Saturday, June 23, 2012

Accidental Tourist - Singapore Walks conducted by the Original Singapore Walks

I discovered that an interesting way to spend the mornings in Singapore is to go for some of the morning walks organised by the Original Singapore Walks Their walks start around 9.30am and ends around 12pm. 

I got myself a 3-day pass at a discount of $78 (usual $90 or $30 for each walk) and went for 3 morning walks with them from Monday to Wednesday. It is definitely a different experience to walk around the city I call home and being able to act like a real tourist :) 

The walks are enjoyable as they are often history/ facts peppered with many personal stories that the guides shared while growing up in Singapore. As much effort and time was done to research the facts and plan the itineraries, I am obliged to not share most of their stories and routes taken but safe to say, I am extremely pleased with the coverage (both in terms of locations selected and stories shared during the walks). 

I would like to share at least 1  (un)known facts I found particularly interesting for each of the walks. For the walks covering Chinatown and Little Indian, it was revealed that the Indian community were first allocated the areas around Chinatown to settle as part of the town plan formulated in 1800s during Raffles time. They subsequently found it to be unsuitable for their main trade of cattle farming so they shifted to the current Little India site which was flanked by the Rochor canal and the Kallang River area. That is why the oldest Indian temple is located in Chinatown. The Chinese on the other hand first settled in Rochor area but relocated to Chinatown as they found that the soil was unsuitable for padi farming. For the walk covering colonial Singapore, an interesting fact indicated was that the Raffles Hotel is actually the sole remaining structure of what was once a cluster of bungalows set aside for European section of the Raffles town plan. 

As usual, some pictures of the places visited during the walks. 

Till the next time, onto the world and beyond! 

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