One of Singapore’s main cultures is the strong multiracial society. The country used to be split into 4 sectors, Kampong Glam, Clark Quay, Chinatown and Little India for the 4 races – Malays, Eurasians, Chinese and Indians. This weekend, we share a Little India Half Day Tour itinerary.
1: Rainbow Building for Instagram
Have you ever seen anything that makes you so overwhelmed, excited and so lost at the same time? That’s exactly how I felt when I saw this beautiful building.
If you’re an Instagram fanatic, a rainbow fan or a cultural soul, you’re definitely in for a treat. This building has so many colours that each of the walls, window grills and window blinds are of a different colour!
This Chinese villa used to be the residence of Mr Tan Teng Niah. It has a hybrid of European and Chinese architectural styles and won many awards and mentions. The vibrant and psychedelic colours won many hearts of locals and foreigners and will continue to be one of the popular landmarks!
This place is really accessible by train. It is a 5min walk from exit B of Little India Station.
Name: Siew Song, Little India Arts Belt
Address: Kerbau Road
To Do: Take pictures with the splash of colors
Cost: Free-of-charge but you cannot enter as offices now fill the space.
2: Experience the Indian Culture
There is nothing like Little India. I thought I know Indians well until I went to Little India. When it comes to colour, NOBODY does it better than the Indians! The richness of colour in the architecture, food and festivals are why India is known as the country of symbolic colours.
Even walking through the normal neighbourhood would overwhelm me with the abundance of colour. I personally love colour and I felt so alive.
The local markets are also filled with colours on clothes, prints, bangles and accessories. You can easily find traditional clothes like a wrap skirt in the market for about S$10! Also, I can’t help but be reminded of Vietnam at the sight of the market.
3. Find Local Snacks
Did you know, Indians are a huge fan of sweets? Dessert shops are almost everywhere, selling traditional North Indian sweets. Chloe and I went into this Indian dessert restaurant behind Banana Leaf Apollo Restaurant, along Dalhousie Lane. We were fascinated by the beautiful (and colourful) desserts and started talking to the owner.
He let us try the 2 saffron desserts and they taste good: sweet taste with a cross between soft cookie and cake. It’s common meal etiquette to eat a sweet dessert after meals once a week or every fortnightly.
The desserts are (very) sweet and usually cooked with milk and sugar. Happy treasure hunting.
Most Affordable Dessert Shop:
Name: Moghul Sweet Shop
Address: 48 Serangoon Road, Singapore 217959
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 1100-2300
Top 3 Must Eat: Gulab Jamun, Rasmalai, Samosas
Contact: 6392 5797
4: Visit Temples
Since the purpose of this Little India half-day tour is to experience India’s culture, the temples are a must!
Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple is oldest and most beautiful temple around. The entrance features the incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Temples are not only a place for worship, but also for activities. This temple has Hatha Yoga classes too, which is affordable for everyone.
Most Popular Temple:
Name: Sir Srinivasa Perumal Temple
Address: 297 Serangoon Road, Singapore 218123
Opening Hours: 0630 – 1200, 1800 – 2100
Contact: 6298 5771
5. Eat an Indian Meal
You can’t believe but this is the first time I’ve eaten a full Indian meal (Roti Prata does not count).
Many Indians are vegetarians and they enjoy yoghurt. That explains why the “cold dish” or appetizers are all vegetables. Also, curry is a common dish and Curry Fish Head is one of my favourite. You can literally find all kinds of Indian cuisines at any food outlet so go ahead and explore!
Name: Komala Vilas
Address: 76-78 Serangoon Road
Opening Hours: 1130 – 2230
To Eat/Price: Vegetarian lunch from S$3
Contact: 6293 6980
Banana Leaf instead of Plates
Name: The Banana Leaf Apolo
Address: 56 Race Course Road
Opening Hours: 1030 – 2230
Average Price: S$25/pax
FREE Indian Meal
A restaurant with a social cause, payment of your meal at Annalakshimi is actually decided by you! A good starting price is S$5/person.
Address: #01-04 Central Square, 20 Havelock Road, Singapore 059765
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday 1100 – 1400.
Average Price: payment by donation
Contact: 6223 0809
Here’s the proposed Little India half day tour:
- 11am at Little India Station: Visit #1: Colourful Building
- Experience the #2: Indian culture by walking around the streets of Little India with shops in traditional shop-houses. You’ll definitely find many #3: Local Snacks and you can purchase some to try.
- Noon: #5: Eat an Indian Meal. Lunch at a random Indian restaurant or one of the 3 suggested.
- Visit #4: Temples after lunch. Walk around and explore other parts because trust me, you will be so full!
- You can end your day in Mustafa Shopping Mall. It is a HUGE shopping mall selling extremely affordable goods of all range. From branded watches like Guess, Tissot, Casio to clothes, tourist items and groceries! The nearest train station there is Farrer Park Station (NE8).
Half a day is enough to explore Little India. There are also many cheap backpacker inns and youth hostels in that area, making it convenient to explore.
Trevellers is my way to change the world. Through my stories, tips and lessons learnt, I truly hope to inspire you to get out of your comfort zone, see the world and see who you truly are. Travel is more than just taking a selfie at beautiful destinations. Travel is an adventure, where you can truly become who you are, give you the time to reflect and grow to become the person you’ve always dreamt of.