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Chinatown plays an important role in Singapore's culture. The historic area, which encompasses Telok Ayer, Kreta Ayer, Bukit Pasoh and Tanjong Pagar, started to take shape in the early 1800s. The charming shophouses, many of which are protected by the government, have also recently drawn the interest of young, trendy businesses, which resulted in a gentrification and rush of new energy to the neighbourhood.
But old Chinatown still survives in places such as Maxwell Food Centre, Chinatown Point and the small alleys and roads where you can find some of the best chicken rice on the island. The new businesses, especially trendy bars such as Operation Dagger, Michelin-starred dining establishments such as Restaurant André and hipster clothing shops such as Aston Blake, have perhaps decided to call Chinatown home because of its sense of authenticity and culture – something that many seem to think Singapore lacks.
Offering a unique slice of Singapore, Chinatown is a melting pot of not only cultures but also people of different age groups, incomes and businesses.