Little India - An authentic Indian experience in Singapore.
Vibrant colourful scenes of garlands and sarees and variety of North & South Indian restaurants with delicacies to savour as well greet you at Little India, which is one of the most vibrant and culturally authentic districts of Singapore. Take a walk down the main street of Serangoon Road and explore the neighbouring streets to find a mix of Hindu and Chinese temples, mosques and churches. Make sure to visit the Indian Heritage Centre to discover the rich heritage of the Singapore’s India community located right next to the Little India Arcade which is a bustling shopping complex. Food -
There is no lack of choices to fill their tummies with South Indian vegetarian food, North Indian tandoori dishes and local fare like roti prata (South-India influenced flat bread served with fish or mutton curry) and "teh tarik" (pulled tea in Malay served hot with milk).Shop -
Don’t forget to shop. The 24-hour shopping mall Mustafa Centre offers everything from electronics to groceries, or take your pick from Tekka Centre, goldsmith shops and sari stores.Celebrate -
The streets get more bustling during Deepavali (usually October or November) and Pongal (January). The joyous celebrations and spectacular festive street light up are wonderful sights to behold.
DO YOU KNOW?
Serangoon Road is one of the oldest roads built in Singapore in the 1820s.
Chinatown - Be enchanted by historic temples, hip bars and heritage.
The cramped five-foot-ways, dingy alleys and raucous street hawkers are relics of Chinatown’s past. Yet pockets of history remain in Chinatown, along with more modern sights. You could easily spend a few days wandering through these narrow streets with surprising finds of Chinese heritage brands and pastries like the diamond-shaped egg tarts at Tong Heng Confectionary. Thian Hock Keng temple with its 40m long colourful mural (see picture above) is not to be missed.
Family-run goldsmiths, medicinal halls and teahouses ply their trades next to sleeker neighbours such as hipster bars and lifestyle shops located at Keong Saik Street, Ann Siang Hill and Club Street. Six of Asia’s 50 Best Bars are found in Chinatown – Native, Tippling Club, The Old Man, Gibson, D.Bespoke, Nutmeg & Clove. The best way for your clients to explore Chinatown is by walking. For a glimpse into the lives of Chinatown’s early residents, do visit the Chinatown Heritage Centre. It also has a good collection of souvenirs and collectibles to bring home.
Kampong Gelam is an eclectic blend of history and culture with a trendy lifestyle scene. It has its origins as a thriving port town and is Singapore's oldest urban quarter. In Malay, the word kampong means "compound", while "gelam" is often attributed to the long-leaved paperbark tree, which was commonly found in the area and used for boat-making, medicine and even as a seasoning for food.
You’ll love the culinary delights here, from local delicacies such as Nasi Padang
(steamed rice served with various dishes) and Malay kueh
(bite-sized desserts) to Middle Eastern, Japanese, Swedish and even Mexican fare. Shopaholics, head to colourful Haji Lane
— a row of multi-label stores, quirky boutiques as well as hip bars and cafes. Or pick up traditional wares such as Persian carpets, kebaya
(traditional nonya dress) dresses and handmade perfumes from Arab Street and Bussorah Street. Kampong Glam truly comes alive during Ramadan (Muslim fasting month) leading up to Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Join in the iftar
(breaking of fast) in the evenings, or stroll through the bustling night markets.
DO YOU KNOW?
The Bugis neighbourhood, where Kampong Gelam is located within, is ranked the 29th coolest neighbourhood in the world based on Time Out Index Survey (October 2020).
Published date Oct 2020. All info is accurate as at time of publication.