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Old August 25th, 2003, 01:21 AM   #1
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C H I N A T O W N

Chinatown


Panorama by aloyteo


Text from: http://www-singapore.com/attractions...cquarters.html


Singapore's Chinatown is a unique mix of old Peranakan-style buildings, cosy tea-houses, traditional medicine and herbal shops, colourful night markets, sleek renovated offices and trendy restaurants and bars.

In this charming quarter, right next to the high-rise Central Business District, you could spend your afternoon haggling over the price of antiques and your evening in the newest and hippest restaurant in town. Chinatown still proudly bears the heritage of its eventful past, but it's also quick in assimilating the new and trendy.

Chinatown, being near the city centre, is easily accessible. It is roughly the area bordered by the Singapore River in the north, Cecil Street in the east, Cantonment Road in the south, and New Bridge Road in the west. But before we bring you on a tour of the sights and sounds in Chinatown today, let's take a look at the district's history.

Chinatown is where Singapore's early immigrants from China first made their home. With Singapore fast developing as an important port in the early19th century, the island soon became a magnet for those seeking to make their fortunes in a new land.

The first junk bearing immigrants from the Fujian province of Xiamen anchored at the mouth of the Singapore River in 1821. The early settlers built the Thian Hock Keng Temple to thank the gods for their safe journey, and to ask for protection and prosperity in their new home.

The new settlers worked mainly at the port, as coolies carrying cargo or merchants. There were also letter-writers, who made money by writing letters dictated to them by illiterate immigrants, to be sent to their families in China; fortune tellers, mediums, prostitutes and gangsters. In the often rough-and-tumble life of this young city, temples and shophouses were often only a stone's throw away from brothels and opium dens.

Today, many of the old trades have vanished or are fast disappearing. But if you take a careful walk around the quarter, you will still catch remnants of its colourful history - temples where devotees still worship today, old houses that once belonged to rich traders and that have been restored to their former glory, buildings where secret society meetings were held. You could catch a fortune-teller offering to read your palm, or a mourner burning paper "money" as an offering to his loved ones in the afterworld.

A common architectural feature you will find around Chinatown is the shophouse, which is done in a style peculiar to this region of the world and known as Chinese baroque. These shophouses were so-called because the ground floor served as a shop while the upper floors were where the owners lived. The architecture is an eclectic mix of Chinese, Malay and European influences and is sometimes also known as Peranakan, after the Chinese settlers who came as early as the 15th century and who adopted Malay customs.


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Note: The original thread has been archived, and selected pics from 2003-2005 have been reposted on this page and the next. Pics from 2006 start from pg3
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Old August 25th, 2003, 12:16 PM   #2
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by hyacinthus ------>

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Old August 28th, 2003, 03:41 PM   #3
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Some street scenes

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Old December 23rd, 2003, 08:40 AM   #4
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Old January 21st, 2004, 09:40 AM   #5
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MRT station entrance canopy (by hyacinthus)

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Old January 21st, 2004, 10:07 AM   #6
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Chinese New Year light up & crowd

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Old February 21st, 2004, 09:43 PM   #7
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by babystan03

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Old February 22nd, 2004, 01:30 PM   #8
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Aerial shot by Ray

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Old February 22nd, 2004, 04:36 PM   #9
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random pics




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Old April 15th, 2004, 12:43 PM   #10
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Chinatown nightlife to return


Night market with more than 200 stalls
Cultural shows twice a night
Showcase of vanishing trades like clog making


April 12, 2004


By Glenys Sim

THE bustling night scene that enlivened the narrow streets of Chinatown in the 1960s and 1970s will make a comeback in June.

More than 200 stalls selling a mix of antiques, arts and crafts, and fashion accessories will line the roadside to create a night market that will snake from Pagoda Street via Trengganu Street to Sago Street.

To complete the interconnecting bazaar for shopping and food, the streets are linked to Smith Street, where open-air dining will be served at 18 pushcart stalls and 12 shophouse restaurants.

Motor vehicles will not be allowed in Pagoda and Trengganu streets from June, while Sago and Smith streets will be open to them only at specified hours, said the Chinatown Business Association (CBA) which will run the night market.

To add to the bustle, cultural performances such as opera and lion dances will be staged twice a night at three spots: the junction of Pagoda and Trengganu streets, the junction of Trengganu and Smith streets and Kreta Ayer Square.

Vanishing trades such as fortune telling, clog making and basket weaving will also re-emerge in Sago Street.

The CBA effort is the latest since the Urban Redevelopment Authority began work in 1989 to revitalise the fondly remembered Chinatown experience, which was eroded when its street hawkers were moved to the wet market in Chinatown Complex in the 1980s.

It all but disappeared in the late 1990s when dust and confusion from the construction of Chinatown MRT station put off shoppers and diners.

Since the station opened last year, efforts to reinvent street life in this conservation area have escalated.

With the night market, Ms Jennifer Lee, CBA marketing and promotions manager, said 'there will be no other place in Singapore where you can shop at old shophouses, eat and be entertained all in one area'.

