View of Chinatown market from the Chinatown Heritage Centre.
Arrived late Wednesday night after a very uneventful flight from Australia - caught up on some great movies, though! Decided to get a taxi to the hostel because it was on the same side of town as the airport and was much easier with the bags - only cost S$15 so not much more than 2 of us on the shuttle bus. The hostel (One Florence Close) is great - we'll do a review.
First day sightseeing, we went across the road to the Kovan MRT to buy our Ezylink cards - the best way to pay for public transport fees, because you just scan the card and re-charge it with funds at the stations whenever you get low. We took the bus from Kovan to Harbourfront (No. 80) which took about an hour, but was the most scenic route! We managed to get the front seats on the upper deck, so birds eye view.
Had a wander around the shopping centre at Harbourfront and then jumped back on the MRT to Chinatown
. We've been here before, but great to wander around the markets. Had lunch at a street cafe (during which time the rain bucketed down - good timing) then went through the Chinatown Heritage Centre museum. It's built in two three-storey shop houses and has a great collection of memorabilia, artefacts and heaps of information. Worth a visit to find out about Chinese history in Singapore, if you have time. Next stop was Arab Street - the actual street is lined with fabric and rug shops, nice just to wander along looking at the colours. Nearby there are heaps of restaurants (Moroccan, Arab, even Russian!) and of course the Sultan Mosque. Visitors are most welcome, but remember to dress appropriately (covered shoulders and knees). Walked across to Little India
to have a look at the fabric stores - stunning saris are in the windows and the colours are fantastic. Little stalls selling garlands of fresh flowers are also everywhere, and the scent is lovely. After all that walking, we headed back home on the MRT (after a refreshing iced coffee and mango lassi). Just behind Kovan MRT (our home station) there is a big food market (wet and cooked) which will become our main meal place - you can stuff yourself silly for no more than S$3! The food is fresh and delicious, so cheaper than preparing your own stuff.