Fancy traveling back in time to experience Singapore in the 1920s while on a bicycle or an e-scooter. That’s what the Trails of Tan Ah Hua, Singapore 1920s tour seeks to do.
The tour is conducted by Let’s Go Tour Singapore, an experiential tour agency, known for their curated bike and e-scooter tours around Singapore. The home-grown Singapore agency is highly rated by customers on Tripadvisor and was even awarded the Tripadvisor’s Hall of Fame (Certificate of Excellence for 5 consecutive years).
Over the weekend, my son Asher and I went on their Trails of Tan Ah Hua bicycle tour which started at 9am on a Sunday morning. We met our tour guide at the shopfront of the tour agency and were presented with a safety instructional video before we proceed to pick our bikes.
Our tour guide for the day was a chatty young lad who had been working with the agency for over 5 years, leading bicycle and e-scooter tours. He is knowledgeable about Singapore history and was able to answer most of the questions we posed to him throughout the tour.
During the tour, the guide morphed into a storyteller to reenact and trace the footsteps of the fictional Tan Ah Huat character. Aided with multimedia assets and colourful props, the guide tells the story of Tan Ah Huat, a coolie turned medicinal oil salesman to recount the story of a typical migrant worker in the 1920s.
We will stop at various historical landmarks, monuments and heritage sites for our guide to share stories about colonial Singapore, told through the lens of Tan Ah Huat.
The story of Tan Ah Huat unfolds as visitors arrive at each location where the guides will share his exciting story of what happened then at the exact spot, people he encountered and what he did. Visitors will get to learn about the cultures and a glimpse of history behind characters like Muhamad Zulfri (Malay Fisherman), Mr Singh (Doorman), Lim Mei Hua as the story unfolds.
Beyond the bicycle route, there is a pitstop around the 2/3 mark of the tour whereby we stopped for kopi and tea at Nanyang Coffee and a short walking tour around Chinatown.
We also stopped by a wall mural by a local artist to take some very instagrammable photos:
In line with the Singapore Tourism Board’s Passion Made Possible Global Campaign, Trails of Tan Ah Huat seeks to bring Singapore Stories to life, to excite, interest, educate tourists about Singapore’s history and culture through a storytelling approach for a complete and immersive experience that they will remember deeply.
There’s a surprise ending to the story of Tan Ah Huat at the end, but I won’t give away the details to spoil it. It was definitely something unexpected for me and the story did touch me because of the surprise ending. While we are all familar with the stories of successful rag-to-rich self-made migrants like Tan Tock Seng, there are many others who are less fortunate but nonetheless, contributed to the early nation-building of Singapore. This tour is a good introduction to the story and Asher gets to learn a bit about these.
We find the Trails of Tan Ah Huat tour an immersive storytelling experience and would highly recommend it if you like to learn more about Singapore’s colonial past while out and about cycling on the streets of Singapore. This is especially ideal if you have foreign visitors in town and am looking for an innovative and more interesting way to host them.
Tour Duration / Fee
The tour duration is 4 hours and is priced at $99 per pax (adult). 10% discount for kids aged 9 years and below. Each visitor will receive a straw hat and ‘Good Morning’ towel. The tour price includes use of bicycle and helmet, a dedicated licensed tour guide and storyteller, bottled water, poncho as well as local drinks and snacks at designated rest stops.
Mode of Tour
By bicycle (E-scooter available, additional charge applies)
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