Visitors To Singapore To Note

Lonely Planet has named Singapore as the No. 1 country to visit in 2015. This is a great news for Singapore tourism but I urge visitors to Singapore to bear in mind and carry out some practices to help keep Singapore clean and green and orderly.

I have noticed that many foreigners are not familar with Singapore so I am listing some points to note to all. I certainly hope all will do what the Rome does when in Rome. And these certainly does not apply only to visitors but any foreigners to Singapore.

1. No Eating And Drinking In MRT And Station
Many countries allow the passengers to eat and drink but not in Singapore as accident does happen, no matter how careful you are. The crumbs attract insects and pests easily.

2. No Littering
There are lots of bins everywhere, please hold on to your waste and drop them when you see one. Do not leave the waste behind or anywhere other than the waste bins

3. No Spilting
I am pretty annoy when I see people spliting. It not only dirty the country but most importantly it is very unhygienic. This helps to spread diseases. I encourage all the split it into a piece of tissue and hold on to it till a waste bin is available and dump it there.

4. No Smoking Area In Prohibited Area
By law, there are a number of area which does not allow smoking, especially any where indoors, either air conditioned or non. Others include linkways, covered walkway, within 5 metres of bus stops, void decks, corridor, stairways, stairwells, lifts, lift lobbies, in public transport.

5. Stand On The Left Of Escalator
In many countries, it is common to stand on the right but Singapore is one rare country where we stand on the left

6. Guard Your Belongings
A common messeage from the police, Low crimes doesn’t mean no crime. Though crime rates in Singapore is low, you still need to be on guard.

7. Queue Up
In Singapore, we will queue up for everything, from taking the public transport to food. Please do not jump queue even if you are a child or elderly. And when entering a train, please allow passengers to alight first before boarding.

8. Reserved Tables and Seats In Singapore
It is a common sight to see tissue paper pack or tag, name cards and etc on the tables in foodcourt or hawker centre. This is how Singaporeans reserve their seats.

Lastly, I wish all visitors to Singapore an enjoyable stay.

A Suggested Itinerary For Visitors to Visit Chinatown, Singapore

For many Visitors to Singapore, I am pretty sure that Chinatown is one of the must visit places of interest. I have a suggested itinerary for any visitors out there. My personal preference is to visit a place to see and feel the local culture and the day to day activities besides the touristy places, so that’s what I will incorporate in the itinerary.

I would suggest that if you are an early bird, be at Chinatown as early as 8am. Otherwise, start your day, if possible, no later than 11pm.

The first stop in the itinerary is to have breakfast a Chinatown Complex, to have a hearty breakfast before the start of your day. I strongly encourage you to skip your hotel breakfast. Proceed to the second level, some may called it first floor (above the ground floor). Anyway. The second level is a food centre, you may hear the words “Hawker Centre” from the local at times.

This is a huge food centre, unfortunately, there is no air-conditioned, so it may be a bit warm but it is worthwhile as the food is very local and yummy too. This is where the local usually dine. I dine there too, especially for breakfast on weekends. If you have no idea of what to eat, read my post on “My Five Usual Breakfast Haunt at Chinatown Food Center, Singapore” for some suggestions.

Next, visit the wet market which is located at the basement of Chinatown Complex Food Centre. There are various staircase leading to basement. Use anyone of them. On the weekdays, it is usually not very crowded. The crowd exist mainly on weekends. So it really depends on your preference. Have a look at what’s in store, the design, the feel in the wet market and see the activities. And of course, don’t forget to take photos.

After the visit to market, it should be still pretty early, most of the shops were probably not opened yet. You may want to spend some time at the Buddha Tooth Relics Temple and Museum, Sri Mariamman Temple and/or Jamae Mosque (Chulia Mosque). All are within walking distance.

If you are still very early, you may want to pop by Nanyang Old Coffee for a cup of the traditional local kopi (means coffee). It was voted the best kopi in 2013. There is a mini museum on the traditional kopi too. You can read my post on traditional local kopi to have a better understanding of this kopi drinking tradition here. And on how to order, click here.

