Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore

4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - 22 Reviews

1 Empress Place, Singapore 179941 +65 6332 5592

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  • Hindu gods
    Hindu gods
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  • Riverview from the restaurant terrace
    Riverview from the restaurant terrace
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  • The museum's facade
    The museum's facade
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  • imstress's Profile Photo

    Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM)

    by imstress Updated Oct 17, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    ACM I (Empress Place)
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    The Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) has 2 locations. One at Empress Place which is by the Singapore River and the other at Armenian Street (closed for renovation till 2008).

    The Empress Place Exhibits are spread over 3 levels and has artefacts of China, SEA, South Asia and West Asia. There are guided tours or you can simply walk the whole museum with a map whcih you could get it when you purchase your ticket at the counter.

    The Armenian Street ACM is a Peranakan Museum. The Peranakans are the descendants of Chinese who intermarried the Malays. The males are called Babas and Nyonyas are the females.

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    The other Asian Civilisations Museum

    by trisanna Updated Apr 12, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Indian Gallery

    It can be confusing, since there are two Asian Civilisations Museums. This one is the newer renovated Asian Civilisations Museum at Empress Place. The Asian Civilisations Museum at Armenian Street-specializes in local Peranakan art. This museum specializes in southeast asian art. This is a stunning museum. Not a huge museum-like the ones in Europe. They have galleries that contain Cambodian, Lao, Malaysian (Borneo), Vietnamese, Chinese and Indian art. Lots of textiles,statues, Balinese instruments, shadow puppets, etc.

    Every few months, this museum gets some blockbuster exhibits. Last year there was an exhibit of Turkish art. In late summer-they are getting art from the Vatican Museum. Check their website for more details.

    They have a nice gift shop-Banyan Tree. Outside the museum, there are two restaurants that face the river-Siem Reap and Indochine. More restaurants/cafes are around the corner at the Arts House or head to the Fullerton Hotel for a great tea.

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    HERITAGE TRAIL WALK

    by balhannah Updated Feb 28, 2011

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    Fullerton Hotel
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    This is one of the walks that we did in Singapore. It is fairly hot and humid, so before embarking, make sure you have a hat, comfortable shoes, sunscreen on, and drinking water.

    The walk began at Boat Quay on the Singapore river, at the ASIAN CIVILIZATIONS MUSEUM. We had a look at the Museum and at the sculpture outside (see other tip)

    The next stop was at the statue of Sir Stamford Raffles, which is situated where he is believed to have landed in 1819. After reading this we then headed back in the direction we had just came from, onto Cavenagh bridge. Located between here and the Asian C/Museum is a Time Capsule which was sealed in 1990, and will be opened in 2015 on Singapore's 50th national day.

    The Cavenagh bridge is the oldest bridge standing on the river, in its original form. It was completed in 1869 and was converted into a pedestrian bridge in 1910, this was when the
    new Anderson Bridge was completed.

    Across the river, is the beautiful Fullerton Hotel which is located on the site of Fort Fullerton, a garrison which was constructed in 1829 to defend Singapore against attacks.

    Next, we headed across Victoria Parade from the Fullerton Hotel to Merlion Park, where a Merlion is situated and is spouting water from its mouth.

    All of these sights are within a short walking distance of each other.

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    A lesson on "Peranakan" history

    by heryanta Written Jul 5, 2007

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    Asian Civilization Museum has two buildings, and here I will write about the "Armenian" branch (as it is located on Armenian street).

    I went there in 2004 and the museum is dedicated to "Peranakan" culture, a culture which I come from. "Peranakan" is the name given to Chinese immigrants in South East Asia who have embraced parts of Malay and Western (Dutch in Indonesia and English in Malaysia & Singapore) culture.
    They are normally descendant of 14th century immigrants (as opposed to the Chinese speaking 19th century immigrants).

    The museum has a large collections of photographs, clothing articles, furnitures and stories of prominent Peranakan families in Singapore.

    It is not too large, so a couple of hours is enough to see pretty much all of the museum, and I recommend that you pay a visit to get a bit of introduction to this unique culture.

