Saturday, December 11, 2010

Singapore Trip - Part 2

Our second day in Singapore started off a little rainy, but quickly cleared up. First thing in the morning, we got some breakfast and took the subway system over to Little India. Note to subway system in Singapore: take a hint from the Hong Kong MRT! Compared to the system we got to use in Hong Kong, Singapore's subway was slightly confusing and extremely complicated and ridiculous - You weren't able to reload the subway cards with more money, so we had to stand in line at a machine, insert our last card, get the $1 refund for it, then purchase a new card (ticket) for our next trip. We had to do this EVERY time we took a ride, which made me sort of dread using it! Anyway, back on topic...

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!

After the rickshaw incident - enjoying our ice cream dessert fondu at Haagen Dazs - amazing!

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!



  1. Sorry to hear about your rickshaw ripoff. Is that dried fish really "yummy"? The Brazillian restauraunt reminds me of Texas 'de Brazil where we gorged ourselves on meat cut-off the skewers like you show. Your fondue does look deliscious-with ice cream to dunk! And the multi-level courtyard in the Chijimes looks beautiful. Thanks for the continueing trip...

  2. Even tho your room was tiny, it looked really clean and modern. Was the casino on top of the three buildings in the thing that looked like a ship, or was it IN the three buildings? I'm very surprised the sub system in Singapore is so behind the times, since the city itself and architecture look so modern. Loved the "Chimes" Cathedral!