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Chinatown Heritage Centre

Located in three beautiful and authentically restored shophouses, the Chinatown Heritage Centre (CHC) presents an enriching insight into Chinatown’s diverse history and cultural heritage.  

Spread over 3 stories, its 15 exhibition galleries re-create the squalid living quarters of the early Chinatown residents. Journey to a time when early Chinese immigrants risked their lives in search of a better life in Singapore.

At Level 1 you will see how life in the old days were. Almost everyone lived in rented cubicles of shophouses. The ground floor of the shophouses were normally used for various businesses and doubled up as sleeping quarters at night. The second and third floors were each subdivided into seven or eight small cubicles and let out to tenants who had to share a common toilet and kitchen.
At Level 2, you will learn about how harsh conditions in the migrant’s native country that led to many of them flocking to Singapore. The lives of the immigrants during the early years were tough. The dark and dim setting of the galleries on this level serves as a reminder to us all of the suffering ancestors faced.
Level 3 will be a contract to level 2. It showcases the 'golden years' of Chinatown. The gallery paints a bright and colourful picture of life in the early 50s, much in contrast to that of Level 2.

When you are done climbing all the stairs from Level 1 to 3, remember to take a break and have a coffee the Chinatown way at Level 1. With its old marble top tables and well-worn wooden chairs, this Kopitiam gives visitors the feel of life in the olden days but complements it with a modern menu. Treat your senses to the smell of freshly brewed cappuccinos and lattes.
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