The Intan

The Intan, Singapore: Hours, Address, The Intan Reviews: 5/5

7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Monday
7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Tuesday
7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Wednesday
7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Thursday
7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Friday
7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Saturday
7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Sunday
7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
About
VISITS ARE STRICTLY BY APPOINTMENTS Founded in 2003, The Intan is a Peranakan heritage home-museum. The brainchild of antique collector and owner Alvin Yapp, The Intan (meaning 'rose-cut diamond' in Malay) enlightens its guests about the multi-facetted aspects of Peranakan culture through a kaleidoscope of rare historical artefacts, intriguing personal stories, and authentic dining experiences. Located in the heart of Joo Chiat, a traditional Peranakan enclave and Singapore's first heritage town (2011), The Intan offers personalised tours conducted by Alvin, which culminate with authentic Peranakan tea sessions and dinners inspired by his mother. The Intan also doubles up as a unique event space, having hosted a variety of activities that included jewellery exhibitions, art shows and violin recitals. Voted Best Overall Experience in Singapore's inaugural Museum Roundtable Awards, The Intan has been featured internationally on CNN Travel, Discovery Channel and National Geographic. Singapore Travelholic lists The Intan as the top 5 Peranakan activities to do in Singapore. With a vision to promote Peranakan culture beyond Singapore, The Intan's collection has been showcased in places such as Croatia, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Moscow, London and Barcelona.
Suggested duration
< 1 hour
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Neighbourhood: Geylang East
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5.0
585 reviews
Excellent
477
Very good
93
Average
7
Poor
3
Terrible
5

ejn843
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates1 contribution
May 2022 • Family
What a wonderful display of antiques and artifacts. Alvin’s passion to preserve and share Peranakan history and culture was remarkable.
He is a friendly and gracious host.
Valuable experience.
Written 7 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

ArunAggarwal05
Singapore, Singapore6 contributions
Apr 2022
Don't go. Complete rip-off and waste of time and money.

1) 160.50 sgd for Family of 3: less than 5 minutes worth of materials to see. Commentary some basic but nothing here worth this much money.

2) why sell child tickets when the space is not child friendly at all: "don't walk here as edge is sharp", "cannot touch anything as fragile", "please carry child"

3) tea and snacks discontinued because of COVID: gentleman please put up on the website clearly if that is the case. Why hide or keep it grey.

Complete waste. Can think of 100 different ways that I could have spent this 160.50 sgd and 1 hour better.
Written 19 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Mr Arun Aggarwal, I am sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy the experience. We have tried reaching out to you but unfortunately have been unsuccessful Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to understand what happened and how we can improve 1. The Intan celebrates 19 years of sharing Peranakan culture locally and internationally. Awarded Best Museum Experience Award, Best Tour Experience Award, Best in Heritage Award and featured in National Geographic, CNBC, CondeNast Traveller etc, the home museum showcases more than 5000 Peranakan artifacts, including the largest collection of beaded shoes and tiffin carriers. Perhaps you may have missed many of the artefacts as I remember you needed to care for your son during the visit 2. We have hosted numerous families with children and school groups of up of 40 children and everyone loved the experience! Like any museum, we try our best to ensure the safety of our visitors and the artifacts. Being a home museum, we do our best to allow our visitors admire some of the beautiful pieces without barriers or glass showcase. Children are our FAVORITE visitors as they are often enthusiastic, honest and inquisitive! As a responsible museum, we do explicitly share some do and don'ts when we notice/ anticipate safety risks or when parents need our help :) Eg I do recall your wife asking our assistance to remind your son the importance of mask wearing within the museum as required by the law as he was reluctant. Similarly, we had to advise where some sharp corners were in the house as well as asked his understanding not to touch some of the fragile display pieces. Incidentally you may recall it was also another visitor that assisted in requesting your child to be respectful of the visit? 3. I am sorry you missed our COVID 19 advice on our website which indicated that we are not allowed to serve tea and snacks during the tours as there are families from different households during the tour. Your booking was made by a lady so she may have overlooked in updating you about the advisory. We also did indicate that everyone will have a choice of a Peranakan gift worth up to $15 which you and your family each also were entitled to and received ) As our passion to share the Peranakan culture in the most memorable way, it would be my pleasure to invite you and your wife back again to the museum , and perhaps for your child to visit us by himself. We sometimes notice children enjoy the visit better without their parents around.
Written 25 April 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

elizxie2022
1 contribution
Feb 2022
Small place but sizeable collection. Provides collector's perspective to Peranakan heritage. Alvin provides interesting anecdotes.
Only downside in my opinion is that it is overprice for a one hour tour.
Written 8 February 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sheryl L
Singapore, Singapore24 contributions
Dec 2021 • Friends
We had a wonderful private dinner at The Intan, which is a real gem in the cute neighbourhood of Joo Chiat. The food was authentic and with generous portions. We left the rice bowls bare!
Alvin is a delightful host, well versed in all things peranakan. It was a lovely evening in the warmth of his peranakan treasure trove that he has so generously opened to the public.
Written 14 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mel
Singapore, Singapore8 contributions
Dec 2021 • Couples
The tour was a really lovely experience. The stories and history shared by Baba Alvin were very interesting, and I believe both locals and tourists alike will enjoy learning more about the Peranakan culture. The private collection, although not as extensive as your typical museum, is exquisite, and clearly holds a lot of personal and cultural significance in its curation. It is worth noting that The Intan is also Alvin’s private residence, which further speaks to his generosity in sharing this passion project with the rest of us. Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, they’re not able to serve tea as part of the tour, but you’ll be able to choose a themed souvenir instead. Nonetheless, we enjoyed the cosy, intimate tour, and thanks Alvin for graciously answering our many questions.
Written 5 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

arjun_stc
Singapore71 contributions
Sep 2021
Lots of artifacts and history packed in a small space, with a knowledgeable and passionate guide. Curiosity is rewarded.

