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The Esplanade Park, also known as Queen Elizabeth Walk, is home to three of Singapore's monuments, the Cenotaph (a World War I memorial), and two others built in honor of a philanthropist, Tan Kim Seng, and a war martyr, Lim Bo Seng. Created from a series of reclamation projects, the small park is a pleasant venue for a leisurely stroll, commanding an excellent view of the colonial district. At the southwestern end of the park, the city's tourism icon, the Merlion, can be seen guarding the mouth of the Singapore River.
Dedicated to all those deceased during World War II, the War Memorial Park in Singapore is a park in the Central area of the city. During the time of the war, many civilians were massacred by the ruthless Japanese army and the government dug war graves for the dead. In the year 1962, these graves were unearthed and after recovering the bodies, the government decided to establish a monument in their memory. Although the monument is officially known as the Civilian War Memorial, locals named it “Chopsticks” memorial owing to its shape.
Esplanade Park was built in 1943 and redeveloped in 1991. It is located in one of the most busy areas of Singapore, and bounded by Connaught Drive, another important location. The park is visited by innumerable tourists every year and it houses many significant monuments and landmarks, like the the Indian National Army Monument site, the Cenotaph, the Queen Elizabeth Walk, which is the pedestrian promenade, the Tan KIm Seng Fountain and more. Every year, the Singapore River Hong Bao Festival, which is the Chinese New Year, is celebrated here.
An excellent place to chill out, enjoy nature and the splendid views of the sea and city skyline. The breezy Marina South City Park features an imaginative playground, a giant sundial and a modern sculpture made of discs that revolves in the wind. This is also a popular haunt for kite-flying enthusiasts. If you are lucky, you may catch a professional or two performing kite-flying stunts with gigantic, lovely kites. Sometimes, local rowing clubs and crews can be seen practicing for the Singapore International Dragon Boat Festival on the calm waters.
Singapore's reputation of being a floral-ly abundant city got yet another bump up with the creation of the Gardens By the Bay. The large area that the Gardens cover measures to about 247 acres (100 hectares), which includes three separate grounds: Bay South, East and Central. Together, they add up to about 224 American football fields - not a bad amount of life to bring to this urban area. In the area you will find conservatories, themed gardens, huge "supertrees," event spaces and so much more.
Believed to be home of the early Malay rulers during the 13th Century, the alleged tomb of Sultan Iskandar Shah is said to be rested in this historic park. Higher above in the Fort Canning Park is Singapore's first Christian cemetery, established in 1822 by Sir Stamford Raffles. Look out for Raffles' sundial, which marks where Singapore's first Government House once stood. The house was demolished in 1857 when the British Army used the hill as a fort. Some early 20th Century constructions have been restored and transformed into a performing arts center, recreation centers and a museum exhibiting a World War II underground bunker.
In busy Chinatown quiet places are few and far between, which is why the Telok Ayer Green is such a breath of fresh air. Though the park is quite small, it’s a lovely spot with shady trees, a small pond, and benches. The most interesting feature is the metal sculptures illustrating scenes from the lives of Singapore’s immigrants during the 1800s. The life-sized statues are impressively detailed and appear to be trading baskets of rice, fishing, and celebrating a traditional Chinese festival. Information plaques accompany each set of statues and give details about Singapore’s early people and the area. The Telok Ayer Green is located between the Thian Hock Keng temple and the Nagore Durgha Shrine.
This small park between Chinatown and the CBD was established in 1885 by a Chinese businessman for whom it has since been named. Like Singapore’s other urban green spaces, its tropical trees and foliage are immaculately groomed and there’s a fountain and park benches for relaxing in the shade. Hong Lim Park is best known as the home of Speakers’ Corner, the one place in Singapore where people can “freely” arrange demonstrations or protests. Keep your eyes open for an ironic sign listing the numerous conditions of free speech. -Tanya Procyshyn