Singapore Places: Singapore Philatelic Museum

This is part 3 of our tour during the Children’s Season 2015, where children could take part in various activities held by participating Singapore Museums.



We were walking by the Singapore Philatelic Museum after 6pm on our way back towards Funan Digital Mall after visiting the National Museum of Singapore. I commented that we always miss the chance to visit this place. Vin took a look at the sign, noted that it closed at 7pm and suggested that we walk in to ask if we could tour.

They were starting an overnight stay event for children but the personnel allowed us to tour for a short while until 6.30pm. We quickly headed upstairs. In actual fact, we only needed a short 15 minutes tour because there were only a few galleries. The Counting Sheep Event for Children’s Season was in a small room, with just some information on sheep stamps and some play structures meant for very young kids. We enjoyed the permanent galleries more.



1. Old Navigation Tools

The first gallery was the exhibition on Spices and Trade in the past. We could take a look at different spices (resin models) that traded in the past in Singapore’s ports. Good for Dar to learn how a specific item (nutmeg, clove etc) looks like. The compasses used in seafaring was great to look at too.


2. Room of Rarities with Postal Antiques

This room is all about the history of postage, mails and tools used in the post office. We saw a historical post box that was like a long pipe. People would drop their mail in and the mail would fall several storeys high to the bottom to be sorted. There were also panels of old stamps with different designs. Stamp-collecting is a common hobby for kids in the 90’s and we both collected them too. I love the designs and looked at them closely for a while.


3. Local Cuisine

This was a fun corner where resin-made local foodstuffs were on display to give an idea of Singapore’s food.

Quite a number of cooking utensils and the cupboard on display was what we had when we were young kids in the 80’s and 90’s. Some people are still using them now but the majority of us has switched to modern kitchen tools. I laughed as I lifted the cover to reveal some fishes and vegetables inside. Dar looked for his favourite local dish in the cupboard. They were well-made and looked realistic.


4. Reminisce a Mama Shop

A “Mama” shop (in Tamil means “uncle” or “elder”) is a convenience store in Singapore usually located under our HDB flats. They are usually owned by Indians and sell a large variety of provisions such as food materials, household cleaning products, hardware, in a small space. As a young child, I used to buy tidbits from these shops when I was outdoors to play and Vin remembers the ‘Tikam Board’ where small prizes could be exchanged. Many such shops had now become air-conditioned minimarts in place.


5. Old Housing

This was a nice gallery to walk into where we could immerse ourselves in an old shophouse, a structure common in the 19th and early 20th century. They are usually two or three stories high, with a shop on the ground floor and a residence area above the shop. Several families may even live together as tenants. That was why it was common to see clothes hanging out from the window on the second storey. Several traditional costumes from Singapore’s four major races were also placed for visitors to know more.


In the same area, we could learn about some spices, herbs or foodstuff sold in a shop by putting a bottle in a sensor bowl. The computer device would scan and show information of the item we want to know about. In the picture, Dar was finding out about “Fennel”. Frankly, we didn’t know many of the items there too! Nowadays, we usually see them in powder form or already cooked food, seldom in their original form. We spent some time learning about them as we placed different bottles on the scanner. Dar enjoyed this activity.



*Note: The event runs until 27 Sep 2015

Any activities were already closed by then (probably some children’s craft activities) but we took a look around the exhibits in the small room. Again, I was interested in the designs of the sheep and goats stamp specially placed because this was the “Year of the Goat” in the Chinese lunar calendar. There were also some information about the animals which a child could learn from. It was not as appealing for Dar at his age as he quickly moved around each display but it was good to know.





For More Information, Check the Official Website.

Location: 23-B Coleman Street, Singapore 179807
Dates: “Counting Sheep, Dreaming Goat” exhibition runs until 27 Sep 2015.
Ticket Price for Entry into Museum:FREE for Singaporeans & Permanent Residents to Permanent Galleries / Foreign Adults $6 / Children (Age 3-12) : $4
Nearest MRT Station: A 5-minute walk from City Hall, Clarke Quay and Bras Basah stations