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December 21, 2019 / Jim Fenton

Japan/Singapore Day 14: Old and New

November 21, 2019

Exterior of Baba House

Unable to go to the Peranakan Museum, Kenna went in search of another Peranakan experience. This is the heritage of her friend Liz, who is from Singapore, so she was a little more curious about the culture. She found and booked a tour of the Baba House for this morning. The house was the ancestral home of a Peranakan Chinese family known as the Wee family. It was built in 1895 and acquired by the National University of Singapore in 2006. Most of the first and second floors of the house have been restored. A large proportion of the furniture, pictures, and other possessions are original to the home. The third floor is a small a museum of more objects and documents from around the turn of the 20th century. They have a lot of first-hand stories of the family history.

SkyPark infinity pool

After the tour Kenna went back to the hotel to meet up with Jim who had the afternoon off, so we could do some sightseeing together. We headed off to Marina Bay, walked through the shopping mall and had lunch, and then went to see the Skypark atop the 57th floor of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. The S$26/person admission fee got us access to an observation deck at one end of the Skypark, but much of the Skypark remained off-limits to us and reserved for hotel guests, which is probably reasonable.

What a view from the top! We had a nearly panoramic view of the city and the harbor, which was full of container ships. From one end of the deck, we could also peek at the infinity pool being used by guests. Nearly all of them seemed to be taking selfies!

Following our visit we returned to our hotel to rest our legs and feet, and then returned to the Paranakan theme for dinner at the House of Peranakan restaurant a couple of blocks from the hotel. We shared a couple of traditional Singapore dishes, which was a change from the wide variety of non-Singapore food we had been eating.

This article is part of a series about our recent travels to Japan and Singapore. To see the introductory article in the series, click here.

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