an open air exhibition around Marina Bay and Raffles Place as part of the Elephant Parade project. These life-size, fibre glass elephants painted by celebrities were auctioned off to raise funds to save the Asian elephants.

All photos were taken on my iPhone 4S camera. Next installment. The Singapore River bumboat cruise as dusk fell.


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