5 Reasons Why You Should Visit National Museum of Singapore

Last weekend, I brought Edison to National Museum of Singapore for the first time, and we had such a delightful time there. The weather is SO warm to stay outdoor these days, but yet the malls are often too packed for our liking. And so, visiting the museum sounds like a perfect idea!  🙂

National Museum of Singapore

Singapore is blessed with a wide variety of museums, be it big or small. They teach families about science, arts, history, culture, and so much more. They also offer opportunities for families to enjoy quality, fun time together. Especially for children, the educational benefits of visiting museums go beyond reinforcing the lessons they learn in school.

National Museum of Singapore is more than just historic artefacts and school excursions. Much to my surprise, the museum has SO much more to offer. It’s informative for the adults, interactive for the kids, and certainly a vibrant space where history comes alive. Here are 5 good reasons why you should visit National Museum of Singapore.

1. It’s FREE!

I’ll be honest – what’s more attractive than free admission, haha!  😉

Since 18 May 2013, National Heritage Board (NHB) offers free admission for Singapore citizens and PRs to 8 museums and Heritage Institutions all year round. Through free admission, NHB hopes to give us greater access to our National Museums and Heritage Institutions.

For special exhibitions where there is an admission fee, NHB will continue to offer free admission for citizens and PRs who are students, teachers, senior citizens and NSFs as well as children of 6 years of age and under. You just have to bring your NRIC / staff pass / student pass as proof of identification.

2. Great introduction to Singapore history

On Level 1, there’s a permanent gallery called Singapore History Gallery that showcases artefacts and development of Singapore through 4 time periods – Singapura (1299 to 1818), Crown Colony (1819 to 1941), Syonan-To (1942 to 1945), and Singapore (1946 to present).

At the entrance, you’ll be greeted by Singapore Stone that contains some Sanskrit words that have never been fully deciphered. The stone was dated from the 10th to 14th centuries. Then, you’ll be transported to the Crown Colony where Sir Stamford Raffles and Major William Farquhar arrived in Singapore in 1819.

This night-soil bucket caught Edison’s attention. After this visit, he knew how people used to dispose their poop before the first sewerage scheme was started in Singapore.

National Museum of Singapore

Syonan-To marks the fall of Singapore to Japanese troops, and it’s also one of the darkest periods in Singapore’s history. There’s a Japanese tank on display at this area. Even though it’s just a replica, it never fails to excite Edison who is a huge fan of tanks.

National Museum of SingaporeA 1-1 scale replica of a Type 95 Ha Go Japanese tank used during World War II. It was constructed for Tom Hanks’ and Steven Spielberg’s television mini-series, The Pacific (2010)

He spent the longest time here, trying to read and analyse how strong the Japanese army was as compared to their allies.

National Museum of Singapore

At the last time-period, it covers highlights of our history from 1946 to present day. Here, you can watch one of the most iconic moments in our history where Mr Lee Kuan Yew cried on national broadcast as he spoke about the separation of Singapore from Malaysia.

National Museum of SingaporeAn old trishaw on display

Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Dinosaur 2

Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum is the only museum in Singapore that is dedicated to showcasing Southeast Asian biodiversity. It was opened in April last year. I’m so glad to bring Edison for a visit because natural history is one of the things I want to educate him about.

Much to my surprise, he enjoyed himself so much with the amazing exhibits in the museum, ranging from snakes, butterflies, frogs and giant crabs to birds. And not forgetting the museum’s three star dinosaurs – Prince, Apollonia and Twinky.

EdisonEdison at the entrance of the museum. Love the wall painting!

Located beside the University Cultural Centre at Kent Ridge and opposite Raffles Hall, Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum showcases over 2,000 natural history specimens in two permanent galleries that spread over two floors. It also houses more than 500,000 Southeast Asian animal and plant specimens.

The size of the museum is not very big, but it’s very elaborated and well-organized. We spent almost two hours looking through so many exhibits with detailed scientific information on each of them.

Level 1 is the Biodiversity Gallery where visitors will see thousand species of mammals and over a million species of insects. The well-known Dinosaur Zone is located here. Level 1M is the Heritage Gallery that showcases plant and animal material from the original Raffles Museum, including many iconic specimens from Singapore.

Now, let me show you some of the various exhibits in this museum:

Lee Kong Chian Museum 2The skeletons of a dugong, short-finned pilot whale
Giant CrabGiant crab
SnakesSnakes
TurtlesTurtles
LizardsLizards
FrogsFrogs

S.E.A. Aquarium & The Maritime Experiential Museum

Last weekend, we decided to do some touristy thing in Singapore. We checked out the latest attraction at Resorts World Sentosa, that is the Marine Life Park. I don’t think we can cover both the S.E.A. Aquarium and Adventure Cove Waterpark within the same day. So, we visited the S.E.A. Aquarium and The Maritime Experiential Museum first. We’ll be back for the Adventure Cove Waterpark another day.

Maritime Experiential Museum

We started off with the Maritime Experiential Museum. First of all, I must confess that I’m no big fan of museums or any historical things, and I had totally no expectations for this place. The museum looks ordinary when I walked in. After spending the first fifteen minutes here, I was pleasantly surprised by the interesting facts that the museum has put up for the adults, as well as the visually-pleasing displays for the children to see.

Passport

First of all, we were given a blue passport where we could go and punch out little motifs along the Maritime Silk Route. Little Edison had fun collecting all the stamps in his passport at the various punching stations or the ‘Port of Call’.

Museum

Museum

Museum

Museum

Museum

There are a lot of interesting displays in this museum. You can explore the different heritage and cultures of each country from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, China, to India and beyond! There are also various interactive games available for the children.

Museum

The highlight of this museum is the Typhoon Theatre where visitors can experience a 4D adventure. I was told that there are droplets of water, motion and waves during the ride, as well as descending action into the deep ocean.

But we didn’t know that we have to purchase the tickets to the Typhoon Theatre separately (not included in the admission tickets). So, we gave it a miss. After all, the 4D motion might not be suitable for Little Edison.

S.E.A. Aquarium

After spending about an hour in the museum, we proceed to the S.E.A. Aquarium. As an introduction, S.E.A. Aquarium is the world’s largest aquarium with more than 800 species of marine animals from magnificent sharks to rarely sighted fish in 45 million litres of water.

If you ask me, I would say that it’s similar to the Underwater World but on a MUCH larger scale! It’s much bigger that what I’ve originally expect. And it has two restaurants in it! What greeted us inside was the Shark Sea.

SEA Aquarium

SEA Aquarium

The entrance to the S.E.A. Aquarium is a tunnel (again, similar to the Underwater World), but it’s slightly shorter. As soon as you enter, you’ll be amazed with the huge tanks of colourful fishes, corals, sharks, jelly fishes, lobsters, star fish etc.

There is a Discovery Touch Pool where visitors can touch and experience the sea stars and corals.

SEA Aquarium

Here are some pictures to share:

SEA Aquarium

SEA Aquarium

SEA Aquarium

SEA Aquarium

SEA Aquarium

SEA Aquarium

Museum

Museum

Overall, I think that this place is huge, beautiful, interesting and educational. It’s worth visiting if you’re interested in marine animals. But for Little Edison, he finds that it’s a tad too boring. V was a little disappointed that the dolphin aquarium is not ready yet.

SEA Aquarium

Perhaps, that the reason why visitors are given $5 F&B vouchers. Some of fishes are still in transit and the dolphins are not available yet.

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