Singapore’s Chinatown evolved around 1821 when the first Chinese junk arrived from Xiamen, Fujian province in China. The passengers, all men, set up home around the south of the Singapore River which is known today as Telok Ayer. Chinatowns local name – Niu Che Shui (Bullock Cart Water) arose from the fact each household at that time had to collect fresh water from the wells in Ann Siang Hill and Spring Street, using bullock-drawn carts.
Not all parts of Chinatown are Chinese though. The Al Abrar Mosque along Telok Ayer Street, and the Jamae Mosque and Sri Mariamman Temple along South Bridge Road lay witness to the harmonious racial and religious atmosphere in Singapore.
Chinatown can be divided into four main districts – Kreta Ayer, Telok Ayer, Tanjong Pagar and Bukit Pasoh – each with its own distinctive flavour. The heart of activity is in the Trengganu/Smith Streets area.
A short walk from Outram Park (EW16/NE3) or Chinatown (NE4) MRT Stations.