The Accidental Tourists Visit Chinatown

牛车水, or otherwise known as ‘Bullock Carts Water’ (direct translation). The chinese name for Singapore’s Chinatown came about when people living in Chinatown in the past, depended on bullock carts for the transportation of water.

Chinatown these days, hardly retained any glimpses of the ‘old Chinatown’ that our grandparents could have remembered of the place.

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What the children saw when were walked down the streets of Chinatown were brightly colored shophouses, plenty of stalls selling generic-looking china-made souvenirs, affordable Cheong Sums and Samfoos. And ‘I love Singapore’ and ‘Singapore is a ‘Fine’ City’ T-shirts and porcelain mugs depicting the things that you will be fined for in Singapore.

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The closest view that the children got to the medical shops in Chinatown were the pre-package chinese medicine and herbs drying outside the shops. The strong smelling whiff of herbs, spices and other exotic ingredients which emitted from the medical shops was enough to turn them off the interest of further exploring the medical shops.

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Walking down the streets of Chinatown will bring out the consumerism in any child :P. The kids were enamored by the gaudy tacky looking wind chimes, touristy magnets and little knick knacks and was looking out for the moment that the moms will say “Yes, we can buy this for you!.”

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We continued our walkabout down Temple Street, passed the Sri Mariamman Temple, walked towards South Bridge Road to view the architecture and exterior aesthetics of the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple.

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We experienced a not-so-authentic glimpse of our chinese culture in Singapore walking down the streets of Chinatown. Nevertheless, from our same visit, we found a place hidden in a nook of a restored shop-house which uncovered many stories of old Chinatown that we could share with our children.

What was it? Read on to next part of this post.


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