Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Singapore Joo Chiat Walk (9/11/2012)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Another day, another Lonely Planet Guide walk, the Joo Chiat Walk. Today I started by walking along the Singapore River.
Tan Si Chong Su Temple:
A clan temple built in 1876. It has become obvious that Singapore's population is mostly Chinese (75%), and that the wealthy traders of the early days not only built lavish temples, but performed large philanthropic works as well. The Tans were involved in public health care and setting up the first fresh water supply lines.
The Read Bridge:
Colorfully decorated, probably for the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival.
There were decorated "floats" on the river as well:
As long as I was here, I stopped to see a few things we missed on our first trip to Singapore, like the sculpture "Fishing at Singapore River" (2004) Chern Lian Shan:
At the UOB Plaza, school girls:
At Merlion Park, the Merlion was back from holiday:
We had seen the Old Parliament, so here is the new and present Parliament House:
Completed in 1999, it is a contemporary take on classical architecture.
We had also seen the Old Supreme Court, and I tried to get sight of the new and present Supreme Court:
Completed in 2005, the disc-shaped structure is supposed to be the modern interpretation of a dome.
At the City Hall MRT station, I took the East-West Line to Paya Lebar, and walked southward to take a left on Changi Road.
The Joo Chiat area is the heart of the Peranakan culture, the result of the early Chinese traders marrying Malay women. Known for ornate dress and architecture, with extra decorative elements in bright colors.
A pedestrian overpass:
Uh, oh! Better bring in the laundry before the rainstorm!
Geylang Serai market:
This is described as a traditional Southeast Asian market, but I think since the guidebook was written, it has gone the way of most Singapore hawkers, and was given a roof:
Vegetable stands:
The market was full of Muslims and most of the clothing stalls offered brightly colored and patterned tunics and long skirts or pants.
Followed Joo Chiat Road to Joo Chait Lane. At Tembeling Road, a bright shophouse:
Next to the Kuan Im Ting Temple:
Dedicated to Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy, this temple actually serves followers of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.
Yep, it's pouring rain again!
Koon Seng Road is lined with Peranakan-style terrace houses:
Known for stucco decorations, glazed tiles and swinging doors:
Corner of Koon Seng Road and Joo Chiat Road:
Farther down Joo Chiat Road, I took a right on East Coast Road and right on Ceylon Road to find the Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple:
A very well-maintained Hindu temple, we just missed a service of some sort according to another woman trying to get in, and the diaper-clad men were sweeping the floor of the main hall. A peek inside showed it was gorgeous, more so inside than outside. It serves the Ceylon Tamils (Asian Indians from what is now Sri Lanka).
Farther down Ceylon Road is St. Hilda's Anglican Church:
Founded in 1934, built in 1949.
Returning to East Coast Road and heading north past Joo Chiat Road, there is a short dead-end road with small terrace houses:
One owner tiled his handrail:
After the next block on East Coast Road, the Church of the Holy Family:
This Roman Catholic Church was established in 1902, and this building completed in 1999.
It is noted for its 16-panel stained glass window over the altar:
Walked down Chapel Road to Marine Parade Road to see the bungalows that once fronted the sea:
Even though I know the term "bungalow" does not refer to little one-story houses, I did not see the Bangalore-inspired two-story homes usually in mock-Tudor style. This area is now nearly 1/2 mile from the sea due to land reclamation.
Left on Still Road, past the former Grand Hotel:
Completed in 1920 as a mansion for the many wives of a wealthy cattle merchant Moona Kadir Sultan, it was briefly a hotel in the 1950s. The property was cut in half in 1973 by the construction of Still Road.
Back on East Coast Road, the Katong Antique House:
A tiny shop overseen by a tiny old lady, full of Peranakan clothing, furniture, ceramics, jewelry, etc. More of a museum than a shop.
I returned to the Paya Lebar MRT station along Joo Chiat Road.
I had to take a photo of a neat and clean hardware shop:
The shophouses of Singapore were by law required to have an arcade built in and continuous with its neighbors to create a "five-foot way" for pedestrians:
Many shops fill this area with their wares, though, and in Joo Chiat it appeared there was another five-foot-way to the outside used as a sidewalk:
This ends the exploration of Singapore.

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