Little India in Singapore
The Little India in Singapore is not very large, but it has interesting streets and is worth visiting if you have the time. You can do your own walking tour with free maps and pamphlets from the Singapore Changi International Airport or you can join one of the city tours offered by local travel companies. Information about one particular business is available at http://www.singaporewalks.com/. You can get to Little India by taking the North-East MRT line to NE7, Little India Station. You can also get there from the East-West line and alight at the Bugis Station. Alternatively, you can leave from Orchard Road downtown and take the SBS bus number 65. Get off the bus at Tekka Market, which is near Serangoon Road. Getting taxis to Little India should not pose any problems, but leaving that part of town by taxi may be difficult (e.g., weekends). In that case, you have a better chance of flagging a taxi down at one of the major roads on the outskirts of Little India or calling one by phone. The streets of Little India are packed with various stalls selling goods of different kinds. You will not find a shortage of gold jewelry, household items, spices, movies, music, and such for sale. If you want to shop at larger stores, check out the Mustafa Center, which is situated at 145 Syed Alwi Road and is open 24 hours, or head to Sim Lim Square, which is at 1 Rochor Canal Road (across the street from the main part of Little India). If you are interested in religion, I highly recommend visiting the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. Their website is http://www.sriveeramakaliamman.com/framemain.htm. The temple can be found at 141 Serangoon Road. Remember to take your shoes off before going inside the temple. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. Please also be respectful and ask before taking any pictures. I noticed several tourists rigorously photographing a religious ceremony taking place and one could tell by the reactions of some of the followers and other visitors that such behavior was really inappropriate. As for food, there is a range of restaurants to choose from in Little India should you get hungry. Vegetarians in particular will be thrilled with the menus. You will notice that many restaurant goers eat with their hands. If you don’t usually do this at home, try it as you might enjoy the experience. If you can’t get the hang of it or you would rather use a fork or spoon, you can request utensils of course. As for hostels and hotels, I have not stayed in Little India overnight before, but my friends who have did not have the best experiences unfortunately. I am sure that there must be good accommodation around, but I apologize for not having those details. My friends basically complained about the dodgy red-light district, so other travelers might think twice about staying in the area. Examples of housing options are listed at http://wikitravel.org/en/Singapore/Little_India, however. A fun time to visit Little India is during a festival. Check online or guidebook calendars for Deepavali, Thaipusam, and other Hindu holidays. Schedules change from year to year because of differences with the lunar calendar. Finally, lots of information about, for, and by the Indian community in Singapore is available at the following website: http://www.littleindia.com.sg/.