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  • Little India Guide | Singapore Travel | Rough Guides
    country houses here and for whom a racecourse was built in the 1840s on the site of today s Farrer Park Many of the roads in Little India started out as private tracks leading to these houses and their names Dunlop Cuff Desker Norris recall these early colonial settlers Only when Indian run brick kilns began to operate here did a markedly Indian community start to evolve Indians have featured prominently in the development of Singapore though not always out of choice from 1825 onwards convicts were transported from the subcontinent and by the 1840s there were more than a thousand Indian prisoners labouring on buildings such as St Andrew s Cathedral and the Istana Today migrant Tamil and Bengali men labour to build the island s MRT stations shopping malls and villas and on weekends they descend on Little India in their thousands making the place look like downtown Chennai or Calcutta after a major cricket match The district s backbone is Serangoon Road dating from 1822 and hence one of the island s oldest roadways Its southwestern end is a kaleidoscopic of Indian life packed with restaurants and shops selling everything from nose studs and ankle bracelets to incense sticks and kumkum powder used to make the red dot Hindus wear on their foreheads Here you might even spot a parrot wielding fortune teller you tell the man your name he passes your name onto his feathered partner and the bird then picks out a card with your fortune on it To the southeast stretching as far as Jalan Besar is a tight knot of roads that s good for exploration Parallel to Serangoon Road is Race Course Road at whose far end are a couple of noteworthy temples Read More More about Singapore Features Where Next Check

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/asia/singapore/little-india/ (2016-02-16)
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  • The Arab Quarter Guide | Singapore Travel | Rough Guides
    to Malaysia Singapore Brunei View Guide The Rough Guide to Southeast Asia On A Budget View Guide The Rough Guide to Singapore View Guide Rough Guides Snapshot Vietnam Hanoi View Guide The Rough Guide to India View Guide The Yellow River Rough Guides Snapshot China View Guide Rough Guides Snapshot Malaysia Kuala Lumpur View Guide Central Honshu Rough Guides Snapshot Japan View Guide Pocket Rough Guide Hong Kong Macau View Guide The Rough Guide to Japan View Guide While Little India is memorable for its fragrances it s the vibrant colours of the shops of the Arab Quarter that stick in the memory Textile stores and outlets selling Persian carpets are the most prominent but you ll also see leather perfumes jewellery and baskets for sale It s easy to spend a couple of hours weaving in and out of the stores but don t expect a quiet window shopping session some traders are old hands at drawing you into conversation and before you know it you ll be loaded up with sarongs baskets and leather bags After signing his dubious treaty with the newly installed Sultan Hussein Mohammed Shah Raffles allotted the area to the sultan and designated the land around it as a Muslim settlement Soon the zone was attracting Malays Sumatrans and Javanese as well as traders from what is now eastern Yemen and the area is now commonly referred to as Arab Street Today Singapore s Arab community descended from those Yemeni traders is thought to number around fifteen thousand though having intermarried with the rest of Singapore society and being resident in no particular area they are not distinctive by appearance or locale Like Little India the area remains one of the most atmospheric pockets of old Singapore despite the fact that its Islamic character

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/asia/singapore/arab-street-district/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Chinatown Guide | Singapore Travel | Rough Guides
    area s Singapore City Gallery In our rush to rebuild Singapore we knocked down many old and quaint buildings Then we realized that we were destroying a valuable part of our cultural heritage that we were demolishing what tourists found attractive Not until the 1980s did the remaining shophouses and other period buildings begin to be conserved though restoration has often rendered them improbably perfect Even so as in Little India the character of the area has had a bit of a shot in the arm courtesy of recent immigrants As regards sights the Thian Hock Keng Buddha Tooth Relic and Sri Mariamman temples are especially worthwhile as is the Chinatown Heritage Centre museum and there s plenty of shophouse architecture to justify a leisurely wander Read More More about Singapore Features Where Next Check out Orchard Road Book a hostel in Singapore Travel Offers Travel insurance Hotels Hostels Car hire Tours Explore Chinatown Heritage Centre Sri Mariamman Temple Tanjong Pagar Find out more Shophouses Shophouses Though Singapore has no shortage of striking modern buildings it s the island s rows of traditional shophouses that are its most distinctive architectural feature Once often cramped and unsanitary many were demolished in the years following independence but since the 1980s whole streets of them have been declared conservation areas and handsomely restored As the name suggests shophouses were originally a combination of shop and home with the former occupying the ground floor of a two or three storey building eventually many came to be built purely as townhouses but the original name stuck Unusually the facade is always recessed at ground level leaving a space here that combined with adjoining spaces in a row of shophouses would form a sheltered walkway at the front the five foot way so named because of its minimum width hence the lack of pavements on Singapore s older streets Another notable feature is that shophouses were built narrow and surprisingly deep Behind the ground floor shop or reception hall there might be a small courtyard open to the sky then yet another room this layout can be seen at the Baba House and the Katong Antiques House Also shophouses were usually built back to back with tiny alleyways separating the rear sections of adjoining rows it s down one such alleyway that the brothels of Desker Road are tucked away Shophouses began to be built from the mid nineteenth century The oldest ones are no longer standing but slightly later examples which still exist on and around Telok Ayer and Arab streets for example feature the characteristic shuttered windows and tiled roofs that continued to be used for several decades Otherwise their decoration was limited say to simple stuccowork but by the turn of the last century the shophouse had blossomed into a dizzy melange of Western and Eastern styles which both European and local architects enjoyed blending So called Neoclassical Chinese Baroque and Rococo shophouses featured decorative Corinthian columns mini pediments fanlights a riot of

