• Photo: Bettina Johae / Shutterstock

East Coast Park, Katong, and Joo Chait

The intersection of East Coast Road and Joo Chiat Road is the heart of Katong, a district steeped in the culture of the Peranakans, the descendants of 17th-century Chinese immigrants who married local Malays. This part of town is where you will find the island’s largest assortment of heritage shophouses, many painted in pretty pastel colors and featuring traditional Peranakan motifs.

This is a popular dining enclave and the birthplace of one of Singapore's most famous local dishes, Katong laksa (rice vermicelli in a spicy coconut-based broth). The Betel Box hostel and bistro is known for organizing informative food tours of the neighborhood. Nearby, running along the southeastern coast, is East Coast Park, the biggest park in the country.

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