Singaporean rickshaw taking a nap
One of the places I like to visit whenever I come to Singapore is Little India. This part of Singapore city didn't get its name for nothing. This is a charming, beautiful, atmospheric place that brings you straight away to India. There is scent of spices and sound of Bollywood music in the air; there are saris and lehengas on store window displays; there are numerous gold jewelry shops and Indian cuisine restaurants along the streets; there are images of Hindu deities everywhere - be it small figurines, large sculptures or prints on t-shirts. And of course, there is a big and beautiful Indian temple right in the centre.
There are hundreds of small shops around but the most popular place for shopping in Little India is the famous Mustafa Centre. The mall is open 24 hours and except for the dead of night it is always overcrowded and busy. There you can find almost everything and at the cheapest price in Singapore, although not always of good quality. The place really amuses me, it is large but with narrow passages and often those passages are cluttered to the ceiling with boxes and merchandise. A taxi driver who were giving us a lift to the mall said that personally he never goes to the Mustafa, as (I quote) "in case of fire no way you will be able to get out of that maze of the narrow passages in time. And you'll turn into a barbecue." After the barbecue phrase he burst out laughing...Big Joke!
If you want some Indian food to try out in Singapore, obviously Little India is the best place to do so. Especially popular dish is Fish Head Curry, the main part of which (naturally) is fish head of large size, swimming in sauce and served with rice and vegetables. Nice but if you are sensitive for chilly this dish is not for you: it is soooo spicy, a real fire in your mouth. We had ours at the Banana Leaf Apolo and this restaurant is one of Singapore's most popular places for this dish.
Perhaps the only place that disappointed me in Singapore this time was Sentosa. It has changed...a lot... comparing with what it was 20 years ago. Before it was a nice place with much greenery, a few attractions and not a perfect but still not so bad beach. Now they call the island "Asia's Favourite Playground" and "The State of Fun" - yeah, sure, there is a gigantic theme park, there is Madam Tussauds, there is a vertical wind tunnel and 4D theatre (13 attraction altogether) - but for me it has lost its charm. Too many hotels, too many restaurants, too many attractions and too many people (some twenty million visitors a year).
We had a small walk along the beach but the weather was terrible that day - 34 C degrees and smog caused by forest fires in neighbouring Indonesia. It was too hot and too stuffy. Soon I felt quite unwell and we had to leave the beach. And chose to visit Sentosa's Trick Eye Museum. It sounded fun and it was fun... to some degree. But it was a disappointment too as for such money I expected more. So, what is this Trick Eye thing about? It is all about making yourself look silly by taking ridiculous poses and pulling stupid faces in front of other people (who actually are busy doing the same thing). And all for the sake of taking a couple of funny photographs. While some of the illusions there were indeed funny and nicely executed, others were not so good and looked fake and uninteresting on photographs.
Here I'm riding Merlion, a creature with a lion's head and a body of a fish, a symbol of Singapore
I like this one: a serious witch flying about her business. Not quite properly dressed for the weather
I wish the Wolf looked more realistic
Singapore is considered one of the best places in the world for shopping. The main shopping area of the country is the famous Orchard Road lined up with mall after mall and crowded with people. It reminds me of Oxford Street in London. But the truth is shopping in Orchard Road is not cheap, the majority of the malls there are too expensive. So, for those on a budget I would recommend Bugis street and Chinatown instead.
Me looking for a new swimming suit. Didn't buy this one though
Beautiful cheongsams in one of the malls
Bugis Street is the biggest street shopping location in Singapore. You will find quite a choice of different clothes there - trendy and outdated, tasteful and vulgar, quirky and conventional and all for the price of 5-15S$. Chinatown is a nice place to find inexpensive souvenirs and cheap clothes. There are rows and rows of shops selling products at throwaway prices. A reasonable bargaining is welcomed too.
That is all for today
Have a nice day!