In contrast to the tall modern building all across the city, find some small old fashioned Chinese homes and streets soaked up in its traditional culture. In a true sense an epitome of abundance, from good cheap food, dozens of street shops, museums and temples across a diversity of cultures, you will agree when they say that a trip to Singapore is incomplete without a visit to the China town. Here’s what makes it exciting!
Here are 10 best things you can do in Chinatown during your Singapore trip
1. Thian Hock Keng Temple
The Thian Hock Keng Temple is the oldest Chinese temple in the city, built back in the 1820s. It used to be the first touch down point for the sailors and settlers offering their gratitude for a safe sea journey.
You will be stunned by the decorum of the temple, from intricate carvings, painted walls, to the gold-leafed panels and all of this so beautifully assembled without the use of a single nail.
2. Chinatown’s Maxwell Food Centre
Who doesn’t like Chinese food? Hawker centres are the best place to indulge in some authentic Chinese delights – from noodles, dumplings, pork rib soup with rice, satay and a plethora of options to choose from.
There are also plenty of guided tours or food adventure tours available which you can opt for and explore around with a local expert. Whatever you do, don’t leave without trying a few of these delicacies.
3. Drama Box
If you are someone who is fond of theatre and drama then Chinatown’s drama box should be on your list. A socially engaged theatre company, known for its creative work of plays which are demonstrated to inculcate social responsibilities and deeper understanding of its culture among the locals, it is quite a watch.
4. Baba House
The Baba House, built-in 1980s was once the ancestral home of the Wee family who descended from the shipping tycoon Wee Bin. The blue house has maintained its traditional furniture, artefacts and architectural antiques for generations to come now. At the present date, the third floor has been converted into a museum to preserve its rich heritage and Peranakan history.
Please note: The visit to Baba House is strictly on an appointment basis only, so make sure you have made your reservation in advance.
5. Pinnacle Duxton
Enjoy breathtaking views of the Singapore city from its tallest 50 storeyed residential building. It features two of the longest sky gardens in the world each stretching across 500 meters, located on the 26th and the 50th floor of the building.
To avoid disturbance to its residents, only the 50th has been made accessible for the public with a small fee of $5. Appreciate the peaceful and undisturbed view across the terrace, especially as there is a cap of 200 visitors daily.
6. G-Max Reverse Bungy
Time for some thrill and fun, as the name suggested its bungee but in a reverse direction. Singapore’s first Bungy ride which works just like the famous game of Angry Birds, except that you’re the human firearm.
Definitely not something for the faint-hearted, because when the capsule is up, the riders might experience hitting speeds of up to 200 kilometres per hour (similar to the experience during a rocket launch). Also, the ride offers some amazing views from the top for those who can keep their eyes open.
7. Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
A traditional Tang-style designed temple with its red lacquered walls, adds to the diversity of culture in Chinatown. The relatively young Buddist temple built-in 2007 attracts a lot of visitors for its giant stupa weighing 3,500 kilograms, made from 320 kilograms of gold located on its third floor. The temple is also home to a museum displaying Buddhist artefacts and its legacies.
8. Ann Siang Hill
If you’re looking for some vibrant and buzzing atmosphere after dark, then you know where to head next. The Interconnecting corridors of the Ann Siang Hill and the club street make a perfect gateway for a quick recharge. With exceptional bars, clubs, cafes, and restaurants these places get livelier by the nights, transforming this silent hilly neighbourhood into a crazy nightlife district.
9. Chinatown Street Market
The Chinatown street markets are a must-visit spot of Singapore. You’ll find hundreds of stalls offering a wide range of goods from imported toys, accessories, antiques, Chinese lanterns to beautiful souvenirs. Meanwhile, you can also grab a few quick bites from the small food carts offering fresh dim sum and crispy duck. Make sure you go early before the streets get busy!
10. Chinatown Heritage Centre
A heritage centre where you get to learn about the early Chinese settlers of Singapore, their lives and struggles. A place depicting the rich Chinese culture through its displays and artefacts. You can also buy a few souvenirs from the locals for yourself or your loved ones back home.
Make a note of these amazing places that you can explore on your next vacation to Singapore, and sure enough, you would agree that no trip is complete without a visit to Chinatown.
Though planning a holiday might become time-consuming, you can always check out some great customizable Singapore packages offered by travel companies like Pickyourtrail and Yatra.com to experience a hassle-free vacation. Hurry up and book yours today!