Leave the glitzy Orchard shopping belt and enter Little India, a more nostalgic, dingy part of Singapore and the famous enclave of the Indian community that is situated along Serangoon Road, which is believed to be derived from the Malay phrase, “Serang dengan gung”, meaning to scare away with gongs. In the early days, people journeyed in groups and beat drums and gongs to protect themselves from wild animals while passing by the area.
Foreign visitors to Singapore, especially those from India, Middle East and Africa love to visit this tourist attraction during the weekend. Be immediately welcomed by the aromas of exotic spice of the East wafting along the street and be spellbound by the colourful array of merchandise, and don’t forget to shop along the five-foot ways for traditional Indian cakes, curry spices, nylon sarees, fresh stringed flower garlands, costumes, sarongs, textiles, ornaments, crafts, henna dyes, and Ayurvedic medicine, take shots of the religious sites here, simply embrace and immerse in the thick traditional Indian ambience.
And if all these are still not enough to satisfy your shopping frenzy, head down Syed Alwi Road where the biggest and most famous store in the premise looms – the Mustafa Centre. When long hours of shopping take a toll, drop by the old Tekka Market to rest your feet, sip a glass of hot the tarik (milk tea) and titillate your taste buds with a packet of tasty nasi lemak (steamed coconut rice with sweet sambal chilli) wrapped in fragrant banana leaf.
Behold, between October and November, during the Hindu festival of lights – Diwali, the streets of Little India are transformed into a vibrant, glittering land decorated with colourful neon lights and flower garlands. An exuberating experience to be there and a fascinating treat to the eyes!