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Katong sits on the east coast of Singapore, midway between the airport and the city center, and is renowned as the home of the Peranakan culture. The word Peranakan means "descendant" and refers to people who are descended from the Chinese traders who came to the Malay Peninsula in the 15th-17th centuries. Once here, the traders married with the local families and assimilated their cultures. The result of this mix was the Peranakans.
The Peranakans became a wealthy community, comprised of educated businessmen who spoke 2 or 3 languages. It is not surprising, therefore, that when the British arrived they used the Peranakans as their middle men. The Peranakans soon moved out of Chinatown and settled in Katong, which at the time consisted of coconut and nutmeg plantations along the shore. Although land reclamation means that the shore is now eight blocks further south, Katong has remained Singapore's Peranakan heartland, as you can see by the many colorful Peranakan shophouses that line the streets of the neighborhood.
This popular residential area has good schools and many local family-run businesses, and has managed to keep its old Singapore charm despite the fast pace of modern life. Although almost unknown to tourists, the neighborhood’s multi-cultural diversity has made it a fantastic place to explore a wide variety of cuisines.
Peranakan sweet treat
A bite into Singapore’s Peranakan culture
The Original Katong Laksa
Botanically inspired, homemade gelato
Ending on a sweet note.