Singapore 2018: Little India Heritage Trail, Chinatown, Keong Saik Road + 5Footway.Inn Hostel

Hibernated at my parent's house over the long weekend, so I had time to edit some of my Singapore photos! Anyway, here's part 2 of my 8-day Singapore birthday adventure with Nico. We were aiming for a more laid-back cultural experience this time (we already did all the touristy stuff a few years back) and it was a success. It surprises me that I still get to explore and discover so many new things, even though I've already been there a few times. I have shared with you what happened during our first day and night in Singapore, now read on to know more about what we did during days two to three! Photos and stories below...

 On our first day in Singapore, we checked into a nice boutique hostel situated inside a 1900s shophouse along Race Course Road in Little India, and then spent the night admiring an amazing lights show (Rainforest Lumina) and nocturnal animals (Night Safari) at the Singapore Zoo.  We woke up late the next day because we needed to catch up on sleep (I blame it on my Meteor Garden obsession). We didn't have any fixed itinerary so we just played everything by ear. We just DIY'd depending on the time and our then current location. It was my first time to stay in this part of town so I was really excited to explore the area. Nico especially, since he's crazy about Indian food, Bollywood and their culture!

So many nice murals and artsy corners in Little India!

Our hostel is just a few meters away from the Little India Arts Belt and Little India train station Exit E!:)

Ready to explore!

This neighborhood is so colorful!

Best way to explore Little India is by foot! 

"Singapore’s National Heritage Board established three heritage trails around Little India, inviting visitors to explore the past of this vibrant neighborhood. Although many tour operators offer walks around the area, these trails are specially curated to tourists with limited time (and who may need a little helping hand). The trails are divided into three categories: The Walk of Faiths, Serangoon in the 1900s and Shop Til You DropEach is supplied with information about how the neighbourhood as evolved over the years, including details of the lives of its former tenants." 

The beautiful and colorful, House of Tan Teng Niah

Located at Kerbau Road in Little India, The Residence of Tan Teng Niah is a brightly colored landmark that is also the last remaining Chinese villa in the history of Little India Singapore. It was built in the 1900s by successful businessman Tan Teng Niah for his wife. :)

Wearing H&M romper, Pony sneakers, Mumuso hat

Myriad of small shops and food places line the buildings

Si Nico lang tourist hehe

Nico LOVES Indian food, so when he saw a crowd of locals lining up and eating at this random restaurant by the corner (a few steps away from the Tan Teng Nieh house) he imposed we eat there too and I obliged.  We were supposed to check out and dine at the Tekka Centre but we were already starving and food looked promising. Maybe next time I'd finally get to visit!

Love the wall art!

Locals eating

Nico had mutton & veggies for $8 sgd, while I chose crab & veggies for $10 sgd. It was delicious!

Best part? We ate using our hands, just like what locals do! Legit. :)

Had to take a photo in front of this beautiful mural across the resto

After eating we continued walking until we reached Serangoon Road!

Serangoon Road, Little India’s central strip, boasts a plethora of jewellery shops, traditional Indian tailors, everything-must-go fashion outlets, fresh fruit and vegetable stalls, Chinese liquor stores, beauty salons, and of course, row upon row of delicious curry houses. This is certainly one of the must-see roads in Singapore. Don't forget to check out Campbell Lane, Dunlop St, Kerbau Rd, or Upper Dickson Road for more of the same thing – just with less people and noise!

Little India today is one of Singapore’s most vibrant districts. As you walk down Serangoon Road and neighbouring streets, explore their mix of Hindu and Chinese temples, mosques and churches. Fill your tummy with South Indian vegetarian food, North Indian tandoori dishes and local fare like roti prata (round pancakes) and teh tarik (pulled tea in Malay). Try to spot the brewers ‘pull’ the hot milk tea – it’s amazing showmanship. And don’t forget to shop!!! The 24-hour shopping mall Mustafa Centre offers everything from electronics to groceries, or take your pick from open-air Tekka Centre, goldsmith shops and sari stores.

Peeked inside the Indian Heritage Centre  

Checking out Campbell Lane!

Lots of nice restos along Upper Dickenson Road

Cute sign outside Lagnaa Barefoot Dining restaurant

So many beautiful murals!!!

Happy kid sha ih

Located along Serangoon Road, the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple dedicated to the goddess and destroyer of evil, Sri Veeramakaliamman or Kali, is one of Singapore's oldest temples. It was built by Indian pioneers who first settled in the area and became a focus of early Indian Social Cultural activities there. 

"The choice of Sri Veeramakaliamman as the chief deity of the temple is significant. Referred as a powerful goddess and Destroyer of Evil, her presence answered an important need of the early migrants - the need to feel secure in a new land.It seems that in the early days worship at the temple began at a small shrine with carvings and inscriptions. From these beginnings the temple was gradually built. According to one account, Hindu residents in the area helped to build the temple."

