Monday, 30 December 2013

Tai-O the Oriental Wonder of Fishing Village

Tai-O the Oriental Wonder of Fishing Village
The Oriental Wonder of Fishing Village, the oldest fishing villages located on Lantau Island, at the northwestern shore of Hong Kong, the stilt houses (Pung Uks literally shack houses) build on water in Tai-O that has retained its charm with its old wooden houses with "half" part of aluminium-steel like tin roof to the front like "tin-can container" along the sand-based footpaths. Pang uk developed from the boat houses of Tanka (蜑家) or fishing people, after they moved to reside on land. There are rows of stalls selling dried fishes, salt fishes, dried shrimps, salt eggs, shrimp paste and others as well as Chinese herbs too.
Nature and hiking trails have been established as well as the plans to restore some old salt disused salt pans to show and educate the tourists and visitors on how Tai-O was famous in its rich history for salt production.
Window Aircons mounted on wall of tin houses
They built Tin-Can Cabin out of Shipping Containers.I think. 
Back of the Tin Houses
Part of the tin houses (tin-can container) that build on water or along footpath and small window air cons on wall at the back of the tin houses. Inside tin-can container houses are warm had little cool air flow into the houses during summer time.
Dome-shaped container house at the back
This is interesting to see different sizes and shapes of the houses that made out of shipping or tin-can containers to build it. As if the "back" of dome-shaped container is connected to the front tin-can house (see above) that facing the sea.
Rusty Tin-can container houses
After a long period of time, the outside wall of the tin-can container (tank) houses or aluminium steel houses would become rusty in time to come. And the residents would rebuild it or just leave it whatever it is.
Narrow corridor of shipping container houses
It is indeed difficult to access which is too narrow along the corridor of one of the shipping container houses that connected to each other while others side by side closely to one another. The "space" floor outside container-shaped house (pic - top second) is characterised by the black & white sheet flooring, rarely seen in Tai-O.
Tai-O has an interesting story to tell and its rich in history among fisher folks who live their life in their fishing village on the water for generations. Fisher folks started to reside since the Ming dynasty and has the reasons to build up their traditional Chinese Stilt houses can be seen in the geographical and ecological location of Tai-O.

In year 2000, a large fire broke out destroying many residents' houses. The village is now mostly squatters huts and dilapidated stilt or rackshacle houses.
Tai Chung Footbridge and I
Rope-Drawn Ferry Bridge or Tai Chung Footbridge built and completed in 1996 where many local residents and fisher folks need not to use their boats crossing the river and it's very convenient for them.
Boat ride to see dolphins
For a small fee of HK$10 and KH$20, some residents will take tourists out on their boats along the river and for short jaunts into the sea. Many tourists as well as local residents mainly from Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore and other countries come to Tai-O specifically to take these trips to see Chinese white dolphins. It is also a good place to see the sunset.
A historical Welcome Arch of Tai-O
We went to Tai-O on the 30th Dec after touring other places that we visited on our own. Since we have heard about the oldest fishing village in Hong Kong years ago but we didn't make a trip there till today due to our hectic schedules. It was a pleasant trip and saw lots of colonial buildings and former police station (now a nine-room hotel).
Another Welcome of Tai-O
Recent welcome sign of Tai-O is designed by Mr Yeung Tak Ming on Lantau Island and is managed by Islands District Council.
Tree house
Ever wonder what a tree house look like that built under wooden tree truck and steel pole to support the house roof with full of tree branches on top. The tree trunk is outside the house that covered the makeshift aluminium shelter using the long metal steel on each side.
Tai-O Bakery stall
This Tai-O Bakery stall is located at 66 Kat Hing Street, operated more than 30 years since 1980s, Tai-O Bakery are producing the authentic Chinese traditions, is one of the making cookie, the most traditional and original tastes to the people from all over the world. They use quality raw materials. All the products are hand-made, freshly made,including the famous "Tai-O Donut", "Chocolate with Peanut" ,"Chinese Walnut Cookie", "Tai-O Sesame Cookie", "Egg Tart", "Lady's Cake" and lots of traditional Hongkonger-style bread.  Too bad, the stall closes today.
 Dried Salt Fish (Really to sell)
Before that, but how to make dried fish. Well, below is the answer.
Salt Fish to dry
I was told that the Fisher Folk, is to remove the internal organs then wash the fish body and put salt all over the body. Then later, place the fish layer-by-layer inside a big wooden box filled with salt. Remove the scales, wash the fish, wrap the head in paper and then dry the fish in the sun for five to six days.
Fish dry in the sun in a cool air
Mostly local residents from Hong Kong and Taiwan came to Tai-O to buy dried fish and others from the stalls or the Tai-O market when they visit again.
Salt fish hangs to dry
Some local Tai-O residents hang their fish to the pole to dry for days with using a thread tight up just outside their houses clearly seen to the visitors. If you can smell the fish everywhere and you could love to buy their salt fish at the market or the stalls.
Dried Duck salt egg yolks
While Tai O's fishing industry has shrunk dramatically in recent years, many of the village's traditional goods are still sold by locals to visitors. The area's once a prolific salt marshes still yield the salt used to dry egg yolks and fish. Through an open door the click-clacking sound of mahjong tiles can be heard; not far away two platters of salted egg yolks sit drying in the afternoon sun.
One of the fish stalls
Some of the fish stalls are friendly, photo is allowed to snap of the stall and dried foods and salt fish are acceptable to tourists who came to see or even buy their dried foods as well as shrimp paste..

