Singapore: Chinatown Walking Tour, Singapore

The Chinese make up a majority of the population in Singapore. Chinatown is, therefore, a district full of valuable historical and architectural monuments. There are Chinese, Hindu and Moslem places of worship in this locality. There are also many wonderful shop-houses that sell exotic items to be found nowhere else. This self-guided tour will take you through the most popular places in Singapore's Chinatown.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Singapore: Chinatown Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Singapore: Chinatown Walking Tour
Guide Location: Singapore » Singapore (See other walking tours in Singapore)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 km
Author: vickyc
1
Smith Street

1) Smith Street

Smith Street is one of the main shopping streets in Chinatown. It is also called food street. There are other shopping streets in Chinatown, but here you can experience Singapore food. You will see exotic food sold on the street, for example, frogs for dinner. There are several teashops and many other Chinese shops set in historical shop-houses. It is the only street in Chinatown with an English name.
2
Chinatown Heritage Center

2) Chinatown Heritage Center

In Chinatown's Heritage Center, you can learn everything about the Chinese migration to Singapore in the hope of a better life. It is situated among amazing and authentic shop-houses. You will see here artefacts from the golden as well as the dark period of Chinese history.
3
Jamae Mosque

3) Jamae Mosque

Like the Chinese and the Hindus, Muslims also have their place of worship in Singapore. Jamae Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in the city. It was founded in 1826 and has some other names, one of them being Big Mosque. Its architecture is eclectic but there are strong traces of Indian influence.
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Sri Mariamman Temple

4) Sri Mariamman Temple (must see)

The Sri Mariamman Temple is Singapore's oldest Hindu temple. It is an agamic temple, built in the Dravidian style. Located at 244 South Bridge Road, in the downtown Chinatown district, the temple serves the majority Hindu Singaporeans, Tamilians, in the city-state.

Due to its architectural and historical significance, the temple has been gazetted a National Monument and is a major tourist attraction. It was founded in 1827 by Naraina Pillai, eight years after the East India Company established a trading settlement in Singapore. Pillai was a government clerk from Penang who arrived in Singapore with Sir Stamford Raffles on his second visit to the island in May 1819. Pillai went on to set up the island's first construction company, and also entered the textile trade. He rapidly established himself in business and was identified as a leader of the Indian community.

Why You Should Visit:
Visiting here is guaranteed to be a great culturally enlightening experience.
If you go during certain times you'll see rituals and prayers, absolutely amazing.
Free to enter though there's a small charge for tourists that is called a "camera fee".

Tip:
As in any place of worship, be respectful. Lower your voices, women – cover your shoulders (they have shawls if you do not have one to cover), and remove your shoes before entering, but bring a pair of socks because the floors can be scorching hot due to the sun and burn your feet.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 5am-11:30am / 5pm-8:45pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Eu Yan Sang Medical Hall

5) Eu Yan Sang Medical Hall

Eu Yan Sang Medical Hall is for those interested in traditional Chinese medicine. Eu Yan Sang medicine shops exist in just few places - in Singapore, Malaysia, Macau and Hong Kong. Here tourists can discover ancient Chinese methods of treatment and Chinese herbal remedies and teas. It is the most visited Chinese medicine center in Singapore.
6
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum

6) Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum (must see)

The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, situated in Singapore's Chinatown, is a cultural monument cherished by the Chinese people living in Singapore who make up the overwhelming majority of the population of this city-state. The temple looks just as majestic and impressive as the temples of the golden age of Buddhism in China. There is a museum inside the Temple. Also visit the Hundred Dragons Hall, the tea house and the cultural shop. Attend all the salmon ceremonies performed in the temple. The holy relic – Buddha's tooth – is also kept inside.

Why You Should Visit:
The building's huge exterior may be the #1 photo-op in Chinatown; its only competition being the temple's interior.
You can learn a lot about Buddhism at the museum sections on the 3rd floor or do meditation and see the Buddha's Tooth on the 4th floor.
Besides, you will be missing out if you don't go to check out the rooftop garden and the biggest Praying Wheel in the world.

Tip:
Non-flash-photos are permitted in some places, but not in the relic chamber.
Oddly enough, shoes are permitted, too; however, the dress code is pretty strict.
For men: no shorts or tank-tops. For women: conservative dress or slacks, with shoulders covered.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 7am-7pm
7
Thian Hock Keng Temple

7) Thian Hock Keng Temple (must see)

To get a glimpse of a culture that is absolutely out of the ordinary, visit the Thian Hock Keng Temple, the oldest and most important Fukien, or Hoklo (Hokkien) temple in Singapore. The main temple is dedicated to Mazu, the Taoist goddess of the sea and protector of all seamen, while a second temple at the back is a Buddhist one dedicated to Kuan Yin, the bodhisattva of mercy.

Constructed in the temple architectural style of southern China, Thian Hock Keng has a grand entrance with a high step in front. The side entrance gates feature brightly colored tiles portraying peacocks, roses and the universal Buddhist swastika in green and brown. This symbol represents good luck, eternity and immortality. Guarding the doors are tigers, lions, and Door Gods, traditional sentinels of any Taoist temple. Beyond this elaborate entrance are two courtyards. Straddling the courtyards is the temple proper, comprising the shrine of Ma Cho Po. On either side of the temple are pagodas – the one on the left is a shrine of Confucius while the one on the right houses ancestral tablets of immigrants who founded the temple.

