Top 5 worst places in Singapore

Singapore may very well be the Jewel of South East Asia, and a proud Asian Tiger, but some areas of the island, whether tourist attractions, retail opportunities, or modern developments, are just rubbish, to be honest. Here are my picks for the worst 5 places in Singapore.

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5. I would have rated East Coast Park much worse on this list if it wasn’t for the delightful seafood that is served up in that part of the island, but anyhow ECP is now an old spot for families to enjoy some free playtime, as opposed to the beaches on Sentosa, which cost money to use. The area is very dirty compared to other parts of Singapore, and the entertainment (often there is a carnival or some fairground rides here) is totally tacky!

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4. Little India is part of Singapore that I have never enjoyed (further reading: Little India, Little Satisfaction), despite always trying to seek out a cultural experience or two everywhere I go. In Singapore, Little India just seems like a tourist attraction that everybody needs to walk through before flying home, and the residents who live in this area (and nearby Arab Street) are noticeably more pernickety towards tourists than other Singaporeans.

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The finished product?

3. The award for the most pointless part of Singapore must surely go to Sentosa Cove! This luxury real estate development was principally constructed to entice more yachts and businessmen to the area, but this has alienated many regular Singaporeans of the ‘mainland’ who just aren’t interested to coming all the way here on the MRT just to look at a fancy yacht or two. As such, [although there is clearly money here] much of Sentosa Cove remains decidedly like a ghost town with little to no atmosphere.

geylang

2. If you come to Singapore looking for prostitutes then Geylang is your area! While Singapore in general does not have a seedy image, Geylang certainly lowers the tone and simply embarrasses many a Singaporean as they hear tourists’ tales of one night stands and other loutish behaviour that isn’t tolerated anywhere else on the island! There may be cheap food here, but I would advise you to stay away – unless of course you’re prepared to pay the price. Ahem.

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1. As a regular visitor to Singapore (maybe 3-4 times each year), I certainly know of the worst place in the country: Sim Lim Square (further reading: Whatever you do, AVOID Sim Lim Square)! This horrible shopping mall is the site of scams galore, usually involving electronics sales and mobile phone deals. Stay well clear, as these deals are all dodgy! However, I’m not saying all tenants in Sim Lim Square are fraudulent. The kind of scams aimed at tourists from some dealers in Sim Lim Square are more akin to what goes on in Bangkok, Jakarta, or Kuala Lumpur, not Singapore, yet the Singaporean Government have not yet done enough to combat the deceitful malpractice that continues to go on to this day. A simple Google search will tell you all you need to know about Sim Lim Square!

What is your worst place in Singapore? Any obvious choices I’ve missed?

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7 thoughts on “Top 5 worst places in Singapore

  1. When I visited Singapore for the first time, I booked budget accomodation at one of the Fragrance hotels along Geylang Lorong..the hotel was cool, really nice but the surroundings looked like the River Road area of Nairobi, in Kenya. I loved the fact that there were eateries all around, some 24 hours and lovely fruit stalls that were open all night under bright fluorescent lights. On my second visit, I was hosted by a friend and we stayed at Beach Road, very nice area near Arab street? ..my friend informed me that the Geylang area was the ghetto of Singapore, and the red light district..no wonder I got stares when I was walking around at midnight.

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    1. Ouch, that’s a tough lesson to learn! You must have got a lot of those stares! 😀 Beach Road is more upmarket than Geylang area, and has a lot of cheap accommodation. It’s a good place for backpackers of all ages to stay – unlike Geylang!

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  2. You pretty much nail it with SLQ as the worst spot. LOL. Although if you know your PC/mobile stuffs well, and know which are the decent shops, that building is a treasure house.

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    1. Sure, there are some good reliable sellers at Sim Lim Square, but I wouldn’t risk the chance of being hoodwinked! There are so many shopping malls in Singapore, you’d have to be a fool to spend your hard-earned money at Sim Lim Square! Too risky!

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  3. Little India and Arab Street are actually wonderful, buzzing places. Far more so than Chinatown – the vast majority of Singaporeans actually complain about the way Chinatown has been completely stripped of its buzz and commercialised in order to cater to the ‘angmohs’. Little India and Arab Street have retained their functions as buzzing ethnic enclaves for the most part, but Chinatown has been turned into a tourist playground – as a matter of fact, the *real* Chinatown of Singapore can now be found in Geylang. Chinatown used to be exactly like Little India in the 90’s until the government decided to drive all the vice to Geylang and gentrify the place in order to rake in the tourist $$$.

    The problem with Little India is that it isn’t Little India anymore – the government allows Bangladeshi migrant workers to congregate there, so all the people you see there aren’t Singaporean Indians or even Indian tourists, for that matter – >95% of them are just impoverished workers from Bangladesh who have nothing much to do outside of their day jobs. The place isn’t as grubby as it used to be, anyway. As of December 2015 there are two new MRT stations that serve the district (Rochor station and Little India Interchange on the Downtown Line 2) and another one will pop up near Mustafa Centre in 2017 (Jalan Besar station on the Downtown Line 3). The incredible new Indian Heritage Centre also just opened in the newly-pedestrianised Campbell Lane, and the grubby looking shopping mall at the entrance of L.I. (the Verge) will be torn down completely and be replaced with something that looks like it could belong to the Orchard Road strip. A lot of shophouses in the district are scheduled for refurbishment, and will be spruced up as well.

    Singaporeans of all walks love Little India the way it is, and don’t really care about the feelings of tourists. We don’t really bother with Chinatown anymore because it is a tourist trap, and we hang out at L.I. as well as Arab Street and Geylang for all the good eats. I’d defo like it if they could spruce L.I. up a bit, which they have only just started doing, but turning it into another Chinatown would be a big no-no. I have a feeling that you decided to just ‘walk through’ the districts without actually exploring them further because of some preconceived notions about how these places would be, but there are some incredibly stunning shophouses on the periphery of the L.I. area on the Jalan Besar strip.

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