Our first day in Singapore began with our quest to obtain the ever evasive 2-months Indonesian visa. Before any sightseeing was to be done, we headed to the embassy. Because we were planning on traveling overland as much as possible, we had planned on taking the ferry from Singapore to Indonesia and back. Without a return ticket though, we did not meet the requirements for the visa and would thus have to settle for the one-month visa-on-arrival.
With the embassy being located in the upscale shopping district of Orchard Rd, we explored a few stores and checked out the crazy architecture before heading back to our base in Little India – a much more interesting and affordable area.
For some crazy reason on his trip to Singapore Travis hadn’t tried the “banana leaf” meal (curries served on a banana leaf plate) and so that was to be today’s lunch. With a cold Kingfisher we enjoyed all of the bursting flavours of Southern Indian cuisines – a wonderful change of pace from Japanese food.
With Deepavali (India’s festival of light) in the near future, a Deepavali “festival village” had been set up in the middle of Little India. It was filled with stuff, overflowing really, but it was fun to check out everything on offer.
We spent the rest of the afternoon looking around Little India, checking out temples (such as Sri Veeramakaliamman, dedicated to Kali), mosques and colourful buildings.
For dinner we headed towards Buggis Center and Albert Court for some awesome hawker stalls (tasty, cheap food) and Chinese-style street market. I had discovered this area close to my hostel on my last trip and I knew that Travis would love the food. I was also really craving chicken rice, but happily grabbed a plate of the duck rice variation instead. Yum!
After a successful day, we headed back to our hostel for the night. Today had really been wonderful, and walking back through Little India at night really showed the magic of the neighborhood. It seems more alive then: more fragrant, and more active with all of the men shopping for fresh produce. With our bellies full and feeling satisfied, I could see that Travis was starting to see why I always said that Singapore was just so darn fantastic!