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/asia/singapore/chinatown/ (2016-02-16)
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  • The Financial District Guide | Singapore Travel | Rough Guides
    The Botanic Gardens Marina Bay Sentosa and the southern isles Northern Singapore Eastern Singapore Western Singapore Shop Ebooks Travel Insurance Hostels The Financial District Introduction Boat Quay Raffles Place See all destinations Singapore The Financial District Show Related Guides Hide Related Guides The Rough Guide to Southeast Asia On A Budget View Guide The Rough Guide to Malaysia Singapore Brunei View Guide The Rough Guide to Singapore View Guide The Rough Guide to Bali Lombok View Guide The Rough Guide to Seoul View Guide The Rough Guide to Cambodia View Guide The Rough Guide to First Time Around The World View Guide The Rough Guide to Thailand s Beaches Islands View Guide The Rough Guide to Tokyo View Guide Kyoto and Nara Rough Guides Snapshot Japan View Guide The area south of the mouth of the Singapore River was swamp until land reclamation in the mid 1820s rendered it fit for building Within just a few years Commercial Square here had become the colony s busiest business address boasting the banks ships chandlers and warehouses of a burgeoning trading port The square was later Singapore s main shopping area until superseded by Orchard Road in the late 1960s today the square now called Raffles Place forms the nucleus of Singapore s Financial District also referred to as the CBD or Central Business District Until recently if the area figured in the popular imagination at all it would have been because of the rogue trader Nick Leeson whose antics here brought about the Barings Bank collapse of 1995 though his transgressions seem like small beer when set against the global financial improprieties of recent years East of here the southern jaw of Marina Bay Marina South is home to yet more banks and features risk taking in a different vein as

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/asia/singapore/financial-district/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Orchard Road Guide | Singapore Travel | Rough Guides
    Guides Hide Related Guides The Rough Guide to Southeast Asia On A Budget View Guide The Rough Guide to Malaysia Singapore Brunei View Guide The Rough Guide to Singapore View Guide Kyoto and Nara Rough Guides Snapshot Japan View Guide The Rough Guide to Vietnam View Guide The Rough Guide to Thailand s Beaches Islands View Guide The Rough Guide to the Philippines View Guide The Rough Guide to Shanghai View Guide Kansai Rough Guides Snapshot Japan View Guide The Yellow River Rough Guides Snapshot China View Guide It would be hard to conjure an image more at odds with the present reality of Orchard Road than historian Mary Turnbull s depiction of a colonial era country lane lined with bamboo hedges and shrubbery with trees meeting overhead A hundred years ago merchants here for their daily constitutionals would have strolled past rows of nutmeg trees followed at a discreet distance by their manservants Today Orchard Road is lined with symbols of consumption huge glitzy shopping malls and worthwhile restaurants and bars either in the malls themselves or housed in a number of top flight hotels Although the parade of designer names here is dazzling it s noteworthy that the area has not been totally untouched by the malaise afflicting city centre shopping precincts the world over losing trade to malls elsewhere in the downtown area and all over the island Perhaps with this in mind Singapore s planners have put Orchard Road through a costly makeover in recent years revamping walkways and adding three new malls The most striking Ion Orchard right above Orchard MRT has a bulgy glass frontage vaguely reminiscent of Theatres on the Bay and is topped by a tower of luxury apartments Just about the only building of significant age left on Orchard Road itself

