For such a a small country, Singapore has a fair bit of diversity not just in terms of demographics but also in neighborhoods. Once you get out and about to different areas it’s easy to compare how different the central business district (CBD) is to Chinatown or to Little India or to Marina Bay.
Chinatown is famous for its discount shopping both in the form of malls and a night market, huge Buddhist temple, Hindu temple, and of course the food stalls. It’s also one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city and boasts many shophouses of historic significance. There are lots of food options available, from hawker stalls to proper restaurants. For a more local experience, head to the upper level of the Chinatown mall. There you’ll find a maze of hawker stalls serving up delicious meals that are budget friendly.
Little India is another well-known and frequently visited part of Singapore. I haven’t been to India since 2010 but when I exited the Little India metro station I was immediately taken back. The people, the food, the shops, the noise. All of it instantly transported me back to the subcontinent. Of course, there were some obvious differences like the complete lack of touts and cows. But I’m definitely not missing those 2 elements all that much. The food here is also delicious and cheap, provided that you duck into a place that doesn’t have a menu like I did. The waiter there showed me what they were cooking, I pointed at a few things and my meal was complete.
The Haji Lane / Arab Street area is lined with boutiques, coffee shops, bars, and restaurants occupying the ground floors of the shophouses that dominate this area. It’s a popular area for the creative set and a stark contrast to what you’d find in the CBD. Oddly enough, no one actually lives here, it’s a purely commercial area.
There are so many more areas of the city that I didn’t get a chance to explore, but I did manage to take lots of pictures of the places I get over to… enjoy!