I recently took the boys to Bugis Junction. We went looking for a busker I wanted the boys to meet, but in the end we didn’t find him, so had a great time anyway. We caught a taxi to Bugis Junction and started off enjoying the airconditioned Bugis Junction Mall. There are all sorts of things on display, and the exercise equipment on sale kept the boys entertained for ages, which the staff didn’t seem to mind. But for us, it’s not about shopping, it’s about doing, so we headed over to Bugis Street and even though it was still early in the morning, it was PACKED!
What a wonderful place though – it’s thrumming with life, stuff, and plenty of kitsch to boot, and while it was incredibly difficult keeping sight of my loves, I really enjoyed taking them through it. They were absolutely blown away by it – and with the tight lanes, jammed with shops – it’s definitely an eye festival. After slowly making our way through the main lane, I grabbed the boys a couple of fresh juices, and legged it across the road near the Fu Lu Show Complex.
We took a breather for a few minutes, and then went back into Bugis Street, exploring upstairs and more shopping alleys. There’s nothing to do so much as just experience it, and so we did. I can imagine it’s a teenagers DREAM shopping area, with all sorts of funky cheap clothes and accessories available. It’s just one of those places where stuff is happening all the time, so you can’t help but be entertained.
We crossed back over to Fu Lu Show Complex, and if you’re hankering for a Trishaw ride, this is the place to do it. There are hundreds of them waiting on customers, and it’s got a pucker booking office. We declined the ride for this adventure and went straight ahead, aiming to turn left into the wide boulevard heading towards “Goddess of Mercy Temple” and “Sri Krishnan Temple”, however before we could head off, the boys got distracted by a Chinese street performer. Everything was in Mandarin, so we didn’t understand a word he said, we also had no idea what he was doing, and while it looked like a magic show, I can’t tell you 100 percent what it was. One thing for sure, between him and the cheap toys doing circuits nearby, the boys were enraptured.
Once we got underway again, stopping for a sandwich break, we came across an Indian lady doing fortune telling with a small parrot. Once again, we had no idea what she was saying, but that bird sure seemed clever picking out the tarot cards. Very cool for the boys to see and Jax’s highlight of the day. When we arrived at the “Goddess of Mercy Temple” we had to enjoy it from the street.
As with all temple districts in Singapore, the street was full of stalls selling incense, flowers and statues, but the temple was absolutely jammed with worshippers – it must have been a festival day. Rather than trying to push our way through the crowd, we ended up standing back and enjoy the proceedings. We also came across a giant gold Buddha, and while I was trying to tell the boys that no, this was not an appropriate thing to climb, we got to watch hundreds of people touching, hugging, cuddling and honouring the Buddha.
Walking back up the lane and checking out some of the curious little shops, we decided to wander through the Hawker Centre. It’s always funny heading through food stalls with the lads, because their sensitive noses pick up on everything, and we get a regular chorus of “Mum it’s stinky.” Seafood is number one in the stinky department, as is durian – but that’s for me too – I can’t stand the smell. One day I’ll try it – if I can get over the smell.
From here we headed back into the even more densely packed Bugis Street, and over to the water feature at Bugis Junction for a cooling ice cream, and show, which was pretty funny – a dance competition.
The boys were done-in at this point, but as I wanted to give their Dad a peaceful Saturday without kids, I figured we may as well keep walking, and so we headed up North Bridge Road to one of my favorite places in Singapore – Raffles Hotel. I have been there many times without kids, but it’s a beautiful place to take them as well – with its big shaded corridors, water features, five star toilets and gardens. It’s just a beautiful and peaceful part of Singapore, and somehow, the temperature drops a few degrees when you wander through the tree-lined corridors. Of course, it’s not a place to take my kids shopping, with antiques and artwork valued in the thousands of dollars, but by this point, they just wanted to hang out in the outdoor space.
So there’s my latest urban adventure. I do enjoy taking my boys into the thick of things, because it’s a whole new world to what they normally see, and they really love it – which makes me happy. I just want them to enjoy all of the sights, sounds and smells of this great City.
However, I wouldn’t recommend taking kids that just have no awareness of their safety or haven’t hit that all important stage of keeping their folk in sight. But if you’re kids love to get out and about; it’s definitely a cool place to go. There are plenty of benches and high gutters if you want to stop for a picnic break or do a bit of people watching, and while a lot of it is shaded, I’d recommend packing hats, sun block and water. It’s definitely a hot adventure.
Let us know if you go or if you’ve done it and had any special or quirky experiences?
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