If you will have simply three days to spend in Singapore this October, make the Deepavali celebrations and Little India the cornerstone of your itinerary. The yearly pageant – which falls on 24 October in 2022 – sees the neighbourhood mild up with dazzling lights, serving as a backdrop on your jaunts via vibrant shophouses and bustling marketplaces. Beyond Little India, there are additionally loads of alternatives to discover the town’s different sights, together with river safaris and temple visits. Here’s the way to get essentially the most of your three days within the Little Red Dot.
Day 1: Foodie hotspots
Given Singapore’s humid local weather, it’s necessary for guests to remain well-fed and hydrated. Start your morning at one of many island’s most beloved hawker centres, Maxwell Food Centre, which is positioned between Chinatown and the monetary district.
Start the day like a neighborhood and order a spicy teh halia (black tea with evaporated milk and ginger) or a thirst-quenching cup of freshly squeezed sugarcane juice from the drink stalls. With such a packed itinerary, you’re going to need to gasoline up with one thing substantial so go for a piping sizzling and fiery crimson plate of mee goreng (fried noodles) from Maxwell Food Centre’s line of Indian-Muslim stalls. After a hearty breakfast, take a brief stroll down Maxwell Road to the Singapore City Gallery on the URA Centre. A spotlight of the lately upgraded gallery is the massive mannequin displaying previous, present and future developments on the island. You can even see the progress of the Little India enclave because it grew over time.
To work up an urge for food for lunch, take a stroll to the close by Duxton Hill neighbourhood the place you’ll come throughout Duxton Reserve. Housed inside unified former Nineteenth-century heritage shophouses, the resort celebrates its Chinatown location via dramatic gold followers, Oriental screens and calligraphy wallpaper set towards daring hues of black and gold. Practically subsequent door, the delightfully kitschy Xiao Ya Tou gives a singular mod-Sin menu which highlights modern takes on basic Singaporean dishes like Hokkien mee and beef kway teow.
After lunch, pay a go to to the close by Thian Hock Keng, the oldest Chinese temple in Singapore. Built in 1839 to honour a sea goddess, its location was as soon as on the waterfront earlier than land reclamation left it additional inland. The temple is understood for its conventional structure and pavilions organized round a central courtyard. Explore its inside earlier than taking a brief stroll to Yixing Xuan Teahouse to pattern and purchase premium Chinese and Taiwanese teas.
Once you’ve explored the temple, it’s only a brief stroll to the charming Keong Saik Road the place you’ll discover Thevar, a contemporary Indian restaurant helmed by Penang-born chef Mano Thevar that clinched two Michelin stars in 2022. While the menu right here stays anchored on conventional Indian flavours from the Malay Peninsula, the presentation is undeniably trendy. For the total expertise, spring for the chef’s tasting menu that begins at $288. Finally, spherical off the day with an evening cap at Elephant Room which gives a spread of intriguing cocktails impressed by India’s varied states.
Day 2: Cultural immersion
The Hindu pageant of Deepavali celebrates the triumph of fine over evil. Here, the kaleidoscopic occasion is marked by a public vacation (24 October 2022) and sees components of the town festooned in fairly lights. After a leisurely breakfast at your resort, head to Tekka Centre on the backside finish of Little India. This pastel constructing with outlets and a hawker centre additionally homes one of many metropolis’s greatest moist markets and gives a blinding array of Indian meals at exceptional costs.
After this, head up Serangoon Road to Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, recognized for its vibrant entrance gopuram (tower). The temple is devoted to the goddess Kali, the destroyer of evil, chosen by early Indian settlers to assist them really feel secure of their new homeland.
Have lunch on the close by Ananda Bhavan – additionally open 24 hours – which specialises in South Indian idli, dosa and appam. Alternatively, head to Mustard at Race Course Road the place you will get a style of genuine Bengali meals. The restaurant additionally claims to be the primary in Singapore specialising within the delicacies.
