Widely known as the national cake of Singapore, Pandan chiffon cake is very much loved by the locals. However, it is also very difficult to find a bakery that specializes in Pandan Chiffon cake like Pure Pandan.
Located in the heart of Chinatown, Pure Pandan prides itself on sourcing all natural juice from real Pandan leaves, and staying true to its old-fashioned techniques to ensure the highest quality of its bakes. The texture of its Pandan cake has been acclaimed by many to be airy, soft and fluffy. Everything about this cake is delicate — from the pandan flavour and fragrance.
Now, you can even enjoy Pandan swiss rolls in addition to its signature chiffon cakes which are equally tasty. Although Pandan cake may sound like a simple recipe, you’ll be surprised by the flavourful, heavenly kick in every soft bite that a Pandan cake can deliver.
Fluffy and spongy, this aromatic cake can be eaten as an afternoon tea snack or saved for a dessert— if you’re looking for pandan alternatives, they also serve Pandan Durian and Pandan Cream Cheese. So, go give it a try!
Seah Street is no stranger to Hainanese chicken rice. It is deemed as the island’s chicken rice haven. This fragrant dish was introduced to the country by Hainanese immigrants who settled along Seah St and Purvis St. It gained national popularity in the 1950s.
20 steps away from Heritage Collection on Seah, you’ll find Sing Swee Kee Restaurant. It welcomed its first customer in 2001. While it has retained a cosy charm, the restaurant is bright and spacious. Chicken rice enthusiasts can choose to dine indoors or alfresco.
The juicy Hainanese blanched chicken, accompanied by the fragrant sesame oil rice and ginger sauce is tantalising and keeps you wanting more. The menu boasts a wide variety of sides and accompanying dishes, so get ready to be spoiled for choice.
Don’t wait till your last day to have a go at Sing Swee Kee! You will be tempted by the aroma each time you make your way back to our hotel.
A visit to Chinatown is never complete without dropping by Maxwell Food Centre. Rated as one of the best hawker centres in Singapore, you have to try all the local delights on the cheap right here. One of the most nostalgic treats is Maxwell’s Fuzhou’s deep fried Oyster cake. The crunchy snack is always served piping hot, and it is packed with a hearty portion of juicy pork mince, prawns, oysters and Chinese celery.
You can also easily get your dessert fixed at Woong Kee Traditional Dessert which is also one of the highlights. Every bowl of beancurd is scooped to order, so rest assured that you will get a freshly prepared beancurd. Made with black soybeans, Black Bean Curd with White Syrup is their signature beancurd and it is widely known to be smoother and softer than the original. No matter which beancurd you set your eyes on, you can always choose your preferred syrups and toppings from a variety of options to make it even more flavourful.
Indonesian delicacy served up at Aspirasi Chicken Stall is a must-try as well. Here, you get thickly battered fried chicken that comes with various sauces such as sambal, sweet & sour, lemon, and black pepper. Topped with crispy crumbs, every bite of this fried chicken is packed with flavour. What’s more, you can always top up your fried crumbs for free so there’s no need to scrimp and save the crumbs till the last bite. Other popular local delicacies that you should not miss would include Dim Sum and Prata!
Craving for a tasty unique snack while shopping in Chinatown? Fret not, simply head down to Tong Heng Egg Tart that is just around the corner to get your quick fix. This renowned bakery is best known for its traditional Chinese pastries in town, especially its classic egg tarts — crumbly and buttery pastries topped with smooth egg custard filling which melts in the mouth. While at it, do try other flavours or pastries like Chicken Curry Crisp, Wife Pastry, Red Bean Paste Pastry or even their Mini Mooncakes.
Don’t be fooled by their miniature sizes, they can be really addictive!
Lunchtime expedition doesn’t just stop at Maxwell Food Centre. In fact, Amoy Food Centre is another pitstop where foodies hang out not just for lunch but also for a hearty breakfast.
Coffee Break, situated at level 2, never fails to draw a huge crowd with its unique toast-and-coffee offerings every morning. This coffee business has been around since 1935, and now that it is in the hands of the third generation, you can certainly find modern interpretations of coffee flavours like Macadamia, Caramel Rum, Sea Salt Mint and more. Surprisingly, they are exceptionally delicious and quality ingredients like arabica beans and nanyan beans have been used to ensure that customers get the best value out of it.
If you have a sheer love for traditional hand-made Teochew kueh, then you have to patronise Cha Dian. Here, Cha Dian specialises in a whole range of savoury, vegetable-stuffed kueh that come either steamed or fried. The outer layer is never overly thick and the filings are generous. Topped with an extra dollop of dark sweet sauce, that’s simply perfect for a quick snack.
Fusion food is not a new concept but a dish that infuses noth Japanese elements and Indonesian flavours is rarely spotted. At Amoy, this is what makes Rayyan’s Waroeng Penyet stand out among the rest. Inspired by Japanese Don, the owners created a Balinese-Japanese fusion dish – Balinesé Gyudon served with Japanese rice, caramelized chicken chunks, a variety of spices and a poached egg. Every bite into the ingredients delivers a punchy flavor and terrific fragrance which to some, the flavor combination is simply gratifying. Amoy Food Centre is home to great eats. If you are still craving for more, you can try out other local or contemporary fusion delicacies at Thami’s, Kinobe, Wah Kee Noodles and Hakka Yong Tau Foo too!
If you are a fusion-food lover, you’re in luck. Without having to get on the next flight out to Japan, you get to indulge in a bowl of Wagyu beef donburi for just $10. Imagine the delicate slices of roasted wagyu dressed on top of a mound of Japanese short-grained rice coated in spicy rich sriracha sauce. Oh, and not forgetting the finishing touch — an onsen egg carefully topped off the mountain of treasure. Just $10? Yes, it’s definitely a steal!
