Happy Thursday everyone! Let’s step back in time and explore Little India and China Town through my positive eyes. What I love about Singapore is the diversity, colour and culture. You can explore the city in a very short amount of time but experience an eclectic mix of cultures. Honestly, Singapore should be on your travel bucket list for sure! Want to explore the colours of the rainbow and eat food that has your taste buds tingling? Want to take perfect Instagram pictures? Want to experience the aromas of aromatic incense and sweet Indian flowers? Look no further! I have it covered.
This will be a brief description of each place and a huge photo gallery to follow. My passions are writing and photography, however, I always like to capture the true essence of a destination through my photography. Plus, China Town and Little India are ridiculously photogenic. Honestly, you’ll never stop snapping away. Experience the story of Chinese heritage in China Town and submerge yourself in one of Singapore’s most vibrant districts – Little India.
Whenever you travel to a foreign country, you need to read up on the local culture, customs and laws to ensure you have a hassle-free time. Remember, you must respect the destination you are visiting, no place is exactly like home. Being a multicultural nation of Chinese, Malaysian and Indian influences all adds to Singapore’s complexity. Don’t let Singapore’s strict, efficient, conservative reputation make you think it’s a dull place. It’s a fascinating and diverse nation, full of colour, creativity, and flavour.
Top tips for Little India and China Town
- Take a fan with you and an umbrella – The fan can be purchased in China Town for a couple of dollars and will definitely help in the humidity! The umbrella will shade you from the sun and will keep you dry in the heavy 10 minute downpours.
- Have a bottle of water with you, keep hydrated and don’t become tired. You need lots of energy for exploring!
- Take comfy shoes and shoes that can be taken off easily. When you’re exploring China Town and Little India you will need to remove your shoes to enter some temples and mosques. You may need your shoes to be waterproof too, the downpours can drench you within seconds! Keep things comfy.
- Take a scarf and a cardigan and ensure you wear long trousers or a skirt. Whenever you visit a new place it’s always important to be prepared with additional clothing. This is to ensure you can cover your skin when attending the places of worship. Respect the religions and soak up the beautiful culture.
- Change for the toilets – in Singapore, if you’re in Little India or China Town you can be expected to pay for your toilet paper and your toilet visit. Ensure you have some loose change and you won’t get caught out. Also, you could take your own tissues for hygiene reasons!
- Hand sanitizer – I found that both China Town and Little India were a little dusty and little dirty at times. Of course, you want to enjoy the food on offer so be sure to take some antibacterial hand sanitizer with you to keep the pesky germs at bay.
- China Town has Wi-Fi! – Yes, China Town has its own little Wi-Fi hotspots which can be accessed in several areas of the market. Link up and FaceTime back home. Of course, it’s nice to detox from the internet sometimes but also, we want to keep everyone updated on our exciting travels!
- Have a map on-hand – prior to my travels I printed out a map. However, maps can be sourced from all over Singapore. These are super handy and offer some handful tips too.
If I have missed anything out, please be sure to comment below and offer your tips too.
No trip to Singapore is complete without visiting the wonderfully vibrant and authentic China Town. As you walk through the hustle and bustle of the street markets, embrace the smells of street food and sweet durian fruits. Whilst the entire city of Singapore is largely Chinese, this particular area still retains some of its original charm – which makes it the perfect stop for food, shopping, and worshipping. The area is also known as Niu Che Shui (牛车水) in Chinese and Kreta Ayer in Malay, both names mean “bullock cart water” – a reference to the carts that used to haul in drinking water.
The central streets of China Town around the Pagoda are packed with stalls and markets selling all sorts of Chinese trinkets. Needing a souvenir or some cheap clothes? China Town is your place! There is also a cluster of (expensive) antique shops on South Bridge Road which are absolutely beautiful but can most definitely be on the pricey side. You won’t leave China Town empty-handed that’s for sure! Chinatown is made up of pre-war shophouses which are decorated in the most beautiful way. You will see huge amounts of fine silk, traditional handicrafts, and gold and jade jewellery. You’d be silly not to grab yourself something personalised too.
