• Mark Stevens

Singapore's Little India

Updated: Oct 27

Singapore in Pictures-Telling your Singapore story with photos.


At Singapore Street Shots our Blogs are meant to give you advice & tips for creating stunning photos, and help you make a good plan for exploring Singapore's neighborhoods. You will discover more of Little India if you do some research and create a good plan.

Capture the heart of Singapore’s Culture & Color with Pictures.




THE LION CITY



I know this will sound funny, but for a small place Singapore sure is really big. Long gone are the days when the Lion City was just a 1-2 day stopover before continuing your journey into Asia. Singapore has come of age and grown into one of the crown Jewels of the Asian world.

While it's true these neighborhoods have their tourist sections, I encourage you to explore them further. Take the path less traveled, as each one has more for you to discover.

In the following sections of this blog we'll give you Tips and advice for making a plan to experience & photograph Little India, and start you on your journey discovering the many diverse cultures that make Singapore unique in Asia.

Today you may want to consider 6-8 days to discover and experience this beautiful country. In fact you could spend a month or more, and explore exciting new places every day!

I personally have over 2500 locations marked on my Google maps, so if at all possible spend as many days as you can in Singapore. You won’t regret it…


When you're a first time visitor to Singapore your knowledge of the Lion city may only be what you've seen and read in the media. Most of us have seen photos of the beautiful Marina Bay Skyline, Clark & Boat Quay, Orchard Road shopping malls, Sentosa island with the Universal Studios theme Park. To be sure, these are beautiful and exciting places, so you don't want to miss out on these incredible experiences, and the opportunity to capture those memories with stunning photos. They are the foundation of your Singapore Story.

However, It's really Singapore’s neighborhoods like Chinatown, Little India, Kampong Glam and others that are the cultural heart of the city. It's here when visiting the neighborhood Markets & Shops, and dining on local cuisine at the Hawkers, that you will discover and learn about the daily lives of the Singapore people. So if you want to experience more of Singapore and tell a better story with your pictures, you'll have to dive into the busy streets and get off the beaten trek.


Consider extending your holiday in Singapore and dividing your Hotel itinerary, The Marina Bay Area Hotel’s, Chinatown Hotel’s, or Little India Hotel’s . This will put you right in the middle of the action and make it super easy to explore these incredible neighborhoods. Trust me there are rooms to accommodate every budget.

There are even super clean & cozy Hostel’s for Backpacker’s and traveling students. See Chinatown Hostel’s, Little India Hostel’s.


*** If you would like to learn more about photographing Singapores beautiful Shophouses read our blog on Singapore Shophouses- Tips for great photos.



TIPS: For your daily excursions.

  • Arrange for an MRT-Bus card Here as soon as you arrive.

  • A wide angle Lens (20mm) comes in handy and works well for Singapores many narrow streets.

  • A Polarizer and Natural Density filter for really bright sunny days.

  • Wear a Hat & Sunglasses (Polarized), it can be bright & sunny in Singapore.

  • Bring along a backpack with a change of cloths, shirt & shorts.

  • Carry a small sweat towel as its hot here, and an umbrella (for sun and rain).

  • Carry a couple of packs of tissues... Hawkers never have them at the tables.

  • Carry at least $100-150 in small bills. Taxi's and Hawkers rarely have change for large bills.

  • Drink lots of water (All Day), whenever the heat gets to you just pop into a cafe or bistro to cool off. Don't give up and go back to your hotel just because you're a little hot... That said, if you feel unwell seek attention and take care of yourself.


 

Want some help exploring Chinatown, Little India and Kampong Glam


Book a Singapore Street Shots Photo walk and let us help you create stunning photos for your Singapore story.


 



Little India

A land of Diversity, Unity and Mystery



As you ascend the escalator from the MRT you are hit with the soft aroma of Curry & Spices that let you know you’re in Little India. From the instant you pop up onto the streets it's bustling with activity, and you find yourself in a different world altogether.

