With its traditional Peranakan houses, amazing food scene and vibrant nightlife. Katong Singapore is a truly a neighborhood of cultural immersion that anyone who are visiting Singapore must experience. Here are the things to do in Katong Singapore.
1. Wake Up Your Taste Buds
Katong is a haven for foodies and you’ll never run out of choices. Here are some of the places that I’ve tried and recommending.
328 Katong Laksa
Winner of Gordon Ramsay’s Hawker Challenge and hailed with a Michelin Star, this is a must try! Laksa (noodles in a spicy coconut-based broth with seafood) is among the popular local dishes in Singapore and 328 Katong Laksa is number 1 in Singapore.
Kim Choo Kueh Chang
Since 1945, this place has been making the traditional Nyonya Rice Dumplings with savory fillings like pork which is the most popular. I’ve never tried this anywhere around Singapore but here, so I believe it will be hard to match the quality of bak chang (Glutinous Rice Dumplings) that they produce.
Five Star Hainanese Chicken Rice
A visit to Singapore is not complete without a taste of its national dish, the Chicken Rice. Many places in Singapore boast that they have the best version of this humble dish but Five Star Hainanese Chicken Rice is a true contender.
Old Bibiks Peranakan Kitchen
Enjoy the savory flavor of authentic Nonya and Peranakan dishes at this affordable restaurant. It’s Halal certified and their signature beef rendang is a must, you can get a bow of Beef Rendang with noodles for only $8.
2. Do a Photowalk
If you’ll ask me what is the best thing to do in Katong, this would be it. The presence of several traditional Peranakan shop houses in its colorful neighborhood attracts every type of photographer. Whether it’s for Instagram, professional photography or a prenup pictorial, every corner here is picturesque.
3. Cycle Around East Coast Park
Katong’s easy access and close proximity to East Coast Park allows visitors with pleasurable time to enjoy outdoor activities like cycling. The long stretch of East Coast park have dedicated bicycle lanes that stretches up to 15 kilometers covered in green landscape at the park’s massive beach front. There’s one part of the bicycle lane which goes through like a mini jungle with tall trees and cool breeze, who would have thought that you’re actually cycling in a city. Bike rental is between $8-$12 per hour with plenty of options.
Conveniently located at the center of Katong, this mall though relatively small compared to other malls in Singapore, it has plenty of retail shops with good offers and sale items that tourist looking for bargain hunts would love.
This store features creations of local designers and artists. They sell stationeries, books, vintage stuff, fashion and home accessories and Singapore-themed crafts. This is a perfect place to get an authentic souvenir that is locally made. You can also buy Peranakan tiles here if you want to bring back some memory of Katong neighborhood at home.
5. Get Artsy and Cultural
Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple
Located in Ceylon Road, this historical Hindu temple of the God Ganesha is truly a beautiful piece of art. It got its name from a Chempaka (Senpaga in Tamil) tree that stood on the bank on the pond. As the Vinayagar (An Elephant Head) statue was found besides the Chempaka tree, the temple came to be known as Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple.
Katong Antique House
If you took pictures and loved the exteriors of the Peranakan Houses, you can visit this two-storey fully restored authentic Peranakan family home. The many antiques and heirlooms that can be found here are worthy of any museum collection. The experience takes you back in time when Singapore was yet to become the city state with the most highest GDP per capita in the world. It costs $15 to visit by appointment.
Where to Stay:
Hotel Indigo Katong
This boutique hotel brand of IHG (Intercontinental Hotel Group) is right at the heart of Katong neighborhood, a melting pot of culture. Aside from being surrounded by Katong’s vibrant and alive Peranakan culture, the hotel has close proximity to everything: restaurants, shops, bars and cafes. East Coast Park is conveniently accessible from the hotel as well. Their infinity pool is a chill spot with an amazing unobstructed view of Katong.
The rooms are decorated in such a way that it blends in with the neighborhood. I personally love the wall art and the bathroom sink that sits on top of an old sewing machine. Checkout their rates here.
Their restaurant, Baba Chews is built within an old Joo Chiat Police Station building where most of its structure have been preserved. This all-day dining restaurant showcases modern and traditional cuisine from Straits of Malacca.
Have you been in Katong Neighborhood? Any suggestions to first timers? Leave suggestions/comments below.
Disclaimer: This article is written in partnership with Hotel Indigo Katong Singapore. The hotel provided a complimentary accommodation during our stay. All words and opinions are entirely my own.
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