Singapore Time Travel

The modern history of Singapore dates back to 1819 when Englishman Sir Stamford Raffles established a British port on the island. It has since grown into a developed nation. With the recent Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the upcoming 47th National Day of Singapore, it is timely that we reflect upon the country’s changing landscapes and its British legacy in this visual journey.

Singapore River

With great historical importance, this river has an extraordinary story to tell about Singapore. If one has to tell the tale of time, this would be the centre stage. The very lifeblood of the once British colony, this river has a colourful and romantic history of yesteryears. This is where trade happened, where the Malayan princes once sailed and also where the bullock carts plodded their way up and down each bank as the river found its way to the former rocky river mouth. Today, the river empties into Marina Bay by the Merlion, which is a major landmark.



Central Business District

The CBD is the country’s trade and finance hub. The area is home to many important and significant financial buildings and some British companies that have historic relevance include HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank. Over the course of its history, dating back as far as the 18th Century, this area has grown kin to ‘change’. However, century-old shophouses nestle among state-of-the-art architecture. The area once housed what is now the Downtown Core, Museum, Newton, Orchard, Outram, River Valley, Rochor, and the Singapore River planning areas.

Singapore Cricket Club

This national treasure was established in 1852, the club stands at the centre of the city’s colonial heart, the Padang, a public space that has witnessed many of Singapore’s triumphs and defeats, upheavals, its independence and the National Day Parade on 9 August every year.


Raffles Hotel: Standing the Test of Time

Declared as a National Monument in 1987, the hotel first opened its doors in 1887, founded by the four Armenian Sarkies Brothers and named after the Lieutenant Governor Sir Stamford Raffles who arrived in Singapore on 28 January 1819. It was built on the land owned by an Arab trader and philanthropist Syed Mohamed Alsagoff. It was once known as a seaside destination.

Those who have lived in this city-state since the 1960s must be amazed at the transition. The Republic of Singapore today lives up to its national motto, ‘Majulah, Singapura’ (onward Singapore). It is the world’s fourth leading financial centre, the world’s second biggest casino market, and the world’s third largest oil refining centre. The port of Singapore is one of the five busiest ports in the world. The country is home to more US-dollar-millionaire households per capita than any other country and the World Bank notes Singapore as theeasiest place in the world to do business. It also has the world’s third highest GDP per capita, at US$59,936, making Singapore one of the world’s wealthiest countries. ‘Majulah, Singapura’ indeed!