From SIT Flats to Skyparks (2.5 hour Walking Tour with MRT ride)
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From SIT Flats to Skyparks (2.5 hour Walking Tour with MRT ride)

10.15am: Meet your friendly guide at Tiong Bahru MRT Station to begin our journey into 1940s Singapore Public housing where 2 to 5-storey blocks were the norm. Tiong Bahru Estate is one of the oldest housing estates in Singapore. It was the first project undertaken by the Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT), a government administered by the British colonial authority, to provide for mass public housing in Singapore. The estate consists about 30 apartment blocks with a total of nearly 900 units. The apartment blocks are made up of two to five-storey flats and the units are assorted three to five-room apartments. A short 10 minute walk from the Tiong Bahru MRT station brings us to Blk 31 Lim Liak Street, the start-point of our mini-tour of Tiong Bahru Estate. After World War II, SIT built several blocks of four-storey flats between 1948 and 1954, which can be seen around Lim Liak Road.  Continue our walk to Block 78, which is uniquely designed in the shape of a horse-shoe. The “Horseshoe Block” is also known as “Gor Lau” or “five-storey flat” in Hokkien as it was the only five-storey building in Tiong Bahru at one time. It is also historically significant as it houses the first civilian air raid shelter in a public housing estate. 11.00am: We head back to Tiong Bahru MRT station where we take a short train ride to Commonwealth Station. The quaint Tanglin Halt estate awaits us when we exit the MRT fare gates. 11.30am: Tanglin Halt is a 52-year old neighbourhood in Queenstown which oozes an old world charm with its old provisions shops, barbers, traditional medicine halls, etc. The Neighbourhood Centre comprised 28 shop units arranged around a quadrangle and 163 stalls in the wet market. A shopping centre containing a hawker centre and three rows of shophouses was added later in 1967. We will visit the wet market, old style provision shops and a traditional medicine shop. The Poh Onn Tong Medical shop where you can spot the iconic traditional wooden cabinet which stores herbs. Each drawer holds nine tins of herbs! We end the visit to Tanglin Halt at the Hawker Centre where coffee is still available at 90 cents a cup! The original Tanglin Halt peanut pancake stall with a 45-year history and still standing strong, is a must-try! 12.10pm: We continue the tour with a short MRT ride to Queenstown Station. On the ride, you will witness the modern transformation of Queenstown where old blocks of flats have now been replaced with modern high-rise blocks with modern amenities. 12.30pm: Visit the Skyview@Dawson, a high-rise public housing development where a panoramic view of the Queenstown area and its surroundings is found at the skypark on the 50th level. 12.45pm: End of tour

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Bridges Along the Singapore River with History That’s Almost Lost (2 hour Walking Tour)
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Bridges Along the Singapore River with History That’s Almost Lost (2 hour Walking Tour)

9.00am: Meet out friendly tour guide at Raffles Place MRT Station Exit B to proceed on our journey to explore the rich stories behind the different bridges along the lower reaches of the Singapore River. Our first stop is the Cavenagh Bridge. As the only suspension bridge and one of Singapore’s oldest bridges, this iconic bridge was opened in 1869 to mark Singapore’s status as a Crown Colony of the Straits Settlements. Originally called Edinburgh Bridge, it was renamed Cavenagh Bridge after Major General William Orfeur Cavenagh, the last Governor of the Straits Settlement. The bridge provided a connection between the government offices on the north bank and the commercial district on the south bank. Unlike many other bridges over the Singapore River, it has remained largely unchanged since it was first completed. Anderson Bridge, located at the mouth of the Singapore River, was named after the Governor of the Straits Settlements and High Commissioner of the Federated Malay States, Sir John Anderson. When Cavenagh Bridge faced more traffic due to the rapid growth of trade and the increase in vehicular traffic, Anderson Bridge was built nearby to redirect vehicular traffic.  The first crossing from the north to the south bank of the Singapore River used to stand at the site of the present-day Elgin Bridge. While the current Elgin Bridge only dates back to the late 1920s, the first bridge to occupy the location was built more than a hundred years before in 1822. Further downstream is Coleman Bridge. In 1840, this was a brick bridge joining Old Bridge Road and Hill Street and had nine arches. This new bridge was designed and named after George Coleman, Singapore’s first architect. As we arrive at Clarke Quay, the first bridge we will come across is Read Bridge, which could be the most popular of all as it is situated in the centre of Clark Quay. The construction of Read Bridge was initiated by William Henry Macleod Read, a Scottish businessman who was also the Consul for Holland. Ord Bridge, one of the oldest bridges in Singapore, constructed in 1886. Named after Colonel Sir Harry St. George Ord, British Governor of the Straits Settlements, Ord Bridge is a pedestrian bridge with rectangular steel trusses on either side. The current Clemenceau Bridge is a multi-lane bridge built-in 1991 that connects River Valley Road with the Central Expressway tunnel. However, its predecessor, demolished in 1989, had a more ominous link to the past. Alkaff Bridge is located where Alkaff Quay once stood (hence the name). It is designed to shape like a tongkang, a reference to the boats that were once commonly seen along the river. The bridge didn’t get its colours until 2004, In 2004, Fillipino artist Pacita Abad painted the bridge with 55 different vibrant colours, and the “ArtBridge” was inaugurated. 11.00am: End of tour at Clarke Quay.

