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Flag of SingaporeTours by Chinatownology

Coming to Singapore? Why not explore the city with a Tour by Chinatownology?

We have many tour programs to suit your interest. You can mix and match the tour or have one designed to suit your interests.

Here are some of the more popular tours and remember, if there is anything else you like, just let us know.

Anthropology of food
Singapore Chinatown: Dreams of a sojourner
Geylang Chinatown
Understanding Chinese Legends
Chinese Religion
Multiple faces of Buddhism
Light on the Lotus Hill

Each tour is about 1.5 to 2 hours.

Please feel free to contact us for information or to book a tour. We will send you a quote for your tour.


singapoe chinatown 1939
Singapore Chinatown 1939
singapore chinatown

Anthropology of food

Why are certain food consumed during certain occasions?
How does chop changes the function and use value of a pastry?

This tour examines the relationship between food and culture. We invite participants to explore, taste and experience the ways in which food record and reflect social change and culture aspirations.

We will visit sites where traditional food items are produced or sold. These sites are carefully selected for the food heritage they represent and the ways in which their establishments function as sites of cultural reproduction.

You also get to sample heritage staus food items.

Popular stops include Chinese Tea Shop, traditional Chinese Pastry Shop, traditional Chinese Medicine Shop, Bakkwa shop, local food stuff shop and Chinese Vegetarian Restaurant.

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bean paste pastry

Singapore Chinatown: Dreams of a sojourner

We take a walk around Singapore Chinatown, the "Official Chinatown" of Singapore to recapture the stories of many individuals who left their home to come to Singapore.

This tour presents the life, dreams, aspirations and tragedies of early Chinese migrants. The various sites show how life was like for Chinese migrants and how they made sense of their new environment.

As migrants, they existed in two worlds simultaneously; a physical world and a romantised cultural world representing home.

While they regarded China as home but many died overseas or were prevented from returning because of political reasons. What do they do when they became homesick?

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chinese coolie
Chinese migrant working as rickshaw puller
Singapore 1907

Geylang Chinatown

How did Chinese institutions end up in Geylang Chinatown?
Why did they choose to relocate there?
What push Geylang into becoming a Chinatown?

Geylang is Singapore's newly crowned Chinatown but it has been in the making for a very long time.

Geylang Chinatown has many lorongs with very diverse functions. This tour takes you to different lorongs to explore key institutions that are characteristics of Chinatowns; Clan associations, temples, and food.

Discover how one of the oldest Chinese temples in Singapore end up in Geylang and how this temple challenges the founding history of Singapore.

Another highlight is a special place where some of the most famous and expensive Chinese oil paintings in the world were produced.

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geylang chinatown
geylang chinatown

Understanding Chinese legends: Who is who?

Which are the most popular Chinese legends?
What are the messages in Chinese legends?
How to tell who is who in Chinese legends?

Chinese Legends; they are everywhere. You may have heard parts of the story, seen it in movies and opera or represented in paintings, sculptures, ceramics or other material culture. 

Apart from its value in entertainment, legends also have hidden meanings and can reflect collective values or tensions in society. Understanding legends is a way to understand a cultural system.

This tour is designed to introduce popular Chinese legends and explore the hidden meanings in them.    We will pay particular attention to the ways in which these legends are represented in fine arts. With this   information, you can spot the legends the next time you admire a piece of art work and guess the purpose or context in which the piece of art was produced or intended to be used.

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guan gong

Chinese Religion

Is there a "Chinese Religion"?
What is the relationship between Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism?

This tour presents the context for youto understand the defination of Chinese religion and highlights the problematic issue of trying to understand Chinese "religion" from the western defination of religion.

We will visit Taoist temples and Buddhist monasteries to explore the world of Chinese Religion.

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thian hock keng temple
Thian Hock Keng circa 1920

Multiples faces of Buddhism

What is Buddhism?
What are Buddha, Bodhisattvas, Dharma Protectors?
How many Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are there?
How to tell one Buddha or Bodhisattva from another?
Why Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have different ethnicity in different countries?

Singapore is a small country but many Buddhist traditions can be found; Theravada, Mahayana, Tibetan. It makes Singapore an ideal place to understand the different schools of Buddhism, similarities and differences in practices and how Buddhism interacts with each society to produce distinct features.

This tour gives offers an opportunity to visit different Buddhist monasteries. A typical program includes Theravada & Mahayana Buddhist Monastery, Chinese Temple and possibly a Buddhist charity with options for vegetarian lunch.

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tooth relic temple singapore

Light on the Lotus Hill

What was Venerable Pu Liang’s role in the anti Japanese movement?
How did he become the only Buddhist abbot executed by the Japanese during the Sook Ching?
Why did this history remain untold and almost forgotten for almost 60 years?

Based on book by Chan Chow Wah, discover a forgotten piece of history; not found in Singapore history books and not told in museums!

The tour introduces the life of a Venerable Pu Liang who was executed by the Japanese after the fall of Singapore in 1942. He was the 10th Abbot of Shuang Lin Monastery and a supporter of China Relief Fund in Singapore during the Sino Japanese War.

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light on the lotus hill

Book a tour or ask questions:

Which tours are you interested in:

: Dreams of a sojourner
Geylang Chinatown
Understanding Chinese Legends

Multiple faces of Buddhism
Light on the Lotus Hill

How big is your group?
(Can be yourself or 20, doesnt matter)

When do you like to do the tour?
Each tour is about 1.5 to 2 hours

Your name :
Your e-mail:

Any other comments:

We will send you a quote for the tour.

tooth relic temple singapore
singapore chinatown tours
shuang lin monastery

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