Hi, there! We’re on our fourth day of exploring the parks in Singapore. Information about the parks on the previous three days can be found on the following links:
This post is long overdue (like almost 2 years, my bad), but I will try my best to dig from my memory what we did in the fourth park in October 2015. For the fourth day, we decided to wander not far away from our hotel in Orchard area. The main reason for that decision was my boy’s crankiness whenever we got off the bus in Singapore. He would be squealing with delight whenever we got on the bus, and he would be throwing a tantrum whenever we got off simply because he loved taking a bus ride. So I thought the shorter the ride was, the better. I looked up on the internet for a nearby park and stumbled across Fort Canning Park. From the Wikipedia I read that Fort Canning Park is a small hill, slightly more than 60-meter high, located near Singapore’s central business district. Our family always loves wandering around body of waters and higher grounds. Whenever we go on a vacation those are two things we will explore right away, so I was totally sold on the idea of exploring this park for a day.
Just like the previous three days we left hotel after ten o’clock in the morning after a long and relaxing breakfast. We took the bus and got off a couple of minutes after. My boy threw a fit right after we went out of the bus door, leaving me embarrassed and exhausted on the side of the road, trying to talk him into getting on his stroller. My overly patient effort came in vain, so I carried him in my arms with one hand pushing the stroller and another hand for my daughter to hold while we crossed the street. I was instantly discouraged when I saw the number of steps leading to the park’s entrance. Sixty meter high it was. Together my daughter and I carried the stroller while my boy kept clinging in my arms. We were all drenched in sweats as soon as we got to the hill. My daughter had been carrying her sketchbook during this trip, so after that exhausting hike she went to a bench and drew a little while her brother kept screaming, asking for a bus ride (oh, my!).
The lush greenery, the fresh air, the singing bird, and the city’s high-rises we could see from where we were sitting were enough to keep us glued to our bench for the next twenty minutes or so. My boy’s mood was still poor but it didn’t stop his sister to start exploring and making sketches of what she was seeing.
We went to see some interesting objects like the house where Sir Stamford Raffles, who founded Singapore, used to live, a light house, and several cannons on the fortress wall surrounding the park. It turned out the now park was once a fortress used as the residence for the Residents and Governors of Singapore. We could still see some military facilities surrounded by wire fences as we strolled deeper into the park. What I liked best was the information boards on every path we took, describing the history of the founding of Singapore up to the history of Fort Canning itself. The kids were happy because they got to play in an open and green area, Mama was happy because Mama got to learn history.
After some time we arrived at this large white gate with a cross and “IHS” writing on the upper part of it. There was no information what “IHS” stood for, unfortunately. The gate reminded me of a gate in Taman Sari in the area of the Sultanate of D.I.Y Yogyakarta. We were surprised by what we saw after we went through the gate. It was a vast field with a colonial style building on the highest ground, overlooking the high-rises around the park. The building was all white and was used as some kind of museum: Pinocothéque de Paris – Fort Canning Arts Center. As tempting as it was to go inside the museum and take a look at their collections, my kids refused to leave the field where they played catch. So I sat on the grass and watched them play for the next thirty minutes or so, after we had our very late lunch.
The time passed by and it was almost four o’clock in the afternoon. It’s time to go back before we’re getting trapped in the rush hour. We took a detour and circled the park to get to the bus stop. On our way back we were mesmerized by the contrast views of the city and the greeneries. Before we took the steps down my daughter and I took a really deep breath. My boy was back to being cranky because he was tired after running around in the field, so I had him in one arm (again), and carried the stroller with another arm. I was grateful that my daughter managed to go down by herself. She even checked on how we were doing every now and then. I was so proud of her.
All in all, it’s been a relaxing and short adventure. We’d definitely come back another time with some picnic blanket, abundant snacks, and soccer ball.
Stay tuned for the 5th part of the Parks in Singapore travel report!