Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Down Memory Lane At National Museum Part 2

I have written an article about my trip to the National Museum a few days ago. I talked about my trip to the different exhibitions and galleries such as the Singapore Living Galleries: Food, Photography, Film & Wayang and Fashion along with the Goh Seng Choo Gallery. In this article, I will show the rest of my trip to the National Museum which includes the interior and exterior of the building along with my trip to the Singapore History Gallery.

This is the view of the National Museum from the inside of the building itself. Look at that gorgeous architecture. The architect did a great job by mixing the old nostalgic look of the building with modern architecture such as the glass facade, artwork and the escalators. If you look at the picture above, there are some chandeliers or light fixtures that continuously swing itself from left to right. The glass ceiling is also a great addition so sunlight can go directly in and you get natural lighting.

You can also find some interesting finds on the outside of the National Museum itself. At the front lawn, there are some artworks such as these blocks of concrete and at the back, a gigantic chili/cherry/capsicum fruit thingy. More artworks can also be found inside the museum itself. You can also have direct access to Fort Canning Park from the back of the National Museum. The Fort Canning Park is a historical park in Singapore with several attractions and walking trails. We'll talk about that on a later date.

There is even ample parking space if you decide to get here by car. Although I do recommend you to take public transport as there are enough public buses and an MRT Station is also nearby.

Finally, on the same day itself, I took a trip down to the Singapore History Gallery which is also part of the National Museum. It's completely different from the smaller scale Living Galleries I have visited earlier. This gallery is actually a separate ticketed gallery. For adults, you pay S$10 for entry to all four living galleries, FREE for the Goh Seng Choo Gallery and a separate S$10 for entry to the Singapore History Gallery. Not counting other events and temporary exhibitions that may also charge a separate admission fee.

That's why it's great to go on Open House days as it's free admission to all galleries including temporary ones. I went to the Christmas open house and I paid ZERO dollars for everything here. Anyway, the Singapore History Gallery is an exhibition about, well, Singapore's history. Once you enter, the staff will provide you with a green audio guide in which you press the numbers found on the floor and you'll be presented with an audio guide.

Once you enter, you'll have to enter the first number presented on the floor. And you get to see a panoramic movie screen showing daily lives of Singaporeans with music which shouts "SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE". Then you'll have to go down the glass structure with spiral flooring which is indeed cool. Then you can sit down at the couch when you reach the bottom and continue watching the short film on the panoramic movie screen.

You can then explore around the History Gallery and be presented with various artefacts, pictures and paintings that were donated and collected by the museum which shows the story of Singapore. Some highlights include the Singapore Stone and stories about the Temasek people.

The stories told by the audio guide are slightly long-winded and since the visitor himself is listening to the audio, there should be seats almost everywhere so we can listen and relax at the same time. At the gallery, there are certainly insufficient seats although there is a rest area at one point.

The History Gallery explains the Singapore History from A to Z which means it explains from the humble beginnings to modern Singapore. Flash photography is not allowed though. I actually took one photo with the flash on. Picture is above. Don't tell anyone. :-) It's a really great place to check out if you're interested with Singapore's History. Most of the things covered here cannot be found in a typical Singapore history textbook. And it's a great place if you're a history buff.

What I particularly like about the history gallery is the audio guide itself. Also I made a mistake by going in without the audio guide on my first visit. The gallery does not have any texts or words to read from. Only numbers. The numbers must be keyed into the audio guide and there will be a person narrating to you the Singapore history story. It's great as I don't have to read from chunks of text. I went in the second time with the audio guide itself. I would certainly recommend the National Museum to put more seats in the gallery though.

Overall, the Singapore History Gallery is a nice place to hang out with friends and a nice place to learn about the story behind Singapore. Instead of watching movies in cinemas or hanging out in shopping malls, give yourself some knowledge by visiting this gallery and the National Museum. The National Museum is located in the Bras Basah area and it's accessible by several public buses and an MRT Station.

Do check out Part 1 of my trip to the National Museum here.

Getting Here
Bus services available: 7, 14, 14e, 16, 36, 77, 106, 111, 124, 128, 131, 147, 162, 162M, 166

Nearest MRT Station: CC2 Bras Basah MRT Station (Circle Line)

Website: http://www.nationalmuseum.sg/

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