Singapore 1972

I visited Singapore for the first time during the summer of 1972, as part of a longer trip that also took me to Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. At that time Singapore was a fairly new country, as it had gained independence from Malaysia on August 9, 1965. It was very different from what it is today, as one can see from the following pictures: not as opulent, not as clean, … I have always liked and I still like Singapore, but I nevertheless regret some its previous charm.

The river was full of barges that, unlike today, were not for tourists:

singapore 1972-1

singapore 1972-2

singapore 1972-3

singapore 1972-4

singapore 1972-5

The port was not as big as today:

singapore 1972-6

There were few tall buildings, but old buildings were already being scrapped down to make space for taller ones:

singapore 1972-7

Streets had a very different, but perhaps more charming atmosphere with little traffic:

singapore 1972-8

singapore 1972-9

singapore 1972-10

singapore 1972-11

singapore 1972-12

singapore 1972-14

singapore 1972-15

singapore 1972-16

singapore 1972-17

Popular theaters were erected in the middle of the streets:

singapore 1972-18

singapore 1972-19

Night markets smelled like true markets:

singapore 1972-20

singapore 1972-21

But today I can enter Singapore with long hairs. In 1972, I had to get an haircut …

By Jean-Claude Latombe

RemSG: It is a delight to see these valuable photos of how Singapore looked like back in 1972. The Singapore River and the streets filled with little businesses were certainly a lot different from the modern Singapore we see today.

With permission from Mr Jean-Claude Latombe to reproduce from his website:

Published: 18 January 2015

4 Responses to Singapore 1972

  1. patrick tay says:

    hope to see more like angus street,boat quay,fisher st,cumming st,keng cheow street,kerr road,thanks

  2. Evelyn Tay says:

    Thank you, that brought back memories.

  3. Guy Leung says:

    can i ask about this ferry history ?

  4. John Michlik says:

    Lived there from 1971-1973 really enjoyed my time there

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