Sunday, July 31, 2011

Walk along Balestier Road - Street Scenes

Sometimes it is interesting just to snap any photos while you were walking along the road. I saw this very old hotel along Balestier Road. But on reaching home and loading to my computer, did I realise that they actually hang the Singapore Flag the wrong way hahaha. It was hung the reversed way.

There are many budget hotels along Balestier Road.

Also saw many tall and new condominiums coming up. Good that while new buildings are popping up, the old buildings are preserved and restored.

This is another building that was upgraded. It now sported a very modern look.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Walk along Balestier Road - Another row of Sim Kwong Ho Shophouse

As I continued my walk along Balestier Road, I saw that there's another row of shophouses belonging to Sim Kwong Ho. It is located at the junction of Kim Keat Road and Balestier Road.

It was designed by the architect firm of Westerhout and Oman. It is often referred to as the “Sim Kwong Ho” building as the name(in mandarin) is inscribed on the front of the building. According to residents in the area, there is a dog centrepiece feature that had gone missing, but they have no idea when it disappeared

The row of shophouses are very pretty and comes in so many colours. I love the purple look of the shophouses.
You can read more about the history of the shophouses from heritage trails

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Friday, July 29, 2011

A walk along Balestier Road - Sim Kwong Ho Shophouse

Madam Sim Cheng Neo a female developer owned many properties in Balestier Area. One of these is the shophouse called Sim Kwong Ho Shophouse at 418 Balestier Road just at the junction of Balestier Road and Jalan Kemaman.

The shophouse has been restored, modernized and converted into a budget hotel.

It is interesting to observe the designs on the shophouses. There were animals, birds, dragons, etc. There's some that come in the design of a dragon with bat's wings.

Instead of the usual Chinese warriors that are depicted on doors of Chinese homes as symbolic guardians, the shophouse has Sikhs as its door guards as they were often employed as policemen in the colonial past.

You can read more about the shophouse from heritage trails website.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

A walk along Balestier Road - Goddess of Mercy Temple

Walking along Balestier Road, you can find many wonders and history along the road. One of them is this Goddess of Mercy Temple. There are many Goddess of Mercy Temples around Singapore. The most popular Goddess of Mercy Temple must be the one at Waterloo Street and this temple at Balestier Road is also very popular.

As always the roof of chinese temples decorated with dragons guarding the pearl in the centre. If I am not mistaken the dragon guarding the roof of temple must be the 2nd son of the Dragon King. The dragon king has 9 sons.

Chi Wen - The second son of the dragon, Chi Wen is in charge of rainfall. His image is seen on the ridges of buildings to protect the building from fire. Chi Wen can be seen on virtually every imperial building made of terracotta and colorfully glazed.

You might like to read the rest of the other sons of the dragon king from source.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A walk along Balestier Road - Water Kiosk

This water kiosk at the corner of Boon Teck Road off Balestier Road has a long history. There used to be a few water kiosks like these but seems like this is the only one remains. This service is provided by Thong Teck Sian Tong Lian Sia Temple for many decades since decades ago. It used to provide the water for workers etc but simply anyone who is thirsty can drink from this kiosk even till now.

If you happen to be there, you can refill your water bottle with the clean water from the kiosk.

Every morning the temple caretakers will refill the containers with clean water.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My World Tuesday -A walk along Balestier Road - Balestier Market and Stone Lions

Today, I will introduce Balestier Heritage Trail. You need good walking shoes to walk the whole trail, I manage a few spots only cause some are closed on Sunday or under restoration.

The road was named after Joseph Balestier, the then colony's first American consul from 1837 to 1852 and the owner of a 1,000-acre (4.0 km2) sugar plantation called Balestier Plain, which failed and was put up for sale. Balestier was in Singapore between 1834 and 1852 and was a botanist and agriculturist. The road was named after him as it was where his plantation was located. You can read more from source.

Balestier has a rich history and many Singaporeans come here for its delicious local food found in shophouses. Expect queues especially at well known stalls/restaurants.

