Peranakan Museum Singapore

Weather :

Time Required : 1.5 - 2 hours

Entry Fee : Chlidren (below 6 years): No Entry Fee,
Foreigners:
Adults: SGD 6,
Concession: SGD 3,
Singaporeans and PRs: No Entry Fee

Timings : 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM,
Friday: 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM

Peranakan Museum, Singapore Overview

The first of its kind in the world, the Peranakan Museum is devoted to exploring the Pernankan cultures present in Singapore, the former Straits Settlements in Malacca and Penang, and other regions of Southeast Asia that are home to the Peranakan community. Housed in the iconic Old Tao Nan School Building, this classic museum once acted as an extended wing of the famous Asian Civilisations Museum which used to be located here, and is currently a sister museum to the same, specialising in tracing the origins and development of Peranakan culture.

The Peranakan community traces its heritage to the people of Chinese, Malay and Indonesian heritage born in the Straits. The Peranakan Museum houses ten permanent galleries spread across three levels that showcase the main themes of Peranakan life and culture. A unique blend of Southeast Asian cultures, one can see a fine and comprehensive collection of Peranakan collection, inclusive of jewellery, furniture, and traditional textiles featuring flower prints and embroidered tops, as well as informative interactive and multimedia displays. One can learn the development of Peranakan culture and prominent stories of the community in Singapore at this unique museum. It is the perfect attraction for culture enthusiasts and history buffs. One can also purchase beautiful Peranakan crafted souvenirs at the museum gift shop.

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Guided Tours at the Peranakan Museum

Peranakan Museum Highlights Guided Tour:
English:
Monday - Friday: 11:00 AM, 2:00 PM,
Saturday, Sunday: 11:00 AM, 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM,
Mandarin:
Saturday, Sunday: 11:30 AM, 2:30 PM,
Japanese:
Tuesday - Friday: 10:30 AM,
French:
Every second Thursday of the month: 11:30 AM,

Special Exhibition Guided Tour:
English:
Tuesday - Thursday: 12:30 PM,
Saturday, Sunday: 4:00 PM

Sightseeing at the Peranakan Museum

Among the highlights of the Peranakan Museum are the elaborate 12-day Peranakan wedding, Peranakan beadwork and embroidery, the Peranakan wedding bed of Mrs. Quah Hong Chiam, and the exquisite collection of Nonya porcelain. The museum has also respected the heritage of the building, which used to serve as the Tao Nan School, with the school's history depicted on the ground floor. The cast-iron eagles that stand at the entrance have been there since the inception of the building, believed to ward off evil.

Galleries at the Peranakan Museum

There are ten permanent galleries at the Peranakan Museum, detailing the various facets of Peranakan culture and history.
  • Gallery 1 (Level 1): Origins
This gallery traces the origins of the Peranakan community, from its original Chinese and Malay roots to the Peranakan communities situated in Southeast Asian regions like Arabia and India, as well as settlements found in parts of Eurasia.
  • Gallery 2 - 5 (Level 2): Weddings
One can find he fascinating traditions and rituals associated with the 12-day Peranakan weddings in these galleries, including the coming of age ritual, known as Chiu Thau, and the exchange of gifts ceremony, known as Lap Chai. An elaborate wedding chamber and wedding procession await visitors of these galleries.
  • Gallery 6 (Level 3): Language and Fashion
Find out more about traditional Peranakan attire and the development of the language Baba Malay, heavily influenced by life in Southeast Asia. This gallery also houses an extensive collection of arts and crafts by the Nonya, and one can find the Sarong Kebaya, the Nonya's preferred choice of clothing, beautifully displayed here.
  • Gallery 7 (Level 3): Religion
This gallery displays the grand mixture that forms the core religious principles of the Peranakan, a combination of Daoism and Buddhism mixed in with ancestor worship and folk beliefs. One can see the importance of certain rituals like death ritual and mourning which are integral parts of the community.
  • Gallery 8 (Level 3): Public Life
Explore the roles played by the Peranakan community in commerce, political and social spheres during the 19th and 20th century, assisting in the development of Singapore and Southeast Asia. Tributes are paid to many important Singaporean figures of Peranakan descent such as Tan Kim Seng and Lim Kim San.
  • Gallery 9 (Level 3): Food and Feasting
Experience the delights of Peranakan cuisine, a unique and beautiful blend of Chinese, Malay, Indian, Thai, European and Indonesian ingredients and recipes. These delicious dishes are displayed on the world's greatest collection of Nonya porcelain.

History of the Peranakan Museum

The Peranakan Museum is housed in the Old Tao Nan School, Singapore's first modern Chinese school and one of the oldest of its kind amongst the Straits Settlements. The school was founded in 1906 by the Hokkien community. It was designed in the classic Peranakan architectural style. In 1997, the building was converted to the Asian Civilisations Museum, showcasing various artefacts and facets of the different Asian Cultures living in Singapore. In 2006, the ACM was moved to the Former Empress Palace Building, and the Old Tao Nan School was closed for renovations. In 2008, it was reopened as the Peranakan Museum.

Architecture of the Peranakan Museum

The Old Tao Nan School building serves as the venue for the Peranakan Museum. Built in the early 20th century, one can find many elements of neoclassical architecture such as the use of columns and pilasters, topped off by an ornate capitol designed in the Corinthian style. The design of the building has made adaptations for the tropical climate, resulting in the large windows and airy verandahs, which allow for natural ventilation. The rooms within the building surround a large central hall, similar to the layout of bungalows of the Straits Settlements. A pair of black cast-iron eagles adorn the gate posts at the entrance, a feature that has been preserved and restored from the original construction of this magnificent structure.

Tips For Visiting Peranakan Museum

Photography without flash and videography are permitted with handheld cameras in the main galleries.

How To Reach Peranakan Museum Singapore

  • By Bus: Bus lines 124, 147, 166, 174, 174E and 190 are the best routes to reach this museum. One can alight at Stamford Ct, a 2-minute walk from the museum.
  • By MRT: The Bras Basah Station and the City Hall station are situated within walking distance of the museum, making it convenient for visitors from various parts of Singapore.

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