The first thing that comes to mind when one mentions “Sentosa Island” is fun, adventure and happiness. Very few tourists know that before 1972, these islands were called as  “Palau Belakang Mati” – which meant “The island of the dead”. A visit to the “Images of Singapore” and the “Surrender Chambers” in fort Siloso would elaborate the dark history of this island which has become the hub of fun and happiness in Singapore.

For a detailed itinerary of my Singapore trip read my following blog

Day 2 of our Singapore trip was action packed as we had many attractions to cover. We visited “The Merlion park” (for more details read my blog) , the Thian Hock Keng Temple ( for more details read my blog) and National Orchid Garden ( for more details read my blogduring the morning of Day -2 of our Singapore trip. Post lunch we took the “Mount Faber – Sentosa Cable car ride” (for more details read my blog)  to reach Sentosa Island. In Sentosa islands, we visited the “Underwater World” (for more details read my blog) first and then headed to the “Images of Singapore” and “Surrender chambers” in Silosa fort.

We were surprised to see long queues for “Underwater World”, the 4D shows and other fun activities and very few tourists lining up the “Images of Singapore” and “Surrender chambers”. It is a bit frustrating to see tourists visit a place and not take the effort to understand the history associated with that place :(.

“Images of Singapore” and “Surrender Chambers” are beautifully created to take us through the history of Singapore. The re-creation walks us through the 3 centuries of Singapore history.

Ticket Prices: Adult – $6; Children – $4.50

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The walk through starts with this stage where the narration starts as to how a group of traders from different regions came together to set-up a port which has developed to commercial hub called “Singapore”

 

The walk through takes us back to the ancient times, when Singapore was nothing more than a dense jungle inhabited by tigers and other wild animals. But is was not long before that the island’s unique location made it a crossroads for seafaring traders and adventurers. By the 14th century, the island, then know as Temasek, had become the hub of an East-West trade route travelled by the Malay. Chinese, Arabs, Indians and others.

By 1800, Singapore had transformed into a Malay fishing village. The Malays, descendants of the “Orang Laut” (or sea gypsies) were present in Singapore from early in the island’s history. Just prior to the colonial era, the mouth of the Singapore River was home to a Malay fishing village like the one shown in the photos below. The Malay villagers lived on fish and food they gathered in the jungle.

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A set up depicting the life in the Malay fishing village.

 

The birth of Modern Singapore (1819)

In January 1819, a British official names Sir Stamford Raffles arrived in Singapore with a dream of creating a port for his country. This dream became reality on February 6, 1819, when Raffles signed a treaty with Malay rulers Sultan Hussein Shah and Temenggong Adbul Rahman, granting the British the right to establish their trading post. With his meeting of cultures, modern Singapore was born.

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Raffles signing a treaty with Malay rulers Sultan Hussein Shah and Temenggong Adbul Rahman, granting the British the right to establlish their trading post

 

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The prominent people who came together to build Singapore – 1. Hoo Ah Kay, better known as Whampoa a businessman and an immigrant to Singapore from China 2. Tan Tock Seng – Born in Malacca, he rose from humble origins to become one of the prominent Singaporean merchants 3. Naraina Pillay – he was the first Indian of Tamil origin to set foot in Singapore.

 

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Singapore quickly became a hub of commercial activity under the British colonization

 

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The life of the common worker was still pretty tough during those days. This set-up depicts that tough environment under which the workers stayed during those days

 

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The hub of activity during those days was in the port.

 

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Another photo depicting the life during those days.

 

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Life in Singapore those days were pretty simple. A vendor selling food by the road side

 

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The influence of Tamil culture in Singapore can be seen in this photo. A merchant selling garlands.

 

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A sight that you will still see in some of the villages in India. A milkman bringing milk in a can and delivering at the doorstep..

 

Storm Clouds Gather:

By the 1930’s, Singapore was a country struggling to find itself. The colonial rule of the British was beginning to be questioned, even within Empress place. Then, Japan invaded China and Singapore had to face the possibility of war.

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Japanese occupation of Singapore

 

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Japanese occupation of Singapore

 

Life during the occupation (1942 – 1945)

The years under Japanese occupation were some of the darkest in Singapore’s history. Thousands of Europeans were interred on the island, and Malay and Indian troops who refused to transfer their allegiance to the Japanese were executed. The Chinese faced especially harsh treatment because of their support of China in its struggle against Japan. Still, the people of Singapore endured and never gave up hope.

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WW II – a scene recreating the war in the tropical jungles.

 

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1945 – “Japanese in Malaya surrender at Singapore” – The headlines in “The Straits Times” news paper

 

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Singapore is Born 🙂

 

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The narration ends with the huge photo of the financial district

 

As you continue walking through the images of Singapore, you will get to see the scenes recreated to highlight the current lifestyle in Singapore.

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Entrance to the Celebrations garden.

 

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Scenes highlighting the diversity that is the foundation of Singapore.

 

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A place where everyone is welcome – irrespective of the place of origin, religion etc.

 

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An Indian wedding

 

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A scene highlighting an ancient Tamil practice of walking over fire. This is done during auspicious days after offering prayers to the almighty,

 

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A set-up depicting the current lifestyle of Singapore

 

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The exit to the “Images of Singapore” reads- “May all your dreams come true” ….

 

 

A trip to the “Images of Singapore” and “Surrender Chambers” is a must for anyone who would like to know the history of this great nation. I was truly impressed by the development that the country has been able to achieve after 1950’s.

 

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For any other queries, contact me at planettrekkerblog@outlook.com

 

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