Your picture: Much to learn about Singapore through domestic tourism

Founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew’s grandparents’ house at 147 Neil Road, where he stayed as a child. PHOTO: COURTESY OF JOACHIM SIM KHIM HUANG

A small group of us seniors took a morning tour of Singapore's heritage sites last Friday.

We were out to rediscover a slice of our rich cosmopolitan culture while helping to contribute in a small way to the local economy.

It was a walk down memory lane made possible by a tour operator, tour guide and van driver.

We rediscovered and relived fond memories of growing up in Singapore in the 1960s and 1970s. We also learnt things about places we did not know before, just like we would on overseas holidays.

Among the places we discovered was founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew's grandparents' house at 147 Neil Road, where he stayed as a child.

In the Spottiswoode Park area, murals depicting life in early Singapore adorn walls. A part of Armenian Street has been pedestrianised and turned into a park with trees bearing fruit that provide flavours for Peranakan cooking. We found out Singapore's national flower, the Vanda Miss Joaquim orchid, is now known as Papilionanthe Miss Joaquim.

Ending the tour with a Peranakan lunch was an apt way to complete the rediscovery journey. The restaurant's owner took us on a tour of his Peranakan family's private gallery.

I hope more residents will support our tourism industry, with or without the SingapoRediscovers vouchers. When there are more local tourists, Singapore's many small businesses and freelancers will have a better chance of surviving the current crisis.

Joachim Sim Khim Huang

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