We started our second day in Singapore in Little India. This part of town was not quite what we expected it to be. We were expecting a tourist location teeming with shops and restaurants. It was more of a local area with a few shops for everyday needs than tourist items.
We walked around and saw the outside of the Hindu Temple: Sri Veermakaliamman Temple. It was beautiful and reminded us of the Hindu Temple in Chennai, India.
We stopped for lunch at a restaurant and had incredible Indian food! Best Indian food since India and Chris was excited! Megan had chicken masala with garlic naan, and Chris enjoyed mutton masala with garlic naan. Chris was thrilled to have some really great authentic Indian food again!
After lunch we headed into Chinatown, just three stops on the subway! This area was very touristy with roads lined by tourist shops filled with people.
The Chinatown Heritage Center is a museum in the start of Chinatown that goes into detail about Chinese immigrants, they working and living conditions and their impact on Singapore. It was very informative, giving great insight into the history and stories of Chinatown.
The biggest part of the museum dealt with with a reconstruction of a 1950s apartment. There was a tailoring business in the front, with several tailors and their families living there, along with apprentices. Upstairs and assortment of working-class people shared small rooms. This was the kitchen used by the tailor’s family, who also fed their apprentices and assistants:
The workstation for one of the assistant tailors:
This is the work desk for a Chinese-trained doctor:
Chinatown is home to a Buddhist temple, a Hindu temple, and a mosque, all on the same street. Singapore is a country with a diversity of race and religion, and this street was a real example of how they live those values. The Jamae Mosque is not open to the public for tours but the exterior was painted a lovely mint green.
The Buddhist Temple was consecrated in 2008, which makes it one of the newest Buddhist Temples we have seen. It is home to the left canine tooth of Buddha, although the authenticity of the relic is debated. There is also a large prayer wheel and a room with 1000 Buddhas. This is not only the newest but probably one of the wealthiest Buddhist Temples we have seen during our travels. It was stunningly beautiful and we enjoyed seeing the contrast with the other Buddhist temples we have visited.
The Hindu Temple is the oldest Hindu Temple in Singapore. It was built in 1823 but rebuilt in 1843. It is known for the cow sculptures that line the wall. The colors were more pastel than other Hindu Temples we have seen.
We had dinner at another hawker center: Maxwell Food Center. This center has more locals at it and was quite busy when we arrived. We even had the pleasure of sharing our table and conversation with a woman born and raised in Singapore. She was taking a quick dinner before heading back to work. For dinner we had duck in a dark sweet sauce and coconut smoothies. Delicious!
While walking around Singapore we noticed the taxi cabs. The signs on the top of the cabs were different than anything we have seen anywhere! The sign lights up “taxi” in green when available, “hired” in red when they have passengers or “busy” in red if they are not accepting fares. It is brilliantly simple!