Geylang Serai, once a trade emporium and one of singapore‘s oldest Malay settlements, has a rich history that dates back to the latter half of the 19th century. The district got its name from the extensive cultivation of serai, or lemongrass, which was a prominent crop in the area during that time. Today, Geylang Serai is a vibrant enclave filled with restored shophouses, religious establishments, and traditional eateries that offer a glimpse into the local heritage of the region.
One of the highlights of Geylang Serai is its bustling bazaars and traditional markets. The Geylang Serai Market is one of the largest and busiest wet markets in Singapore. Not only is it a vital social hub, but it is also a great place to explore and expand your culinary horizons with some traditional Malay cuisine. The market offers a wide variety of dishes, including asam pedas stingray, beef rendang, and goreng pisang. These dishes showcase the unique flavors and spices that are characteristic of Malay cuisine.
Another popular food hub in Geylang Serai is the Haig Road Food Centre. This hawker centre is known for its diverse range of offerings, including roti john and putu piring. Roti john is an omelette sandwich that is filled with a variety of ingredients, while putu piring is a steam rice flour cake filled with gula melaka, or palm sugar. One of the must-try stalls at Haig Road Food Centre is Haig Road Putu Piring, where the owner, Mohamad Hashim, has dedicated over two decades to perfecting this traditional sweet treat.
If you happen to visit Geylang Serai during the holy month of Ramadan, you must check out the Geylang Serai Bazaar. This vibrant street market is transformed with lights, festivities, and a wide array of traditional and modern street food. From pasar malam staples like vadai to mee kuah, there is something to satisfy every palate. The bazaar offers a unique opportunity to experience the cultural richness and diversity of the neighborhood.
Geylang Serai is not just about its bustling markets and delicious food. It is also a place steeped in history and culture. One of the best ways to explore the neighborhood’s heritage is by visiting The Intan. This post-war terrace residence has been converted into a museum that showcases the rich Peranakan culture. Owner Alvin Yapp has curated a remarkable collection of Peranakan artifacts and antiques, offering visitors a glimpse into the unique traditions and history of the community. Visits to The Intan are by appointment only, so be sure to book a tour in advance.
For those interested in religious architecture and tradition, a visit to Sri Sivan Temple is a must. Dedicated to Shiva, a principal deity in the Hindu pantheon, this temple has a fascinating history. The original temple was damaged during World War II and was subsequently relocated to its current location in 1993. The temple’s intricate architecture and beautiful sculptures are a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the area.
In addition to its cultural landmarks, Geylang Serai is also known for its colorful shophouses and residential housing blocks. Taking a leisurely stroll through the neighborhood allows you to appreciate the unique architectural styles and design elements that are characteristic of the area. The vibrant facades of the shophouses and the charming atmosphere of the residential blocks create a picturesque setting that is perfect for exploration and photography.
Geylang Serai is not just a place, but a community filled with stories, traditions, and histories. It is a testament to the rich cultural diversity of Singapore and serves as a reminder of the country’s vibrant past. Whether you are interested in exploring the bustling markets, indulging in traditional cuisine, or immersing yourself in the heritage of the region, Geylang Serai offers a unique and unforgettable experience. So, take a walk with us through this enclave rich in local heritage and discover the hidden gems that make Geylang Serai truly special.
Address And Location:
1 Geylang Serai , Singapore 402001
1 Geylang Serai , Singapore 402001