SINGAPORE CHINATOWN WALK: Red Clogs Down the Five-Foot-Way™ (A Review) @VisitSingapore

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Red Clogs Down the Five-Foot-Way™ A Chinatown Walk is a 3.5+ hours heritage walking tour of Singapore’s Chinatown created by Journeys Singapore.  

It’s one of the inspiration behind the Chinatown Food Tour by Ivan Man Dy in Manila.

Here’s a photo essay review of my first walking tour experience in Singapore:

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    The Chinatown Walk meeting place is at the Tanjong Pagar MRT Station, outside Exit B (Maxwell Road) every Tuesday at around 9am.

    No prior booking is needed. You can just show up on time and join the tour.

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    After a short introduction of all the participants, our guide Joo Ling proceeded to walk along Telok Ayer St.

    (Trivia: Joo Ling is an animal lover who shares her home with more creatures than the zoo.)

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    We passed by the Amoy Street Food Centre. She explained that Amoy refers to the Xiamen region of China and what it is famous for.

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    We passed through interesting houses with shop on the first floor. 

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    Joo Ling explained the European and Chinese influences in the facade, the windows and design architecture of the houses.

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    At this point, she visualized to us what was life along The Five Foot Way which is the covered hallway on the side of the buildings.

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    She would give out visual aids, old maps, and photos to illustrate her point.

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    Our first stop was the Thian Hock Kheng Chinese Temple.

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    Thian Hock Keng Temple (Chinese: 天福宫; pinyinTiānfú GōngPe̍h-ōe-jī: Thian-hok-kiong; Temple of Heavenly Happiness; also: Tianfu Gong Temple) is the oldest and most important Fukien, or Hoklo (Hokkien) temple in Singapore. The main temple is dedicated to Mazu, the Taoist goddess of the sea and protector of all seamen while a second temple at the back is a Buddhist one dedicated to Kuan Yin, the bodhisattva of mercy.

    Thian Hock Keng Temple was gazetted as a national monument on 6 July 1973. (Source: Wikipedia)

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    She explained why the temple is important to the initial Chinese immigrants to Singapore.

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    She also explained interesting burial practices in the temple.

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    Here’s the Buddhist temple at the back dedicated to Kuan Yin, the bodhisattva of mercy.

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    We sat and rested for a while in the temple. This is the only place that has a decent restroom through out the walking tour route.

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    After the temple, we crossed over the Telok Ayer Green going into the back street to Ann Siang Hill.

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    We sat for a bit in the park while the guide explained the installation art in the park.

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    It was cool to walk into the back streets of Chinatown — you get to feel at home like a local.

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    You have to hike for a bit and …

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    … climb through the hill via a staircase.

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    This is our third resting stop. You have to bring your own water to be hydrated all throughout the tour.

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    We crossed Club St. 

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    … which goes alive at night known for its hip bars 🙂

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    We passed by a Chinese Medicine store, and Joo ling explained the weird Chinese herbs and ingredients used to cure certain diseases and illnesses.

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    We then crossed through South Bridge Road in the corner of Smith St.

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    Our second stop is the Thye Shan Medical Hall.

    Thye Shan Medical Hall was established in pre-independence Singapore in 1955 and is respected by the industry as one of the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) pioneers in Singapore. Today, we continue to honour our commitment to provide Customers with a wide range of Chinese medicine and health products of the highest quality and best value for money. We also have a team of experienced and qualified Chinese Physicians who accurately identify the root of medical conditions, and recommend effective and convenient solutions. 

    For more info visit their official website:

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    We got introduced to the different herbs and ginseng used in Chinese Medicine.

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    The owner was there to greet us and explain to us personally what the store is all about.

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    We got to try some Goji berries,

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    … and the different powerful herbs.

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    We ended the tour with tea.

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    At this point, I skipped over to Nanyang Old Coffee for

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    …a nice ice-cold Singaporean coffee 🙂

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    We continued our tour and passed through the Chinatown Night Street market.

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    Little did we know that this street is known before to be the Death Houses in Singapore’s Chinatown.

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    We were suppose to go to the Chinese Wet Market, but it was closed at the time of our visit.

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    It was interesting to see old China men playing dama in the plaza.

