As part of the Singapore Bicentennial Commemoration, the National Heritage Board and the National Parks Board launched BALIKSG, an augmented reality (AR) trail that will bring visitors on an immersive journey along the Singapore River and around Fort Canning.
Visitors can download the free BALIKSG smartphone app, and rediscover and experience significant events and places in Singapore’s history for themselves. 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 the shores of Singapore, and revisiting Fort Canning back when it was known as Bukit Larangan and Government Hill.
By projecting the past onto the present, BALIKSG shows how the events and people featured have shaped Singapore, and how far we have progressed as a nation. Through the fun and interactive presentation of Singapore’s history and heritage, BALIKSG not only appeals to the tech-savvy generation of today but also helps more Singaporeans understand and appreciate the significance behind our country’s Bicentennial Commemoration.
BALIKSG features two different trails – Singapore River Trail and Fort Canning Trail. While the Singapore River Trail is already available to visitors, the Fort Canning Trail will only be made available from 1 June 2019. At the Singapore River Trail, visitors get to witness the first 100 years of development around the Singapore River.
The Singapore River Trail includes eight trail stops which are located along or near the Singapore River. They can be found at Raffles Landing Site, Elgin Bridge, Esplanade Park, Empress Lawn, Boat Quay – next to Cavenagh Bridge and in front of UOB Plaza – and in front of National Gallery of Singapore, facing the Padang.
The trail does not have to be completed in any particular order as each stop covers a different aspect leading to the growth of Singapore over the years. However, as BALIKSG is an AR app and does require GPS, your phone data may get drained pretty quickly – pretty much like with Pokémon Go.
BALIKSG can be downloaded for free through the App Store and Google Play store. For more information, visit www.balik.sg
Photos by Goh Jing Wen of the DANAMIC team.