10/13/2015 04:19:00 pm


For the first time in a long time, I had a day free. Usually when such days occur, I'd just stay home, watch movies, read books, that kind of stuff. But today was different, today I had a so-called 'staycation'. So, while my brothers stayed in the hotel to game and watch youtube [or do whatever they did], I decided to go out, walk around, take some photos, act like a tourist for a couple of hours. 

[Notice: The photos in this post belong to myhopefulpencil]
I took some with a 6 year old Samsung WB750 that used to be our family camera, but after my parents decided to get smartphones, it was kinda abandoned.
I'd wanted to take all the pictures on my phone (Redmi 1S), but because it has space constraints, I only took some photos on my phone, and the rest on the camera.

These photos are the original images, no filtering and no photoshop, except for the myhopefulpencil mark which I used picmonkey.com.

Below was a 'timeline' path that I took photos of and put it all in a proper time line. These 8 photos described briefly the eight times Sun Yat-Sen visited Singapore.

Beautiful, isn't it, this building? 

It's the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, also known as the Wan Qing Yuan.
I enjoyed reading about the events and people. It's really peaceful and an enriching experience, I would have stayed on if it hadn't closed. Do go, and bring your camera. The landscape and monuments are beautiful! Go, even if you're not that interested in history or taking history as a subject. The exhibits are really interesting, I especially liked the wall filled headline news, and the cool part was that each news took turns to light up (hard to describe, go see!)
Admission is free for locals and permanent residents (so no excuse), $2-$4 for tourists and foreigners. Open from 10am-5pm on Tuesdays till Sundays, closed on Mondays.

I'm sharing my experience here, through photos and words, because photos are worth a thousand words.
Zhongshan park that's named after Sun Yat Sen (Sun Zhong Shan in Mandrin, 孙中山)

The text in [more] detail
The side entrance
Behind the monument (status)
The sign, in 4 languages

I have a thing for arches
This was taken at the end of the passage (shown above) Aren't bamboo nice?
Heading back out

They welcome you with open doors, welcome mats and all
The receptionist was quite friendly and nice, asking if I had my student pass or identity card (to get free admission) and when I asked if photography was allowed (I'll feel guilty about doing it if it wasn't), he reassured me that it was okay as long as there were no flash.

I checked out the website later on, and found out that one could take a virtual tour of the Memorial Hall itself. Of course it wouldn't match up to the real experience, but it's better than nothing (although you won't be able to read the descriptions).
The first thing I saw after I entered the 'gallery' was this: 
Gramophone-I love the detailed designs and the vintage feel

Calligraphy with the words "Bo Ai" (Universal Love), presented by Dr. Sun Yat Sen to Teo Beng Wan
Dr. Sun Yat Sen presented this Chinese calligraphy to Teo Beng Wan, the eldest son of Teo Bah Tan (and the nephew of Teo Eng Hock). This gesture demonstrated Dr. Sun's close ties with the Teo family. In his description of the concept of nationalism, Dr. Sun stressed that  "Bo Ai" means to "save the world, the people, and the country."
Collection of Mr Teo Chee Hean]

Calligraphy of the word "Shou" (Longevity) presented by Teo Eng Kock to Teo Bah Tan (date unknown). Reproduced with permission from Mr. Teo Jin Wan
Building Plan of Bin Chan House (1900)
Originally named Bin Chan House(明珍庐), the Wan Qing Yuan was built by Cantonese merchant Boey Chuan Poh (梅泉宝). The year of completion of the villa was estimated to be 1902. In Februrary 1902, Boey hosted a farewell party in the villa for Dr. Chan Kun Shing (陈观圣), a friend of Dr. Lim Boon Keng (林文庆). Boey later sold the villa in September 1902. Reproduced with permission from National Archives of Singapore.
Foreword to Teo Eng Hock's Nanyang and the Founding of the Republic by Lim Sen (?)

I didn't take much pictures of the exhibits and descriptions afterwards- maybe my camera was't suitable to take things like that, especially under that kind of lighting and the glass box/frames with their reflections weren't helping, and also because I wanted to actually read some of the information, instead of just snapping photos. 

Photograph of Dr. Sun Yat Sen and Madam Soong Ching Ling (his wife) in front of China's first self-produced aircraft, The Rosamonde, after the English name of madam Soong Ching Ling, flown July 1923.
The pattern was nice
Sun Yat Sen
{Okay, a bit of tweaking done to the exposure, contrast and saturation to make it easier to the eye}
This part was one of my favourites, because it had a mix of vintage and modern feeling: the old newspaper headlines, and them taking turns to light up. 

Amazing balcony
The breathtaking view from up there

I also liked this: the whole stretch of the side wall with amazing carvings (embossing?)

The other side gate, which was closed.
Unfortunately, I only had around one and a half hours at the Memorial Hall as it closed at 5pm. I then walked around the streets nearby and managed to get some snapshots. Most of them were of my feet and the ground, which I will not share here but hopefully in another post sometime in the future.

I especially liked how the modern and classic buildings stood side by side, as shown in many of my photos, how the buildings had different backgrounds, like Western, Indian, Chinese and such, and a wide range of variety: Cafes, hotels, service shops, shops selling things from Lights to Cars to Paint, to food.

Generally, it was a nice staycation, acting like a tourist for a couple of hours and trying to be a photographer, playing with EV, White Balance, ISO values and trying to make use of them, being a completely new photographer with no photography background of any sort.


  1. This is beautiful. I love the idea of acting like a tourist, of exploring places you've never been before. And having a blog to share your adventures with is a bonus x

    The Life of Little Me

    1. :) thanks! I really like going around places like a tourist, having nothing to do for a day, taking photos and just exploring. Maybe you should try it one day, I'd love to read about it!


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