Within a few hours of wandering in Singapore you can venture across town from the fancy Financial District via Chinatown to vibrant Arab Street and famously exotic Little India. Whether you choose to zip around the city by MRT (Mass Rapid Transit), Singapore’s very convenient rail network, flag down an affordable taxi, jump on a tourist rickshaw or walk it yourself, you’ll enjoy taking time to breathe in the atmosphere of the different districts and of course trying the many delicious local foods is an essential part of the experience!
From Chinatown, head north on South Bridge Road until it becomes North Bridge Road, then continue for around 3 km until you cross over Ophir Road then two more small blocks and you’ll reach Kampong Glam district, a.k.a. Arab Street. It’s a pleasant half-hour walk to reach this whole different side of Singapore and you can wander the nearby lanes to discover the many ornately decorated cafes, fabulous fabric stores and carpet shops.
Nasrin Restaurant (pictured above) has one of the most impressive interiors with it being completely decorated in gorgeous ceramic tiles, but the food is equally memorable. There’s a wonderful selection of fresh Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine and personal favourites were the baba ghanoush and hummus with lamb.
A leisurely 15-20 minute walk north on Arab Street will bring you to Serangoon Road and Little India. Here you will find a heady mix of spice shops, restaurants, Hindu temples, enthusiastic tailors and a marketplace that will make you feel like you’ve stumbled in to a Delhi bazaar.
Once known for its racecourse and cattle traders, this historic district today is an ethnic blend of old and new with hip coffee shops and boutique hotels alongside flower garland stalls and traditional Indian eateries.
Singapore is a delight for travellers, with so many different districts to discover and a rich, colourful history of multiculturalism.
What you’ll notice as you walk around all of Singapore is the remarkable lack of rubbish or graffiti. It’s safe and easy and don’t be surprised if when you are stopping to consult your map, a local comes up and very politely offers assistance!