The early Chinese have visited Singapore since the 12th century and the Chinese community accounts for the majority of the population. Since then, there have been 3 waves of this migration from China. The Chinatown of Singapore, sometimes known as “Bullock Cart Water”, was described in the 1823 Singapore Town Plan as “Chinese Town”. This neighborhood has evolved with the Chinese communities and kept up with the lifestyles of the Chinese diaspora in Singapore. Let’s eat our way through the Chinatown district to discover how eating and cuisine is central to Singaporeans’ lifestyle. Let me guide you through the process of sourcing, selecting and preparation of food while explaining the associated beliefs and meanings behind the dishes. In addition, we will learn about the land use planning process and of socialized housing programmes.
Sample over 10 dishes of popular Singaporean Chinese traditional and street foods. Culture, trades and crafts of the Chinese diaspora of Singapore. Buddhism, Taoism & Confucianism practices. History of Chinatown. Land use and its development. Rental Assistance socialized housing programme. Raw produce in a “Wet Market”. Shophouse conservation. Singaporeana trivia.
Please see sidebar for full overview.
Meals Included in price on sharing and sampling basis. Beverages excluded. Please make known your dietary requirements & allergies.
Not Included Transfers to / from airport / hotel, porterage, tips, entrance fees to places of entertainment unless specified.
Advisory Light tropical clothing is recommended with comfortable walking shoes. Weather is not always sunny, please bring along an umbrella in case it rains. Please ensure sufficient personal insurance cover during tour.
Accessibility & Fitness Minimum medium fitness level recommended due to brisk walking pace. Total walking distance is about 2km on flat grounds (with lots of breaks in between) but there may be some staircases during journey.
Chinatown Complex • Buddha Tooth Relic Temple • Banda Street • URA’s City Gallery • Maxwell Hawker Centre
"Extremely knowledgable about the local culture, history, etc. Food is excellent, and plenty. Really a wide variety of dishes."
"We went on a private tour. Our guide Leong Woon was very knowledgeable and very friendly. We started with a breakfast of toast with Kaya Toast + hard boiled egg and kopi which was delicious!! We then moved onto the streets of Chinatown and discussed the architecture. Leong Woon showed us the Buddhist temple and then had a tour of the "wet" markets - stopped at some stalls and tried the local fruit. We then went upstairs and had lunch - chicken rice, carrot cake and steamed chwee kweh (which was my favourite). Last stop was a Singapore Museum which had 3D models of Singapore and info about the history and development of Singapore over the years. "
Anna Hawkins, Australia
"We did the Chinatown food tour with Leong Woon and it was absolutely fabulous. I'd recommend people do this tour as soon as possible after arriving in Singapore. The reason is that you can try many of Singapore's best local hawker and coffee shop dishes and learn what they are made of, how to eat them as well as a host of lesser known delights that I wouldn't have had the courage to order because I didn't have a clue what they were. This way you get Singapore 101 and can then fully experience this magic place with confidence. Leong Woon also gave us a tour of Singapore's socialized housing, town planning and a Buddhist temple. I can't speak highly enough of this tour. It was fantastic."
Lisa & Dave Wardlaw-Kelly, Australia
"The Chinatown Food Walk is fun, and informative, and the food is delicious. It includes the touristy and quaint portions of Chinatown, the wet market that is still in use by local restaurateurs and homeowners, local temples, and a variety of information about local life, history, and plans for the future of Singapore. Our guide, Leong Woon was extremely informative and you could clearly sense his love of the city; I highly recommend the tour. It is well worth the modest cost."
David Terry, USA
"We had a fabulous day with Leong Woon as we walked through the streets, markets, and more of Chinatown. He was knowledgeable, excited about Singapore, sensitive to our needs, and clearly enjoys being a guide in his city. We expected to love sights of the market and the various food stops, and we did. But Leong went into detail on things we found fascinating and I suspect are not on other tours--going into one of the apartment buildings and learning how housing is organized in Singapore and learning about the history, planning and development of Singapore throughout the tour, culminating in the Singapore city gallery. We loved our day with him, so much so that we did another tour on the next day. I highly recommend them!"
"This was a real highlight of our visit to Singapore and is highly recommended. The food was great; including a bowl of Frog Leg Porridge (with actual frog!). The cultural information about various communities was probably even better. If you can fit this into your schedule, you'd be a mug to miss out."
John Barry, Australia
"Leong Woon was our 'Chinatown' tour guide. This is the reason I do food tours now. To try something that I probably wouldn't otherwise. He did a great job of showing us around. It's a great way to learn about a city and country. I will definitely try one of the other food tours next time I am in Singapore."
Sue Wiltshire, USA
"I had the best time! Our tour guide, Leong Woon was so knowledgeable about food but also food history, local culture, architecture, social issues etc. We got to try lots of new dishes that are typical in Singapore and overall had a very enjoyable morning. Will definitely be back next time to try the other tours they have!"
Chloe Lee, Australia
"This tour commences with a local style breakfast and incorporates food market, temple, shop and a couple of hawker food courts around Chinatown. Along the way there is a lot of food to try and my dietary requirement (pescatarianism) was accounted for. Leong Woon provided an interesting overview of Singapore history and I would suggest that the tour is great for anyone with even a mild interest in social and urban development. Good value too."
Simon Reeves, UK