Revamped Chinatown Heritage Centre opens

Revamped Chinatown Heritage Centre opens

Visitors to the Chinatown Heritage Centre will be able to experience life in a 1950s shophouse, after renovation works were completed at the 14-year-old attraction.

SINGAPORE: The Chinatown Heritage Centre on Friday (Jan 8) unveiled new features for its visitors, following renovations that started in October 2014. The new exhibits promise a multi-sensory experience of the Chinatown of yore.

Visitors to the centre can catch a glimpse of what it was like to live in an overcrowded shophouse in the 1950s, aided by ambient soundscapes and audio conversations, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Chinatown Heritage Centre said in a joint news release.


A mock-up of a bedroom, showing living conditions in Chinatown in the 1950s. (Photo: Ngau Kai Yan)

The centre is now also home to a replica of a tailor shop from the olden days. STB said visitors can learn about what being a tailor was like in that era, as well as what his interactions with his apprentices and family were like.


The Chinatown Heritage Centre features a replica of a tailor shop, many of which used to line the streets of Chinatown. (Photo: Ngau Kai Yan)


A vintage sewing machine, on display at the Chinatown Heritage Centre. (Photo: Ngau Kai Yan)

A gallery depicting Chinatown in the 1960s shows mock-ups of a street market, heritage shops and activities on the street, which aim to present stories of a grittier Chinatown during that time. And scents of traditional Chinese medicine at a physician's cubicle offer a whiff of old Chinatown.


A mock-up of a heritage store in 1960s Chinatown. (Photo: Ngau Kai Yan)

A new gallery on the physical transformation of post-1960s Chinatown has also been introduced. The gallery will trace the physical transformation of the area and stories from those that make up Chinatown in the present day. CEO of Hock Lam Beef Tina Tan as well as Lepark co-founder Carmen Low will be featured, said the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Chinatown Heritage Centre.


A new gallery explaining the physical transformation of Chinatown, as well as personal stories behind its modern facade. (Photo: Chinatown Heritage Centre)

A space has also been set aside to hold temporary exhibits and community events, allowing the centre to be a venue for community engagement.

Visitors to the Heritage Centre will also have the opportunity to take part in immersive tours. For instance, guides will will take visitors through the exhibits whilst adopting the character of a samsui woman or trishaw rider.

STB and the Chinatown Heritage Centre said the renovation is part of the tourism board's overall enhancement efforts in Chinatown, which includes the rejuvenation of the Chinatown Food Street and launch of a free Wi-Fi service in Chinatown itself.

Admission costs S$12 for adults and S$8 for children, while seniors aged 65 and above get in free with each paying adult. All admission fees will go up by S$3 after the official launch on January 28.

Source: CNA/dl