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Why Esplanade Park is special ?
Esplanade Park is one of the oldest parks in Singapore. Built in 1943, it was redeveloped in 1991 to enhance the Civic District's identity. There are many historical landmarks in this park which are of interest to tourists and locals. These include the Lim Bo Seng memorial, the Cenotaph and Tan Kim Seng Fountain. It also forms an important frontage for the Padang, Supreme Court and City Hall.
What to explore at Esplanade Park?
The 18.3m-tall war memorial of The Cenotaph is perhaps the most famous monument in Esplanade Park. Designed by Denis Santry of Swan & Maclaren and made of granite, The Cenotaph was built in 1922 to commemorate the 124 British soldiers from Singapore that died during World War 1, with another extension regarding World War II added on in 1951. A famous phrase was inscribed on The Cenotaph: “They died that we might live”.
There are five steps on one side of The Cenotaph, representing the years of the First World War (1914-1918). On the other side are the inscriptions of the years of the Second World War (1939-1945)
A beautiful classical Victoria-styled fountain is also located at one end of Esplanade Park, near Stamford Road. Called Tan Kim Seng Fountain, it was installed to commemorate early local Chinese merchant and philanthropist Tan Kim Seng’s (1805-1864) generous contribution to the construction of Singapore’s waterworks and MacRitchie Reservoir. The fountain was first placed at Fullerton Square, before moving to Battery Road in 1905 and then Esplanade Park in 1925.
Born in Malacca, Tan Kim Seng was well-conversed in Mandarin, Hokkien, English and Dutch, and was a well-respected figure in both Chinese and European communities. As his business expanded, Tan Kim Seng became the first Singaporean to venture into Shanghai. He was also the first Chinese magistrate here, and the first Asian member of the Municipal Commission in 1857. Beside donating to waterworks, Tan Kim Seng also had huge contributions in building local schools, roads and bridges. Both Kim Seng Road and Kim Seng Bridge are named after him.
Lim Bo Seng Memorial, near Anderson Bridge on the other end of the park, is built for the commemoration of local anti-Japanese hero Lim Bo Seng (1909-1944). A Raffles Institution student, Lim Bo Seng would grow up taking over his father’s businesses in construction and biscuit manufacturing. When World War II broke out, Lim Bo Seng led a team of volunteers to resist the Japanese invasion during the Battle of Singapore in 1942.
Throughout the Japanese Occupation, Lim Bo Seng organised guerrilla fighter groups and set up intelligence networks against the aggressors. Unfortunately, he was captured in Perak of Malaya in 1944, and died in Batu Gajah Jail after months of severe torturing. His remains were brought back to Singapore after the war. It was said that his hearse was accompanied by a huge group made up of British officers, Chinese businessmen, community leaders and the public. Lim Bo Seng was later buried at MacRitchie Reservoir with the memorial built for him at Esplanade Park. The memorial, designed by Ng Keng Siang and constructed at a cost of $50,000 donated by the Chinese community, was unveiled in 1954.
The Cenotaph, Tan Kim Seng Fountain and Lim Bo Seng Memorial were gazetted as national monuments at the end of 2010.
Some interesting trivia about Esplanade Park includes Singapore’s first pedestrian underpass, which was built in 1964 linking Connaught Drive to Queen Elizabeth Walk. The famous Satay Club, formerly located at the edge of Esplanade Park from 1970 to 1995, was one of the locals’ favourite hangouts during its heydays.
Across Stamford Road lies the War Memorial Park, with its iconic 61m-tall pillars fondly known as “chopsticks”. The four pillars represent the four main races of Singapore; Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian.
How to get to Esplanade Park?
The taxi stand is located at the Esplanade Mall entrance along Raffles Avenue.
The Esplanade is easily accessible via public buses.
Bus numbers: 36, 56, 70M, 97, 111, 133, 162M, 195, 502, 531, 1N, 2N, 3N, 4N, 5N, 6N, 75, 77, 106, 700A, 857, 960, 961, NR1, NR2, NR5, NR6, NR7, NR8.
The nearest bus stop is also located along Raffles Avenue, outside the Esplanade Mall entrance.
Train (Mass Rapid Transit)
Esplanade is just a 10-minute walk from the City Hall and Esplanade Circle Line (Exit D) Stations through an underpass which also links four shopping centres –Citylink, Raffles City, Marina Square, SuntecCity and MilleniaWalk.
Connaught Drive, Singapore, Singapore
Tips for you
Take a stroll down the park at night. You'll love it!
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enjoyed Esplanade park last night.. a place worth visiting in Singapore
Sit and relax with a cup of tea on a Sat evening.
It's a nice place to kill some time or if you are walking between destinations. Nice little scenery, close to the water, and overall a pleasant place to visit.I wouldn't consider this a "must do" but if you happen to stumble upon it, it makes a nice little detour.
Esplanade Park is the oldest park in Singapore and a nice little park, only 1/2 a km long this is a pleasant area to pass by during walks along the river between Clark Quay and Marina Bay.There are some interesting things to see here but one can't help but notice how overshadowed the park is now with the tremendous amount of modern and futuristic development that has taken place on the marina during the last decade.At Esplanade Park you can see the interesting and attractive Lim Bo Seng Memorial, a Centotaph as well as a Victorian style fountain called Tan Kim Seng Fountain. There are also a few war and war victim monuments to be seen here for those interested. Lots of green space here as well,Overall, not a huge priority visit these days but an interesting place to stop for a short bit for those with interest in the older attractions of Singapore before visiting and enjoying the newer attractions that are on offer.
What about this fantastic place, here there is everything that a person with a camera in his hand would like to have.Personally both day and night views from every corner of Esplanade Park is impressive. I love this place as I love relaxing walks up and down the Park, but the night has something magical, lights, colours, people, and the possibility of making millions of photos at every corner.
The esplanade can be split up into almost an infinite number of sections, depending on the crowds that are commandeering it. I suppose the "park" section spans from the sandy playground- (whoever came up with a playground in a sandpit has really outdone themselves!) right across to the grassy hills and the entire 200 meters between them. The grass is scattered and seen better days, but for summer it's not fairing up too badly and the shade supplied by the trees is delightful~ I am proud to say I picnicked there just last week and was lucky enough to witness some local magic. To my left, a team of people who just love life, were playing a series of activities using only 3 milk creates, 2 wooden poles and their bodies. . . (let me tell you I have underestimated how much fun can be had with such few and random items.) While to my right, a group of equally ambitious yet slightly more destructive individuals had set up their music system (plugging an iPod into two makeshift speakers that looked like a woodwork project in construction) and were hosting padded jousting matches on bikes, down the grassy hills. The esplanade park never ceased to amaze and inspire.
It's a nice place to kill some time or if you are walking between destinations. Nice little scenery, close to the water, and overall a pleasant place to visit. I wouldn't consider this a