Visiting Chinatown in Singapore? Find out some of the iconic places of interest that depicts Chinatown history in this article!
Chinatown is one of the historic places in Singapore, where you can find a bustling blend of the country’s ancient and modern culture. This place is filled with traditional shops, cool stores, genuine cafes and lots of other exciting locations. In simple words, you can explore one of the best skyline views of Singapore by visiting Chinatown. Have a look at the top 7 places to explore in Chinatown:
Things To Do in Chinatown Singapore
People’s Park Complex is a 31-floor high rise building located at the heart of the Chinatown. There are lots of shops selling Chinese items here and you can throng this complex for fabrics, food, souvenirs, and many other things that strike your fancy. The food stalls located in People’s Park are very affordable and you can explore a great variety of dishes here. This building is the largest shopping complex in the commercial belt along with the EU Tong Sen Street and New Bridge Road.
In addition to shopping and eating at the People’s Park, you can see the monuments that can gratify any visitor because they can select the souvenirs of their own choice. There are lots of other places near the complex, such as Coleurs Pte Ltd, Central Mall, Cold Storage China Square, etc. that you can visit during your visit to Chinatown.
Garden Bridge is an overhead bridge in the Chinatown Garden that has a magnificent and brilliant architectural design. Visiting this bridge will allow you to explore the typical beauty of the Chinese architecture. There are two Chinese architectural pavilions at this garden bridge.
You should visit this place during the early morning to explore its beauty at its best. The bridge is located at the height of 50 meters above the ground and you can check the nearby views from this place. Sitting at the park and looking at the willow plants beside the pavilion can give you an extreme peace. Exploring the garden bridge during the spring celebrations can make your trip to Chinatown worthy.
Chinatown Heritage Centre
The Chinatown Heritage Centre is the perfect gateway for all the tourists who want to know about the personal stories of the early residents of Chinatown. Here, you can get a glimpse into the lives of Chinatown’s early people.
Visiting this place will allow you to know about the early pioneers of Singapore who left their homes in China due to famine, unrest, and floods. They came to Singapore for having some good income and a better living. So, if you are looking to know about the colorful history of the Chinatown, then don’t forget to visit the heritage center.
Sri Mariamman Temple
Sri Mariamman Temple is one of the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore, which is built in a Dravidian style. You must visit this National Monument and explore its architectural and historical significance. It is a unique temple which was built by Naraina Pillai in 1827. It is an ornate landmark that you must visit during your visit to Chinatown. The temple has six tiers which are covered with the mythological beasts, sculptures of deities and much more.
You must visit the Theemithi (fire walking ceremony) that is the major festival at the temple celebrated during the month of October or November every year. There are lots of opulent columns and ceiling graced with astonishing paintings that you must explore at this temple. Since its foundation, the temple served as a refuge for new Indian immigrants. Along with many religious functions, you can also explore the various cultural, educational, and social activities during your visit to the Sri Mariamman Temple.
Yong Gallery is a beautiful art museum located at the center of the Chinatown in Singapore. The museum was founded by the Yong Cheong Thye and Cheh Kai Hon. If you are a true lover of the art and paintings, then you must visit Yong Gallery and enter the world of handcrafted elegance.
Here, you will find that all the pieces of wood carving and Chinese calligraphy, which is a true masterwork made by the contemporary artists Cheh Kai Hon and Yong Cheong Thye. You will be able to witness the transformation of the Chinese Calligraphy on woods. You can buy lots of unique products at the Yong Museum that consist of wood carving artwork, custom designed artwork, Chinese Calligraphy, and antique artwork.
Smith Street is a small road that runs through the heart of the Chinatown. It is the only place in the area that is named after a European person Sir Cecil Clementi Smith. This place lies between the New Bridge Road and South Bridge Road. The food lovers should go and visit the Chinatown Food Street, where you can eat a huge variety of tasty foods. It is best to visit this place at night when you can enjoy some drinks with the tasty food.
There is a dark side of the Smith Street that you will also get to know by visiting it. It was popular as a red-light area having at least 25 brothels till 1930. Along with that, the street was also a well-known place for the job seekers during that time.
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
Your visit to Chinatown can’t get completed without visiting the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. It is a five-storey temple where you can immerse yourself in the Buddhist culture. This is a Tang-styled Chinese Buddhist Museum popular for its extensive collection regarding the Buddhist culture and its history.
The temple may have been built in 2007, but its comprehensive exhibits and richly designed interiors on the Buddhist art and ancient history that showcases the stories of culture spanning over more than hundreds of years. On the third floor of the temple, you can explore the array of revered artifacts of the Buddha whereas the fourth floor hosts the centerpiece of the temple. The main attraction of the temple is The Buddha Tooth Relic that is housed in a giant stupa having the weight of 3,500 KG. The most interesting thing about stupa is that it is made by using 320 KG gold.
What is special about Chinatown in Singapore?
One of the iconic and most loved places in Singapore is Chinatown. Most Singaporeans and tourists admire the colors, atmosphere, and vibe in this famous place. The Chinatown has a blend of historical and modern touches, with historic temples, vibrant heritage buildings, and some hidden old Chinese shophouses. Alongside these historic buildings are modern and new bars and lifestyle shops, simply having a good stroll on the streets of this place.
The area of Chinatown features some of the top tourist attractions in Singapore. Aside from the iconic temples, there are places to dine and enjoy some mouthwatering food made with both the taste of local ingredients and the Chinese menu. You will find all the delicious food in the biggest food centre in the city, Chinatown Complex Food Centre. There are Shanghai-style dumplings, wonton noodles, and so much more.
Of course, never miss out on some temples like Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Thian Hock Keng Temple, and Sri Mariamman Temple. You will be amazed by the arts and historical touches of the temples at Chinatown. Surely you will feel the culture and tradition of the Chinese and how peaceful it is in these temples.
There is no secret why Chinatown is so special with all this being said. There is so much to explore and see from temples, food, and shops in the beautiful Chinatown. You’ll know it when you visit this place in Singapore.
Iconic Places of Interest that depicts Chinatown History: FAQs
Chinatown is best known for being the center of the largest hawker centre where you will find temples to visit and, of course, food stalls to eat local and Chinese food. Undoubtedly, food is what most locals and tourists love when visiting Chinatown.
Chinatown was built in 1843, and eventually, more establishments and stalls were built. As years go by, it is being developed and improved to attract more tourists local and abroad.
Most tourists love to visit Chinatown, and we could say that it won’t be on the travel list. In this place, you can find food stalls offering a wide range of dishes, snacks, and delicacies that tourists must try. Of course, tourists visit Chinatown because of the culture and heritage, the temples, and more historic buildings.