Results 1-5of 5 Reviews
Metro Manila, Philippines
November 27, 2011
From journal Searching for the Spirit of Singapore
Ayr, Scotland, United Kingdom
April 16, 2009
From journal A Two Day Stopover in Singapore
January 27, 2005
Chinatown in Singapore is a major attraction, and it goes without saying that most tourists hit it. But while wandering around the area, be sure to go to the Chinatown Heritage Center. Now, let me preface this by saying that I am not a person who usually likes museums or recommends them, but there is something a bit different about the Heritage Center.
First of all, it’s located right on Pagoda Street, the main avenue in Chinatown. It occupies three old-style shop houses, all of which are multiple stories. They are open every weekday until 6pm and on weekends until 9pm. The cost of admission is a well-justified Singaporean $8.80. Strange price, and I haven’t figured out why they just don’t round it to $9. Perhaps $8 is a more fortuitous number.
Each floor of the house has multiple stories to tell. The exhibits are more of an immersive or hands-on type than just a simple viewing. Different sections are decorated in a period-correct manner, and you can feel as though you have stepped back in time. They don’t shy away from less glamorous subjects, either, as they cover prostitution and all the seedy parts of history. I like the fact that it’s not a glazed-over version of history.
You will see numerous old photos and magazines from Singapore’s history. One floor is dedicated to a complete reproduction of living quarters for people, and you will be amazed at the small spaces a family of 10 could live in. You will see video interviews with people who experienced some of the events firsthand and even meet interesting people in the lobby and gift shop downstairs. I actually met and talked with a man whose father took many of the photos. He had written a book about his father, and we had a rather long discussion about his father's work and Chinatown's past.
If you are into the history of a place and like a version that isn’t too glossed over, then this may be the place for you.
From journal Singapore by Accident
October 20, 2004
As I had visited the centre in a group, we managed to get a guide who was ironically an Indian. He was very good, adding his own personal anecdotes into the tour. The guides here are mainly professional guides and among the best trained in town.
Some highlights of the centre are:
- The animatronics display that portrays the various festivals celebrated in Chinatown. There are almost real firecrackers (now illegal in Singapore) and a robotic lion.
- The conserved "coolie kengs" or small rooms which used to house the Chinese immigrants working in early Singapore. These rooms were painstakingly recreated through oral interviews with some of the people that lived in these shophouses. The designers managed to capture the charm and dirt of these old houses...down to dripping taps and poop in the squat toilets.
-The tailor's shop on the ground floor, which was the original shop there.
-The audiovisual, which portrays the brothels and secret societies that were rampant in Chinatown way back then.
This is a place not to be missed to get an idea of old, charming Singapore, which is rapidly disappearing.
For more details visit www.chinatownheritage.com.sg
From journal Singapore Secrets
February 24, 2004
Excellent audiovisual presentations feature the personal stories of former residents. The hardships, courage and resillience of the people of Chinatown are revealed through interactive sections and the recreation of life in a shophouse.
From journal Singapore