Our last day in Singapore: Chinatown and Boat Quay

After a week of rain, we finally had good weather for our last day in Singapore.

We took the Metro to Telok Ayer. Our first stop was the Thian Hock Keng Temple (Temple of Heavenly Happiness), Singapore’s oldest Chinese temple. The temple is dedicated to Mazu, the Goddess of the Sea. Early Chinese immigrants came here to give thanks for their safe passage across the South China Sea. You can’t take pictures inside the main prayer hall but there was plenty to look at around the edges of the temple.

Thian Hock Keng Temple, Singapore
Guardian at the door of Thian Hock Keng Temple, Singapore

After eating at the Maxwell Food Centre, we crossed the road to the Buddha Tooth Relic temple and museum. This is a massive Buddhist temple in the heart of Chinatown and very popular with tourists and worshippers. There was a service going on and we got to listen to the monks and a choir chanting and praying. There were some statues with smoke coming out of them (it looked like dry ice) and people were bathing the statues and there were deities for every birth year.

Buddha Tooth Relic temple and museum

You need to wear a sarong to go around the temple (available at the entrance). The temple was very welcoming with lots of information about all the statues and Buddhism. Preparations were taking place for Vesak Day, the most significant holy day in the Buddhist calendar and a public holiday in Singapore.

Preparations for Vesak holy day

After the temple we went shopping in the Chinatown street market and bought chopsticks for everyone, including ourselves!

From Chinatown, we walked up the riverside to Boat Quay, where there were plenty of places to eat. We enjoyed some of the street sculptures and the historic buildings and bridges.

Street art near Boat Quay
Street art near Boat Quay

As it was our last evening, we went back to the Gardens by the Bay area to watch the light and music show again.

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