Chinatown in Singapore is great place to do a bit of souvenir shopping while you are in the city.
You can walk down Pagoda and Temple streets in particular and see the traditional street market scene. Compared to being in most other Asian cities, the area is very tidy, clean and well managed. The buildings in the market area are well painted and make for a nice environment while you doing your shopping and bargain hunting. In the end, the Chinatown streets along with the Bugis market area is one of our two favorite places to to shop in this manner while in Singapore.
What we like about shopping on the streets of Chinatown is that there is much more available for you to see/taste in the area. Plus, you can see a multi-cultural aspect that isn't really present in other Chinatowns around the world. On South Bridge Street, you can visit Jamae Mosque, the Sri Marimman (Hindu) Temple, which almost right next to the Chinese temple by the name of Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum. This multi-cultural aspect of Singapore's Chinatown is very unique! The Sri Marimman and Buddha Tooth Relic Temples, in particular, are both very good attractions, two of our personal favorites in all of Singapore and are well worth making time to visit when in Chinatown. We'd suggest allocating 30 minutes for Sri Marimman and 45-60 minutes for the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, depending on how interested you are in seeing the museum located there as well.
Dining is also quite good in Chinatown so after/during your shopping there you can taste all manner of classic Chinese as well as many Singapore specialities that originated from this area. In Chinatown you can find Hainanese, Sichuan, Cantonese and locally inspired dishes like black carrot cake and the ever popular toast breakfasts. In addition to the numerous traditional restaurants in the area, there is a large area setup for street side dining on what is called Food Street. Prices are generally higher here and many complain that quality is sometimes lower but it can be a fun experience. If you want to dine with the locals, two other popular options are the Maxwell Food Court and the Chinatown Complex where you can find the traditional hawker and stall food centers, cheap and good eats! Specialty foods round out the dining experiences in Chinatown. Our personal favorite is Bee Cheng Hiang and the succulent Bakkwa that is just so delicious.
There is a popular Chinatown Heritage Tour that you can follow in between your shopping as well. Maps can be downloaded from the helpful Your Singapore website or they can be found in quite a few locations around Chinatown, including the Chinatown Information Center behind the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and at the China Heritage Center.
Overall, Chinatown is a nice place to spend a few hours when visiting Singapore. The Street markets are easy and comfortable and there is much more in the area to enjoy (and taste)!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.