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Secret Toa Payoh: Royalty, a shrine, ritual murders, dragons, dinosaurs and more (3.5 hour Walking Tour with public bus transfers)
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Secret Toa Payoh: Royalty, a shrine, ritual murders, dragons, dinosaurs and more (3.5 hour Walking Tour with public bus transfers)

9.00am: Meet your friendly guide at Exit C of the Braddell MRT Station. You will be introduced to the original Toa Payoh, its notorious beginnings and its unique spots found nowhere else in Singapore. 9.15am: We arrive at the Dragon Pillar at Block 91. Two dragons have been standing tall at the heartlands of Whampoa and Toa Payoh for more than 40 years. The Toa Payoh dragon pillar stands at the entrance of a carpark along Toa Payoh Lorong 3. Entwining a red pillar of about 4m tall, the Chinese-style dragon has been a distinctive marker in front of Block 91 since the late sixties after the development of the housing estate was completed. Over the years, the dragon and its pillar have been subjected to the constant exposure to sun and rain. Today, it appears neglected with faded colours and peeling paintwork. 9.35am: A short walk takes us to Block 53 at Lorong 5. The 19-storey Block 53 features a prominent Y-shaped design and remains the only block of flats in Toa Payoh with this layout. It has played host to a series of foreign and local dignitaries; the most prominent one being Queen Elizabeth II. Their visits to this block and its rooftop viewing gallery have led it to be dubbed a "VIP block". Let us visit this block to take in a little of the view that the VIPs experienced. 10.00am: We next take SBS Transit Service 232 to the Lorong 7 neighbourhood where we will take a break at the neighbourhood food centre. 10.45am: A short walk from the food centre takes us to Block 12 Lorong 7. This is the block where the gruesome ritual murders were committed by Adrian Lim and his two ‘Holy wives’ in 1981. The seventh-floor unit where the murders took place still exists and has changed ownership a few times since. One site related to the murder, namely, Block 11, which has since been rebuilt. 11.00am: Another short bus ride on SBS Transit Service 238 takes us to Block 27. Often overshadowed by the popular Dragon Playground, the Dinosaur Playground is a hidden heritage gem that calls Block 27, Lorong 6 Toa Payoh its home. 11.30am: A 7 minute walk across the overhead bridge to the other side of Lorong 6 takes us to the Toa Payoh Dragon Playground. 11.45am: We next take a 5 minute walk to Toa Payoh Town Centre. Do you know that the Town Centre was the SEAP (Southeast Asia Peninsular) Games Village in 1973? The 1973 SEAP Games Village opened in the heart of Toa Payoh, with four HDB point blocks serving as accommodation for athletes before being sold to the public after the Games. 12.20pm: Our final stop is the legendary Tree Shrine at Block 177. This ficus tree has been regarded as sacred since the kampong days of Toa Payoh. 12.30pm: End of tour. Head to the many food establishments in the Town Centre for a nice lunch at your own expenses. What a better way to end the morning after discovering so much about Toa Payoh Estate.

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Explore The Historical Truths Of Chinatown
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Explore The Historical Truths Of Chinatown

Right in the heart of Singapore's urban jungle, Chinatown today is a beloved blend of old and new. Traverse through the beautifully preserved infrastructure of centuries-past hosting both tradition and modernity. Expect to see traditional medicinal halls sitting alongside new trendy bars and cafes. Singapore's Chinatown is a maze of narrow roads jam-packed with an explosive array of delicacies, crafts, antiques and places of cultural heritage from the early 1800s.   Half-Day Trail (4-5 Hours) Witness the Monumental Thian Hock Keng Temple   It's the national monument most significant to the Hokkien people of Singapore. As the oldest Chinese temple in this fast-evolving cosmopolitan city, it holds history in each column. Constructed in the ancient Southern Chinese style, this work of architecture was built without the use of a single nail. Step into a treasure that had attracted even Emperor Guang Xu of the Qing Dynasty.   A Heap of Old and New at Ang Siang Hill At the junction of old and new lies Ang Siang Hill, a quiet enclave of historical prominence that turns into a snazziest hot spot for drinks at dusk. Gain insight into the early immigrants who carved a life out for themselves as you retrace their steps on those very streets.   Dive into a Nostalgic Fusion of Singapore's Street Food   Come what may, this nostalgic hub serves up the best of Singapore’s street food alfresco style. A celebration of speciality dishes fused from various Chinese dialects and other races, savour a never-ending burst of flavours all under one roof.   Relive Singapore’s 50s at the Chinatown Heritage Centre   Embark on an unforgettable multi-sensory journey with sights, scents and sounds of a time past into the history books. Catch a rare glimpse into the lives of our early pioneers in the only place with historically accurate recreations of the interiors of its shophouse tenants in the 1950s.   Take a Pause at Sri Mariamman Temple   Chinatown is also home to the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore, built in the 1860s by Indian immigrants. Learn of the beliefs that kept this sacred place a bustling place of worship after more than a century.   Meander along Pagoda and Trengganu Street Meander through the streets filled with traditional Chinese goods from medicinal herbs to jade and even the abacus. Identify the shophouses which once housed a myriad of opium dens and warehouses packed with ‘coolies’ (the colloquial term for labourers).   Learn Forgotten Secrets of Lai Chun Yuen Singapore’s premier opera theatre was the centre of entertainment in the 19th century for the Chinese community. Opera stars came from China and Hong Kong to perform for an audience of over 800 each time. After bombs severely damaged it in World War II, the establishment had lost its lustre and function until its restoration in the millennium as a memorial of Singapore’s yesteryears.

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