MY Singapore Ultimate Summer Vacation: Day TWO

As you know, Singapore is a melting pot of cultures. It is a multi-racial society that is home to many customs, traditions, and religions. You can see this in its different areas where rich heritages are preserved. Places like ANN SIANG HILL, CHINATOWN and ARAB STREET offer a unique experience because it is full of history and culture while still remaining very Singaporean.

We got to see all this on our second day in Singapore. The best part though was that I finally had the time to see my Tita Florence and spend time with my cousins Mark and Alexandra (so sad Victoria could not make it). They joined Carlos and I as we toured these places. It was such a great experience for us–there was so much to see and to do. We got to try an assortment of authentic cuisine, and shop for one-of-a-kind clothes, shoes, accessories, and home decor. It was such an eye-opener for me, because I thought Singapore shopping was just limited to Orchard Road. We discovered so many amazing restaurants and shops!

20130428_141451Galvez reunion! It was so great to catch up with them–the last time we saw each other was more than a decade ago!

20130428_132053And of course, my favorite chicken rice.

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First stop: ANN SIANG HILL and CLUB STREET. Once home to traditional Chinese clans and exclusive social clubs, the area is now peppered with a variety of interesting shops, cafes and bars. I love how quaint and cozy the establishments here are–there is just so many little private nooks and corners to discover. This place has much character, with its architecture maintained and houses beautifully restored.

20130428_152354

_DSC3507I’m pretty sure this place gets crazy at night, hence the sign.

SONY DSCI love this royal blue building behind us!

20130428_151806Pretty shutters.

CIMG3273The floral tiles are so dainty!

20130428_151219Old meets new.

CIMG3275Tita Florence and Carlos.

CIMG3277The Fernandezes and the Galvezes.

20130428_152429We found this little bakery/specialty store down the street.

20130428_152517The shop was so cute!

20130428_153254It carried plenty of vintage items.

20130428_152509And mini cakes! We tried this strawberry one.

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Next, we walked over to CHINATOWN, which was just a few blocks away. The place is filled with merchants selling traditional handicrafts, fine silk, gold and jade jewellery and medicinal teas. And of course, there are lots of places to eat here! We had just eaten lunch when we got here, so we looked for dessert. We found this yummy place that served the best shaved ice in Singapore. So sarap! Oh and we also visited a Chinese temple.

CIMG3289Yes, the sign says we’re in Chinatown.

20130428_155350I love that the street is so colorful. 20130428_155332Happy to be here.

20130428_154536Lots to see.

20130428_155521At MEI HEONG YUEN DESSERT for the best shaved ice.

20130428_160859These were wonderful. Really the best!

20130428_161014This one was mine: black sesame and almond flavor.

20130428_163356I know this isn’t Chinese, but we found it in Chinatown haha. This place is GOOD! Try the pretzel!

CIMG3326Mayi also joined us that day. So happy to have her with us during most of the trip.

20130428_164724Inside the temple.

20130428_165101Buddha.

20130428_165452Incense.

CIMG3339Carlos and I.

We ended our tour at ARAB STREET. Here you will find an assortment of shops selling textiles, perfume and accessories. I particularly liked row of restaurants that carried traditional Muslim food and many other Western cuisines. Of course, we saw the largest mosque in Singapore–the Sultan Mosque which is a landmark in the Kampong Glam Malay Heritage District.

20130428_173142Mayi and I.

CIMG3340Behind us, a row of restaurants and shops. And the mosque, of course.

CIMG3347Admiring the shops and its wares.

20130428_174901A bike shop called Tokyobike.

20130428_175012These stores carry local Singaporean designs. Love how unique and special each item feels.

CIMG3368These little bars and cafes add life to this area.

CIMG3370Colorful. 20130428_175530Another bright watering hole.

 CIMG3350Happy explorers.

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