Chinatown is a prominent landmark that evolved from the time of the first immigrants in the 19th century. Today, it is a vivid and energetic gazetted conservation precinct bounded by these major roads - Eu Tong Sen St, New Bridge Road, and South Bridge Road. Interspersed with modern tall buildings, the appeal of the old era is still preserved in the charming pre-war shophouses, temples, markets, Chinese medicine halls and tea houses.
A month before the Lunar New Year in January or February, Chinatown goes into a decorative frenzy of stunning lights and ornaments – a photographer’s delight. Streets are filled with stalls touting their wares – foodstuffs, clothes, pottery, plants and other household items. Another brilliant burst of colours and lights occurs during the Mid-Autumn Festival held traditionally in September. This is when the streets become festooned with a myriad of lanterns of all shapes and sizes, and locals buy the seasonal mooncakes.