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The 10 Most Authentic Chinatowns in the World

by Paul Joseph  |  Published January 23, 2017


6. Singapore

Authentic transport waits for passengers in Singapore's Chinatown (Photo: John Georgiou via Flickr)

Authentic transport waits for passengers in Singapore’s Chinatown (Photo: John Georgiou via Flickr)

Situated in the Outram district of Singapore, Chinatown is nestled between the imposing skyscrapers that characterise this small city-state off of southern Malaysia. Steeped in history and cultural significance, large swathes of the area have been officially designated as a national heritage site, meaning that it has remained untouched for many years.

With its predominantly Chinese population, Singapore may seem an incongruous destination for a Chinatown, but its unique history ultimately led to the creation of a self-contained neighbourhood comprising five separate districts, each with their own unique Chinese identity.

In Telok Ayer, located on the slopes of Ann Siang Hill, you’ll find picturesque places of worship, along with quirky shops, cafes and drinking holes. The upscale Bukit Pasoh, meanwhile, is dotted with chic boutique hotels, European and fusion restaurants, as well as clan associations and cultural societies.

Then there is Tanjong Pagar, a mish-mash of residential apartments, commercial buildings and nightspots, and as home to a large concentration of bridal salons too. In Kreta Ayer, you’ll find numerous heritage brands, street hawkers and eateries. Finally, you have Ann Siang Hill, where a recent influx of new businesses and developments have created a buzzing atmosphere.

TOP TIP: Step into the past when you visit the Chinatown Heritage Centre, an immersive recreation of 1950’s Singapore that is faithful down to the tiniest detail and full of insightful videos and descriptions of Singapore’s heritage.
MORE INFO: http://www.chinatown.sg/