Chinatown is Singapore's traditional Chinese quarter where you will find an eclectic mix of traditional shops and markets, cultural points of interest, as well as cool bars and hip cafés.
A walk down Chinatown’s narrow streets with their picturesque shophouses, now repurposed as shops, hipster joints, restaurants and offices, reveals Singapore’s rich Chinese heritage as well as the country’s journey from a small fishing village to one of the world’s most progressive economies and trading ports. Visitors can stop by a stretch of shophouses that have been converted into the Chinatown Heritage Centre (chinatownheritagecentre.com.sg) to get a glimpse into the lives of Singapore’s early Chinese migrants. Chinatown offers visitors an interesting and harmonious mix of cultures, where the Hindu temple Sri Mariamman is on the same stretch as the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum. Visitors will appreciate the religious and cultural melting pot evident within the area.
Travellers can easily spend up to a day exploring shops and family-run businesses, selling everything from traditional pastries to Chinese teas and medicinal concoctions to the latest electronic gadgets and local independent designs. The precinct – which encompasses the Telok Ayer, Bukit Pasoh, Tanjong Pagar, Kreta Ayer and Ann Siang Hill neighbourhoods – is also home to some of the best food on the island, from Michelin-starred restaurants to famed hawker stalls. Visitors can sign up for a variety of ticketed or free tours in the area.
Find out more about the rich heritage and storied past of Chinatown:
A. Street Food and Hawkers
Amoy Street Food Centre • Bak Kwa • Brewing Nostalgia • Chinatown Complex Food Centre • Itinerant Hawkers • Maxwell Food Centre • People's Park Food Centre • Rickshaw Noodles • Soya Sauce Chicken • Tze Char
B. Lives in Shophouses, Buildings
Ann Siang and Club Street • Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum • Bukit Pasoh Clans • Bukit Pasoh, Keong Siak and Duxton • Chin Kang Huay Kuan • Chinatown Five Foot Ways • Chinatown Shophouses • Chinatown Churches • Fan Tsai Mei • Growing up in a brothel (Keong Siak Road) • Indian Muslims • Kreta Ayer People's Theatre • Lai Chun Yuen Opera House • Majestic Theatre • Masjid Jamae • Opium Dens • People's Park Complex • Pickering Street • Sago Lane Death Houses • Schools in Chinatown • Smith Street • Sri Mariamman Temple • St Andrew's Mission Hospital • Steam Trams • Thian Hock Keng Temple • Yue Hwa Building
C. Chinatown Festivals
D. Heritage Brands
Chop Wah On • Dragon Brand Bird's Nest • Eu Yan Sang • Fong Moon Kee • Hai Seng Porcelain • Ka Soh • Leong Kai Fook • Lim Chee Guan • Mei Heong Yuen • Pek Sin Choon • Poh Heng Jewellery • Spring Court • Tong Heng
E. Crafts and Trades
Belinda Low - Chinatown Murals • Clogs and Clogmakers • Coolies • Chinatown Coffin Makers • Chinese Opera Wayang • Chan Ngee Antiques • Chung Hwa Free Clinic • Goldsmiths • Idol Carvers • Itinerant Traders • Lantern Making • Letter Writers • The Rickshaw Pullers of Jinrikisha Station • Roadside Barbers • Samsui Women • Storytellers of Chinatown • Traditional Medical Halls • Traditional Pastry Shops • Traditional Teahouses • Majie • Nam's Supplies • Yip Yew Chong - Chinatown Murals
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