Dedicated to stamps and postal memorabilia, the Philatelic Museum is actually a great way to spend a day out with the family. Underrated and largely ignored by the museum-going mafia, the museum’s 10 rooms have more than enough to keep you entertained for a Saturday afternoon or a Sunday morning. The exhibits change regularly so keep an eye on listings to make sure that you don’t miss anything worth seeing.
Learn some new lingo
In the museum, you can find out exactly what a cinderella is (hint: it has nothing to do with fairy tales and missing shoes) in the Orange Room. With plenty of cubbies to explore, The Language of Philately will show you the lingo of a world that many of us know nothing about. You can also see counterfeit stamps here and learn about an underwater post office.
Don’t miss some classic selfie opportunities
In the museum’s Green Room, you can turn yourself into a stamp. So step inside, strike a pose and become your own 100 cent stamp. Just outside the room, there are some child-sized puzzles blown up on giant stamps to solve.
See some stranger things in the Room of Rarities
Try dropping a letter down an eleven storey post box and see how long it takes for your mail to reach the bottom. This chute used to be in Singapore’s Central Business District on Robinson Road and it really is eleven stories high. It was installed to save the postman’s legs from climbing up to the twelfth floor and the chute still bears some vintage marks from it’s former days. Interestingly, you can also see a replica of a lamp post box, which was a post box tied to the top of a lamp. This was done to save on erecting post boxes and the light was of course useful if you needed to write anything down before posting.
Play some traditional games
Next to the Heritage Room, you can try your hand at tikam tikam. Although you can’t win anything, you can learn the rules of the game, where you paid a fee to select a random number and hopefully win a prize. There is also a display of what a traditional mama store would have looked like. The Heritage Room itself is designed to look exactly like a shophouse, with a retro coffee counter, displays of Singaporean cultural traditions and postcards galore. They even have the red clogs that were so popular in Singapore of old and you can try walking around the room in them, the fun being in the attempt not to fall over!
Buy something cute in the store
Here you can find absolutely everything to do with the postal service, including postcards. Some provide an excellent glimpse into Singapore before it became a bustling metropolis. They also have some replica vintage toys, as well as stamps and letter-writing equipment galore. You can even post a letter after, in the only red pillar box that is still functioning in Singapore.
See The Little Prince
Everyone’s favorite French childhood character is currently in situ at the museum and the exhibit displays the creative process behind the story as well as insights into the author himself, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. There are of course plenty of stamps and postal items as well as personal belongings of the author, books and sculptures.
The museum is open daily from 10am-7pm and is located at 23-B Coleman Street. Admission is free for Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents and costs S$8 for adults and children up to 12 go free.