Pagoda Street obtained its name from the pagoda, or gopuram in Tamil, a significant feature built over the main gate of the Sri Mariamman Temple located at the corner of South Bridge Road and Pagoda Street. As like any other streets, there were a few variant names but a noteworthy one was Kwong Hup Yuen Kai (translates as “street of Kwong Hup Yuen” in Cantonese) as Kwong Hup Yuen, a well-known coolie trading firm.
The street was notorious for its opium-smoking dens in the early 19th century before it evolved into a coolie lodge in the early 20th century and there were some twelve lodging houses located along this street.
Today, the street is a pedestrianized commercial area for retail trade, FNB outlets and special services like Skindays, a facial clinic which aims to make expert skincare accessible. You can also find the Chinatown Heritage Centre on this street, housed in a three restored pre-war shophouses that feature different aspects of Chinatown between the 19th and early 20th century.
It is always crowded here on Pagoda Street, especially during the Chinese festivities like Lunar New Year and Mid-Autumn Festival, or throughout the year being one of Singapore’s iconic destination of heritage and culture. Also, the character of the street and its vicinity is a prominent filming location, including inside the shophouses like 39 Pagoda Street as featured on Jejak Kita, a local documentary that looks into the 200 years of our past and present as the country celebrated its bicentennial year in 2019.
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*Floor area with surveyor’s endorsements. Floor plan available upon request.