In the lead up to the Lunar New Year, Chinatowns everywhere (Singapore included) are constantly packed with people at any time of the day. Though charming even in its busiest moments, Chinatown is best explored early in the morning when the city is only beginning to shake off yesterday's slumber.
A must-see location in every tourist itinerary, Singapore’s Chinatown offers a dizzying panoply of Chinese culture with glorious food, thoughtful souvenirs, and friendly locals situated at every corner. This uniquely Singaporean gem is constantly buzzing with activity, even more so during Chinese New Year season. However, there is calm before the storm, and from personal experience, it’s most prominent in the morning at about 9 or 10 am.
During this time of the day, the town’s inhabitants are only about to start their day, attending to their own matters oblivious to the sneaky lomographer like myself. Remnants of yesterday’s events can still be seen from empty beer bottles standing guard on rustic wooden tables and street cats grouchy from being roused from their deep sleep.
Keeping watch on the town’s going-ons are three religious buildings situated within a stone’s throw away from each other. These are the Thian Hock Keng Temple, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, and perhaps the most unexpected of all, Sri Mariamman Temple. Despite drawing practitioners of different faiths, the temples co-exist harmoniously.
These places of worship are also architectural wonders, feeding hungry photographers like myself with many photo-taking opportunities. Away from the temples, Lomographers will also have a ball of a time clicking their shutters at every back alley, shop front, through fenced walls, up above, down below…such is the beauty of Chinatown.
In fact, I encourage Lomographers to shoot as they please because even if they run out of film, the newly-opened Lomography Gallery Store Singapore is just across the road! So the next time you’re here, drop by the store and hang out with the friendly folks there. That’s what I do all the time.