ReTRIeVIA

:: trivia retrieved ::

Archive for April 2010

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NATURE PARKS

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Singapore’s first botanic gardens were located at Fort Canning.  It was opened in 1822 and was abandoned in 1829.  The second Botanic Gardens was founded at its present site in 1859 by the Agri-Horticultural Society.  These Gardens were situated on a 23-hectare site previously owned by Hoo Ah Kay (Whampoa).  In 1866, the Society bought another 100 hectares of land from the Napier Estate.  By 1874, the Society could not keep up with the cost of upkeeping the Gardens and the Government stepped in and took over its administration.  The Singapore Botanic Gardens are bounded by Holland Road, Cluny Road and Tyersall Avenue.

The Botanic Gardens may be credited for the birth of the rubber industry in South-east Asia.  The interest in rubber started in 1877 from the twenty-two seedlings planted in the Gardens by the Gardens’ first Director, Henry Ridley.  He was often referred to as ‘Mad Ridley’ for his fervent and oftentimes overly-enthusiastic advocacy of rubber cultivation.  From 1870 to 1903, the Botanic Gardens also housed Singapore’s first zoo.  It closed down for lack of funds.

The familiar cone-roofed structure in the stamps is the Bandstand.  Here the well-loved Police Band used to perform regularly for the public.

The Singapore Botanic Gardens recently acquired some 11 hectares of land for expansion on its Cluny Road section.  This includes the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden along Bukit Timah Road to be… (cont’d in next page)

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Written by victorkoo

29 April, 2010 at 1:00 pm

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(cont’d from previous page)… location.  It is said to be located on the palm of Singapore’s ‘left hand’; the right palm being Raffles Place.

Suntec City Mall is Singapore’s largest shopping mall and is divided into four thematic zones with close to 300 retail outlets.  The length of Suntec City Mall stretches one kilometer from end to end.

Written by victorkoo

26 April, 2010 at 1:00 pm

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Suntec City

Shopping is an activity that tourists and Singaporeans enjoy.  They can visit the Suntec City, which is the biggest privately-owned commercial office complex in Singapore. Launched in 1995, it consists of an international convention centre, four 45-storey high office towers, one 18-storey office block, and a huge shopping mall built around a Fountain Terrace.  The concept for the mega-mall and convention city is the brainchild of the architectural firm of Tsao & McKownn (Singapore) Pte Ltd while its Principal Consultant is DP Architects Pte Ltd.

The ‘Fountain of Wealth’ is the world’s largest and covers an area of over 1,600 sq m.  It is made of cast bronze and cost an estimated $9 million to build in 1997.  The Fountain has become a tourist attraction in itself.  Its elevated bronze ring,  supported by four pillars encircles the fountain.  The ring is 21 metres in diameter while the pillars are 14 metres high.  The waters can spurt up to 30 metres in height.

Many geomancy or feng-shui experts attribute Suntec City’s success to its excellent… (cont’d on next page)

Written by victorkoo

22 April, 2010 at 1:00 pm

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Orchard Road

The ever-popular shopping destination for local and overseas shoppers is in Orchard Road.  This 1987 stamp shows some of the tall buildings in the ever-busy Orchard Road area.  Known for its shops and hotels, the area is served by three MRT stations:  Orchard, Somerset and Dhoby Ghaut.  The big tall building shown in the centre of the stamp is the Meritus Mandarin Hotel.  The tall building on the left is Comcentre while the building in the background on the right topped by a Chinese pagoda roof is the Marriot Hotel.

Peranakan Place

Peranakan Place (below) is located just off Orchard Road at the base of Emerald Hill. Orchard Road and Emerald Hill used to be home to plantations and orchards.  Eventually, houses and shophouses were built along the streets in the area.  These terrace houses in Peranakan Place have been beautifully restored.

The Peranakans evolved from the inter-marriage of Chinese and Malays.  These Straits Chinese adapted certain Malay customs, language and practices.  A number of Peranakan families used to live in this area.

Written by victorkoo

19 April, 2010 at 1:00 pm

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Central Business District

Singapore’s Central Business District covers the main city centre including Shenton Way and ends up in the Orchard Road area.  It is home to the most important business addresses in the city.

Raffles City & Marina Centre

A popular shopping and commercial complex in the city centre is the Raffles City complex.  Raffles City sits on the site once occupied by Raffles Institution, Singapore’s first and oldest school.  The complex was designed by world-renowned American-Chinese architect IM Pei.

This stamp features a part of the Bras Basah Road area in the 1980s.  Many old and well-known schools such as Raffles Institution, Raffles Girls School, St Joseph’s Institution and the CHIJ Convent were located in Bras Basah Road.  The schools were moved out to the suburbs in the 1970s and 1980s.  The other big buildings in the background on the left are the international hotels in Marina Centre.

Written by victorkoo

15 April, 2010 at 1:00 pm

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Singapore Science Centre

Other than the Jurong Bird Park, another popular tourist destination and landmark in the west of Singapore is the Singapore Science Centre.  It has helped greatly in generating interest in the sciences.  The hands-on exhibits in the Science Centre have proven popular with children and adults alike.

The Science Centre was designed by Raymond Woo and opened in 1977.  Ten years later, the Omni-Theatre was added.  Two separate stamp issues have featured the Science Centre.  The first was issued in conjunction with its opening in 1977 while the second was issued in conjunction with its 10th anniversary.  In recent years, the Science Centre has featured many block-buster exhibitions including one on the Lord of the Rings.

Written by victorkoo

12 April, 2010 at 1:00 pm

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Satellite Earth Station

Other than being a transportation hub, Singapore aspires to be a communication hub too.  Satellites are a key feature in the transportation of information and ideas.

A satellite-earth station enables the earth station to receive and transmit signals to the satellites that orbit above Singapore.  In this way international telephone calls, ‘live’ TV coverage of overseas events, etc. are made available to consumers.

There are several satellite earth stations in Singapore.  The first one was opened in 1971 on Sentosa Island.  Besides being featured on a stamp, the Sentosa satellite earth station was also featured on the $1 currency note issued in 1987.

The above 4-part stamp is quite possibly the rarest and most valuable stamp featured in this book.

Written by victorkoo

8 April, 2010 at 1:00 pm

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