Sunday, May 8, 2016

Accidental Tourist of Singapore - War Memories at Changi

I had a crash revision course of WWII history when I went down to Changi for a walk organized by the National Heritage Board in Changi that is held at the location of Singapore’s latest National Monument, Changi Prison Entrance Gate, Wall and Turrets on 7 May 2016.
This latest national monument comprising of the Changi Prison Entrance Gate, Wall and remaining 2 Turrets is in remembrance of the wartime experience as a symbol of the suffering and hardship of Prisoners-of-War during the Japanese Occupation from 1942 to 1945. This tour allowed for exclusive access to this Monument right up next to its prison walls. First opened some 80 years ago, the prison’s steel entrance gate, two turrets and a 180-metre long wall, are what remains of the old prison. Back then, it was acclaimed as the most modern institution of its kind in the East, boasting a comprehensive alarm system and electrical lights in its cells. During WWII, it was the main war camp for civilians and POWs in Southeast Asia with some 5000 or more persons packed into a place designed for 600.

You can get more insights into this national monument at
I took the opportunity to visit a nearby museum i.e. The Changi Museum that is dedicated to Singapore’s history during the Second World War which is located about a 10 minutes’ walk away. Here are some photos of the Chapel area as photos inside the museum is prohibited. In this museum, visitors can view photographs, drawings and letters by prisoners as well as replicas of murals of the chapel. I purchased the audio tour (costing SGD8) of which I will strongly recommend as I personally got a more rewarding experience of what happened during those dark years in Singapore. Through the audio tour, I could relate the exhibits and got my chance to hear audio recordings of the experiences of those who lived through it including that of Singapore’s own war heroine, Elizabeth Choy.
For anyone interested in taking in more of such walks, there is a Changi war trail that you can follow: more info available:

Will suggest that those interested in this part of history combine this with another travel up to Kranji War Memorial -  

Till the next time, onto the world and beyond! 

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