After signing an agreement with Sir Raffles that made it possible for the British East India Company to use Singapore as trading post, the Sultan Hussein Shah of Johor decided to build a mosque next to his palace, and asked the East India Company to pay for it. It was a small gift in return for secured access and control over such a key trading harbour, I suppose. And that's how Masjid Sultan or Sultan Mosque [مسجد سلطان] that you see at my back was built, remaining unchanged since then.
The interior of the mosque is not as exciting as the environment where you can sample muslim food, perfumes and fashion. Walk two blocks and find the coolest shopping or walk four and explore the indian side of the city. Together with the temples in Little India, the streets in between and the mosque, are the big surprise Singapore was keeping for me.
When someone hears Singapore, the first thing that comes to mind are skyscrapers, finance, malls, Marina Bay Sands and the Merlion. All countries are victims of stereotypes and in the distance, Singapore is a very modern city with a huge international presence in the financial scene of South East Asia. While on site, Singapore unveils a multicultural heritage comparable to that of Malaysia - minus the quota system of course. This diversity, blended with the uber modern environment, is one of the most attractive features and reasons to stop by.