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Waterloo Street, Singapore

Street walks are one of my fav past times, whether in a bustling metropolis, quiet village or heritage area. Recently I had an  opportunity to explore Waterloo Street in the city state of Singapore - the stretch between Bras Basah and Rochor Roads. The road was renamed, by the colonial British administration, from Church Street to its currently used label, in 1858 to commemorate the Duke of Wellington's victory in the famous battle in far away Europe.

The northern side of Waterloo Street is the site of flower markets, shopping centres, dry produce shops with five-foot ways, the well patronised Kuan Im Hood Cho Temple (picture above), the Maghain Aboth Synagogue and the busy Sri Krishnan Temple. For the visitor, it offers a microcosm of what Singapore is all about - trading, the mingling of various immigrant groups and shared values. Recent developments in this precinct include the campus of the Singapore Management University.

Painted wall murals (above) and feeding pigeons (below) add to the variety seen in the pedestrian mall section of Waterloo Street. Tamils refer to this road with emphasis on the Hindu temple, whilst the Fujian community in Singapore describe it as the street in Bencoolen where the vegetarian hall is. The Teochews refer to Waterloo Street as the road of horse carriages.

Below image, a typical back packer's hostel places the guest in the centre of much colour, activity and access to street food. I visited Waterloo Street during the busy preparations leading to the arrival of the Lunar New Year of the Water Dragon.


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