10 years ago, it was the year 2007. And the 90’s were 20 whole years ago. Does anyone else feel old?
From the 1990s to the current day, Singapore has gone through a tremendous change. Take a trip down memory lane with us through these 20 pictures of 1990s Singapore. You’ll be surprised at how different Singapore is now compared to your childhood days.
1. Capitol Theatre
Then[caption id="attachment_22754" align="alignnone" width="640"] Photo Credits: remembersingapore.org[/caption]
Now[caption id="attachment_22770" align="alignnone" width="740"] Photo Credits: www.yoursingapore.com[/caption]
This 87-year-old landmark was first built in 1930, and could seat more than 1600 people in the auditorium.
By 1998, it screened its last movie and closed down, unable to compete with newer, more technologically advanced cinemas around Singapore. After 9 years, it was reopened again on May 19 2015. Now, there are movies as well as in-house theatre and dance productions featuring local and Asian repertoire.
2. Marina Bay Sands[caption id="attachment_22766" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Photo Credits: www.marinabaysands.com[/caption]
The area where Marina Bay Sands now stands was initially just a huge reclaimed land.
With plans that have been in the works since 1983, the entire Marina Bay Sands project took 34 years to become the impressive integrated resort we know today.
With the completion of the Sands Theatre and Grand Theatre, we are now treated to globally renowned acts like The Lion King and Wicked. Coupled with the ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands has become THE place to be for everything cool, from arts and culture to shopping and eating!
3. National Library at Stamford Road
Then[caption id="attachment_22081" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Photo Credits: Ng Cheng Kiang[/caption]
Now[caption id="attachment_22082" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Photo Credits: Ng Cheng Kiang[/caption]
The original National Library of Singapore at Stamford Road was first completed in 1960, and for many of us, the place where our love for reading began.
On 31 March 2004, our collective hearts broke as the doors of the library closed for the last time. While we may miss the old library, the new national library is a sight to behold. Home to the Black Box, an outdoor garden and 7 full floors dedicated to the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library, the new National Library at Bras Basah helps to keeps our love for reading alive.
4. Bugis Street
Then[caption id="attachment_22089" align="alignnone" width="768"] Photo Credits: www.nas.gov.sg[/caption]
Now[caption id="attachment_22088" align="alignnone" width="800"] Photo Credits: www.singapore-guide.com[/caption]
Our very own Singapore-style version Taiwan Night Market, Bugis Street was where we flocked to for cheap clothes and apparels after school.
With our miniscule pocket money, Bugis Street was a godsend for the blossoming shopaholics in us. Cleaner, more fashionable and slightly pricier, new Bugis Street now hosts even more shops, some are even air-conditioned!
Then[caption id="attachment_22755" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Photo Credits: dannylovetosnap.blogspot.sg
Address: 28 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh, Singapore 310028[/caption]
Now[caption id="attachment_22138" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Photo Credits:
Back in the 90’s, going to the playground meant playing with kids from the neighbourhood, porcelain tiled dragon architecture, as well as bloody knees if we had the misfortune of falling in the sand.
These days, playgrounds are more avant-garde in design, with safe rubber-foam flooring. There is also a growing trend in inclusiveness, starting with playgrounds for children with special needs and special wheelchair swings.
Now[caption id="attachment_22838" align="aligncenter" width="2304"] Credit: smrt.com.sg[/caption]
Decked in the iconic red and white colours of our nation, the buses of the past were stuffy, non-air conditioned, and dispensed paper tickets when you boarded the bus.
20 years down the road, we now see buses in different colours. Not just that, they’re also air-conditioned, wheelchair accessible and bus fares are now payable with cards.
7. National Stadium
Then[caption id="attachment_22768" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Photo Credits: Yu Khing Poh[/caption]
Now[caption id="attachment_22769" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Photo Credits: senatus.net[/caption]
The old Kallang Stadium was THE place to be for every primary 5 child a few days before National Day. Wearing red or white t-shirts to school, we were proud to wave our miniature national flags (all while digging through the goody bags for the yearly signature gifts).
On 30 June 2014, Singapore welcomed the new and improved National Stadium. An all-weather sports and events venue, it has a retractable roof that keeps out the rain and doubles as a huge projector screen. It even has a state-of-the-art cooling system, allowing for cool air at 23 degrees to be pumped out from beneath the seats. Partially powered by solar panels, the cool air is even environmentally friendly!
Having played host to singers like Stefanie Sun and Jay Chou, as well as the 28th SEA Games in 2015, the National Stadium provides a comfortable, yet magnificent stage for arts, culture and sports alike.
