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Singapore Forum Singapore is the smallest nation in Southeast Asia, it has a vibrant city for Shopping at places like Orchard Road, dining at Restaurants with a diverse range of foods from Hainanese chicken rice to KFC, and Night Life at Boat Quay, Clarke Quay, Robertson Quay, Chijmes and Mohammed Sultan Road, plus a great many Tourist Attractions, Parks, Beaches and Museums. Tell us about your holiday in Singapore here.

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Old 29-01-2008, 07:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Singapore - A walk around Chinatown

Singapore is gearing up for Chinese New Year so I thought I would take a walk around Chinatown as everyone is preparing for the big event.

Note to travellers - don't come to Singapore during Chinese New Year because everything is closed and it's shit. Everyone spends the days visiting relatives bringing gifts of oranges and other goodies and then trying to make them poorer by beating them at mahjong or blackjack.

The couple of weeks prior to New Year is the time everyone goes shopping at Chinatown for these goodies. Normally the streets of Chinatown are fairly quiet on a Sunday the rest of the year and it was quite a surprise to me to see how busy it was.

So anyway I got the train to Tanjong Pagar and walked along Maxwell Road to where the new Buddha tooth museum is. Unfortunately the weather was not on my side so everything looks a bit grey.



I have been inside the building before (it is free after all ) and I suppose its a fairly interesting place. They don't allow photography though so I didnt bother going in today.
Supposedly it houses the remains of one of Lord Buddha's teeth, and theres lots of other Buddhist relics to enjoy if that's your kind of thing. Uniquely Singapore - Buddha Tooth Relic Temple



^ At the side of the tooth temple leading to Sago Lane, where the street markets start. Trishaws parked ready for another busload of tourists.







Sago Lane has a macabre past as it was once home to rows of death houses where people were brought to die. Well read about it for yourself below.



Sago Street (just around the corner) used to be a much better place as it was full of brothels. Sadly they are no more. If you want brothels today then best go to Geylang!

Chinese New Year is an especially good time of year if you are in the orange business.



but seems all fruits are pretty popular.....




Last edited by slimboyfat : 29-01-2008 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 29-01-2008, 07:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The small streets and lanes were pretty crowded and to be honest it all started to get a little claustrophobic.



Everyone's favourite miserable Kraut was at his stall selling his overpriced sausages as usual. He seems to have lost weight. I do hope he's ok.



Normally the road below is just a quiet street with a few people sitting outside the numerous eateries and coffeeshops. Today was a different story.



Next was Chinatown Food Street. Well it is actually part of Smith Street but in recent years it has been set up as an outside food area with about 20 or so stalls selling all the local delicacies at fairly reasonable prices. Last time I was here it was all open air so I am not sure if that cover is just a temporary thing for Chinese New Year. Anyway it's a nice place to get something to eat and a few beers.



Walking along to Temple Street there is one of the smaller (boutique?) hotels in the area, The Inn at Temple Street. This time of year is obviously not the best time to stay if you are looking for peace and quiet. At other times it is probably quite pleasant as it is a quiet road with just a few coffee shops and old Chinese blokes passing the time of day. The Inn at Temple Street



The entrance is behind that stall somewhere

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Old 29-01-2008, 08:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Some plants and that are considered good luck so they sell like hot cakes. And so do hot cakes. And sweets and dried fruits.







Then I nipped down a side street towards Chinatown MRT station. Avoid massage shops in the area like 'Sensual Massage' seen here. Its just a rip off joint. Plus two or three joints in the area are for the gay market - you can tell which ones these are because they have pictures of muscular men outside - you have been warned!



Up the escalators to the bridge over South Bridge Road and took a pic of the view of Pagoda Street. There is always a market here, mostly selling tourist tat.

Across the street is People's Park, an old shopping complex - but it also has an apartment block which I have heard is where most of the PRC hookers, KTV gals etc stay whilst they are working in Singapore illegally. Looks lovely doesn't it?



Next to People's Park is the Majestic - originally a Chinese opera house, then a cinema, and since the late 1990's it has been a shopping centre. I did actually go and watch a Chinese movie with my wife there once. It was something about the Monkey God, but wasnt half as good as the one on BBC 2 at teatimes.



