Singapore is known as a county that guaranteed 10 religions. The major religion here is Buddhism (33.3% Singaporean population), followed by Taoism (21.9%). Then, 14.9% of Singaporeans adhere to Islam, 12.9% adhere to Christianity, 3.3% are Hindus, the rest is Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Sikhism, Jainism, and others form the minority cluster. This is the main reason why Singapore is rich in culture.
If Singapore becomes the first foreign country you want to visit, you can enjoy not only shopping places but also religious sites. To make your traveling experience more meaningful, you can compile your itinerary first.
Set your departure date and the airline. Most Indonesians depart from Jakarta, Medan, Batam, Surabaya, or Yogyakarta. Book a hostel or hotel room. You can stay at a hotel near the botanic garden. But if you want to sleep at another place, Royal Plaza on Scotts is also a good choice.
June – July – August is usually the best time to visit Singapore. It will be quite crowded there, but they are already prepared to welcome foreign tourists who come from all over the world. At those times, the flight prices usually become cheaper.
If everything is already set up, here is the list of religious sites that will catch your attention:
- Masjid Bencoolen
It is located on one of the famous main streets in Singapore, namely Bencoolen Street. The masjid is also named as Masjid Al-Junied, the Arab merchant who founded it, Syed Omar bin Aljunied. Founded in 1819, this building was originally located above a masjid built by Muslims from Bengkulu, Indonesia (Bencoolen Muslims). Then, Syed Omar bin Aljunied built the permanent building of this mosque in 1845.
However, in 2004, this mosque was merged into the Bencoolen Hotel building due to renovations in the Bencoolen Street area a few years earlier.
One of the attractions near this mosque is the National Museum of Singapore which is the oldest museum in Singapore. If you want to shop, this mosque is also close to the Sunshine Plaza shopping center. You can do your five times a prayer or Friday prayer here.
- Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
This temple is the biggest Buddhist temple in the Chinatown area. It is a place of worship as well as a museum steeped in culture and history. The temple’s name is taken from what Buddhists consider to be the Buddha’s left canine, which was recovered from his cremated remains in Kushinagar, India.
Nowadays, the tooth is placed inside the giant stupa that is guarded inside the temple. The stupa is made of 320 kg of gold weighing 3.5 tons. You can only see it from the public area, as only monks are allowed to enter the relic hall.
- Thian Hock Keng Temple
It is one of the oldest Taois temples in Singapore. It was built in 1839 by the Hokkien (Hokkian) clan/ The construction of the temple was completed in 1842.
The architecture of the temple is considered special because it was made without nails at all. You can find that the construction is made of a mixture of wood and stone, while the walls are decorated with marble and wood carvings. The interior ornaments are dominated by statues and reliefs of dragons and phoenixes.
- CHIJMES (Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus Middle Education School)
Many people come to visit this cathedral because this place is used for filming the movie named Crazy Rich Asian. CHIJMES itself was apparently used as a religious school as well as an orphanage. Nowadays, the cathedral is more often used for weddings or other purposes. The architecture of this cathedral is very unique and contains a lot of history.
Those are some religious places to visit during your time in Singapore. If you have a plan to come to Singapore, don’t forget to use Traveloka as an application to plan your memorable trip to Singapore.
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