It’s been around 13 years since I went to the Istana. I remember posting about it on national day in 2010.
And this year, 2023, I went to the Istana once more during their open house!
For those who don’t know, it’s free for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents.
For tourists and others, it’s $2. Unlike 13 years ago, everything has to be paid via qrcode so you should have paylah/now or its equivalent ready. Ticket proceeds go to charity.
Do also note what you can or cannot bring into the Istana grounds, there are rules on their website and you can also take note on the dates they’ll have it.
Entrance also depends on the weather and if it is too bad, you won’t get in since it IS a large space and the probability of being struck by lightning is high during a storm.
I googled to see how long do swans live and it’s around 20 or so years because I posted about the swans 13 years ago and they’re still here.
Unless it’s a new pair of swans? How many swans are there really at the Istana’s swan pond?
When I went to the Istana, it was already raining. Not too heavily but constantly enough that an umbrella was needed.
Has the landscape changed? Not really, but it was fun attending since tents were set up, such as Sharity the elephant’s charity booth for children.
And then there’s another main tent where you had performances by various schools too.
I got myself Istana merchandise, the proceeds go to the President’s Challenge, pretty much the community chest of charities.
There were caps, keychains, books and luggage tags.
Oh yes, besides that, the booths in the main tent also had food and some artworks you could do like Chinese calligraphy.
Each open house has a ‘theme’ according to the holiday after all.
Even after 13 years I remembered that the walk from the Dhoby Ghaut main entrance area to the actual building is a very long walk.
It was humid when I went but this place is lovely for picnics when the weather is much nicer.
I didn’t go to the main istana building this time. The queue was way long and I didn’t want to queue in this weather. This is the only place you need to get a ticket to even if you’re a Singaporean or PR. It’s $2 and you guessed it right, all proceeds go to charity.
However, I can still view it from a far even without a ticket.
No photography/videography is allowed in the main building too.
This gate is for those architecture friends who might want to have a look or for art references.
This is the view when you get out of the Istana.
It’s uncommon to get this view since everyone is always looking in. Wear good walking shoes if you decide to go to an open house, everyone!
And charge your phones so you can pay tickets, food or merchandise via qrcodes now.
Also, I’m amused.
13 years ago I decided not to go down to “Victoria pond”, it has been renamed “Lily pond” 13 years later, according to the signage during the open house.
And I still didn’t go down the steps because it’s too freaking steep.
Maybe one day I’ll get down there. And hopelly less than 13 years later.