Time travel to Chinatown's past
Chinatown Heritage Centre reopens after one-year renovation
He has lived and worked in Singapore for the last eight years, and thinks of it as home.
Finance company director Mike Smith, 50, loves the rich, diverse cultures and heritage here.
In a bid to learn more, the Briton visited the Chinatown Heritage Centre in Pagoda Street twice - in 2010 and 2012 - during the Chinese New Year period.
He vividly remembers it as a good informative hub about Chinatown, but also that it is "dark, dusty and crammed".
The centre underwent renovation in 2014 and reopened last Friday.
Mr Smith visited it for the third time last Sundaywith his mum Elsie, 78, and dad Alan, 81, who were here on holiday from Colchester, UK.
"I didn't imagine it to be like this," said Mrs Elsie Smith.
"I thought it would be just models and figurines but the displays are so detailed."
The galleries in the three-storey centre give a first-hand experience of what Chinatown was like in the past through in-depth collections and recollections from people familiar with the old Chinatown.
At the reopening of the centre on Jan 8, Singapore Tourism Board's director of cultural precincts development Kenneth Lim said visitors "will have a better appreciation of what Chinatown has to offer and will be able to better understand the back stories of the area".
Among the things you can expect are smells like opium or Chinese medicinal herbs, and the nostalgic voice of Cantonese storyteller Lee Dai Soh retelling martial arts dramas coming through an old radio.
The centre opens from 9am to 8pm daily. It will be closed on Jan 27 and 28.
Admission is $8 for children aged between seven and 12, and $12 for adults. Senior citizens aged 65 and above enter for free.
For more details, go to www.chinatownheritagecentre.com.sg
I didn't imagine it to be like this. I thought it would be just models and figurines but the displays are so detailed.
- British tourist Elsie Smith, 78