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    Asian Civilisations Museum

    by phil_uk_net Updated Apr 28, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Asian Civilisations Museum

    Some museums do it for me and others don't. This one didn't. Lots of baubles, trinkets, cups and bowls that didn't really excite me or teach me anything.
    The building itself is beautiful. Maybe I missed something?

    28 April 2003: Here is an update I received from Fudge. "The ACM has now opened at its new premises. It's at 1 Empress Place now, opposite the Fullerton Hotel. The Armenian St. building is now what they call a Boutique Museum, focusing on Peranakan culture."

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    Peranakan Culture

    by trisanna Updated Apr 12, 2005

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    asian civilisations museum

    The Asian Civilisations Museum on Armenian Street is housed in a stunning white colonial building-which used to be a school. Presently, the museum holds an impressive collection of Peranakan art, jewerly, and furniture. The Peranakan's are straits chinese-that are born locally in Singapore. For more information on Peranakans you can use the link below.
    http://www.peranakan.org.sg/Culture/culturehome.html

    There are some great statues outside of the building. Look for the old man with the young girl waving to the woman in the upstairs terrace/window. Look for the cute cat by the door.

    One word of warning this museum will be closed late fall 2005 for renovation.

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    Showcasing the best of Asia

    by berenices Written Nov 15, 2011

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    Ornate jewelry
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    The Asian Civilizations Museum should be in the itinerary of every visitor to Singapore -- it provides a quite comprehensive view of the sophistication of East Asia's cultures many centuries before it was "discovered" by the West. The building used to be the registry office during the British rule, so it is not huge, but it's easy to imagine its original function -- the layout of the museum is still very much that of a "bureau." This does not make it very easy to navigate between one room to another. The collections, however, are excellent. The best examples and most valuable objects from the major cultures in Asia are shown, as well as those from the original inhabitants, the multivaried ethnic groups.

    Photos can be taken, without flash. There are frequent guided tours (the guides are international volunteers), so be sure to catch one, as there are details that one can easily miss. Along the rooms are seats, so no worries for those who want to rest from time to time.

    There is a well-appointed restaurant on the side of the museum, which also has tables on the terrace overlooking the river. The museum shop has very good souvenirs, and from time to time, sell them at a big discount. A couple of weeks ago (late Oct 2011), there was 50% discount on many items -- a very good deal.

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    Asian Civilisations Museum

    by limledi Updated Jan 27, 2007

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    Asian Civilisations Museum (Empress Place)
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    Asian Civilisations Museum has two branches. The Armenian Street one focuses on the Straits-born Chinese, while Empress Place showcases Asian cultures and civilisations. The boutique sells exquisite handcrafted antiques, jewellery and homeware from Asia. Open: Noon-6pm (Mon), 9am-6pm (Tues-Sun).

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    Asian Civilisations Museum

    by salisbury3933 Updated Jan 27, 2006

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    This museum has some quite interesting displays relating to the history of various regions of Asia, and primarily the peoples that make up Singapore today. It's well worthwhile visiting. Entry is S$8 for an adult.

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    ASIAN CIVILISATION'S MUSEUM - SOUTH EAST ASIA

    by balhannah Written Nov 20, 2011

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    The three Southeast Asia galleries cover over 2,500 years of history.
    These galleries I really enjoyed!

    We saw ceramic and bronze pieces that dated back to 600BC.

    We saw Drum's, more Ceramics, Clothing, Ritual object's, we learnt about the monsoons and the importance of the rainy season for a bumper Rice crop. Then, we walked through to the Javanese Kingdoms, the Malay world and the hill and island tribes, reading about how centres sprang up as a result of the trade in spices and exotic forest products.
    Objects belonging to the world of the sultans were on display and also pieces belonging to the Batak, Nias of South East Asia.
    The Mary and Philbert Chin Gallery had jewellery and textiles. weaving and metalwork, and a range of designs, shapes and motifs that were used across Southeast Asia.
    We saw a Javanese gamelan orchestra, masks and puppets from Cambodia to Indonesia, some of them look pretty fearsome, these South East Asia Galleries were great!

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    ASIAN CIVILISATION'S MUSEUM - WEST ASIA & ISLAMIC

    by balhannah Updated Nov 20, 2011

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    These galleries covered three of the major religions, Judism, Christianity and Islam that originated in West Asia.

    The gallery focused mainly on Islam, which still continues to have a major effect on the shaping of Singapore and the surrounding region. Islam's god is "Allah."

    It showed how Islamic artists have focused their skill and creativity on calligraphy. The Mosque was beautifully painted and shouldn't be missed!
    It was built so that when we entered, we were facing towards Mecca, the direction of prayer for all Muslims.

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    Singapore Culture! and other cultures from Asia

    by bleusummers Written Oct 9, 2006

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    This museum is strategically placed in the city centre where many eateries, pubs, financial centres are found nearby. I think this place is hard to be missed as you can have a peek of Singapore's culture in a soothing environment and then experience the city life once you step out of it. It has a cosy café and restaurant where you can enjoy the spectecular view of the Singapore river too. Go and have a tour of their themed galleries and explore the many faces of Asia.

    Opening Hours

    Mon 1pm- 7pm
    Tue-Sun 9am-7pm
    (to 9pm on Friday)

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    ASIAN CIVILISATION'S MUSEUM

    by balhannah Updated Nov 19, 2011

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    Qin 221-205BC
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    The Museum itself is located in a beautiful old building.
    We were here on a Saturday, and once inside, we went to pay our admission fee, and were told it was a "free" day. Lucky for us, we saved $16s!

    The Museum traces the lives of the Singaporean's from early days to now, with a wonderful collection of artifact's. There are over 11 galleries and three levels, with the story Asia told in themed Gallerie's.

    The Gallery also holds temporary exhibition's, and we were very lucky a wealthy Singaporean businessman, had paid for some of China's Terracotta Warrior's to be brought out and put on display in the Museum.
    We saw the Warrior's quite easily as they had us in a moving queue to enter the room, then we could walk around. It was very well set out and very interesting. I found out about this exhibition from the Tourist Information Centre.

    ADMISSION IN 2011.....Adults $8s & Children $4s

    OPEN ......
    Monday 1 - 7pm & Tuesday - Sunday 9 - 7pm and to 9pm on a Friday.

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    ASIAN CIVILISATION'S MUSEUM -SINGAPORE RIVER

    by balhannah Written Nov 20, 2011

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    What else were we going to see in this Museum?

    We first walked into the gallery named "THE SINGAPORE RIVER"

    Here was the story of how Trader's were interested in Singapore, and how Archaeological finds have given evidence of Maritime trading from as early as the 14th century. Found, were 14th century Chinese ceramics, which would have been expensive luxuries at the time. Also found was a tiny figure of a horse and rider in the Majapahit style (the Majapahit Kingdom was a dominant power in the region at the time), this is on display.

    Singapore became wealthy with the amount of trading going on, and we saw a display of how the 'coolies' lived, nothing fancy here, only cramped living conditions, gangs, opium addiction and gruelling work.

    From what we read in the River Gallery, we learnt about the lives of the coolies and Chettiars, the indigenous Orang Laut and the newly arrived Europeans.

    It was good to begin our tour here, as this is the start to a journey into the other galleries, where we journeyed even further back into the past and the myriad cultures of Asia.

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    ASIAN CIVILISATION'S MUSEUM - CHINA

    by balhannah Written Nov 20, 2011

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    Now we are going to have a look at the Gallery on China.
    Named the "Kwek Hong Png China Gallery," it winds around in the form of a Dragon, one of the most important symbols in Chinese culture.

    On display is a Dragon Robe, which embodies within it the majesty, power and status of the Emperor. Here we learn of Confucious and his ideals, which placed the father at the head of the family, just as the emperor was the head of state. Great care was taken to respect and look after one's elders and ancestor's, and still is today.
    There were more paintings and calligraphy on display, Chinese ceramic's, Buddhist stone statues and reliefs, wooden & gilt bronze Buddhist figure's, some dating back to the 7th century, and beautiful outfits, head-dresses and mask's.

    The white Dehua porcelain looked very fine. These pieces were from the Ming and Qing periods were produced in the Fujian province in southern China.
    Another great gallery!

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