On your second day, continue to explore life at ground level with a morning meander through Little India, the heart of Singapore's Indian community. After lunch, escape the afternoon heat at the Asian Civilisations Museum, then finish your day with a Singapore Sling at Raffles Hotel. Start: Taxi to Serangoon Road or MRT to Little India station.
1. Serangoon Road
A long strip where the locals come to buy spices (check out the old grinding mill on Cuff Rd. just off Serangoon), flowers (at the sellers making jasmine garlands by the roadside), Bollywood DVDs (you can hear the music blaring out into the street), saris (you can have one made for yourself), and all kinds of ceremonial items, many of which make excellent gifts. This is one of the few old neighborhoods in Singapore that hasn't been "Disney-fied" by the government. If you love chaos, come on Sundays, when most workers have their day off. This place is packed like Calcutta!
2. Sri Veerama Kaliamman
Midway down Serangoon Road, you'll find this brightly colored temple humming with devotees all times of the day. Take off your shoes to explore the dioramas inside. If you get here early enough, you can watch as the statues inside are bathed. The water, considered blessed, runs off a small spout behind the left side of the main altar.
3. Mustafa Centre
Farther along Serangoon Road, Mustafa's is a crazy Indian emporium. While many of the goods are pretty standard, look for all the neat India imports. Explore the basement sari fabric department, one of the largest in Singapore. I love the groceries section with row after row of boxed curry mixes -- great to take back home! Or check out Mustafa's three floors of the most elaborate gold jewelry you've ever seen.
Take a taxi from Mustafa's to the Asian Civilisations Museum.
4. Asian Civilisations Museum
This is my favorite museum, for its well-planned displays and handsome presentations of the many cultures that influenced Singapore's heritage. Don't leave without checking out the gift shop, which features exceptional regional handicrafts. They take special care to support crafting communities.
5. The Historic District
From ACM, take a walk through the downtown civic center, where you'll pass the Old Parliament House, the Padang, the Supreme Court, City Hall, and St. Andrew's Cathedral. The stroll takes only about a half-hour, a bit more if you linger at any of the sights.
6. The Singapore Sling
Walk past Raffles City Shopping Centre, and you'll find Raffles Hotel. Take your time to wander through her public spaces (visitors are not allowed in residents' corridors). There's upscale shopping, pretty courtyards, and lots of dining options. Head for the Long Bar, where you can sip a sweet Singapore Sling at the place where the drink was invented. To be honest, this isn't the actual bar; the current Long Bar is a replica built into the Raffles' new wing. But after a couple of these powerful concoctions, you won't care.