Thursday, December 15, 2011

Singapore Travel : Chinatown Shopping

china town singapore
Chinatown Singapore Street Market

If you are travelling to Singapore and looking for a bit of street shopping or souvenirs to bring back home. Chinatown Singapore may be a good place to head to. Tourist usually head for the street market at Pagoda Street while locals usually shop at People's Park Shopping Complex.

china town singapore
Chinatown Singapore - Buildings of vivid colors

Smith Street at Chinatown is also famous for the food but I can't really vouch for it as I am a Muslim and as Chinatown lacks halal eateries except for McDonald's, I would suggest Muslims visiting Chinatown to come with their stomach full or head to Little India afterwards to chomp on the local fare. If you want to try out the food at Chinatown, it's best to come in the evening as the Food Street is opened from 7.00pm.  Among the famous food to try in Chinatown are Laksa, Prawn Noodles, Chicken Rice and Dumplings. People's Park Complex, Smith Street Hawker Centre and Maxwell Road Food Centre are also some places to check out for local food if you plan to visit Chinatown before 7.00pm.

Other attractions at Chinatown includes:

places to visit singapore
Singapore Coins and Notes Museum

World largest coin replica at Singapore Coins and Notes Museum at Chinatown

1)  Singapore Coins and Notes Museum  at 40 Pagoda Street (10.00am - 8.00pm Daily - Fee Per Entry)
2) Jamae Chulia Mosque at 218 South Bridge Road (Mosque built by the Chulian community in 1826)
3) Sri Mariamman Temple at 244 South Bridge Road (Oldest Hindu Temple in Singapore built in 1827)
4) Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum at 288 South Bridge Road (soft launch in 2007)

Sri Mariamman Temple at Chinatown Singapore

For myself, it was fun just walking down Pagoda Street looking at the souvenir, portrait painting and calligraphy stalls. There are also quite a number of jewellers, tailors  and camera shops there too. Souvenirs abounds from the usual suspects of chopsticks, hand fans, lanterns, silk pouches, wooden clogs and clothes to the more unique such as homewares, aromatheraphy products and natural skincare. I got stuck at Harnns a natural skin care and spa shop and bought their Vuudh Interior Fragrance; Shanghai Neroli Jasmine for my bedroom and Phuket Lemongrass and Lavender for my guest restroom (I can't help it, it smell so nice and I've been forever looking for a nice scent for my guest restroom that is not a candle), sheesh I even bought their Black Rice and Charcoal Soap; the lady said it's really good for the skin so I guess I'm going to give it a try since my skin has started to break out again and Estee Lauder's not doing the trick at the moment. 

places to visit singapore
Souvenirs at Chinatown Singapore
chinatown souvenirs
Chopsticks galore at Chinatown Singapore

Ok, back to Chinatown. It is really easy to get to Chinatown, just take the MRT (Singapore rapid rail system or subway) and alight at Chinatown, all the attractions are within walking distance. Wear comfortable shoes since you will be walking quite a bit and dress appropriately if you are visiting the mosque and temples. 

souvenirs singapore
Wooden Clogs for Kids at Chinatown Singapore

chinatown attraction
Fancy a portrait done at Chinatown Singapore?
Lastly, Chinatown is not really a place to bring your kids as amenities here are not that great. There are no baby changing facilities nor nursing rooms and you have to watch out for the traffic. 

harnns singapore
Rice Soap and Interior Fragrances among other products at Harnns Chinatown Singapore

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