Geylang in the morning

Through the infamous lorongs, past the brothels and into a gastronomic haven all at once, Geylang by night undoubtedly lives up to its reputation as the ‘Sin City’ of Singapore.

Yet for all the clamour of the red-light district, a walk along Geylang in the morning reveals an unexpected charm of an enclave rich in culture and architectural heritage.

The karang guni or rag-and-bone man make their rounds along the many heritage shophouses in the area. Most of which either adopt the Late Shophouse or Art Deco style

The karang guni or rag-and-bone man make their rounds along the many heritage shophouses in the area. Most of which either adopt the Late Shophouse or Art Deco style

A colourful assortment of plastic chairs kept high and dry till nighttime

A colourful assortment of plastic chairs kept high and dry till nighttime

Much of Geylang looks worse for wear, perhaps from its overuse throughout the years, first from the many light industries that came as a result of the nearby Kallang Basin, to the many hawker stalls and back alley activities where conservation and cleanliness were never put much into consideration.

A workshop that repairs are builds weighing scales is very much awake in the day

A workshop that repairs are builds weighing scales is very much awake in the day

A daytime look at the lorongs that are often a hive of vice-related activities at night

A daytime look at the lorongs that are often a hive of vice-related activities at night

Architecturally, Geylang is lined with shophouses built between the early 1900s to just before World War II, with most of them adopting either the Late Shophouse (1900-1940) or Art Deco (1930-1960) style.

Unlike most other parts of Singapore just rousing from their slumber, daytime in Geylang represents a rest for the bustle of the night, though the nearby residents and daytime industries still provide a sight of the side of Geylang most of us are not too familiar with.

A 1920s Chionoiserie shophouse with distinct Sikh guards armed with rifles adorning its columns. Sikhs were often seen as men of honour and integrity during the colonial days, hence images like these were a used as a sign of protection to the residing family.

A 1920s Chionoiserie shophouse with distinct Sikh guards armed with rifles adorning its columns. Sikhs were often seen as men of honour and integrity during the colonial days, hence images like these were a used as a sign of protection to the residing family.

Residents get up for early morning grocery shopping at a neighbouring mini-mart

Residents get up for early morning grocery shopping at a neighbouring mini-mart

 

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