Travel Index


South of the River Map

Amoy Street 

China Town 

Lau Pa Sat - Food-court 

Phor Toh See Temple

Raffles Pier

Sri Mariamman Temple

Post Office

Thian Hock Keng Temple

Business Area

South of the River Map

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China Town - China Town Complex (CTC in map)           South of the river Map

During the newly created British Settlement, Raffles settled the different Chinese ethnic groups in different sections, to the South of the Singapore River.

About 3000 Chinese settled in this area within three years and the numbers kept on increasing over the years. The Hok-kien people mostly from Fu-kien Province (China) made up a quarter, followed by people from Guang-dong Province such as Teo-chews, Swa-tow etc, as well as others from Hai-nan, Hak-kas etc.

China Town, this area known as Kreta Ayer, means "water carried by the Bullock carts".

Nowadays, China Town has been restored, retaining the old fašades but the inner tired structure has been totally rebuilt.

The surrounding area is crowded with shoppers, stalls selling vegetables, fruits, foods and bits and pieces, restaurants etc, without mentioning the old folks sitting around telling each other tales, playing Chinese chess and so on.

One must walk around in order to experience the atmosphere, the shops and their fašades and the smell of different foods. Surely one cannot resist the temptation of "come and get me" and load up with souvenirs to take home.

Do sit around to soak up the real atmosphere of the local life, watch the world go by, such an experience cannot be described in words. It is just different and fun!

(MRT - NE4)

In front of China Town Complex

restored fašades

stalls along the road

dining stall ready for night visitors

dining along the road


Phor Toh See Temple (PTST - in map)          South of the river Map

The Temple is located at the junction of Craig Road and Yan Kit Road, dedicated to the Goddess of the Mercy, Kuan-Yin Po Sha.

Sri Mariamman Temple (SMT-in map)          South of the river Map

This is a Hindu Temple, located at the junction of South Bridge Road and Pagoda Street. Naraina Pillay, who came with Raffles on the same ship as a clerk, built the temple in 1827 using material like wood, wattle and daub, later rebuilt using bricks in 1843. The entrance is crowned with an ornate pyramidal gateway (gopurams - this feature was added in 1936), tiers of the tower decorated with numbers of brightly colored deities and mythical animals that one should not miss.


Thian Hock Keng Temple (THKT in map)       South of the river Map

Located in Telok Ayer Street, is one of the oldest temples on the island built in 1841 by the Hok-kien people, dedicated to the goddess of the Sea, Ma Chu Po Sha, in gratitude for their safe journey across the sea. The temple is decorated with gilded carvings and sculptures, dragons on the rooftop, stone carved pillars etc.

One has to look down and then step over a board when entering into the main temple, which is symbolic of "respect" and secondly serves as an obstacle to stop the "wandering ghosts" from entering.

The two statues standing on either side of the Goddess in the main temple are her sentries, the one known as "Chin Lay Yan" can see as far as a thousand miles away, the other one known as "Sonn Fung Yee" can hear a thousand miles away.

main temple



Amoy Street                   South of the river Map

Parallel to the Telok Ayer Street, where one can find restored old fašade buildings along the road. Thian Hock Keng Temple in Telok Ayer Street can be reached via a small park located at the middle part of Amoy Street. One must sit in the park, experience the atmosphere of the surrounding area and appreciate the bronze statutes.

restored old fašades

bronze statutes in the park


Lau Pa Sat (LPS in map) - Food-court            South of the river Map

Originally a fish market built in 1822 and redesigned as octagonal structure by George Coleman in 1894. Now it is a very large food-court serving different varieties of food, packed with office workers during the day.
From 7.00 pm onward, Boon Tat Street closes to traffic and the atmosphere turns festive, offering music and a variety of performances along the road.

Raffles Pier (RP in map)      South of the river Map

This high domed shaped wharf was once a busy dock for the European steam-boats and Chinese junks. One should sit on a bench in order to experience the surrounding atmosphere, the structure of the building, the smell of the scented cigarettes etc..etc...

Nowadays, seamen may come ashore via this dock, and tourist cruises set sail from here for a day cruise around Singapore harbor or the outlying islands.

Post Office (PO in map)          South of the river Map

A grey-stoned Victorian style building, which still proudly stands in Change Alley. Walk inside to observe the modernized smartly decorated Post Office as it is for present day use.

Business Area

Area around Telok Ayer Street, Raffles Quay, Robinson Road, Cecil Street, Collyer Quay and Shenton Way, is the Business District or the "Wall Street" of Singapore.

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