Singapore Maritime Experiential Museum & Aquarium

Maritime Experiential Museum & Aquarium or known as MEMA is located at Sentosa Island just across Vivo City. At the moment only the museum is open to public as the aquarium is still under construction. MEMA is dedicated especially to the history of the Maritime Silk Route.

When you enter the museum, do remember to get this passport with you. Every page consist of the different port-of-call that you are going to visit along the way. Get your passport stamped with the embossing seal. At least you can keep the passport as free souvenir.

The exhibits mainly describe about the life & trade on the maritime silk route between the East and the West from the 9th to 19th century. This route stretched from South China Sea to Indonesia and across the Indian Ocean to the Africa Continent, Starting from Malindi (India), Muscat (Oman), Calicut (India), Galle (Sri Lanka), Malacca (Malaysia), Palembang (Indonesia), Qui Nhom (Vietnam) and finally Quanzhou (China).

A brief history about the maritime silk route, Admiral Zheng He was appointed by the Ming Emperor  in 1405 as a commander of a fleet for more than 200 ships carrying some more than 28k men. He made 7 voyages for over 30 years. Pretty amazing for spending all your life at sea.

Some of the artifacts at the exhibition. From trading spices (Bottom right) to chinaware (Top).

At Melacca port of call, traditional malay games during the old days. Congkak (Left) Rattan Takraw (Top right) and big spinning top (Bottom left)

More exhibits. I love the hanging lamp.

The Jewel of Muscat donated by the Oman people. That’s the main attraction of the museum. Sadly to say you are not allowed to enter or explore the ship. You can only admire it from far. This ship was built based on the design on an Arab dhow that sank off the coast of Belintung Island, Indonesia after visiting China during the Tang dynasty. Fact about this ship is that only original materials and traditional methods used in the construction of the ship.

Exhibit at India port of call

Above is some hands on activity that you can keep for souvenir. Some other activities such as colouring your own “Wayang Kulit” , interactive games and many more.

Looks like the Noah Ark. NOT! This is a cross section of Admiral Zheng He vessel.  Besides carrying officials, crew and military troops, they also carried a wide range of things that were important for survival including weapons, horses, livestock, food and drinking water. Unbelievable!

One of the famous wreck is the Bakau Wreck , discovered recently off Bakau island near western Borneo, Indonesia. Archaeologists believe that the vessel that was shipwrecked was an early 15th century Chinese ship. Above are some of the artifacts found on the wreck.

On every Friday and Saturday night, don’t forget to catch Jazz Night. Only admission tickets required or dine in at fish & crab shack  to unwind the cool jazz. Re entry are allowed for the whole day too.

After unwind, don’t forget to catch the fireworks only on Friday and Saturday at Universal Studios. Best spot for free viewing is at the Sentosa Boardwalk. Cheers!

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