Chinatown, Singapore

Chinatown, Singapore


Chinatown is the traditional Chinese quarter of Singapore's and while the entire city-state is largely Chinese these days the area does retain some of its own traditional charm. The area is also known as "Niu Che Shui" in Chinese and "Kereta Ayer" in Malay, both names meaning "bullock cart water", a reference to the carts that once hauled in drinking water. Unlike most of predominantly Hokkien Singapore, the dominant Chinese dialect in Chinatown is Cantonese.
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Situated between Pagoda Street and Smith Street, Chinatown has actually been considerably tarted up for tourists. Chinatown's primary attraction is the town itself, composed of restored shophouses full of strange little shops selling everything from plastic Buddhas to dried seahorses. The central streets of Chinatown around the pagoda are packed with stalls selling all sorts of Chinese trinkets aimed squarely at tourists. n There is, needless to say, plenty of Chinese food to go around in Chinatown ranging from the restaurants situated in the small shophouses to the street foods from the hawkers.

Chinatown street market, Singapore

Chinatown's street market

Singapore's Chinatown is very accessible. The best or most convenient option is to take the North-East MRT line to Chinatown Station. Take Exit A (Pagoda Street) from the station and you are right in the heart of Chinatown where most of the action is located. The main tourist spot is not a large area and you can easily get your way around and return back to the Chinatown Station on foot. Outram Park, Tanjong Pagar and Raffles Place are all within walking distance from Chinatown, as is Clarke Quay and the Singapore River to the north.

Chinatown MRT Station, Singapore

Chinatown MRT Station

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