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As Hari Raya Puasa celebrations begin, here are the best places to be at in Geylang Serai
By Pamela Chow
Known as the heart of Singapore’s Malay community, Geylang Serai is an exciting hub of activity, especially now that Hari Raya Puasa celebrations are underway. Its name was derived from the Malay words kilang (meaning “factory”) and serai (“lemongrass”), referring to the lemongrass plantations that used to flourish here in the 1800s.
Geylang Serai was also home to many other plantations such as coconut, rubber and tapioca, leading to its other name, Kampong Ubi (or “tapioca village”).
If you’re in the area for the occasion, or happen to pop by this culturally rich part of town, here are the top places to explore for a greater appreciation of the neighbourhood.
Opened in 1929, the former Geylang Fire Station is the second-oldest fire station in Singapore. (Photo: Lee Hong Ping
2. The former Geylang Fire Station
The second-oldest fire station in Singapore, Geylang Fire Station, opened in 1929 and served the eastern part of the island. It was later renamed Paya Lebar Fire Station, which operated until 2002.
Today, you can still spot the building with its distinctive red doors at the junction of Sims Avenue and Paya Lebar Road. It is now a conserved building and is often leased out as a commercial and industrial space.
Former Geylang Fire Station, 29 Paya Lebar Road
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of Weekender, Issue 156, July 8 - July 21, 2016, with the headline 'Sedap! Sights & sounds at Geylang Serai'.
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