There are skirts you can borrow at the entrance

Nico went cray-cray shopping here haha

Saw this cute elephant park

Took the train from Little India to Dhoby Ghaut

Walked around some more

Saw this super cute car!!!

Found ourselves at Orchard Road

We were looking for Orchard Gateway Mall when we passed by this pretty building called Peranakan Place. Formerly known as Peranakan Corner, it is situated at 180 Orchard Road and forms part of the Emerald Hill Conservation Area within the Orchard district in central Singapore. Peranakan Place comprises a row of six two-storey shophouses facing Orchard Road, built around 1902 at the intersection of Emerald Hill Road and Orchard Road in the planning area of Newton in Singapore. In 1895, it became the pilot restoration and development project conducted by the Urban Development Authority (URA). It is now used as a commercial building that contains a variety of developments. The shophouse is an iconic South-East Asian design that was popular in the 1960s and has recently experienced a revival due to the growing focus on historical preservation. The entrance is on Emerald Hill Road at the Orchard Road junction. (source: https://en.wikipedia.org)

Another instagrammable spot in the city!

Didn't take much photos here but would love to explore this area more next time!

Finally made it to Orchard Gateway Mall!

Missed this swiss inspired food court inside selling amazing food

Brought Nico to my favorite spot inside Orchard Gateway Mall-- Library@Orchard!

So many nice books and nice corners

Spent an hour here reading before meeting up with Nic's sister-in-law for dinner!

Met up with Ate Grace at Singapore's most famous hawker-- Newton Food Center!

We rode the train from Orchard to Newton station and just walked going to the hawker center.

Does this place look familiar? Maybe because you've seen it in the phenomenal movie Crazy Rich Asians!!! 

 I immediately recognized the place in the movie!

I wonder how they filmed the scene with so many people there hehe

Nico and I had a hard time choosing which food to buy and from which stall to order from. Don't be easily swayed by the persistent (borderline aggressive) stall owners. Take your time and choose wisely! :)

Ordered sambal squid, cockles and taiwanese pechay! So delicious! But compared to other hawkers, food in Newton is a bit pricier. 

After dinner, we passed by this grocery store to buy some beer, chips and my favorite Ricola candy! We then ended the night at Ate Grace's condo where we chatted some more and Facetimed with Nico's fam. :)

The next day we woke up early, packed our bags, checked out of Vintage Inn, bade Little India goodbye and took a train to my favorite area, our home for two nights-- CHINATOWN!!! We took Exit A to Pagoda street and just a few steps away is our hostel, 5footway.inn Chinatown. I love it! I stayed at 5footway's Ann Siang branch but this one is more convenient location wise. It's just literally a few steps away from the train station! And some souvenir shops and the Chinatown Heritage Center. 

Exit A, Pagoda Street! On the right side, a few steps away, is our hostel 5footway.inn! Can you see the hostel signage on the right?

Hostel entrance

I've stayed in their other branch, 5footway.inn Ann Siang, just a few meters away and it's quite different in terms of style. Both hostels have a modern touch but Ann Siang is more Peranakan, while Chinatown has this simple and minimalistic colonial influence. Love both though! 

Stairs leading to reception area on the 2nd floor

They have a self check-in machine but the staff assisted us and helped us when we got there. Kind, kind souls. 

Communal dining area where guests could dine and mingle with each other. Great place to make new friends!

 Lounge area might be tiny but it's cozy and well-lit

MAC computers guests could use freely! There's also a self-service laundry for an extra charge. 

Enjoying this outdoor terrace! Free water, tea and coffee are available for guests. 

Common bathroom on the 2nd floor

We were then escorted to our room on the 3rd floor!

Welcome to our room!!! Stayed here for 2 nights with my oppa. Weh! Haha.

Our room has a full length mirror. Yey!

We stayed in a 2-bed dorm room so we also had 2 lockers inside. There's also free WiFi!

The Standard Twin Room's price ranges from P2,500 - P3,000+ depending if it's peak or lean season

Triple Loft Room

 4-bed Dorm

 On our last night in Singapore, we went back to Chinatown and stayed inside their 6-bed Mixed Dorm Room!

 6-bed dorm room! The hostel has mixed and female dorm rooms

All rooms exude an atmosphere of total peace and harmony that feature thoughtful amenities such as individual lights, electrical sockets and personal lockers to ensure an unparalleled sense of comfort for the guests. The air-conditioned dormitory rooms feature bunk beds with anti-dust mite mattresses. Guests of the hostel can access the shared toilet and bathroom with free toiletries and hot/cold shower provided. A female-only bathroom is also available. (source: https://www.agoda.com)

Shared bathroom #1 with 2 toilets and shower

Shared bathroom #2! Toiletries are limited so best to bring your own.

