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Chinatown Overview

Singapore's Chinatown is the traditional Chinese quarters of town, and while the entire city is largely Chinese these days the area does retain some of its own charm. 

The area is also known as Niu Che Shui in Chinese and Kreta Ayer in Malay, both names meaning "bullock cart water", a reference to the carts that used to haul in drinking water.

The area between Pagoda Street and Smith Street has been tarted up considerably for tourists, but workaday Chinatown continues south and east, merging seamlessly into the Central Business District. Tanjong Pagar is the unofficial home of Singapore's gay community, with many watering holes in restored shophouses, while Club Street caters more to the expat and yuppie crowd with small, intimate eateries offering excellent (if pricy) Western fare.

Unlike most of predominantly Hokkien Singapore, the dominant Chinese dialect in Chinatown is Cantonese.
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