 Front view: Tai-O Market
Back view - Tai-O Market
At most, visitors and tourists who flock to the market located in Tai-O that sell a plethora of unique dried fish.dried seafood, fish. salt fish, dried cuttlefish and others can be found at Tai-O market along the street of Tai-O.
Old woman using an old weighing scale
An old woman aka fish seller is using old-fashioned weighing scales to weigh the dried fish – just holding the scale with one hand and balancing it out with weights, to establish the price of the dried fish when the customer asks for 500gm of dried fish.
Tai-O Market Street sitting out area
This shelter is located at Tai-O Market Street just outside the market for the visitors to rest after they walked for about two hours or so.
Dessert Pancake stall (waffle)
Dessert was an easy choice, a Charcoal Grill Eggy Pancake for 20 HKD or more. Basically, a waffle with no syrup. Most residents live on stall and their houses are on the upper level as seen above.

Making Egglets (egg waffles) using charcoal

I had seen and smelled these at many of the Asian markets in other countries including Singapore, but none were using concrete block (grill) with charcoal as their heating source. It seems to make a very crispy difference for local and visitors alike.
Milk Tea stall
This stall has an unique stretch & painted artwork of Tai-O postcards would fetch HKD$7 per piece and also sells iced milk tea, tea eggs and others.
 Seashells and bracelets
Most important is - Do not touch the items if you are not buying when it is written on the carbon box (seen above picture) that placed on seashells and other hangs on seashells bracelets. I believe that some tourists or visitors are itchy hands to touch when not careful it might break the shells or drops it onto the ground.
Spotted cute wooden giraffe
Walking past a cute wooden giraffe (toy head) stands along Tai-O Wing On street, inscribed on a piece of white paper indicated to the visitors to take a shot of it once they spotted.
Fur Cat stood on vase
As we walked along the stalls and stilt houses on other side, I saw a beautiful Tai-O stray cat with a pink collar and a pink bell at the flower vase, stood beautifully posed on the vase and I took a picture of it.
Cat with a pink bell
She looks so sweet with a pose in its silky unique fur patter and colour create something unexpectedly beautiful and unique. Someone must have taken good care of the cat that lived nearby.
Two cats on top of shelter
One of the two cats, on the right, sits, a stripes orange does lookalike of my beloved cat of 15 years. I stared straight a orange tabby cat with sad eyes that reminds of my cat named - Mimi.
Cats@Tai-O shop
I remember that there's a shop that housed stray cats, cat foods and cat's play pan. Tai-O must be a paradise for stray cats, with lots of seafood and fish at every corner of the stalls. No wonder, the cats love to hang around in this place.
Tai-O resident and his dog
We hardly see the dogs around Tai-O fishing villages and managed to spot one Tai-O resident and his dog's collar tight up using a pole to the back of bicycle's box,  running for his work place.
Dog's Poop
There's a dog poop (WC) station for Tai-O dogs on the street of Tai-O for local resident's dog doing his business.
Tai-O Fire Station and Tai-O Post Office
Closeup: Tai-O Fire Station
The common sight along Tai-O are the buildings that housed two adjacent to each other - Tai-O Fire Station and Tai-O Post Office.
Tai-O Substation
Tai-O Substation is to provide electricity to all local residents in Tai-O and  2nd storey of Tai-O substation that provides accommodation for those who work in the substation. But why do they need a regular maintenance at the Substation?
Sun-Ki Bridge
At that time, the Tai-O community and local fisher folks used punt-across the river before the Sun-Ki Bridge was built in 1979, was financed by the local residents and completed within a month. Thus travelling between the tiny island became quite inconvenient for old fisher folks and Tai-O community. And the Sun-Ki Bridge was replaced similar to the Tai Chung bridge (newer iron bridge), the old hand-pull ferries in the late 1990s
