The opinion of a Chinese Town was preliminary conceived by Sir Stamford Raffles, who is the laminitis of Singapore. Stamford Raffles modern a idea to posse the Chinese immigrants from China in cooperation for effort and lodging. This he feels would conceive a facility of neighbourhood among the group of the aforementioned race and culture, and aid them seal fuzz with alacrity.

Some researchers have speculated that the shophouses was a fusion of the narrow-fronted houses that are a beaten sight in Amsterdam near the ones of Southern China, peculiarly in Guangzhou and Fujian. ('Shophouses' would be rows of shops that has an upper level for residence, which by and large resides the clan and the administrator of the shops.) Some see it as a repeat from Raffles' suffer in Malaysia. His instructions to the Singapore Town Planning Committee in 1822 stated that houses should have a uniform category of outlook all having a gallery of a dependable depth, start on to all sides as a around-the-clock and amenable hallway on respectively line-up of the motorway. This belike led to the "five-foot way" that the shophouses in Chinatown are notable for.

In the old Chinatown, abundant hawkers crinkly up the occupied streets to cause a breathing and provided convenient meals for labourers method neighbour the Singapore River. The streets were besides important for bull carts, which gave the Chinese name "Niu Che Shui" to the contribution Chinatown. All kinds of businesses flourished as more Chinese immigrants arrived and much shops and warehouses were reinforced close by. But lots buildings in Chinatown were obliterated during the Japanese activity of Singapore in the Second World War, and nearby were any which were lacerate downward because of immoderate aggravation of the generally wooden structures. In new years, through with the government's preservation efforts, umteen of these buildings have been fixed to their former charms, gum olibanum substance a unparalleled skylight to the past, a coup d'oeil at how the advance Chinese settlers lived and toiled.

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