An exclusive ExplorerSG mini series where we reveal some of the lesser-known places, facts and history of Singapore.

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Pulau Ubin German Girl Shrine

The history of the shrine dates back to WWI (1914 – 1918) when a coffee plantation was set up on the island by a German family.

Was Christmas Island Part of Singapore?

Located 1330km southwest of Singapore, the 135 sq km island — a fifth of Singapore — Christmas Island was named after Captain William Mynors of the East India Company vessel Royal Mary had sailed past it on Christmas Day on 25 December 1643.

We Bought a Zoo Singapore Edition

Opened in 1957 by Tong Seng Mun, the Singapore Miniature Zoo at Pasir Panjang was then one of six zoos scattered across Singapore.
Back in the days, wildlife trade was largely unregulated and Singapore as a thriving port, became a flourishing wildlife trading hub.

A Place We Take for Granted: Void Decks

In the early 1970s, the Housing and Development Board made the first level of all HDB flats free of housing to open up space for social activities and community events. Void deck, a term only found in Singapore, was first mentioned in HDB annual reports in 1977.

Singapore Notorious Hellriders of the 1970s

Also known as “Hell’s Angels” and “Black Coffins”, hell-riders were fraternities of young motorists who would hold illegal street races on their modified motorbikes during the 1970s and 1890s.

Tan Kay Hai, the Singaporean Who Fought the Nazi in WWII

Born in 1914 to a wealthy Chinese family, Tan Kay Hai spent most of his youth toying with machinery, especially aircraft. As a member of the Royal Singapore Flying Club, he had learnt how to fly the de Havilland Tiger Moth, a single-engine biplane. He worked as a car salesman in Malayan Motors before joining the British Empire Air Training Scheme (BEATS) in 1941 at the age of 27.