ChinaTown- Singapore

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Asia » Singapore » Chinatown
October 25th 2008
Published: July 2nd 2012
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I’ve been to many countries around the world and there are only two places that I have visited that don’t have “Chinatown’s”. Hong Kong and China. All other countries around the world have some sort of Chinese community or communities that have helped shaped their cities. Chinese immigrants were some of the earliest settlers in many cities bringing with them their language, culture, food and traditions. Singapore is no exception. Singapore is an Asian multicultural community comprised of Malays, Chinese, Indians, Eurasians and Ex-Pats. Comprising of about 75% of the population, the Chinese influence in Singapore is vast and intertwined into the very fabric of Singapore society.

The area known as “Chinatown” is a small but concentrated group of streets that represent some of the oldest settlements in Singapore. The best way to experience Chinatown is by MRT and foot. Exit towards the Peoples Bank near the OG department store. Behind the store is the Hawker centre and park. The food areas here are simple, quick and tasty. A multiplex of floors dedicated to all types of Chinese, Singaporean, Malay and Thai type food can be found here. Now you may be asking yourself, what exactly is Singaporean food? Well there are a number of dishes that are specific to the region. Read my blog on Singaporean food for more info. If you are here, definitely try some authentic Chinese food or some Chicken Rice. The latter is a Singaporean invention. Once you start you will not want to eat anything else. Another great dish to try is the fried fish soup. Fantastic. If you don’t want to eat yet, you can always have a bite nearer to the Chinatown food street alley. Another great place to try some local cuisine.

To get the most out of a day trip after the Hawker centre/OG building take North Bridge road to cross street where you can visit Chinatown point. You will also see the Hong Lim Complex another food and grocery open air multiplex. On your right you will see some of the older buildings that once characterised the area. Many of the houses are being restored as historical landmarks.

From there walk down South Bridge Road where you will also see the Jammi Mosque and the Sri Mariamman Temple, marks of the Indian area of Singapore. Take a right onto Pagoda Street to the Chinatown Heritage Centre for some insight into the history of the area. Make your way down to Trengganu Street which eventually turns into Sago Street. There you will find smaller markets and the more local food areas. There are also some higher end restaurants here instead of food stalls if you prefer.

The best time to visit is in the late afternoon/early evening. Like most places in south Asia, when sun turns to evening, the places and markets start to get busier and livelier. If you have a few days in Singapore check out Chinatown.

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