Alternatively, you may want to visit Chinatown Heritage Centre at Pagoda Street. It is a museum recreating the look and feel of the 1950s interior shophouse tenants, giving visitor a view of a piece of Singapore history.

I would think it is almost time for some shopping and since you are at Pagoda Street, you may want to start shopping along Pagoda Street, Trengganu Street for some Singapore souvenirs for family and friends. On ya, before I forget, there is a Tin Tin Shop and a Singapore Coins and Notes Museum along Pagoda Street, a few shophouses to the right of Chinatown Heritage Centre, in case you are interested.

When you are done with your shopping, lunch time. There are a few Dim Sum Restaurant in Chinatown. There are Yum Cha Teahouse and Tak Po Restaurant. All are serving delicious Dim Sum.

After lunch, I would suggest that you dropped by the Chinese Traditional Pastry shop in Chinatown. If you like visit them all. The three famous one are Tai Chong Kok (大中国), Tai Thong Cake Shop (大同饼家) and Tong Heng (东兴精制饼食). Each has its speciality. Find out more from my post here.

Another must try is the Barbecue Pork or Pork Jerky. The local will call it Bak Kwa. The most famous is Lim Chee Guan (林志源), followed by Bee Cheng Hiang (美珍香). There is another shop known as Fragrance, not as popular but as good and cheaper.

If you have sweet tooth, have some Chinese desserts at Mei Heong Yuen Dessert (味香园甜品). Alternate dessert locations are Sugar Granny and … They serve similar desserts. Try the walnut, almond or sesame paste. Alternatively, milk pudding, herbal jelly, red bean lotus, Glutinous Rice Ball in Ginger Soup (Sesame & Peanut), Cheng Tng or Almond Black Glutinous Rice. These are very local desserts. If you are not that adventurous, I would suggest Mango with Pomelo & Sago or Mango Pudding.

You may prefer a cup of the western cafe coffee, head for the Aterial which is at the heart of Chinatown, along Temple Street or The Lokal.

After the break, time for more exploration, the next destination on my suggested itinerary is dropped by People’s Park Complex. People’s Park (Block 32) and OG departmental store. These are the oldest serving shopping mall and departmental store in Singapore where the local shop at.

Should you need more dose of local fare, dine at the People’s Park Food Centre. Try some of the local fare such as Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee, Chicken Rice, Fried Oyster Omelette, Ngoh Hiang Mee Hoon, Fried Kuey Tiao, Fried Carrot Cake … many many more. These are some suggestions. You can read my must post on “Must Eat Food for Visitors in Singapore“.

And it is time to part with Chinatown and proceed to next your destination.

A Bonus suggestion, if you are an early bird, drop by Pearl’s Hill City Park before breakfast. This park has rich history which is not known by many. I will be doing a post on this park soon.

 

Chinatown Complex
Block 335 Smith Street, Chinatown Complex Market Singapore 050335
Opening Hours: Daily 0700 till around 2100 (varies from stalls)

 

Tak Po Dim Sum (德宝)
42 Smith St Singapore 058954
Tel: +65 6226 3683
Opening Hours: Daily 0700 to 2230

 

Jamae Mosque (Chulia Mosque)
218 South Bridge Road Singapore 058767
Tel: +65 6221 4165
Opening Hours: Unknown
Free Admission
For more information:  http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infopedia/articles/SIP_520_2004-12-16.html

 

Sri Mariamman Temple
244 South Bridge Rd Singapore 058793
Tel: +65 6223 4064
Opening Hours: Daily 0700 to 1200, 1800 to 2100
Free Admission
For more informationhttp://www.heb.gov.sg/our-subsidiaries/temples/8-sri-mariamman-temple

 

Nanyang Old Coffee (南洋老咖啡)
268 South Bridge Road Singapore 058817
Tel: +65 6100 3450
Opening Hours: Daily 0700 to 1800

 

Tong Heng Pastry Shop (东兴精制饼食)
285 South Bridge Road Singapore 058833
Tel: +65 6223 3649
Opening Hours: Daily 0900 to 2200
For more informaiont: http://tonghengpastries.com/about-us.html

 

