Our first stop was Little India, and the change in ethnicity was apparent immediately! As soon as we exited the train, we were two white people in a sea of Indians! All the streets and buildings have their own Indian flair and are definitely different than anything else we'd seen in Singapore so far. I guess this is why Singapore is known for its many cultural areas (Chinatown, Little India...). Right out of the Subway station, you will find yourself on Serangoon Road, the main road that runs through Little India.
Our first stop was the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple (try pronouncing that one!) - one of the oldest and most popular Hindu temples in Singapore
Lion statue inside the temple
No shoes allowed
Statue of Vishnu (*I think*)
TONS of brightly colored fabrics at the Mustafa Center in Little India - a discount department store with many levels that sells everything you would ever need!
Walking around - this part had a fun-house type mirror above us
Colorful buildings in Little India - I think they were apartments
Yummy dried fish
Dried squid for sale?
In another area of Little India - the Sultan Mosque is one of the most important mosques in Singapore. This was just a few streets over from the Hindu Temple - another example of just how many different cultures and religions come together in Singapore.
Although we were in Little India, we were still in Singapore, so of course there had to be a TON of shopping! This was one of the giant outdoor Shopping Centers at Bugis.
Another mall we went in for Matt - the Sim Lim Center is a six-story mall full of electronics stores!
For dinner, we ended up making it to the gorgeous Chijimes Cathedral (pronounced "chimes"). Or, I should say, it used to be a Catholic cathedral, and is now a historic complex that comes alive at night with a dozen different restaurants. I'm so glad we got to see it at night all lit up - the atmosphere is elegant, but not too fancy, and it feels like you're dining in the courtyard of some castle. It was definitely one of my favorite places in Singapore!
Chijimes at night - this was inside the courtyard
Another view of the gorgeous cathedral
The amazing multi-level courtyard
We ended up eating dinner at a Brazilian Churrascaria restaurant called Carnivore - where they come around with all the different meats for you - delicious!
Matt trying chicken heart
After an amazing dinner, we had a slightly aggravating evening when we were ripped off by a rickshaw driver who dropped us off somewhere different than we asked him to, charged us twice as much as he said he would, and left us to catch a cab to our destination! I was sooo close to chasing him down the street, but he was an old guy - lesson learned: trust no one in foreign countries, and always keep smaller bills so people don't know how much you really have!
My assessment of Singapore: It's a really cool city! It is very similar to Hong Kong in many ways, but also has its own vibe. Singapore is incredibly clean, safe, has some incredible architecture, and although I felt like the culture was a little lost here, I began to realize that Singapore doesn't just have ONE culture - it is a mix of a bunch of cultures for nearby countries - and that's waht makes Singapore, Singapore.
Next stop: Cambodia!