Walk off all that meals on the Indian Heritage Centre. The angular four-storey glass and concrete construction examines the heritage of the Indian diaspora, tracing its origins and influences via a collection of thematic galleries. Little India’s sole cinema displaying Indian movies – Rex Cinema – sadly closed just a few years in the past, however if you wish to catch the newest Bollywood and South Indian blockbusters, you possibly can take a fast cab experience to Carnival Cinemas in Shaw Tower or Golden Mile Tower.
After your flick, get a taxi again to Serangoon Road after darkish to benefit from the festive lights strung above the 1.5km stretch of street (the lights will stay till 13 November 2022). If you go to on or earlier than 24 October, browse the festive markets at Campbell Lane and Hastings Road and on Serangoon Road.
For dinner, take one other brief cab experience to ADDA, a contemporary Indian restaurant in Singapore with a menu that places modern renditions of basic avenue meals on the forefront. Standout dishes embrace the Bombay-vada pav sliders, potli samosas and the Singapore-Indian fusion dish charred laksa salmon.
Day 3: On the water
In this island nation, seas and rivers are inescapable, providing novel methods to soak up the sights of the town. The morning presents you with two choices, relying on the form of journey that floats your boat. Your first selection is to get up leisurely and take a taxi to the River Safari, a wildlife park that focuses on river habitats and fauna and is residence to 11,000 animals together with 40 threatened species.
Alternatively, gasoline up with espresso, pandan pancakes and extra on the informal Tolido’s Espresso Nook. Suitably charged, head over to the Singapore Sports Hub water sports activities centre to lease a kayak and paddle across the Kallang Basin; licensed kayakers can enterprise additional down alongside Gardens by the Bay, affording views of the gardens’ glass domes and otherworldly Supertrees, with Marina Bay Sands and the enterprise district past (everybody should deliver photograph identification for registration).
As a reward on your exertion (or exhaustion) hop on a cab and make for Yantra at Tanglin Mall. This modern Indian restaurant is led by chef Pinaki Ray in addition to culinary historian Pritha Sen and boasts a menu that showcases area of interest substances from throughout Southeast Asia. In addition to well-executed classics just like the Kerala barbeque and the murg ka sula (charcoal barbecued hen), you’ll additionally discover trendy creations just like the butter hen kulcha (gentle hen curry stuffed in puffed tandoori bread).
After a hearty meal, make a return to Little India to perform a little purchasing and decide up some souvenirs. The stretch of Serangoon Road closest to Little India MRT is replete with saree and tailor outlets that provide ready-to-wear gadgets in addition to custom-made Western-Indian fits. If you’re flummoxed by the choices, Dakshaini Silks is a superb place to begin because of their useful and educated workers.
Of course, no purchasing journey within the neighbourhood is full and not using a go to to its most well-known 24-hour purchasing vacation spot: Mustafa Centre. If you’ve been impressed by the Indian delicacies you’ve tried to date, the division retailer’s spice part is without doubt one of the greatest locations to refill for culinary experimentation at residence. In addition, you’ll discover all kinds of merchandise together with watches, fountain pens, electronics and sports activities tools.
End your three-day journey with dinner and drinks at Firangi Superstar, one of many metropolis’s buzziest new restaurant openings (reservations are important). Step in and it’s instantly obvious that it takes a maximalist strategy to its cinematic portrayal of India. The restaurant options 4 themed areas that invoke completely different sides of the nation’s historical past.
The menu gives elevated takes on Indian classics like tandoori lamb, grilled snapper and even a vegetarian rogan josh made with jackfruit. After dinner, sink into the plush chairs on the “Officer’s Lounge” and sip on distinctive Indian-inflected cocktails just like the Fenugreek Manhattan which is crafted with a spiced vermouth and ghee-infused cognac.
Feature picture: Pete Burana/ Shutterstock.com
This article was initially revealed within the November 2018 challenge of SilverKris journal