NHB's Dialect Tours Sheds Light on the Rich History of Kreta Ayer

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The National Heritage Board launches Discover Through Dialects: Kreta Ayer Heritage Tours from 26 March to showcase the rich history of Kreta Ayer.

Date: 26 Mar - 27 Aug 2022
Fee: $5/pax

The National Heritage Board (NHB) launches dialect tours of the Kreta Ayer Heritage Gallery and its surrounding areas, titled Discover Through Dialects: Kreta Ayer Heritage Tours. The tours will shed light on the diverse cultural heritage and stories of the precinct.

Discover Through Dialects: Kreta Ayer Heritage Tours will take place monthly from 26 March to 27 August 2022. These tours will be conducted in Cantonese, Teochew and Hokkien by volunteer guides from NHB’s pool of docents.

Participants will first tour NHB’s Kreta Ayer Heritage Gallery, and learn more about five intangible cultural heritage elements that were brought to the area by early Chinese immigrants. These elements, comprising Chinese opera, nanyin music, Chinese puppetry, Chinese painting and calligraphy, and tea drinking and appreciation, are still practiced in the area.

They will then visit key landmarks within the vicinity, including the iconic red and white Tong Ah building and Cundhi Gong temple, both on Keong Saik Road, to learn more about their distinctive architectural features and also listen to stories about communities who lived in the area.

Other stops on the tour include Sri Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple, Jiak Chuan Road and Clan Associations, such as Part Woh Wui Koon (Cantonese Opera Artistes Guild) and the Singapore Buddhist Association. 

Stops on the tours may vary depending on timing and other considerations to be made at the discretion of the guides.

For this series of dialect tours, NHB worked with its docents to co-develop content, and provided training sessions to familiarise them with the precinct. To assist with the organisation of the tours, NHB is collaborating with RSVP Singapore The Organisation of Senior Volunteers whose volunteers are engaged for support in logistical aspects such as registration and road safety.

In addition to the dialect tours, the Kreta Ayer Heritage Gallery is offering guided tours of the Kreta Ayer/Chinatown area in English every month from March. Tickets can be booked at $5 each from Peatrix. The gallery will also be launching Mandarin tours in the second half of 2022. 

Ticket & Schedule

Tickets can be booked through Peatrix, on a first-come, first-served basis. Each tour can accommodate up to 15 participants and is approximately 1 hour 30 minutes long.


  • 26 Mar - Cantonese
  • 30 Apr - Teochew
  • 28 May - Hokkien
  • 25 Jun - Cantonese
  • 30 Jul - Teochew
  • 27 Aug - Hokkien

ï»żImage credits National Heritage Boardï»żÂ 



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This article is prepared by

Malini Pannirselvam
Dedicated writer by day, avid reader by night, language fanatic all the time, and aunt to nieces and nephews every day

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