You most probably have polarized thoughts about visiting Geylang due to the influx of night-goers, overcrowding tourists, and the country’s only legal red-light district. But Geylang has its own share of adventures. And to bring light to perspectives, there are several spots in this sub-district that are worth the visit and might just change your mind about this bustling neighborhood.
And no, we won’t be talking about the beautiful Peranakan shophouses and the lively nightclubs. We’ll take you somewhere less visited but are sure worth the day break and some MyDay snippets.
1. Reminisce the Memories At The Former Queen’s Theatre
Once a hotspot for cinephiles, this historical landmark displays Palladian and Renaissance styles and has seen the glory days of the movies from the 1930s to the 80s. The facade is best viewed from Lorong 44. Today, it is a focal point of Grandlink Square and is a nostalgic remnant of the British Colonial occupation. Ask a local, and most probably, they would have the fondest memories of movie date nights.
Address: 511 Guillemard Road, Singapore 399849
Hours: Can be viewed from the outside, 24 hours
2. Shop and Dine at the Geylang Serai Market
A favorite stomping ground among local chefs for their fresh and hard-to-find ingredients, the Geylang Serai market is also a fantastic spot if you have an appetite for some bazaar and food exploration. Being one of Singapore’s oldest Malay settlements, you’ll have an intimate immersion in the local tastes of the traditional Malay cuisine from asam pedas, beef rendang, to the delightful putu piring with sweet gula melaka. This two-storey market of Malay Kampung-inspired architecture is full of life, stories, and sensorial explosion.
Address: 1 Geylang Serai, Singapore 402001
Hours: 6:00 AM – 9:00 PM (Mon-Tue), 24 hours (Wed), 6:00 AM – 9:00 PM (Thu-Fri), 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM (Sat-Sun)
3. Meditate at the Holy Sri Sivan Temple
This octagonal temple dedicated to Shiva is an exquisitely embellished temple with ornate sculptures and is a holy venue for several Hindu festivals such as the Maha Shivaratri and Vasantha Navratri. Take a quiet respite from the city hustle and meditate, or join homeopathy and Thevaram classes. Observe proper attire and demeanor to maintain the stillness of the holy space.
Address: 24 Geylang East Ave. 2, Singapore 389752
Hours: 6:00 AM – 12:00PM, 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM Daily
4. Join Community Activities at The Wisma Geylang Serai
Built to promote community bonding and as a space to celebrate the heritage and culture of the “Kampung Spirit”, it’s a modern space that encourages social interactions among different communities and ages. Watch live performances at the Function Room or the Open plaza, or view the displays at the Heritage Gallery. It also houses the WGS Mall featuring heritage stores of local Singaporean products, rooftop gardens, barbecue pits, and several agencies for elderlies and child care. There’s always something going on, so take a random visit and be surprised.
Address: 1 Engku Aman Turn, Singapore 408528
Hours: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM Daily
5. Discover the New Chinatown
If the official Singapore Chinatown is too busy and touristy for you, the one in Geylang is to be watched out for. The new Chinatown isn’t born out on a whim. In fact, the famous Chinese painter Xu Bei Hong used to settle in Geylang where he produced some of his greatest masterpieces. While it may not be as organized, you will feel that the new Chinatown grew organically, more authentic, and is much true to the concept of Tang Ren Jie.
Home to many clan associations, temples, and authentic Chinese food stalls, the People’s Chinatown is brewing to be the next bustling destination.
Address: People’s Chinatown, Geylang
Hours: Store Hours vary
It is true that there is so much to a place than what meets the eye. You just have to have an open mind and welcoming senses. Next time you visit Geylang, take some stops at these awesome locations.
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