Since my recent trip to Singapore was already my second time, you could say that I was not as much scared to venture out on my own as compared to the first time I had been there. I was able to figure out how to ride the bus and the MRT on my second day which surprisingly was quite easy as long as you read and follow the maps available in the stations. I happily explored Singapore while my sister was slaving it out in her office. The one place that I frequented to when I was there was Chinatown. I simply love the place. For one thing, they sell so many interesting pieces at a bargain (and I am a sucker when it comes to shopping)–Jades, Chinese bags, fans and wallets, pashmina, shirts, quirky chinese amulets, I mean they are all over Chinatown. This is, to me, the best place where you can buy stuffs to bring home. You can get great finds for like 3 for 10 dollars and sometimes 4 for ten dollars.
In one of my outings to Chinatown, I chanced upon the Sri Mariamman Temple, a beautiful Indian temple. I got curious and went inside since it is open to tourist. As soon as you enter the gates though, you have to take off your shoes and walk barefoot since you are standing in what they considered as holy ground. If you want to bring your camera with you and take some pictures, they also charge a minimal fee of 2 dollars. I was mesmerized by the beautiful hand painted ceilings and big statues of their Gods.
On the other side of Chinatown stood the Buddah Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, a buddhist temple. I specifically looked for this place because they said it is beautiful. True enough, it left me awestruck. You do not have to take off your shoes here but you have to be careful not ot disturb the ones worshipping. The security team is also very strict with the distances so you always have to respect the line. You cannot go past it or else they will get upset, after all it is their place of worship. When I went there, there was a worship going on so I had to wait for it to finish so I can see up close the giant buddhas made in (sigh!) gold. I made sure I did not miss anything, there is just so much to see. In one of the floors, there is this Sacred Buddha Tooth Relic made in stuppa and pure gold. You can go inside the room but you cannot take pictures so I just stayed long enough for me remember how it looked like since I cannot capture it in film. This Buddhist temple is truly, truly beautiful. I was lost in this place for hours just drinking in the sights.
This is one of the things that I love about Singapore, the abundant culture clearly present there. It is very rich and diverse. Whether you’re a foreigner living there or just a transient visitor, the place, it just grows on you.:)