The ‘Hoods of Singapore

Singapore is a strange mix of colonial and new, with some neighborhoods opting to impact with colour alone. No matter what interests you, you are likely to find it somewhere in Singapore.

Initially, I thought I’d be relying on the train system to get me around ($20 for 3 days), but after a day or two, I realised how close most of the tourist areas are and instead preferred to use my feet.

Below is a quick summary of the areas I explored. I also visited Sentosa Island (namely Universal Studios), and the Gardens by the Bay, but these two areas deserved their own posts (to follow).

Chinatown

I spent the most amount of time here, my hotel was a five-minute walk away, the food was good and cheap, and the MRT station gave me access to everywhere else.

I loved feeling like a local at the wet markets, located downstairs at the Chinatown Complex, and be warned the floors are quite often wet, so don’t wear the fancy shoes. There’s so much to see, do and purchase through the streets and alleys of Chinatown, each time I went back I noticed something different.

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Little India

Stepping out of the MRT station at Little India, was like taking a step back in time. The colours and the smells were overwhelming with street vendors crowding the streets with flowers, incense and fruit.

Do take a moment to stop by Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, I wasn’t going to head in due to the number of people (locals mainly) going in and out but I’m so glad I did. It was an experience in itself. Little India-1Little India-2Little India-3Little India-5Little India-8Little India-9Little India-10Little India-12

Haji Lane

I would have to say this would be my recommendation for anyone visiting, it’s a simple, colourful lane-way filled with cafes, restaurants, and boutiques. A walk up and down, followed by a refreshing drink, easily occupies a few hours, well it did for me.

It is a bit of a mission to get to, as it’s not right on the train line, but it was an easy walk from Little India for me, visiting Abdul Gafoor Mosque and Masjid Malabar on the way. Little India-6Little India-7Haji Lane-8Haji Lane-1Haji Lane-2Haji Lane-3Haji Lane-4Haji Lane-5Haji Lane-7Haji Lane-9

Downtown Singapore

A trip to Singapore isn’t really complete without visiting the old colonial buildings, even though these are spread throughout the city, a large portion can be visited on a short walking tour through downtown. I largely followed this walk, but split it into parts, doing the walk along the river to Helix Bridge and on to Marina Sands at sunset. Singapore-4Singapore-5Singapore-6Singapore-7Singapore-8Singapore-10Singapore-12Singapore-13Singapore-14Singapore-15

Orchard Road

This area was probably my least favourite tourist wise. There isn’t much to see, but if you are after shopping and access to some stores that we don’t have here in Australia, this is where you go.

If there’s more to Orchard Road can you let me know?

Clarke Quay & Boat Quay

Lining the Singapore River, these area’s offer some great food and nightlife options, with Clarke Quay having some refurbished historical buildings. Make sure to check out the Old Hill Street Police Station, definitely one of the more inviting police stations I’ve seen in the world.

Boat Quay, yes there’s lots of restaurants riverside, but I didn’t like the aggressive nature of the waitstaff to get you to sit down, I relented and had a seat, and immediately regretted it. I had a cheap beer and was contemplating dinner, but the prices were so much higher than the hawker prices I had paid elsewhere. That is just my experience, I’m sure others have had some awesome meals here. Singapore-1Singapore-2Singapore-28Singapore-11