Next to the murals at Amoy Food Centre, you can easily find A Noodle Story, well recognized by Michelin Bib Gourmand Guide since 2016. Do not expect authentic ramen at A Noodle Story, rather be prepared to taste a premium rendition of wanton mee and prawn mee with a Japanese ramen twist. You can catch how our “hawkerpreneurs” cleverly take our local delicacies a step further by infusing Japanese cuisine into their creation right at their stall. They serve up springy, umami-laden noodles adorned with tender slices of 36-hour sous vide pork belly char siew, a crispy potato-wrapped prawn, large succulent wantons, an onsen egg that will make you salivate even before you start digging in.
Amidst the urban sprawl, Telok Ayer is one street that remains home to several earliest religious and communitarian institutions, and the Nagore Dargah Indian Muslim Heritage Centre is one of them.
The Nagore Dargah Indian Muslim Heritage Centre was fully completed in 1830 and was originally constructed as a shrine for Shahul Hamid Durgha from Nagore, India. Shahul Hamid was a saint from India who propagated Islam through his noble work and curing the sick. The shrine is a replica of the original shrine in India and does not house any bodily relic of the saint.
The building was gazetted as a national monument on 19 November 1974. It underwent major renovations in 2007 and remained closed to the public. It later reopened in May 2011 as Nagore Dargah Heritage Centre which showcases a mix of both the emotional journeys and valuable contributions made by our early Indian-Muslim settlers.
The two-storey building’s bright peach and white colours are easy to spot. So be sure, to step into the heritage centre to discover more about the culture, diaspora and heritage of the region’s Indian Muslim community through the various exhibits and artefacts.
Venturing deeper into Chinatown, you’re likely to find yourself standing in awe in front of the majestic Sri Mariamman Temple. Like every visitor, you simply cannot ignore the marvel of this elaborately carved 6-tiered tower over the temple gates. It is absolutely stunning!
The Sri Mariamman Temple is Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple. It was constructed in 1827 for worship by immigrants from the Nagapattinam and Cuddalore districts of South India. It was first constructed out of wood and attap, and then converted into a brick-and-plaster temple in 1843. In 1973, Sri Mariamman Temple was declared a National Monument by the Preservation of Monuments Board. Back in the colonial days, the temple was once the Registry of Marriages for Hindus
If you’re looking to immerse yourself further in this culturally-rich experience, be sure to catch the age-old Hindu rituals performed by priests, worshippers and musicians in the early evenings at the temple. However, remember to adhere to the temple’s strict etiquette and dress codes before you enter. If you’re visiting between mid-October and mid-November, you are in luck! Make sure you take this opportunity to observe one of their main festival’s procession (Theemithi), commonly known as the Fire Walking ceremony that happens only once a year.
You’ll want to set aside at least 2 hours for this astounding Buddhist temple. Just a few minutes away from Heritage Collection on South Bridge, this temple has been captivating its visitors with its staggering opulence and lavish quantities of gold incorporated into its Tang Dynasty-inspired architecture and artefacts.
Yes, the sight of this iconic temple with its red pillars and detailed sculptures is simply breathtaking and a masterpiece. Dedicated to the Maitreya devotees, this temple was built in the heart of Chinatown to house the holy relic that was discovered in a collapsed golden stupa in Myanmar in 1998.
The construction of the temple would not have been possible without the kind donations and sponsorship, which mainly consisted of donations of gold which were melted to construct the stupa for the tooth relic. All in all, the temple raised S$43 million from more than 60,000 donors. The construction of the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum was completed in 2008, and a consecration ceremony was held on 17 May 2008.
What’s interesting about this temple is that it has 4 storeys, a basement level and a rooftop. On the rooftop, you can check out the Vairocana Buddha Prayer Wheel, Ten Thousand Buddhas Pagoda, and also a roof garden.
This halal, non-alcoholic rooftop bar is definitely a gem right in the heart of the Financial District.
Wanderlost’s dining space gives you a feeling of homeliness – sofas, rugs and potted plants. You can also find some of the classic story books in there as well. Its dining area extends to the alfresco rooftop area, where you can bask in the amazing views of neighbouring skyscrapers. It also has an instagram-worthy corner for your usual #ootd where you can strike a pose with a neon pink sign as your backdrop.
The bar’s concept revolves around childrens’ storybooks and classic novels. Its bespoke mocktails are carefully crafted with the drinkers’ wellness in mind. The ingredients used are healthy products like fruits, spices, juices, and herbs. Be wowed by their selection of drinks like The Ugly Duckling, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone, and The Alchemist.
Enjoy your mocktails with a huge variety of food to taste. If you are health conscious, don’t worry about savouring every bite as their food is mainly grilled and oven-baked.
Limited seats are available at Wanderlost so be sure to make your reservations in order to not be disappointed!
Lau Pa Sat, or directly translated to Old Market, is the place to be for a quintessential hawker-centre-style dining experience. Let us give you a little history about the place first before we delve into the gastronomic aspect of it.
Lau Pa Sat was previously known as Telok Ayer Market, and it was first opened in 1823. However, upon its completion, the building was deemed as unsafe. The timber and attap structure was declared defective, and was later replaced by tiles on the roof. But the structure remained unsafe up to 1830. A new market building was then introduced on the same site in 1833.
As the decades went by, the city experienced new changes and developments. Eventually, the area was planned to be redeveloped into a commercial and financial district in the early 1970s. This would mean that the wet market will become out of place among other commercial buildings. In 1972, the building stopped operating as a wet market and transformed into a hawker centre. It was also gazetted as a national monument in the same year.
A decade later, Telok Ayer Market was again converted into a festival market and was officially renamed Lau Pa Sat in 1989. Lau Pa Sat underwent one final refurbishment and reopened in 2014. The key feature that is still standing since the 1800s is the clock tower that has a clock face on every side and the bell still chimes every 15 minutes.