The hostel might seem small but I was surprised to see many rooms!

Outdoor terrace!

Receptionists are not available 24/7 but in any case of emergency, the emergency hotline is available 24 hours and the entire property is equipped with CCTVs for security. We felt safe inside naman. Our floor could only be accessed by guests who have keycards. Doors are secured by a digital keycard lock. 

Hostel's main entrance leads straight to Pagoda Street! Love it!

If you want to book a room, click here:

*Use my code "AI10" for a 10% discount if you book through email: marketing@5footwayinn.com. Go book it! :)

From our hostel we took the overpass going to the other side where People's Park Complex is located.

Our favorite money changer on the left! Oh, how I missed this place. 

So many delicious food choices!

 My trip to SG would never be complete without eating my favorite Chinese Burger! Only $1.50!

People's Park Complex for lunch! One of my favorite hawkers in SG.

So many locals eating here

So many stalls! We had a hard time choosing.

Frog anyone? No, thanks hehe.

We finally agreed to buy from this stall.  

Nico and I shared this plate! Duck, pork, chicken meal for $8 :) We just ordered extra rice!

Souvenir shop across our hostel!

Signs to guide you

Chinatown has free WiFi! Useful for travelers.

From Pagoda St, I used Google Maps (connected by TEP Wireless) and we walked towards Keong Saik Road

The street is located behind the Chinatown Complex near the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple.

Keong Saik Road is a colourful one-way street of traditional colonnaded architecture. Originally made up of grocers, incense sellers and coffee shops interspersed with private homes, the area became notorious for prostitution in the 1960s as many of its beautiful two and three-storey shophouses were turned into brothels. In 1991, the street’s transitional and art deco style shophouses were granted preservation status as part of the wider Bukit Pasoh Conservation Area, helping the area to attract fine dining restaurateurs, hip art galleries, boutique accommodation and old-school coffeehouses.

So many nice, hipster restos and coffee shops could be found here!

Housed inside an iconic heritage building, Potato Head is a popular resto/bar in the neighborhood

So many pretty shops and establishments in the area

Wearing Wear Frolic dress, Pony sneakers, Lipault bag

Dragged Nico to have meryenda here at Tong Ah Eating House!

Tong Ah Eating House is a traditional coffee shop that is famous for their crispy kaya toast. It has been around since 1939 so you're not just eating toast or drinking coffee, you're also experiencing tradition! 

We were handed this menu. We chose Combo B with #4 (Teh or Teh Tarik). Paid $5 for the whole set. 

Freshly made

It's located at #35 Keong Saik Road

Cute ni Lolo. :) Best meryenda ever!

Across the street is this Michelin Star resto called Kok Sen restaurant. Didn't get to try it. Maybe next time!

 Chinatown Food Street! I don't eat here though coz pang tourist the food! So pricey compared to other areas.

It was my favorite street food place before but not anymore.

Chinatown Food Street is located along Smith Street, a street once lined with brothels. 

 Super cute Lolo performing 

 Had dinner at Oriental Chinese Restaurant along New Bridge Road in Chinatown!

 This area and resto is always crowded, highly frequented by locals and tourists alike.

 After 10 minutes of waiting, finally got a table! Ordered beef skewer, gyoza and noodles. So yummy! Fave ko their noodles. I think we paid $20 for everything.

This restaurant along the corner of Pagoda is open til the wee hours of night.

We had a pretty chill day, no rushing and I actually enjoyed not having to strictly follow an itinerary. I only advise this though if you're not a first-timer. But I dunno, it still depends on what type of traveler you are. So anyway, this ends my Singapore 2018 Days 2 to 3 post! I wanted to include Day 4 but TOO MUCH PHOTOS. Haha! So dividing it by 3 blog entries nalang. Up next are photos and stories from Days 4-5 where we explored Kampong Glam, Haji Lane and Sentosa. Thanks for reading! :) 

General Expenses: (in PHP)
Plane ticket - 1,500
Airport tax - 1,620
TOTAL = P3, 120

Budget Day 1 (in SGD)  
Airport dinner - 3
Bus ticket to SG - 60
EZ Link card reload - 20
Lunch at Nicholls station - 5
Dinner at Usman - 8
Convenience store/Miscellaneous - 5
TOTAL =  $101 or P3,900

Budget Days 2-3
Lunch at Indian eatery - 13
C1000 drinks - 6
Dinner at Newton - 10
Groceries - 10
Chinatown People's Park lunch - 5
Tong Ah Kaya snack - 5
Dinner at Oriental Chinese Resto - 10
Miscellaneous - 15
TOTAL = $74 sgd or P2,852

*budget depends on shopping habits and food preferences

Link to all my travel posts:

Link to all my Singapore 2018:

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