Chinatown – the Chinese Corner of Singapore

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There is nothing better than starting your visit to Singapore from touring the Chinatown district, one of its main neighborhoods. It is the center of the Chinese community in Singapore. It is a legacy of the firsts Chinese settlers that lived in Singapore.

The Chinatown Singapore emerged in 1821, when the first ship arrived to the port from Xiamen. The passengers were all men. They settled in the southern part of the Singapore River, now known as Telok Ayer.

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Like the rest of Singapore, Chinatown also stands out for its cultural mix. In very few cities it is possible to see two Arab mosques and a Hindu temple in the heart of a Chinatown.

Chinatown Singapore Districts

Chinatown singapore skylineTo start with, you should know that currently Chinatown Singapore is divided into 5 districts:

    • Telok Ayer. In addition to being known for its picturesque places of worship, this district also has extravagant shops, cafes and places to have a drink.
    • Bukit Pasoh. With historical associations housed next to trendy hotels and restaurants, Bukit Pasoh is a lovely blend of old and new.
    • Tanjong Pagar. Formerly the hub of rickshaws, it is a hodgepodge of residential apartments, commercial buildings and night spots.
    • Kreta Ayer. It is the heart of Chinatown Singapore. This district is home to a variety of traditional crafts, homegrown brands and some of the finest hawker food.
    • Ann Siang Hill. A recent influx of new businesses and developments have filled the slopes of Ann Siang Hill with extravagant shops, coffee shops and gambling dens, making it a great weekend gathering place for young people.

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Chinatown Singapore Attractions

Pagoda Street

Pagoda streetTo reach the Chinatown Singapore district, there is nothing better than to take a metro and get off at the stop with the same name. Once you get off, you will find yourself in the heart of the neighborhood, in the district of Kreta Ayer. Here you have the famous Pagoda Street, from where you can start your visit to Chinatown.

Thian Hock Keng Temple

Thian hock keng templeThis is one of the oldest and most important temples in Singapore. The construction of Thian Hock Keng was completed in 1842. This place is definitely worth your attention, because it is very well preserved and is quite spectacular.

Chinatown Heritage Centre

Chinatown heritage centreIt is a three-storey museum, where you can get acquainted with how Chinese settlers lived here before.

Singapore City Gallery

Singapore city galleryOne of the must-see’s, if you want to know Singapore better. For example, its areas, how the city was built, the tunnels of the city and many other things.

Sri Mariamman Temple

Sri mariamman templeAlthough we are in Chinatown, it is not difficult to find other types of temples, such as the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore. Since its inception has served as a sanctuary for new immigrants and refugees, especially from southern India. Today, in addition to its services and religious functions, the temple promotes various social, cultural and educational activities.

Masjid Al-Abrar

Masjid al abrarIt is one of the first mosques in Singapore and it is located along Telok Ayer Street. The mosque was built in 1827 by the Chulias, the Tamil Muslims of southern India. The Chulias have been the first Singaporean immigrants since 1822.

Where to Eat

Maxwell food centerMaxwell Food Center. Eating in Singapore is going to be painful for your purse, unless you are looking for some hawkers or a food center. The hawkers are the old street food stalls and the food centers are the same thing, but a little more expensive. This Chinatown Singapore’s food center won’t disappoint you.

Smith street

Smith Street. Since we are talking about food, we have to mention Smith Street, which name changes to Food Street after 5 p.m. There you can eat during the night for affordable prices.

The architecture, the atmosphere, the restaurants and the shops of Chinatown will become one of your best memories of Singapore.

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