Being one of Singapore’s most historical and culturally diverse ethnic neighborhood, Chinatown is categorized under City-Marina area and is located at the south east of Singapore. Many buildings in China Town represent characteristics of baroque and Victorian architectures, intensifying the distinctive historical features of the district. In fact, large sections of China Town are designated for conservation and are considered as national heritage sites.
China town became overcrowded after Singapore’s founding in 1819 and remained so until the Housing Development Board relocated many residents to other areas during 1960s. Due to overcrowding, China Town has been one of the focus areas for HDB development after 1960s. Some older shops in the district has been demolished to create ample space for new skyscrapers and provide housing needs of the increasing population. This is why it is common to see HDB developments scattered within business district today. Currently, more than 80% of Singapore’s housing demand is met by HDB developments, the rest is fulfilled by all other forms of housing such as condos, apartments, etc.
History, faith, history
With its’ numerous attractions, great restaurants, and its wide range of old style shops, China Town never gets boring. Buddha Tooth, Sri Mariamman Temples, and Thian Hock Keng Temples are a must see.
Buddha Tooth Temple includes a museum that showcases interesting samples of Southeastern Buddhist art, and is free of charge to visit. If you are looking to see an authentic Buddhist ritual, no matter your faith, you can attend the opening ceremony in the morning or the closing ceremony at night featuring traditional drummers and bells.
Sri Mariamman Temple is Singapore’s oldest buddhist temple, and is declared a National Monument. Owing to its’ historical significance and Dravidian style architecture boosting a colorful exterior, the temple is a major tourist attraction. The temple hosts an annual fire walking ceremony before the Festival of Lights.
Chinatown heritage center brings before you many artifacts and items related to China Town’s rich history. After your visit here, you will see China Town through an old inhabitants’ eyes and get a feel of how it might have been like to live in China Town long before HDB properties were in place.
If you choose to live in China Town and after visiting all these attractions, your feet might feel a little soar but you need not worry. Get a foot massage at the Bath Culture Foot Therapy and retire to the room you rented at one of the numerous HDB properties.
Get more out of China Town!!!
If you are looking for more affordable options when it comes to finding apartments, there are plenty of 2 bedroom HDB’s in China Town and the market is full of tenants looking for flat mates. The rent prices for an individual room start from $550 for a common room, and quickly picks up to $800 and beyond.
It is safe to say that if you find a sublet that costs less than $800, you are up for a good deal. There is always a trade-off between quality and cost in the property market, so the decision is up to you.
Whether you are a tenant in a condo, apartment or HDB, consider subletting one of your rooms to a home seeker. You can do a lot with an extra $800 per month in China Town!!!
Photo credits: Singapore Chinatown by Güldem Üstün – used under CC BY