Are you a history buff? Do you fancy the prospect of getting an up-close look at various cultural artefacts or monuments and learning about their origins? If so, you will be delighted to know that there are numerous heritage sites in Singapore that are steeped in local culture and traditions, thus serving as a great way to get to know more about the island while exploring it.
Contrary to mainstream belief, Singapore isn’t just a sleek, urbanised city with cutting edge infrastructure. In fact, it is filled with various heritage and historical landmarks, thus enabling its residents to exposed to a variety of cultures and customs. This is due to the efforts of the Singapore Heritage Board who have carried out various projects and initiatives to preserve the local heritage. Historical sites, ethnic festivals as well as culturally significant keepsakes and relics — these are just some of the aspects of Singaporean culture that the heritage committee constantly strives to maintain, support and uphold. In addition, they also play an active part in getting the masses to participate in various programmes and contribute to the overall heritage conservation planning process. For example, they often hold discussions with the public, seeking various suggestions on how to better preserve Singapore’s existing cultural and heritage areas.
Not to mention that as Singapore is a multicultural and racial society, there is a deep-rooted belief and emphasis on harmonious interaction as well as acceptance of different traditions and practices. As such, there are not only heritage centres dedicated to various specific races but also community hubs whereby everyone from all walks of life can visit. Thus, this can be especially beneficial for foreigners who intend to settle down permanently in Singapore as they have an avenue whereby they can get to meet new people and make friends. Coupled with the implementation of a mandatory balanced ratio of different ethnicities within various public housing areas, rest assured that you will always have an opportunity to mingle with people of varying cultural and racial backgrounds.
Nevertheless, whether you are a local, long-term resident or foreigner, what better way to learn more about the little red dot than embarking on various heritage tours? As such, we have compiled a list of 3 Singapore heritage trails that you should visit as below.
Heritage Sites In Singapore To Not Miss Out On
Depending on your preference and personal schedule, you can either decide to join a guided heritage(s) site tour or explore them on your own. If you are going to cover them by yourself, you are advised to conduct thorough research beforehand in terms of directions or consider downloading the apps developed by the Singapore Heritage Board.
In addition, another thing worth noting is that some of these heritage trails may include certain attractions that require an admission fee. These entrance fees may vary according to peak and non-peak periods, type of residency and age. Therefore, if you have limited funds, try visiting during non-peak dates and capitalise on any promotions given. Some attractions also offer family packages. So, if you are visiting these areas with your family members, be sure not to miss out on using that.
Ready to learn more about the various heritage trails available in Singapore? Here are some:
Little India Trail
Get an in-depth look at the myriad of different culture and traditions in Singapore by going on the Little India trail. Consisting of various temples, mosques, churches and other landmarks, the area is home to many places of religious and historical significance. Some examples include the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple and the Chinese Clan Association. Whereas if you prefer to focus more on learning about the Indian culture in Singapore, consider visiting the Indian Heritage Centre or dropping by Dunlop street which is filled with shops selling traditional Indian accessories and sarees. Alternatively, another shopping haven to stop by in the area would be the Mustafa Centre.
Having started as a sugarcane plantation area in the 1800s, the Balestier area comprises of intricately designed buildings with different architectural styles. Whether it be magnificent places of worship such as the Goh Chor Tua Pek Kong Temple or a villa with western style influences, aka the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, there’s no shortage of opportunities to learn more about Singapore’s history and how it was intertwined with other countries at that time. For instance, the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall is dedicated to commemorating how the Chinese people in Singapore participated in the 1911 revolution in China. Featuring various historical and cultural artefacts, the museum is an excellent way for history enthusiasts to know more about the Singapore Chinese culture. However, do note that an admission fee is required to enter the museum for certain groups of people. If you are a Singaporean or permanent resident, no entrance fee is needed. Whereas, if you are a foreigner, there is tiered pricing that will vary according to age, so make sure to prepare the necessary funds beforehand. Therefore, if you intend to make this place your home indefinitely and have plans to visit similar attractions in other heritage trails, perhaps you should consider applying to become a Singapore PR so that you are able to enjoy a discounted or free-of-charge rate.
Katong And Joo Chiat Trail
A lively area that boasts of delicious local food and rich Peranakan culture and history, the Katong and Joo Chiat Trail is a perfect tour to join if you are a fan of traditionally styled architecture. Most known for its quaint shophouses on Koon Seng Road, it is a popular spot for photo taking among locals and foreigners alike.