Singapore Heritage Festival 2019: A farm-to-table pop-up, a guided tour of an abandoned mental hospital and other highlights that can't be missed

Singapore Heritage Festival 2019: A farm-to-table pop-up, a guided tour of an abandoned mental hospital and other highlights that can't be missed

Reliving history

Text: Aravin Sandran

Located somewhere in the rural hinterlands of Woodlands and Marsiling, the former View Road Hospital has not achieved the infamy of the old Changi Hospital, but it nonetheless regularly appears on Singapore's most haunted lists. Its troubled past began in the sixties when the Ministry of Health chose the site to establish a second mental institution, following overcrowding at Woodbridge Hospital. The hospital catered to patients who were experiencing less severe psychiatric afflictions. They were allowed to leave the premises to work during the day before returning in the evenings. The hospital shuttered in 2001 as the vicinity became urbanised. It was revived in 2008 as a dormitory for foreign workers, but for unknown (supernatural?) reasons, it was abandoned just four years later. 

The Singapore Heritage Festival will be offering free, guided tours of the creepy venue on 16 March as part of its extensive multi-district programming. The walkthroughs will take place in the morning, though; a smart move to ensure there'll be no ghost-hunting going on, but who knows, its long deserted hallways might still give you the chills.

There'll be plenty more happening islandwide throughout the special Singapore Bicentennial edition of the festival. We've shortlisted some of the more interesting ones below.

Armenian Street Party: Living Peranakan
Peranakan Museum, 39 Armenian Street, Singapore 179941
Date & Time: 15 and 16 March | 6pm - 11pm
Free Admission


Peranakan Museum's Armenian Street Party is always a blast of fun. There'll be finger-licking Peranakan grub to get your hands on alongside one-of-a-kind arts and crafts to shop for at the bazaar. And what's a party without music? Joget all night long to old-school hits and browse the galleries of the museum before it shuts its doors for renovations this year.

Nyee Phoe's 1st Pop-up
Mosscape at Scotts Square
Date & Time: 6 April and 7 April | 3pm

From 1 April to 30 June 2019, horticulture specialists Nyee Phoe will be debuting its lifestyle brand Mosscape with a pop-up at Scotts Square. The multi-concept space will feature a farm-to-table menu supplemented by locally grown produce from Singapore farms, terrarium workshops, talks with local farmers and their latest preserved moss décor products.

Recess Time  Singapore Heritage Festival Edition
Practice Tuckshop, 58 Waterloo Steet, Singapore 187956
Date & Time: 5 and 6 April | 12pm - 1.30pm
Free Admission with pay-as-you-wish

There's no better cultural glue than food to bring diverse generations of people together. The two-day long Recess Time event will see professional chefs and hungry visitors mixing and mingling, preparing traditional dishes while sharing personal stories of their shared intangible heritage.

Singapore Heritage Festival will run from 15 March to 7 April 2019 at various locations.

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