Staying At Amoy Hotel and Exploring Chinatown

Singapore Chinatown

Chinatown

I enjoyed my stay at Amoy Hotel primarily because of its awesome location – Chinatown is a foodie’s paradise. Read my Amoy Hotel review here and a little piece on the Fuk Tak Chi Museum right here. I’d checked in on a Sunday, when most of the restaurants and shops around the hotel were closed. It was no cause for worry because just 5 to 10 minutes away is the rest of Chinatown where I can shop and mainly, eat to my heart’s content. So here’s a quick (and hopefully useful) guide to what to do / see / eat after you have dropped off your luggage at Amoy Hotel!

For the foodie:

In the immediate vicinity of the hotel are restaurants like Hock Lam Beef, Honzen Express and Sushi Tei (among others) – all of which I would recommend. For breakfast, you can also skip the hotel breakfast if it does not impress you and pop by Ya Kun Kaya Toast to taste what locals would eat – kaya toast, soft-boiled eggs and a cup of coffee.

If you don’t have much time to explore other parts of Singapore for good food, then you are in luck! The newly-opened Chinatown Food Street brings together the best of hawker food around the island. Head over to the Food Street to try satay from Newton Circus, BBQ Chicken Wings from Chomp Chomp, Cheng Kee Hokkien Mee, Fried Oysters from Katong, and much much more!

Chinatown Food Street

Chinatown Food Street Oyster Omelette

Chinatown Food Street Hokkien Mee

Chinatown Food Street Fried Horfun

The Chinatown Food Street, at night:

Chinatown Food Street

At tea time, you can also head to Tong Heng for some very yummy egg tarts. I sure did. Just S$1.60 each:

Sri Mariamman Temple

To get to Tong Heng, just look out for the yellow signboard after you have passed the Sri Mariamman Temple:

Tong Heng Egg Tarts

* If you can afford the extra calories *

Try the very famous Lim Chee Guan bak kwa (barbecued pork slices) that locals eat mainly during Lunar New Year, but is available year-round. You can order just 100g of that barbecued goodness for a sampling or even consider getting 1kg to bring home to friends and family! [A kg usually costs about S$50]

Lim Chee Guan

For Dessert:

Head to Chinatown Point, where you will find, at the basement, Mei Heong Yuen Dessert, which is popular for its range of ‘snow ice desserts’.

Mei Heong Yuen Dessert

One other dessert place at Chinatown Point is Hong Kong Sheng Kee Dessert, which I would not recommend for their desserts, but their mains instead:

Hong Kong Sheng Kee Dessert Chinatown Point

I like their Braised Beef Hor Fun (S$7.90)

For the health-conscious foodie:

Pop by China Square Central (less than a 5 minute walk away) and head to the basement. At #B1-02 is LINS Smoodees where you can order green smoothies which are oh-so-yummy and so good for your body. Do try their herbal porridge as well, which I highly recommend. If you’re experiencing jet lag or just feeling under the weather, what you get at LINS will surely perk you up.

For the gym rat:

Amoy Hotel does not come with a gym, but just downstairs is the Evolve Mixed Martial Arts studio. Pop by for a workout if you will. A little further is True Fitness at China Square Central’s basement.

For the photography enthusiast:

If you like snapping pictures of temples and/or visiting them, there is the famous Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and the equally famous Sri Mariamman Temple (the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore).

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

Sri Mariamman Temple

The Sri Mariamman Temple was constructed in 1827 and today, it is best known for the fire-walking ceremony, or Theemithi, that is held every October or November. Devotees would walk on hot coals as a test of their faith and devotion.

Other places of interest: 

The Singapore Coins and Notes Museum and The TinTin Shop:

Singapore Coins And Notes Museum

The TinTin Shop

For the shopaholic:

At Chinatown Point are some shops which may interest you. Fans of branded goods will love Luxury City where branded items (supposedly authentic, but of past seasons) are sold at a discount. Also visit the Adidas pop-up store if you would like to get some cheap sporting gear – for instance, you can get a pair of Adidas running shoes at just over S$60.

Luxury City Chinatown Point

Adidas Chinatown Point

*This list is by no means exhaustive of course. Just what I did after checking in at Amoy Hotel. 🙂 If you need more recommendations, feel free to approach the staff.

Chinatown

[*Reader Privilege* Amoy Hotel Promotion Rates: Get 20% off your room rates and a Free City Tour for 2 (worth $39.80)! CLICK HERE!]

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Entrance To Amoy Hotel: The Fuk Tak Chi Museum

[Read my review of Amoy Hotel and get 20% OFF your room rates PLUS a Free City Tour for 2, worth $39.80] 

This isn’t your usual hotel entrance, is it?

Fuk Tak Chi Museum

It is the entrance to the Fuk Tak Chi Museum, and the entrance to Amoy Hotel which is located behind the museum! 😀 Hotel guests are definitely in for a treat. I suppose some may even be unable to locate the hotel because the museum hides it from view, and the address is high up in a little corner:

Fuk Tak Chi Museum

The Fuk Tak Chi Museum was officially opened on 19 November 1998, in this location rich in culture and heritage.

The hotel also provides a free guided tour of the museum – so approach the staff for a tour. The museum is rather small but I like the little pieces of history preserved here – from the historical architecture to the old photographs printed onto cushion covers:

Fuk Tak Chi Museum

Fuk Tak Chi Museum

Fuk Tak Chi Museum

There is a sizeable mock-up of what Singapore looked like in the past, with coolies and all:

Fuk Tak Chi Museum

Spotted on a plaque outside: “Fuk Tak Chi: One of the first Chinese temples in Singapore, it had its beginnings here as a small shrine set up by Hakka and Cantonese immigrants in 1824. As its importance grew, it also functioned as an association that looked after the interests of the two dialect groups. The patron deity is the Earth God or Dai Bak Gong (in Cantonese) – a popular deity with the Chinese here.”

