Thursday, 2 June 2011

Journey to Reflections of Bukit Chandu

After my writeup about my journey to Old Ford Factory in my blog which you may have read about it. This hertiage factory is full of history revealed in connection to the Reflections of Bukit Chandu where the battlefield documentary dated back from the start to the end of the war. This centre (RBC) was developed in commemoration of heroic actions of the Malay Regiment who fought valiantly against the Japanese Imperial Force during WWII while defending S'pore.
As I reached Bukit Chandu at about 3.40pm after I left from the Ford Factory. I took a bus from Habourfront centre/Vivo City bus stop to reach there about 10 mins after transferred from Clementi Mrt to Harbourfront Mrt.
Signboard on top Mrt Flyover

There I saw the signboard on top of the flyover just opposite the road to the small road up the slope hill to make a curve to the right. Luckily, a kind soul driver (lady) oblige to give me a lift when she saw me as she also takes the same route as me to reach the hill of Bukit Chandu. Actually the walkpath on the side road would take about 10 mins to reach there.

Above pictures: Signboard (left)Staircase to RBC(Centre) and Reflections of Bukit Chandu(Right)
On top of the hill, there is a carpark leading to the staircase which stood the Signboard inscribed on a stone: 'Reflections of Bukit Chandu (RBC)" , I asked her to alight me there as I would like to walk around there followed by the staircase to the Reflections of Bukit Chandu where the building stands on top of the hill. The kind lady driver then drove up to the side of the hill that leading to Kent Ridge park next to the Bukit Chandu. I would feel relaxing at the top of the hill with flesh air with lots of trees/carparks surroundings.
Statues of Malay Regiment
Amidst the lush greenery of Bukit Chandu (formerly known as Opium Hill) off Pasir Panjang Rd, is a WWII interpretative centre developed and managed by National Archives of S'pore. Discover the story of Askar Melayu - Malay Regiment soldiers who valiantly fought in the Battle of Pasir Panjang, and reflect upon the universal values of courage, loyalty and honour through the stories of people who gave their lives to defending S'pore.
Inside the Bukit Chandu museum's entrance, there is a reception counter and there are 2 levels of which the story revealed in Gallery I to Gallery III about the battlefields of Malay Regiments. Learn about the reason why Malaya was embroiled in the war and also re-visit the painful memories of war through interviews with relatives of Malay Regiment soldiers who lost their loved ones in battle.

Above pictures: Map of the war, Army Binoculars (Japanese) and Field Communication Headset (British)
These artefects shown on display was used during Occupation where Army Binoculars was used by Japanese, is made of aluminum and covering is a mixture of sand and black paint. The field of view of this binoculars is possibly around 10 degrees; 105 meters at 1,000 meters. And the Field Communication Headset was used by British Army is a device to communicate between field units. The British had better communication equipment than the invading Japanese forces, But the British had failed to capitalise on such technical advantage.
Story of Defence of Malaya
In Gallery I, how the WWII began in Malaya which details the socio-political climate of the Malay Peninsula in the late 1930s and Japan's invasion plans.
Battle for S'pore
In Gallery II, see the Battle for S'pore unfolding before you through a multi-media presentation that details various battles leading up to the British surrender on 15 Feb 1942.

Battle of Pasir Panjang thru' the pillbox
In Gallery III, is the Battle of Pasir Panjang is told through their virtual host, Corporal Din. Peer into the pillbox and see the epic battle replayed before you, with a touch of the Pepper's Ghost Effect.

As I walked through the door ' Battle of Pasir Panjang', where I would see the 'Tiger of Malaya' - Gen Y. Tomoyaki statue stands on the left. Walked up the staircase of Gallery in level 2, I see the signboard indicated in Galleries: Windows of Memories, Well of Reflections, Bukit Chandu Theatre and Learning Room.

Staircase leading to the level 2

Above pictures: Well of Reflections & Learning Room
As you look into the "Well of Reflections" to see yourself amidst the destruction and horrors of war, or stop and look through the Window of Memories filled with tales of heroism and courage.
Helmet & Rifle
Rifles and tools
As I step into the Learning Room and discover more about weapons and other WWII paraphernalia. As you can don the cast iron helmet and inspect the emotions of the soldiers as they fought in the front lines of battle.

I noticed there is a kerosene lamp (above) was used during the battle at nights.

Above picture: Bukit Chandu Theatre
Next at the Bukit Chandu Theatre, to re-capture moments of the gruelling battles that were fought in Pasir Panjang and had experience the "Sounds of Battle" through a Binaural Sound Presentation. With special headphones and low frequently speakers, experience the thunder of gunfire in the same impenetrable darkness that engulfed soldiers during battle.

Above photos: An Office, Canteen & Vending Machine

As I further walked at the back of the door, told by staff that leading to the office, small canteen and a toilet, there is also a vending machine that sells drinks with a few coins slot into it. The place where the staffs enjoy coffee and relax at breaktime.
There is a garden with its fruits and heritage trees, is a delightful change from the hustle and hustle of city life. You can venture to Canopy walks that links Bukit Chandu to Kent Ridge Park by leisurely stroll amongst the tree tops and learn more about the landscape of the Pasir Panjang historis district or venture further to take in the panoramic views offered by the Southern Ridges 9km stretch of green and open space.

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