Your picture: Working my way through hawker centres to discover Singapore’s charms, Forum News & Top Stories


Having visited only fewer than half of the 47 prefectures in Japan, I was quite impressed by Straits Times Japan correspondent Walter Sim’s remarkable achievement of having visited 42 already (Discovering charms of Japan’s “least attractive” prefectures, Dec 12).

I am making up for that by discovering Singapore’s charms through visiting its hawker centres. Out of about 100 places nationwide, I have visited about 40 so far over about seven years.

Even though yummy chicken rice and fragrant kopi can be found everywhere, there are some hawker centres that stand out for their signature dishes, distinctive vibe or unique design.

But the common attractive feature among the hawker centres here is definitely the cohesive community feel and strong bonding among people.

I especially love places with a relatively long history, such as Zion Riverside Food Centre and Tanglin Halt Market (above). The latter’s design reminds me of a church and I will miss it when it is gone.

Once I step into these premises, I feel like I am transported back to my childhood in the 1970s in Japan and enjoy some nostalgic memories, something that is now getting harder to experience in Japan.

By exploring the rest of the hawker centres through more lovely excursions from Jurong where I live, I hope to keep on discovering more of Singapore’s charms.

Kazuhiro Nishioka