Tag Archives: Little India

SINGAPORE’S LITTLE INDIA – hotels, restaurants, and a guided walk

Regular readers of RT’s LOTR will know I was in Singapore a few weeks ago.

Here’s the full story of my stay in Little India, the part of the city that I’ve come to know best, and which I was writing about for Sydney’s Sun-Herald newspaper. Continue reading


Filed under Singapore

WANDERLUST – hip and quirky Singapore hotel

Wallpaper from old can labels, barbers' chairs and others made from shopping trolleys and road signs. Nothing is too strange to be part of this design.

‘The owner liked collecting weird chairs, then he opened a hotel so he’d have somewhere to put them,’ marketing manager Wahidah tells me. The obsession has taken over, and the Unlisted Collection now has hotels in Singapore, London and Shanghai. And a lot of odd chairs.

I stayed in Wanderlust Hotel, formerly a Chinese school in Singapore’s Little India (that in itself was quirky), which now features perhaps the most ‘out there’ interior design in town.

They gave me the ‘Yellow Submarine Room’. It’s a song, by the Beatles, according to the yellow neon sign above my bed. Continue reading


Filed under Art, Singapore

SINGAPORE STOPOVER GUIDE – alternative hotels, restaurants and fun

Singapore can look modern and generic, but if you look from the right angle...

I must have passed through Singapore more than any other city, occasionally stopping over for a day or two. So it was nice to be paid a modest fee for writing a short alternative guide to the place.

When I first began travelling, Singapore was not a favoured destination.

If the rumours of the 1970s were correct, Singaporean officials, obsessed with cleanliness and conformity, would give you a compulsory haircut on arrival, confiscate your chewing gum, cane you for littering and kill you for any drug offence.

Things have changed considerably, though you’d be crazy to think of dealing, carrying or using illicit drugs here. Continue reading


Filed under Singapore

LITTLE INDIA, SINGAPORE – cheap as chapatis

Colourful, spicy, aromatic...and cheap - Singapore's Little India

If I can’t find someone to pay for my five star accommodation, and I seldom can, going down-market has its charms too.

I don't know what these are but look at the price! Give me a set of four, please.

“What hotel are you staying at?” our Indian/Singaporean taxi driver wanted to know.

I told him, slightly reluctantly, because I know where discussions with taxi drivers sometimes lead.

“You like it?”

“It’s okay.” It wasn’t a place to boast about; not up-market enough to sound like we were important or rich, not funky and cheap enough to sound like we were savvy travellers. It was a convenient, central, generic hotel, four stars at a three star price on the internet booking service.

“How is the breakfast? Is it good?”

“It’s fine.” Meaning it was the same as any chain hotel breakfast anywhere in the world. Bacon too crisp and curly, scrambled eggs dry and cool on the bottom of the bain marie. Sweet fruit yoghurt in little tubs, tinned peach slices, packets of cornflakes and cocopops, scoops of sugary toasted muesli, stewed filter coffee…

“Next time you are coming here, you should be staying in Little India. Hotel 81. Very, very clean, and you can get breakfast at restaurant around the corner. Very, very good price.”

I’ve visited Singapore many times since then, and often taken his advice, because surprise, surprise, it was very, very good. Continue reading


Filed under Budget travel, Singapore, Travel