Chinatown is Chinatown is Chinatown. . .
Except, perhaps, in Singapore.
I don’t know about you, but in my experience, “Chinatown” districts and neighborhoods tend to be very similar, regardless of their actual geographical locations. And I have never much cared for them. I have always found them over crowded and pushy; either pushing their wares at you or pushing you out of the way, unless your a local – and sometimes even then.
Chinatown Singapore however, has a different vibe. Behind all the kitschy tourist crap, are real stores carrying actual goods worth taking a look at; and more often than not, the shop owners are super nice and rarely pushy. They will even engaged in a conversation with you or teach you about the art/medicine/tea/tonics/etc in their stores. Additionally, there are numerous places to grab a bite, with a whole street dedicated to outdoor eating and snacking. There is even a temple or two – but more on those later…
Maybe its the cool architecture, or that I find the people here super friendly. Or maybe its the good food, or the fact that its a great place to people watch while drinking a beer – or tea. Or maybe its a combination of all of the above. Regardless of the reason, its a place I come to often because, well, I just plain like it here.