Call it the Triple B if you must, but the Bras Basah.Bugis Precinct is where to go for a slice of Singapore’s rich heritage, preserved architecture and palpable energy.
Head here for fine museums, national monuments and other institutions, such as art schools and the Central Public Library.
A colourful past
One of Singapore’s oldest districts, Bras Basah derived its name from the Malay term for ‘wet rice’ which were once laid out on the banks of Bras Basah River (known as the Stamford Canal today).
The founder of Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles, picked the area to be the European part of Singapore Town. To the growing multicultural communities, it was also ideal for schools and places of worship.
The adjacent Bugis Street, named after the seafaring Bugis people from Indonesia who came here to trade with local merchants, has a less pristine past. Before a massive clean-up in the 1980s, it was notorious as a haunt for sailors and transvestites.
Today, you could spend days just soaking in the vibe of this buzzing district. The BBB is home to museums such as the National Museum of Singapore and Peranakan Museum, and national monuments like the Armenian Church and Central Fire Station, Singapore’s oldest fire station.
The School of the Arts, Singapore Management University, LASALLE College of the Arts and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts are here as well.
Get in on the action with the annual Singapore Night Festival in August, with late-night openings and special events.