A Travellerspoint blog

First few days in Little India, Singapore

All rice and noodled out

sunny 32 °C
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I'm hot, tired and hangry. After travelling for over 24 hours from London Heathrow, all I want to do is collapse into a nice, clean bed.
It's been half an hour waiting for our luggage to arrive on the conveyer belt, ..well, Crystal's. Mine was the second piece of luggage to come through the secret flappy hole. Everyone else seems to have theirs and the same bags were going round and round but not hers.
We finally accepted that Crystal's bag was not coming and spoke to the airport staff about it. It turns out the bag didn't make it onto our connecting flight from Mumbai! The staff were really supportive and gave her S$50 to get some toiletries and for the inconvenience. The backpack would then be delivered to the hostel when it finally arrives in Singapore.
We got a taxi straight to our hostel that we booked in Little India. It was called Blue Jazz and looked really good from pictures online. The rookie error was booking it without looking at the reviews. Oops!

When we arrived, we couldn't check in and we sat outside for what felt like days. We heard a commotion across the street and we went to check it out. It turns out that it was the Lion Dance! A bright, tacky lion costume with a dragon head with lots of people inside it. It was dancing, up and down while a band drummed and threw oranges into the crowd. The Lion Dance music was pretty repetitive and went on a bit too long but it was really intriguing with all the fluffy colours and funny head movements, maybe we were just so zonked from all the travelling.

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Finally, we were allowed to check into our hostel. When we got into our room we were horrified. It was soooo grim! Pubes in the bed, water all over the floor in the bathroom, dirty walls and the plug from the lamp didn't even fit in the socket. I refused to stay there and asked for a refund. I'm definitely turning into my dad.
After, we walked up the road and checked into another hostel called Traveller's Loft, which was a lot better. It even had aircon and not a single curly pube in sight! It was definitely time for a cheeky nap.

Luckily, Crystal and I are quite similar in size. She was able to wear my clothes and we could still explore Singapore, when we got up. We visited the local food centre called Berseh. The food was incredible! Extremely tasty, local cuisine with so much to choose from. Even with my shellfish allergy, I was still able to choose from many dishes and I didn't even get the shits. The weather was so lush but really humid and not what we were used to at all. We were sweating through our skin whilst eating our food, the locals had a good chuckle at our expense.

2 days later the backpack arrived to our other hostel. We had to keep popping back in to check to see if it had been delivered which was really awkward after running out a few days before. Crystal wasn't having the best few days to start with, bless her. No bag, pubes in the bed and her flip flop broke after 2 minutes of us walking down the street. It's one of those situations where you have to laugh or you'll cry. I thought she was really brave and kept in high spirits considering the series of unfortunate events. She was absolutely thrilled to have her bag back, happy days!

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The shopping was really good in Singapore but super expensive! The food, drinks, hostels and breathing basically cost you more than your student loan. We soon nicknamed it 'Stingapore'. Little India wasn't even the most expensive part we visited. There was a shopping centre really close to Farrer Park MRT (underground station), about a 7 minute walk from the hostel which was really convenient for our remaining shoes.
Their metro was really easy to use. If you can understand London's tube maps then the Singapore MRT will be no problem, you just need to work out which side to stand on the platform.

Little India was a great place to stay for 3 days. There was so much to see including temples, markets, street shops and all the vibrant coloured shutters on the buildings around the city. It's like you're stepping back in time in comparison to cities such as Bayfront where you can find the iconic hotel, Marina Bay Sands. Walking through the city you can smell all the aromas of Indian food street stalls, dress yourself up in beautiful saris and bling up your body with oodles of golden jewellery.

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The language barrier wasn't much of an issue in Singapore, which was really useful. We also downloaded the mobile ap Maps Me which was a godsend for realising that you've got on the wrong bus and heading in the complete wrong direction of where you wanted to go.

We visited many temples; in the heart of Little India, such as Sri Veeramakaliamman temple, the second oldest temple in Singapore. It was enormous and beautiful to look at. So much detail in the architecture, layered with a kaleidoscope of gods and free to enter once you've added your shoes to the scattered pile outside. I always worried that I would come out and find that someone had walked off with my shoes, but luckily this never happened. It's always a good idea to bring some money with you to make donations once you're inside and have respect for those preying.

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The nightlife in Little India was quite rowdy. Lots of lights, a bit dirty, a different pong every third step you took and a bit like playing dodgems with the cockroaches. It didn't feel like the safest place to be at night and there were many signs warning tourists of the pickpocketers operating in the area. Despite this, we never ran into any problems but always a good idea to wear a bum bag! There were many bars to visit, particularly liquor and shisha bars. We did feel that 3 days was plenty of time to explore Little India and we were ready to move on to another part of the city.

Posted by Travel__Tease 17:00 Archived in Singapore Tagged singapore temple shutters little_india sri_veeramakaliamman Comments (0)

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