You can probably visit chinatown for less expensive souvenirs which costs normally around SGD$10 and you can have around 6 pieces of keychains, magnets, etc or SGD$1.90 per piece. You can also buy specialty mugs which has drawing of the things prohibited in Singapore. A nice memento.
The owners were really nice. We arrived really late and they were already closing but then again Singaporeans (and Chinese in general) are astute businessmen which will never turn down a customer. They also gave us a SGD$6 discount. We bought mugs, key chains, ref magnets, incense and stuff. All to remind us of Singapore.
Smith street is famous region for food hunting. The food stands are also highly recommended by Singapore government. The price and food are both good. The most dishes are Chinese and Nonya and local styles. Personally I recommend Laksa.
No visit to Singapore would be complete without a visit to Chinatown-the original site where Chinese immigrants lived, worked and played. This is where you can see the oldest Hokkien temple, Thian Hock Keng or experience a prayer session in progress at the Sri Mariamman Temple, Singapoore's oldest Indian temple. Pop by the wet market and haggle for best fresh produce, or Chinese tea appreciation session at Tea Chapter, Neil Road. Shop for Chinese antiquities and take in the smell of the array of Chinese herbs on sale. Food Street for alfresco meal and pastry shops for tarts and cakes. Rich cultural history of old Chinatown at Chinatown Heritage Centre at 48 Pagoda Street. Club, Smith and Trengganu Streets offer art galleries, F&B outlets, antique shops operas and plays. Don't forget to visit Chinatown Night Market in the evenings. Best time to visit 10am-10pm daily.
We had our lunch here after our visit to Pearl's Hill City Park. It's a short walk from the park. You can eat here for only SD2.50. That's rice with viand already. It's a crowded place and a bit hot. Aside from food, it's also selling other stuff. There's a nice children's playground outside the complex. Very near the Outram Park MRT Station.
We had a difficult time finding this place coz it's a bit hidden and there's no signboard pointing to its location. You have to climb a long flight of stairs to reach Pearl Bank. The park is alongside the bank. This place is huge with plenty of joggers frequenting this place coz there's a jogging path around the park. There's also a pond and a resting area where you can take a rest after the long walk. Nice park in Chinatown.
I guess many big cities have their ethnic neighbourhoods, and I'm always drawn to them. Singapore's China Town is a lot of fun to walk around in, take in the architecture of the old houses of which many have been transformed into office space. See the relatively new high rise buildings tower over Chinatown, a symbol of resistance to Singapore's continueing development..
Enjoy the markets, view or even buy strange things there, and if you need a place to shop for touristy stuff, this is the place!
Chinatown comes from the early British days where the city was partitioned into neighborhoods. Singapore is reportedly 77% ethnic Chinese so it’s a bit funny to have a neighborhood called Chinatown. Here one can see renovated Colonial era storefronts, a sharp departure from the modern buildings in Orchard Road and the Central Business District. Located here is the Sri Mariammann Temple, which isn’t in Little India. A separate entry/picture has been created for the temple. There are walks charting what you can see in Chinatown. In my opinion, if you are short of time, you might leave Chinatown for a subsequent visit. I did not see Chinatown until my third visit to Singapore. On the other hand, on a typical trip to Singapore, I might have only one day to sightsee.
It is a street that probably brought back alot of memories for the older generations in Singapore.
The structures of the building remained as those back in 1960s with quiet lanes that will bring you back to the old Singapore.
Some old and budgeted hotels can still be found along this road for multi-purposes from budget stay for travellers to hourly rent rooms for people.
Traditional temple could also be found with very ancient way of praying methods for the blessings for oneself and the family.
One can also take a rest at one of the coffeeshop along this road and listen to the daily conversation and observe the lifestyle of the typical Singaporeans.
This is a road which I would recommend if you would like to see the more untouched and laid-back of Singapore.
The best thing about Chinatown Night Market is the festival atmosphere, it's fun and excited. Shopping here is a bit tricky, not everything is cheap. Clothing is definitely expensive. If the only time you spend in Chinatown is at the Night Market you can buy some small gifts for people at home. If you come from a Western country choose something that looks Oriental because you may not find it at large shopping centres. Personally I like the Chinese style tissue box covers, they are very beautiful and cheap!.
In the photo is my son standing in front of the coffee shop of Furama City Centre Hotel where we stayed. If you are on a SIA stopover holiday you can get 50 % off the items on the coffee shop a la carte menu. However, if you want to have a cheap Asian style breakfast like the locals just exploring around the nearby housing estate buildings and you will find some very good coffee shops. One day I wandered around People Park Centre and found a coffee shop that served deli-style egg and luncheon baguettes for $2.50 each. It was very delicious so I had to come back the next day !
The name "Chinatown" speaks for itself. You can take a train and drop at Chinatown MRT station. Trying the dim sum there is a must. But do it sparingly--very fattening. The pic below shows a range of traditional chinese sweets and you can buy a packet that consists every kind for about SGD3 to try the taste. Bak Kwa (Chinese version of BBQ Meat) is worth a try too.
Take a ride on the trishaw and it will bring you around Chinatown.These places would include Maxwell Rd,Telok Ayer Street,Al Abrar Mosque,Thian Hock Keng Temple,Temple Street,Sri Mariamman Temple,Mosque Street and Jamae Mosque.
Location: Chinatown Trishaw Park
Time: 10am - 7pm (inc PH)
Unfortunately, Chinatown has become a tourist trap, especially the market streets (Pagoda, Smith, Trengganu and Smith). But you can still catch glimpses in small mom-and-pop stores around.
Too bad I didn't get to walk around past the street markets. But next time, I'll make sure I'll find other pockets of Chinatown and take pictures of restored old shophouses. And eat more yang tau foo!
Because we had limited time in Singapore, we woke early to get where we wanted to go. Well, just because most places in the states will open at dawn doesn't mean the rest of the world follows suit. We were in Chinatown by 9:30 am (the MRT is so awesome!) but nothing opened until 11 am. Some of the street shops were setting up and let us poke around, and we got some delicious bean paste treats from a vendor, but otherwise everything was barely awake.
We found a mall-type place that allowed us in even though the stores were still closed so we wandered around. Upstairs, we stumbled upon a beauty school just setting out their sign - I could get my hair highlighted for about $25US and it would take an hour. Something to do while we waited! After much negotiating with the only English-speaking person in charge (he was asking me to pay $60US because he didn't think I really wanted a student to do the work...I'm a teacher - I appreciate people learning by doing :)), I got my hair done. Not bad! A little brassy but what the heck, I'm on vacation.
Even if coloring is not your thing, consider a haircut or manicure - I was pretty pleased with myself for finding an out-of-the-box solution to the problem of wandering the already hot streets while waiting for places to open.
Colourful shophouses, shops, Sri Mariamman Temple, Chinatown Heritage Centre, troupe performance, trishaw ride, food centre, restaurants, wet market is what you can find in Singapore's Chinatown.
With the new concept of a night market, it would be a good place to shop and eat. You can avoid the heat during day time.