The market is made up of three different types of stalls.

The first, already in operation, are the shopfront stalls in Trengganu and Pagoda streets for shopkeepers to showcase their wares outside their shops.

Antique shop owner Chan Wah Siong snapped up his space because he didn't want his shopfront blocked.

'I sell big-ticket items like furniture but people who go to night markets usually look for knick-knacks,' he said.

Most of the shopkeepers interviewed also took up their spaces. Souvenir shop owner Lim Wee Hock, who pays about $300 a month for his small space, said: 'Putting things outside attracts shoppers to come inside. My business has improved since I did it.'

The second type of stalls, to be introduced in June, are the 98 standalone pushcarts in Pagoda and Sago streets, each measuring 2m by 2m.

Monthly rent is $1,500 for each stall, which will sell merchandise not readily available elsewhere, such as T-shirts with hand-drawn designs and other ethnic products.

The stalls, whether shopfront or standalone, can operate from Sunday to Thursday between 5 and 11pm, and on Friday, Saturday and the eve of public holidays between 5pm and 1am, said Ms Lee.

The third type are the weekend stalls for more than 70 vendors to peddle their wares at the overhead Garden Bridge and Kreta Ayer Square on Saturday, Sunday and the eve of public holidays. They will open from 11am.

The night market is part of the Singapore Tourism Board's $97.5 million plan to recall the vibrancy of this area which is so special to Singapore's heritage, said Ms Lee.

Shoppers and tourists said they can't wait for it to start.

Engineer Annie Chong, 34, said: 'I will definitely go if they sell things I can't get anywhere else.'

Tourists such Ms Lorenza De Teresa, 30, from Mexico, were particularly effusive.

'It's a very good idea. I've been to other Chinatowns around the world but this one is much bigger, with more things.

'I'm very impressed and with the night market, I will definitely want to come back,' she said.
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Old May 18th, 2004, 11:53 PM   #11
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shophouse pictures by baqthier



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Old May 25th, 2004, 05:31 PM   #12
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Old May 25th, 2004, 06:17 PM   #13
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Old June 18th, 2004, 02:52 AM   #14
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Chinatown bazaar to bring back the old buzz

18 June 2004

Tourism board aims to recreate bustling scenes of days of yore with permanent night market featuring vanishing trades

By Glenys Sim



A LORRY that ploughed into three spanking new stalls at the night market in Chinatown will not stop the rest of the bazaar that is opening for business for the first time tonight.

A lorry, driven by a man in his mid-20s, collided with the open-air stalls along Sago Street on Tuesday afternoon.

Though no one was hurt, the Chinatown Business Association (CBA), the organiser, said it will take at least a week to repair the damaged stalls.

The rest of the 85 kiosks will open tonight as planned, with lots of bargains and unusual knick-knacks from the past for the taking.



The night market, which will be a permanent part of Chinatown, is the latest effort by the Singapore Tourism Board to give Chinatown a new verve as a 'one-stop shopping, dining and entertainment hub'.

It is made up of three types of stalls, some of which have opened for business.

The new stalls in Pagoda, Trengganu and Sago Streets are offering merchandise not readily available elsewhere.

Ms Cass Choong, 30, is selling bags from the Philippines made with used juice packets. She tends her stall after work.

The pharmaceutical representative said: 'I still have a day job but I wanted to try this out because I've always dreamed of having my own business.'

Making a re-entry into Chinatown are vendors operating vanishing trades.

Mr Chow Chung Tuck picked up clog-making more than eight years ago. An electrician by day, the 63-year-old is often invited to events to show off his skill. This is his first permanent outlet.

'I have taught my children how to make clogs but they are not interested in doing this for a living,' he said.

Monthly rent for each stall is $1,500, but rebates of between $300 and $400 will be given to those who abide by the operating hours or are members of the association.

There are also 75 shops in Trengganu and Pagoda streets which have shopfront stalls showcasing their wares.

All these, and 52 weekend stalls at the overhead Garden Bridge and Kreta Ayer Square, should recreate the bustling night scenes of Chinatown in the 1960s and 1970s, said the association.

The stalls must open from Sunday to Thursday between 5 and 11pm, and on Friday, Saturday and the eve of public holidays between 5pm and 1am.

Cultural performances will be staged twice a night from 8.30pm to 10.30pm at Pagoda and Smith streets and Kreta Ayer Square.

For the launch tonight, a lion-dance troupe will make its way along the streets of the night market, distributing red packets from the association to the stall holders, to signify good luck and fortune.
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Old June 20th, 2004, 05:24 AM   #15
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more pics by baqthier


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Old June 27th, 2004, 07:24 PM   #16
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People's Park Complex

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Old July 9th, 2004, 06:35 PM   #17
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Pearl's Hill (located behind Chinatown)

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Old September 7th, 2004, 03:30 PM   #18
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Old September 11th, 2004, 03:20 PM   #19
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Old September 11th, 2004, 04:35 PM   #20
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