Then[caption id="attachment_22786" align="alignnone" width="800"] Photo Credits: worldstotrek.wordpress.com[/caption]
Now[caption id="attachment_22787" align="alignnone" width="970"] Photo Credits:Rwsentosa.com[/caption]
Do you remember having to take a ferry to Sentosa island? Back then, we were easily excited by the wax museum depicting Singapore’s past, as well as climbing up the huge Merlion statue.
Fast-forward 20 years and Sentosa island is now home to a huge amusement-resort. You’ll be surprised to know that this island is no longer just for the beach lovers and thrill seekers.
Theatre geeks and concertgoers can enjoy amazing performances like Yellowcard – The Final World Tour at Resorts World Theatre, and the daily Monster Rock show at Pantages Hollywood Theatre at Universal Studios Singapore.
Then[caption id="attachment_22148" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Photo Credits: Calvin Teo[/caption]
Now[caption id="attachment_22149" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Photo Credits: www.lta.gov.sg[/caption]
Back then, there were only 2 lines: Red and Green. More accurately, the North-South line and the East-West line. After that, you had to take a bus to get to your specific destination.
These days, there are 5 MRT lines with 2 more on the way, and 3 LRT lines. In the past, we didn’t need to refer to the System map when travelling somewhere new. Now, I find myself googling ‘MRT map’ very often.
10. Hard Rock Cafe
Then[caption id="attachment_22152" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Photo Credits:
The ever-famous Cadillac was taken down on May 16 2016 in preparation for a makeover of the Hard Rock Cafe. The 1961 Cadillac Series 62 Deville represented the Rock and Roll times that Hard Rock Cafe stood for.
Fortunately, Hard Rock Cafe is still rocking even without its signature Cadillac. With Kumar taking the stage alongside live music performances and open mic shows, Hard Rock Cafe keeps our love for music and comedy alive.
11. King Albert Park
Then[caption id="attachment_22763" align="alignnone" width="800"] Photo Credits:
Students of Bukit Timah, namely MGS, ACS, Nanyang Girls’, NJC and many others will always have fond memories of King Albert Park (affectionately known as KAP). Many after school hours were spent studying in McDonald’s, shopping at Cold Storage, and eating ice cream at Island Creamery.
Closed on 16 March 2014 for its transformation into a condominium, this is yet another childhood memory that we say goodbye to in our ever-developing Singapore.
12. Big Splash Complex at East Coast Park
Before Wild Wild Wet or Adventure Cove, there was the Big Splash! Slides which were more than 6 storeys high. They were supposedly the tallest slides in the world back in 1977.
After 40 years of bringing water-related thrills to Singaporeans, the water park closed on 21 October 2016, and the land was returned to the government for redevelopment.
13. Marine Aquarium at Wisma Atria
A cheap alternative to Underwater world was to take a trip to Wisma Atria and stare at the fishes in the Marine Aquarium. Filled with exotic seawater fishes, corals and even tiny sharks, we would chase the swimming fishes round and round the 1.5m tall tank.
Sadly, good things don’t last forever. The Marine Aquarium was taken down in 2008 and the aquatic creatures were transferred to their new home at Underwater World Singapore.
14. Tang Dynasty Village
Then[caption id="attachment_22790" align="alignnone" width="800"] Photo Credits:
Opened in 1992, Tang Dynasty Village was a literal blast to the past where visitors could visit a replica of the Tang Dynasty Capital in Singapore.
Featuring an army of terracotta warriors, a courthouse, geisha house, camel rides and a wax museum among other displays, this attraction was totally cool but did not come cheap. Back then, $30 entrance fees were not affordable for some families.
Coupled with the 90’s Asian Economic Crisis, it closed down in 1999, after a short 7-year run.
15. Escape Theme Park
Then[caption id="attachment_22791" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Photo Credits: Walter Wu[/caption]
Who can forget travelling all the way to Pasir Ris to race in go-carts, splash down the Wet & Wild log-ride and be tossed about the insanely fast Panasonic/Alpha 8.
On November 26, 2011, we said goodbye to Escape Theme Park as plans for the Downtown East revamp began. Wild Wild Wet was opened next door shortly after the closure, but it just wasn’t the same.
16. Queenstown Cinema[caption id="attachment_22793" align="alignnone" width="800"] Photo Credits: Skyscrapercity[/caption]
A cinema right beside a bowling alley, not to mention a KTV outlet, this was the best after school/work hang out for Queenstown residents.
I remember coming here after dinner with my cousins to bowl, even though we mostly watched the balls enter the gutters. Closed in 1999 and demolished in 2011, the rubble may be gone but the memories remain.
17. Istana Kampong Gelam (now Malay Heritage Centre)[caption id="attachment_22765" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Photo Credits: www.ghettosingapore.com[/caption]
In 1999, after the Sultan Hussein Ordinance was enacted and revised for the last time, residents living in the Istana were resettled. In time, the building was restored and transformed into the Malay Heritage Centre in 2004.
