Ah Geylang, the land of perennial traffic, gustatory smorgasbord and some less-than-savory delights. Almost any Singaporean above the age of consent (and some below) will have heard of this infamous district.

But what is it like to stay there? Well, Geylang has changed quite a bit in the past 15 years. At its peak, certain notorious Lorongs were lined shoulder-to-shoulder with… shall we say, available ladies. These days, however, you’d far more likely find such foreign imports running the multitude of (legitimate) eateries in the area.

Granted, Geylang has always been known as a 24-hour food lovers’ paradise. But now, in addition to the traditional and beloved Singaporean favourites such as dim sum, frogs’ leg porridge, beef horfun, and bean curd, we now have new mala hotpot steamboat joints and Chinese barbecued skewer outlets.

What hasn’t changed, is Geylang’s convenience. Service by no less than 3 MRT stations – Aljunied right in the middle, with Kallang and Paya Lebar at the extremes – makes it easy to go almost anywhere. In addition, it lies along major bus routes to and from the city centre, and is actually not far from the Central Business District.

So what’s not to like about Geylang? Well, the obvious is its (somewhat well-deserved) reputation. Any families with young children and ladies would require some intestinal fortitude, on their part, to stay here. That being said, apart from the occasional lascivious stare, the residential areas are quite safe, even at night. Certain businesses that operate at those hours detest police presence, and thus hate any troublemakers that bring the cops in force…

Another problem with staying in Geylang is its popularity. In addition to roads that are busy no matter the time of day, one may have to deal with the occasional inconsiderate driver leaving his vehicle right in front of your gate. And if you hate crowds, then just going downstairs to have a meal might make you lose your appetite.

But if you like access to public transport, proximity to town and good food, you might want to consider checking Geylang out.

 

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