Merry Diwali and Happy Christmas to my Genie

Diwali, Christmas and Genie are three words that are not normally go together in a sentence. But it seems to work in the context of Singapore, a multicultural country where people of different ethnicity and religion live harmonious next to together.

Who would ever believe Ganesha (one of many Hindu gods) would be hanging out with Jesus and his disciples at the last supper! Of course, Ganesha has to be accompanied with two ladies holding a magic lamp each!

I swear the teacher lied to me at the religious study lessons at school. Ganesha was chilling out with Jesus at the last supper!!! Maybe he turned up on this magic carpet!?


Weekend getaway with a twist

So, Hayley and I decided to go there for a last minute weekend getaway a few weeks ago to catch with with our family who were touring Southeast Asia on a cruise ship. It was nice to catch up and we also took an opportunity to visit some of the places that we didn’t see eight years ago when we were last there.

First breakfast in Singapore after we arrived. Curry, chapathi and masala chai (spiced tea). Having a nice tingle in the mouth is the best way to wake up in the morning


River cruise and the Colonial District

So after we met up at the Cruise Terminal, we decided to head down to the Clarke Quay where we took a small boat to see the ‘touristy’ part of the city, including the merlion (a mermaid and lion roll into one body), which is a symbol of Singapore.


River cruise along the Singapore river – near the Colonial District. You know it’s nice when the Brits tour around the empire!

We also walked through the streets at the Colonial district to see the old building left by the Brits. Many of them were old government houses, an old court and I believe also a bridge where they used to hang people who were convicted of serious crimes.

Statue of Sir Stamford Raffles – a gentleman who founded Singapore as a trading post in the Far East

Little India

Of course another things that was not to be missed was Little India. When we were there, Diwali had already happened. Nevertheless, the street decoration were still on the main street. Of course as a Singaporean thing to do, they also have Christmas decorations on the street that is perpendicular to the one with Diwali decorations. It was nice to see both culture blended so well together.

One of the local Hindu temple, which was highly decorated with different gods


Christmas lights – picture taken on next to the Diwali decorations

Arab Quarter

Another place that was nice to visit was the Arab Quarter. There was a massive mosque that looked very similar to the palace seen in Aladdin. (Now you know where disney got their inspiration from right?)


We were not able to go into the mosque because there was an event going on inside, but looking from the outside it looked very impressive and I can imagine the sultan is carried down the street by his foot men.

Walking down the street, there were many many shops selling perfume, frankincense and elaborate glass bottles that go with the perfume. (Maybe the wisemen from the east can buy some for Christmas!)

After we explored the streets nearby, we wandered into the Malay culture museum nearby. It was one of the palaces where Sultan of Johor Bahru live. Johor Bahur is a Malaysian city by the border of Singapore.

It was interesting to see how people lived, how the Malay culture spread across the region into Indonesia through trades and social interactions.

Before we headed back to Hong Kong, all of us enjoyed a lovely meal at a local restaurant. The waiter recommended us to some lovely salad, spiced rice with lamb and shish kebab. What a lovely end to our trip to Singapore.

Phil is trying to wake the Genie up by rubbing the lamp (or rather a teapot) at an Arabic restaurant

Have you been to Singapore? Or have you experienced many culture within a small place? I would love to hear your experience.


6 Comments Add yours

  1. Linda says:

    Great blog as usual


    1. yhpchung says:

      I’m glad you like it 🙂


  2. I also want to travel to Singapore at least once in my life. You mostly see these big modern buildings, but these pictures are sure something you would not think about when you think of Singapore. Thanks for sharing!


    1. yhpchung says:

      Singapore is a nice place and I would highly recommend you yo go there. The interesting thing about it is that the new skyscrapers are built around the old houses and somehow it works really well.

      Also, they do lovely curry there. We enjoyed them very much especially first thing in the morning 🙂


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