From Singapore Hotels & Singapore Lifestyle
Serangoon Road is lined with brightly lit shops spilling over with spices, fabrics, brassware and glittering jewellery.
Here, you can watch a garland-maker entwine brilliant blooms of orchid, jasmine and ixora, the pan-maker wrapping areca nut, gambier, tobacco and lime in serai (betel nut leaf) and a green parakeet named Mani choosing tarot cards based on Hindu mythology for S$2. Or buy home-made yoghurt wrapped in a plastic bag for a dollar on the "five-foot way" (the mandatory five-foot wide corridor that had to be built to front all shophouses as decreed by Stamford Raffles).
In the handful of jewellery shops run by Indian goldsmiths (most are now owned by Chinese), take a closer look at the cabinets in which silver amulets depicting parts of the body such as arms, legs or feet are displayed. Depending on which limb or organ of the body has been inflicted, the Hindus will buy the amulet representing it and give it as an offering in the temple in the hope that the gods will get the message and relieve their pain.
Wander around the small side streets off Serangoon Road and look up at the lovely old facades and pretty bat windows. Watch out for mirrors above the doors, said to deflect evil which travels only in a straight line.