Little India, Singapore © Sengkang
The first Indian settlers in Singapore arrived with Sir Stamford Raffles in the early 19th century, bringing with them colourful silks, aromatic spices, incense and other accoutrements of Indian culture. They worked on the roads and helped build the infrastructure of the city, settling within the ethnic enclave that has become known as Little India. The area is delineated by the north-south Serangoon Road, which runs parallel to Race Course Road. Its eastern end stretches to Jalan Besar. Temples, busy restaurants, curry spices, jasmine garlands and the exotic hues of silk saris fill the vibrant streets to create a colourful and pungent atmosphere. The colourful buildings make for wonderful photo opportunities and it is fun to do things like get henna tattoos and have your fortune told, or simply shop around for bargains in the many shops. Most people come to Little India for the food, however, which tends to be remarkably cheap and invariably comes in huge portions. Little India is at its best during traditional festivals, particularly the Hindu Festival of Lights, when the area is festooned with decorative lighting displays.
Transport: Little India is a 15-minute walk from the Colonial District, Bencoolen Street or Beach Road. From Orchard Road, bus 65 or 111 to Serangoon Road. By MRT travel to Dhoby Ghaut, and from there on foot or Bus 65 or 111