Project Nostalgia: Haw Par Villa — Part 2

Project Nostalgia is an attempt to capture forgotten bits of yesterday. Mostly old and run-down, but altogether sentimental and charming.

Haw Par Villa now belongs to the government and is open to the public for free from 9am-7pm daily.


Project Nostalgia: Haw Par Villa — Part 1

Project Nostalgia is an attempt to capture forgotten bits of yesterday. Mostly old and run-down, but altogether sentimental and charming.

Oh, who doesn’t remember a trip to Haw Par Villa and getting scared out of wits in the dungeons of hell? Looking back, I’d often wonder why any parent or teacher in his/her right mind would regard such a frightening place as a family-friendly theme park?!

In my fuzzy memories, much of the Haw Par Villa experience was limited to a scary boat ride inside the dragon cave that represented the ten courts of hell. Only after some 20 years later did I realize how much more there was to this old and abandoned park.

Expansive, decorated structures tell of religious mythologies, ancient Chinese stories and even modern, multi-racial scenarios that are reflective of Singapore then. They all tried to educate the young of traditional moral values, albeit in ways that may be debatable today.

Haw Par Villa now belongs to the government and is open to the public for free from 9am-7pm daily.

Hermès: The Gift of Time

We certainly didn’t expect Hermès to be the first brand exhibiting at Tanjong Pagar Railway Station. But considering their theme, The Gift of Time , TPRS turned out to be more than befitting.

Taking visitors through the passage of time, Hermès succeeded in projecting a distinct brand identity while not forgetting to incorporate their products into fantastical exhibits.

After the exhibition, you’d feel as if you’ve been to wonderland and back. My only grouse was perhaps it ended a little too soon. Perhaps beauty really is fleeting.

Along the railway tracks, pop-up stalls are stocked with old-school bites and nostalgic trinkets. Looking at this picture (below), I really should’ve bagged a few of my favorite biscuits!

Above are some pastries from Seng Cheong Bakery, opened by Daniel Tay of Bakerzin in tribute to his father’s bakery shop. And below is a cuppa named Wicked (read: espresso, chocolate, mint) from The U Café, in collaboration with The Plain

While you’re there, don’t forget to browse through the wonderful collection of international and local magazines at The U Café. The Gift of Time will be around from now until 12 August only, so hurry!

The Gift of Time
Tanjong Pagar Railway Station
From now till 12 August 2012, 11am-9pm daily

Mövenpick Hotel.

The newly renovated Mövenpick Hotel was having a promotion few months back so we decided to try it out. Reviews online weren’t very optimistic but our stay turned out to be rather pleasant. The partner complained of noise at night though.

Getting ready for the plunge. I know it’s not eco-friendly, but I love tubs!

In-room nespresso machine and twinnings for tea. Could’ve come along with complimentary Mövenpick ice-cream, don’t you think? XD

Beach slippers for him, and for her.

A family-friendly infinity pool (1.0m deep) with partially submerged loungers.

Completed with a lazy breakfast in bed. What an idyllic way to holiday without any flying!

Mövenpick Hotel, Sentosa
23 Beach View, Sentosa

Part 1 of 3: Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.

It’s 1 July. The first train has departed from the new Woodlands station, while Tanjong Pagar and Bukit Timah Railway Stations have closed for good. The next three posts will be dedicated in memory of these historic stations, remembering them in pictures.

A fully packed carpark, during the last weeks of TPRS.

The KTM stations are run by Malaysia, hence the directions are in Malay.

Sold out to all destinations. Business was never this good.

Big, fresh, piping hot Goreng Pisang (with lots of crumbs ^^) going for just 60cents each. Kudos to msblock for making a few trips down as they’re snapped up within minutes.

Obviously still grumpy over the relocation. Or interrupted peace.

The TPRS building is a unique combination of Malay culture with colonial influences. Now that it’s officially closed and conserved, our only hope is that both the building and the tracks would remain as intact as possible.