With 6 permanent galleries showcasing stories and artefacts that tell of Kampong Gelam’s historical significance, as well as new monthly exhibits, visitors are given a precious insight into our country’s culture and history.
18. HMV at Heeren
Then[caption id="attachment_22794" align="alignnone" width="640"] Photo Credits: Rob Young[/caption]
Now[caption id="attachment_22840" align="aligncenter" width="1800"] Credit: theoutpost.biz[/caption]
Home to the first and last HMV store in Singapore, teens would flock here to listen to the latest album releases for free.
Opened in 1997, the 25,000-sqf store saw 8 years of music lovers pass through its 3 levels before closing officially on 30 September 2015.
19. Underwater World Singapore
The fishes from Wisma Atria’s Marine Aquarium found their way here and lived happily until 26 June 2016 when Underwater World Singapore closed down.
While the ‘bigger and better’ version, namely S.E.A Aquarium, held a whopping 100,000 plus marine animals of over 800 species, Underwater World’s 2,500 plus marine animals of 250 species was more than enough for our childhood.
These days, ask most teens if they know A&W and they’ll answer that it’s a carbonated root beer beverage. Back in the 90’s, it was a fast food restaurant on a boat! Stationed on the Stewards Riverboat at the Sentosa Coastline, it was the only fast food franchise that felt classy as you chow down on burgers, fries and an A&W Root Beer Float.
These 20 pictures show us the immense change that Singapore has undergone since the 90’s, and with the ever-increasing development of our country, who knows whether our favourite places will stick around in 2037?
Make as many memories as possible by visiting and attending events, attractions, and activities in Singapore. So start visiting and get your cameras clicking away, before time takes away more of our monumental places in Singapore.
(Header image credit: With Over 1,000 Stalls, This Year’s Geylang Bazaar Will Keep You Coming Back For More
With Chinese New Year (CNY) on the horizon, what comes to mind is the abundance of food, the new clothes, and the joyous gatherings – all a display of wealth and fortune. Every year, we sit around a table with family and close friends, and dig into costly delicacies. These are but expected routines and traditions.
However, we forget that not everyone can afford such luxuries.
So while we’re about to celebrate this festive season, let us not forget the less fortunate, for whom these luxuries may not exist.
Here are 4 upcoming charity events that will make your CNY more meaningful this year.
1. AsiaMalls Food Collection & Distribution Initiative
In the spirit of inclusiveness, AsiaMalls has partnered Food from the Heart (FFTH) for a CNY food distribution initiative.
More than 150 volunteers will come together this month to pack and distribute over 500 bags of Chinese New Year goodies and AsiaMalls vouchers to the less privileged.[caption id="attachment_21585" align="aligncenter" width="2573"] Image Credit: Communique[/caption]
All food items will go towards supporting Food from the Heart’s 25,000 beneficiaries, especially those living in the surrounding areas of the malls.
Head on down to any of the malls below to donate goodies, volunteer to pack or distribute them!
Items to contribute include:
- Non-perishable food (Instant noodle, canned food etc.)
- Non-food grocery (Toiletries, detergent etc.)
- Condiments (Soy sauce, salt etc.)
- Instant beverages (Milo, coffee etc.)
AsiaMalls Food Collection and Distribution Initiative (in partnership with Food from the Heart)
Century Square: 13 – 19 Jan 2017, Level 1, opposite Universal Optical
Tampines 1: 13 – 19 Jan 2017, Level 1, opposite Sephora
Hougang Mall: 20 – 26 Jan 2017, Level 4, next to The Manhattan Fish Market
Tiong Bahru Plaza: 20 – 26 Jan 2017, Level 1, lift lobby.
Collection time: 11AM – 9PM, daily
2. Have A Reunion Lunch With Stay-Alone Seniors
The eve of every CNY sees members of the family, young and old, bond over a sumptuous meal that is the reunion dinner. But some seniors who live alone in rental flats don’t have anyone share this special occasion with.[caption id="attachment_21584" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Image credit: Asia One[/caption]
GoodLife! Makan by Montfort Care is planning a charity CNY reunion luncheon for 80 to 100 stay-alone seniors in the Marine Terrace. There will also be games and activities, and a red packet for each senior for good health and luck in the new year.
Consider sharing a meal with these seniors in the afternoon before your own reunion dinner with family!
