Welcome to our step-by-step guide on how to get to Thian Hock Keng Temple Singapore using MRT. Regardless of whether you are a local or a visitor to Singapore this is a very historical Temple to visit in Chinatown. We’ve been fortunate enough to visit this temple on multiple occasions and would like to share our experience using the MRT to get there.
Unlike many cities around the world, Singapore has an extensive public transportation system that is world class. You can literally fly into Changi Airport and spend a week in the city without stepping foot in a single-vehicle throughout this entire period of time.
Using the MRT to get to Thian Hock Keng Temple not only will help to save you some time and money but it will also save the environment because there will be less vehicle emissions. Our goal is to make this journey to Thian Hock Keng Temple by MRT as straightforward as possible.
Why should you visit Thian Hock Keng Temple in Singapore?
Thian Hock Keng Temple was built in between 1839 – 1840 and is considered to be one of the oldest and most important Hokkien temples in all of Singapore. If you are planning a visit to Singapore’s Chinatown, then this is considered to be one of the most famous places to visit and a ‘must-see’.
The architectural design of Thian Hock Keng Temple is particularly impressive, and quite photogenic. It was built in traditional southern Chinese architectural style and was assembled without the use of nails unlike most structures. While you are visiting this temple you will see intricate wood carvings of dragons and phoenixes and impressive sculptures.
Over the years Thian Hock Keng Temple has experienced some renovations. A restoration project which took place in the early 2000’s won 4 architectural awards. These awards even included the most prestigious award from UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage 2001 Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation Building. Needless to say, the management of this cultural and religious landmark in Singapore continues to be impressive.
While you were planning a visit to Thian Hock Keng Temple keep in mind that there are also other cultural sites and points of interest that you should explore in Chinatown as well. We have included some of the major attractions below for your personal convenience:
Sri Mariamman Temple
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
Thian Hock Keng Temple
There are also tons of budget accommodation options around Thian Hock Keng Temple as well, so many tourists stay in this area to save some cash. Some good examples of accommodation in this area include:
Capsule Pod Boutique Hostel
You can walk to either one of these in two minutes from the station.
Getting to Thian Hock Keng Temple Singapore using MRT.
Step 1: Find the nearest MRT Station from your hotel.
Based on our extensive experience in Singapore we think that one of the first things you should do is book a room near and MRT station. Singapore often gets regarded as a very expensive place to travel and move around. But this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case with careful planning.
One way that you can reduce the costs during your trip and save time is by getting a property that is only two or three minutes away from a convenient MRT station. Consequently, you will actually find no shortage of available properties within the city that are close to stations. Hotel and apartment developers have done an effective job of making property locations very convenient for travelers and business people.
There are literally hundreds upon hundreds of hotels in Singapore but the three that we have listed below are quite popular with tourists visiting the city because of their Prime locations and accessibility to MRT stations. We are not direct partners of these properties but we do realize that they are very well-managed and that they receive extremely high, positive review scores from guests:
Marina Bay Sands Resort (Bayfront Station)
Raffles Singapore (Esplanade Station)
The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore (Raffles Place Station)
Beside each hotel we have listed the closest MRT station for your convenience.
Step 2: Decide on the type of MRT ticket to reach Thian Hock Keng Temple.
If you want to use the MRT system in Singapore first make sure that you know what kind of ticket you plan on using for your trip to Thian Hock Keng Temple.
Overall, there are three primary forms of tickets that you can use for MRT rides in Singapore
- A Singapore Tourist Pass
- A stored value card that can be used for multiple trips
- A single trip ticket
The type of ticket that you choose to use really depends on your own personal preferences and circumstances. For instance, if you plan on staying in the city for over three days then you’re probably not going to get a Singapore tourist pass. However, if you are only going to use the MRT once or twice while you are in the city then you’re probably going to get a single trip ticket.
Singapore tourist passes are designed for short-term visitors to the city. If you are only visiting Singapore for 1-3 days then these can be the best option for you. We recommend these cards to tourists who plan on using public transportation extensively while they are in the city. For example, if you are an active person and plan on using the MRT and buses a lot while you are in Singapore then this is by far the best option.
Single trip tickets are your no-frills option for using the MRT in Singapore. When you arrive at a station you can purchase a ticket from a ticketing machine. The benefit of using these types of tickets is that you are not obligated to use the MRT a lot while you are there. However, they are not the best option if you want to use the MRT extensively because you will pay more per trip than stored value cards. Similarly, single journey tickets can take more time to get issued because you have to wait at ticketing machines every time you want to go somewhere.
Popular with Locals
Stored value cards are a popular option for people spending more than three days in Singapore. This includes locals, expats and some tourists. We’ll have to purchase these tickets up front and make sure that you have a cash balance running on the card. However once this is done then you do not have to wait at a ticketing machine every time you enter an MRT Station. You simply tap in and tap out of the system every time. Also, keep in mind that these stored value cards cost less per trip than single journey tickets. If you were only using the MRT once or twice while you were in the city then you might not want to deal with the additional headaches of getting a card and then trying to get your money reimbursed when you leave the country.
