Chinese Heritage Museum, Singapore
Usually, people go to Chinatown to buy souvenirs, take pictures of the colorful hanging lamps and eat. There's a museum there tho. Right outside the MRT station. It's the Chinese Heritage Museum. But most pay it no mind... the entrance is dull....red and brown... people's eyes are usually drawn to the tiny shops along the street or distracted by the yummy smells from the restaurant in front of it.
But for S$10, you get to see how it all... how all of chinatown came about.
I entered the museum not knowing what to expect. What I saw moved me. The stories...the conditions... it was heart rendering sometimes. But after going thru the few floors of the museum...after reading and seeing their history, I now have a better appreciation of the culture. And of the chinese founders of Singapore.
It gave me respect for them.
Is it worth the S$10? Yes. If only to be able to know their roots and history. Because for me, travelling is not just food for the eyes (or ofttimes the stomach), it is also for the mind.
And after the museum, you can splurge and treat your tastebuds right across the way.
***PSST!!! TIP: I know it seems logical to order the famous Black Pepper Crab in chinatown...don't. Go look for the restaurant called NO SIGNBOARD (yes, that's its name) or the JUMBO SEAFOOD in Clarke Quay. They have the best crab there.
The Chinese Heritage Centre was established in May 1995 to promote knowledge and understanding of people of Chinese descent outside China and their heritage through research, publications, conferences and exhibitions. It also houses the Wang Gungwu Library which has a specialized focus on the Chinese Overseas and their heritage. As the first organization to specialize in the study of Chinese communities outside China, it is most appropriate that the Centre be housed in the former Nanyang University's historic Administration Block, which itself is a relic of the landmark establishment of the first and only Chinese university outside China, founded by the Chinese Overseas.
If you are visiting Chinatown, why not head to the Chinatown Heritage Centre.
Relive history and be transported back in time when you visit Chinatown Heritage Centre.
Exhibits will bring you back to the Nanyang days where you could see the life of a coolies, samsui women and rickshaw puller. As you enter, piece together what life was like for our forefathers who brave through storms to migrate to Nanyang.
The 3 storey shophouses allow you the explore the culture and traditions of these early Chinese settlers.
What really make me wonder is how a whole family or co-workers squeeze into a small cubicle. How somking of opium, gambling, drinking and prositutions affects the life of the people and their family members.
Upon exit, you will see a souvenier shop.
It is located in Chinatown along Pagoda Street.
Photography are not allowed in the exhibit hall.
Opens 9am to 8pm daily (Last admission at 7pm)
Admission $9.80(A) $6.30 (C)
Promotion for locals with DBS or POSB Card $5.00)
The Chinatown Heritage Center is a museum that gives visitors a glimpse on the history of Singapore Chinatown. They do this by showing the visitors on how life was on the exact same spot tens of years ago.
The building was owned by a tailor in the past. He had his shop on the ground floor and rented the rooms on the upper level to different people. Upstairs in each room, which can't be bigger than 80sqft each, you can find models of the original furnitures and television screens telling the story of the family who lived there in the past.
Some of the stories are simply amazing. There were families of 5-6 living in such small room; no running water nor toilets in the rooms. It left a big impression on me to see how much Singapore has advanced in such short period. I remember going to the MRT (Subway) station after leaving the museum and just sat there thinking "Wow!".
The museum is open daily from 9am to 8pm and they charge SG$10 for adults. When I went there in 2004 the price included a guided tour of the ground floor so to me it was worth the money. If you have even the smallest interest in the history of South East Asia I highly recommend a visit.
Chinatown is the original spot of Singapore's Chinese (nowadays Singapore has 75% Chinese). In the early 19th century came Chinese from mainland China in Singapore. (in the 19th century China suffered from wars and catastrophes) They were mainly men and did heavy work at port.
Each of them lived in rooms around 2 meter square big. A house could be divided in 30 rooms like this. However, each house has only 1~3 toilettes and kitchens. (roughly speaking, 10 rooms shared a bathroom and kitchen) In the heritage centre you see how hard the life it was. It's a place where you see Chinatown' history.
