Hotels in Chinatown

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What you should know about Chinatown

While much of Singapore continues its quest to fill the sky with ever larger and more extravagant sky-scrapers, low-slung Chinatown looks at things from a different perspective. Here you'll find a little more sky, a little more space—and a lot more history. Many of the shophouse terraces lining the streets date back to the early 19th century. Often brightly decorated, they also lay out a beguiling array of wares to dazzle the eye and intrigue the mind.

Hotels in Chinatown


It is very much a tale of two districts when it comes to accommodation in Chinatown. In the narrow streets of the northern half, you'll find historic shophouses converted to stylish, affordable hostels and bright boutique hotels. The Royal Hostel is a good example of those Chinatown hostels managing to combine quality rooms and affordable prices. The Adler Luxury Hostel is another rated hostel, for its quiet rooms with a twist of chic. Further south, the hostels become hotels, and more modern and less inexpensive. A case in point is the Scarlet Singapore, a mid-priced boutique hotel that flies the flag for bold, colorful design and quality service.

Things to see in Chinatown


As one of the oldest known Chinatowns in the world, the top attraction here is really the district itself. There is a wide variety of styles among these rows of 2- and 3-story houses. One building looms over these, however—the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum. This recently completed temple houses a sacred relic: one of Buddha Shakyamuni's teeth. Close by is the Chinatown Heritage Centre, a great place to find out more about the fascinating history of Chinatown. Right in the south of the district is the Pinnacle@Duxton Skybridge, a 50-story public housing project with an observation deck. Many reckon it has the best views over Singapore. And if you want to pick up an authentic Chinatown souvenir, head to Yue Hwa on Cross Street. This Chinese emporium sells everything from dried bats to delicate Chinese porcelain.

Good for budget travelers


Chinatown is not only a fascinating district to explore, with its plethora of sights, sounds, and smells, but also one of the more affordable districts in Singapore. The northern streets around Pagoda and Smith Street have a good number of inexpensive hostels and guest-houses to choose from. The food here is also good for those on a budget, the streets lined with great value food-stalls, selling everything from Hainanese Chicken Rice to piles of steaming dim sum. Chinatown can also be a good place to stay for the business traveler. The hotels in Chinatown’s southern district are good quality, mid-priced, and conveniently located for the CBD.

How to get to Chinatown


Chinatown is connected to the MRT (Mass Rapid Transport) network, with its own station on the DT line. If you’re arriving into Changi Airport, catch the EW line and then change to the DT line at Bugis for Chinatown. This journey should take around 50 minutes. Driving a car into Chinatown isn't really recommended, because of the lack of parking spots. As a nice, compact district, Chinatown is easily walked, and there are 2 MRT lines (the DT and EW) running here. That means travel in Chinatown shouldn't really present too many problems.

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