If want to buy a stored-value card there are two different types in Singapore:
- Nets FlashPay card
You can purchase these cards at TransitLink Ticket Offices. Afterwards, proceed to these merchants for subsequent top ups:
- DBS/POSB/OCBC Automatic Teller Machines
- 7-Eleven stores
- General Ticketing Machines,
- SingPost Outlets
- AXS Stations
- Add Value Machines
- TransitLink Ticket Offices
Step 3: Buy a ticket to Telok Ayer Station.
The closest and most practical station to go to in order to reach Thian Hock Keng Temple is Telok Ayer Station.
Although Thian Hock Keng Temple is considered to be in Chinatown don’t be confused by simply going to Chinatown Station if you want the closest walk to reach this Temple. You can also go to Chinatown Station but the walk will be definitely longer than by going to Telok Ayer.
If you do have a Singapore tourist pass or a stored-value card it won’t really require much action for you to go to Telok Ayer Station. Just simply ‘tap’ into the MRT station closest to your hotel or location. The amount will be automatically taken off your card when you get off at Telok Ayer.
Single journey ticket users will have to state Telok Ayer as the terminal station for this trip to Thian Hock Keng Temple when they are purchasing the ticket.
Step 4: Take the MRT to Telok Ayer Station
When you were planning your trip to Thian Hock Keng Temple and Telok Ayer Station it is a wise decision to have some familiarity with the MRT line that you will be traveling on and also the neighboring stations.
Telok Ayer Station is part of the following line:
Downtown Line (shown in blue colour on MRT Map)
The neighbouring stations to Telok Ayer are:
Chinatown Station (North of Telok Ayer)
Downtown Station (South of Telok Ayer)
You can expect to hear verbal announcements being made on the MRT as you approach Telok Ayer. Typically, they will announce what the upcoming station will be on the line. This is done to make sure that you are close to the exit when you are supposed to get off the train. You can also refer to the signs above the exit doors on the trains to show you where you are on a given line.
Step 5: Walk from Telok Ayer Station to Thian Hock Keng Temple
Telok Ayer Station has a total of three exits to choose from (A, B, and C). This is fewer than most MRT stations in the city, which makes it easy to navigate.
You should take Exit A from Telok Ayer Station to walk to Thian Hock Keng Temple.
This exit will bring you directly out onto Cross Street. Then, walk west along Telok Ayer St. to reach the Temple.
The walk from Telok Ayer Station to Thian Hock Keng Temple should only take you 1-2 minutes. The Temple is only 150 m from the station.
You should be there in no time!
Selecting the Best Hotel near Thian Hock Keng Temple
Thian Hock Keng Temple Situated along the Southern end of Chinatown. Therefore, the hotel recommendations directly around the Temple are different from most other Chinatown attractions.
Chinatown in general is considered to be one of the best areas in the entire city for budget accommodation choices. You can find a wide variety of hostels and boutique hotels that specifically cater towards travelers that are trying to save a bit of cash with their accommodation choices in the city. Keep in mind that Singapore is not regarded as a cheap place to visit. Properties such as Marina Bay Sands and Raffles Singapore are very expensive for the average tourist.
This creates a very healthy boutique hotel market within the city.
Most of the hotels are densely located around Chinatown Station. However, this is a bit far from Thian Hock Keng Temple. therefore, if you do want to stay near Chinatown station where other attractions are you can choose from some of the recommendations below:
Hotel 1888 Collection (8.4/10 review score)
Wink Capsule Hostel @ Thian Hock Keng Temple (8.4/10 review score)
CUBE Boutique Capsule Hotel @ Thian Hock Keng Temple (8.6/10 review score)
Top Rated Properties
However, if you do want to be very close to Thian Hock Keng Temple, some of the top rated properties are:
Ann Siang House (4-star, 8.9/10 review score)
Draper Startup House for Entrepreneurs (1-star, 8.9/10 review score)
These properties are all within walking distance of Thian Hock Keng Temple.
The two properties listed below are also within walking distance of Chinatown station. Two more upscale options that are within walking distance of Chinatown station. They are decently affordable relative to other hotels of similar quality in Marina Bay and Orchard Road. They also receive very strong, positive review scores from verified guests:
Capri by Fraser China Square Singapore (4-star, 8.9/10 review score)
Parkroyal Collection Pickering Singapore (5-star, 9.1/10 review score)
Please take note that we do not have any direct partnerships with these properties. Our recommendations are based on verified to guest review scores from leading websites at the time of writing. Therefore the scores are subject to change over time. Our suggestions are based on review score and location relative to Thian Hock Keng Temple.
More questions about getting to Thian Hock Keng Temple by MRT?
After you have read this guide on how to get to Thian Hock Keng Temple Singapore using MRT let us know if you have more questions that you would like to ask. We would be happy to assist you further.
While you were visiting this area of Singapore also keep in mind that there are many other worthwhile attractions in Chinatown. Therefore, you can easily spend either a half-day or full-day sightseeing around Thian Hock Keng Temple. Some of the best attractions here include:
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
Sri Mariamman Temple
Chinatown Street Market
Chinatown Heritage Centre
A wise idea is to create an itinerary that includes all of these attractions.
To make your trip to Chinatown a bit more efficient you might want to consider taking the MRT to Chinatown Station first and then walking through Chinatown and exiting South at Telok Ayer Station. This will make sure that you see all the interesting streets making up this awesome area of Singapore.