Thetraveljunkie.org – A guide to the best things to do and attractions in Chinatown, Singapore. Busy, noisy, filled with people, that’s the general consensus of the Chinatowns of the world. No trip to Singapore is complete without a visit to Chinatown. While it is historically the area of settlement for many Chinese immigrants who arrived in the then-British colony, don’t be surprised to find other cultural gems in this district. Here are 10 things to do in Chinatown, Singapore:
01). Capri by Fraser, China Square
Located right beside Chinatown, ideally placed for business and leisure travellers, Capri by Fraser, China Square / Singapore, is a hotel in the heart of the CBD. Featuring 304 rooms in Superior, Deluxe, Executive and Studio configurations, the hotel has many communal areas as well, based on the concept of social living. You should definitely check out Capri by Fraser, China Square / Singapore. Book now, chinasquare.capribyfraser.com.
02). Chinatown Heritage Centre
Experience the pulse of Singapore’s history with interactive exhibits and immersive experiences at the Chinatown Heritage Centre. Located within three beautifully-restored shophouses on Pagoda Street, the Chinatown Heritage Centre is a time capsule that holds stories of Singapore’s past. Dedicated to documenting and recreating the lives of Chinatown’s earliest residents, the space comprises six galleries, conserved living spaces and a range of immersive experiences.
03). Trishaw Uncle Chinatown
Discover uniquely Singapore Chinatown with Trishaw Uncle – the only Chinatown in the world where Hindu temples and mosques sit right next to Chinese temples. Bustling with life, rich in heritage charm and full of things to see, eat and buy, Chinatown is certainly not to be missed! Start point at Albert Mall Trishaw Park and end point at Chinatown Heritage Centre.
04). Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
This being Singapore, it’s not unusual to find a Hindu temple sitting next to a mosque, that’s down the street from a Chinese temple. In Chinatown, doing a tour of different faiths is easy. Start at the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple where supposedly the Buddha’s tooth is housed, before moving down to Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple, the Sri Mariamman Temple to gawk at its five-tier gopuram (monument gatehower tower), before ending at the unique Jamae Mosque, with its eclectic mix of architectural styles.
05). Yum Cha Chinatown
Yum Cha is one of the places that we would bring them to ‘cos we just love that traditional teahouse ‘noisy’ atmosphere where dim sum is served in pushcarts. Pretty authentic experience. If you still haven’t been here, you’re really missing out. The meal was as good as always. We recommended picks would be the Fish Roe Siew Mai, Steamed Pork Ribs with Garlic, Phoenix Claw, Prawn Wanton Crisp, Shrimp Beancurd Roll, Prawn & Mango Sesame Fritters, Crispy Silver Fish, Paper Chicken Wings, Fried Chicken in Thai Sauce, Baked Mini Egg Tarts, Crispy Red Bean with Banana, Mango Pudding and Lemongrass Jelly.
06) Sri Mariamman Temple
Chinatown is home to a multitude of places of worship for many religions, including the Sri Mariamman Temple, the first Hindu temple in Singapore. The temple, which worships the goddess Mariamman, was constructed in the early-19th century by southern Indian immigrants. It is in the architectural style of Dravidian temples, with a towering gopuram(entrance tower) decorated by six tiers filled with ornate sculptures of figures from Hindu mythology and culture. Historically, the temple was a centre of Hindu culture and offered help to immigrants; today, it retains many of its social, cultural and religious significance among the Hindu community. Visit the temple in the evening to see their daily Hindu rituals.
07). Mei Heong Yuen Dessert
The best Chinese dessert place you should visit after a satisfying steamboat meal at Chinatown. Mei Heong Yuen is one of the few shaved ice dessert shops you will ever find on the island, earning a spot on many tourists’ list of go-to places.
08). Everton Park
On the edge of the busy Chinatown district is Everton Park, a motley collection of some of the oldest shophouses in Singapore amidst a quiet residential district. This neighbourhood is a favourite for coffee enthusiasts and serious bean lovers, and you will find various hipster cafes and retail outlets popping up amidst the more traditional sundry shops. Also popular in this area are the growing number of heritage murals and other street art.
09). Ya Kun Kaya Toast China Street
Located on 18 China Street. A traditional Singaporean breakfast would undoubtedly be the humble kaya toast, soft-boiled eggs and kopi. This humble brand started way back in 1944, before Singapore’s independence. The first concrete stall was located in Lau Pa Sat, where it was simply known as Ya Kun Coffeestall. It remained there for 15 years before relocating in 1984 to Telok Ayer Transit Food Market, and then again in 1998 to its present location at Far East Square along China Street.
10). Hong Lim Market & Food Centre
Built in 1978, Hong Lim Market and Food Centre is one of the first hawker centres established in the Chinatown area. Located on Upper Cross Street nestled among housing estates, the centre is home to over a hundred hawker stalls.
Stay tuned for more of our adventures in Singapore.
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