Learn about aviation, Haw Par Villa at Singapore HeritageFest's travel-related events

The Singapore HeritageFest is being held from May 2 to 29, with a dual focus on nature and travel. 

The Straits Times looks at four of the festival's events that relate to travel, which will take participants from Haw Par Villa to the Singapore Aviation Academy.

More information about the various tours and workshops can be found at this website.

Avid fan puts personal collection of 2,000 pieces of Singapore Airlines memorabilia on show

It was the crackers and cheese served on board his first Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight in the 1980s that sparked Mr Jason Ang's interest in the national carrier.

The 52-year-old had always been fascinated by geography and travel, but the "impeccable service" on his flight to Bangkok gave his interest a focus.

Mr Ang soon entered the tourism industry as a tour guide and flew on SIA planes 16 to 18 times a year over the next four decades.


Experience Haw Par Villa through free audio tours by celebrities


Singer Joanna Dong has blown hot and cold in her affection towards Haw Par Villa since she was first taken there as a child.

Then, she forged vivid memories of it from visiting the park with her family and learning about Chinese mythology through its colourful and fantastical sculptures and dioramas.

Later in her life, as an undergraduate about two decades ago, Ms Dong wrote a paper on the now 85-year-old park's years as Dragon World, critiquing its failed "Disneyfication" that saw operators rack up massive losses over about a decade from 1990. Her paper scored an A+.


Presenting a multicultural S'pore to tourists over the years, from staged shows to real monuments

Visitors on tour packages to Singapore were often taken to the Instant Asia Cultural Show in the 1970s, which incorporated the dance and music of the largest racial groups here - the Chinese, Malays and Indians, and sometimes the Eurasians.

The show played into the then Singapore Tourist Promotion Board's "Instant Asia" marketing slogan, which conveyed to potential visitors the possibility of experiencing Asia's various cultures in a single destination - Singapore.

In a book chapter published in 2018, tourism expert Joan Henderson said of the show: "Complex cultures appear to have been simplified and reduced to visually and aurally striking and uncontentious representations."


Get a rare glimpse into the work of an air traffic controller

As part of the Singapore HeritageFest this year, tours will be conducted for the public to allow them a rare glimpse into the workings of Changi Airport's control tower and how its air traffic controllers are trained.

Among the highlights is a simulator aerodome in Changi, where air traffic controller trainees are put through the paces for one to two years before they are deemed qualified to take on the mantle of directing pilots who take off and land at Changi Airport.

In this air-conditioned room, multiple screens show the expanse of runways at Changi Airport, while flickering monitor screens give real-time updates of plane movements in the country's airspace.


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