- Entering the noisy, bustling Chinatown Food Street, the smell of cigarette smoke, steamed buns, and noodles fill the air. Over 2,000 miles away, we feel like we just arrived in China.
- Colorfully lit, fabric statues depict the history of Chinese life through the streets in Chinatown.
- Bright lanterns hang in the surrounding streets. The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum is 4 stories high. The basement holds a theatre and vegetarian dining hall offering complimentary meals. Above the ground level entrance is the first floor hall with Buddha statues, a museum, and gallery. A tea house, shop, and museum are located on the second and third floors. Monks hold daily services on the fourth floor in the Sacred Light Hall where the Buddha tooth relic is located. Twice a day visitors can view the Sacred Light Hall from a viewing area. Only monks are permitted to enter. Each morning offerings for the monks are placed outside of the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. A garden, pagodas, and Buddhist prayer wheel is located on the roof.
- Din Tai Fung, dumpling heaven on earth, has several locations in Singapore. Diners order by checking boxes next to items on a paper menu including vegetarian and non dumping options. Food is brought to the table as it is ready.
2. Marina Bay
- Read about our lavish stay at Marina Bay Sands in the luxurious Marina Bay neighborhood.
3. Kampong Glam
- Haji Lane, tucked away in Kampong Glam, is a narrow, colorful street of handmade boutiques, hipster bars, crafts, and cafes. It reminds us of the many unique streets in Tokyo. This area focusing on Mayan culture has many Indian, Thai, Middle Eastern, and Chinese restaurants surrounding the central Masjid Sultan, Sultan Mosque.
- The Mad Sailor brings food from the United Kingdom to Singapore.
- Elephant Parade displays painted, life size baby elephant statues around the world to cause awareness of the need for elephant conservation. Smaller replicas of the elephants are available for purchase. 20% of all proceeds are donated to elephant conservation efforts. There also also blank elephants available to create your own, unique elephant in store.
- The Malay Heritage Center is a museum of Malaysia and Singapore culture. Free tours are available Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 2:00pm.
- The Masjid Sultan Mosque prayer hall can hold 5,000 visitors.
4. Little India
- Little India was first home to Europeans frequently gathering at the horse races. As cattle trading became more popular, the racetrack was replaced and migrant Indian workers moved into the area.
- Mosques and Hindu temples were built as the Indians took up permanent residency. Exploring Little India earlier in the day, many shops are still preparing to open, but it is not too early for the streets to smell of incense and spices.
5. Orchard Road
- Once an unnamed, single lane road through fruit orchards, nutmeg, and pepper farms, Orchard Road or Shopper’s Paradise, is now Singapore’s luxury shopping central. Singapore’s first department store, Tangs, opened on Orchard Road in 1958. Tangs is among more than 5,000 stores and restaurants found on Orchard Road.
- The futuristic, 8 story ION Orchard is one of the most impressive shopping malls in the area. Inside the mall is ION Art Gallery and The Grande Whisky Collection, a museum containing more than 4,500 of the world’s rarest and oldest whiskeys.
Traveling Gingerbread Note: Singapore has unique neighborhoods scattered throughout more than 20 districts. These 5 neighborhoods are extremely walkable or can easily be accessed by MRT stations. Be sure to carry a rain jacket or umbrella if traveling in September.