Today, it remains a significant landmark nestled within the towering skyscrapers of the Central Business District. It is also a popular lunch venue for the office workers, and a hot dinner spot for tourists.
If you are looking to try some of Singapore’s popular hawker foods, Lau Pa Sat has plenty to offer – such as chicken rice, satay and seafood. There are a few stalls offering similar dishes so be sure to look at the different menus before you order. Lau Pa Sat also has Halal options available for our Muslim friends. The hawker centre becomes more bustling at night when Boon Tat St is closed and the hawkers set up their tables and chairs on the road. Relish the smells, sights and sounds of Singapore’s favourite hawker centre. Here’s the best part, it is only a 5 minute walk from Heritage Collection on Cecil.
Standing at a height of 290 metres, Guoco Tower is a mixed-use development skyscraper and it is also Singapore’s tallest building! Yes, it’s the building that’s piercing towards the sky.
Guoco Tower is an integrated development, where you can find a good mix of commercial, office, retail and residential spaces within the 64-storey building. The construction of the tower forms part of the effort to rejuvenate and revitalise the Tanjong Pagar district. The towering skyscraper also adds a hint of modernity amongst the heritage shophouses you can find in the area. Guoco Tower has also received international recognition for its design, architecture as well as its commitment to environmental sustainability. Its eco-friendly features include energy-efficient lighting and water systems and glass facade to minimise solar heat gain.
Guoco Tower has a range of options for dining and socialising with co-workers, friends and family. Immerse yourself and be spoilt for choice within its 100,000 square foot of retail and dining options that spans across 6 storeys. For our foodies, they have a dynamic mix of food options to choose from, and you can find most of them in the basement floor of the building, which is also conveniently connected to Tanjong Pagar MRT Station.
Kick off your shoes, relax and unwind at its 150,000 square foot Urban Park. It has a green lawn, rooftop gardens, and a wide open space sheltered by a glass canopy for recreational and lifestyle events such as pop-up stores, Zumba classes or just enjoy their lunchtime pop-up shows. Stay updated with their latest happenings by following their Facebook or Instagram accounts so as to not miss anything that peaks your interest!
Tucked within yet another heritage shophouse is this little gem known as Littered With Books. Located just 3 minutes away from Heritage Collection on Tanjong Pagar, this independent bookstore is home to a wide genre of books – from literary, non-fiction, and sci-fi to travel narratives and children’s books.
Book-lovers, this place is your haven! As you step into the store, you will be embraced by the familiar sweet, musky smell that drifts into your nose. This smell lingers as you browse through the neatly organised books, and lose yourself in your little happy place.
You may feel a little lost when you first visit the store but don’t worry – their friendly owners will be happy to show you around and give you the best recommendations. We suggest reading their blog or follow them on Facebook to get on the latest updates on the store.
Heard of the term Peranakan? Peranakans often fall in between the cracks of our traditional notions of race in Southeast Asia. It was historically used as a term to refer to the various ethnic and cultural groups that were scattered across Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. One of the most prominent Peranakan groups in Singapore is none other than the Peranakan-Chinese. Bet some of you didn’t know that our first Prime Minister, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew was also a Peranankan descendent, right?
Visiting the 3-storey townhouse with more than 160 years of history will help you better understand the Peranakan culture and heritage. As a past ancestral home to a Peranakan Chinese, you will get to explore the history of the Straits Chinese through the lens of the Wee family who descended from shipping merchant Wee Bin. While you’re at it, be sure to check out the collections of exquisite Peranakan artefacts and historical records of the Straits Chinese that may sometimes leave you in awe.
However, you should note that visits to the House are strictly by appointment and visitors are required to sign up in advance for a heritage tour. So, remember to do your research and book in advance!
Jinrikisha is a Japanese word that translates to “man-powered carriage”. It is also known as the rickshaw – a small cart with large wheels that is pulled by a single man. When it was first introduced on the island in 1869, rickshaws replaced horse-drawn carriages as the primary mode of transportation for the general public due to their affordability. The rapidly increasing demand for rickshaws saw its numbers doubled in 1902 from 2,000 in 1883.
The building was built in 1903 and opened in the following year to serve as the main depot for rickshaws. The shape of the building site gave rise to the unique design of the station, a “V”-shaped structure featuring a curved corner facade topped with a square tower with an octagonal cupola. The station was a centre for the registration of new rickshaws and the inspection of the serviceability of those plying the streets until the start of WWII.
After the war in 1945, trishaws took over as the popular mode of transportation. There were also concerns and criticisms on rickshaws as a mode of transportation that insulted human dignity and infringed upon human rights. The colonial government then enacted a ban on rickshaws in 1947. Rickshaw pullers became trishaw riders, and the station became obsolete. It was eventually reused as a family-planning clinic, and maternal and child care centre before it was gazetted in 1987 as part of the Tanjong Pagar conservation area.
In 1989, the national monument was slated for commercial redevelopment, where the building was converted into a shopping and recreation centre. In December 2007, celebrity Jackie Chan bought the building at the price of S$11 million.
The building is located just minutes from Maxwell food center. So drop by after lunch and see marvel at this historical landmark.
Whenever we hear ‘musical box’ the soothing melodies of Für Elise starts playing in our head. Musical boxes were a popular and important symbol of European culture back in the 19th and 20th Centuries. During the colonial era, Singapore played a major role in the progress and development of musical boxes in Southeast Asia.
The museum officially opened on 14 January 2016, and it is still fairly new. It is housed in the Chong Wen Ge building. Translated to the “Institute for the Veneration of Literature”, it was the first educational institute set up in 1849 by the Chinese community in Singapore. In 1915, it became Singapore’s first Hokkien girls’ school, Chong Hock Girls’ School.
Come visit the Singapore Musical Box Museum where you get to discover how musical boxes gain traction, how they made their way to our shores in the 19th Century, and be enchanted by antique musical boxes!
