Old Waterloo Street Temple Photos Give Us A Nostalgic Look At Simpler Times In A Pre-Covid Era

Vintage Photos Of Waterloo Street Temple Evoke Nostalgia Of Vibrant Festivities

The iconic Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple is one of the most visited Buddhist temples in Singapore.

However, it had to close doors to thousands of devotees on important occasions this year in light of the pandemic.

Waterloo Street Temple To Close On 26 Feb & 9 Mar To Prevent Crowds During The Pandemic

That’s perhaps why a vintage album of the temple booming with festive crowds has gone viral recently.


Not only do we get a glimpse of the temple in the olden days, the booming crowds also  remind us of vibrant pre-Covid times.

Photos show Waterloo Street temple decades ago

On Tuesday (13 Apr), Facebook page Daily Quote Singapore shared photos of the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple in the 50s and 60s.

Demolished in the 70s and rebuilt in 1982, the precious photo shows the site’s original courtyard architecture.


The black and white shot captures devotees flocking to the temple for prayers and worships.

Built in 1884, the Waterloo Street temple is perhaps most famous for its Chinese New Year festivities.


Crowds gather in festive clothes to visit the Guan Yin goddess, and offer joss sticks for a new year of blessing.

Peddlers were also setting up stalls beside the temple, providing visitors with flowers and perhaps ice cream for the sweltering heat.


You can also see the precursor of Fortune Centre right beside the temple, which is now hailed as a vegetarian food heaven.

Temple booming with devotees

Besides getting hit by waves of nostalgia, netizens also point to the road in front of Buddhist temple.


Currently an iconic footpath, Waterloo Street apparently used to be a regular road open to motor vehicles.


Others reminisce their childhood memories with their ah ma and ah gong, in a time when Singapore’s streets were filled with rickshaws.


Nostalgia of the bygone times

In an unprecedented time of isolation and social distancing, such photos do leave us with mixed feelings.

Thanks to the vintage photos, we get to see an iconic site in its olden days.

However, the booming crowds are also a stark contrast with festivals amid the pandemic.

We hope that one day, such vibrancy will return to our streets.

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Featured image adapted from Facebook.

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