The Chinatown and Central Business District (CBD) area is a bustling district in Singapore where you can find both the very modern and the traditional past in the same place. Once the trading hub of Singapore in the 20th century, the area has managed to retain its rich history even as skyscrapers rise up around it.
Nothing illustrates the rich diversity of the area as well as the people you find here. In the CBD area, you can find swarms of white-collared workers but head on to nearby Chinatown and you will be greeted by older folks.
The CBD area, also called the Financial District is located just south of the Singapore River. It is host to the majority of Singapore's skyscrapers and thus plays a dominant role in its skyline. All major international banks have their towers or at least offices here.
However, you can still find a host of restored shophouses hidden along streets like Telok Ayer Street and Amoy Street.
Along Telok Ayer Street, you can find Thian Hock Keng Temple, Jamae Mosque and Nagore Durgha Shrine. It is one of the few streets in Singapore where you can find a Chinese temple, a Malay mosque and a Hindu shrine along the same street in close proximity.
The nearby Club Street is home to modern restaurants housed in beautifully restored shophouses like Senso and Indochine. In the evenings, the street is also a bustling nightspot with pubs like La Terraza Rooftop Bar and Le Carillon de L’Angelus allowing people to unwind after a long day.
Next to the CBD area, sits Chinatown, which is a major tourist attraction. It got its name from a history of Chinese immigrants settling here when they arrived in Singapore.
You can learn about the history of the area at the Chinatown Heritage Centre and then head over to some of the historically-rich buildings still standing like the Eu Yan Sang Medical Hall, The Majestic or the Sri Mariamman Hindu Temple.
There are also a number of antique shops like Shing Antique Gallery and the Singapore Handicraft Centre for those who are looking to do a little antique-shopping.
If you are hungry, Chinatown also has good eateries like Mouth Restaurant and Ci Yan Organic Health Food.
The nearby Tanjong Pagar area is also a thriving party scene for gays and lesbians in Singapore. Pubs like Tantric Bar and clubs like Taboo are popular among the gay community in Singapore.
Although the place is quiet in the day, come nightfall and the area comes alive with partygoers and people looking for a relaxing time.