Istana Open House

Hey everyone! To continue our seemingly incessant run of visiting iconic Singapore landmarks (you can check out some of our previous entries here, here and here), this week we share about Singapore’s best guarded residential estate, the Istana!

The Istana’s historical roots go way back to the mid 1800s, when the British colonial government built a mansion for the British governor of Singapore. It was occupied by the Japanese during WWII and following their surrender, the Istana remained the official residence for heads of state (although since Singapore’s independence no one really stayed there!)

The Istana Open house (as it is termed) is open during certain public holidays, and during Labour Day, we (along with our friend Sarah) decided to check it out! Apart from walking sections of the grounds and taking photos everywhere, there were a variety of performances, exhibitions and show fairs specially set up for the occasion. Although it was a hot and sunny day (sunblock and much water is advised), it was also a great day out for families and friends alike, with much to do and much to see. That being said, check out our adventure below!

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The main entrance of the Istana grounds! Security checks lay just after the main entrance.
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The official emblem of Singapore, with a lion and tiger adorning the titular 5 stars and moon.
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Props to the policemen who keep the ground safe and boy, what a hot afternoon these officers had to deal with!

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A bridge that cannot be crossed!?!
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The Vanda Miss Joaquim is a world-renowed hybrid orchid.

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Sarah taking a short rest under some shade (yes, shades were hard to come by in a huge garden!)
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It was a nice gesture to have playgrounds for young children to have their fun too!
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Sarah and Sandra captured behind tall bushes and hibiscus plants!
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Miniature cannons that were used during WWII!
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Ready… aim… fire!
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There were innumerable species of flowers grown on the Istana grounds, and they were beautiful blooming for us photo enthusiasts!

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The pathway leading to a secluded pond!
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We spotted some really huge plants, with leaves that could easily cover two or three persons! Might come in handy when it rains…
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The beautiful ‘reflection’ pond!
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:))
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Lining up for the typical ‘tourist-y’ shot!
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More flowers! 😀
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To obtain a reprieve from the insidiously hot weather, we paid a low price to enter the Istana Main Building, where we could see the ballrooms and exhibits of gifts from foreign dignitaries! Sadly no photography was allowed, so this is all you get to see :S
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After stepping out of the Istana main building, we witnessed an ardent fan of Lee Kuan Yew!

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These uniquely manicured bushes reminded us of cones!
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After walking through most of the permitted grounds, we took shelter under a huge tent and admired the performance of a secondary school band!
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The mandatory group shot outside of Sri Temasek, which is the official residence of the Singapore Prime Minister (but he does not live there)!
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A self-constructed collage of recyclable wooden boxes into a lion!
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More creative self-constructed objects with attachable cardboard fixtures!
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Sarah helping out a young girl. At this station, we were taught how to create a self-sustaining plant with water and fertiliser and soil! One simply needs to add water into the styrofoam cup, and the string will absorb water (which is connected) to the plant! What a great way to water your plants while you are overseas!
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We had a option of several plants to choose from as our saplings, including basil and oregano!
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Treating the plants with TLC…
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…and tadah: one self-sustaining plant!
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Two happy ladies with their final product!

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Hope you can see the butterfly! It camouflaged with the grass but a keen eye spotted it!

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As always our trusty InstantFlex TL70 by MiNT was on the ready to capture what Istana has to offer!

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It was quite a warm day at the Istana, but nevertheless, we are grateful for the opportunities to explore the premises! There were many booths filled with fun activities that we got to try; not to mention the beautiful flowers!

We encourage everyone to visit the Istana whenever it is open to the public! Let us know if you have noticed anything different from what we saw.

Till next time,

Damianwithsandra

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