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.
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!
Chinatown known localy as Niu Che Shui in Chinese that translates to bullock cart, water ! sounds strange but in those early days of chinatown it had no running water, so all the water was transported by Bullock carts
Although it may seem strange to most people to have a Chinatown in a predominantly Chinese city, it isn't strange to me considering where I'm from. The area today is composed of brightly coloured buildings with good restaurants and cool little shops. However, the Chinatown of today doesn't resemble the Chinatown of early Singapore.
Chinatown was formed in the early years of settlement. The British wanted to keep racial tensions minimized and divided the city into districts based on ethnic groups. Three years after Singapore was settled Chinatown had 3,000 inhabitants, most of them penniless and half starving immigrants from mainland China. Over the next decade their numbers would grow to exceed 30,000.
Chinatown is also known as "Niu Che Shui" in Chinese. The literal translation means "bullock carts' water". This name came about in the early days of Singapore when there was no water supply in Chinatown. So the people living and working there relied on bullock carts for the transportation of water. Therefore Chinatown was dubbed "bullock carts' water" by the locals, and the name is still being used by the Singaporeans.
Conditions in the early years were pretty bad. Slophouses, two-story buildings with shops or small factories on the ground floor and living quarters upstairs, were common. Often twenty to thirty lived in a single room. The British did not provide police protection in Chinatown. This was the responsibility of the Chinese guilds, or clan associations, to oversee their own law and order.
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.
With most of Singapore's population having Chinese roots in the one or other way, it surprised me that something like Chinatown exists at all. But yes, there is a Chinatown. Here, old temples, souvenir shops and food stalls mix with Singaporean cleanliness. From an architectural point of view, it has a good balance between high-rise buildings and old lower ones inspired by traditional Chinese architecture. Good place to wander around in the afternoon.
Singapore's Chinatown is an ethnic neighborhood featuring distinctly Chinese cultural elements and a historically concentrated ethnic Chinese population.
Before going there I was thinking of Chinatown in Kuala lumpur or Bangkok but I was shocked it's not like that at all, it's spotlessly clean, quite and no Chinese food smell or cooking in the street! I loved that place and the souvenir shops that sells Chinese related item were so cool. I would have stayed there if the accommodations wasn't very expensive comparing to other neighborhoods.
Surprisingly, in the heart of this diverse Chinese community is the most important temple for Singaporean Indians, the Sri Mariamman Hindu Tamil Temple, and the Indian mosques, Al-Abrar Mosque at Telok Ayer Street and Jamae Mosque at Mosque Street, as well as the Fukien Thian Hock Keng Chinese Temple of 1830 to 1842.
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!.
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.
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.
There's really no need for a tour guide. I took the train to Esplanade (Green Line) and made my way around by means of walking. I ended up seeing the Merlion, Raffles Hotel, even the 2 museums I wanted to visit (Singapore art Museum and 8Q SAM
Chinatown is a must visit, the old Chinese-colonial shophouses have been gutted, refurbished and repainted in bright pastels. It is one of the most picturesque areas in Singapore and also hosts lots of temples. Many of the traditional businesses have been replaced by fashionable restaurants, bars and expensive shops.
Another of my favourite places to bring my friedns and realtives from overseas or even for my own shopping.
In Chinatwon you can get old goodies as well as new. I like to walk around here and buy things at a very good price. Go to the market where there is 2 story - level one for wet goods and level 2 for the dry goods. Its a little stuffy but you can bargain and get good items.
It' absolutely the most beautyful and "true" chinatown i've never seen in my travels.
Plenty of amazing colours, smells, views.
It's a wonderful face of singapore!
In few words: the tourist MUST come here!
It's not different from others China in the world that full with colorful building and food but The china town in SIA is so clean and i appreciated with the way they had renovated this district espcially around Far east sq.They can design the new architecture along with the old building it''s good job