Set inside three restored shophouses, the museum has more than a dozen exhibition galleries spread over three levels—each taking you to a different time in history, from when the first major wave of Chinese immigrants arrived in the 18th century to the 1950s. From the display of vintage cooking utensils, opium pipes, and other authentic relics, to taped interviews with former Chinatown residents, the interactive, multi-media exhibits give a real flavor of what it was like to be a Chinese migrant in Singapore. Basically it was hell—the work was back breaking and the pay barely enough to survive. The most fascinating part of the center is a replica of the dark and cramped quarters the Chinese immigrants were forced to live in. This is a great museum for kids and many school groups tour it.