Little India Walkabout
No visit to the sunny island of Singapore is complete without a visit to Little India. Part of the grand plan of Sir Stamford Raffles, this portion of the island was allocated to the immigrants from India seeking their fortunes in South-east Asia.
My recommendation is to take the MRT to Little India or Jalan Besar station and then explore the surrounding streets along Race Course Road before making your way to the more touristy areas along Serangoon Road. Nagigate through the numerous shops selling everything from clothes, jewelry and fruits all the way to flowers and garlands. This place is especially vibrant during the Indian celebrations of Deepavalli or Diwali which is also known as the Festival of Lights.
People here are super friendly, but if you want to take a photo, do ask their permission first and you will find that they are very obliging.
If you plan your visit around the Diwali period, then the main thoroughfare around Serangoon Road will be brightly decorated all the way down the street.
There will also be an abundance of open-air bazaars, and one of the largest is along the side-street fronting the Indian Heritage Centre. Immerse yourself in the busy stalls selling everything from decorations and firecrackers to delicious festive snacks. Hanna painting is also a favourite among the younger audience.
If you have time, explore the side streets around the area. You will be very pleasantly surprised with what you find lurking around every corner.
There are numerous drinking joints, restaurants, rooftop bars and even hipster hangouts serving delicious fusion food. Here you can find lots of budget rooms to let and back-packer hostels.
Little India is so full of culture and life. The place never sleeps and the biggest shopping mall Mustafa's is open 24 hours. There you will find almost anything and everything in one place. But if shopping is not your thing, then wander round the side streets of Little India. You will be surprised with the diversity intermixed between the old and the new.
Mid-Autumn Festival @ GBB
Every year come August, the Gardens by the Bay comes alive at night with a dazzling display of lanterns.
This year is no different. From September 6th to 24th, the theme is "Autumn of Fantasies" and the widest display to date is named "Leaping over The Dragon's Gate" located on the banks of the Dragonfly Lake.
The centrestage of the lantern displays must surely be the Phoenix and the Peony located at the Supertree Grove.
Take a stroll down the Scented Walk and enjoy the huge displays of Sky Lanterns with the iconic Marina Bay Sands in the background.
This is the time of the year when the Marina Bay becomes the venue for Asia's leading sustainable art festival - iLight. On till 1st April 2018, secret corners of the Marina Bay come alive from 7:30pm till midnight (on weekends).
Located at the lower broadwalk to the left of the Marina Bay Sands, step into a totally dimension as you explore life's journey.
Other art decor pieces are scattered all along the Marina Bay. Take a leisurely around the Bay. My recommendation is to start from the Marina Bay Sands, make your way clock-wise and end your walk at the Merlion Park.
With Love... at Clifford Pier.
Keep pace with this giant beating heart and watch the pulsating beat on the facade of the Fullerton Hotel in the distance.
Relax by the park and watch the Merlion go through the Elements of Life - Water, Earth, Wind and Fire, in this mesmerising display.
Stroll up the former location of the Merlion and drum your way at the Illumaphonium, an interactive art display of lights and sounds.
Dahlia Dreams at GBB
If the heat of the afternoon sun is too much to bear, take a trip to the Gardens by the Bay and cool down in the Flower Dome. On till 4th March is the floral display entitled Dahlia Dreams.
There are a variety of flowers including Chrysanthemums and Azaleas in full bloom in the Flower Field.
Of course being the year of the Dog in this year's Chinese New Year Zodiac, no decoration is complete without the sculptures by renown driftwood artist, James Doran-Webb.
Better still, stay till sunset and enjoy the lanterns at the front
A life well-lived, M.K. Wong shares his life's experiences with all.