Monday, August 9, 2010

To the Istana we went

Singapore just celebrated 45 years of independence.

In all that time, I've never been to the Istana. There aren't many opportunities to venture inside so why not this National Day. The Open House was held the day before & having never been there before, didn't know what to expect.

I certainly hadn't expected the long line. I thought getting there around 10 should be fine but the line had already snaked past Plaza Singapura. I'm not entirely sure but I figured we waited for about 40 mins. The line moved along at a good pace & people were orderly (this is afterall the Istana !) & I was pleasantly surprised to find mostly foreigners in the crowd.

I got bored & took a picture of the fence...... Anyway all Singaporeans & PR enter free whereas foreigners pay a token $1 to enter the grounds. For future reference, the mornings tend to be packed because there is a drawing competition. The crowd definitely thinned out when we made our way out around noon.

These must be some kind of barricade in case of emergency to block entry into the Istana.

I mentioned that there was a drawing competition. There was quite a crowd & they must have been doing it for years cos everybody was super prepared with all kinds of drawing materials, mats, drinks, umbrellas (for shade), portable fans.....and you could see a sea of red & white.

Hello Central Park. If I were more prepared, I would have packed a picnic basket.

The Girl had a field day. Lots of children's activities - you could choose to make a badge, clay figures, book marks, finger puppets or decorate a kite. Not to mention all the giveaways like stickers, notebooks, colouring stencils...

I had a hard time tearing her away from the main purpose of going to the Istana & that is to explore the grounds.

Then I had to tear her away again from the brass band performance.

The main building. Entry fee $2 per person & no photography allowed hence no pictures. We were only allowed to venture on the ground level - a showcase of all the gifts from other countries to our president & the official reception room.

Happy Birthday Singapore


Anonymous said...

The Istana is open on a public holiday. Next one is Hari Raya so check out the open dates on the Istana site & of course the weather outlook closer to the date.

petite fleur said...

Anon - any idea if just the grounds are open to the public or will they organise activities/performances etc like they did for national day ?