.Ramshackle houses on semi-polluted water
The ramshackle houses perched perilously over semi-polluted water, threatening to collapse and be swept away by the next typhoon. It’s said that every year there is a special evacuation for these local fisher folks and residents, during heavy storms, and many lose their homes and they rebuild their houses again. They should have build "Storm-resilient shelter" and "Typhoon resistant shelter" to accommodate all residents close to their stilt houses and tin-container houses. These houses found among the dense forest land and at the bottom of jagged volcanic mountains.
The incredible number of temples in this small fishing village is the best evidence to prove Tai O residents' faith in this old saying, "Worship was the blessing of God more than God's own". Tai O residents display devout reverence to hope for peace, health, fortune and happiness, making Tai O ever-shining with abundance of blessings.
Within Tai-O fishing villages and its temples namely 'Hung Shing temple (Shek Tai Po street), Kwan Tai temple (near Tai-O market), Tin Hau temple and Yeung Hau temple locates along Sun-Ki Bridge.
The narrow lane of Tai-O
After we passed by the Sun-Ki bridge, we saw a local resident rode on his bicycle on a narrow lane of Tai-O and on the right side, is the "red" wooden staircase leading up to the back of the house's door.
We managed to spot three out of four temples except Yeung Hau temple as we had not much time to wander further to the Sun-Ki Bridge where the Yeung Hau temple is. We will be back again if time permits. A little known about heritage temple - Yeung Hau temple is a place that housed the urns of the deceased, placed in a cremation wall inside the temple. Yeung Hau temple is the oldest temple, built in 1699, a dedication to the deity of Hau Wong, the historical figure symbolising loyalty and bravery. Hau Wong, originally named Yeung Leung-Jit, was a faithful and courageous general in the Southern Song Dynasty. He was honoured for his loyalty in protecting the Emperor Song as he took refuge on Lantau Island, and was revered as Hau Wong after his death.
Earth God
There are also "Earth Gods" along the street of Tai-O fishing village and some are located beside fisher folks' houses
Kwan Tai Temple
A heritage temple -  Kwan Tai Temple has the longest history in Tai O and built in 1741, located at Kat Hing Back Street. This temple is dedicated to the Chinese god of war, a Taoist symbol of force, loyalty and righteousness. Kwan Tai, also being called Kwan Wun Cheung or Kwan Yu, was a legend of military competence and virtue in the Three Kingdoms period. As recorded in historical accounts, Kwan Tai was not just a valiant red-faced general, but also an unconquerable hero in the eyes of posterity. In the heart of the people, Kwan Tai has become an omnipotent figure with multiple roles: god of war, wealth and various industries, as well as an exorcist and guardian figure.
Tin Hau Temple
Tin Hau temple is connected to the left of Kwan Tai temple built in 1772, is not simply the goddess of the sea, but also the guardian of the Tai O fishermen who drift and wander on its waters throughout the year. In the face of unpredictable weather and unreliable communications equipment several centuries ago, fishermen or fisher folks could only put their faith in the sailing experience of the older generations. The local residents of Tai O have always felt vulnerable when rainstorms sweep the village, and so Tin Hau became a spiritual pillar to support and bless Tai O residents with standing the ever-changing weather.
More than a century ago, legend has it that Tin Hau who stood on the shore, guiding fishing boats home, unflustered by tempest and storms. Tin Hau was then regarded as the sea goddess (similar to "Mazu" (Goddess of the Sea) with the strongest magical power over the water.

