Arab Street and Chinatown in Singapore

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After I had been so disappointed by Little India yesterday and not to forget the rain, I asked myself, why not giving Singapore and its ethnic districts another chance?! So I went to the Arabian quarter around the Arab Street.

On my way there I passed by the Parkview Square building on North Bridge Road. It is a really beautiful and very impressive skyscraper with great architectural details. It was designed in the classical Art Deco style of the late twenties but its construction was actually completed in 2002. It is a modern office building.

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Arab Street

I continued my trip to Arab Street. And what shall I say? It is even more disappointing than Little India. And what I said about the latter similarly applies to the former. Almost none Arab flair anywhere around the famous Sultan Mosque. A few shops in refurbished old buildings, a few restaurants and fastfood stalls. Everything just like in Little India.

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The only landmark and again really interesting place is the Sultan Mosque,also called Masjid Sultan, with its big golden cupola. The mosque is dating back to the year 1820. However the present structure was built in 1928. It is free to enter and visitors are welcome.

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Chinatown

After I had enjoyed a little snack in an Arab bistro I moved on to Chinatown.

I really don´t want to be negative. BUT: I have seen so many Chinatowns in the big cities in Asia. And they all look more or less the same. Lots of stalls offering the typical Chinese kitsch and nick-nack. However whatever I might complain about – you definitely feel like in Chinatown.

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Fortunately Chinatown in Singapore has to offer some nice temples too. I visited the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. It is a pretty new temple and museum that opened in 2005 and houses a tooth of Buddha. According to Wikipedia “It is claimed that the relic of Buddha from which it gains its name was found in 1980 in a collapsed stupa in Myanmar”.Stefan_Dahle_Singapur_27_12_13_IMG_8445

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I went on to my next temle station the Sri Mariamman, the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore. When i arrived I was just in time to watch an ongoing ceremony. Sad enough, I did not understand anything of what was going on. But it was interesting anyway. And the temple itself is just as impressive as the one I saw yesterday. The temple is almost two hundred years old (est. 1827) and its tower dates back to 1930.

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It was close to sunset when I left the temple and I went back to the ferry terminal to catch my boat.

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Click the slide show above the post to see more images.

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