MOMI WANDERS|  Singapore’s Chinatown: simply dynamic, colorful, and dramatic

Apr 21, 2016 | Live, Only Berlin

I’ve been to this highly urbanized place — which according to our tour guide Meow has consistently expanded through land reclamation.  Founded in 1819 by Sir Stamford Raffles, the place has a number of places named after him.  It was only in 1965 when it became an independent nation and a republic, which it remains today.

This sovereign city-state has the Merlion as its symbol.  The fish body represents the island country’s origin as a fishing village, and the lion head comes from its original name Singapura.  Singapura means “lion city.”

Yes, I’ve been to Singapore and even if I only stayed there for a few days, it has been an exciting experience.  I got to witness a totally different culture, talk with interesting characters, and been nothing short of fun.

Singapore is one of the world’s major commercial hubs with the fourth-biggest financial center and one of the five busiest ports.   Acute poverty is rare in Singapore, according to Meow.  The city is highly globalized which greatly depends on trade.  Most of its facilities and services are at par with the international standards.

About five million live in Singapore, the majority of which are Chinese and the rest Caucasians, Eurasians, Indians, and Malays. A number of Singaporeans are bilingual — mostly speaking English and another language (Mandarin, Malay or Tamil).  Most know how to speak Singapore Colloquial English or what they call Singlish.

Singapore’s Chinatown

As we tour this little country, I instantly fell in love with its several distinct ethnic communities.  Each shows a distinct aura of its culture.  Each district offers sights and sounds that uniquely describe its cultural heritage.  And among all, I fell in love with Chinatown.

I love its vibrant color.  Red doors can be so inviting.

The gothic wrought door knobs and handles can pull anyone’s attention.  It caught mine.

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The intense yet comforting smell of incense may surely appeal to the Gods.  It surely did arouse my olfactory sense.

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And along the busy Chinatown is this Buddhist temple possessing such a peculiar form — all intricately designed that stands majestically among old and new structures.

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Even the smell and sight of its delicacies and local produce are so inviting… all rich in flavor and culture.

As I wander freely along the busy streets of Chinatown, I chance upon the perfect gift for my mother.  Beautifully luxurious and extremely soft that if I wear it, it will surely keep me in bed all day.

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As I went farther, I tend to discover something new again in every corner, in every turn.  Surely, I was enticed and lost in a rush that is Chinatown until my sight settled on the small intricate pieces of a chess board — I felt instantly at home.  I pictured my boys’ sweet smiles and without thinking much, made my second purchase —

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Deeply rooted in tradition, Singapore’s Chinatown tells of the aura of a culture that truly excites one’s senses.  Its look, smell, and feel are distinctly Chinese that are ever so dynamic, colorful, and simply dramatic.

I would visit Singapore again, soon perhaps, with my family.  Together, we will explore, taste, and feel not just Singapore’s Chinatown but the whole city.

* Our Singapore trip was last November 2014.  Husband was left at home with the kids.  He must have missed me that much.  I’ve learned that our baby Yael was conceived a day after I arrived home from Singapore.  🙂 

36 Comments

  1. Agnes Dela Cruz

    I would love to visit Singapore and check this Chinatown’s food and colorful culture.

    Reply
    • msbolin

      🙂 me too, this time with my family.

      Reply
  2. Jacob Wright

    Cool pics. I feel like I went there too!

    Reply
  3. crazyscrapper1

    Love the pictures and the narrative of Singapore and Chinatown. Makes me want to go and check it out.

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Thank you. 🙂

      Reply
  4. momknowsbest15

    I love the buildings there. It reminds me of Chinatown in Chicago.

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Its just amazing anywhere we go there’s always Chinatown.

      Reply
  5. Rachel Mouton

    This is so beautiful and elegant! What an amazing place to visit and so full of vibrant colors <3

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Vibrant colors indeed:) thanks for dropping by.

      Reply
    • msbolin

      Didnt try as there were a number of devotees praying. I didnt want to bother them.

      Reply
  6. Elizabeth O.

    Singapore is just like New York, it’s a melting pot of different cultures. And that’s what makes it more exciting and interesting. You get a taste of the different cultures when you go there, especially in the food. The temple here looks really amazing and serene.

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Exactly on the different cultures. A nice place to study the arts and culture of different nationalities.

      Reply
    • msbolin

      Yup, pretty neat and wonderful 🙂

      Reply
  7. Lexie Lane

    Singapore travel sounds fun and amazing! Love that place. Nice shots!

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Thanks. Yes, love the place as well

      Reply
  8. Terri Ramsey Beavers

    After seeing your photos, I’d love to visit Singapore asap. I’ve never been anywhere so beautiful before, I probably wouldn’t want to leave.

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Haha, when i went to singapore, i would want to extend my stay as well but I have family waiting for me.

      Reply
  9. Jenjen Balatico

    I have lots of friends working at SG as preschool teacher. Lovely place! Hoping to visit SG one day 🙂

    Reply
    • msbolin

      And when you’re there already, enjoy!

      Reply
  10. Kathy Kenny Ngo

    My brother will be a resident of SG soon and we can’t wait to visit him and discover SH with him.

    Reply
    • msbolin

      That’s an exciting news ! Enjoy Singapore once there!

      Reply
  11. Amy Jones

    Its amazing how lively and colorful chinatown can be! i love going to the market there!

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Me, too. Such great finds!

      Reply
  12. Brianna George

    OH! All those vibrant colors and smells must have been spectacular!

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Yes, love the place too. Hope you be able to visit again and perhaps visit the Philippines, too.

      Reply
  13. Mariana Perez

    What a beautiful place! I’d love to visit one day. Those red doors are just gorgeous.

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Gorgeous indeed. Would want to visit again and i hope you, too, could make a visit.

      Reply
  14. Ana Fernandez

    It looks so colorful, exotic and full of culture!

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Yes, the culture is so alive because of colors.

      Reply
    • msbolin

      Yey to visiting Singapore some day!

      Reply

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Motherhood, as I live it, is a gift not everyone can appreciate until she learns to truly live it. More musings and realizations, fun discoveries, and mommy tips at Momi Berlin's blog.

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