SINGAPORE FLING …
IT’S Singapore in December, which means today was 35 degrees with 100 per cent humidity.
The best thing I could have done was find a spot by the pool, park myself on a lounge under the sun, order lots of cold drinks, and submerge myself in the pond every time my core temperature started creeping up.
But not me, oh no.
I did my best mad dogs and Englishmen, tucked my trusty notebook and camera under my arm, bought myself a MRT ticket, and headed out to have adventures.
My roaming took me to Chinatown which is one of the enclaves Sir Stamford Raffles laid out in 1822 to accommodate a particular group of immigrants that’s managed to maintain it’s link to those illustrious beginnings.
Chinatown has been home to Singapore’s Chinese community since the early part of the 19th century and when you look past the tourist tat that’s for sale in the market stalls lining Pagoda and Trengganu streets you can catch a glimpse of old Singapore.
The Chinatown Heritage Centre walks visitors through the enclaves history, using a blend of traditional exhibits as well as recreating original living spaces in the old shophouses that feature the wide five-foot ways which are essentially just covered verandas.
Lining the surrounding streets those who look under the surface can find some oldest city’s oldest businesses, a tea shop and restaurant that have been operating since the 1920s and a Lolly shop that’s been doing business since the 1930s.
But the best thing about Chinatown is that it’s still home to the descendants of those original settlers and on a Sunday afternoon they come out to work, rest and play.