I’ve only been to Singapore’s Chinatown before – and that was in my first visit back in 2007. All I remember then were shops selling affordable souvenirs like t-shirts and magnets. That’s all I remembered. My 12 years old self only saw a portion of what Chinatown has to offer and I was so glad to explore it with my uncle and brother – who might have actually explored a bit too much since my feet were screaming after just a few hours already.
It was a weekday and the rest of the family are already dead tired for going out for 5 days straight so I was sure I had to either explore Singapore alone or bribe my brother with food to accompany me. They’re staying for a month while I only got nine days so I can see why they want to rest. I also invited my uncle to come explore with me since he also just got nine days + I know he’ll treat us some snacks. And he’s also just four-five years older than me so I know he’ll be interested in the outdoors and not just want to stay in the malls like *cough, cough* my mom. HAHAHA.
Chinatown was a good place to explore. There were pastel colored buildings, Chinese lanterns, a swarm of stores, random trinkets, nearby temples AND delicious food at an affordable price. Just outside the Chinatown station, there was this food stall that sells the most delicious pork buns! They were even better than the ones being sold in restaurant. I can’t wait to come back for it.
Within five-ten minutes of walking from the Chinatown MRT station, we came across Sri Mariamman Temple, Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple. I wasn’t quite sure if tourists are allowed inside but we saw some Americans come in so we went in as well. There’s also some cloths in the entrance for women to cover up in. I was wearing shorts so I decided to wear one; it’s free. Footwear is also not allowed and the ground was scorching hot so we had blisters from walking around the place. This is the first Hindu temple I’ve been inside of so I was impressed with the sculptures around the place. (Please correct me of the right term for that.)
A few blocks away from Sri Mariamman Temple is the Buddha Tooth Relic. People were praying inside when we came by. It was so different from how Catholics do it, that’s for sure. I was really hesitant to come in as I was wearing shorts so I didn’t go all the way in the temple, unlike my brother and uncle. The structure was so beautiful though and I think its six levels high.
We bought some Slurpee from a nearby 7/11 afterwards to satisfy our thirst and to beat the heat before taking a different path back to the MRT station.
This was only 1/3 of the things we did that day as we headed to Bugis after Chinatown to see the Instagram-famous Haji Lane and shop and dine at Singapore’s City Hall. That was a mall, not an actual City Hall, haha. See you on my next post!