Chinatown in Singapore is only “China town” to foreigners. To other Chinese people, it’s just like any other predominately Chinese areas in Singapore, except that maybe this is more commercialised. As comparison, I bought a bottle of 500ml bottle of mineral water at SGD1.30 but purchased the 1.5L bottle of water at only SGD1 in Little India.
Singapore’s Chinatown is located within the larger district of Outram, and in fact, is within walking distance from my hotel, Hotel Re! but I was too lazy to walk after descending from Pearl’s Hill that I always took the MRT. It is just one station away from the North East Line (purple).
The locals know Chinatown as “Niu Che Shui”, initially named after the bullock carts that used to supply fresh water to the residents here.
Today, Chinatown has retained its historical and cultural significance, as can be seen in the buildings and decorations. Large sections of Chinatown (districts and buildings) have been declared national heritage sites designated for conservation by the Urban Redevelopment Authority.
Chinatown Singapore tries to meet everyone’s interest for all things cultural for the Chinese. One of the most significant is the lion dance performance at 6.45pm along Trengganu Street every Saturday.
But one interesting point to note is the existence of a Hindu temple, the Sri Mariamman Temple, right smack in the middle of Chinatown.
Those who would like to see and understand more of Chinatown may join in a guided walking tour, or tour the area in a trishaw. All these come with a small fee, of course.
Free WiFi service powered by SingTel is available within Chinatown too. I didn’t try it as I was lazy to switch connections on my mobile.
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