The tour was for an hour, which is short given the sheer amount of exhibits. Best combined with a walking and food tour of the neighbourhood.
Written 19 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Gia Phuong Phan
20 contributions
Aug 2021 • Friends
The owner was super friendly and informative. He tells you everything you need to know about the museum and the collections because he collects them all by himself. Also got a cute souvenir from my visit 😍
Written 9 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
We value each and every visitor! Thank you for taking time visit us. Do remmeber to always make a booking before coming so that we can be ready to host you!
Written 12 September 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Connector29495259829
Singapore, Singapore1 contribution
Sep 2021
We visited the Intan last night. It was our first time at the museum and we chose the quirky programme entitled “Intan Evening of Peranakan Magic". It was a unique and unforgettable experience. The shophouse is very unassuming from the front, blending right in with its neighbours. Once you step inside, however, it's a totally different world. The interior is a feast for the eyes. There are precious and intricate artefacts filling up every corner of the house. Alvin and Ming Da (magician) welcomed as at the door and treated us as honoured guests. Alvin brought us around the house by telling the story of a Peranakan matriarch, while Ming Da demonstrated magic illusions at key points in the tour. It sounds very quirky but it was all in good fun and most importantly the illusions were well integrated into the substance of the tour, while keeping things light and fun. No spoilers, you'll have to see it for yourself. After the tour Alvin showed us to a cosy sitting area and shared a plate of kueh with us which was a really nice touch, although if you're joining a group of people from different households you probably won't get to eat kueh because of covid regulations. We had a chat with the curator/owner/guide himself, and asked him some very probing and even controversial questions which he answered sincerely and knowledgeably. If you can't tell already, it was an amazing and valuable experience.

It is important to address the issue of price, because this seems like a sticking point for many reviewers. Yes, it is not a cheap experience. The Magic experience cost $120 per person, while the dinner experience costs $180/$240. Even the least expensive on-site programme costs something like $50. This is still a lot more than what most Singaporeans are used to paying for a museum ticket. But it would be unfair to compare the Intan experience to a regular museum where you pretty much walk around the gallery by yourself, or join a group with a guide who talks you through the exhibits. The Intan experience, at least the evening programmes with dinner or show, is more like an elegant evening-slash-cultural event at what happens to be a one of a kind, authentic, legitimate museum recognised by the National Heritage Board, and you get to have a conversation with the one guy behind it all. Nowadays there are lots of ticketed private/home events that serve wine and cheese, show you a film or something, and market themselves as an elegant high society evening. Many of them charge a lot more than Alvin Yapp’s Intan but offer a lot less in terms of cultural value, expertise, and beauty. The Intan is amazing because it is one guy’s labour of love, his personal collection is probably priceless by now, and his knowledge and passion for Peranakan culture is inimitable. This is an immersive, all-senses-on-board experience (although why did Alvin not play the piano for us like he did for some other guests? Just joking), so it is not surprising that the Intan is the kind of place that hosts dignitaries and celebrities from Singapore and all around the world. Josh Groban’s signature may be on the piano (which Alvin did not play for us—haha! Just joking again), but I felt equally special as a guest.

The Intan is authentic, home-grown project I’m proud to support. It may not be “cheap”, but it’s worth every cent. Next up, dinner experience!
Written 3 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you so much for your lovely review! Paiseh we couldn't play the piano cuz was quite late and being a residential neighborhood, we wanted to be respectful to our neighbours. But don't worry, next time I promise you we will do a song just for you!
Written 5 September 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

740Elly48
Melbourne, Australia454 contributions
Nov 2020
We enjoyed learning about the Peranakan people, their customs and clothing. The guide was informative., this is his home. There are a number of interesting items on display both downstairs and upstairs . A small plate of delicacies is served at the end. However we felt it was expensive for the size. Bookings have to be made to visit
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Written 23 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
As a private home museum, we are passionate about sharing every aspect of Peranakan culture!
Written 12 September 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Cheng
Singapore, Singapore2 contributions
May 2021
Totally enjoyed myself at The Intan. Learnt about the history of the Peranakan culture and got to see beautiful collections of tingkat, baskets, Kebayas, embroidery, paintings, accessories... beaded shoes etc. The host Baba Alvin is an avid story teller and he plays the piano really well too... if you asked nicely, he might oblige you a lovely song at the end of the tour. 😉❤️
Written 10 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yey yey yey! Everything Peranakan at The Intan!
Written 5 September 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about The Intan

The Intan is open:
  • Sun - Sat 07:00 - 22:00