How cool is feeling like you are in India but you are not at all? As I re-read that, it sounds stupid considering I am basing my vision of India on what I’ve seen in movies and on television shows as I have never been to India! So, based on what I have seen on screen Little India is what I imagine India to be like.
We arrived in Singapore during ‘the haze’ season. The ‘haze’ is a well known season throughout south east Asia when the thousands of palm oil plantations burn off their crops, blanketing the area in what can be described as a thick ‘pea soup’ like haze. It was so thick on the evening we arrived it was inside the terminals at the airport and you could barely see the taxis at the cab rank.
There are hotels at the airport and in Changi suburb but I thought we could at least get some sightseeing done even if it was only a stretch of the legs down the street of the hotel. Little India is located on the northern side of the city and as such easily accessible from the airport. How wrong I was. My son was asleep in the taxi as we pulled out from the airport.
It was the Festival of Deepavali and I wanted to experience it. Deepavali is celebrated by Hindus across the world to mark the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. Travelling with an 8 year old who is down with good versus evil, I had thought this was a great way to introduce other cultures and their beliefs. Deepavali is conducted simply by lighting an oil lamp. Hindu families houses become warm inviting enclaves where they share sweet meats, offer prayers and exchange gifts. I thought we could wander through the bazaars and see the streets covered in arches of colour and lights. Everyone had gone home by the time we were on the ground at the hotel. Singaporeans hate ‘the haze’ I must admit I would too!
Where to stay
I had chosen a hip cool hotel for our stay. The Wanderlust Hotel is centrally located in Little India. After careful research on Trip Advisor and various travel guides and blogs, I had decided that this hotel would be an exciting way to start our holiday. Don’t let the street scene lead you to believe you have booked a dive. Inside is an oasis for the hipsters. From the wall paper to the barber chairs for waiting guests it oozes quirky cool.
It is a small hotel. Small = good service in my mind. Small also = limited services. There was no chance of getting dinner inside as the kitchen had shut. (I should of forced myself to eat the rubbish on the plane) We wouldn’t get breakfast or coffee before the plane as the kitchen wouldn’t be open. Stupid paying for a room with breakfast included when it’s not really huh? Oh well, lesson learnt that for next time.
The rooms have a whimsical and fantasy approach with themes to each. If you’re looking for something left of centre, this is your place. The hotel supplies you with a phone for wandering and use of guides and maps whilst you are staying at the hotel. I’m sure plenty of places are doing this now, being a technical world, but I was impressed. It’s a great idea and saves thousands in data roaming charges. The hotel gave us a passport style book for exploring with heaps of guide tips and information for visitors. I like it when people think outside of the box and surprise you. They get a 5 star rating from me.
The Wanderlust Hotel is innovative not only in the design and their rooms but also with access to information and latest technologies. Each room receives their own ‘iPhone’which you are free for using for maps and information during your travels. Fabulous idea.
Would I go back? Absolutely, but I would ensure I have a travelling mate who didn’t fall asleep at first chance and that I had long enough to walk around and explore.