Peranakan Trail


The Peranakan Trail was customised for the Peranakan Association and guided by Chew Keng Kiat, Peter Pak and Gan Su-lin. This report was documented and contributed by Gan Su-lin.

A group photo by which to remember the Peranakan Association of Singapore’s visit to Bukit Brown. They reported enjoying the learning journey and the Brownies had lots of fun too (photo Gan Su-lin)


Lovely overcast and breezy day for a guided visit. Today’s tour for the Peranakan Association of Singapore took in the graves of Peranakan pioneers who have left legacies through their own commercial, political, or social endeavours, or the efforts of the illustrious descendants they produced (photo Gan Su-lin)


First stop, Mrs Tan Cheng Siong, the grandmother of current President of Singapore, Tony Tan Keng Yam. (photo Gan Su-lin)

Visitors were particularly impressed by the tomb photo of Mrs Tan Cheng Siong; minimally degraded after many decades of weather exposure. (photo Gan Su-lin)

Brownie Peter Pak regaling the visitors with an explanation of tomb brickwork while waving sprigs of Piper sarmentosum and Murraya koenigii leaves used in Peranankan cooking . (photo Gan Su-lin)


One of the rewards of Brownie work is reuniting descendants with their long-lost forefathers. Cheong Koon Seng’s descendant in a quiet moment at the Koon Seng cluster of grave (photo Gan Su-lin)

The cameras were whipped out a lot today and, hopefully, there will be another write-up on BB in the Association’s publications (photo Gan Su-lin)

More on Cheong Choon Seng here

It’s not a flourishing bunga raya bush. It’s Peter Pak! (photo Gan Su-lin)


Keng Kiat introduces the visitors to Tan Yong Thian, pioneering distiller of the essential oil, patchouli. They marveled at the tomb restoration work undertaken by grand-daughter, Brownie Tachi (大姐)Rosalind Tan. (photo Gan Su-lin)


Visiting Khoo Kay Hian, pioneer stock broker was an opportunity to see first-hand a different grave design and style. (photo Gan Su-lin)

“If you look over there, you’ll see we’re now on a hill. You’re looking down the hill.” As it does with many visitors to BB, the intricate tomb carvings on the See Teong Wah cluster of tombs drew admiration and appreciation. (photo Gan Su-lin)

En route to visit Municipal Commissioner Tan Kheam Hock, after whom Kheam Hock Road is named. Another note was made of graves with re-buried (photo Gan Su-lin)

Learning about the many and significant national and social development contributions of Tan Kheam Hock. Query was made of the fenced-in graves just above his, and, thus, was shared the tragic tale of the death of Dr Essel Tan.remains. (photo Gan Su-lin)

Find out more on Tan Kheam Hock here

“I am bigger in girth than the headstone of Tan Kheam Hock !” says Peter Pak (photo Gan Su-lin)

A visit was also made to the Tan Keong Saik quartet of tombs. In the foreground, Baba Peter Wee makes an offering of fragrant flowers onto the tomb mound of his grand-uncle, Tan Cheng Tit. (photo Gan Su-lin)


Peter gets cosy with the famous painted Sikh guard at Chew Geok Leong’s tomb. Lessons were learned about living tombs. (ohoto Gan Su-lin)

Find out  more on what is a live tomb here

Brownies are always learning! Today, our Peranakan visitors helped us notice that Pang Cheng Yean’s double grave is flanked by that of his mother and of his wife’s mother. (photo Gan Su-lin)

Find out  more on Pang Cheng Yean who was a pioneer banker here


Footnote: Customised tours on request can be considered for organisations at a suggested  honorarium which goes to defraying expenses for outreach activities. Please email a.t.bukitbrown@gmail.com. All public tours are free of charge.