The statues of the four temples will be used as a traditional Tai-O Dragon Boat Water Parade which takes place on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. It is an over a century (100 year) traditional ritual and was listed as a item of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2011 as China's third national list.
Tai-O Association
Before the festival, the fishermen row their dragon boats to visit the four temple and carry the statue of each temple to their Associations' halls for worship. Then on the day of festival, the deity statues are put on sacred sampans and towed by the dragon boats in a parade through the waters of Tai-O to pacify the wandering water ghosts. Many Tai-O residents of the stilt houses that are sprinkled along the watercourses burn paper offerings as the dragon boats pass by. The deity statues are then returned to their respective temples after the ritual. It's their traditional way to bless the fishing villages for safe, peaceful.and prosperous.
Tai-O Primary School
Furthermore, there used to be lots of schools in Tai-O. Now, most of the schools in Tai O have closed down. "There used to be more schools here," An old resident says. Now, only the Church of Christ In China Tai O Primary School and Buddhist Fat Ho Memorial College remain. The teachers in Tai O's kindergarten and primary schools continue to offer free tutoring lessons outside of class so that their students do not miss out on their education. Some students study outside Tai-O and the kids have to get up at 6 am and walk to the bus terminus to catch the public bus to Tung Chung as there's no school buses are available.

There is a printed on a poster in the Tai-O Rural Committee Historic and Cultural Showroom, there will always be those who want to stay to "maintain their culture and their sense of community by helping to preserve the material heritage of Tai-O".

We will revisit Tai-O again to complete the other half of our own trail when the time comes!

To go Tai-O:
From Hong Kong or Kowloon, take the MTR Tung Chung line to the final stop.
If you don’t mind an extremely curated tourist experience, take the Ngong Ping 360 gondola to Po Lin Monastery and then go by bus no. 21  to Tai O.
From the Tung Chung MTR station exit B, hop on a bus no. 11 (takes about 50 mins) to reach Tai O.
If you’re adventurous and the winds clear out the air pollution, try hiking the Lantau Trail to Po Lin Monastery, staying the night at the monastery, and then onto Tai O.
To return to Tung Chung MTR station:
Return by bus no. 11 to Tung Chung MTR station at Bus terminal station at Tai-O or boat ferry to Mui Wo.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Grand Old Dame Of Pearls Centre

Bird View of Pearls Centre
At the foot of the Pearl's Hill along the Chinatown, where I frequent to the old dame building built in 1970s, was my source budget to purchasing cheap items mainly household items among the shops since early 1980s and even hang out with my old friends and classmates who lived in Chinatown since they were born and grew up in Chinatown.
The building located at 100 Eu Tong Sen street, was built and owned by Outram Reatly in 1977 - Pearls Centre.
Facade of Pearls Centre
Before the Pearl Centre was built, it was the site of a Chinese gambier plantation during early 19th century. In May 1822, Captain James Pearl, the Commander of The Indiana, was granted permission from the Temenggong to acquire the site for his residence and later, developed the site into a pepper plantation. The site was named Pearl’s Hill in 1828 and was sold back to Government later that year.
Back view facade of Pearl Centre
Closeup: side view of Pearls Centre
The Pearls Centre was once a popular location for small businesses during the 1980s. The retail mix of the centre comprises food and beverage outlets, man-to made tailors, travel agencies, salons, shops selling healthcare, household, religious products and fashion products, as well as night clubs, Yangtze cinema opened in 1977 and even horse racing clubs which opened in 1998. I remember the previous travel agency before Nam Ho Travel occupied the premise of what previous travel agency - Jun-Air travel where one of my cousins worked in the year 1980s.
Yangtzw Cinema facade
It was learned that Pearls Centre Commercial Association and Pearls Centre Zhong Yuan Club looked after the general welfare and its interest of the centre’s commercial owners and tenants and Zhong Yuan Club (中元会) has been organising annual donation drives during the Mid-Autumn Festival every year.
Owners at Pearls Centre along Eu Tong Sen Street in Chinatown have been issued S$444 million in compensation and promised further relocation assistance, according to media reports. Previously, the market value of the strata-titled property to range between S$450 million and S$600 million.
So the government’s acquisition of Pearls Centre around the middle of last year had surprised its 234 tenants who were given two years to vacate the premises till 2015

