An Experiential Journey -'Trails of Tan Ah Huat' with Let's Go Tour Singapore
‘Trails of Tan Ah Huat, Singapore 1920s’ is the latest programme by local experiential tour agency, Let’s Go Tour Singapore. What I found unique about it is that it allows me to explore Singapore and view Singapore from the perspective of a tourist.
‘Trails of Tan Ah Huat, Singapore 1920s’ is a storytelling tour which transports one to the 1920s while following Ah Huat, a fictional charter to some of the most iconic landmarks and hidden gems of Singapore.
The journey commenced at Let’s Go Tour Singapore’s office located at 462 Crawford Lane #01-51 with an introductory video and a briefing conducted by an experienced tour guide with an avid passion in Singapore’s history. Clad in a white shirt, grey bermudas and an old-fashioned straw hat, he played the character, Ah Huat. We were also given a white Good Morning towel, a hat, a portable receiver connected to earphones for listening to the instructions of the tour guide and a bottle of mineral water to keep ourselves hydrated throughout the tour. I was a little apprehensive at first as I have not cycled for a couple of years and I did not know what to expect. However, I decided to go ahead with it.
The paths were generally smooth, however the tour could be challenging for people who are not used to cycling long distance. Nevertheless, the guide was professional and ensured our safety by keeping a close watch on us. In addition, there were several rest-stops where we could sip some water and give our tired legs a break.
Snippets of 'Trails of Tan Ah Huat'
The 4-hour bicycle tour is specially curated by co-founder of Let’s Go Tour Singapore, Robin Loh who is also the poster boy for 'Trails of Tan Ah Huat'. This tour centres around Tan Ah Huat’s entrepreneurial life, his friends, his passions and his love. As we cycle through the 'Trails of Tan Ah Huat', we got to see and understand the differences between modern Singapore and Singapore in the 1920s through multimedia slideshows on an iPad and crafted story telling narrated by the guide. We learned about the cultures and history behind characters such as Muhamad Zulfri (Malay Fisherman), Mr Singh (Doorman) and Lim Mei Hua.
Some of the iconic places covered include Kampong Glam, Raffles Hotel, Fullerton Bay, Collyer Quay, Singapore River, Chinatown, Jinrikisha Station and Majestic Theatre.
We learned that Chinatown was home to brothels and opium dens and Sago Lane used to be a street of death houses for the poor and terminally ill to spend their last days and get a proper burial before they pass on. Smith Street was a street well-known for brothels and there were many stories of prostitutes jumping off the shophouses as they were treated poorly and deprived of seeking medical treatment even when they were ill. The tour helped us understand the challenges and plights of the immigrants in the 1920s.
When we cycled to Chinatown, we took a tea break at Nanyang Old Coffee which reminded me of an old school coffeeshop. This eatery has a mini museum section which abounds with antiques and crockery of yesteryears.
Overall, the tour was very interactive, insightful, enriching and educational, allowing us to understand the history, tradition and heritage of Singapore. It is priced at S$99 per person. To register for the tour, please visit here.
Let’s Go Tour Singapore is located at Block 462 Crawford Lane #01-57, Singapore 190462.
Thank you Agnes and ATMC for the invite.