Singapore: Clarke Quay and Little India

12 11 2008

As part of P’s grand tour of Singapore, we took the MRT (mass rapid transport) to Clarke Quay, a historic riverfront area.  Originally a bank of warehouses on the Singapore River in the colonial era, over the last thirty years Clarke Quay was transformed into a vast entertainment and commercial district.  The city state cleaned up the polluted Singapore River, actively developed the area for restaurants and shops, and made it into one of the trendiest nightspots on the island.  According to P, this area is a haunt for expats and is great for nightlife.  It is very similar to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.


All the shops and restaurants in this part of Clarke Quay are painted in bright pastel colors.


Moored Chinese junks have been transformed into floating restaurants and pubs.


We could screams from the brave souls who rode the GMAX reverse bungee.


Central is a mixed use shopping center and office building.  We exited from the MRT in the basement of this building.


More shops and restaurants across from Clarke Quay.

We headed over the bridge from Central to the actual Clarke Quay plaza, which is canopied throughout.  Although we came in the afternoon, I can just imagine the bright lights and pumping music that would be coming out of the line of trendy restaurants at night.


Restaurants are lined up all along the pedestrian only street.


We come to the central square, which has a fountain.


There is a Moroccan restaurant called Marrakesh.


Here is the Forbidden City, a Chinese restaurant.

And here’s my favorite: Clinic the hospital themed restaurant.  So weird!

Later that same day, P and I went to Little India.  In my opinion, this is a must see.  This is the closest geographically I have been to the Indian subcontinent, and I have been told it is one of the best Little Indias in the world.  We went to Little India on Saturday night and it was packed with people. We were also lucky because we went the weekend of Deepvali, the Indian Festival of Light.


Our first view after we exited the MRT station.


People were busily buying materials for their Deepvali celebration.


For an authentic Indian experience, dive into the five foot walkways between the shopfronts and the street.


Street vendors selling beautiful flower garlands for Deepvali were everywhere.


A closeup of the colorful and bright flower garlands.


One of the many rows of Indian storefronts.


We turned into one of the main roads here, and both human and automobile traffic was heavy.


Celebratory Deepvali banners lined the streets of Little India.


The doorway to a large marketplace.

We walked up Serragoon Road, the main thoroughfare that cuts through central Little India until we came to the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, the central Hindu temple. It was magnificent.


You need to take off your shoes before entering the temple.


Behind the main temple sanctum was a courtyard full of stone deities, including Ganesh, the elephant headed god.


The statues of the Hindu deities were vivid and colorful.


I believe this is Kali, the ferocious form of the divine mother.


Another statue of Ganesh.

After visiting the temple, we set off to find the famous 24 hour Mustafa Centre. This Indian shopping mall sells everything you can think of, including electronics, toiletries, toys, clothes, food, and much much more. Once one of P’s friend needed a vacuum in the middle of the night and was able to purchase exactly what he needed from the Mustafa Centre.

We ended our visit to Little India with a delicious meal at an Indian cafeteria/restaurant called C.M.K. 2001 (see prior post, Singapore: Diversity through Food, for photos). It was the perfect finish to our exciting adventure in Little India.

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4 responses

14 11 2008
TPS

hehe, not vacuum, freezer!

14 11 2008
travelswithsandy

Oh, a freezer! That makes much more sense. I was thinking, couldn’t he wait until morning to vacuum? LOL!

7 02 2009
Dave

Hi Sandy, I didn’t know U had visited Singapore in yr wide travelling too!

Pardon this belated greeting, but still: Welcome to our little sunny island! 🙂

Btw, I’m creating a site on the funny details of Singapore a tourist will usually miss. It’s photo-rich n has simple puzzles to engage U.

Glad to read how much U enjoyed yr time here! Cheers!

P.S. Yes, Little India is an truly exotic location n a very different immersive experience for visitors in Singapore. As a local, even we feel like tourists when we are amidst the sights, smells & sounds there!

7 02 2009
travelswithsandy

Hi Dave / Taipei Alive! Great to hear from you again. I had a wonderful time visiting Singapore. It is an exotic location for me, not to mention Little India! Not only was it filled with new experiences, but it was the hottest country I’ve ever visited! 😉

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