|Tanjong Pagar Walkabout will take you though the first People's Action Party branch in Tanjong Pagar, Duxton Plain Park, Eng Aun Tong, Craig Road, Yan Kit Road, Yan Kit Swimming Pool, Vanda Miss Joaquim - The Pavilion, Tanjong Pagar Road, Duxton Hill & Duxton Road, Neil Road, Fan Tsai Mei, Mount Erskine, Jinrikisha Station, Maxwell Road Food Centre, Fairfield Methodist Church, Peck Seah Street, Former Traffic Police, Wallich Street and much more.
One of four sub-areas of Chinatown, Tanjong Pagar ('cape of stakes') was originally an early 19th century Malay fishing village and one of the few remaining traditional areas left in Singapore.
Legend has it that this part of the coast was afflicted by schools of sharp-toothed garfish which attacked people on shore. As a result, a barricade of plantain stems was erected along the coast to trap the garfish.
In the 1800s, it was converted into nutmeg plantations by the Europeans and fruit orchards by the wealthy Chinese. In the 1850s, the opening of the New Harbour (now known as the Keppel Harbour) led to its economic progress and this attracted many workers, giving rise to an early Chinese settlement comprising Hokkien settlers. By 1892, it was incorporated into the Singapore Town Municipality.
In the 1860s, the failure of the nutmeg plantations resulted in the subdivision and sale of the spacious bungalows into commercial and residential properties. The two and three-storey shophouses incorporate both Chinese and Western design elements, were back to back.
For many years, Tanjong Pagar, located between the docks and the town, was an enclave for the thousands of Chinese and Indian dock workers who had migrated to Singapore from the mid nineteenth century. With all the traffic between the docks and the town, Tanjong Pagar was also lucrative ground for rickshaw pullers awaiting clients. So prevalent was their presence that in 1904, the government established a Jinricksha Station at the junction of Tanjong Pagar Road and Neil Road.
Tanjong Pagar was accorded conservation status on 7 July 1989. Its two and three-storey shophouses have been restored through the combined efforts of the public and private sectors.
Download the Tanjong Pagar Walkabout guide here.