Housed in three restored shophouses, the CHC is a showcase of the rich heritage of Chinatown-the lifestyles, traditions and rituals of the early immigrants who lived and worked there. Encapsulated in a series of carefully designed galleries, the memories, sights, sounds and smells are presented to help visitors appreciate the diverse heritage of Chinatown and its people.
Opening times: 9am-8pm (Mon-Thu), 9am-9pm (Fri-Sun). Guided tours are available daily.
Admission: SGD 8.80 (Adult), SGD 5.30 (Child).
This is a must visit because it allow you to understand how the people live in the olden days of Singapore.They are located in 3 newly restored shophouses along Pagoda Street.
Once you step into the centre,you will have the feeling of being transported back to the days of the samsui women,coolies and the richshaw pullers.
Admission: S$8 (Adult) / S$2 (Child)
10am to 7pm
(Mondays to Thursday)
10am to 10pm
(Fridays, Saturday & Sunday)
This is a very interesting museum. Three old shophouses have been turned into a heritage centre, where you can learn more about the history of Chinatown and the Chinese community/culture in Singapore. There is a lot to see here so don't rush through it. One of the most interesting parts to me was the shophouse that had restored cubicles etc to show how people lived not too long ago.
The heritage centre is open 9 AM to 8 PM Mon-Thu and 9 AM to 9 PM Fri-Sun (last admission is one hour before closing time). The admission fee is $8.80 for adults and $5.30 for children.
This museum is really worth seeing if you are checking out Chinatown. It details the history of Chinese immigration to Singapore & demonstrates how many of these early settlers lived. It is intriguing to learn a little history of Singapore.
This is a moving little museum tucked in the middle of Singapore's Chinatown. It depicts the courage and sometimes harrowing stories of desperate Chinese immigrants who ended up in this area. For many of Singapore's Chinese ancestors, life during the colonial times were hard and tough, working as coolies, seamstresses, market vendors etc.
Many have become very successful and rich which is a far cry from the cramped and destitute environment from which they previously lived. Singapore is one of Asia's success story and you'll be able to appreciate the reasons for that success.
This museum presents what life was like for mostly new Chinese immigrants into the Chinatown area. The museum is housed in a shophouse. The museum tells the history of these immigrants as you weave through the museum(2 floors). As you reach the last floor and go downstairs, the museum changes. From history to recreated scenes of immigrant housing and conditions. This is done very well and brings the point home.
We stumbled across this museum by accident and spent a long time wandering through its rooms, listening to the stories and absorbing the atmoshere.
It is a restored shophouse where the experience of immigration from China and life in Singapore is represented by historical artifacts, recollections, reconstructions, and audiovisual presentations. It is over several floors with lift access, which can be organised to avoid any steps on request.
It provided an excellent insight into the Chinese experience and the interaction with the British and local Malays to produce the existing multicultural mix.
Opening hours:10am-7pm daily
Admission: $8.00 (SGD) adults, $4.80children
This fairly new attraction traces the history of Chinese immigration to Singapore and the growth of the Chinatown district. (I still find it slightly odd that a country with a Chinese population of 77% has a Chinatown!).
The highlight of the centre are reproductions of cubicles showing living quarters as they were in the past. These have been done very authentically, based on actual accounts and show vividly how cramped and uncomfortable it was for people living there.
In addition to the cubicles, there are also galleries with photos and artefacts.
Guided tours in different languages are run fairly regularly, a schedule is on display just inside. I was fortunate enough to be the only person on my tour so had a personal guide!
The building was originally a tailor's shop consisting of 3 shop fronts. Entrance fee is 8 SGD for adults and 4 SGD for children. Concessions are available.
If u have THREE days
* Chinatown Heritage Centre
* Chinatown Trishaw Tour S$36
for people who dont like to walk but would like to see many buildings and multi-racial culture. Its a trishaw tour to the Mosque, Chinese temples, hindu temples and the city sky scrapers.
There are a lot of activities on Sentosa Island. see my must see activities on Sentosa attractions
Take the Cable Car from Mt Faber.
They have a free shuttle bus that runs every half hour from Seah Im Car Park, HarbourFront Coach Bay, Tiong Bahru MRT Station to Mount Faber Cable Car Station.
Be sure to take some nice pics at Mt Faber before hopping on to a cable car cabin to Sentosa.
End the nite with the musical fountain with laser and music display)