Sin Chew Chinese Cultural Products Supermart, in Waterloo street is where you will find the Laughing Buddha. The store stocks large quantities of Buddhas and Confucian deities, all are glittering in gold!,
The "Laughing Buddha" is outside, lots of people were rubbing his tummy for luck, so I did as well, but I don't think it worked! He symbolises great fortune and prosperity and most Chinese love to touch Him, hoping for blessings and wealth in the new year!
Fondest memory: location is...192 Waterloo St, BUGIS
Favorite thing: Depending on your location when you arrive in Singapore, the zoo will be nearer to you. The bird park in Jurong may be further from you. If you want to taste healthy good food in Singapore, i recommend you to eat cargo brown rice + vegetarian food at a cheap price at People's Park Centre, Chinatown, where festivity action is taking place nearby. Those traditional Singapore food can be more expensive than vegetarian food.
Located alongside the Singapore River, you'll see here a different chinatown because of its clean sorroundings and there's a feeling less danger while walking around. The streets are lined with shophouses and restaurants. Here, I've seen more of those shophouses with that design of the windows that I really like. You will see here a combination of traditional and modern day architecture.
At Smith St. is where we had our late lunch. There's so much to explore here but because of lack of time, we have to leave and head to our next stop, the Sentosa Island.
In Singapore Chinese, Malay and Indian people live peacefully together. Although Chinatown is Chinese inhabitant area, some Indians live there as well, for example the Hindu temple is the symbol. The Hindu temple is actually the oldest one in Singapore because Singaporan Indians' origin was also from Chinatown region.
It's interesting to see that obivously red strips with lucky words (Chinese tradition for the lunar new year) were hung on the Hindu temple gates.
If you are not the local Indians, you have to pay for entrance.
Chinatown is the origin of Chinese Singaporans. Nowadays they still keep several historical streets and buildings. The area is no longer the city centre, but is always Chinese history key point
Chinatown is now famous for tourism and its Smith Street is nightmarket for food hunters.
Favorite thing: The Fontain of Wealth is the biggest fontain in the world. It has Chinese horoscope symbols and is surrounded by 5 tall buildings which look like 5 fingers. Singaporans believe "Fong-Shui" a lot and consider the design could bring much fortune. (keep fortune in hand)
Singapore is set up for tourism, it is very tourist friendly. Arriving from the airport, do not forget to get copies of the Singapore City Map and copies of walking guides for Chinatown, Little India, Joo Chiat, Riverside Attractions and War Memorial Trails. They are very indispensible, and saves you tour guide fees. Plus, they also make for great souvenirs and great to give away to family and friends who would love to know more about Singapore or are planning to vacation in the country.
You can also visit http://www.visitsingapore.com for online copies of these brochures and for other tips.
Fondest memory: I didn't get to use the maps and walking guides I got when I arrived. But since I will be vacationing in Singapore again in August, I will make sure that I get to use them and walk around more!
Fondest memory: A Chinese funeral cortege. When I saw this procession coming towards me I didn't realise what it was until it had almost passed by. The mourners at the front are pulling the decorated carriage along with ropes. Behind this, pall bearers are carrying the coffin. Behind them are more mourners, I suspect close relatives as some were dressed in brown sack material to cover their heads and were more emotional than the other mourners.
What's so interesting then? An important game of football on TV, or the lottery results maybe? No. The photo was taken at People's Park in the heart of Chinatown a few weeks before the Chinese New Year.
The Chinese are a very superstitious race and this group are reading their horoscopes for the coming year. I was delighted to read my own and learn that Rats are going to have a fantastic time in the Year of the Monkey. I will apparently be able to get almost anything my heart desires. Let's hope so.
Fondest memory: Yes, the Chinese animal representing the New Lunar Year that commences in January 2004 is the Monkey and apparently it will be a great year for Rats.
Fondest memory: Chinese Buddha in a shop in Chinatown. His belly was well worn where people had been rubbing it for good luck and there was a small pile of coins at his base donated for the same reason.