There are a few places in Singapore that feel airless. They are hot and humid and feel a bit like you’re being sucked right into the earth. Fort Canning Park, although beautiful, is one of these places and despite its central location I’ve spent hardly any time there. One stroll on the way home from the National Museum many years ago and a memorable evening of Shakespeare in the Park have largely been it. There are other parks with far more air to visit.
However, it was because of Fort Canning’s convenient location that a few friends and I decided to meet early in the morning to take photos. Despite the heat, and it really was very uncomfortably hot even just after dawn, we spent a very lovely morning exploring.
My friends (who know such things) assured me that this is a famous Instagram spot . . .
. . . but there was beauty to capture everywhere.
It’s impossible to live in Singapore and not cross the street directly in front of Fort Canning Park but I didn’t know that old colonial history lived right behind the fence on the other side of a grove of trees. Now I know a little bit more about the city I’ve lived in for almost five years.
There’s also something majestic about the juxtaposition of nature that has watched over us for so long and the colonial legacy that Singapore both honours and works to overcome.
My favourite part of our walk was Sang Nila Utama Garden – it felt like we’d turned a corner and ended up in Bali.
And there’s so much more to see! First thing in the morning was definitely the time to be there in terms of light and temperature, but also because of the feeling of calm that settled over me having started the day in such a tranquil place.
It’s great to travel but it’s good to explore your own backyard, too.