Life of the ethnic Chinese in early Singapore was simple and almost everyone lived in rented cubicles of shophouses, which were often overcrowded and disease-stricken. It is fitting therefore, that the Chinatown Heritage Centre occupies three shophouses at the ethnic quarters of Chinatown, newly restored to house memories and untold stories of Singapore’s early forefathers.Each level of the Centre takes you to a different time in the history of Chinatown and allows you to trace the lives of its early occupants. The hard life of the migrants resulted in many of them seeking solace in the four evils: opium smoking, prostitution, gambling and secret societies. But the celebration of life too was present, and Chinatown was always abuzz with activity and festivity.The Centre was re-created based on the recollections of former residents, as are the exhibits and displays, giving visitors an authentic and personal account of life in Chinatown. Guided tours of the Gallery are conducted on the hour. Meanwhile, have a cuppa at the Centre’s Kopi Tiam or select a memento at the retail shop from a range of unique traditional souvenirs such as hand-sewn Chinese quilted blankets, traditional miniature sewing machines and clogs.