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A modest construction comprising only a court and a shrine room, this was the first Chinese temple in Singapore. Erected in 1820, it was rebuilt in 1825 as a Shentoist (a combination of Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism) temple and was dedicated to Tua Pek Kong (God of Wealth). No longer serving as a temple today, Fuk Tak Chi has been transformed into Singapore's first street museum, with more than 2,000 artifacts collected over the years from Chinatown residents. It makes a good stopover for those intending to explore Far East Square— a reconstruction of old Chinatown, albeit a little too commercialized.
Designed and built according to the Chinese concept of geomancy, Far East Square reconstructs Chinatown the way it was in the old days. The streets are lined with shops bearing architecture dating back to 1840. The structural details and motifs reflect traditional Chinese beliefs, superstitions and values. A stroll along the Heritage Trail and a visit to the Fuk Tak Chi Museum offer a glimpse into the lives of early immigrants. Live performances of traditional theater, music and dance can also be seen on the very spot where Chinese street operas were once performed.
Capital Tower is a skyscraper in Downtown Core, spanning a height of 254 meters (833 feet). With 52 floors, it takes its rightful place among the splendid high-rises that define the skyline of Central Business District. This building was constructed in 2000, originally as a bank's headquarters. Today, it is mainly occupied by the offices of CapitaLand Limited, a real estate firm, and the sovereign wealth fund GIC Private Limited. The building's highest level features China Club, a members-only club with posh bars and restaurants, conference space and private dining facility. Members of the club can enjoy unparalleled views from the 52nd floor.
Since its opening in June 1933, Clifford Pier has seen multitudes of immigrants setting foot in Singapore for the first time. Constructed to replace Johnston Pier, it has a simple but unique architecture with an interesting roof comprising concrete arched trusses in a delightful riband form. It was designed by the Public Works Department (then headed by Frank Dorrington Ward) and was named after Sir Hugh Charles Clifford, Governor of the Straits Settlements. The pier is still in operation today, albeit with much less activity.
The Weekend Flea Market is a popular shopping destination for both locals and tourists. With more than 50 vendors displaying gorgeous antiques, stunning collection of clothes, toys for children, books and even collectibles like stamps, old coins, foreign currency, there is something for everyone at this lively venue. Set in an air-conditioned place with numerous restaurants and cafes nearby, the China Square Central Flea Market is a great place to spend a laid-back day shopping, browsing through quirky stuff and simply relaxing.
Said to be Singapore's oldest Hindu temple, Sri Mariamman Temple stands gloriously under a resplendent gopuram which bears elaborately crafted Hindu deities. Nestled amid the cultural cacophony of Chinatown, this temple is a magnificent canopy of color and culture. Initially a structure made from wood and attap, the temple bears the finer nuances of the ancient Dravidian architectural style. Built in 1827, the temple has braved many ravages of time, and was rebuilt with brick and plaster in 1843. Guarded by a doorway framed with banana fronds, the temple is replete with many structural nooks and corners, housing an auditorium which is let for events, meetings and functions. Dedicated to the Hindu goddess Mariamman, the goddess revered for her ability to cure epidemic illnesses. The temple is the ground of the annual the Thimithi Festival, a fire-walking ceremony when devotees perform penance by walking on a bed of burning coal, and emerge unhurt. Complete with ornamented dome roofs, frescoes, a magnificent mandala illustration and shrines sheltering Hindu deities, the temple is as much steeped in social history as it is in religious importance. Sri Mariamman Temple is not just cloaked in the profundity of Hinduism, but is also a moving locus of ancient cultures and social benevolence.
The amazing wonder that is Marina Barrage spans the Marina Channel and turns the basin's water fresh. But not only does the dam keep seawater out, it packs in a lot of attractions! There's the Green Roof, Central Courtyard, Solar Park, the Sustainable Singapore Gallery, a number of eateries and retailers, plus a bevy of water sport activities.
Food lovers can rejoice as the Chinatown Food Street in Singapore is back on track with their original and delicious food trucks, stalls, restaurants and street-side vendors. For decades now, this particular street has managed to create a smashing fan following, offering all sorts of cuisines from local and international master chefs. The place has undergone a superb uplift, which totally adds to the modern vibe of this place. There is nothing on the street that is not worth trying and once you taste it, you cannot help but get yourself a second serving.