Have you ever come across photos of these towers, and have always wondered what they were? Towering over the Tanjong Pagar shophouses are actually the world’s tallest public residential buildings. Standing at 50 storeys or 163m high, these public housing developments are atypical of Singapore’s Housing Development Board’s (HDB) public housing projects. The Pinnacle @ Duxton emerged as a winner at the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) Annual Awards Programme 2019. The success of the building inspired the development of other high-rise public housing projects like SkyVille and SkyTerrace at Dawson located in the Queenstown neighbourhood.
Completed in 2009, The Pinnacle @ Duxton is home to 1,848 families in seven high-rise residential blocks. These blocks are linked by a series of sky bridges and sky gardens located on the 26th and 50th floors. Each of these sky gardens are 500m long, and forms the world’s two longest sky gardens. The heart of the city is not only home to the world’s tallest public housing buildings, but also the world’s longest sky bridges, and that is amazing!
On the 26th storey sky bridge, you can find facilities such as a jogging track, fitness corner, outdoor gym and children’s playground. However, these facilities are only exclusive to residents. The general public can access only the 50th storey sky bridge, where you get to enjoy breathtaking views of the city at no cost at all! Do note that for safety reasons, only 1,000 people are allowed on each skybridge, at any one time. So, if you want to see Singapore from a higher vantage point, head on down to the Pinnacle @ Duxton when you’re here – just a ten minute walk Heritage Collection.
If you find that shopping at the street markets is not enough and you’ve not truly completed your retail therapy, head over to Chinatown Point – itis just around the corner. Chinatown Point is another one of Singapore’s mixed use developments which features a commercial zone in the lower-half of the building, and a 25-storey office facility in the upper half.
Chinatown Point opened in 1993, renovated in 2011 and reopened in 2013. It is one of the locals’ favourite hideouts when they crave for some authentic Chinese cuisines. Besides great food, the mall also has over 200 retail shops that sell a variety of souvenirs, clothes. shoes, bags and almost everything you can think of at bargain prices. So, what are you waiting for? Get ready to explore Chinatown and shop til’ you drop!
It is also connected to Chinatown MRT station, so you can continue your journey to the next neighbourhood.
Looking for some artsy street art for the ‘gram? Away from the CBD drag lies many good spots that feature Yew Chong’s popular murals. An accountant turned self-taught mural artist, Yew Chong first pursued this side interest of his when he was given the permission to paint some murals on a wall at Everton Road. The public appreciated his artwork that thematically underpinned Singapore’s rich historical heritage and cultural elements.
He eventually decided to pursue his passion full-time, with the aim of using wall murals to record historical sights and stories, mostly from his childhood memories. You can easily spot his masterpieces at Spottiswoode Park Road or along the side of the corridor as you step into 51 Waterloo Street. Where else? We are not spilling the beans, but here’s a hint. There’s a total of 14 hidden stories waiting for you to discover along the sidewalks of Chinatown, Telok Ayer and even Kampong Glam – 2 of them are on our buildings. So, be ready for this adventure!
Want more engagement? Go check out LocoMole, an experiential discovery mobile app that can bring the murals alive through Augmented Reality (AR). This is in partnership with the artist himself, so if you are lucky enough, you will get to listen to the stories behind these murals by Yew Chong himself while uncovering little surprises off these walls. One last thing! Remember to bring some props… and a friend along to take the perfect picture for you! Say cheese!
From rare antiques to traditional goodies like Bak Kwa, the bustling enclave of Chinatown is where you get to check off all your must-buy souvenirs before you head home. Some of these streets that you should never miss include Pagoda Street, Trengganu Street, Sago Lane, Smith Street and Temple Street.
As you browse through a myriad of locally-themed items at the stalls, remember to check out some of the best tacky postcards, tea towels, punny pouches and tote bags! Tea lovers may want to make a stop at Enjoy Tea along Sago Street which offers tea demonstrations and tasting sessions. While you’re at it, you can also purchase one of their tea sets if you fancy!
Head over to Peranakan Tiles Galleryand be awed by some of the most beautiful tiles you can find. These tiles are prominently displayed in most shophouses in Singapore. If you have fallen in love with the shophouses during your stay with us, why not bring a piece of the shophouse home as a souvenir?
What about traditional Chinese fabrics and herbs? Yue Hwa, another landmark building at Eu Tong Sen Road has some of the most reasonably-priced quality Chinese products. Sometimes, you can also expect seasonal promotions around the time of Lunar New Year, so our advice for you is to plan ahead for your trip! Along the street, you may also come across Bak Kwa (肉干) which is a type of sweet, smoky pork jerky that is absolutely loved by the local Chinese. Being an important festive snack, its popularity always peaks during Chinese New Year. You can easily try one of the samples at any of these shops, and if you like one, don’t hesitate to buy some back to snack on.
Bored of basic dining experience and mundane food itinerary? Level up your food adventures at Holey Moley Golf Club! Here is where you get to have a fun-filled gastronomical experience. The golf club is beginner-friendly, so you don’t have to worry about embarrassing yourself tremendously.
To spice up your mini-golf experience, Holey Moley offers themed courses such as Game of Thrones, Flintstones, Pacman and many more! They are all instagram worthy too. Don’t miss the opportunity to get your #ootd shots at these amazing courses.
Holey Moley Golf Club knows that mini-golfing is hard work, and The Caddyshack bar has got you covered. They have plenty of options to choose from – pizzas, burgers, hotdogs, and finger food – pair them with any drink of your choice. Non-alcoholic drinks and mocktails are available too!
Dress up and have fun at Singapore’s most unique mini-golf course. Walk-ins are welcomed but we recommend booking a table to not miss this opportunity! Be sure to also check out their official website and social media pages for the latest updates and offers.
