Singapore Chronicles – China Town and Little India

Singapore is built on an island – a fairly flat island at that. All its land is given over to building high-rises it seems. Everything, food included, is imported. This makes it a very, very expensive place to live and shop! However, for those who just love to shop, there is every kind of store from the US and British high-street cheap and cheerfuls such as Cotton On and H&M through Marks&Spencers to the high end designers whose prices are not even posted on their goods in a “If you need to ask the price, you can’t afford it!” sense. Even the prices in the “cheap” stores sting in Singapore.

I was a little nervous about even looking at the ethnic street stalls. Usually I find that if I cannot try a garment on I don’t like to even look, preferring not to be harassed by the street traders. But that all changed when I found what have become my favorite trousers in a China Town street market. They were S$10 and “one size” fits all. Each leg is like a wrap-around skirt, so I have a pair of floaty loose bottoms that flow like a skirt but prevent my legs from sticking together with the sweat (lovely image I’m sure!) – perfect for the sticky heat that Singapore doles out day and night.

Our lovely hostess, who is Indian, offered to be our tour guide around Singapore’s Little India and China Town districts. We hopped in a taxi and started with a few temples in Little India.

As a place of worship – wow! These temples were amazing, vibrant places with fabulous art and atmosphere. It was nice to see not just tourists ogling at these treasures, but believers praying and enjoying the temples too, using them as they were meant to be used.

I didn’t like to take too many pictures of the inside but this was the roof of one of the temples.

The architecture was a little more rustic here and reminiscent of an Indian theme.

There were no real cows wandering around as there would be in India, but with a certain splash of humor life size images of cows were placed on the sidewalks. We posed with these cut-outs for the obligatory Facebook shots.

Having looked around Little India, we then hopped into a taxi and got the grumpiest taxi driver in Singapore. We gave him the address to the big temple in China Town. The traffic was bad, and tired of listening to his grumbling, we jumped out before we’d even gotten there, deciding to look at the street market I mentioned at the beginning of this post. That’s when I spotted the new item for my wardrobe, and bought it.

Then we decided it was lunch time and our hostess recommended a great place for Dim Sum called Yum Cha. Really good dumplings!

After lunch it was time to get back to base. We hailed a cab and procured a much friendlier driver. It was only as he drove past the big temple and asked us if we’d liked it, did we realize that we’d been too distracted by shopping and eating to actually visit it!

Oh well, maybe next time!

Byddi Lee