Monday, September 30, 2013

Peranakan Shophouses on Tanjong Pagar in Singapore

In the middle of the Central Business District of Singapore in the historic enclave, you will find these beautiful and brightly coloured restored Peranakan shophouses.

It was also on this road that SisterJ and moi had our little fine art oriental tea afternoon. Read here: The Fine Art of Oriental Tea Drinking

Shifts through time

Would you believe that this area used to be a fishing village and around this road are mangrove swamps? This place is located between the docks and the main town which attracted many wealthy Chinese migrants (Peranakan) and Arab traders to buy land in this area. Many Indians came to work, as well as trade in the docks, so this place was quite multi-cultural back then.

It was the Chinese migrants, also known as Peranakan who built these lovely shophouses.

With time the area experienced different shifts of journey, from a major trading place with wealthy residents to becoming a ghetto and home to opium smoking prostitutes and crafty crooks, and then morphing once again into a working class neighborhood with predominantly Chinese residents and Indian minority.

In the 1980s, the Singaporean government included Tanjong Pagar as part of the government's conservation plan. And this is what Tanjong Pagar looks like now. Pretty!

Across these colourful shophouses is the old Jinricksha Station which has also been conserved and transformed into a commercial building.

Further ahead is Duxton Hill, another hip place to be for the young crowd to hang out.

Travel Period: July 2013
Destination: Singapore Central, Singapore

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