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Chinatown and Little India

These 2 ethnic enclaves are for the Chinese and Indians respectively when Sir Stamford Raffles first drew up the city’s first city plan back in the 19th century. Today, these areas still retain their rustic charms of old even after modernizing in many aspects.

Modern-day Chinatown has been spruced up considerably for tourists. Besides the street-side shops, there are shopping complexes and many watering holes and eateries catering to the yuppie and expatriate community. Chinatown is most vibrant and colourful in the month before Chinese New Year, especially in January. There will be throngs of people, tons of festivities and lion dance shows to enthrall.

Little India is no longer the “real thing”, though it hasn’t degenerated into a purely tourist destination. Its unique identity still remains with the many brightly painted shophouses and packed road-side stalls peddling all kinds of Indian goods, including Bollywood soundtracks. There are also numerous affordable authentic Indian cuisines, where many a time, the people around you will be eating the traditional way - by hand.