Why You Should Visit:
One of the most beautiful temples in Singapore, if not the most beautiful.
Very peaceful atmosphere and a wonderful piece of Asian architecture.
It is a photographer's dream, with ornate and colourful carvings everywhere.

Tip:
Make sure that you respect the privacy of those praying and only take photos in the front area.
Don't forget to have a walk down Amoy Street behind the temple where you can see one of Yip Yew Chong's fabulous murals on the Temple's back wall.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 7:30am-5:30pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Singapore, Singapore

Create Your Own Walk in Singapore

Create Your Own Walk in Singapore

Creating your own self-guided walk in Singapore is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Singapore: Colonial District National Monuments Walking Tour

Singapore: Colonial District National Monuments Walking Tour

The Colonial District was founded by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles on the east bank of the Singapore River. There are monuments that are recognized all over the world as symbols of Singapore and they evoke the city-state's rich historical past. This self-guided tour will lead you to the most famous national monuments of the Colonial District:

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 km
Singapore: Colonial District Cultural Walking Tour

Singapore: Colonial District Cultural Walking Tour

Singapore's culture is a combination of Chinese, Hindu, Arab and other cultures. People living in Singapore are immigrants from different parts of the world. This self-guided tour will lead you through the Colonial District also known as the Civic District, where you can see how these different cultures were integrated to make up this city-state's culture.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 km
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Singapore without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Singapore, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.8 km
Shopping Areas Walking Tour of Singapore

Shopping Areas Walking Tour of Singapore

Singapore being a melting pot of Asian nations, you can pick up stuff from all across Asia here. This self-guided tour will take you through pedestrian shopping plazas, historical shop-houses in Chinatown and local ethnic markets. Enjoy!

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.5 km
Singapore Landmarks Walking Tour

Singapore Landmarks Walking Tour

Singapore is an island, a city and a state. Its population is a melting pot of all Asian people. The Chinese, the Hindu, the Arab, each has his own historical monuments and landmarks that represent his culture. Visiting this city you will be left with the impression of having visited China, India and Arabia. This self-guided tour will lead you through the following cultural monuments as well as some modern sights in Singapore.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km
Romantic Singapore Walking Tour

Romantic Singapore Walking Tour

Singapore is both romantic and exotic. With its multicultural population it offers great cuisine. Due to its location, its seascape and cityscape are unique and make Singapore an absolutely romantic place. Enjoy romantic and intimate moments by visiting the places mentioned in this self-guided tour:

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


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12 Singapore Foods You Should Not Miss

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Traveler's Guide to Singapore: 15 Souvenirs to Bring Home

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Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Singapore for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Singapore has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes


To save yourself time and money visiting Singapore's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the iVenture Card, Singapore City Pass, or Singapore (Attractions) Pass.

A city pass combines all or multiple Singapore's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows user to skip lines at major attractions, thus saving precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels


Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Singapore hotels conveniently located for a comfortable stroll: The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore, Grand Park City Hall, Swissotel The Stamford.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Singapore, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours


We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Singapore typically costs somewhere between US$15 and US$80 or more per person:

- Board a hop-on hop-off double-decker to enjoy sightseeing of Singapore from the open top of a bus listening in the headsets to the commentary provided in a variety of languages, and be able get on and off at any of the stops along the route. The ticket is valid for one day (24 hrs).

- No trip to Singapore is complete without a visit to the local Chinatown renowned for its rich culinary secrets craving to be unwrapped. Embark on a 3.5-hour walk through Singapore’s Chinatown for a generous dollop of delectable authentic Singaporean treats and insight into this melting pot of culinary and cultural traditions.

- Come to appreciate Singapore in its nighttime ambiance complete with a sumptuous Asian-inspired dinner on a 4-hour experience including a visit to the bustling night market at Bugis Street, iconic Long Bar at Raffles Hotel, and many other interesting places along the way.

- Dive into the past of Singapore on a historical tour to find out how the city came to be evolving from a small fishing village to a great seaport, find out what prompted the Brits to colonize it, marvel at the city's magnificent colonial architecture, enjoy a delightful three-tier Afternoon Tea, and more.

- Get yourself up close with Kampong Glam, one of Singapore's charming neighborhoods, once the seat of the Malay royalty; see how it was before the British took over and what's become of it since.

- Pedal your way around Singapore on a 4-hour bike tour to appreciate the city's most spectacular sights stopping at some of them for a bit of rest, watching the surroundings, and learning interesting facts about the attractions along the way from a knowledgeable group leader.

Day Trips


If you have a day to spare whilst in Singapore, why not use it to get some out-of-town experiences like a round-island tour, or perhaps visit the Sentosa Island, Kuala Lumpur, or Batam. For as little as circa US$70 to US$190 per person you will get a chance to discover Singapore’s history, visit a fun-filled island to observe nature at its best, get an interesting insight into life and history outside Singapore’s city center, admire spectacular pieces of architecture and gardens, venture north into Malaysia’s high-octane capital, take a sightseeing-cum-shopping day trip (ideal for those traveling on a budget), and more. For any of these tours you will be picked up either straight from your hotel or a designated place in Singapore, and transported either by a comfortable air-conditioned coach, private vehicle, or a high-speed boat (whenever applicable) to the destination of your choice and back again.