1500s Singapore at the heart of economic hub of region

Associate Professor Peter Borschberg giving a talk about the waters of 1500s Singapore and its surrounds, at Fort Canning Centre last Thursday. Prof Borschberg says the curtain never fell on 16th century Singapore, and that sources portray it as an i
Associate Professor Peter Borschberg giving a talk about the waters of 1500s Singapore and its surrounds, at Fort Canning Centre last Thursday. Prof Borschberg says the curtain never fell on 16th century Singapore, and that sources portray it as an island at the epicentre of active economic activity.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

This is the third of six weekly articles covering the Singapore History Series - Seven Centuries In Six Episodes, organised as part of the SkillsFuture Festival in collaboration with the Singapore Bicentennial Office

It is durian season, and these days, there are many ways to satisfy your craving for the king of fruits - including having it delivered to your doorstep.

Traders plying the waters of early Singapore also enjoyed a similar service, thanks to the orang laut - or "sea people" in Malay - who would paddle up to their vessels, in small, narrow boats, to sell the fruit.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 18, 2019, with the headline '1500s S'pore at the heart of economic hub of region'. Print Edition | Subscribe