stories of chinatown
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by category by alphabet by precinct heritage brands  
Amoy Street
Ann Siang Hill
Ann Siang Road
Anson Road
Banda Street
Boon Tat Street
Bukit Pasoh Road
Cantonment Road
Chin Chew Street
Chin Swee Road
Chinatown Food Street
Club Street
Craig Road
Cross Street
Duxton Hill
Duxton Road
Erskine Road
Eu Tong Sen Street
Gemmill Lane
Hokien Street
Jiak Chuan Road
Kadayanallur Street
Keong Saik Road
Kreta Ayer Road
Maxwell Road
McCallum Street
Mosque Street
Murray Street
Nankin Street
Neil Road
New Bridge Road
New Market Road
North Bridge Road
North Canal Road
Pagoda Street
Park Road
Pickering Street
Sago Lane
Sago Street
Smith Street
South Bridge Road
Stanley Street
Tanjong Pagar Road
Teck Lim Road
Telok Ayer Street
Temple Street
Teo Hong Road
Tras Street
Trengganu Street
Upper Cross Street
Sago Lane map | list | print
Heritage Marker SB09 - Street of the Dead
Sago Lane
Heritage Marker SB27 - Fan Tsai Mei: Foreign Brothels & Gambling Dens
Sago Lane
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Heritage Marker SB27 - Fan Tsai Mei: Foreign Brothels & Gambling Dens
Learn more about Chinatown's rich history by visiting our Heritage Markers. Installed at places of historical significance around Chinatown, each plaque provides a short history of the location in three languages - English, Simplified Chinese and Japanese.

There were many non-Chinese brothels in Chinatown, especially Japanese ones. They were clustered around Trengganu, Banda and Spring Streets, earning the latter two streets the nickname "Foreign Brothels Corner". Europeans living in Singapore formed the largest clientele of these brothels. "Fan Tsai Mei" was the popular Chinese name in Cantonese for Banda and Spring Streets, dotted with vice activitieswhich included prostitution, gambling, and opium-smoking. The gambling dens on Spring Street attracted mostly coolies. Lured by the promise of winning a small fortune at the mahjong table, these already impoverished and desperate Chinese labourers frittered away the little cash they had. If they lost, which they most often did, the opium dens close by provided them with another form of relief.

Despite such a tainted history, the origins of Banda and Spring Streets seem incongruously benign. Banda Street is named after an Indonesian island. Although there are no known settlers in Singapore from that island, there were many Indonesian communal houses in the vicinity of Banda Street. Spring Street is so-called because of a natural spring that used to run through this area, supplying water to Kreta Ayer.
Sago Lane
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