You will quickly realize that Singapore's Little India is a welcoming place, and certainly the locals make you feel that way. trust me when I say, you are in for an incredible experience.

Indians in Singapore are stedfast in their families and diverse faiths, evidence of this are the many Temples, Mosques & Churches which are the center of culture in this tight-nit community. Indians recognize and respect many different faiths, and everyone comes together for many of the different holidays & festivities...


In Little India everything centers around three main roads Race course Rd., Serangoon Rd. & Jln Besar, with Serangoon Rd. being the main street in the neighborhood. There are at least 2 dozen or more side streets connecting these main highways packed with Restaurants, Markets, and shops of all kinds. Most Streets are lined with a verity of different shops and always busy.

Markets, Restaurants, and Jewelry stores sit side by side with brightly colored Shophouses that offer for sale everything from Sari's & Scarf's to the finest gold jewelry in Asia.

A first time visitor can find Little India overwhelming. It can be a lot to take in so don't rush, take your time and enjoy the day discovering and photographing this incredible neighborhood. Be sure and take lots of great photos, do some shopping, and enjoy the wonderful food in Little India's many restaurants.


TIPS: For Photography in Little India

  • You will make good use of the wide-angle lens on your smartphone or a 20mm for your camera while photographing the stunning Architecture and Street Art in Little India.

  • Be sure and take photos of buildings and street art from different angles. Get in close and work different angles as demonstrated in the photos above

  • Don't forget to capture the little things along the way, Statues, souvenirs, anything interesting you come across.

  • Look for contrast of colors in your photos.

  • Don't be shy and ask interesting looking people you meet for Street portraits. Plus, get some selfies with restaurant & stahl owners at Hawkers and restaurants.

*** Want to learn more about using the MRT & BUS system to quickly get around Singapore? See our Blog Using Singapore's MRT & BUS System to save time and money



 



MARKETS-HAWKERS-RESTAURANTS

Masala Dosa - Tandoori chicken or Fish - Biryani-Rogan Josh - Vindaloo Mutton - Chicken Tikka Masala - Naan or Korma



Flavor the Moment


Now is your chance to experience a whole new world of flavors, and Singapore is one of the best city's in the world to do it. Chinatown, Little India and Kampong Glam are well known for their verity of delicious cuisine.

Throughout this blog I'll direct you to some famous Hawkers and Restaurants, along with some hidden Gems for some well known dishes. However there are far too many fantastic eateries and dishes for me to list in this blog. My best advise is to follow your nose and let your stomach be your guide...lol

*** If you would like to learn more about exploring Hawkers & Markets in Singapore see our Blog Hawkers & Markets - Fine dinning and Street food, this is an opportunity for great local portraits and selfies with locals.



Cuisine in Little India


Who knew so many different spices existed. Discovering the Markets in Little India is an amazing experience, there are fruits and spices from all over the world. This is your chance to try many of Singapores exotic local fruits like Jackfruit & Cempedak, Mangosteen, Salak, or many of the different types of Lychee's like Rambutans that are available at Singapores incredible Markets. If you're really feeling bold and adventurous you can try what the Singapore Locals call The King of fruits, "The Durian Fruit"

Truly good Indian cuisine is the perfect blend of flavors and spices in every bite, so hungry travelers are in for a real treat when dinning in Singapores Little India. Here you will find cuisine from every region of India such as Dosa, Tandoori Chicken, Mutton Vindaloo and more.

Personally, I recommend lunch at the Tekka Center Hawker, then after a long day exploring Little India go for dinner & drinks at the Banana Leaf Restaurant.

There is dinning for every travelers budget, so enjoy some delicious Biryani and Tandoori chicken at the Hawkers or splurge and treat yourself to a classic experience of Fish Head curry at the Banana Leaf Apolo restaurant.



