Tuesday, 3 September 2013


Before Singapore reclaimed a large swathe of its coastline in the 1960s, the houses of Katong, along what is now Marine parade Road, where the shorefront properties of the well-heeled. Today, they retain their laid-back, beachfront atmosphere, with palm trees lining the street and plenty of opensky.

In no other areas are there so many architectural styles. Traditional "malay houses" are raised above from the ground to protect from high tides and floods. katong's most iconic buildings are strings of candy-coloured conservation shophouses with a distinctly Peranakan personality : plasterwork scrolls and floral tiles.

New businesses have moved in. Chinese temples are round the corner from Anglican churches, and pocket-sized condominiums are sprounting among the shophouses and pre-war walk-ups. Still, zoning restrictions in the core conservation area help retain the old-world charm.

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