Is the red light district in Singapore a tourist attraction (as opposed to someone looking to buy sex) as in Amsterdam?
No there is definitely not a designated area such as Amsterdam for tourists.
However Orchard Tower and some classy night clubs are renown to serve tourists ( as well as some Clarke Quay bars)
Parts of Geylang are also an accepted area - catering for locals and foreign workers.
So it is not the kind of place a tourist would walk through, but strictly a business place? I heard an Aussie Stand up comic talk about it, so I thought I would enquires
No Singapore law dictates that vice activities remain underground and apart from Orchard Tower being a meeting place and for tourists only those providing services eg in Geylang ( fish bowl venues) must be registered.
The other places I informed operate illegally and disguised as massage/ spas... and arrests are very frequent.
I take your question to be whether it is worth visiting the red light district of Singapore, if you are there as a tourist and not looking for sex.
Geylang, the main red light district, is worth visiting if you are looking to find the less polished side of Singapore. You will find many local restaurants such as Sin Huat Eating House (made famous by Anthony Bourdain). Geylang is also a hub for Durian, with many roadside stands selling the fruit on weekend evenings. You will also see a lot of the traditional shophouse architecture, and there are a lot of budget hotels located in the district.
The red light district only occupies the even-numbered streets (called Lorongs) in the district, with the bulk of brothels located along Lorong 24, 26, 28, and 30.
If you are interested in visiting the area, there are some guided tours such as this one provided by Betel Box Tours: http://www.betelboxtours.com/tour-detail/54409890da816227664964cd/sins-salvation-a-geylang-food-walk
Little India is more convenient if all you want is a cursory glance. It's the common backlane between the Desker Road & Rowell Road shophouses. https://www.streetdirectory.com/sg/desker-road/18080_1.html
The shophouse whores are legal (the DSC clinic is across the road at Kelantan Lane, in fact), but the surroundings also draw transgenders, streetwalkers, sex drug peddlers (all illicit), triad lookouts (sitting at the kopitiams at the bookends) & many foreign workers wandering around at night. So the sleaze is very real (take care), & police raids aren't uncommon.
It's worth a walk but if you were to compare this with those in Amsterdam, it is a different setup. Those broads in Amsterdam sit in the shop window or sometimes may just hassle you. In Singapore such things are prohibited and the houses abide by this restriction set by the law.
However, you are welcome to step into the house to have a look. You cant do this to every house with the lighted house number light box. The operator will shout to the next that you are just a curious tourist. Skip a few houses that do it again or go to the next even number lorong then back later.
Welcome to Singapore's Night Safari of a kind, no entrance fee needed.
When responding to the question, pls bear in mind TA is a family-friendly forum.
Public solicitation is illegal and we are a conservative society so the red light district isn't promoted as an attraction.
Thanks. I will consider.
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