Seedy(ish) Singapore: Geylang

Despite having lived here for almost 15 years, I’ve never actually visited Singapore’s notorious (at least in Singapore…) red light district, the oft-joked-about-but-actually-very-cool Geylang. It’s one of this generally sterile nation’s seedier areas–that last term maybe deserving of quotation marks. (This is Singapore, after all.) Even walking down a dark street lined with, shall we say, working girls & their soon-to-be clients, the place seems more curiosity than danger zone. But look, of the red light districts I’ve been to in my short 19 years (not many you would hope), I imagine the general rule is just to be respectful, as you would (should?) with any person. ie., no gawking, no “HEY-TAKE-A-PICTURE-OF-ME-WITH-THIS-PROSTITUTE-BRO!” + any other annoying and/or potentially provocative behaviour.

And, for those not yet up to date on Strange Singaporean Laws, prostitution is, in fact, legal. As for peeing in elevators, well, we’re still waiting on that one.

Claypot rice and a spot of chrysanthemum tea.


Tea (teh) tarik, funny fruits, prata



3rd photo from bottom: nice gentleman out-of-frame advised us to “go to Sentosa” if we didn’t want to be solicited.
Solid advice, man. Solid advice.


So there you have it, the red light district of a country you wouldn’t really suspect would tolerate red light districts. Makes it more interesting I guess. How does this compare to other places in the world, I wonder? Amsterdam, Paris & Thailand are the only other ones I’ve seen.* What’s the sex-trade hangout place like where you live?

P.S. – if anyone out there can provide WordPress insight regarding photo uploading (specifically: why does WP consistently rob me of photo sharpness?!) the help would be much appreciated.

*Please note that I am not a sex tourist.

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5 responses to “Seedy(ish) Singapore: Geylang

  1. Precious

    Love it! Food looks delicious. Disappointed at the lack of prostitute photos though.

  2. Schmets

    I am proud to say I have been your loyal companion in most of your red light district adventures. But like Precious, I am quite disappointed at the lack of prostitute photos. I guess that’s because you really aren’t a sex tourist (which is good to know, by the way!) How do the girls compare to Paris or Amsterdam?

    • daniellecourtenay

      Should have clarified my sex-tourist status with you a long time ago I guess, haha. The girls are certainly less forward than in Paris and not as…prominently…displayed…as in Amsterdam. But I guess when you’re looking for them they’re easy to find.

  3. I love reading your blogs, especially when you post about Singapore! I’ve never been there before so it’s really interesting to get your perspective on it.

    Just wondering though, what is that pancake looking thing in that picture next to the one of you drinking iced coffee? I swear, I’ve eaten it before but I don’t remember the name.

    • daniellecourtenay

      Thanks Loraine! I’m glad to know someone is reading it (the count on the side tells me, I guess, but then again 80 percent of those views could just be me refreshing to page to see if anyone’s dared to leave a comment…)
      And that flat fried pancake thing was prata. So good man. I wonder if anyone makes them like that in France.

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Everything I've tried to write here to describe myself or this blog has given me a complex about trying too hard to sound interesting. Let's pretend I wrote something artsy and cosmopolitan.

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