How to explore Singapore ethnic quarters in a day by metropolasia


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									Asia Pacific Guides™

How to explore Singapore's
 ethnic quarters in a day

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Copyright © 2011 Asia-Pacific Guides Ltd. All rights reserved.
Summary: Today's trip will take you to Singapore's        Nibbling snacks from authentic eateries is one of
most enchanting ethnic quarter: Little India,             the most enjoyable sides of strolling the streets
Chinatown and Kampong Glam (Arab Street), where           of Little India.
you can see how this city-state's different groups
coexist in harmony, while retaining their                 Komala Vilas, on Serangoon Road (Between the
traditions and customs.                                   corner of Dunlop and Upper Dickson) has been
                                                          serving scrumptious vegetarian fare at
Little India used to be the enclave of Singapore's        reasonable prices for God knows how many
Indian community during early colonial times, when        years... Kulfi Bar, on No. 15 Upper Dickson, is
ethnic quarters were built under the British policy of    known for its lovely home-made Indian ice cream
ethnic segregation, and although it stopped being an      (Kulfi), while Sakunthala's Restaurant, on 151
"Indian only" suburb long time ago, it still maintains    Dunlop, serves a variety of both vegetarian and
its unique character, and its streets boast an            non-vegetarian specialties and is particularly
enormous variety of authentic shops… From colorful        famous for its Dosa (Thosai): A South-Indian style
sari boutiques, emporiums and heavenly scented            crispy crêpe, stuffed with various fillings and
spice shops to traditional eateries, inexpensive          served with different sauces and deeps on the
electronics and computer shops, and video shops,          side...
where Bollywood's latest releases can be found…

We will get to Little India MRT Station at an early      Back to the corner of Serangoon Road, turn right and
hour of the day. Leave the station via exit E to         start walking up the street… Sri Veeramakaliamman
Buffalo Road, where you can visit Tekka Centre: A        Temple, on 141 Serangoon Road, was built in the
recently renovated shopping centre, boasting a large     1880s in honor of Kali, Shiva's wife and destroyer of
wet market and a food court, where you can choose        evil, and features the South Indian Dravidian style,
between numerous stalls, serving different Indian        with a distinctive Gopuram "pyramid" rising atop of
foods, as well as vegetarian Malay and Chinese           its main gate, covered with sculptures and figurines
delicacies. There are also quite a few shops here        of Hindu deities, alongside mystic animals from the
that sell a wide range of stuff... From Indian fashion   Hindu mythology and other ornamental decorations.
and inexpensive casual clothes to Taoist and
Buddhist paraphernalia, and from tailor shops to         Continue walking up Serangoon Road and you will
henna salons, you name it…                               reach Mustafa Centre, Singapore's super-store,
                                                         which spans across two connected buildings near the
As soon as you leave Tekka Centre, turn right and        corner of Serangoon and Syed Alwi, on the other side
continue walking along short Buffalo Road to its end,    of the street from the Hindu temple (Serangoon
where you cross Serangoon Road, Little India's main      Plaza is on 320 Serangoon Road, while Mustafa
thoroughfare, and visit Little India Arcade, on the      Centre is just around the corner, on 145 Syed Alwi).
other side of the street. This traditional shopping
centre occupies a cluster of old shophouses and          From here, cross Serangoon Road and walk via small
boasts a wide choice of traditional shops that sell      Owen Road to Farrer Park Station, where you board
everything India has to offer…                           the MRT and travel to Chinatown.

From Little India Arcade, proceed to Campbell Lane,      Upon arrival, leave Chinatown MRT Station and take
turn left to Clive Street and right to Dunlop. On the    a pleasant stroll through the historic streets where
corner of Clive and Dunlop there is a well-known         Chinatown sprung from two centuries ago, including
emporium shop, called "Haniffa Textiles", which has      Pagoda Street, Trengganu, Temple Street and Smith
been selling a wide range of Indian and international    Street (on 335 Smith Street there is a fantastic food
clothes for more than 50 years. They also offer a        centre, where you can have an "authentic" lunch).
decent choice of cameras, electronics, handbags and
what have you... Walk back through Dunlop to the                 Click HERE to view and download ALL
corner of Serangoon Road, turn right and right again,           our Singapore online-guides, for FREE !
to Upper Dickson Road, which runs parallel to
Dunlop and boasts some nice shops and cheap
Move onwards to Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and                    found, selling fabrics, carpets, basketry and bric-a-
Museum: An impressive Tang-style building on 288                 brac… Turn left to Muscat Street to visit Masjid
South Bridge Road, where the relic of the tooth of               Sultan, Singapore's largest and most significant
Buddha is kept, in a gold stupa. Other than the holy             mosque, and continue to Istana Kampong Glam, just
remnant, there is a lavishly decorated temple here,              a heartbeat from the mosque, where the imposing
and a Buddhist Culture Museum, where hundreds of                 manor that was once the palace of the Sultan of
beautiful Buddhist artifacts are on display.                     Johor can be seen.

Daily, 7am – 7pm (The holy chamber can be seen                   Nowadays, Istana Kampong Glam accommodates the
9am – 12noon and 3 – 6pm), Free entry. Website                   Malay Heritage Centre and the Malay Heritage
                                                                 Museum (both are currently under renovations),
From here, take a few minutes' walk to Sri                       where you can learn a lot about the history of
Mariamman Temple, on 244 South Bridge Road                       Singapore's Malay community and its culture
(near the corner of Pagoda Street), one of                       through historic artifacts, multimedia and diorama
Singapore's earliest and most significant Hindu                  displays, as well as other exhibits (For details, visit
temples, which was built originally in 1827, as a                their website).
simple wood and palm structure, dedicated to
Mariamman, the main South Indian mother goddess                  Still within the compound of Istana Kampong Glam,
and a protector from diseases. The existing brick                Gedung Kuning (Yellow Palace) houses a nice
building started its life in 1843 and has since been             restaurant called Tepak Sireh, where you can enjoy
expended and modified a few times. You can then                  traditional Malay delicacies in a pleasant
proceed to visit neighboring Masjid Jamae Mosque,                surroundings.
which was built in the 1820s and features an eclectic
architectural style.                                             In Bussorah Street, the pedestrian mall in front of
                                                                 Masjid Sultan Mosque, there are quite a few
The Eu Yan Sang Medical Hall, on 267 South Bridge                handicraft and curio shops, as well as one or two
Road, just across the street from the Hindu temple,              cafés.
specializes in Chinese herbal medicines which are
prepared on spot, right before your eyes... Even if              Continue walking down Arab Street, turn right and
you don't feel like trying any of their 'exotic'                 immediately right again, and visit Bali Lane and Hajji
products, it is still recommended to visit the place.            Lane, two parallel alleys where some hip shops
                                                                 and cafés are located…
Walk through Smith Street to the end and use the
pedestrian bridge to cross New Bridge Road, turn left            You can wind up the day at Bugis Junction Mall, right
and walk along the road to Outram Park MRT                       next to Bugis MRT Station, where a good choice of
Station, from where you can travel to Bugis.                     cafés and restaurants can be found, or at Bugis
                                                                 Village, on the other side of Victoria Street, where a
Leave Bugis MRT Station via exit-B, turn right to                "night market" is held every evening, with a good
Victoria Street and after a few minutes right again, to          choice of street stalls and quite a few hawker stands,
Arab Street, where plenty of 'exotic' shops can be               where you can indulge on authentic street foods.

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Copyright © 2011 Asia-Pacific Guides Ltd. All rights reserved.

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