Siem Reap and Singapore’s Shophouses: Undeniable Charm

Amidst a backdrop of high-rises, and SIngapore's booming technology, stand proudly the shophouses at the front. Shophouses form an intrinsic role in the urban charm and plan of Singapore, which embraces both its history and future with much gusto. This we need to learn immediately here in the Philippines.

Amidst a backdrop of high-rises, and SIngapore’s booming technology, stand proudly the shophouses at the front. Shophouses form an intrinsic role in the urban charm and plan of Singapore, which embraces both its history and future with much gusto. This we need to learn immediately here in the Philippines.

An undisputed asset of any place is its architectural heritage. The variety or perhaps the uniformity of structures appeal to tourists and locals alike. Beauty seen in edifices come alive though when these buildings are still either used or in good condition. But alas, other hallmarks that give a structure added value are age and of course, aesthetic appeal.

In my two international destinations this recent summer, I could confidently say that one common feature that I found most charming was the shophouse. Siem Reap, on the one hand, boasted on the ancient Angkor temples while on the other hand, Singapore had its highrises, high-tech amenities and fantastic attractions to lure in the tourists. But both destinations actually have something in common, and that was the shophouse.

A shophouse is a common structure found in Southeast Asia. Basically, a shophouses is a house that has a shop. Most of these though are found in Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Cambodia.

What makes them charming?

Well first are there sizes. They are typically not imposing and massive. Secondly, they sport intricate and sometimes, flamboyant facades which truly appeal to the visitor. Finally, in these modern times, it’s the mixed use that truly interest tourists, historians, urban planners and the like. How once simple affairs have now turned into clubs, boutique hotels, and the like are really inspiring.

Here below are just some of the photos I took of some shophouses in Siem Reap and Singapore.

Basking in Siem Reap's Indochina feel as enshrined in the shophouses

Basking in Siem Reap’s Indochina feel as enshrined in the shophouses

That French colonial flair felt in the shophouses was really relaxing and uplifting

That French colonial flair felt in the shophouses was really relaxing and uplifting

Clean and sleek is the end-effect of this shophouse

Clean and sleek is the end-effect of this shophouse

Mexico in the shophouse! A Mexican restaurant calls this shophouse home in Pub Street, Siem Reap

Mexico in the shophouse! A Mexican restaurant calls this shophouse home in Pub Street, Siem Reap

Airy and without airconditioning, this shophouse restaurant just gives off so naturally its laid-back appeal

Airy and without airconditioning, this shophouse restaurant just gives off so naturally its laid-back appeal

Shophouses in Little India

Shophouses in Little India

A bustling restuarant in a shophouse in Chinatown, Singapore

A bustling restuarant in a shophouse in Chinatown, Singapore

Notice the intricate carvings on the facade of the grey building.

Notice the intricate carvings on the facade of the grey building.

The shophouses across the avenue obviously sport retrofitted facades.

The shophouses across the avenue obviously sport retrofitted facades.

Clarke Quay and its shophouses all lit at night; all reused for modern (very Western) needs

Clarke Quay and its shophouses all lit at night; all reused for modern (very Western) needs

Pub Street serves as Siem Reap's main strip of social life. It is ligned with shophouses, which are reused as clubs, cafes and restaurants

Pub Street serves as Siem Reap’s main strip of social life. It is ligned with shophouses, which are reused as clubs, cafes and restaurants

About hechoayer

Things made yesterday still influence us until today. Things made today will influence us tomorrow. Things of the essence such as faith, culture, food, music and values should never disappear nor eroded by the times. Instead, these must be recorded, lived and shared. Something made yesterday - hecho ayer - can be tomorrow's saving grace. Never ignore the past.
This entry was posted in CULTURA, GUIA: TOURS, VIAJES and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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