Madras New Woodlands Restaurant- 14 Upper Dickson Rd. Singapore. 207474


The Banana Leaf Apolo- 48 Serangoon Rd., Singapore 217959


Khansama Tandoori Restaurant - Little India- 166 Serangoon Road Junction of, Norris Rd., 218050

Royal Indian Restaurant- 227 Jln Besar, #01-01, Singapore 208904


Tekka Centre- Large Indian Market & Hawker- Bukit Timah Rd.


Tekka Place- (Shopping Stores) 2 Serangoon Rd., Singapore 218227


Indian Supermarket- Great photos here. 58 Cuff Rd.


*** If you would like to read more about exploring Hawkers & Markets in Singapore see the link to our blog and read... Hawkers & Markets- Fine dinning and Street food,



 



TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

NOTE: Get some photos of these tourist sites, Mehndi and Henna hand painting


Little India is one part of Singapore no traveler should miss. There is so much here to see and do Shopping, Dinning, Museums, Arcades, everything is all in one neighborhood.

Try some Indian hand painting (Mehndi or Henna) at the Little India Arcade located across from the Tekka Center on Serangoon Rd., or purchase a Sari or Scarf for yourself or someone special back home. Checkout these sites listed below for great shopping and some cool photos, Its a great start to your day.



Indian Heritage Centre: (Price $2-4 SGD) Opening hours: Tue-Thu 10am-7pm; Fri & Sat 10am-8pm; Sun 10am- 4pm

Little India Arcade: Indoor market in a 1920s building housing a range of small traders selling all manner of products. 48 Serangoon Rd, #02-07, Singapore 217959

Mustafa Centre: (A must stop & shop while in Singapore)145 Syed Alwi Rd, Mustafa Centre, Singapore 207704

City Square Mall: 180 Kitchener Rd, Singapore 208539

Tan Teng Niah: Popular with photographers, this unique, colorful Chinese villa.

37 Kerbau Rd, Singapore 219168



TEMPLES - MOSQUE'S - CHURCHES


Places of Worship


Little India boasts some of the most beautiful Temples, Mosques and Churches in Singapore.



Kampong Kapor Methodist Church- (Beautiful in Photos) Kampong Kapor Road, Singapore 20867

Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman Temple- (This Temple is stunning to photograph) 555 Serangoon Road, Singapore 21817

Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple- Stunning photos here. 397 Serangoon Road, Singapore 21812


Masjid Abdul Gaffoor- 41 Dunlop Street, Singapore 20936

Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple- (15 meter Buddha inside…) Great photos here.

Racecourse Road.


Photography Tips: Temples can be difficult to photograph and challenging at best. White balance can be difficult to get perfect in camera, many times you will have a Red, Yellow or Gold hue throughout your entire photo.


TIPS: Photography

  • Use grey cards to calibrate your white balance before you begin your photo session for the best results.

  • Place a grey or white card at the edge of your photo during composition, you can crop it out after using it to correct white balance in post processing.

  • First get some good shots of the entire Temple, Mosque or Church, and find good foreground objects to add some depth and interest. Try different angles and perspectives.

  • Move in closer getting shots of smaller and smaller groups of items.

  • Get shots of individual items like statues and deities, candles and anything else of interest.

  • Look for interesting angles which make your photos stand out, like the photo above.


Respectful Note: Look for signs about photography as you enter these locations and obey them. Many tourists like to photograph Temples, Mosques & Churches, just remember they are places of worship so please be respectful while doing so.

Some Temples do not allow photography at all, some allow it in certain locations and some require a small fee, if not, please consider leaving a small donation$…


*** To learn more about discovering & photographing Singapores Temples-Churches & Mosques see our Blog

Temples-Mosques-Churches Singapores Places of Worship

 


OFF THE BEATEN PATH


You must walk the path few dare to take, to experience what most travelers never do.


I know from experience that if I truly want to discover a country or city, I need to get away from the main tourist sections. I'm not saying don't explore Singapores main tourist areas, you definitely should as they are beautiful and part of the Singapore story. That would be like going to Paris and not visiting the Eiffel tower...

