Archive for February, 2011

Marina Bay In 1800s?

Last month I’ve read in the online portal STOMP about the Past and Present of Marina Bay;

The above were among some of the photos of Singapore and major cities of the world Past and Present comparison sent in by Stomper Vassili .

Below shows the Present Marina Bay in 2011;

compared to Past Marina Bay in 1800s;

Above photos credit : STOMP

This thought ran through my mind : Is there a Marina Bay in Singapore during 1800s? In the Present photo of the Marina Bay, it shows the Marina Bay Sands on the right and the Singapore Art Science Museum at the centre left, with the Custom House tower on the foreground left and the Promontary @ Marina Bay on the foreground right. From this view, I can deduced that the photographer probably viewed the Marina Bay from the location shown below by the red star;

So in the Past photo comparison of Marina Bay in 1800s, from the same angle of view by the photographer – is there a Marina Bay?

First what and where is Marina Bay? If I will to Google, I will find “Bay” as “A bay is an area of water mostly surrounded or otherwise demarcated by land. Bays generally have calmer waters than the surrounding sea, due to the surrounding land blocking some waves and often reducing winds. It can also be an inlet in a lake or pond.” by Wiki. The Marina Bay is actually a sheltered body of water formed by the reclaimed land at Marina Centre and Marina South.

I remembered my first encountered were probably shopping at the Marina Square shopping mall and Marina Mandarin Hotel in that area. Later on were the SuperBowl and Victor’s Bowl at Marina South, also for the “eat all you can” seafood buffet, kite flying / football area, and not forgetting the game arcade. Of course the most memorable thing is not tearing the parking coupon while eating out at the seafood buffet and once the parking warden was there, many dinners were rushed to their cars to tear the parking coupons. Probably this is the meaning of  “United We Stand”!

The development of Marina Bay probably started as early as in 1969. You can see the shoreline or coastline before 1962 and present;

Credit : Pearson Education South Asia Pte Ltd 2002

Also below shows the stages of land reclamation of the Marina Bay from 1969;

Credit : Pearson Education South Asia Pte Ltd 2002

Those familiar with the area will probably remembered the Marina City Park and Marina South Promenade which were closed in 2007 to be rebuilt into Gardens by the Bays. Those statues at the Marina City Park have already been relocated to the Chinese Garden;

Now take a look at the development of the Marina Centre first. In 1969 when the Concept Plan of Marina Centre just started, let’s take a look at the aerial view;

Credit : MyPaper, Singapore Press Holdings

Land reclamation started in the early 1970s for the Marina Centre to take shape as shown above. Also see the old map below showing the view;

The reclamation of Marina Centre was completed in 1978 and among the first projects like Marina Square shopping mall which houses the 3  hotels, Marina Mandarin, Mandarin Oriental Singapore and Pan Pacific, were opened in the late 1980s. Of course, Suntec City was later developed in the Marina Centre during the 1990s.


Credit : MyPaper, Singapore Press Holdings

Flanking the Marina Bay in the south is the Marina South. See the land reclamation phase of the Marina South in 1977 below;

Credit : The Sunday Times, Singapore Press Holdings

In the foreground (above 1977, 1986), you can see the Marina Centre development over the 9 years period. As for the Marina South, those interim setup like the 2 bowling alleys, Chong Pang and Chin Huat Live Seafood restaurants, game arcade, etc. had to close down (2008) for the redevelopment of Marina South;

Credit : The Sunday Times, Singapore Press Holdings

Remembered the National Day static and firework displays held at the Marina South in the past;

I remembered seeing the huge Singapore Flag being tied to the Super Puma during the National Day parade at the Marina East before doing the fly past.

The Marina City is made up of these 3 plots of reclaimed land : Marina Centre, Marina South and Marina East. The Marina East was reclaimed off the Tanjong Rhu joining the East Coast Park. The Marina City;

Credit : Gerald H, Krausse, J. Wong (Singapore: Singapore University Press, 1976)

By middle of 1980s, about 40% of the both Marina South and Marina East was sheduled to be completed.

Aeria view of the Marina City;

Credit : LTA

One of the major projects is linking the Marina East to Marina South via the MCE (Marina Coastal Expressway), the 10th expressway in Singapore. This dual 5-lane, 5km expressway has part of it a undersea and underland tunnel. The MCE is expected to be completed by 2013.

Artists impression of the MCE;

Linking the part at Marina East;

Above 3 Credit : LTA

Personally I feel that with the Marina City fully built-up, I feel pity for the Merlion – seems to be encased up by the Marina Centre, Marina East and Marina South;

Credit : URA

Credit : CyberPioneer

So my conclusion is that Marina Bay is not even developed or ready in the 1800s. The old photo of Marina Bay in 1800s shown is probably looking in the reversed direction facing the old Johnston’s Pier.


What my father wrote;

“All colours will agree in the dark”

What My Father Said About Chinese New Year

Wishing all a Happy and Prosperous Chinese New Year. I wonder how many of us are familiar with the traditional Chinese way of telling time of the day? Most of us have come across such ways of telling time in old Chinese movies or dramas.

Never mind, let me go straight to the point. My father said that when he was young (teenager probably, he is now 80 years old), those who set off fire-crackers at Zi hour (子时) on the eve of Chinese New Year were usually the Cantonese. The rest of the dialect groups usually set off fire-crackers later at 12am or maybe even later at Chou hour (丑时). How true is this, I”m not sure as I cannot find any “evidence” to support this, but my father said he is very sure about it as he had even read about it in the Chinese newspaper articles in the past. So anyone heard about it too?

I’m only very sure that Chinese regard Zi hour (子时) as the beginning of the day but as to the different dialect groups marked the start of Chinese New Year at different times – I”m really not sure. My father said that in the past, Guangzhou was like the first door opened to the foreigners for trade. This is true as around 618 to 609BC, many Arab, Indian and Persian merchants set their feet on Guangzhou. So Guangzhou may be more established and advanced compared to other places in Chinea. As such, people living in Guangzhou may be using the above method to tell the time of the day and then later spread to other provinces.

Believe it or not, up to you haha.

Note : Sorry for not updating this site for quite some time due to my son’s O level exam last year 2010. Glad he did very well – All As for all his 8 subjects (4A1s and 4A2s), much better than me….what else can I ask for? As for this year, I’ll be preparing my daughter for her PSLE…sigh…..

What my father wrote;

“I smell a rat”, “可疑”


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February 2011