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stories of chinatown
modernity with a touch of heritage

Amidst the ultra-modern, towering cityscape of cosmopolitan Singapore, Chinatown stands distinct; a unique blend of old and new, of modernity fused with heritage. Dating all the way back from the colonial days of Singapore, Chinatown is an area rich with heritage. And despite the rapid developments, Chinatown has managed to keep her history and culture alive and well.

A quick gaze across Chinatown's streets reveals rows of beautifully preserved shophouses, their five-foot ways and ceramic tiled roofs housing a myriad of businesses unique to Chinatown. While many traditional businesses still ply their trade in Chinatown, these businesses have since transformed into Heritage Brands - businesses that have kept their traditional roots while keeping up with the times.

Among these are many local favourites and household names, such as Singapore's famous trio of bak kwa brands, Bee Cheng Hiang, Kim Hock Guan and Lim Chee Guan. While still selling their signature roasted pork slices, these companies have since modernised their production process, opened many branches and introduced new products to better suit the tastes and demands of the present-day consumer.

Bak kwa aside, restaurants such as Da Dong Restaurant and Moi Lum Restaurant have also survived the test of time, thriving and growing alongside Chinatown. These family-owned restaurants now serve up true-blue traditional cuisine in comfortable modern restaurant settings, their time-tested recipes an authentic taste of the past.

Most striking of all are the medical halls of Chinatown - despite the proliferation and gradual shift towards Western medicine, medicals halls such as Thye Shan Medical Hall and the now-ubiquitous Eu Yan Sang have not only survived, but thrived. In fact, Thye Shan Medical Hall still stocks many exotic herbs and remedies that you'll probably be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in Singapore. Check out our exclusive video to find out more!

But Heritage Brands are not the only businesses in Chinatown that are steeped in heritage and culture. Many new startups, perhaps influenced by the rich heritage of the area, have taken on a cultural twist as well. Right in the heart of Chinatown, you'll find what is possibly Singapore's one and only chopstick specialty shop, Orchid Chopsticks. Along Smith Street, you'll also find prata.sg, a restaurant that serves up authentic Indian cuisine with a dose of culture and heritage! You can find out more about them here!

On Bukit Pasoh Road, you'll also find hotels such as Hotel 1929 and New Majestic Hotel, two of many boutique hotels that call Chinatown home. Inside these boutique hotels, you'll find ultramodern facilities resting side by side with traditional touches and furnishing - a heavenly getaway for heritage lovers and vintage enthusiasts.

Whether it's traditional businesses thriving in modern society, or modern businesses with traditional influences, you'll be sure to find your fill of culture and heritage along the streets of Chinatown. So head on down and experience a different side of Singapore today!

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