Address: 52 Marine Terrace, #01-189 Singapore 440052
Tel: 6702 0212
Email: [email protected]
3. Donate Your Pre-Loved Items To Salvation Army
While you’re in the midst of your CNY spring cleaning, don’t throw all your items out yet! Old clothes, toys, books, and even furniture can be given to someone who needs it more.[caption id="attachment_21583" align="aligncenter" width="1280"] Image credit: Urbandesis[/caption]
The Salvation Army is a good place to start. With more than 10 centres across Singapore, their programmes reach out to children and the aged who need care, families in material need, and other needy persons in society.
As long as they’re in good condition, drop your pre-loved items at any of their Redshield centres. Otherwise, if your item is bulky, like furniture or big appliances, you can arrange for collection at your doorstep.
The Salvation Army
Tel: (65) 6288 5438
Email: [email protected]
Address: 20 Bishan Street 22 Singapore 579768 (Open car park)
Operating Hours: Mon – Sun, 24 hours
Image credit: Choo Yut Shing[/caption]
Each wishing card costs $2 and all proceeds will go to the Kreta Ayer Seniors’ Activity Centre.
You’ll be benefitting more than a thousand elderly members all year round by funding meal services, morning exercises, health screenings, and excursions.
Chinatown Wishing Tree
Date: 7 – 27 January 2017
Time: 11am – 9pm
Venue: Chinatown Point
Chinese New Year is surely a time for us to kick back and catch up with family and friends over good food, good cheer and togetherness. It’s all the more that we keep in mind those who do not have access to these things we take for granted, and play our part to make their lives just a little better.
(Header credit: Asia One)
Nature photographers who are expecting birds, otters, or monitor lizards are now also able to spot crocodiles in Singapore. Well, you don’t have to visit the zoo or a safari to see these crocodiles. In recent years, there is a growing number of crocodile sightings in Singapore. Wander around the wetland reserve or nature park and you will
Wander around the wetland reserve or nature park and you might just find yourself up close and personal with these reptiles. For some of you, you may know that crocodile sightings in Singapore are common at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. However, do you know that they are spotted in the Northern and Eastern part of Singapore too?
Whether you are a reptile fanatic or an adventure seeker, the park, reserves and reservoirs are where crocodile sightings in Singapore are common. You may want to keep a close eye on family and friends if you’ll be around the area, as these are the spots where crocs roam free.
1. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve[caption id="attachment_10257" align="alignnone" width="780"] Image credit: The Straits Times[/caption] [caption id="attachment_10263" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Image credit: Youtube[/caption]
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is a great place to walk around. You get to escape the hustle and bustle of Singapore city. Walk along its boardwalk and if you are lucky, you may be able to spot a Saltwater crocodile. Also known as the Estuarine crocodile, these crocs are also usually found lying across the main footpath, soaking up the sun or lying under the waters.
Free guided walks at the reserve are available on selected Saturdays. Check out the details on the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve website.
2. Kranji Reservoir[caption id="attachment_10258" align="alignnone" width="780"] Image credit: The Straits Times[/caption]
Enjoy the panoramic view of Johor Straits at Kranji Reservoir Park. There are as many as ten saltwater crocodiles living in the north-west coast of Singapore, as reported in the Straits Times in June 2013.
In recent years, a 400kg, 3.6m-long saltwater crocodile – one of the largest to have roamed wild here – was found dead on the Kranji Reservoir grounds.
3. Tampines/Pasir Ris River Canal[caption id="attachment_10259" align="alignnone" width="780"] Image credit: The Straits Times[/caption]
Several years ago, an angler fishing at Pasir Ris Park snared an unexpected catch of a one-metre-long crocodile. Some of these reptiles have been seen in a mangrove swamp near Tampines/Pasir Ris River Canal. They are likely visitors from Malaysia! The reptiles are known to swim freely in the Straits of Johor.
4. Woodlands Waterfront Park[caption id="attachment_10260" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Image credit: Asiaone[/caption]
Recently, an angler fishing at the jetty snared a crocodile which had bitten on his fish hook.
“The fishing rod was suddenly yanked by a huge force. On closer look, I realised it was a crocodile about 3m long that was caught,” Suhairi told the newspaper reporter.
These reptiles feed and rest in mangroves and freshwater bodies along Singapore’s North coast. Crocodiles and sharks have also been sighted lurking in the sea off Woodlands Waterfront Park.
The “no swimming” notices along these stretches do not warn about sharks or crocodiles. However, the park’s jetty and promenade are fenced off from the waters of Strait of Johor with railings. Despite this, children are often seen sourcing for crabs on the marshland bordering the sea.[caption id="attachment_10486" align="alignnone" width="500"] Image credit: giphy[/caption]
Whatever it is, when visiting nature reserves, always keep within designated land trails and footpaths. Don’t venture too near the water’s edge, you never know what could be lurking. Also, keep a close eye on family and friends!
(Header image by The Straits Times)