Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Visiting The Maritime Experiential Museum, Resorts World Sentosa Singapore

Photo By: Elin Chow

My husband and I visited the S.E.A Aquarium in back in 2013. Our visit began at the adjoining Maritime Experiential Museum where we spent an hour exploring and learning about the maritime history of Asia. To be frank, I must admit that we are not a huge fan of museum. In fact, I would never have visited if the admission to the museum is not included in the S.E.A Aquarium's ticket which we had purchased.

Maritime Experiential Museum

The Maritime Experiential Museum is the first and only museum to showcase the maritime history of Asia. The centerpiece of the Museum revolves around the story of the legendary Admiral Zheng He as well as the maritime Silk Route Known to be the greatest explorer and navigator in Chinese history, he had built a total of 1622 ships and commanded seven major ocean voyages around the world, each with a fleet of 300 ships and a troop of 27,000 sailors.

Opening Hours 

The Museum opens daily from 10am to 7pm but might closed earlier at 6.30 pm on certain days. You might want to check out their official website for more details on their operating hours.

Admission Price

Admission to the Maritime Experiential Museum is included in the S.E.A Aquarium One Day Pass. Prices of the ticket are as shown below:

$38 per adult, This is so much more expensive as compared to the $29 (includes admission to Maritime Experiential Museum and the Typhoon Theatre) which we had paid two years back. Furthermore, the $38 ticket does not even include the admission to the 4D Typhoon Theatre. Visitors are now required to pay an additional price in order to enjoy the 4D multimedia experience. 

The maritime journey starts with the Souk, a lively gallery recreating the market places along the Maritime Silk Route for each of Zheng He's major port of calls, namely Quanzhou, China, Qui Nhon, Vietnam, Palembang, Indonesia, Melaka, Malaysia, Galle, Sri Lanka, Calicut, India, Muscat and Malindi, kenya. As you walked down the gallery, have fun learning about the different cultures and interesting stories about these ports along the Maritime Silk Route.

Traditionally hand-woven bamboo baskets from Vietnam.

The Vietnamese Water Puppetry show - an unique and traditional folk art that originated a thousand years ago during the Ly Dynasty.

We also came upon a life-sized status of the Ming Dynasty Admiral, Zheng He. A very remarkable person indeed.

Hundreds of miniature junks 'sailing' along the steel wire, which depicts Zheng He's fleet of ships. It was such a majestic scene!

Coffe bean, grains and spices being traded along the Maritime Silk Route.

A snake charmer playing on his gourd flute as he tries to charm the venomous cobra in his basket. It would be absolutely amazing if I could watch the entire live performance right in front of my eyes! 

Oh, did anyone noticed that something was missing from the snake charmer's hands? Yes, the gourd flute! It must have been stolen by one of the visitor much before we had visited the museum. Now, the snake charmer looks really awkward without his gourd flute.

Be awed and fascinated by the Jewel of Muscat, a full-sized replica of a 9th century Arab dhow ship gifted by the Sultanate of Oman to the government of Singapore. The ship, built based on the design of Belitung shipwreck, is about 21 feet (6.4 m) wide and 58 feet (18 m) long. Construction of the Jewel began in October 2008 and set sail for Singapore on 16 February 2010, finally arriving on 3 July 2010.

Undeniably, the Jewel of Muscat is pretty impressive. However, disappointingly, visitors are not allowed on board, thus it is totally impossible for us to explore the ship further. 

A cross-section of the vessel where it showcases some of the exotic treasures which Admiral Zheng He brought back from his voyages. Among which were a number of amazing wild animals such as lions, leopards, dromedary camels, ostriches, zebras, rhinoceros, antelopes and giraffes which he had brought back from his fifth voyage to Africa.

I really wonder how he had managed to tame and get those wild animals on board his ship. 

The main highlight of the Maritime Experiential Museum is 4D Typhoon Theater, a 150-seats, 360-degree multimedia theater where visitors can 'board' on an Arabia bound sailing ship, experience a perilous voyage on the sea. Be prepared to get a little wet as the ship encounters a typhoon and eventually sinks to the bottom of the sea.

While waiting for entry into the Typhoon Theatre, we took the opportunity to snap some photos with the exhibits around.

The experience begins with a pre-show set on the pier in China's Guangzhou habour where a sailor is entrusted with a mission to deliver a golden cup to Oman via sea. Despite being warned by other sailors about the bad weather, he insisted to set sail anyway.

The entire 4D experience lasts about 4.5 minutes, ending with the ship sinking to the bottom of sea. Right after the film ends, we were ushered through an exit door, leading us into a wide and dark hallway. In the middle of the hallway is a gigantic aquarium tank featuring the sunken ship from the 4D film which we had just watched in the Typhoon Theatre.

This is basically where our adventure through the S.E.A Aquarium begins. Stay tuned for more excitement as we travel deep into the ocean with me!

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