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    We proceeded to go to the busy Chinatown area with street stalls all around. It’s like a high-end Divisoria area.

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    Joo Ling continued to explain the things that you can find in Chinatown itself.

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    The eating stalls are closed, unfortunately, so we did not get to taste anything during this walking tour.

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    One of the most popular noodle shop in Chinatown is Lan Zhou La Mian. You can go here for lunch after the tour.

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    Our last stop is a Chinese Merchandise Store specializing on things for the dead.

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    It showcases paper things representing material things that the dead can bring to the after life.

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    Like this passport to Heaven or Hell.

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    Finally, she explained the story of the Red Clogs and where to buy them.

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    The tour ends in the Chinatown Heritage Center where you can have lunch around Chinatown (it’s near the Chinatown MRT).

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    Overall, the tour is a good orientation into the history of Chinatown, and you’ll have a better appreciation of Singapore’s Chinese culture after this tour. I find Singapore’s Chinatown is a bit sanitized already, and a bit modern.

    It would have been nice if there were eating stops along the way where you can try a few Chinese delicacies. The tour appeals more to western tourists than Asians.

    Check out Singapore’s Chinatown Walk on your next trip to Singapore!

    The Original Singapore Walks

    Red Clogs Down the Five-Foot-Way™ A Chinatown Walk

    The street was filled from end-to-end, with stalls and knick-knacks of every kind. Here, a pair of ready-made clogs, there a steaming hot bun. Sticky cakes, exotic fruits, sweetmeats – it’s food paradise always on the streets of Chinatown. Enjoy the fragrance of Chinese tea, ginseng, and herbal eggs. If you’re brave, we’ll even help you find your way about a very slippery wet market. Check out paper cars, houses, ‘hand phones’, and even lingerie – all part of an ancient Chinese funeral ritual. We’ll also introduce to you the Yins and Yangs of Chinese traditional medicine. And finally, we might just show you where to get those ready-made clogs and that steaming hot bun!

    . Thian Hock Kheng Temple . Ann Siang Hill . Traditional Chinese Medicine Store .
    . Chinatown Wet Market . Ancestral Worship Shop .

    Tour Highlights:

    • Explore Thien Hock Kheng, the oldest Hokkien-Chinese temple in Singapore and window to Chinese syncretism and worldview (winner of UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage 2001 Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation Building)
    • Walk past beautifully conserved shophouses and trace the lives of early Chinese immigrants to discover the world’s most multi-racial Chinatown
    • Venture into quaint Chinese trades stores, including one specialising in Traditional Chinese Remedies and another in Ancestral Worship supplies
    • Wind through Ann Siang Hill, one-time plantation and playground of the rich and influential
    • Let our guide show you the way through Chinatown Wet Market – and learn about herbs and spices commonly used in Chinese cooking – an unforgettable experience!

    Schedule: Every Tuesday 9.30am to 12.00 nn

    Meet at Tanjon Pagar MRT Station, outside Exit B (Maxwell Road)
    By cab: alight at the MRT exit along Maxwell Road. Nearest landmark is the “White House”. 

    End Point: Pagoda Street (Nearest to Chinatown MRT Station)

    For more info, visit: Red Clogs Down the Five-Foot-Way™ A Chinatown Walk


    Seasons change and so do our walks. Log onto or call us at +65 6325-1631 if you think you’re not holding on the latest schedule. We’ve included cabbing and walking directions. If you’re still not sure, pick up a free Singapore map from the airport or your hotel or just ask the most enlightened-looking chap standing in the train.

    The Original Singapore Walks: Adult S$35 / Child S$15
    Discount Cardholders:  Adult S$30 / Child S$ 10

    Office: D’Centennial Building, 100 Lorong 23 Geylang, #07-01, Singapore 388398 | 
    Telephone:(+65) 6325 1631
    Fax: (+65) 6224 0136, 

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    Full Disclosure: My Singapore trip is courtesy of Singapore Tourism to promote Singapore as a holiday destination for Filipinos. I wrote this blog post myself, and it expresses my own opinions.

    I have no business relationship with any company mentioned in this post or any organization promoting it. As a policy, I do not accept advertising from food and travel places we feature in the blog.

    P.S. Here’s the general area of the Chinatown Walking tour and the start meeting point:


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