10 Things to Do in Chinatown Singapore
With the Lunar New Year’s festive spirit still lingering in the air of Singapore, it makes a perfect opportunity to take a stroll down the narrow roads of Chinatown while soaking in the festivities of the widely celebrated festival. Historically known as an enclave for the Chinese immigrant population in Singapore, Chinatown has a blended vibe of past and present. There is a wide range of activities one is able to partake; from feasting on traditional Chinese delicacies, enjoying a nice cold beer, visiting religious prayer sites to even wandering down the maze-like streets (there are many hole-in-the-wall stores for you to discover).
Spoilt for choice or overwhelmed by the myriad of things to do here? Fret not, we’ve prepared a list for your reference, just to get you started on your journey.
Here are 10 things to do in Chinatown Singapore:
1. Chinatown Heritage Centre
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The Chinatown Heritage Centre is the perfect place for those who love to find out more about the history of Singapore- particularly the country’s early pioneers who set foot and lived here. Located just a walking distance from Chinatown MRT Station, this place is a place worth a visit. Preserved shophouses from the 1950s set the mood for a tale-spin, let yourself get drifted away into the rich history and culture of Chinatown’s earliest inhabitants.
Address: 48 Pagoda Street Singapore 059207
2. Chinatown Street Market
Just another few streets down the Heritage Centre, you’ll find yourself getting lost amongst the quaint and colourful shophouses and be surprised by the smell of street food. The Chinatown Street Market is one of the best places in the area to get lost. There you are able to find shops selling unique souvenirs, clothing, handicrafts and even homeware items. For those making a trip during the Lunar New Year season (the month of February), you’re in for an extra treat. The streets will be beautifully decorated with New Year decorations plated in gold and red. If you’re there at night, you’ll be able to check out the festive lights along those streets as well. Some stalls stay open all the way till midnight, we can safely conclude that Chinatown, just like Singapore, is an area bustling with life even late at night. The Lunar New Year decorations follow the theme of the different zodiac characters. This year, we get to see some golden pigs scattered everywhere along the streets.
The Chinatown Street Market is the best place to purchase a keepsake for those who are visiting. Haggling is uncommon but not impossible, even though most items are budget friendly. If you’re around the area from the 28 to 29 July, do check out the 50 cents festwhere bite-sized food items are going for 50 cents each at the Chinatown Food Street.
Address: Pagoda Street and surrounding roads
3. Maxwell Road Hawker Centre
Just a walking distance from Chinatown MRT station, One of the best food places to try the true local dishes in Singapore without burning a hole in your wallet (some food items are priced as low as $3). A diverse spread of local food can be found here: from char kway teow, satays to Singapore’s chili crab. Some of the stalls are opened till 10pm, you’ll be able to grab a late snack should you have hunger pangs after dinner.
Address: 1 Kadayanallur Street, Chinatown
4. Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum
Here you get to learn more about the Buddhists in Singapore and Buddhism as a religion. The exterior of the temple is one not to be missed. This temple is a four-story temple with a high ceiling, it is opened for visitors for those of you curious to enter.
Address: 288 South Bridge Rd, Singapore 058840
5. Ann Siang Hill Park
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Fancy going outdoors to get in touch with nature? Ann Siang Hill Park provides you with that opportunity. This park is a quiet area amid the hustle and bustle of Singapore’s fast-paced life. There are many tree species and animals you’ll encounter while doing short hikes there. This is a great way to spend the evening.
6. Club Street
When the sun goes down, the party just began. Head over to club street for the bustling nightlife of Singapore. Along this street, you’ll find bars, clubs and dining restaurants.
Address: Club Street
7. Tin Tin Shop
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There is an official Tintin merchandise store in Singapore! For those of you Tintin fans, this is a place for you. Here, you’ll find a comprehensive array of memorabilia. This is a hole in the wall and requires a little more walking and navigating to locate this hidden gem.
Address: 28 Pagoda Street, Singapore 059188
8. Pek Sin Choon
Picture Credits: 8Timeout
Another hidden gem: Pek Sin Choonis one of the oldest tea merchants in Singapore, this company was established in 1925. Apparently, Singapore’s very first Bak Kut Teh (pork ribs soup) teas can be traced back to this store. This company is also one of the few which blended their own tea leaves using the traditional style. Don’t let the unassuming store frontdeter you away from a step into tea-heaven. Calling all tea lovers, this is definitely worth a visit.
Address: 36 Mosque Street, Singapore 059514
9. Chinatown Complex
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Chinatown Complex is another food area worth dining at, not only is it the largest hawker centre in Singapore, it is home to many popular local dishes from chilli crab to satay. It is a marketplace offering great local traditional dishes at a very budget-friendly price. Do note that this place is an open-air concept and it might get warm especially during the afternoon. Fear not, nothing a cup of iced sugar cane drink can’t fix.
Address: 335 Smith Street, Singapore 050335
10. Sri Mariamman Temple
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This temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore, it dated back all the way to 1827 where it was build by immigrants from South India. The exterior of the temple is one hard to miss, you’ll be able to find beautifully crafted statues splashed with loud colours, each column’s design depicts a story, you’ll be spending quite a while figuring out the narrative.
There is an annual festival called Theemithitaking place every October or November. During this festival, you can observe people walking on fire, well, that’s something you don’t get to see during a normal day.
The temple is open to visitors for visits during certain time, do note that this is a religious place for worship and appropriate attire should be worn before entering.
Address: 244 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058793