Monday, September 10, 2012

Singapore Chinatown Walk (9/10/2012)

Monday, September 10, 2012
While Kent worked, I took the Lonely Planet Guide's Chinatown Walk, in reverse. Our hotel was not very conveniently located, so I walked to the starting/ending point of the Walk.
On the way, a pedestrian bridge over the Singapore River:
Wow, traffic on Havelock Road:
Reached an entry point to Singapore's Chinatown on New Bridge Road at Upper Cross Street:
Although in Chinatown, I was to see many things that weren't particularly Chinese.
First, the Jamae Mosque on South Bridge Road:
Established in 1826, this building is from the 1830s:
This "Green Mosque" was set up by the Chulias, who were Tamil Muslims from the Coromandel Coast of South India. It is Singapore's oldest mosque.
The Sri Mariamann Temple:
Singapore's oldest Hindu temple, built in the Dravidian style, was founded in 1827 by Naraina Pillai who arrived in Singapore with Stamford Raffles on his second visit to the island in May 1819.
The temple serves mainly South Indian Tamil Hindu Singaporeans:
Sri Mariamann is the Mother Goddess with powers of healing.
The highly decorated roof typical of Hindu temples:
Colorful ceiling paintings:
Continuing on South Bridge Street to Temple Street:
Lined with shophouses that in the past had tinsmiths on one side of the street and ceramic shops on the other. Now the shops sell similar items of kitchen and dining ware:
Some shophouses are more decorated than others:
A shop selling dried stuff:
A shop selling sea cucumbers:
A shop selling lamps and gourds:
The Smith Street Hawker Centre is an outdoor venue of street food vendors, closed up this morning:
Trengganu Street is a market for souvenirs:
Following Trengganu St, I ended up back at Pagoda Street with the Chinatown Heritage Centre in three restored shophouses:
At the other end of Trengganu St, I entered the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple through the rear hall, and made my way to the main hall:
Ancestor niches and Buddha in different poses:
Votive candles:
Up on the roof, a garden and the Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas:
With a Tibetan prayer wheel:
The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple opened in 2007, and houses the relic discovered in 1980 in a collapsed stupa in Myanmar. The Tooth Relic Chamber is on the fourth floor of this temple and museum complex:
Back on South Bridge Road with pastel-colored paper lanterns:
Sago Street is lined with restaurants and souvenir vendors:
The Lonely Planet suggests visiting the man who makes rattan mats, but his shop now sells refreshments:
The Chinatown Complex has a hawker centre and market.
Singapore has taken all the street food vendors and put them in designated hawker centres.
Keong Saik Road has the Layar Sithi Vinayagar Temple (established in 1920):
and shophouses:
A 7-Eleven shophouse:
Nicely painted shophouse:
Shophouses on Nell Road:
A shop shrine:
At the corner of Nell and South Bridge Roads, the former Jinriksha Station:
This was where you would "catch" your rickshaw ride.
I don't know if this is a joke or what:
Your rickshaw trip or your trip over the door threshold?
Ann Siang Road:
Decorative tiles and mailbox:
Down on Amoy Street, the Siang Cho Keong Temple:
The "dragon well" for burning your wishes (which go up in smoke to the gods):
Over a block to Telok Ayer Street and the Al-Abrar Mosque:
The Thian Hock Keng Temple:
Established in 1821, the oldest working Chinese temple in Singapore. It is dedicated to the Goddess of the Sea, as this area was once on the shore of Singapore before land reclamation.
Fantastic door guardian painting:
Door paintings and gilded beams:
Ma Zu, the Goddess of the Sea:
The Nagore Durgha Shrine:
A Muslim shrine built to commemorate a visit to the island by a Muslim holy man of the Chulia people (Muslim merchants and moneylenders from India's Coromandel Coast).
Ying Fo Fui Kun:
Established in 1822-23, one of the first clan associations in Singapore.
Fuk Tak Ch'i Museum:
Established as a temple in 1824 for Taoists and followers of Confucius, now a museum:
And part of the Far East Square, a heritage conservation project with restaurants, cafes, and pubs, as well as shops, pushcarts and kiosks in a block of shophouses:
Having arrived at Raffles Place, I took a peek at the art in the atrium of One Raffles Place Tower 2:
The Waterfall is by by Hiroshi Senju and the stone sculpture by Han Sai Por.
The MRT station entrance is a copy of the first John Little department store fa├žade:
I took the Metro over to Orchard Road to see Cuppage Terrace:
Renovated Peranakan-style shophouses dating from the 1920s, now used as restaurants.
Emerald Hill Road shophouses:
A Singapore fire hydrant:
Terrace houses built in 1903:
I understand these homes cost millions:
These houses date from 1925:
Art deco influence:
More shophouses:
Tiled walkway:
Back at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel:

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