Friday, August 12, 2011

Singapore - Chinatown... here I come..

Chinatowns are always considered tourists attraction anywhere else in the world, except in Hongkong and China of course.

Having chinese blood makes me long for this place or perhaps my mind is at ease when I visit this place due to my  memory of my childhood days. During those times, my chinese lolo used to bring my siblings and I to chinatown (Binondo) whenever a new member of Chinese Mason was inducted. My lolo used to ba a high ranking officer of Chinese Free Mason Lodge in Philippines. We would indulge in countless servings of chinese cuisines and delicacies and with "pabaon" when we go home. I would watch with him chinese movies during Sunday morning thus I enjoy watching those chinese films until now, in english please. Not to mention, the chinese tradition my lolo used to practice when he was still with us.

Back to Singapore's Chinatown, I went to this place by train. It was 4 stations away from my Hostel (Farrer Park). I took Pagoda Street exit.



This is Chinatown train station, Pagoda Street. There is another exit at People's Park but Pagoda Street is more tourist friendly than the other one so I prefer to share Chinatown "Pagoda Street" view. But if you are planning to buy electronics items, chinese medicines/DVD/CD/etc. then exit at People's Park.

The souvenir shopping area during daytime



Nightime at Chinatown



The Food Street




They arrange those tables and chairs along the road at around 6:00 pm and remove them at 11:00 pm but during weekend, they start arranging those tables and chairs at 12 noon. I know this because several times we were asked by "aunties" and "uncles" to  transfer to side street tables since they need to pack-up our tables and chairs, it was at 11:00 pm exactly.






By the way, I have observed that in Singapore, the government has given their "oldies" jobs so they would remain productive even at their twilight years. Usually, you will see old Singaporeans working at fast foods, cleaning the streets, and doing other menial jobs and they are called "aunties" and "uncles". They are very nice and approachable. But mind you, you will see some of them are using Iphone.


Surprisingly, I have found one Filipino Karaoke bar in Chinatown. This is a tribute to all Filipinos who love to sing.


While exploring Chinatown, I found the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple (see my post dedicated to this temple). This is the back side. I advise you to visit this temple before sunset. You can enter the temple FREE but you need to follow and read the signs/ instructions posted at both entrances. I learned that I can enter this temple on my second visit and out of curiosity; unfortunately, when my family visited me here our shots were limited within this area only. You won't regret if you allocate even an hour of your time for this splendid temple.


Found the oldest Hindu Temple in Singapore, Sri Mariamman Temple (see my post also for this temple), at the other end of Pagoda Street. Tourists are allowed to enter this temple without any footwear. If you have camera or video cam then you need to pay 3 S$ for camera and 6 S$ for video cam, coupon will be issued for your gadget.


A mosque at Chinatown. This one has nothing special to offer to tourists.


This is one of the many commendable qualities of Singapore, they respect and presevrve their rich cultural heritage and religious roots. Regardless whether you are chinese, indians, malays or any other nationalities you need to follow the rules and respect each other belief.

Now, it is getting clearer why I have mentioned in my earlier post that Singapore has something more precious than the oil of middle-east.

The new face of Food Street


Food Street is now fully covered. You can dine here even when it is raining. It is now at par with Maxwell Food Center when it comes to facility though foods are still cheaper (inc. beer) at MFC.

Around Chinatown taken at overpass across the New Ridge Street.

 
 
Revised: 10 Dec 2011