Singapore’s tropical climate can get too hot at times, and here’s a tip for you to cool down while getting your dopamine fix. Dopa Dopa Creamery offers artisanal ice-cream. Its creamy handmade gelato, sorbets, and nut butter are made with 100% natural ingredients.
Be spoilt for choice as Dopa Dopa serves a range of self-made flavours straight from pozzettis. Try out their crowd-fav, the premium home-roasted nut butter flavours Pistachio and Ferrero (Hazelnut), and Watermelon Mint – sounds refreshing! Dopa Dopa also serves festive flavoured ice-cream like Pineapple Tart during Chinese New Year.
Dopa Dopa’s specialty is pairing it’s premium gelato with butter croissant – yes, you read that right! If you are dining in the cafe, treat yourself to this beautiful combination of their stretchy gelatos and croissant, with a cuppa coffee or tea at the side. For our to-go travellers, these gelatos do not melt quickly under the Sun – so grab yours quickly and set off to your next stop!
Here’s what our Guest Satisfaction Manager, Arynna, has to say: Dopa dopa is dope! The ice cream is more on the creamy side, just the way I like it. My go to flavour is pistachio. Perfect for Singapore’s weather.
Who knew you could have access to a great rooftop bar experience from your doorstep? When you’re done exploring the city during the day and want to hang out at night but you also don’t want to spend extra on Grab or taxi, Southbridge bar is the perfect place to be.
It gives you one of the best views of the River and the city skyline, alongside a group of friendly staff who ensure that you have the best time. You can also catch a glimpse of the Marina Bay Sands laser light show right where you are. Get ready to be dazzled when the skyline lights up at night.
Oyster lovers – indulge yourself in a premium selection of freshly shucked oysters from around the world. They are definitely the highlight of Southbridge’s menu. For those who are not into oysters, don’t worry, Southbridge also offers a wide range of food like smoked salmon, wagyu beef sliders and the classic tortilla chips and dips.
Southbridge serves modern cocktails and bubblies to pair with your mains. An extensive list of champagnes, prosecco and handcrafted craft cocktails awaits. Head down to Southbridge bar to unwind and discover your new favourite craft cocktail. Here’s what our Guest Satisfaction Manager, Jarwin, has to say about our favourite rooftop bar: Cozy spot with the best rooftop view! Oysters come with different choices. They serve finger foods too! Price is right for the view. Great crew, drinks and good vibes!
The Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) is housed within what was previously known as the Empress Place Building. The building was initially built to be a courthouse, but instead became offices for government departments located in the adjacent Arts House. It was used as government offices until the late 1980s, and is best known as the Registry of Births and Deaths, the Citizenship Registry, and the Immigration Department. The building was gazetted as a national monument on 14 February 1992.
Before making the Empress Place Buildings its forever home, ACM was located at the Old Tao Nan School building, where the Peranakan Museum now stands. On 16 September 2014, the museum was named the top museum in Singapore and ranked ninth in Asia by TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice awards. It was the only Singapore museum ranked among Asia’s top 10 museums.
The museum started off focusing only on Chinese civilisations, but later expanded its collection to other parts of Asia. Today, ACM’s collection consists of objects and ethnological materials collected in Southeast Asia, such as crafts, tools and costumes of the Malay and other indigenous Southeast Asian cultures. You can also find collections from West and South Asia. All of these collections aim to highlight the roots of Singapore’s different ethnic groups in the various cultures and civilisations of Asia.
Do check out what are the various events and exhibitions in the museum if you are interested in more than just the collections the museum has to offer.
Listen up, thrill seekers: if you’re looking to get your adrenaline pumping during your trip to Singapore, then this activity is for you! You may have heard of it or watched the videos on Youtube, and if you’re wondering what it feels like to experience it for yourself, wonder no more.
The GX-5 Extreme Swing can only be found in New Zealand and Singapore. It plunges from a height of 50m – that’s about as high as the Supertrees of Gardens by the Bay. Its speed goes over 120 kph, faster than a cheetah. The 5-seater capsule first rotates to face the river before it is pulled perpendicular to the ground with the riders facing downwards. Without warning, it releases and the next thing you know you are being thrown around in the air.
Do note that there are ride restrictions in place and you are required to adhere strictly to the safety rules at all times. These restrictions include minimum age and height requirements.
Back in the days, the 3.2 km long waterway was a major trans-shipment zone and a conduit for trade. Coolies (labourers) manually unloaded cargo from the tongkangs and twakows (bumboats) to the nearby godowns and warehouses for storage and distribution. For that, the Singapore River was always bustling and river traffic was intense as The Quays developed in hubs for economic activities.
The bumboats that you see floating along the waterway today are a form of tribute to the river’s heritage. The environmentally-friendly electric bumboats take you on a historical journey as you cruise through the river and marvel at the city’s iconic landmarks.
There are 3 types of services that you can choose from: River Taxi, River Cruise, and Boat Charter. Here’s the best part – you can start your journey from any of our 3 Quays. Just locate the nearest jetty from our shophouse and enjoy the sights and sounds along the river. Try to spot the Elgin Bridge and our Boat Quay shophouse from the river taxi!
The building was originally built as a residential building in 1827 – a two-storey mansion, for Scottish merchant John Argyle Maxwell. However, the mansion was never intended for its original purpose. It housed the Supreme Court, government storehouse, and the Legislative Assembly House. On 5 June 1959, the mansion became the Parliament House for Singapore’s ruling party, the People’s Action Party (PAP). The Parliament House served all the way till October 1999, when the new Parliament House opened.
Today, the almost 200-year-old gazetted national monument is home to the Arts House. On 26 March 2004, the mansion opened its elegant and charming spaces to house the city’s Arts scene, and home to Singapore’s largest annual arts festival, the Singapore International Festival of Arts. If you happen to be in town during the festival week, and if you are into theatre, music, dance, film and visual arts, be sure to check out their website for the latest programmes and updates.
