Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Istana Open House

Today is Hari Raya Puasa and is a Public Holiday. Daddy brought me to the Istana as it's open to public. We hope to catch a glimpse of President SR Nathan (since it's his last Open House as he'll be handing over the Head of State to Dr Tony Tan on 1 Sep 2011).

The Istana is the official residence of the President of the Republic of Singapore.  It occupies over 40 hectares of land along Orchard Road.  It is a precious and important part of Singapore's history and heritage, and has borne witness to Singapore's many historical milestones.

The Istana building was built by the British Colonial government to house its governors.  Completed in 1869, it was then known as the Government House.  The building was handed over to the Singapore Government when Singapore attained self government in 1959, and renamed Istana (“Palace” in Malay).

The Istana building underwent extensive renovation between 1996 and 1998, to add more space and modern day conveniences.  The building today has six function rooms used for ceremonies and to receive guests.

Had lunch at Subway, Plaza Singapore (my 1st Subway!!!) 

Long queue till Plaza Singapore (and beyond)

Still queueing

... and queueing

Finally reached the inside of the Istana compound

The compund is very big with lots of people (visitors), big gardens, greeneries and ponds

Wild Life Reserves Singapore even brought this pony to entertain the visitors

Finally reached the main building after a long walk

Tired... taking a rest at President's golf course :)

Happy tour... there are still many people going in when we left

The Istana grounds are open to the public five times a year in celebration of Chinese New Year; Deepavali; Hari Raya Puasa; Labour Day; and National Day.  The Istana Open House is scheduled to be held on the following dates in 2011:

4 February 2011, Friday (to celebrate Chinese New Year);
1 May 2011, Sunday (to celebrate Labour Day);
7 August 2011, Sunday (to celebrate National Day);
30 August 2011, Tuesday (to celebrate Hari Raya Puasa); and
26 October 2011, Wednesday (to celebrate Deepavali)
Admission to the Istana grounds is free for Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents. Other visitors are required to pay an entrance fee of $1 per person. Entrance to the grounds is via the main gate at Orchard Road. Opening hours are usually from 8.30am to 6.00pm.

There will be a variety of performances on the grounds during the Open House.  For an entrance fee of $2, visitors could tour selected function rooms in the Istana building and view a special display of gifts presented to the President and the Prime Minister.

Istana souvenirs are also sold at the Open House. All proceeds from the sale of the souvenirs and the entrance fees collected go to the Community Chest.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday to Angel

Ooh-la-la! MeiMei Angel is 4 years old today.

We were back again at Jiu-Jiu's house to celebrate her birthday.

Jiu-Mu specially ordered a Thomas-the-Train's birthday cake for Angel. MeiMei was so excited and she can't want to open up all her presents.

Mummy, Yi-Yi and Kor-Kor went shopping with Angel to let choose her preferred presents. She went crazy when she stepped into Toy'a Rus. She requested for a Dora's laptop but for no reason, HandyMan's lappy is the chosen one in the end. They got her a Drawing Stand too with magnetic alphabets for learning.

I played games with MeiMei in her parents' room and we had a fun night together.

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