One of Singapore’s best-kept secrets is a secret no longer, with Little India being named the country’s “coolest neighbourhood” for 2022.
Not only was it named the year’s must-see at a time when tourists are flocking back after two years of the Covid pandemic, but Little India was also listed by London-based global media firm Time Out Group as the 19th coolest neighbourhood in the world.
Not bad, right? And just in time for Deepavali, too.
Time Out media even noted that Little India bested “other edgy neighbourhoods like Hong Kong’s Wan Chai and Melbourne’s Fitzroy” on the list.
We wholeheartedly agree with Time Out’s assessment, and here’s why:
- Little India is a feast for the senses. Walk around the area and the first thing that will greet you is the smell of spices used in Indian cuisine, followed by Bollywood music and bright colours and gold. (Lots of it.)
2. The rich and diverse sense of history and culture. Visit the India Heritage Centre on Campbell Lane to learn about Indian and South Asian communities in Southeast Asia. While you’re at it, go to the House of Tan Teng Niah, the last surviving Chinese villa in Little India. On Serangoon Road, there is the Srinivasa Perumal Temple the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, and on Dunlop Road there’s Masjid Abdul Gaffoor, truly an architectural marvel.
3. The food. Full stop. No visit to Little India is complete without a meal (or three… or more) and even with today’s food prices, amazing dishes served in the F&B joints there are still affordable as well as delicious. If it’s fish head curry you’re craving, head over to Banana Leaf Apolo on Race Course Road. Interested in authentic biryani and butter chicken with naan? Jaggi’s, also on Race Course Road, has been called a “gem.”
And if you’ve never tried Indian street snacks, Kailash Parbat on Belilios Road is your go-to, and make sure you get yourself a cup of Bombay Cutting Chai while you’re at it. (These are just three examples of awesome eateries, there are so many more!)
4. Shop till you drop. In Singapore, there are different ways to shop, and in Little India, shopping is a unique experience. If your body is adjusting to local time because of jet lag, you may as well head on down to Mustafa Centre on Syed Alwi Road, which does not close until 2:00 am.
What to see, or buy, at Mustafa? Oh, practically everything from electronics to skin care products to jewellery to fruits and veggies and the biggest choice of spices you might ever see.
If you’re into clothes, go over to Tekka Centre at the corner of Bukit Timah and Serangoon roads.
And if you’re pressed for time, try Tekka Place, also on Serangoon Road, for a taste of everything—fashion, food, and even a massage!
After 1.5 years, migrant workers thrilled to visit Little India
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