The most historical space of the Arts House is none other than The Chamber. The space used to be where Members of the Singapore Parliament gathered to discuss and debate policies. It still has the original upholstery from 1954, and a castle motif from the coat of arms used during the colonial times can still be seen on some seats. The Chamber can now accommodate up to 200 people, an intimate space for recitals, conferences, and fashion shows. You can even have your wedding reception in The Chamber!
If you plan on taking a step back from all the city buzz during your trip to Singapore, be sure to pack your activewear. Singapore is also nicknamed as the City in a Garden, the little red dot is not all tall concrete buildings and skyscrapers. Put on your trekking shoes, and be prepared to enjoy the lush greenery and expansive lawns Fort Canning Park has in store for you.
As Singapore’s iconic national park, Fort Canning Park was the site for many of Singapore’s historical milestones. It was once the palace of 14th Century Kings as well as the Headquarters of the Far East Command Centre and British Army Barracks. Important WWII decision to surrender Singapore to the Japanese was also made in the Underground Far East Command Centre (Battle Box).
If you are looking to spice up your nature trail, be sure to hunt for the Fort Canning Tree Tunnel and you’ll come across a beautiful underground spiral staircase. The underground spiral staircase is definitely one of the hidden #ootd spots for our cultural influencers. So, here’s one more for your ‘gram!
Ever wondered what building those colourful windows are on? This building is known as the Old Hill Street Police Station. As its name suggests, it was constructed for the Singapore Police Force back in 1934. It housed Singapore’s first prison, the old Assembly Rooms of the Town Hall, as well as Barracks for the police personnel. It was also the largest government building in the country at that time. The building’s architecture is Neoclassical, typical of many public buildings in England during the 1930s.
There are a total of 927 windows, and they are painted in the colours of the rainbow. If you have plenty of time to spare, you may even personally count the windows.
The building was gazetted as a national monument on 18 December 1998, and it is now home to the Ministry of Communications and Information and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.
Just down the road from the monument, you can also find the Central Fire Station – Singapore’s oldest surviving fire station. Walk around the Civil Defence Heritage Gallery to learn more about Singapore’s Civil Defence Force.
Head over to this Halal homegrown bakery to get your hands on a range of fresh baked treats like no other. The brainchild behind this indie style bakery is head baker, Naadhira Ismail who mastered her bread making skills in New York and later returned to open Mother Dough Bakery in Singapore.
Mother Dough offers a variety of fresh baked goods to satisfy every customer’s palate. One of its specialty bakes, the almond croissant, is acclaimed to be light and crispy – which explains why it is the people’s choice! You can expect the almond croissant to be generously topped with almond flakes, and filled with marzipan. We can already smell the buttery goodness, can you?
You can have a go at other freshly baked croissants that come in a delightful range of flavours as well. How about getting a Persimmon danish with ginger-lime pastry cream & caramel? While you’re at it, you can also get a cup of coffee to go along with the pastries for a hearty breakfast or afternoon tea!
We suggest you take a look at their instagram feed before heading down as you may be overwhelmed by the choices available. Tuck into them – and you’ll taste what the hype is all about!
Zam Zam restaurant is one of the most popular Indian-Muslim restaurants in Singapore, well known for its murtabak and biryani. It opened its doors in 1908, and is housed within heritage shophouses along North Bridge Road. Its setting is just like other familiar local eateries – cosy, and suitable for a casual meal with friends and family.
One of the must-try dishes from Zam Zam is its murtabak. A murtabak is a fried, crispy stuffed dough, which hailed from the Arabian peninsula. Singapore’s version of the murtabak is a magical hybrid of Arab and Indian flavours and spices.
It is typically stuffed with a mixture of minced meat, eggs, and onions. You can also opt to add cheese into your murtabak. Zam Zam’s comes in 5 different sizes and meat options, including Rusa (Deer). The murtabak is then cut and served into bite-sized pieces, and tastes best when dipped in curry. We recommend pairing your murtabak with a cup of teh tarik (pulled chai) to complete the entire experience.
If you ever order the super super large size, be sure to share and tag us in your posts! Don’t forget to include #StaywithHC.
Another in-house favourite would be the biryani. It is also one of the best you can find in Singapore. We recommend getting your hands on the Chicken biryani. The flavourful curry gravy really elevates the dish. Your taste buds will be tantalised with its well-spiced and tender chicken, and fragrant basmati rice. The dish might be too spicy for some, and the portion is really generous. So if you are not a big eater, you may want to share a packet of biryani with your travel buddy!
Some might say that Singapore is one of the most expensive cities, but you’d never think that when you eat at Zam Zam.
They also serve a variety of other dishes apart from the murtabak and biryani. If you’re looking to round off your Kampong Glam adventures on a high note, Zam Zam Restaurant is definitely a must try!
39 Armenian St **Museum is currently closed for revamp. It is slated to be open again in mid-2021
The Peranakans are a sub-ethnic group in Singapore. They are defined by their genealogical descent from Chinese immigrants who settled in the Nusantara (maritime Southeast Asia) region. The Peranakan culture is an interesting hybrid of ancient Chinese culture and the local Nusantara cultures. This ethnic group is predominantly found in Malacca, Penang, and Singapore.
If you would like to find out more about the unique Peranakan community – amalgamation of distinct cultures in the region – head on down to the Peranakan museum. Immerse yourself in the world’s finest and most comprehensive collection of Peranakan objects.
This historic building that houses the Peranakan Museum was previously home to the Asian Civilisations Museum. The building was constructed in 1912, and it was the site for Tao Nan School – Singapore’s first modern Chinese school.
While the museum is currently closed for major redevelopment works, it still makes for a great stop for your Instagram #ootds – be sure to tag us in your post!
After a trip to the museum, hang around the newly revamped Armenian street, and indulge in some Peranakan kueh (desserts) before making your way to the next To Do on your itinerary.
