Singapore’s Katong district is most well-known for its Peranakan tradition and a strolling tour is a pleasant approach to be taught extra in regards to the space, however why settle for the standard strolling tour when you possibly can study Katong with a little bit track and dance? I just lately checked out Katong Dreaming, a musical tour that explores the Katong neighbourhood. Right here’s my Katong Dreaming Overview (with out too many spoilers in fact!) if you’re planning to test it out for your self.
I used to be invited as media to take a look at Katong Dreaming season 2, however all ideas expressed listed here are primarily based purely on my expertise.
The place is Katong in Singapore?
Katong is within the southeastern a part of Singapore and is finest referred to as an space with a definite Peranakan heritage. This blended group which largely consists of Straits Chinese language intermarrying with the native Malay individuals had robust presence on this space, and plenty of companies and eating places right here right this moment now showcase that distinctive Peranakan flavour.
I didn’t develop up right here and by no means actually visited this space a lot till I began working in a close-by space some years again, and would sometimes make the fast jaunt down East Coast Street for some good eats. I did spend much more time right here lately on the lookout for murals and road artwork and giving digital excursions lately. Additionally, it feels just like the tourism trade has additionally began pushing extra focus onto Peranakan tradition and the Katong-Joo Chiat space because of this.
Katong is just not on the MRT line so it isn’t essentially the most accessible location, however that can change in future when Part 3 of the Thomson-East Coast Line comes up. Most individuals both take a bus or drive right here.
About Katong Dreaming
Katong Dreaming launched in Feb/Mar 2022 post-pandemic as a efficiency arts strolling tour. Fairly merely, as a substitute of a typical strolling tour with a tour information sharing tales and details in regards to the place, this musical tour has artists sharing specifically created music, poetry and dance impressed by the world’s historical past as you stroll across the space over the 2 hours.
Some bits are recorded, just like the background music that you just take heed to on headphones to offer some environment as you stroll alongside, however a lot of the efficiency occurs dwell because the artists observe alongside the route and could be influenced by the environment and circumstances of the day.
Katong Dreaming is a tour by Betel Field Excursions – some might need heard of Betel Field Hostel, one of many longer working backpacker hostels in Singapore that has been round since 2003. Their meals tour can be fairly well-known.
My Katong Dreaming Overview intimately
Katong Dreaming has a late afternoon matinee timing from 4-6pm and within the night 730-930pm. I did the night present on a Saturday, which is a reasonably busy time for the district with weekend dinner crowds, however can be a bit cooler for strolling with out the sunshine. Night does really feel a bit extra atmospheric, however if you’d like nicer images with vivid colors, contemplate the matinee slots as a substitute.
The present began off on the Singapore Customer Centre situated at Kim Choo Kueh Chang [Google maps location]. You should purchase souvenirs right here whereas ready round – often I purchase a few Nyonya and Ba Changs (sticky rice dumplings) again for the household after I go via right here.
We had been welcomed by Tony, additionally the boss of Betel Field Hostel, administrator and visitors warden for the night time. He set us up with the headsets that are a necessary a part of the tour – as a result of we’re strolling outdoor with the crowds, the headsets can help you hear all of the commentary, singing and background music with out an excessive amount of interference.
I feel random individuals strolling by our group had been undoubtedly interested in what precisely we had been listening to – it’s like watching a silent disco particularly when the performers are doing their factor and all of the music/context is just occurring over the headphones so onlookers do not know what they’re shifting to.
My solely problem was that the headphones are fairly heat to put on the entire time so I needed to air one ear at a time, however the vivid blue lights on the earpieces had been additionally helpful in figuring out the group simply as we walked round.
The primary host and narrator of the present is Mark Tan. I knew him earlier than this as a musician and singer however in true Singaporean artist kind, the person has many different skills together with being a licensed tour information. He composed the tunes and sang dwell all through the tour, recited poetry, historic details and private anecdotes alike and was principally accountable for carrying the present, massive kudos to him!
Moreover Mark, one other key performer on this tour is the dancer – there are totally different dancers on every day, ours was Nicole. Clad in a pink multi-purpose Peranakan-style sarong, she didn’t actually observe the group round, however popped up at key factors to assist inform the story.
The itinerary itself isn’t actually a secret – you possibly can see it within the tour description, however I like that it doesn’t simply cowl the vacationer highlights like Koon Seng Street and East Coast Street, but additionally brings you thru the residential areas and different much less well-known native gems like Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple and Roxy Sq.. We even visited an surprising spot in a carpark – I gained’t spoil it any additional, however that was a enjoyable perception into native tradition.
Whilst somebody who spent most of my life rising up in Singapore and has accomplished a good quantity of native analysis for journey writing, among the tales about these locations in Katong had been new to me.
As part of the tour, you might be additionally invited to hitch a whatsapp group and related hyperlinks shall be despatched to you so you are able to do a little bit extra studying afterwards, they usually additionally give some context notes that are helpful for the foreigners who may not know in regards to the native stereotypes or perceptions of sure locations/individuals.
Additionally right here’s my massive tip for you – they are going to give you stools firstly of the tour that you may tote alongside and sit on throughout the stroll. TAKE THEM. The tour lasts about 2 hours and there aren’t actually any locations to lean towards or sit on within the public areas. I undoubtedly didn’t remorse with the ability to relaxation my legs in any respect.
Must you watch Katong Dreaming?
Sure, Katong Dreaming was an effective way to spend my Saturday night!
Katong Dreaming was an fulfilling strolling tour with a distinction that presents the Katong neighbourhood in a recent method with music and efficiency. When you’re like me and overlook all of the historic dates and particulars as quickly because the tour information shares them, you would possibly admire studying about this distinctive Singaporean neighbourhood via songs, poetry and motion as a substitute.
Katong Dreaming a tour that each native Singaporeans and overseas vacationers can get pleasure from. I daresay the native would possibly discover it extra significant as a result of they will higher perceive among the references and tradition, however for vacationers who wish to transcend the standard massive bang points of interest and dig into what makes Singapore Singapore, they might get pleasure from this tour as nicely.
For these enthusiastic about bringing their households alongside, I’d suggest this tour for adults or when you’ve got older children who can admire a little bit of historical past. These with youthful toddlers would possibly discover it difficult to maintain them entertained and never disrupt the environment whereas making an attempt to understand the tales being informed.
Thanks once more to the Katong Dreaming Crew for inviting me to take a look at this strolling tour with a distinction. Season 2 at the moment runs until finish Nov 2023 and there’s no figuring out what the long run holds, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to take a look at the present earlier than the run ends!
Easy methods to e-book Katong Dreaming Tickets
This listed data is for the Season 2 run in 2023 and could also be up to date accordingly in future.
E-book Katong Dreaming: A Musical Tour tickets at katongdreaming.peatix.com. A ticket prices S$68.
Tickets can be found on weekends:
- Friday night 730-930pm
- Saturday matinee 4pm-6pm
- Saturday night 730-930pm
- Sunday matinee 4pm-6pm
This can be a group tour and the utmost capability is 36pax. If in case you have your individual group or are on the lookout for non-public excursions, drop them a observe immediately.
There’s a honest quantity of strolling concerned so put on good footwear and convey a small umbrellas simply in case of the climate. The tour gives gentle stools that you may borrow and tote round with you and sit on the place wanted.
Headphones are offered so that you don’t need to convey your individual earphones.
Eager about extra excursions of Singapore neighbourhoods? Take a look at New World in Jalan Besar, or see extra offbeat issues to do in Singapore right here: