Loves: Chinatown Complex Food Centre – cheap and good local food (335 Smith Street).
Our Advice: Do visit the Singapore Musical Box Museum, it is just next to the famous Thian Hock Keng temple. Modest entrance fee includes a wonderful guided tour!
Chinatown offers the near-perfect portrait of Chinese traditions and history along with the colourful culture and cuisine. The area acts as a looking glass that allows you to peek into Singapore’s past while simultaneously providing a glimpse of the present and future. The narrow lanes, traditional shops, and old school hawkers cohabitate with hipster cafes, luxury shops, and wide streets. Authenticity then is a trademark of the area as you will find souvenirs, delicacies, and even traditional Chinese medicine.
Singapore’s Chinese quarter throws up some really interesting places to visit, such as the Singapore Musical Box Museum. The first of its kind in the island-city, the centre plots the history of musical antiques. Do not be surprised if you find musical notes drifting from these ancient boxes.
The spirit of Chinatown comes alive during the Chinese New Year. The festivities include the energetic cymbal clashing and the quixotic dragon dance as the entire area is drenched in gold and red.
District: Outram, Central
- Alight at Chinatown MRT Station (DT19 / NE4) and take Exit D, E, F or G
Estimated walking distance: 50m
Operating Hours: All day
Recommended Duration: 4 hours