Buddha Tooth Relics Temple and Museum (新加坡佛牙寺龙华园)
288 South Bridge Rd Singapore 058840
Tel: +65 6220 0220
Opening Hours: Daily (including Public Holiday) 0700 to 1900
Free Admission
For more information: http://www.btrts.org.sg/english-home

 

Tai Thong Cake Shop (大同饼家)
35 Mosque Street Singapore 059513
Tel: +65 6223 2905
Opening Hours: Daily 0900 to 1830

 

Singapore Coins and Notes Museum
40 Pagoda St Singapore 059199
Tel: +65 6222 2486
Opening Hours: Daily 1000 to 2000
Admission: Adults S$10; *Children (3-12 yrs) S$6; *NSF & Students S$6; *Senior Citizens (60 yrs & above) S$6; Family S$25 (2 Adults + 2 Children)
For more information:  http://www.singaporecoinsandnotesmuseum.com/index1.php

 

Chinatown Heritage Centre (牛车水原貌馆)
48 Pagoda Street Singapore 059207
Tel: +65 6221 9556
Opening Hours: Daily 0900 to 2000
Admission: Adult $10; Child (3-12years) $6
For more information: http://www.singaporechinatown.com.sg/

 

Tin Tin Shop
56 Pagoda Street Singapore 059215
Tel: +65 8183 2210
Opening Hours: Daily 1000 to 2100
For more information: http://www.tintin.sgstore.com.sg

 

Yum Cha Teahouse (Chinatown)
#02-01, 20 Trengganu Street
Tel: +65 
63721717
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 1100 – 2300; Saturday – Sunday & Public Holiday 0900 – 2300
For more information: http://www.yumcha.com.sg/index.php

 

Mei Heong Yuan Desserts
67 Temple Street Singapore 058611
Tel: +65 6221 1156
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 1200 to 2130; Closed on Mondau
For more information: http://www.meiheongyuendessert.com.sg/

 

Tai Chong Kok Cake Shop (大中国)
34 Sago St Singapore 059026
Tel: +65 6227 5701
Opening Hours: Monday 0930 to 1800; Tuesday – Sunday 0930 to 2000
For more information: http://taichongkok.com

 

Bee Cheng Hiang (美珍香)
189 New Bridge Road, S(059422)
Tel: +65 6223 7059
Opening Hours: Daily 1000 to 2130
For more information: http://www.beechenghiang.com.sg/

 

Lim Chee Guan (林志源)
203 New Bridge Road Singapore 059429
Tel: +65 6227 8302
Opening Hours: Daily 1100 till sold out
For more information: http://www.limcheeguan.com.sg/

 

Fragrance Foodstuff Pte Ltd
205 & 207 New Bridge Road Singapore 059431
Tel : +65 6327 1961
Opening Hours: Daily 1100 to 2130
For more information: http://www.fragrance.com.sg/index.php

 

Sugar Granny Cafe
5 Teo Hong Road Singapore 088323
Tel: +65 6224 9368
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday 1200 to 2300; Closed on Sundays
For more information: https://www.facebook.com/sugargrannycafe 

 

Arterial Cafe
24 Temple Street Singapore 058569
Tel: +65 6222 8589
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday 0800 to 1800
For more information: https://www.facebook.com/arterial.sg

 

The Lokal
136 Neil Road Singapore 088865
Tel: +65 6423 9918
Opening Hours: Daily 0800 to 1530
For more information: http://www.thelokalsingapore.com/

 

OG People’s Park Departmental Store
100 Upper Cross Street OG Building Singapore 058360
Tel: +65 6535 8888
Opening Hours: Daily 1100 to 2130
For more information: http://www.og.com.sg/

 

People’s Park Food Centre
32 New Market Road, Singapore 050032
Opening Hours: Daily 1130 till around 2100 (opening hours varies from stores)

 

Getting There

By MRT: Northeast line at Chinatown station or East West line at Outram Park station

By Bus: alight at New Bridge Road bus stop 2, 12, 33, 54, 63, 80, 124, 143, 147, 190, 851, 961, 970, CT8, CT18, CT28;

alight at South Bridge Road bus stop 61, 80, 145, 166, 197;

alight at Eu Tong Seng bus stop, outside People’s Park Complex 2, 12, 33, 61, 63, 143, 197, 961, 970, CT8, CT18, CT28;

alight at Eu Tong Seng, outside People’s Park Center 54, 124, 145, 147, 166, 190, 851

