Sleeping in Singapore’s Red Light District, Geylang

Sleeping in Singapore’s Red Light District, Geylang

A retelling of my first time in Singapore – sleeping in Singapore’s red light district, Geylang. Singapore’s red light district or Geylang has a lot more to offer than women. In fact, if you look past the prostitutes it is a vibrant and interesting place to stay.

Thanks to budget airlines I was able to pick up cheap tickets to Singapore from Perth (Western Australia). I had never been there before and did little research. I found the cheapest hotel I could which was in Geylang, which I soon discovered to be Singapore’s red light district.

As soon as I stepped out of the airport the thick, humid air hit me. It was the same as in Malaysia but I guess I subconsciously thought that since it was known to be the cleanest city in the world then the air would be clean and fresh. I took a deep breath and headed for accommodation. The train system in Singapore is very good and I had no problem finding my hotel.

Singapore’s Red Light District

I stayed in an area called Geylang. It seemed ordinary enough. A few noodle shops, general stores etc. I wasn’t feeling to great so I arrived at my hotel and slept it off until dinner time. When I awoke however, the quaint little “suburb” seemed to have turned into one big brothel.

I quickly realised that Geylang was Singapore’s red light district. There were no families eating in the restaurants at this time of day. After a 10 minute stroll and about 10 offers of women for hire, I found a place that wasn’t overpopulated by gangsters and ordered.

As it turns out, Singaporeans are very friendly. A middle aged man took a chair next to me and an array of dishes came out. ‘Please, help me eat’ he said to me. We ate and talked until about half way through and then decided that we would never get through it. He then invited some of the local ladies of the night (who were just hanging around talking to the patrons, I’m guessing, trying to pick up some work’) to come and join us. He would say something to them in Chinese, they would laugh, then he would talk to me in English, usually something about his wife and kids. I guess by telling me about his family it made him feel OK about flirting with the prostitutes. I saw nothing wrong with it, he was having a good time.

singapore's red light district

This restaurant is famous in Geylang for its frog porridge soup.

The girls helped finish the food, then he tipped them for helping us eat. I went back to my hotel early that night as I was still feeling unwell. I only spent another two days in Singapore but it was more than enough. In fact, it was very similar to my home town, Perth, but cheaper, humid and Asian. I was still crook by the time I got home so went to a doctor. I ended up having some kind of fungal disease. It went away after a few more days but wasn’t pleasant.

Although I didn’t “sample the goods” available in Singapore’s red light district, I still had a good time sleeping there. It had a much more interesting night life than the other places in Singapore, and I think if I where to go back I would probably stay there again.

Have you spent any time in Singapore’s red light district before? Share your experiences (or anything else you want to say) in the comments below 😀 .

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