Bugis Street was internationally known for its al fresco dining, bazaar atmosphere, and infamously known for its notorious nightly cabaret shows and parades from the 1950s to 80s. However, the street’s famed flamboyance is now a thing of the past. The once gritty district has been transformed to the new Bugis Street.
If you do not fancy the glitz and prices of traditional, then head down to Singapore’s largest bazaar-style shopping zone and be spoilt for choice! You can find all the things you never knew you needed at Bugis Street.
Choose from clothes, tech gadgets, and cute little souvenirs to bring home. Ladies, you can also get your nails and lashes done. And the best part? They are very affordable (by local standards)!
Be sure to walk through the entire maze of Bugis Street at least once before purchasing.
Tip: Try to remember a distinctive feature of the stall you are interested in (or snap a picture) as they may all look the same to you after awhile. For all you bargain shoppers, try to haggle for the best price.
If you are a crafts or book enthusiast, Bras Basah Complex is the place for you! The Bras Basah Complex is the hub for all things books, stationery, and craft supplies. Built in 1979, it became home to the bookstores that were operating along North Bridge Road and Bras Basah Road. It quickly became a centre for bookstore owners and gained itself the name ‘city of books’.
Before you venture into the Complex, be sure to look at the building from a distance. Sitting above the 5-storey complex is a 25-storey residential block. Bras Basah Complex is an example of a mixed-use building in Singapore – it houses both commercial and residential units.
An interesting feature of the residential block is its open space, called a void deck in Singapore, is located on the 5th floor. You can venture up to the 25th floor for a bird’s eye view of a Civic & Cultural District.
Today, the Complex houses stores like Popular and Art Friend – store names that are familiar to most in Singapore. For our avid bookworms, there is a little gem on the second floor that sells preloved books at very affordable prices. We’ll leave you to seek them out, and remember to tag us when you find it!
So, if you want to travel back in time to catch a glimpse of Singapore 80s-style, Bras Basah is worth checking out. For those of you who can’t resist books and crafts supplies, we suggest setting a spending budget before you explore this paradise.
If you want to catch a glimpse of what going to the theatres was like back in the day, make sure to put the Capitol Theatre in your To See list. It was revered as one of Singapore’s finest theatres in the 1930s.
Capitol Theatre was first built in 1929. Its design and layout were inspired by the Roxy Theatre in New York, and the theatre could house 1,600 people. Movie stars of that era, like Charlie Chaplin and Ava Gardner, set foot in the Capitol Theatre to promote their movies when they were in Singapore.
After World War II, the theatre and its surrounding buildings was purchased by Shaw Organisation for $3 million, and became its flagship cinema. The Capitol Theatre and the adjacent Capitol Shopping Centre were gazetted for redevelopment in February 1984. The theatre screened its last film, Soldier, on 29 December 1998 before it officially closed the following day.
Today, the Capitol Theatre can only hold up to 977 people. The seats are now “smart seats” allowing for that space to be transformed and made more suitable for large-scale functions and other uses such as seminars and MICE events.
The Capitol Theatre has definitely evolved from being your ordinary, mundane cinema, to a high-end arts venue. Before you visit, be sure to check out the different events that you can catch at the theatre! You can also find the Capitol Piazza next to the Theatre, which houses a number of eclectic shops that are worth checking out.
CHIJMES – say it with us, ‘chimes’. Yes, like wind chimes!
The compound was once a girls’ school known as Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ) and was established by French Catholic nuns in 1852. This historical building stands on a land area of 154,063 sq ft, and the compound also housed an orphanage, a nuns’ quarters, and a chapel.
As you explore the compound, you’ll also walk through the beautiful white cloisters. These are covered walkways typically found in convents and cathedrals. There are also plenty of spiral staircases along the corridors. These are perfect for your Instagram #ootds (remember to tag @hericollectionsg in your posts!)
The Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus was gazetted as a Singapore national monument on 26 October 1990, and subsequently underwent extensive restoration. When it re-opened officially in 1996, it was renamed CHIJMES to pay respect to the school. ‘MES’ was deliberately added as an onomatopoeia (formation of a word from a sound it’s associated with) to make it sound like chimes.
For those of you who don’t know, CHIJMES was actually featured in the Hollywood blockbuster movie Crazy Rich Asians. The 19th-century gothic chapel is now a function hall called the CHIJMES Hall and served as the wedding backdrop for the movie’s glamour couple Colin Khoo (played by Chirs Pang) and Araminta Lee (played by Sonoya Mizuno). Who knew you could step foot on the actual set of a Hollywood movie in Singapore!
There are plenty of things to see and eat within the complex itself – you’ll need at least an hour to walk the entire area, and you’re bound to find something.
The complex has been restored to house mostly bars and restaurants. So if you’re looking to include a fancy dinner in your trip itinerary, CHIJMES is the place for you!
The Masjid Sultan is the national mosque of Singapore. It is a must-see landmark when you are in the Cultural & Civic District. The mosque’s iconic golden dome glows under the sun, and it’s hard to miss!
Masjid Sultan was first built in 1824 as a single-storey building with a double-tiered roof. It was later demolished and rebuilt in 1932, and has undergone multiple refurbishment works ever since. The mosque that you see today has a prayer hall which can accommodate up to 5,000 people in its glorious pre-Covid days.
The mosque lies in the heart of Kampong Glam – a dynamic enclave where you can find a good mix of traditional trades with modern bars, cafes and boutiques. We recommend setting aside half a day to venture around Kampong Glam.
This religious building earned its national monument status on 8 March 1975 for its historical and cultural significance, especially for the Malay/Muslim community in Singapore.
As you take a step closer to its doorstep and look up, the base of each golden dome is embellished with glass bottle ends! Back in the days, these were collections of the Sultan, donated by the lower-income Muslims who wished to contribute in the reconstruction of the mosque. Everyone in the community – not just the rich – had a part to play in Masjid Sultan’s reconstruction.
