5 Places To Visit Along The Downtown Line
Never been along the Downtown Line?
Fret not; it’s never too late to start!
Begin this weekend by exploring the blue line’s variety of delicious food hideouts, nature getaways, and shopping areas.
Here’s the Top 5 to kick-start your explorations:
1. Beauty World MRT
Just walking distance from the station is a long chain of local food delights- perfect for catching up with your friends (especially if you’re having local cravings)! The famous Indian prata house, Al-Azhar, is a well-known hotspot for gatherings of students and adults alike. Chat over affordable pratas, local tea and kopi variations, and of course, the signature heaping Milo Dinosaur for Milo-lovers. Try the Indian specialties such as the Al-Azhar Roti John, a filling stuffed bread with omelette, cheese, shrimps and chili sauce, and the hearty murtabuk- a meat-stuffed prata served crisp and piping hot- you’ll be raising your hand for more orders to come.
Al-Azhar Roti John
Mixed Berries Bingsu
Craving a taste of famous Korean dessert bingsu? The Korean eatery “Nunsongyee” along the streets at Beauty World Exit B is just a short walk away. Deliciously light and fresh, the creamy shaved ice topped with a variety of ingredients is sure to put a smile on your face. Head on down with your family and friends, and busk in the calm ambience of the dessert cafe.
Bingsu prices range from about $12-$18.
2. Bugis Junction
Bugis Junction is a bustling district for the arts and food-lovers. Comb the streets and you’ll find hidden treasures- such as unique local gift store-cum typography store Wheniwasfour/ The Commandment Co., walking distance from both Bras Basar and Bugis Station. Pick up beautifully inspiring gift cards and typography-inspired stationery for your loved ones, or a lovely Singaporean souvenir or two for yourself- perhaps a punny Youtiao notebook? A pair of "Yi ge feng he ri li de zao shang" socks (a typical line used by primary school students to start off a Chinese composition); or the best addition of late- an array of local kopi shop- inspired stickers, featuring local snacks with characters and minds of their own (Get ready for those puns)! The possibilities are endless; head on down to marvel at the assortment of local souvenir delights.
Fill your arts craves with a visit to the Singapore Arts Museum (SAM) arts scene, and treat yourself after with a mouth-watering gourmet pastry at artisan bakery Asanoya’s- (Try the Smores' Pastry - a little croissant topped with chocolate and oozes of marshmallow; or the Sausage Fried Doughnut- a hot dog wrapped with a big, fried doughnut; Mmm).
For those who want their shopping, fear not- Bugis Street appeals to many, with their quirky designs and stalls. And of course, who could forget the Central Library, the most extensive trove of books- for those who just want a quiet, cosy nook to read a good book.
3. Botanic Gardens
Get away from your studies for an hour or so by heading to the Singapore Botanical Gardens. Not only is it a lovely place for strolls and enjoyment of fresh air; it is one of Singapore’s highly cherished UNESCO Heritage Sites. There are countless pathways to explore, to discover, and to enjoy. Evening strolls or morning strolls, sitting on the grass, admiring the sunset- even having a chance to appreciate the musical talents of those who head down to the Symphony Stage- The Botanic Gardens is truly a place for breathing in, soaking in, and admiring Mother Nature’s gifts to us.
(You might even get to see the black swans, waddling along the green grasses along the water’s edge).
4. Newton Food Centre
One of Singapore’s most long-standing and cherished food centres, the Newton Food centre will always be a personal childhood favourite of mine. For the noodle-lovers: Try the delectable mee tai mak- a thick glass noodle stirred with fishballs, spring onion and a mixture of tangy tomato-based sauce, or go for the famous duck noodles- braised duck tossed with brown sauce and yellow noodles. (Rice-lovers, fear not- noodles can be swapped over for a mound of hot, steamed rice). Noodles or rice, black sauce or spice, there’s something to satisfy every local craving at the Newton Food Centre.
5. Little India
Little India is a great getaway for vibrancy and soaking up of the Indian culture. The array of rich cloths, brooches, and old-school traditions will bring you a new experience from the usual places of visit. Indeed, there is something charming about visiting places entrenched with heritage in Singapore. Take the time to explore these rich areas as you tour the Downtown Line- it’s a brilliant opportunity.
Till the completion of the Downtown Line’s full family of stations, do explore these stations meanwhile!
It was a joy to share my personal experiences of the Downtown Line with you; now it’s up to you, to find your own gems, too.
(There are always some hidden along every stop around us. Who knows- perhaps one day you too, will be writing an article of your own shareable gems).