Singapore’s local culture runs deep, and is tied to Singaporeans’ passion for good food and friendly neighborhoods.
1.1. Local Food / Street Food
The national passion for food can best be experienced by visiting one of the hundreds of hawker centers in Singapore – there’s one on almost every corner! Singapore’s hawkers formerly sold their food along the sidewalks, until the government installed them in government-built hawker centers towards the 1980s. The hawkers’ domestication has not diminished their skill: many serve generations-old traditional recipes passed down from their forefathers, with long queues attesting to their continuing popularity.
You can visit about 113 government-run hawker centers around Singapore, with at least twice as many privately-run centers and food courts around the island. Popular food choices from hawker centers include the stir-fried noodle dish char kway teow; the Singapore original satay bee hoon; and Hainanese chicken rice.
1.2. Neighbourhoods – Tiong Bahru
The neighborhood of Tiong Bahru is a throwback to Singapore of the 1930s. Dominated by public housing with an Art Moderne feel, Tiong Bahru has gentrified over the past few years, and is now just as much about indie bookstores and artisanal restaurants as it is about pensioners, temples and kopitiam.
Take a guided tour from National Heritage Board-approved volunteer guides who will take you through the apartment blocks, the market and hawker center, and Tiong Bahru’s hidden corners, including a philanthropist’s grave and neighborhood temples.