Are you a fan of Singapore’s culture? If you are, you should definitely check out Chinatown when you visit Singapore. There are 3 big reasons for you to visit this special place. It’s a great place for shopping (souvenirs especially); it has many delicious local delights; and there is a lot of cultural heritage for you to explore! In this article, I will bring you to the must-see attractions around Chinatown.
Once you step out of the Chinatown MRT, you will see two things, the crowd and a lot of stores. This whole stretch of road is filled with stores that sell many souvenirs and handicrafts at a great price. Apart from key chains, you can find small wallet pouches, fridge magnets and T-shirt with Singapore symbols, making them ideal for gifts.
As you walk further, you will also notice some traditional handicraft stores. For example, this store can help you write your name in traditional Chinese calligraphy at a price of $15, making the souvenir even more special.
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
Apart from shopping, you can explore the historical sites in the area. And the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple should definitely be in your must-go list. Buddha Tooth Relic Temple in Chinese is 佛牙寺 (Fo Ya Si). The temple gets its name from what the Buddhists regard as the Sacred Buddha Tooth Relic. It cost S$75 million to set up, and is based on the elements of the Tang Dynasty and the Buddhist Mandala, which is a representation of the Buddhist universe.
Before you go in, make sure to put on the sarongs and shawls provided at the entrance, as mini-skirt, short pants and sleeve less tops are not allowed in this scared place.
Once you enter the temple, you will see many magnificent Buddha statues. Take your time to marvel its beauty and immerse yourself in the serenity. If you have time and would like to know more about Buddhism, head to the Buddhist Culture Museum upstairs. Inside the museum, you will find documents, collects, preserves and researches on Asian Buddhist artifacts. You can find out more about the temple and the museum here.
Sri Mariamman Temple
After visiting the Chinese temple, be sure to check out the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore. The majestic ‘gopuram’ (grand tower entrance) especially is a landmark to generations of Hindu worshipers and Singaporeans alike.
At the temple, look out for its ornate and elaborate detailing. If you’re here in October or November, consider observing the Theemithi (fire walking ceremony), which is the main festival celebrated annually at the temple.
Chinatown Heritage Centre
Your visit to Chinatown should not be over yet. If you are curious about the history of Chinatown, step into Chinatown Heritage Centre which recreates the original interiors of the 1950s, offering a rare glimpse into the lives of Chinatown’s early residents.
Tin Tin Shop
Last but not least, if you are a fan of Tin Tin, do check out the Tin Tin Shop where you can see life-size of Tin Tin and his loyal companion Snowy. Take your time to explore the shop and get lost in the world of cartoon.
That’s the highlight of Chinatown’s attractions. In the next article, I will introduce all the great food around the area. If you have any place you would like to know more from Singapore, drop me a comment and sign up for my mailing list. Until next week, GoGo Budget Travel!