URBAN EXPLORER, TOUR GUIDE
Since the days of his youth—many of which were spent exploring the streets of Geylang—Cai Yinzhou has had an impulse for discovering hidden stories. To this young, compassionate tour guide, old buildings are filled with lessons from the past, and neighbourhoods are classrooms where personal narratives entwine with the arc of history.
Yinzhou’s many social initiatives include Geylang Adventures—which aims to unpack social issues through sight-seeing—and Back Alley Barbers, a project offering free haircuts to migrant labourers. For his efforts in aiding Singapore’s disadvantaged, the young advocate of social change was conferred the Singapore Youth Award in 2017.
“I was quite a naughty child... curious since a young age,” Yinzhou shares with a smile. “That’s why I went on the streets to find the real world.” Since his youth, Yinzhou has explored the back-alleys and streets of Geylang, talking to people from all walks of life. The authentic stories he encountered fuels his current endeavours. “As I got older, that curiosity led me to know more about different groups of people. I experience a lot of generosity when I hang out with migrant workers. It makes me realise how different their realities are from mine, even though we’re the same age.”
To Yinzhou, the growth one finds on a journey is just as important as the destination. Join him as he uncovers the nuances of Singapore’s urban neighbourhoods and green spaces.
Busy streets, hidden side alleys and a colourful reputation are all part and parcel of Geylang’s authenticity. “Geylang is a classroom to me. Through its sights, it can tell its own story,” Yinzhou says. “It’s a melting pot of cultures, that provides nuance and diversity [to Singapore’s landscape].”
“I like Pulau Ubin for its cycling route,” Yinzhou shares. “The wind at Changi makes it great for windsurfing and kayaking.” An avid explorer of nature as well as urban spaces, Yinzhou enjoys the great outdoors on Pulau Ubin and at Changi Beach.
Yinzhou has fond memories of exploring Sentosa during his days as a student at Temasek Polytechnic’s Tourism Academy. “I used to do triathlons [as a student], so I’d spend the morning swimming at the beach, and then taking a run… I love exploring that island.”
Always mindful of an individual’s impact on ecosystems, Yinzhou prefers fuelling up at traditional hawker centres for eco-friendly reasons. “I love all hawker centres, but there are some that use a lot of disposable cutlery. I prefer eating at heartland hawker centres like ABC Brickworks Food Centre.”
Follow urban explorer and tour guide Cai Yinzhou on a learning journey through Singapore’s diverse cityscape.
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