Those looking for a day out off the beaten track and away from the hubbub of the city can look forward to this year’s edition of Singapore HeritageFest.
Kicking off from 18 July to 27 July, this year’s event aims to “re-introduce” Singapore’s rich island heritage with the theme ‘Our Islands, Our Home’.
Organised by the National Heritage Board, you can expect a variety of activities, including boat excursions to lighthouses and outlying islands.
Singapore was once made up of over 70 islands, but today has just 40, with several merged and others transformed into landfills and tourist attractions.
Organisers hope the festival, which is now into its 11th year, will help participants discover lesser-known tales of Singapore's trading past.
The event will also highlight the role Singapore's migrant forefathers played in the country's development, as well as the traditions brought with them.
One of the highlights of the event is a rare trip to some of Singapore’s earliest lighthouses (19-20 Jul) such as Raffles Lighthouse that has been standing on Pulau Satumu, the southernmost offshore island of Singapore since 1855 and sailing past Sultan Shoal Lighthouse (built in 1895) located in the Western Anchorage of Singapore.
Participants can also hop on boat rides to St John’s Island, Lazarus Island, Seringat Island (19-27 Jul) as well as exploring a hidden corner of Sentosa (16 Jul) – Tanjong Rimau, which overlooks Labrador Park.
HERITAGE TRAILS & TOURS
Landlubbers can visit the 11 Festival Hubs located at malls island wide including Nex and Changi City Point that touch on the heritage brought to the islands by our forefathers, such as Singapore's iconic shop houses and the story behind their architecture.
There will also be over 60 programmes during the festival, including food and heritage trails in Balestier (19-27 Jul), a trail to learn more about Fort Canning Hill (26 Jul), a tour of the schools, buildings and institutions on Armenian Street and a performance of Nanyin, an ancient Chinese musical art form also known as "music of the south", on Kusu Island (26 Jul).
Activities are free and the public can sign up for them from next month.
More information can be found at the HeritageFest website.
National HeritageFest | Date: 18 -27 Jul | Venue: Various locations around Singapore | Free | www.heritagefest.org.sg