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March 13, 2009

Telok Ayer Green

Telok Ayer Green
(Where is this offbeat place in Singapore Part 4 of 4: The Answer)

Part 1 of "Where is this offbeat place in Singapore".
Part 2 of this offbeat place is over here.
Part 3 is here.

In my "Where is this offbeat place in Singapore" quiz, I featured three photographic clues obtained from these sculptures at Telok Ayer Green.

Photo: Can you recognise the areas that I used for the clues in this image taken at Telok Ayer Green (two cropped shots were taken from this picture)?

(The following post was published in yesterday.sg on 11 March 2009.)

Telok Ayer Green is an outdoor garden located between Telok Ayer Street and Amoy Street. It lies sandwiched between two historic sites - Nagore Durgha and Thian Hock Keng Temple.

Visitors can drop by this small garden anytime of the day. The park is open to the public and there is no entrance fee. If you are looking for a museum to read about the sculptures, there is none. Instead the text are scattered throughout this park.

On my visit, I found Telok Ayer Green to be a tiny but cozy garden with a small pond next to benches under shady trees.

The outstanding feature of Telok Ayer Green does not rest in the pretty flowers, leafy plants or tranquil pond scenery. Instead, of significant note are the plaques and sculptures planted at Telok Ayer Green detailing the history of Amoy Street and Telok Ayer Street. I have photographed these plaques and sculptures to share the rich history of our forefathers.

[Click on thumbnail images for larger view.]

Reading these historical notes and viewing the life-sized sculptures of residents who lived during those times seemed rather surreal.

With my mind, I watched immigrants arrive here by the boatloads in 1820. With my eyes, I saw tourists mingling around Telok Ayer Green by the busloads in 2009. There are no Indian milk traders plying their wares now. There are no Malay fishermen living in kelongs around reclaimed land now. There are also no Chinese coolies carrying sacks of rice now.

But what those Indian, Malay and Chinese immigrants started at Amoy Street and Telok Ayer Street was a new beginning. A new life that would eventually lead to what Singapore has now become.

While most of the immigrants' way of life is no longer tenable, not all traces of the past have been wiped out by time. Buildings like Nagore Durgha, Thian Hock Keng Temple, Abrar Mosque and Telok Ayer Methodist Church, to name a few, have survived with dignity and relevance.

While the cynical will consider them as marketing ploys for tourists, most open-minded persons will see how these historical buildings serve useful community functions. Only the rare breed of heritage lovers will appreciate the critical role such conserved sites play as physical testament of Singapore's history.

I hope Telok Ayer Green and neighbouring historical buildings continue to serve the community as they draw new visitors of all ages and cultures. Besides enjoying park amenities, visitors will hopefully learn more about Singapore's past and in the process, value more of what we have today.

See more places. Live more life.

seen this scene that

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3 Fun Places For Children To Visit

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5 Hort Park: Hot Place To Visit

6 Free Things To Do In Singapore

7 Running In Singapore


Muhd Imran said...

Ahhh! Finally revealed!

Got me frustrated not knowing where this was with the few initial posts.

Jinghui said...

Thanks for sharing !

Didn't realise that they have taken many steps to preserve our history and heritage across Singapore. It wasn't that prominent therefore, we missed out totally from the usual tourist destinations or places that we easily identify !


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