Walk-in visits are available at the mosque at selected times. Be sure to check their official website for more detailed and updated information.
The upper end of North Bridge Road is commonly referred to as Kampong Glam. Kampong means ‘village’ while glam refers to ‘gelam’, the name of cajeput trees that once populated the area. It is located in close proximity to the greater area of Bugis. In the 1980s, the area remained clustered with shophouses, parting ways for a few sporadic skyscrapers dominating the skyline.
Within Kampong Glam, lies Arab Street which serves as one of the main thoroughfares for the eclectic and rejuvenated Kampong Glam. It used to house many entrepreneurs with wooden shacks peddling their wares to passing pedestrians. Now, many people consider the Malay conservation district to be the most vibrant among its peers, for it has successfully found a delicate balance between its youthful vibrancy – through its artistic diversity – and its historical heritage.
Those that are looking to spruce up their Instagram feed or soak in the artistry of the district can find plenty of inspiration in the whimsical backstreets of Kampong Glam. Through the efforts of Gelam Gallery and One Kampong Gelam, artists and students have been commissioned and given space to allow their artistic talent to flourish.
As you head further down on North Bridge Road, you’ll step into the Bras Basah precinct – home to a number of temples, museums, artistic practices, shopping districts and dining establishments. You can be sure of surprises on every corner! In the 1970s, congregations of book lovers used to frequent the bookstores that were distributed along Bras Basah and North Bridge Road. With the completion of Bras Basah complex in 1979, the bookstores are now consolidated in the single mixed-use development.
Scroll down to see what this neighbourhood has to offer!
Boat Quay, which is located on the Southern bank of the Singapore River was part of the old port of Singapore. In its heydays of the 1860s, it served most of the island’s shipping businesses. Here’s an interesting nugget: Chinese traders described the south of the river as resembling the belly of a carp (Li Yu) and they regarded this to be an auspicious symbol.
Sand from the hill at Battery Road was used to fill the mangrove swamps, stabilising the river banks to increase business and trade at Boat Quay. The bulk of goods that shipped from plantations in Malaysia and Indonesia were stored in the godowns and warehouses located along its banks. Business grew so quickly that by 1852, three quarters of all shipping activities in Singapore were conducted at Boat Quay.
Clarke Quaywas once a major trans-shipment zone and a conduit for trade. Coolies (labourers) manually unloaded cargo from the tongkangs or twakows (bum boats) to the godowns and warehouses for storage and distribution.
The shophouses in the area were originally 2 to 3 storeys high – coolies and working class families lived on the upper floors, and the ground floor units were used for shops and trading offices.
During its glorious past, Clarke Quay was also an important location for Chinese opera performances and street storytelling sessions.
In current times, Clarke Quay’s colourful restored shophouses are best explored at night when the bars and restaurants along the stretch are lit up and vibrant with activity.
In the 19th century, as the population and business activity increased along Boat Quay and Clarke Quay, tidal swamps up-the-river were reclaimed to make way for Robertson Quay. The first entrepot trade buildings were located here.
Surrounding Robertson Quay is the district of River Valley. Its proximity to the city center and bustling Quays drew wealthy Europeans and Chinese merchants who wanted to build their homes in the “country” to escape the burgeoning crowd around the wharves and city center. Today, you will see luxury condominiums and lovingly-conserved shophouses along the River Valley artery.
While Robertson Quay is considered to be the quieter cousin of Boat Quay and Clarke Quay, we encourage you to visit this neighbourhood because it is a lovely place to take a stroll after you’ve had a nice meal at one of the many international restaurants along the Quay. Venture a little further out and you’ll find yourself at the wondrous Fort Canning Park, Singapore’s historic urban oasis on a hill.
Curious about these shophouses that are a link to Singapore’s past? Stay with Heritage Collection and experience what it’s like to live in a historic building outfitted with all the modern conveniences!
Outlining the neighbourhood is South Bridge Road, where you can find 3 prominent religious buildings – Sri Mariamman Temple, Jamae Mosque, and Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum. Each of these religious buildings has their own unique story to share.
Kreta Ayer translates to “Water Cart” in Malay. In the past, bullock water carts were used to transport water drawn from a well near Ann Siang Hill. Hence, the district name was established! Within the Kreta Ayer, neighbourhood, you can find a variety of things to explore. One of it is the Chinatown Food Street. Try and locate Yip Yew Chong’ magnificent Cantonese opera mural in the area and try imagine what life around the opera was like.
Club Street sits on part of a larger area known as Ann Siang Hill. The hill was initially known as Scott’s Hill, named after the owner Charles Scott who cultivated a nutmeg and clove estate on it. He sold it to John Gemmill who later christened it as Gemmill’s Hill. Finally, the hill became known as Ann Siang Hill after it came to be owned by Chia Ann Siang, a wealthy Chinese businessman who built his house and estate on the site. Read on to see some of the gems we’ve picked out for you to enjoy in this neighbourhood.
Tanjong Pagar lies in the heart of the Business District. It is home to towering skyscrapers and also other hidden gems located within the Heritage shophouses in the area. In Malay, Tanjong Pagar means “cape of stakes” – reflecting its origins as a fishing village as the area had many kelongs (offshore fishing traps).
Tanjong Pagar has many streets that hold quirky tales. It is also within the Tanjong Pagar ward, where our late founding father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew stood for elections.
On the junction of Cecil Street lies Boon Tat Street. It holds tremendous historical significance. The street takes its name after Ong Lee Boon Tat, a former municipal commissioner and businessman who owns New World Park – an amusement park in Jalan Besar.
Along Boon Tat Street today, you can find a variety of food options to choose from – perfect for our foodies!
Scroll down to find out what are some of the gems you can find in this neighbourhood.