• Get an intimate peek into the life of the Peranakans, the original Singapore settlers
• At a local museum, let a guide lead the way or take yourself through the historic displays
• Shop Belgian design and get inside a members-only polo club for drinks on the veranda
Once the ancestral home of a Straits Chinese (Peranakan Chinese) family, it is now conceived as a heritage house which facilitates appreciation, reflection and research into the Straits Chinese history and culture. You will be transported to a Straits Chinese family home in the 1920s, furnished with heirlooms from the Wee family (the previous owners of the house) and other donors. Artefacts are displayed in their original context at the NUS Baba House. If you can’t score tickets here, the excellent Peranakan Museum is a good alternative. Go for the extensive displays of everything from beaded slippers to ancestral altars and wedding chambers. Then hop a cab and head for House of Anli, a destination-worthy shop carrying lighting designed by its Belgian owner along with fine tableware, lanterns, and housewares worth carting home. The place can make anyone fantasize about pulling up stakes and moving to Singapore, guaranteed. Follow it up with a gin and tonic on the veranda at the Singapore Polo Club, complete with fans whirring lazily overhead and polo ponies in the stables. Although it’s a members-only establishment, it’s a closely held secret that nonmembers can dine there Monday to Friday.
To start your experience, head down New Bridge Road and turn onto Neil Road. Here, you’ll find the bright blue Baba House. Then, grab a cab up to the intersection of Loke Yew Street and Armenian Street for the Peranakan Museum. To get to the Singapore Polo Club, head down Thomson Road until you hit Mount Pleasant Road and you’ll find the equestrian center, complete with veranda bar.
BABA HOUSE: 157 Neil Rd.; +65-6227-5731; nus.edu.sg/cfa/museum/about
PERANAKAN MUSEUM: 39 Armenian St.; +65-6332-7591; peranakanmuseum.org.sg
HOUSE OF ANLI: 163 Tanglin Road, #03-13; +65-6235-3851; houseofanli.com
SINGAPORE POLO CLUB: 80 Mount Pleasant Road; +65-6854-3999 ; singaporepoloclub.org