Reflections at Bukit Chandu

3.6 / 5 0 votes


Weather:

Time Required: 1 hour

Timings:

All day, Closed on Mondays

Entry Fee:

Foreigners: SGD 2, Free for locals
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Reflections at Bukit Chandu, Singapore Overview

Built upon a quiet grassy knoll, Reflections at Bukit Chandu is a small, interactive museum on the outskirts of Singapore. Developed and managed by the National Archives of Singapore, this tiny museum is dedicated to the 1942 Battle of Pasir Panjang.

The museum is housed within a British-era colonial style black and white bungalow, the arches and windows of which have been beautifully restored and maintained. The bungalow is surrounded by lush greens and is a stone's throw away from the actual battleground. Visitors can take a walk through the galleries, which are on two levels. There are various interactive exhibits, artifacts, audio and video recordings, and wax mannequins. All of these depict the battle and pay tribute to the 42 brave soldiers of the Malay Regiment, many of whom lost their lives during the Second World War. The galleries and exhibitions are very moving as they include many personal items, depicting personal stories of the valiant soldiers. Although small, the museum is fascinating, engrossing, thoughtful and moving. There is even a theatre where the visitors can experience the life of the people during the World War Two. Reflections at Bukit Chandu is, therefore, a must visit for all those who are interested in military history, and the very important role played by Singapore during the Second World War.

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Bukit Chandu (Malay for Opium Hill) was one of the sites for the Battle of Pasir Panjang, which took place two days before the British forces surrendered to the Japanese in Singapore. The museum was built in the memory of the soldiers who fought one of the fiercest battles of Singapore. Even though they were haplessly outnumbered, they continued to fight, using hand to hand combat when they ran out of ammunition. Those who survived were captured and tortured by the Japanese. Reflections at Bukit Chandu was built to tell this story, and to honour the undefeatable spirit shown by the soldiers. It was opened on 15th February 2002, which was the 60th anniversary of the fall of Singapore in 1942.

The museum is in a colonial-era bungalow and is spread over two levels. The main exhibition gallery covers the history of the Second World War in Malaya with details of the socio-political climate during the late 1930s in the Malay Peninsula. The galleries also contain exhibits and displays about Japan's plans for invasion and the British strategy to defend Malaya and Singapore. There are various interesting photographs, maps and artifacts on these topics. The museum is interactive and includes various documentaries, video clips and audio tours regarding the Malay Regiment. The family histories of the soldiers have also been displayed, along with witness testimony from the survivors and World War II paraphernalia. The museum also has a small theatre on the second floor. This theatre screens a magnificently realistic reenactment of the battle and offers visitors the opportunity to understand how it feels like to be under attack. The museum also has a great view, as it is situated on top of a hill. Superbly maintained, visitors are sure to leave the museum feeling extremely moved.

No food and drinks are allowed in the museum.

Reflections at Bukit Chandu is situated in the western part of Singapore at a walking distance of around 30 minutes from the Pasir Panjang train station. Visitors should take the MRT to Harbourfront and then switch trains to Pasir Panjang, deboarding at the Pasir Panjang, Exit A. Crossing the road to Pasir Panjang Road, they should walk straight and then turn left at Pepys Road. Walking through the park, visitors have to turn right at Pepys Hill Condominiums. Reflections at Bukit Chandu will be at their left on the top of the hill.

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