Lift to level 4 Yangtze Theatre

Yangtze Cinema & Cafes
Yangtze Signage
Yangtze Theatre (长江戏院), as the last cinema in Singapore to screen R-rated and soft porn movies. Originally named as the Pearls Theatre, it was later changed to Yangtze, named after the longest river in China and Asia. In its early days, the 1,159-capacity cinema occupied six storeys inside Pearl’s Centre, with a gross floor area of 8,010 square metres.
Photo2012: Entrance to Yangtze
In the year 2000s, Pearls Centre suffered from an bad reputation due to Yangtze Cinema’s screening of erotic films and Yangtze has been unfairly victimized by the press, the condition of massage parlours which was reported to provide sex related services and also the reports of police crackdown on vice activities. Yangtze’s rent in the Pearls Centre was around $30,000 a month.
Photo2013: Yangtze entertainment
Game arcade@Leisure City Funworld
Many patrons came to play billboards and fun games machines after watched the show.
Yangtze Wine Corner
Yangtze Karaoke KTV corner where patrons purchase wine and cocktails drinks during Karaoke KTV, opens nightly.
Photo2012: Guitars hung on wall
These instruments inclusive of Guitars hung on wall next to the Stage, especially for musician bands group performed nightly.
Photo2012: Yangtze KTV & the Stage
Lounge entertainment and its cushion sofas,  the Stage (on the right) where the beautiful stage girls sang nightly. Some customers or patrons gave some sashes to one of the stage girls. The sashes would range from S$100 to S$100,000 was told by an insider who worked at the counter.
Wines and Glasses on display shelves
Some patrons mostly men went for beer drinking sessions and listening to Karaoke sung by stage girls. The tinted glass shelves are housed full of wine and beer bottles, glasses on display.
Escalator to Yangtze 1 & 2
Walkway to Yangtze 2
Walkway to Yangtze 1
Digital screen seating at Yangtze 2
Yangtze Theatre was renovated and reopened in September 1991 as Yangtze 1 and Yangtze 2. Local artistes and Hong Kong stars such as Michelle Yim were invited for the grand opening. Later that year, Yangtze cinema faced declining revenues due to the slowdown in the local movie industry in the 1990s. In 1995, it was changed to a new one, this time as an erotic films.
F&B Corner
2012 Closeup: Cai Sheng Ye clock
The F&B corner is located next to the entrance where I sat in front of the counter and ordered some snacks and drink from the counter. Notice a Cai Sheng Ye clock hung on the wall of F&B Corner for their prosperity and good business. That's cute.
Photo2012: Box Office
Beside the F&B corner is the Ticketing counter - BOX OFFICE that patrons mostly old men and elderly couples purchase the ticket for the shows in dimly light ambience. "Yangtze" cinema, such a thoroughbred name.
Yangtze Cinema (top) & F&B corner (bottom right)
Photo taken in 2012
Yangtze Cinema is built in 1977 and the patronizing are the older men and even older couples to watch exotic films, just like RA movies/shows. In the past, there were lots of RA shows were filmed at Eng Wah cinema. Majestic, Empress and Orchard cinema too. I remember the incident way back at that time, the enforcement of the 'below 21 no R(A) show' ruling has slackened a lot. In the past, I remember only Yangtze cinema didn't check and the ticket staff was an old lady didn't seem to bother. Orchard Cineleisure (formerly Orchard Cinema)  is still the strictest.
Yangtze Ticket
A "Yangtze" ticket is somewhat different from GV cinemas and Shaw organisations. A ticket is very much like I used to print when I worked in Office in the early 1980s using Epson MX-80 dot matrix printer for technical worksheet with punch holes in the corner end.
 A lone man@Cinema Hall
What will happen to the Yangtze cinema hall that will demolish soon? A old style cinematic feeling where a lone man sits under a dim light. Such a feeling would make them sadness and empty space when the cinema is gone. Where were those old men, old man with umbrella and elderly couples gone to after the Yangtze cinema closed?
Damaged staircase leading to Apartment & Carpark
Photo taken in 2012
The Pearls centre’s reputation was further damaged by reports of escalators, staircases and air-condition failures, floods in the basement.
The sections of the car park in the building above the seventh storey had been closed previously and no cars were allowed in. It is understood that the closed sections are not
illuminated and are usually in pitch darkness at night.
The building houses several night clubs and bars, there are frequently people who loiter and drink in the abandoned sections of the car park.The 23-storey Pearls Centre houses the Yangtze Cinema, residential units, offices and shops. It will be making way for the new Thomson MRT line later that year. In 2012, the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) was announced their plans to acquire Pearls Centre for the upcoming construction of underground tunnels for the Thomson Line (TSL), and tenants and residents given two years to vacate their respective premises by August 2014 and the deadline was subsequently extended to 2015 as told by shop owners when I revisited again.
Corner of Pearls Centre