Anyway, across the bridge I went to People's Park, a place dear to me as I used to go there as a seaman before I met my wife.

This place is the place to go if you are looking for either foot reflexology, a hand job (or more) off a dirty China ho in a makeshift massage shop, acupuncture, chinese medicine, a fortune teller, a ghost buster, a travel agent. All these things are there in abundance.

Unfortunately I only took a couple of pics before a security guard asked me to stop taking photos.



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Old 29-01-2008, 08:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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A very cool retro boutique hotel to stay at near the Chinatown MRT is Hotel 1929.

Ultra cool, but rooms are tiny.

Hotel 1929
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Old 29-01-2008, 08:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Peoples Park food centre used to be the place to go as a seaman in the early 90's. I was a cadet then and we had some great times with the Filipina hookers who used to work the place. And the good news I found out a couple of years back is that they still do. Well not exactly the same hookers, but similar, younger ones. Unfortunately they only come out at evenings so no pics available I am afraid, but anyway you all now what a Filipina ho looks like, right?.



The other cadet I was sailing with in 1993 - 'Psycho' Tim, met his Filipino wife here. He lost his virginity to her and the next night ended up comparing notes with a Yank sailor who had fcuked her a few days before. Happy days.



Fong Kee restaurant - to the side of Peoples park food centre:
When I worked in the area last year I used to come to their so-called beer garden after work and have a beer and a smoke (this is the only part of the food centre where smoking is allowed) and watch the hookers and have a laugh with the middle aged slapper who served the beers (and introduced the hookers too, if you wanted). Please note I never went with any of those girls so have no idea of the pricing, but I would imagine its much cheaper than Orchard Towers. The middle aged slapper has offered herself to me for free, but i declined - call me picky if you will but I like a woman with at least half a set of teeth.



If anyone is thinking of staying in the Chinatown area, probably the best placed and reasonably priced hotel is the Hotel 81. It is just around the corner from everywhere I have covered in this thread and is also convenient for the Chinatown MRT or Outram Park MRT stations which gives you good links to the rest of the island including the airport.

+ welcome to Hotel 81 +



The End
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Old 29-01-2008, 10:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Nice report SBF
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Old 29-01-2008, 11:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinthee View Post
A very cool retro boutique hotel to stay at near the Chinatown MRT is Hotel 1929.

Ultra cool, but rooms are tiny.

Hotel 1929
Always stop there - nice place - no hassle - and as long as the client is picking up the bill - very reasonable
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Old 29-01-2008, 11:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happyman View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinthee View Post
A very cool retro boutique hotel to stay at near the Chinatown MRT is Hotel 1929.

Ultra cool, but rooms are tiny.

Hotel 1929
Always stop there - nice place - no hassle - and as long as the client is picking up the bill - very reasonable

Yeah, the restaurant is renowned, and damn expensive, but wonderful.
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Old 01-02-2008, 09:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Nice, SBF. Fortunately, I do not miss working in Singapore. I'll ship a green when my stock is replenished.
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Old 21-12-2010, 11:21 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for sharing great information.
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Old 18-03-2011, 01:37 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thumbs up

Real cool photo trip report on sins ctown.
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Old 21-03-2011, 01:03 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Thanks SBF-- brings back memories!
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Old 18-03-2014, 03:40 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I hope that someday I will visit data such beautiful places. Thanks for the photos are great!
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Old 09-04-2014, 01:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Turns out we were there at the same time. I will add some photos on a thread when I get home.

Nice thread.
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Old 09-04-2014, 01:55 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Bit embarrassed by that last post SBF, I didn't check the date on your OP.

I was there last month.5555
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Old 09-04-2014, 07:50 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Bit embarrassed by that last post SBF, I didn't check the date on your OP.

I was there last month.5555
Ah well.
I was there last month too, as I am most months. ;-)

Stay tuned for the next exciting installment - a walk around Geylang, probably in a couple of weeks.......
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Old 09-04-2014, 09:06 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I enjoyed this thread, slimboyfat, even if it is a few years old.
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