We definitely enjoyed the museum visit! 🙂

Fuk Tak Chi Museum

Essential Information:

Open 10am to 10pm daily

FREE admission

[Spotted within the museum] Drop A Coin and Make A Wish:

Fuk Tak Chi Museum

Drop a coin in and make a wish! All the coins will be collected and donated to charity, and your wish may just come true! 🙂

Read Also:

(1) My Review of Amoy Hotel

(2) What To Do / See / Eat in Chinatown

Hotel Review – Amoy Hotel: A Haven For History Buffs

[*Reader Privilege* Amoy Hotel Promotion Rates: Get 20% off your room rates and a Free City Tour for 2 (worth $39.80)! CLICK HERE!]

I had the pleasure of a staycation at Amoy Hotel last week and I must say that I have never stayed in a hotel so rich in heritage and steeped in local culture – It’s located in Far East Square and the entrance to the hotel is via the Fuk Tak Chi Museum (originally a Chinese temple, and one of the oldest in Singapore)! The location of the hotel is significant, in that it was once the landing site of Chinese immigrants arriving by boat to seek better fortunes here. The hotel is also a great spot to begin exploring Chinatown from: read my guide HERE.

The friendly staff of Amoy Hotel:

Amoy Hotel Singapore

The guy in the middle is named April. I can’t forget his name, ever since I asked him about how he came to be named ‘April’.

Seating Area in the hotel:

Amoy Hotel Singapore

Sitting on the birdcage-like chair:

Amoy Hotel Singapore

There is a feature wall in the hotel lobby with the most common surnames / family names of early Chinese immigrants. And each room in the hotel has a different surname above the room number.

I found my family name outside Room 201:

Amoy Hotel Singapore

I stayed in a Deluxe Double Room, which had its space constraints. No effort was spared in making it a comfortable stay though.

Amoy Hotel Singapore

*I love the beautiful, white aircon cover. I’d also watched the first episode of the new season of ‘The Walking Dead’ in this room! 😀

The minibar was well-stocked with drinks and there was a coffee machine for coffee lovers too. April recommended the Caramel Oolong tea and I tried it – pretty good!

Amoy Hotel Singapore

I loved the rain shower too, though it was rather perplexing that the washbasin and a short walkway separated the shower stall from the toilet.

Amoy Hotel SingaporeYou’ve probably already spotted the awesome porcelain washbasin:

Amoy Hotel Singapore

*I love the attention to detail! Even mouthwash is provided! For those heading out into wet weather, there is an umbrella hanging by the clothes hangers, and everything from a clothes iron to a hairdryer can be found within the room.

There are a total of 37 rooms within Amoy Hotel and most of them (21, I think) are single rooms, so I asked to get a peep into one of them. Note that no two rooms are alike, in terms of furnishing and layout! So ask for a different room each time you stay at Amoy? 😀

A single room:

Amoy Hotel Singapore

I guess the only disappointment was the hotel breakfast spread.

Amoy Hotel Singapore

There was a small selection of breads and other pastries, mee goreng, sausages, bacon, cheeses, cereal, etc. And that was about it. I guess I was missing scrambled eggs. 😀 My stay commenced on a Sunday, so much of the immediate vicinity of the hotel resembled a ghost town – there are many restaurants nearby but all were shut on Sunday. I guess hotel guests who pick weekday stays will really love the convenience of just popping downstairs and having so many restaurants to choose from! I took a 5-10 minute walk to Chinatown Point and checked out other parts of Chinatown at dinnertime on Sunday.

My (small) hotel breakfast :

Amoy Hotel Singapore

My Thoughts About Amoy Hotel:

I expect a lot more from Far East Hotels because, for me, the brand is synonymous with great service, friendly people and all things luxurious. Amoy Hotel does not come with a gym nor a pool, so besides banking on its excellent location, it also has to deliver surprises to exceed each guest’s expectations.

I loved everything from the fancy washbasin, the lovely goodnight note someone put on my pillow while I was out for dinner, to the really comfortable bedroom slippers (I took a pair home, and also saw another guest wear those slippers to breakfast).

What could have been improved upon would be the attention to detail. If you scroll upwards to my picture of the breakfast spread, you’ll notice that the juice dispensers were almost out of juice. I would also have liked to be given some information about the history of the area. I don’t recall getting the complimentary newspapers either.

What would have really blown me away would be if the hotel managed to educate me (assuming I am a foreigner) on top of taking care of my comfort needs. For instance, if there was a small jar of Tiger balm or a miniature bottle of Axe brand medicated oil in the room, with a short write-up about what locals use these for (aches and pains, and headaches), Amoy Hotel would be a truly unforgettable hotel for me. I would also take those items home with me. 🙂

I guess the BEST time to stay at Amoy Hotel would be during the Chinese New Year period. It offers tourists and business travelers the opportunity to take in all the sights and sounds (and smells – good ones!) of the festive period, and still walk right back to a comfortable bed.

*Read my blogposts about the Fuk Tak Chi Museum at the entrance to Amoy Hotel, and the not-to-be-missed food places around the hotel, in the Chinatown area.

Hotel Information:

76 Telok Ayer Street S048464

info.amoy@fareast.com.sg / Tel: +65 6580 2888

[Book HERE for 20% off your room rate PLUS a FREE CITY TOUR for 2, worth $39.80!]

Also, check out the other Far East Hotels I have reviewed:

1) Oasia Hotel

2) Quincy Hotel