However there is something exciting about venturing into parts unknown, as It's here where you stumble upon hidden gems and see how locals really live their daily lives.

Usually when the City's tourist department or Google tells you about the 5 best temples to visit, its mostly the 5 best places for shopping in the area. So set aside a day or two and get off the beaten path.

*** For more information about getting off the beaten path in Singapore see our Blog Singapore Off the beaten path Sengkang, Punggol, Choa Chu Kang, Ang Mo Kio, Geylang, Katong, Bedok, Joo Chiat…..



Shophouses at 40 Petain Rd - Stunningly beautiful, historic row of Shophouses. (See Google Map)

Historic Shophouse Buildings- (See Google Map) 298 Jln Besar, #01-01 Allenby House, Singapore 208959. Beautifully restored and colorful, Stunning Photos. After you visit and photograph the Shophouses at 40 Petain Road it worth it to to visit this building.

Heng Moh Seng - Two of the most beautiful Restored Historic buildings in Singapore.

117 Jln Besar, Singapore 208837 (See Google Map)



 

We are always happy to show you around Little India


Book a Singapore Street Shots Photo walk and let us help you create stunning photos for your Singapore story.


 

Closing Remarks



ADD PHOTO HERE

Photo of Ilonka & I


Closing Remarks


Don't forget to LIKE & FOLLOW Singapore Street Shots Facebook Page and post some of your stunning Little India photos, along with a short story about your Singapore experience.



Cheers,


Mark Stevens & Ilonka Guenther

Business Owners, Photographers & Travelers

Singapore Street Shots Pte. Ltd.


 

SEE ALL OUR BLOGS

At Singapore Street Shots our Blogs are meant to give you tips & advice for exploring Singapore along with creating stunning photos. You will discover and photograph more if you do some research and create a good plan.




Singapore in Pictures - Telling your Singapore story with photos.

(A Seven blog series)​

SINGAPORE SHOPHOUSES - Telling your Singapore story with photos.

Singapore Skyline Panorama's - Photograph Singapore's world class Skyline

Singapore's Chinatown - Kreta Ayer - Telok Ayer - Tanjong Pagar - Bukit Pasoh

Singapore's Little India - Culture & Colour

Kampong Glam - Singapore's Arab Quarter

Hawkers & Markets - Flavor the Moment

Singapore - Off the Beaten Path - Discover the Singapore most tourist never see



 


DRESSING FOR SECCESS -Look good and Feel good on your day-trip

Tips for Travelers: Capture your Memories with Pictures

Singapore's MRT & BUS System-Saving you Time and Money using : Utilizing Goggle Maps with the MRT

A Rainy Day Holiday in Singapore - Things to do in Singapore when it's rainy weather

MASTER YOUR CAMERA - Use your camera like a pro

EASY EDITING - Make all your photos pop

Great Singapore Shophouse locations - The best locations for photographing Singapore Shophouses

Temples-Mosques-Churches - Singapores Places of Worship



 

FUTURE BLOGS

(Coming soon)



A Five Blog series

"Discovering Singapores Parks"

Parks:

1st Series: East and West coast parks:

2nd Series: Singapore Botanical Gardens:

3rd Series: Kent Ridge & Hort parks:

4th Series: Fort Canning park:

5th Series: Lakeside Gardens


A Three Blog series

"Photographing Singapores Natural Beauty"

Nature Reserves:

1st Series: Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

2nd Series: MacRitchie Nature Reserve

3rd Series: Singapore Zoo and Singapore Bird Park


 

A Six Blog series

"Photographing Singapores Islands"



Singapore’s islands:

1st Series: Pulau Ubin

2nd Series: Coney Island

3rd Series: Sentosa Island

4th Series: St. John Island

5th Series: Kusu Island

6th Series: Lazarus Island.


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