Guide to Geylang

There’s more to Singapore’s infamous red-light district than its sleazy reputation
Geylang Road
By Tiffany Chow |
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Eat this

Get thorny

Satisfy your craving for the king of fruits at any hour of the night at Durian 36, which stocks favourites such as Mao Shan Wang and D24. While durian stalls are aplenty at Geylang, watch out for unscrupulous shopkeepers who might furtively switch the fruit you pick for an inferior one.

608 Geylang Rd (durian36.com). Daily 24hrs.

One-dish wonder

Charred rice with marinated chicken, salted fish, Chinese sausage and vegetables – that’s what you’ll get at Geylang Claypot Rice. Pour in the dark soya sauce and mix well, scraping the burnt rice from the bottom of the pot. Pro tip: call and pre-order your meal, as the claypot rice (from $14/two) takes 25 minutes to prepare.

639 Geylang Rd (6744 4574, facebook.com/geylangclaypotrice). Tue-Sun 11.30am-2.30pm, 5-11.30pm.

Late-night frog porridge

Settle in for frog leg porridge cooked in claypots at G7 Sin Ma Seafood Restaurant. The frogs (from $8) are deep fried and served in gravy cooked with either spring onion and ginger, or dried chilli. Ladle the sauce and chunks of the amphibian over the thick congee, and try not to exclaim ‘Tastes like chicken’ immediately after.

#01-01/02, 161/163 Geylang Rd Lor 3 (6848 4161, g7sinma.com). Daily 3pm-3.30am.

Café by the river

On the fringes of Geylang sits The Tuckshop, a café by day and craft beer bar by night. Expect the usual pub grub such as truffle fries ($12), pasta (from $15) and prawn paste chicken ($13).

403 Guillemard Rd (thetuckshop.com.sg). Mon-Fri 5pm-midnight; Sat & Sun 11am-midnight.

Do this

Take a soak

Before you get any funny ideas, no, the 24-hour g.Spa ($68/entry) is not of the dodgy variety. The spa is equipped with hot pools and saunas, and provides massages (from $122/hour) and foot reflexology (from $100).

#02-02, 102 Guillemard Rd (6280 8988, gspa.com.sg). Daily 24hrs.

Rock-climb

At Onsight, you’ll find 43 climbing lanes and 2,000 sq ft of bouldering space, enough to keep you occupied for hours. Rates for the biggest indoor climbing gym in Singapore start from $18, but get the season pass (from $120/month) if this is going to be your new hobby.

100 Guillemard Rd (6348 8272, onsight.com.sg). Mon- Fri 11am-10.30pm; Sat & Sun 10am-9pm.

Foodie walking tour

Hop on BetelBox’s ‘Sins and Salvation: A Geylang Food Walk’ to get the best primer on the area’s history and food. The four-hour walking tour takes you past massage parlours and temples, with occasional stops to fuel up on great nosh.

Aljunied MRT Exit A. (6247 7349, betelboxtours.com). Fri 6.30pm. $60.

Play a real-life escape game

Immerse yourself in one of Encounter’s escape rooms. The Hospital, The Boutique, and The Cruise, which have rich narratives and intriguing puzzles. But be warned: the first two rooms are terrifying.

Level 2, 454A Geylang Rd (6747 1210, encounter.sg). Tue 5.45-10pm; Wed-Sun 12.45-10pm.

More of Geylang

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