Ok, let’s not forget the places of worship in China Town. If you’re wanting to experience different cultures and different ways to worship, China Town is where Hindu temples and mosques sit right next to Chinese temples. Sri Mariamman Temple and Jamae Mosque are on South Bridge Road, as is the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. The temples and mosques all offer different experiences and all require you to be covered over your shoulders and knees. Some temples even require you to remove your shoes. Be respectful, embrace each new experience and be sure to give thanks to this natural beauty. Pictures are sometimes ok to take, but in certain areas of the temples and mosques, they may be prohibited.
Also, you won’t become hungry in China Town. There are plenty of places to delve deep into! If you’re a true foodie, you’ll love the diversity of the street food here. From hawker centres (street food centres) to high-class restaurants. Take your pick and try something different.
Every street is decorated and personalised in such a beautiful and authentic way. As you will see from the images, I have tried to capture the natural beauty of China Town even on a grey and rainy day. China Town is good from 10 am onwards, shops are beginning to open and you will miss the crowds. Of course, if you want to experience the hustle and bustle of China Town, be sure to head there at midday and submerge yourself in a whole new experience. China Town is large and has lots to offer. Don’t miss out on anything and be sure to take in the sights. Pictures are great, but memories are the best thing to be made.
The rich flavours and spices of Indian food cover the markets and hawker centres. The vibrant colours and textures fill every shop house and decorate every street and the aromas of healing incense fill the air as you explore the mosques and temples and delve deep into the hidden shops of Little India.
Little India today is one of Singapore’s most vibrant and authentic districts. Get up early and explore the 24-hour shopping mall Mustafa Centre. This place offers everything; electronics, groceries, clothing, haberdashery, stationery, accessories and much more! This 24-hour shopping mall claims to have 75,000 items on its four levels, covering an area of 70,000 Sq.ft and it also attracts 15,000 visitors every weekend.
Or take your pick from the open-air Tekka Centre; goldsmith shops, and sari stores. Again, this is another place you won’t leave empty-handed. Don’t forget to explore the Little India Arcade, this place is soooo impressive! & your inner rainbow will truly shine here. Rich in colour and deeply rooted in tradition, Singapore’s Little India will most definitely excite your senses. Little India Arcade offers flavours, sights, sounds, fragrances and an ethereal feel, Little India Arcade is the hidden central point of all things beautifully Indian.
Little India boasts an experience you’ll never forget, an experience that is only unique to India. I have never visited India, but I hope it’s an even better version of Little India! As you discover something new around every corner you turn, be sure to embrace every moment. Sample some authentic food, smell the fresh flowers and buy yourself some incense. Honestly, this place is a true masterpiece of rainbow excellence.
The colours will grab your attention and will surround your aura. Rich and vibrant spices fill the streets in hessian bags and the temple bells ring in the air. Honestly, this place is a must before heading home from Singapore.
There are many beautiful temples in Little India, my favourite is Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple which is situated on Serangoon Road. This is the only temple I visited this time, be sure to do your research though.
Again, food is a huge part of Little India. Think spice, colour and flavour on a whole new level. The vibrancy of the dishes is amazing! Little India is the obvious place to head to if you are in search of a curry. Race Course Road and Serangoon Road are lined with restaurants, but explore the hidden side streets too! Be sure to try Singapore’s favourite curry dish – Fish Head Curry & a must is the Banana Leaf Apolo restaurant – at this place you’ll eat your curry off a banana leaf and a try an array of different Indian foods (It’s amazing! And extremely authentic – relaxed, informal and totally delicious).
I hope you enjoyed this week’s blog post! I love writing about my travels and I am forever planning my future travels too. Singapore is wonderful and I love boasting about its hidden gems. Although I love exploring the common touristic places, I love to explore the hidden back streets too! (Be safe though!).
If you have any top tips for Singapore, please leave them below!
Where should I travel to next?
I am so full of gratitude. Being able to explore the world is a true luxury and it’s something that opens my heart even more. Do you feel the same about travelling?
Check out my other posts on my Singapore adventures! –