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stories of chinatown
our beloved sights

Chinatown's allure lies in its meandering streets and bustling activity. Wander the streets and visit some the precinct's must-see sights.

chinatown street market

Immerse yourself in the old world charm of Chinatown's shophouses as you browse the selections at every stall. Delight yourself with an array of traditional and modern merchandise ranging from street opera masks to handmade ornaments, traditional clothing to unique fashion accessories. You will be spoilt for choice with the eclectic mix of merchandise on offer. Don't forget to check out the wide variety of local finger food stalls at Trengganu Street too!



 

buddha tooth relic temple and museum

Towering over Chinatown, the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum is believed to house one of Buddhism's sacred relics – a tooth of the Buddha Shakyamuni, prominently displayed on a stunning stupa built out of 420 kilogrammes of solid gold. The relic attracts thousands of devotees both locally and from overseas, believing that seeing the relic is as good as seeing the Buddha in person. The temple allows a closer view of the relic twice every year during the first day of the Lunar New Year and Vesak Day.


 

sri mariamman temple

Singapore's oldest and largest Hindu Temple, the Sri Mariamman Temple started its existence in 1827 as a wood and attap hut built by Narayana Pillay, a clerk from Penang. Today, hundreds of devotees ring the bells, pray to gods and break coconuts at the temple door – a ritual that symbolises the unveiling of their pure inner selves through the breaking of the ego. Circling the hall in a clockwise direction is also said to being good luck!


 

masjid jamae

Built by the Chulia Muslims in 1827, the Masjid Jamae stands proud as a landmark symbol of Chinatown's multicultural community. Restored in 2002, the eclectic architecture of the Jamae Mosque still actively plays host to a variety of activities, serving the needs of the local Muslim community.

 

thian hock kheng temple

Built entirely without nails, the Thian Hock Kheng temple is a veritable architectural marvel, with its elaborate carvings and intricate sculptures – it even features a plaque gifted by the Qing Dynasty Emperor Guang Xu! Honouring the Sea Goddess Ma Zu, the Thian Hock Kheng temple bursts to life once every year, as worshippers flock to the temple to celebrate the birthday of Ma Zu, the most worshipped deity in the world.



 

wak hai cheng bio temple

The Wak Hai Cheng Bio temple, or Temple of the Calm Seas, is Singapore's oldest Teochew temple. Dedicated to the deities Xuan Tian Shang Di and Ma Zu, the temple served as an important place of worship for the Teochews of the early days, who would pray for safety and prosperity as they worked the seas for a living. Carefully restored in 1997, the temple's elaborate halls and ornamental roofs now house statues of many other deities such as Yue Lao, where hopeful parents and single adults tie red threads around the statue in hopes of finding a suitable life partner for their children or for themselves.


 

chinatown heritage centre

Take a trip through time and immerse yourself in Chinatown's history as you walk through hallways filled with exhibits, displays, and a recreation of the living quarters of 50 Pagoda Street so authentic that former residents couldn't believe their eyes. You can also catch a glimpse of life in early Chinatown by listening to firsthand accounts by a former samsui woman, hawker, dessert seller, seamstress, tailor, and the son of philanthropist Eu Tong Sen in the Personalities Gallery.



 

singapore coins and notes museum

A one-of-a-kind museum, the Singapore Coins and Notes Museum tracks the development of currency in Singapore, from the primitive days where seashells and spices were used as currency all the way to the modern polymer bank notes of today. Hidden among the trail of historic coins and bills, you will find oddities such as the half cent bill and the Rai stone, a massive stone coin used by the Yap tribe in Micronesia – the largest ones are known to measure 4 metres in diameter!


 

singapore city gallery

Part museum part gallery, the Singapore City Gallery tracks Singapore's urban past, present and future. Inside, you'll find interactive displays detailing Singapore's built heritage, learn about Singapore's urban development plans for the next few years, and be wowed by their key attraction – an 11 by 11 metre detailed miniature recreation of Singapore's central hub.


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