 

Link to check out before you go:

Chinatown Singapore

Your Singapore

SBS Transit Transport Guide

 

 

*Updated on 3 September 2014

Best Traditional Haig Road Putu Piring, Delicious

The Putu Piring by Traditional Haig Road Puti Piring is the best. My family and I love their Putu Piring. There are two outlets in Geylang. Whenever I am in the area, I will drop by the stall to buy a few packets home without fail. It has been quite some time since I last have these Putu Piring, I missed them.

Tristar Complex Outlet
Tristar Complex Outlet

There is always a queue at the stall but it is definitely worth waiting.

Putu Piring
Putu Piring

The Putu Piring is a traditional Malay cake. It is made of rice flour with coconut sugar as the filling. The outer side is fluffy, soft and thin. They added generous amount of coconut sugar in the filling. It is very delicious. Highly recommended to all.

Traditional Haig Road Putu Piring
@ Mr Teh Tarik (Onan Road)
Tristar Complex 970 Geylang Road #01-02 Singapore 423492
Tel: +65 9422 9017

Opening Hours

Monday – Thursday 1100 to 2200; Friday – Sunday 1100 to 2300

@ Haig Road Hawker Center
Block 14 #01-18 Singapore 430014
Tel: +65 9688 3067

Opening Hours

Daily 1100 to 2230

Rating: 9/10

Must Eat Food for Visitors in Singapore

These are the twelve food that I would always recommend to my visitors who are visiting Singapore for the first time. I wouldn’t miss any of the food listed below.

1. Laksa

A spicy dish. The broth in cooked with a concoction of spice and coconut milk. Rice noodle is served with this broth together with prawns and fishcakes slice.

 

2. Fried Kway Teow

Fried Kway Teow is better known as Char Kway Teow. The dish consist of both rice noodle and wheat noodle. The two types of noodle are fried in a black sweet sauce and chinese sausages and cockles, the highlight, are added into the dish.

Char Kway Teow
Char Kway Teow

 

3. Chicken Rice

The rice are cooked in chicken broth. The rice is served with either steam chicken or roast chicken

 

4. Mee Siam / Mee Rebus

Mee Siam is with mee hoon and it is served in a sour and spicy gravy. Usually the dish has hard boiled egg.

Mee Rebus is wheat noodles with a spicy and slightly sweet gravy that has a little Japanese curry taste in it. It is accompanied with fried “hard” tofu cube, hard boiled egg and slice chilli.

 

5. Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodles

Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodles has wheat noodle, rice noodle and prawn as the main ingredients. The fried mee is rich in prawn flavour as it is cooked in a prawn stock which is the key iingredient. Not all stalls serve a good plate of Fried Hokkien Mee.

 

6. Fried Carrot Cake

You can choose to have the Fried Carrot Cake sweet or savoury. We usually call the sweet Fried Carrot Cake as black and the savoury as white.

The steam radish rice cake is cut into cubes and fried with garlic and eggs. If patron requests for black, it will further fried the dish in a black sweet sauce. Otherwise, white is order, it will be served without the black sauce. Chilli sauce can be added to fried with the dish in both the black and white.

Fried Carrot Cake
Fried Carrot Cake

 

7. Fish Ball Noodles (dry/soup) / Bak Chor Mee (minced meat noodle)

The two dishes are a common items which you can find in almost all food centers or food courts. Both the Fish Ball Noodles and the Bak Chor Mee are simple dishes that can be served dry or in soup. For the dry noodles the noodles, chilli, oil, ketchup are added to enhance the taste.

 

8. Kaya Butter Toast

Kaya is an Asia jam which is made mainly with coconut and eggs. The bread used is usually the traditional bread, toasted and the kaya is spread generously on the toasted bread together with a piece of butter sandwiched between the toast bread. Sinfully delicious.

Kaya Butter Toast
Kaya Butter Toast

 

9. Chilli Crab

The crab is cooked in a special chilli sauce. The sauce is great for the mantou, fried or steam.

