Singapore is a city commonly perceived as a green city offering first class food and services like any other developed country. The cultural side of Singapore is hardly explored by tourists. There are many ethnic groups residing in Singapore, but mainly Malays and Tamils, apart from Chinese and English speaking. We had a great time exploring the cultural side of Singapore visiting street markets, cafes and watching street art. Here is a guide to Singapore neighborhoods offering extraordinary coffee and shops by local makers.
Chinatown Heritage Center makes a great stop to learn about the history and development of the neighborhood. Counted among the best places in Singapore, Food Street is where you can find Chinese food at its best among a festive ambience. There are many tea-houses and dim sum restaurants in the area as well. There are also many religious landmarks in this Chinatown like the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, which apparently contains a tooth of Buddha.
This Malay-Muslim quarter breathes its ethnicity with its major landmark, the Sultan Mosque, and a Malay Heritage Center and Arab Street, where one can shop for Persian carpets, batiks, stones, and much more. It would be impossible to label a popular Singapore neighborhood, Kampong Glam a Muslim Quarter without several shisha smoking spots that are easily found.
Smells of spices, sounds of bicycle bells, and sights of jasmine flowers all fill the ambience of Little India. There are heaps of stalls selling massage oils, incense, and gold, but the nearby gem is the Mustafa Centre, a 24-hour emporium of knick knacks, decor, electronics, spices, textiles, and much more. For a glimpse in Hinduism, a trip to the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple is highly recommended.
by Namita Mitla
by Holxo Travel Specialist
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