48 Pagoda St
059207 Singapore, Singapore
tel: + 65 6325 2878
fax: +65 6325 2879
Daily 9am-8pm. English-language tour every hour
The Chinatown Heritage Centre provides a fascinating journey through the lives of the Chinese immigrants who flooded into Singapore throughout the 19th century. Divided between the maze-like warrens of three restored shophouses, the exhibitions explore the harsh conditions which forced many Chinese migrants to flee their home country in search of a better life, and the further perils they faced on arrival in Singapore.
The Four Evils: prostitution, drinking, gambling and opium-smoking are well documented here, and personal accounts by former immigrants help bring the exhibition to life. In contrast, the museum also celebrates the Golden Years of Chinatown during the 1950s with its vibrant street stalls and food markets. One of the highlights of the museum is the re-creation of cubicle living endured by the ever-increasing numbers of immigrants pouring into an already cramped Chinatown.