November 20, 2017Posted by Bethany Larson Bloch
When it inevitably rains while you’re in Singapore, don’t let the weather ruin your day: check out one of these eclectic museums. They’re so engrossing, you won’t even remember what your original plans were.
Originally founded as The Raffles Museum in the 1800s, today the seven story, eco-friendly Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum is home to Sir Stamford Raffles’s original zoological and forensic finds, a collection which contains 150,000 specimens of Southeast Asian birds and fish. You can also check out native flora and fauna, and — the highlight for us — three sauropod skeletons.
A museum of stamps may not sound exciting, but take our word for it: the Singapore Philatelic Museum is worth a visit. It’s filled with archival artifacts dating from the 1830s, when The Lion City was under British rule, through to the 1960s, when Singapore was founded as a republic. There are also items from 200 other nations and special exhibitions, like the recent shows on the life of Shakespeare and how Harry Potter has influenced collectors.
For something a little more whimsical, there’s the MINT Museum of Toys. Chang Yang Fa owns one of the finest toy collections in the world with over 100,000 pieces — many of them one-of-a-kind — from more than 40 countries. Just two of the items we squealed over here are the blue version of the Green Hornet car and the incredibly rare, complete Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Set.
Feline freak? Get thee to The Cat Museum. Exhibits provide background info about breeds and how cats came to Singapore, plus there’s a gallery of kitty-inspired art from photographers and painters. Upstairs is home to an adoption center: the space is decked out with scratching posts, ramps and bridges attached to the ceiling overhead, and, of course, a few furry friends to play with.
Over in Joo Chiat is The Intan (meaning “rose cut diamond”), an off-the-beaten-track living museum. The home of Alvin Yapp — who began collecting furniture and antiques as a way to remember his family’s heritage — is one of the best examples of a traditional Peranakan house in Southeast Asia. Tours are by appointment only, so remember to call ahead.