Singapore is a phenomenal state that attracts millions of tourists annually with its cultural diversity. On the territory of the country, 4 languages are officially used, and the whole country is actually divided into ethnic quarters, which are parts of different countries.
The island state in its area is quite small - only 728 square kilometers, but in this territory every traveler during a trip to Singapore can be simultaneously in four ethnically different areas, each of which has a number of features and advantages.
Arab Quarter – Kampong Glam
Connoisseurs of the oriental flavor and culture of The Arab countries should first of all visit this area of Singapore. Kampong Glam is one of the few places in the country where among the breathtaking high-rises and skyscrapers you can find traditional low-rise buildings, familiar to us from films and photographs. The formation of an ethnic area began in the XIX century on the site of a small fishing village.
On the territory of this small state in the state (in the state!) you can find many mosques built in the traditional architectural style. The pearl of Kampong Glam is the Masjid Sultan Mosque. Also, the traveler will have the opportunity to visit museums, whose exhibitions are devoted to Arab history and culture, stroll through the picturesque streets, taste traditional Middle Eastern cuisine.
The most important part of the Arab part of Singapore is its developed network of shops and trade shops. It is unlikely that at least one traveler who wants to come here will be able to resist and not go to one of the thousands of shops, the assortment of which will please any shopaholic. You can buy absolutely everything here: masterpieces of Arabic carpet weaving, shoes, beautiful ceramic dishes, accessories and souvenirs for every taste. Huge shopping centers - Sultan Plaza and Golden Mile - are literally replete with famous boutiques and markets, where everyone can find what he likes.
Geylang Serai – Malay ethnic region
History lovers and those who want to get acquainted with malay culture can opt for Geylang Serai - a part of the Singapore state, which in a good sense "froze" in the middle of the twentieth century. It is here that the tourist will be able to touch the life of the Malays, who have preserved their way of life and traditions. The area is practically not reconstructed, thereby retaining its authenticity and colorfulness.
The Malay area, located in the center of East Singapore, is a place that never sleeps. You can find leisure here at any time of the day, because restaurants and street points with traditional dishes work almost around the clock, and shopping centers and craft shops will always provide travelers with a unique product for an appropriate fee. There is also a red light district legally operating here.
Malaysian culture is what makes many tourists come to Singapore. To see with your own eyes the works of traditional artisans and artists, ancient Malaysian weapons and the creation of legendary kites, it is not necessary to visit Malaysia itself. Geylang Serai, founded more than 150 years ago by a group of Malaysians evacuated here by the British, is always welcome!
Hunters of asian flavor should definitely visit the local market, which has been operating for more than 40 years. At a low price here you can buy clothes, souvenirs, shoes, furniture and antiques, as well as feel the atmosphere of the shopping arcades of the twentieth century.
Almost no city of world importance is complete without the Chinese region. Singapore is no exception, and here you can also get into mini-China. The ethnic Chinese area is considered one of the most popular tourist destinations in Singapore. The reason for this demand is considered to be Chinese architecture and temples, which stand out strongly against the background of modern multi-storey buildings.
In the center of Chinatown is the famous temple of Sri Mariamman, the entrance to which is full of bright colors that paint sculptures of numerous deities. They are worshipped by parishioners in this temple. Since there are many gods revered in this place, quite often you can witness a bright holiday in honor of one of them. And if you are lucky, the tourist will be able to see the wedding ceremony, accompanied by the singing of the temple servants and dancing!
The infrastructure in the area is a classic Chinese district in any city - the first floors of the houses are equipped with street restaurants and eateries, where you can try traditional Chinese cuisine for a small fee. Buying souvenirs in Chinatown Singapore is a real pleasure, because the local sellers are always very smiling and will make a discount without any problems. Souvenir shops can be found at almost every step, so it is unlikely that you will be able to leave without even the smallest purchase.
"Little India", as it is called in Singapore, is indeed a smaller version of the huge Indian state. Here the tourist can find absolutely everything for which they usually go to the "big brother": streets filled with aromas of Indian spices and spices, songs of national artists coming from every window and cafe, jewelry galleries where legendary Indian gems are sold. When buying jewelry in the stores of Little India, do not forget about the checks that customs will require when leaving the country.
Unlike "big" India, The Indian ethnic quarter of Singapore is very clean, there is no crazy street traffic that frightens travelers.
The Indian region of the island country can please visitors with majestic temples, some of which are more than 140 years old. Hinduism is the main religion here, so all residents and travelers go to the temples here. The most visited is the Temple of a Thousand Lights: it is here that the famous 15-meter Buddha statue is located.
A tourist who came to Little India will not go hungry, because the national cuisine, seasoned with spices, will be to everyone's taste! Along the streets of the quarter there are points of street food with a wide range.
Connoisseurs of the pristine flavor of India should immediately go to the Tekka market or to the Mustafa Center, where you can buy goods or products for every taste and budget. Local merchants will provide a choice of dozens and even hundreds of varieties of clothes, accessories, high-quality fabrics, and, of course, souvenirs, for which they will willingly drop the price.