I found the stone lions that once grace the Oasis Restaurant in Kallang. Seems like the lions had shifted here to Balestier Market but the Oasis restaurant has shifted to Toa Payoh. You can see my other photo of the same lion that was once at Oasis Restaurant in kallang in my previous post.

Because of the heavy traffic along Balesteir Road, this is the best position to photograph the two lions. These lions are not the original stone lions that once guard Merdeka Bridge (now Benjamin Sheares Bridge). These are just clone of the original lions. The original stone lions are now at SAFTI Jurong.

The market is no longer the wet market that I once knew. It is now privately owned and a food court. It was so quiet when I visited in on a Sunday, many stalls are emptied and not many customers in the food court.

I guess not every upgrading is good especially at Balestier Road where there are lots of famous eateries/restaurants in here.

In my opinion, a market should be a market and nothing else.

Please visit "That's my World" for other parts of the world.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Taking a stroll along memory lane

This building with pink and white bricks may look familar to many but the name of the building (Vanguard Building) sounds alien but mention the old MPH Building it would be familar with many. MPH Building used to house the MPH Bookstore. I remember spending my teenage years browsing through the books. I especially like the greeting cards that they sold but as a student I was too poor to buy them then.

This building is located at the junction of Armenian Street and Stamford Road which is once the shopping hub of Singapore. But now the streets are so quiet.

The buildings are all very old and filled with many european designs. All these buildings are now preserved.

A street away from Vanguard Building(old MPH Bulding), is another old and beautiful building called Stamford House at Hill Street.

The building was originally built for Seth Paul for his tenant, the retail firm Whiteaway Laidlaw & Co, who carried out their business there. The Stamford House was originally known as the Oranje Building and served as an annexe to the Raffles Hotel. In 1933, it became the Oranje Hotel and was probably used by the Japanese forces as such during World War II. Basco Enterprises acquired it in 1963 and later renamed it Stamford House after refurbishment. Together with Shaw Building, it was once the shopping hub of Singapore. You can read more of its history from infopedia

Walking through the path, I saw many shops that are emptied at Stamford House. Another restoration or takeover is being discussed. Not sure what or who is taking over Stamford House along with Capitol Theatre which is adjacent to Stamford House. You can see my previous post about Capitol Theatre .

Doors of one of the empty shop.

Victorian designs on the top of the shop.

While passing by those empty shops, I happen to look at the pillars of Stamford House, I realised all the photos with hand prints in cement of actors/actresses and Singers from Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan. It was so long ago that these were created and judging from the photos of these actors, they looked so young but some of them are already in their forties or fifties now. I think most have already forgotten about these posters.

When they started these, they tried to have a kind of hall of fame for these actors/actresses but hmmm seems so deserted and nobody seems to pay any notice except me clicking photos of them hahaha.

Sorry for the little pink in this week's post.

For more pinky participants, please visit Beverly of How Sweet The Sound.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Skywatch Friday - Singapore Management University and Bras Basah MRT Station

This is Bras Basah MRT Station. I took these photos when I was on my way to visit the museum. It is very convenient to visit the National Museum and Peranakan Museum via the MRT.

Upon exiting from the train, we could see the roof of the Bras Basah Station was filled with water. The water was not due to any recent rain but it was purposely filled with water. So that when viewed from the park, it is a reflection pool, from the station platform, it is a skylight.

I did not go up to street level to take the reflection pool, cause I make use of the underground pass to go to the museum. Maybe one day, I will go there again just to take photo of the pool from street level.

The long underpass from the MRT Station linked to SMU (Singapore Management University). It is strange that the underpass is actually part of the university where I saw several students studying and I did not try to take photo of them cause everyone seems to be looking at

Exiting from the underpass, is the university just next to National Museum.

The location of the above building is where the old National Library was. I am very sad that they decided to demolish the old library, have fond memories of going to the old library with my siblings and also with my friends.

Lots of plants growing on the building of SMU.

This tree was saved when the old library was demolished.

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