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/asia/singapore/orchard-road/ (2016-02-16)
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  • The Botanic Gardens Guide | Singapore Travel | Rough Guides
    View Guide The Rough Guide to Southeast Asia On A Budget View Guide The Rough Guide to the Philippines View Guide The Rough Guide to Laos View Guide The Rough Guide to Sri Lanka View Guide The Rough Guide to Nepal View Guide Central Honshu Rough Guides Snapshot Japan View Guide The Rough Guide to Tokyo View Guide Rough Guides Snapshot Malaysia Kuala Lumpur View Guide Singapore has long made green space an integral part of the island s landscape but none of its parks comes close to matching the refinement of the Singapore Botanic Gardens Founded in 1859 the gardens were where the Brazilian seeds that gave rise to the great rubber plantations of Malaya were first nurtured in 1877 Henry Ridley named the gardens director the following year recognized the financial potential of rubber and spent the next twenty years persuading Malayan plantation owners to convert to this new crop an obsession that earned him the nickname Mad Ridley In later years the gardens became a centre for the breeding of new orchid hybrids Recent additions have extended the park all the way north to Bukit Timah Road where the Botanic Gardens MRT station a long journey from downtown on the Circle Line offers a route to the least interesting part of the gardens the itinerary that follows assumes the classic approach up Tanglin and Napier roads to the Tanglin gate at the start of Cluny Road Note that if you re feeling peckish while visiting there are plenty of restaurants and cafés in the gardens itself or nearby at Tanglin village Once through the Tanglin gate you can take a sharp right up the slope to the Botany Centre just ahead a large building containing an information desk with free garden maps Alternatively continue straight down the

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/asia/singapore/botanic-gardens/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Marina Bay Guide | Singapore Travel | Rough Guides
    ambitious piece of civil engineering it entailed the creation of three massive expanses of reclaimed land and a barrage to seal off the basins of the Singapore and Kallang rivers from the sea The result is a seaside freshwater reservoir with a crucial role in reducing Singapore s dependence on Malaysian water supplies The Marina Bay Sands casino resort dominates the area with its museum and rooftop restaurants and it is inevitably the focus of any visit to the bay along with the extravagant new Gardens by the Bay next door Close to the Padang the Theatres on the Bay arts complex is worth a detour for its skyline views with more of the same available from the oversized Ferris wheel that is the Singapore Flyer Read More More about Singapore Features Where Next Check out The Botanic Gardens Book a hostel in Singapore Travel Offers Travel insurance Hotels Hostels Car hire Tours Explore Marina Bay Sands Gardens by the Bay Esplanade Theatres on the Bay Find out more The Marina Bay project The Marina Bay project Marina Bay can be viewed as yet another triumph perhaps the most impressive of Singapore s long term urban planning Yet there is an alternative view namely that the project has proceeded in a slightly haphazard manner The original idea had been to create a new downtown area for the tiny island To that end Marina Centre became the first zone to be reclaimed from the sea in the 1970s and 1980s Its malls and hotels were already beginning to open in the early 1990s and development there was crowned by the opening of Esplanade Theatres by the Bay in 2002 But back in 1987 Lee Kuan Yew fed up with constant bickering over the pricing of water supplies that Malaysia was piping

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/asia/singapore/marina-bay/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Sentosa and the southern isles Guide | Singapore Travel | Rough Guides
    St John s islands See all destinations Singapore Sentosa and the southern isles Show Related Guides Hide Related Guides The Rough Guide to Malaysia Singapore Brunei View Guide The Rough Guide to Singapore View Guide The Rough Guide to Southeast Asia On A Budget View Guide The Rough Guide to Seoul View Guide Central Honshu Rough Guides Snapshot Japan View Guide The Rough Guide to Sri Lanka View Guide The Rough Guide to Taiwan View Guide Kyushu Rough Guides Snapshot Japan View Guide The Rough Guide to the Philippines View Guide Rough Guides Snapshot Malaysia Kuala Lumpur View Guide Though only just off the south coast of the main island of Singapore and linked to it by a bridge Sentosa still has something of an out of town feel to it and locals treat it as a kind of resort for full day trips or weekend breaks Don t expect a quiet unspoilt deserted isle though this is effectively one giant theme park as epitomized by Universal Studios and its three beaches are decidedly ordinary That said if you have kids in tow you ll find plenty to keep them entertained for hours Other much smaller islands lie further south

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/asia/singapore/sentosa-southern-isles/ (2016-02-16)
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