Backdrop of Pearls Centre
At the corner of the building, there is a lunch area called "K1011 Eating House" for the office workers, shop owners and even local residents to patronise the eating house which is located at the corner end of the building backyard. Before I have a meeting with some friends at People Park Complex nearby.
Photo2012: K1011 Eating House
Staircase leading to the stalls
Row of Stalls 
 Mixed Vegetable rice stall (left)
Hot & Cold Beverage Stall
My cup of coffee costs 90cents
I dropped by to have my lunch there where I loved to take my lunch at mixed vegetable stall, Zhen Zhen Hainanese chicken rice stall and Mushroom noodle stall.
Zhen Zhen Hainanese Chicken & Mushroom Noodle Stall
Latest Update: Zhen Zhen Hainanese Chicken stall (Established since 1997) relocates at Pearl's Hill 34 Coffeeshop, Blk 34 Upper Cross Street #01-170 S(050034) will open for business starting in 2nd November 2015 (Monday). The coffee-shop is near to Sheng Siong Supermarket.
Snacks stall
One of the stall, an uncle who works at the stall told me that the stall belonged to his boss, These foods are delicious and yummy especially I love "Coffee Buns" and "Egg Tarts" while others - Red Bean buns, sweet potato buns, etc are tasted better and crispy.
Office workers' lunch area
Office workers were having their lunch outside at the corner end where the erotic film posters on the left were hung on the backdrop mainly from Yangtze cinema and KTV entertainment.
 Pearls Centre Office
Pearls Centre Directory
Pearls Centre Office lift
Beside the K1011 Eating House, there is an office building which visitors and office workers return to office after lunch or tea break time. The Pearls Centre and its office management are located at 7th floor.
Lift to the shops
Photo 2012: Rows of shops
Some of the shop owners have moved out in 2012 or later, some shops are still in operation while they are still looking for a space at other locations before their lease expired in 2015 and some paid for a few months to operate their business till in August 2015.
Escalators Podium & Sing Thai Amulet shop
Photo taken in 2012
An old style of two escalators rarely seen in separate, large gap each other at old shopping centre as well as old buildings, easily seen on below where the shops located. This will led to accident if not careful especially senior citizens and young children. I recall there was an accident involved four people, three of them were senior citizens on the escalator in August 2012 which left two people injured and one of them an old lady sustained injuries to her back while another injured his ankle. The escalator was going up when it suddenly moved in the opposite direction.The change in direction caused those on the escalator to fall backwards.
Photo2012 closeup: Sing Thai Amulet Gallery
One of the shops - Sing Thai Amulet Gallery still in operation till 2015 as many elderly customers came for an amulet or purchase an amulet or other religious products.
Photo2012: Open view from escalator
Signboard: Singapore Turf Club
Photo2012: Staircase leading to SGTurf Club
The signboard indicated the direction to where the Singapore Turf Club is, the staircase leading to the door of the Singapore Turf Club which opens in 1998 where patrons place a bet on horse race coupon by looking on the screen and bring it to the cashier counter and paid for a bet ticket.
AA Winners' Club
The official opening of the AA Winners' Club owned by Automoblie Association of Singapore at Pearls Centre, held on 9th December 2011. The AA's newest entertainment and lifestyle centre features a member's lounge, AA Shop and entertainment facility. But their business is short-lived till Wednesday 25 June 2014. The Automobile Association (AA) of Singapore’s highly-anticipated new outlet -> AA @ 51 AMK opens its doors, replacing the outlet at Pearls Centre which will cease in operation soon.
Another building - Pearls Bank Apartments (centre)
Last but not least, another setback, thwart building - iconic Pearl Bank Apartment was completed in 1976, the 38-storey Pearl Bank Apartments became the city's first high-rise apartment and tallest building. It also had the largest number of units "272" and it contained in a single block.
A 77-year-old Tan Cheng Siong, an architect also built Pandan Valley Condominium. He was named "Designer of the Year" at the President's Design Award 2012. he was the first architect to build condominiums in China.
Their three attempts have been made to put up Pearl Bank Apartments for en-bloc on sale by the owners of Pearls Bank Apartments and they failed, so I hope this time the building's management committee is taking another tact to apply for conservation status instead. Read the latest news here.