The multicultural Katong district of Singapore displays architectural influences from Britain, Portugal, China, France, and Malaysia. There are many beautiful villas and mansions here that once belonged to the wealthy elite. Nowadays, this residential district is worth visiting for its food and Peranakan (Straits Chinese) culture.
Originally known as Tanjong Katong (Cape Katong), Katong was once a seaside district of Singapore, although it’s now set back a bit from the water after 20th-century land reclamation projects. Katong is still a picturesque destination, though, and, along with neighboring Joo Chiat, it is famous for its colorful terraced Peranakan houses and storefronts, colonnaded covered walkways, and decorative tiles. This district is also popular for its Peranakan food, which combines Malay and Chinese elements.
Travelers who want to avoid the bustle of central Singapore may want to stay in the smaller hotels of Katong instead. It’s easy to reach via public transit or taxi from central Singapore, so many travelers visit independently for a couple of hours. Food-themed guided tours are also available. Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Head to Koon Seng Road and Joo Chiat Road to check out the most beautiful buildings.
- The South Indian-style Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple, decorated with sculptures of many Hindu gods and goddesses, is another must-visit attraction in the area.
- Katong Laksa is a variation on the spicy noodle soup popular in Peranakan cuisine, with the noodles cut into smaller lengths that can be eaten with a spoon. Adventurous eaters should definitely try it while visiting Katong.
The Katong district is in the southeast part of Singapore. Many buses and subway lines travel here, so it’s easy to reach. Take the green East West MRT Line to Paya Lebar station to reach Joo Chiat/Changi/Tangjong Katong Road, or take the orange Circle Line to Paya Lebar station. Alternatively, look for bus Nos. 10, 12, 14, 16, and 32 to reach Katong. When to Get There
Travelers can visit Katong at any time, but to take full advantage of the district’s food options, coincide a visit with lunch or dinner time.
Visit the Peranakan Museum
To learn more about the Peranakan culture that’s on display in Katong, check out the Peranakan Museum on Armenian Street in the central city. It celebrates the culture and art of the cultural group throughout Southeast Asia, and has one of the largest collections of Peranakan objects in the world. It presents a mix of permanent and temporary exhibits.