Singapore Bicentennial 2019

Singapore and the United Kingdom share a rich, deeply intertwined history. Sir Stamford Raffles’ landing in Singapore in 1819 was a key turning point in the country’s history, transforming our nation from a small fishing village into the thriving metropolis she is today.

This year, Singapore looks back on its historical connection with the United Kingdom, with the Singapore Bicentennial delving into our city’s rich 700-year past, and the founding of modern Singapore 200 years ago.

Singapore: Where Explorers Meet

Singapore: Where Explorers Meet, an incredible three-day event to commemorate the Singapore Bicentennial and showcase the evolution of Singapore through its heritage, culture and creatives, took place in London in June 2019.

People queuing in front of the Candlenut booth at Singapore: Where Explorers Meet event

Candlenut and Raffles Hotel's booths at the event

Feasts and unforgettable flavours

Known as one of the world’s leading food capitals, Singapore is world-famous for its diverse cuisine—a constantly evolving tapestry of multi-ethnic influences. Singapore: Where Explorers Meet brought visitors on a journey through Singapore’s food culture with the nation’s top food pioneers.

Chef Malcolm Lee of Candlenut—the world’s only Michelin-starred Peranakan restaurant—served an array of mouth-watering dishes, including his renowned Buah Keluak ice-cream, turmeric crab curry with blue pea flower rice and Ye Ye chicken curry which featured on ITV Saturday Morning with James Martin earlier this year. Local Singaporean brand, Old Chang Kee served their famed curry puffs and new Beef Rendang puff, launched first at Singapore: Where Explorers Meet.

Portrait image of Vijay Mudaliar

Vijay Mudaliar of Native

The event also featured cocktails that shone a spotlight on Singaporean spices and produce, with a cross-cultural collaboration between Singaporean bar Native, number 13 on the World’s 50 Best Bars list, and Lyaness, a brand new bar from the award-winning Mr Lyan and team. Their Native x Lyaness drinks brought out the best of Singaporean spices and flavours. What’s more, the famous and iconic Singapore Sling was presented by Raffles Hotel Singapore. The cocktails were well-received by visitors, who savoured their drinks while chilling in deck chairs, at London’s Finsbury Avenue Square.

Paul Hammond of Raffles Singapore preparing a cocktail

Paul Hammond of Raffles Singapore

Front shot of music duo .gif.

Music duo .gif

Art and new possibilities

Singapore: Where Explorers Meet also told the story of the city-state’s transformation and continual bilateral ties through flora and art.

Visitors greatly enjoyed wandering through the tropical imaginarium designed by Humid House and experiencing the multi-hued projection, Kaleidoscope, created by Singapore-based artist Esther Goh, in collaboration with OuterEdit. They were also able to virtually “visit” eight iconic landmarks of Singapore with Singapore’s City of Possibilities; and explore the faces and stories that have shaped Singapore with the photography showcase by New York-based Singaporean photographer, Lenne Chai.

And finally, one of the most popular installations was the unique haptic plant soundscape created by leading British and Singaporean artists, Mileece and .gif – visitors truly enjoyed seeing how plants created different sounds of Singapore when touching them. This was complemented by the upbeat tunes and catchy beats by producer and DJ, Kiat (Syndicate.SG), one of Southeast Asia’s pioneers in drum and bass sounds.

The Last Overland (Singapore – London Expedition)

Aptly timed to coincide with the Singapore Bicentennial, The Last Overland celebrates a 1955 journey by students from Oxford and Cambridge who successfully completed The First Overland, an expedition that brought them from London to Singapore.

87-year-old Tim Slessor, one of the original members of The First Overland expedition, will re-embark on a journey that retells the tale linking the two cities. The Last Overland will document Tim’s odyssey from Singapore to London, aboard the original 1955 ‘Oxford’ land rover that was used in the first expedition.

Tim’s daring journey that epitomises the spirit of exploration and passion commences on 25 Aug 2019 from the F1 Pit Building in Marina Bay, Singapore. For more information, please visit here.

To discover Singapore’s endless possibilities, be sure to visit the UK Deals page for the latest promotions.