Category: MUST EATS, NEIGHBOURHOODS, THINGS TO DO
One of the must-see locations in the heart of Singapore is Chinatown. Because of its location, food street, shopping, and multi-cultural past, it draws both tourists and residents in large numbers. Despite being modernized today, this area has a long history, and as you investigate and untangle the memories of its past, you may begin to see Chinatown in a new light.
With this comprehensive things-to-do itinerary in Chinatown’s top attractions and hidden gems, you may explore the alleyways and streets on foot while taking in its sights. Have fun exploring!
1. CHINATOWN STREET MARKET. The majority of the stalls on this street are open during the day from around 10 am until it starts to close at around 8 or 9 pm, but some stay open a bit later, especially those selling snacks and beverages. The stores and booths take up entire streets throughout Pagoda Street, Trengganu Street, Sago Lane, Smith Street, and Temple Street, with hundreds of vendors offering everything from clothing to home goods, electronics to handicrafts. The hanging red lanterns and colonial architecture provide a clear glimpse of Singaporean culture and are exactly what you would anticipate from Chinatown!
2. EMBARK ON A CHINATOWN MURDERS TOUR. A serial killer is on the loose, and the whole nation is gripped with fear. Do you want to be the Sherlock Holmes of Chinatown in our immersive mystery game tour? Come join us to find the killer by solving a series of puzzles around Chinatown here! https://tribe-tours.com/product/niu-che-shui-murders-outdoor-escape-room-game-tour/
3. BARBER CHAIR 3D FLOOR STICKER MURAL. In the past, Chinatown’s alleyways were frequently occupied by street barbers, most of whom worked out of improvised shelters with wooden board walls and roofs or awnings. These traditional street barbers encountered fierce competition from hair salons as lifestyles changed. Except for a few odd stalls, there are hardly any street barbers left today. Visit this mural to relieve the past and take some pictures!
4. THIAN HOCK KENG TEMPLE. Visit Singapore’s oldest Chinese temple, built in 1839 with the support of prominent members of the Hokkien community. When there, be sure to admire the impressive building in the classic southern Chinese style and look out for the intricate carvings and sculptures of dragons, phoenixes, and deities, as well as the vibrant broken porcelain on the roof ridges, a Fujian decoration method. Fun fact! Not a single nail was used during the temple’s initial construction. Isn’t it fascinating?
5. YIP YEW CHONG MURALS. Yip Yew Chong is well known for his murals around Chinatown and other spaces that feature past scenes. He draws inspiration from his own childhood and everyday life experiences, and the neighbourhood has become his canvas on which he puts down his memories. Visit his various murals in multiple areas, such as Smith Street and Temple Street; we promise you will be wow-ed!
6. EMBARK ON A HAWKERWALK: OLD SCHOOL SNACKS TOUR. Explore off-the-beaten-path, find hidden gems and meet the locals! We will bring you up, close and personal with the last of our hawkers making these traditional snacks, where you will gain a deeper appreciation of the grit and sweat hawkers put in to deliver the everyday dishes we enjoy. Book here now! https://tribe-tours.com/product/hawker-tour-hawkerwalk/
And lastly, you can’t leave Chinatown without trying out these 3 must-eats!
1. TONG HENG. A famed bakery known for its dedication to handcrafted traditional pastries. They set out with a simple mission – to share the love for traditional pastries, such as their trademarked diamond-shaped egg tarts, with the world. Modernised yet still handmade with passion, their iconic pastries are some of the most well-loved in Singapore.
2. LIAN HE BEN JI CLAYPOT. Located within Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre lies a Michelin Bib Gourmand satisfying one-dish meal with 43 years of experience. The claypot rice comes with 3 options: Assorted, Preserved meat and Chicken. Each and every order is made from scratch, which unfortunately also results in longer waiting times. Hence, we recommend you to call and book in advance before heading down to prevent getting disappointed!
3. MEI HEONG YUEN DESSERT. Visit one of Singapore’s oldest dessert shops serving a mix of traditional and modern desserts! They have over 50 dessert selections and specialize in different varieties of pastes, steamed egg pudding, and snow ice. Perfect place for rounding up a satisfying meal!