Singapore’s first natural history museum finally opens its doors to the public

Once they walk in, visitors are immersed in a slightly mystical atmosphere that might remind one of “Night at the Museum.” Three dinosaurs at the center of the exhibition, as well as the magic of this dimly lit space, definitely help to set the cinematic mood. Although many come here for dinosaurs, the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum has a lot more to offer; the Biodiversity Gallery is comprised of 15 zones, with exhibits ranging from sea stars to apes.

Photo by Anna Sorokina
Attention-grabbing giants: Prince, Apollonia, and Twinky. Photo by Anna Sorokina.

The Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, Singapore’s only museum that showcases Southeast Asian biodiversity, held its opening ceremony on April 28, 2015. Located next to National University of Singapore and easily accessible by public transport, this modern building easily attracts visitors. Even from outside, it looks spacious, environmentally friendly, and gives off the vibe of a modern art museum.

Photo by Anna Sorokina
Entrance into the museum. Photo by Anna Sorokina.

On the main floor, visitors can learn about the history and diversity of life in Southeast Asia. Some of the most impressive collections are of bugs and butterflies, the intricacy of which can’t fail to amaze even those visitors who are not fond of these small creatures.

Photo by Anna Sorokina
An amazing collection of intricate, but underappreciated creatures. Photo by Anna Sorokina.

The mezzanine floor is divided into the Heritage Gallery and the Singapore Today area, highlighting Singapore’s past and present. They explore the geology of the island and showcase conservation work that’s being undertaken in the country.

Photo by Anna Sorokina
Creatures of the ocean. Photo by Anna Sorokina.

Once on the second floor, don’t forget to go to the balcony to check out the Mangroves, Swamps, and Dryland Forest section and the Beach to Land Forest area. Although quite small, these sunlit areas serve as a nice contrast to the main part of the museum. They feature plants that exist anywhere from rainforest to coastal habitats.

Photo by Anna Sorokina
Rafflesia Arnoldii, the largest flower on Earth. Photo by Anna Sorokina.

Overall, the exhibition is quite interactive and kid-friendly. Easy-to-understand videos and entertaining presentations seem to outnumber the text descriptions of the displayed plants and animals. However, those who like to read scientific information will not be disappointed, since the text is both informative and interesting.

Photo by Anna Sorokina
The displayed collection of sculls ranges from the oldest human fossils to the modern Homo sapiens. Photo by Anna Sorokina.

After visiting the museum, one can browse the souvenir shop, conveniently located next to the entrance. With snacks, drinks, toys, and books, it can serve as a nice ending to this educational trip.

The only way to buy tickets to the museum is in advance through SISTIC. Another thing to note is that the museum sells admission tickets in six one-and-a-half hour slots, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Although an hour-and-a-half slot is plenty of time to explore the museum, visitors who enter the exhibition on time are welcome to stay for as long as they want.

________________________________________________________________________________________

Address: 2 Conservatory Drive, Singapore 117377

Phone number: 66013333

Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday & PH 10am-7pm

Singapore resident rate: Adult- $16, Child/Student/Senior citizen-$9

Standard rate: Adult- $21, Child/Student/Senior citizen-$13

Author: Anna Sorokina

Anna Sorokina is a first-year reporter on the Eye. Originally from Russia, this senior enjoys writing poetry, reading novels, and cooking. sorokina45401@sas.edu.sg

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