 

10. Chwee Kuey

Chwee Kuey is a savoury dish. It is made up of two main items; the steamed cake which is made of rice flour and it is topped with fried preserved salted turnip bits (aka chai poh). The preserved salted turnip are fried with garlic and onions so that it is fragrant.

This dish is served with chilli sauce.

Chwee Kuey
Chwee Kuey

 

11. Rojak

Rojak is a dish of various fruits and vegetables mixed in a fermented prawn paste sauce. It has an acquired taste. Visitors should try this dish, as the taste is very unique.

 

12. Popiah

A wrap of cooked vegetable with stripped turnip and carrot, sweet sauce, chopped boiled egg, chinese sausage, lettuce, chopped peanuts. Some may add prawn to the wrap.

If you are daring, I would urge you to try durian, a strong unique smelling fruit. Some would describe the smell as aammonia. That’s for people who do not like it. Don’t be discouraged by the smell, pick up your courage and at least lick it. You may be surprise to find yourself enjoying the fruit after that, but that’s not a guarantee. It has an acquired taste. As for me, I am a durian lover.

 

It may not be practical for visitors to travel all over Singapore to find the best food for all the items listed above, unless the purpose your trip is solely to find the best food in Singapore. I would strongly recommend visitor to visit Food Republic, People’s Park Food Center, Chinatown Food Center and Old Airport Road Food Center. You can find all the above listed food in these four places. Most importantly, they serve delicious authentic local food.

I have done a chart to show the availabilities of the food items in the four food place with recommended store and its unit. How do you read the chart? A ‘x’ at the column of the food place for a food item indicate it is available in that particular food center or food court listed. If you see a green cell at a particular food place, there is a rerecommended store. The name and its unit is listed.

Must Eat List Table
Must Eat List Table

 

Food Republic – Vivocity

Level 3, VivoCity (next to Sentosa Express Monorail), 1 Harbour Front Walk, Singapore 098585

Getting There: By MRT, HarbourFront Station

Opening Hours: Sun – Thu 1000 to 2200; Fri, Sat & Public Holiday 1000 to 2300. Toast Box opens from 0830 daily

 

People’s Park Food Centre

Block 32 New Market Road, Level 1, Singapore 050032

Getting There: By MRT: Northeast line – Chinatown Station

Opening Hours: Depending on stall. Generally, daily 1100 to 0900

 

Chinatown Complex Market

Block 335 Smith Street, Chinatown Complex Market, Level 2, Singapore 050335

Getting There: By MRT: Northeast line – Chinatown Station, East West line – Outram Park Station

Opening Hours: Depending on stall. Generally, daily 0700 to 0930

 

Old Airport Road Food Center

Block 19 Old Airport Road, Level 1, Singapore 390019

Getting There: By MRT: Circle Line – Mountbatten or Dakota

Opening Hours: Depending on stall. Generally, daily 0700 to 0930

Traditional Chinese Pastry and Cake Shop Charm

The traditional chinese pastry and cakes are loosing its charm with the Gen Y and also with the Millennium. With this trend going strong, soon all the traditional chinese pastry will eventually extinct. One after another Traditional Chinese Pastry and Cakes Shop has permanently closes its door.

The Traditional Chinese Pastry and Cakes when compared to its “peers”, the french and ‘western’ pastry and cakes, is not as attractive. The image of the Traditional Chinese Pastry and Cakes is boring, no surprises, no change. Most of the Traditional Chinese Pastry and Cakes are not as colourful. They are mainly brown or yellow, not aesthetic. As for these Traditional Chinese Pastry and Cakes shops, they are not as cool as the cafe and bakery.

Fortunately, there are still a few of the Traditional Chinese Pastry and Cakes shop exist in Chinatown. And thanks to Continue reading Traditional Chinese Pastry and Cake Shop Charm

Cafes & Attractions in Kampong Glam, From Jalan Sultan to Haji Lane

Kampong Glam

Kampong Glam has strong Malay ties and till now, you can see the rich Malay heritage in this area. This area has revolved over the years and it has evolved into a historic cum hip area, with the cafe culture booming in the area. Continue reading Cafes & Attractions in Kampong Glam, From Jalan Sultan to Haji Lane