Singapores society has always been a healthy cultural mix of many peoples and cultures from Malays to the Tamils to the Chinese. Each group has made a unique contribution to the interesting society and tradition that Singapore is proud of, and made it into a colourful story unique to the land. As for the ethnic Chinese of Singapore who make up a considerable number among the population of the city, nowhere is their presence as strong and standing out as in the Chinatown in the heart of the city.
Known in Chinese as Niu che shui; meaning ox-cart water which reflects the tradition of the old days where ox-carts brought water to the homes in the street, the Chinatown is a unique neighbourhood with its own historic heritage. In fact, the place has been declared as a site of conservation by the government of Singapore due to its unique architecture and cultural background. In present day the Singapore Chinatown is one of its major tourist attractions, and consists of interesting places like the Chinatown Food Street, and the Chinatown Night market which add a bit of colour and spice to this old neighbourhood.
The Chinatown is quite an expansive city region with several key areas. It has a crisscrossing network of streets, each with an intriguing story to tell and a rich history behind it; like the Pagoda Street which used to be the seedier area with its slave traffic and opium dens, and the impressive Trengganu Street renowned as The Piccadilly of Chinese Singapore with its quaint shop houses where you can find anything on sale from Buddha statues to shark fins to dried frogs. Rest assured there is no end to sightseeing, shopping and dining in Chinatown with all its little nuances and surprises. The vibrant history of the place is still alive even today when you take a stroll down its streets and alleyways, taking in the Chinese Spirit of this ageing neighbourhood which the city dwellers strive to preserve for tomorrow as part of their identity.
For your stay while you explore, a Singapore luxury hotel is easy to find close by. Classy Singapore hotels like the Shangri-la hotel, Singapore can be the staging point from where you take some time out to explore the Chinatown knowing full well each day you will find out some new quirk in this pleasant old neighbourhood.
Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.