One of Singapore's oldest temples, the Fuk Tak Chi Temple was set up by Hakka and Cantonese immigrants who came to the island in the 1800s. The temple first started out as a small shrine to the deity Tua Peh Kong, who is said to give protection against illness and danger. Newly-arrived Immigrants visited the shrine on Telok Ayer Street (until reclamation the street ran along the shore - Telok Ayer meaning 'water bay' or 'watery bay' in Malay) to offer their gratitude for their safe journey from China.
As immigrants donated money in support, the shrine soon expanded into a temple and eventually into a clan association looking after the welfare of the dialect groups as well as helping them resolve disputes.
|The temple moved to new premises in 1994 and the building was redeveloped into a museum as part of a conservation project led by the National Heritage Board.|
Today, it is Singapore's first 'street museum', showcasing both local artifacts as well as its unique architectural heritage.
During redevelopment, the temple's original structure was retained as well as its layout, including its distinct entrance gate and front chamber. The temple was built in the style of a Chinese magistrate's court to symbolise power and authority.
The street museum also features about 200 artifacts contributed by residents who lived in the vicinity of the temple. These include antiques such as an old ice kachang maker, the iconic Singer sewing machine from the 1960s, intricate Peranakan jewellery, a charcoal iron and an opium smoker's lamp.
On show is also a detailed model that depicts the streets and activities along the shoreline as it was when the immigrants first arrived, as well as a wax statue monk that comes to life describing the essentials of tea making and tea appreciation.
|Fuk Tak Chi Museum||76 Telok Ayer Street Singapore 048464|
|Opening Hours -||Daily from 10am – 10pm|
|Admission Fees -||Free|