The Istana Grounds in Singapore is a very special area of rich history and importance dating back many many years ago, known as the Government House and today the Istana is the official residence of the President of the Republic of Singapore, do check out their official website ! Therefore, it is not a tourist destination, however, only on special occasions in a year, the Istana Grounds would be opened up to the public for visiting !
Today is Hari Raya Puasa, one of the public holidays in Singapore and the Istana Grounds opens to the public for visit and attracted great crowds of young and old, locals to tourists, keen to view and enjoy the beautiful greenery and history of Singapore and Istana. I went with my friend Andrew, queued up, cleared the routine security checks and in we went ! There were many people and quite a number of tourists who took the very rare opportunity to visit and learn more about the history.
Inside the Istana Grounds, it was really beautiful with the greenery, on the hills, different trees that were of great vintage and history, beautiful flowers and nice grass fields that were well taken care of. Many activities were there during the Open House, parrots from Bird Park were there to grace the event too and performances by schools and organisations. We went for a tour inside the Istana Grounds buildings and witnessed many great treasures that were gifts for Singapore by many different countries around the world, displayed inside the building, ranging from crystals to paintings, the gifts showed the wonderful friendships and relationships Singapore built over the years with many different countries around the world.
Do check out my other photos of the Istana Open House on my flickr and do visit the Istana during the Open House if the opportunities arise !