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Awol Visits The Istana



So if you hadn't guessed from my wife's post Visit To The Istana, we went to the presidential palace; in fact, that's what Istana means in Malay - Palace. It was awesome and there were thousands who had queued up to enter the grounds of this prestigious place.
Istana grounds

Once in the grounds, we came to another set of gates that had a guard house and divided the road in two; I guess it would determine where each guest was going and ensure that you had limited access to the grounds.
Istana Central Gates
Istana Central Gates
Notice even the gate has amazing details.

Many had just used the opportunity of the Istana being open to picnic on the lawns of these massive grounds. Others like myself were amazed by how well-manicured the gardens were. This was much like the Botanic Gardens but for a private estate.
Istana gardens
Istana golf course
Istana grounds

As we got to the Istana main building, I was amazed about how the grounds had fountains that lead to a staircase and was flanked by all kind of well-groomed plants and flowers. It was really the stuff of dreams. So of course I tried to capture the beauty from different angles and perspectives to give my readers an idea of how awesome this place is.
Istana fountains
Istana main building
Istana main building
Istana main building

We went inside for a look around at the cost of S$2 each and it was well worth it. The only thing is we were not allowed to photograph anything. A real bummer because there was so much history to be had. There were gifts from various representatives from around the world.

The one that got me and almost made me lose my mind at some guy was when we came across a beautiful porcelain dove given by the USA. That's cool and all, but an Indian man across from me on the other side of the display was telling his kid that this was the country's national bird. WTF!?!? Since when?! Look, it you don't know, keep your mouth shut. Don't try to make your children proud by seeming to know everything while you're filling their head with absolute nonsense. I'm sure one day the kid will learn that the bald eagle is the American national bird and his dad will be exposed as a fool.

Once back outside I was back to clicking off shots, perhaps to make up for all that I missed out on while inside.
Istana main building
Istana crest

While inside I had read about the room where the statue of Queen Victoria was kept back when the Istana housed the British governors while Singapore was a British colony. Now a republic of its own, the Queen has been moved to live outside and way down some hill in a lovely garden, but nothing like the house she once graced.
Queen Victoria statue at Istana
Queen Victoria pond at Istana
(By the way, walking up the big hill to get to the main building had us pretty whipped and there was no way we felt like walking down to see the statue just to have to turn around and walk back up. Sorry, Queen!)

The president of Singapore doesn't even have to leave home to keep up on his skills of golf. And what a great way to entertain guests!
Istana golf course

I have no idea why there were some Shetland ponies in a pen. Perhaps because there were lots of things set up for the children visiting, but I had to get their picture nonetheless.
shetland ponies

Ok, now this just got me as a landscaper’s awesome setup. The Istana is one really large hill and since we get a lot of rain here, it made sense to make use of this and make the draining off water into a pond for swans and ducks. Then if there is excessive water, an overflow that runs off and goes to the normal drainage system. But the walk way that lets you walk around the pond even when the water is overflowing was a damn cool setup. The water will simply go under the path.
Istana Swan Pond
Istana Swan Pond

The best part of the day out at the Istana was the time spent with my wife. We both learned a lot and had a great time.
At the Istana
beautiful wife

But of course the day was drawing to an end and we had to go, so here was my parting shot of the gate.
Istana main gate


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