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Following The Trails of Singapore's Chinatown District

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By Shella Artillero - - 5 Mins Read

Singapore, a lush Southeast Asian city-state that is beloved by tourists, admired by foodies, and projected as the next prospective bubble for quarantine-free travel, is in our gaze. Singapore's small size conceals its wealth of adventures.

The nation's appeal lies in its constant evolution, its polyglot cultural mix, and its impressive efficiency, such as the gleaming MRT system and masses of taxis that make scooting around town a breeze. The usual suspects abound, such as the charming shophouses of Chinatown and Marina Bay Sands' mesmerizing views. 

Effective April 1, 2022, all fully vaccinated travelers can enter Singapore quarantine free, if they haven't recently traveled to any countries in the Ministry of Health's Restricted category in the past seven days. 


Ann Siang House in Singapore.

The city state’s Chinatown district feels exotic and steeped in unknowable traditions. The best cafes, clubs, street markets, and attractions in Singapore's Telok Ayer neighborhood are all within walking distance of Ann Siang House.

The Unlimited Collection by Oakwood member Ann Siang House offers four different room sizes, ranging from 35 square meters to 61 square meters. Top-tier studio premier configurations come with balconies, and all styles come with an iron and board, daily housekeeping, and free WiFi.

Telok Ayer is a "subdistrict" of Chinatown, yet the neighborhood was once a clove and nutmeg plantation. Ann Siang Rd is quite hilly and has several potentially hazardous paving steps.


Street art in Smith St, one of the main roads in Chinatown.

Some of the city's most popular eateries are now located in Chinatown, which was once a sanctuary for early Chinese immigrants. Brazilian chef Ivan Brehm explores the connections between different meals through his "crossroads cookery" at Nouri.

A recent tasting menu included dishes like pan-seared Hokkaido scallop, fish with a soy glaze made in the style of Vietnam, and French pigeon flavored with Mexican flavors. One storey up, Appetite is a multi-concept facility with an eight-seat open-galley kitchen, record lounge, and art gallery.

To find Blue Label Pizza, a popular restaurant serving casual fare, go the road next to Ann Siang House. The next time, I'll join the crowd at The Other Roof Bar Terrace, which is located above the hotel, and mix there.


Co-founders of Artwalk Singapore, A'shua Imran and Marianne Tan

Rooms at Ann Siang House start at around $270 per night; special offers are valid through July 31. Also available are long-term rates.

Oakwood Studios Singapore and Oakwood Premier AMTD apartment hotel are more options with more traditional design.

Maxwell and Telok Ayer MRT stations are nearby Ann Siang House; you can generally hail a cab or download the CDG Zig app from Comfort Cabs to schedule a pre-paid journey.

The best murals and hand-painted pieces on facades and walls are featured along the Singapore Art Walk, a path that is marked out.

Stops in Little India, Haji Lane, and Chinatown are all included in guided excursions along the circuit.