• 05:37 AM, 4 Feb, 2019
Images Courtesy NHB

Smartphone app launched as part of the Singapore Bicentennial Commemoration projects our past onto the present to provide an immersive experience of significant events and places As part of the Singapore Bicentennial Commemoration, the National Heritage Board and the National Parks Board present BALIKSG, a new augmented reality (AR) trail that will bring visitors on an immersive journey along the Singapore River and around Fort Canning. From 28 January 2019, visitors can download the free BALIKSG smartphone app, and rediscover and experience for themselves – AR-style – significant events and places in our history. These include witnessing the signing of the 1819 treaty at the Padang, listening into a probable  conversation between Sir Stamford Raffles and Major William Farquhar when they set foot on our shores, and revisiting Fort Canning back when it was known as Bukit Larangan and Government Hill.

Mr Nicholas Chen, Digital Manager at the National Heritage Board, said, “Many Singaporeans know about the landing of Raffles and Farquhar in 1819, or about coolies working along the Singapore River in the past. BALIKSG is an augmented reality trail that brings these events, places and personalities to life, allowing us to interact with them and immerse ourselves in Singapore as it was 200 years ago. We hope that through the stories that BALIKSG tells and the places it explores, Singaporeans will rediscover our history and experience it in a new way.”

BALIKSG projects the past onto the present, showing how the events and people featured have shaped Singapore, and how far we have progressed as a nation. By presenting our history and heritage in a fun and interactive manner that appeals to the tech-savvy generation of today, BALIKSG will help more Singaporeans understand and appreciate the significance behind our Bicentennial Commemoration. BALIKSG also acts as a bridge to our museums and National Collection, which were key reference points for creating the contents of the AR trail. 

BALIKSG will feature two different trails:

 Singapore River Trail

From 28 January 2019

The Singapore River has served as an artery of international commerce that attracted people from all over the region to seek their fortunes on this island. Revisit historical events and meet the early settlers who called Singapore home, including a Baweanese pondok chief, Chinese coolies, Indian Chettiars, and even Raffles and Farquhar! Witness the first 100 years of development around the Singapore River.

Length of trail: 2km | Duration: Approximately 1 hour by foot | Steps: Approx. 3,000

 Fort Canning Trail

From 1 June 2019

See Bukit Larangan through the eyes of Raffles, Farquhar and the early British explorers when they first arrived on the island, and experience what life was like on Government Hill in the 19th century. Peel back the layers of Fort Canning, and uncover the stories that lie beneath the Forbidden Hill.

Length of trail: 3km | Duration: Approximately 1.5 hours by foot | Steps: Approx. 4,500Singapore River Trail – 8 Trail Stops 1

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