THE INTAN: Peranakan Heritage Home-Museum by Antique Collector Alvin Yapp @VisitSingapore

Your Singapore-498.jpg
THE INTAN, which literally means “rose-cut diamond”, is the Peranakan house-museum of Alvin Yapp, collector and curator of Peranakan antiques and purveyor of Peranakan culture in Singapore.

Peranakan  means “descendant” and pertains to the ethnic Chinese who migrated in the 15th-16th century to the Malay peninsula, which includes Singapore. Although they have assimilated the Malay culture, they have distinct customs and traditions for Baba (men) and Nyonya (women). Most are elites of Singapore who have been loyal to the British than to China.

Trivia: Did you know that the Singapore Airlines flight attendant uniform is Peranakan-inspired?

Here’s a photo essay of our visit to The Intan:

Singapore Heritage Series 2013:

Your Singapore-487.jpg
The Intan is located in Joo Chiat, where most traditional Peranakan houses are still preserved.

Your Singapore-488.jpg
Meet Alvin Yapp — by day, he’s the Director of Corporate Affairs of their family company that specializes in large-format printing on buses, trains, and airplanes (like the ones in Air Asia planes), and by night, he takes on his other role as a Museum curator and Peranakan heritage tour guide.

Your Singapore-492.jpg
He has a good collection of Peranakan furniture, which is functional and also doubles as a display.

Your Singapore-490.jpg
Here’s a view of the living and dining room areas of a traditional Peranakan home.

I love his extensive collection of lunch boxes that line the stairs.

Your Singapore-493.jpg
Here’s a closer view of the intricate designs of the Peranakans.

Your Singapore-7.jpg
The second part of the tour takes you to the room on the second floor, where Alvin still actually sleeps.

Your Singapore-3.jpg
Here’s Alvin showing us various Peranakan dresses, from formal wear to everyday clothes.

Your Singapore-13.jpg
The wedding ornaments and the different shoes and slippers on display are also interesting.

Your Singapore-496.jpg
Make sure to check out the Mama Mary collection from different cultures around the world.

Your Singapore-495.jpg
Usually, traditional Peranakan tea is served for a minimum of 6 people/group, and Peranakan dinner is served if you are 20 or more in your group.

Your Singapore-494.jpg
Peranakan snacks are also served (clockwise): Green Ricke Kueh dadar, Kueh Sago (pink-brown-white), Kueh Ambon (pizza slice), Kueh Lapis (rainbow-colored), and Ubi coconut (center).

The flavors are reminiscent of our own suman and merienda snacks in the Philippines.

Your Singapore-497.jpg
Overall, it’s an insightful tour and a great introduction to the Peranakan Heritage in Singapore. It’s an interesting mix of Mainland Chinese and Malay culture with British influences. You can tell there are similarities, especially with the Filipino-Chinese culture back home.

Alvin personally handles all the tours; he usually entertains one group at a time, so advanced booking is needed.

Although, I felt the tea and snack session was not enough to introduce us to the Peranakan flavors. I want to go back to experience the Peranakan dinner one of these days. 🙂

THE INTAN – A Peranakan Home-Museum
Founded in 2003 by Antique Collector and Owner Alvin Yapp
Located in the heart of Joo Chiat. 
Telephone: +65 6440-1148
FacebookThe Intan – Celebrating all things Peranakan!
Twitter: @TheIntanSG

Note: The Intan is a private Peranakan haven. Kindly be reminded that visits are STRICTLY by appointments only.


Singapore Heritage Series 2013:

Related Singapore OAP Blog Posts circa 2005-2006:

    Singapore Tourism Board
    Official Website 
    FacebookYour Singapore
    Youtube:  Your Singapore

    About the Singapore Tourism Board:
    The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is a leading economic development agency in tourism, one of Singapore’s key service sectors. Known for partnership, innovation and excellence, STB champions tourism, making it a key economic driver for Singapore. We aim to differentiate and market Singapore as a must-visit destination offering a concentration of user-centric and enriching experiences through the “YourSingapore” brand.

    For more information, please visit or

    Book your Singapore Accomodations via Agoda (Low Rates Guaranteed!):


    Live an Awesome Life, 

    Follow @antondiaz in Twitter and @OurAwesomePlanet in Instagram.
    Like our Official Facebook Page: Our Awesome Planet 🙂 

    If you have tips on awesome food and travel destinations, please email me at

    Full Disclosure: My Singapore trip is courtesy of the Singapore Tourism Board to promote Singapore as a summer 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. If you decide to go to The Intan, here is a dinner stop recommendation:

    Your Singapore-401.jpg
    Make sure to eat dinner at one of the best Laksa places in Singapore — 328 Katong Laksa.

    Your Singapore-402.jpg
    It’s a hawker stall specializing in Laksa.

    The Laksa boasts milky, coconut flavors with just the right level of spiciness. The slippery noodles are already cut into pieces so you can easily eat the noodles with the soup using just the spoon.

    Your Singapore-404.jpg
    You can also order Rojak and…

    Your Singapore-405.jpg
    …Hainanese Chicken Rice, which are good lah, but not as good as the Laksa.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *