Singapore: museum visiting

My final post about our trip to Singapore, focusses on the museums we visited.  I like museums, and particularly like going to museums in new places, to learn something about where we are and get a new perspective on things.  It is really worth doing, and also, if in the tropics, cool indoor places to go!

In Singapore, we visited the National Gallery of Singapore, which is home to the world’s largest collection of art works from south East Asia.  The Gallery consists of two buildings, the former Supreme Court Building and City Hall, and needs a bit of planning to make sure you don’t get exhausted.  My favourite exhibit was (Re)collect: the making of our art collection, which focussed on the creation of the National Collection in the 1960s, and how it continues to grow.  There were a lot of really interesting works here, with my favourite featuring on the cover of the gallery guide. When you feel you are in need of refreshment, head up to the Aura Sky Lounge on the 6th floor for wonderful views and a cold beer.

Beer and the gallery guide with one of my favourite pictures in the gallery on the cover

The National Museum of Singapore is Singapore’s oldest museum, and has as its focus, the history of Singapore. The current institution dates back to 1887, when it opened as the Raffles Library and Museum.  The museum re-opened in 2006 after a three year redevelopment, and the current permanent galleries were  revamped and re-opened in 2015.

National Museum of Singapore
National Museum of Singpore

On the second level, there are four galleries which are like a snapshot of four different eras in Singapore’s history: Modern Colony (colonial times in the 1920s and 30s), Surviving Syonan (Japanese occupation), Growing Up (1950s and 60s) and Voices of Singapore (1970s and 80s). Downstairs is the history gallery, which traces the history of the island over the last 700 years.  This museum is a must if you want to know something about Singapore’s history, and how it has evolved into the city we see today,

There is of course the obligatory museum shop, which I always have to visit, and a cafe, where we had lunch.  I had the ‘Asian Caesar salad’, pictured below.  Different and tasty!

More of the museum  – the glass rotunda

The third museum we visited was the Asian Civilisations Museum, which we went to on our last day.  Our particular focus, was on a special exhibition about Angkor.  It was so interesting to see a different perspective on this ancient city in Cambodia, as well as lots of artefacts.  The exhibition revealed what the first European explorers thought when they saw it, and interwove this with the history of Angkor.  We also took a look at the findings from a shipwreck in the 9th century, where you can see more than 1000 pieces of ceramics, gold, and silver.  It was so interesting to really appreciate the trade links around the  Indian Ocean, and, to quote the website, see “globalisation long before the term was coined”.  You can see the fruit tart I had in the cafe afterwards in Monday’s post here!

So the was our short trip to Singapore, where I think we managed to pack a lot in.  We returned to winter in New Zealand, and have been ‘rugged up’ since.  Ah well…the shortest day is past now and only two more winter months to go!

Night view

The featured image at the top of the post was taken on Armenian Street, Singapore.

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram@thistleandkiwis.  As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days.  If you want to get in touch, email me on



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