Today was a public holiday here in Singapore (yesterday was Hari Raya Puasa, the end of Ramadan, and since it was a Sunday they gave us the Monday off). As per tradition, the Istana, the official residence of the President, was open. I went with some friends to look around. It's amazing to have this huge, lush, verdant space in the middle of Orchard Road, Singapore's shopping heart. The photo above is of the actual Istana building. We took a little tour that let us see the state rooms, as well as the gifts presented to Singapore's leaders by various heads of state. It's definitely worth seeing at least once - next opening is Thursday, 10 February 2005 in honour of Chinese New Year.