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Time Required : 1-2 hours

Entry Fee : SGD 45
Visits by prior appointment only

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The Intan, Singapore Overview

The Intan is an unconventional museum that preserves all things Peranakan over 20 years now. Extremely famous for its signature tea experience, the Intan is concealed in a Joo Chiat Terrace House. Visitors especially come here to witness the Peranakan tea culture which the Intan museum-cum-house perfectly does justice to. It is a must-visit to have a sneak-peek into the grandeur of the heritage and way of living of the Peranakans.

Alvin Yapp, the curator of the Intan (meaning a rose-cut diamond in Malay) dedicated his home to his passion for the Peranakan culture and converted it into a splendid museum which is a spectacular concoction of Singaporean artwork and modern interiors. Since this place is a house converted into a museum, it does not have signs and placards for each artefact. Alvin himself gives his visitors a tour around his home, excitedly sharing information about his collection. He gladly answers all the doubts and questions about the collection and Peranakan culture along with recalling stories of how an artefact was acquired and its significance in the home. Alvin's tour sessions are more of a conversational experience than informational.

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The Intan Guided Tour

The guided tours at the Intan have to be booked well in advance. Impromptu bookings for the tour are not done just like the Intan visit is strictly by prior appointment.

Types of guided tours at Intan
There are two types of tours at the Intan. The first one is The Intan Tea Hour which takes approximately one hour to complete and costs around SGD 60 per visitor. The second one is The Intan Lunch/Dinner tour which takes around two hours to complete.

About the Intan guided tours
The above-mentioned tours include refreshing tea along with homemade knick-knacks. These guided tours offer a better understanding of Peranakan history and culture and a glimpse of the traditional and lavish Peranakan wedding solemnisation. The Intan tours beautifully express the chronological tale of Peranakan heritage that is weaved into the traditional art of explicit embroidery and beadwork in splendid colours by the Nyonya ladies. 

Intan Tea Experience
At the end of the tour, there is a tea session which is the visitor's most favourite part of the Intan. This hour long-tea session is an excellent chance to experience authentic and delicious Peranakan snack like the Nyonya Kueh, Kueh Dada and so on. All of these are specially prepared by Alvin's mother and served on fancy, delicate Peranakan crockery. If you're lucky, Alvin and his sister may also give you an excellent piano performance. 

How to book the guided tours
The first step to book a guided tour is by getting in touch with the team at the Intan through e-mail after which the team will walk you through it.

Note - Photography at the Intan is allowed but only at the lower level of the house.

Exploring The Intan

The collection at the Intan captures the essence of Peranakan history and way of life. One can find intricately designed pots, exquisite jewellery, beadwork, embroidery, cutlery rooted in Peranakan culture.

Jewellery exhibits
Jewellery exhibitions are held from time to time at the Intan and are quite looked forward to by both locals and tourists. The jewellery involves dainty earrings, brooches, neckpieces in gold and diamond. The baubles have designs of birds, butterflies, flowers and dragons primarily. Such precious pieces were worn by women in the victorian era.

Everyday items
The Intan has thousands of Peranakan items on display from eye-catching pieces to slippers, items of daily use like Tengkat food containers, tiffin carriers, spittoons and other enamelware. The furniture, ceramic wares, shophouse tiles and other batik work elevates the charm of the Intan. Alvin Yapp, the owner of Intan is an ardent collector and has a personal collection of beautiful Peranakan heirlooms. His shoe collection is tasteful beyond belief as it encompasses more than two hundred pair of shoes.

Art shows, musicals and global reach
Art shows conducted at the Intan are a sheer delight for the visitors who come from far and wide. Musical recitals at the Intan are also very famous. The violin recital by Alvin’s sister is a melodious treat to look forward to. The Intan's collection has been displayed at the most prestigious places in Croatia, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Moscow, London and Barcelona.

Right at the entrance of the Intan is a front parlour which, back in the day, was an area for the reception of the visitors and guests. As one climbs up the stairs, one can find enamel pots and attractive artefacts that are flanked on every step. The walls of the house are decorated with photographs of Alvin’s ancestors as a mark of respect and gratitude towards them. The vintage-styled mirrors hanging on the walls are reminiscent of the Victorian age. However, the most appealing part of the Intan is the ceiling which is another beautiful work of Peranakan art that is entirely covered with Tingkats, metalwork and enamel lunchbox cases.

The experience
Interesting items fill every nook and corner of this house turned museum. However, unlike other museums, the Intan does not have informational cards near its exhibits. This is so because Alvin aims to give a personal touch to every visit and wants the experience to be more conversational and experiential.

How to Reach The Intan

The Intan is easily accessible from Hillview MRT Station that lies 10 minutes away from Exit B to the Intan. B43301 is the nearest bus stop that lies at a distance of 1 minute. Bus 172 reaches here.

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