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1. FADED GLORY: Geylang's many old buildings still boast their original plasterwork. "My favourites are the ones that are decaying and haven't been restored. I find them quite beautiful."

2. BEEF KWAY TEOW: Foodies have been heading to the Lor 9 eatery for decades now. The delicious wok hei-enhanced hor fun in black bean sauce is famous for its exceptionally tender beef slices.

3. ROCHOR BEANCURD: The silky smooth beancurd at the popular 24-hour shop (745 Geylang Road, near Lor 39) is "the perfect thing to have when you happen to be awake and working at 3am".

4.LATTE ART: "There are now a couple of art galleries in the area, such as Chan Hampe at Lor 24A, as well as cool cafes such as The Tuckshop at the edge of Lor 36."

5. FIREWORKS: Thanks to its proximity to the Singapore SportsHub, Geylang residents get a great view of fireworks displays. "On National Day, I watch the amazing fireworks from my apartment instead of on TV. It's quite spectacular."

6.THAI MASSAGE: Mr Jones recommends Loy Krathong Fitness Spa at Lor 27, where the service is good, clean and professional.

7. RELIGIOUS CALLING: "Because it's a red-light district, one might associate it with sex and materialism. But there are actually quite a number of religious organisations and clan associations here."

Andrew Jones


With Andrew Jones. The British executive coach explains why Singapore's notorious red light district has held him enthralled for over 18 years.
Nov 26, 2016 5:50 AM

When British expat Andrew Jones tells Singaporeans he lives in the heart of Geylang, some react with a leering smile or giggle. But the executive coach is unfazed by people who associate Geylang with its infamous red-light activity. He recalls: "When I first moved to Singapore to work for DeutscheBank in 1998, I liked almost every place I saw. But someone invited me to dinner in Geylang - and I instantly knew this was the place to live. It is so alive and different from anywhere else in the country. I fell in love with it and, eventually, bought a private apartment here." Mr Jones left DeutscheBank five years ago to work as an independent executive coach, giving advice to top business leaders on their management skills. He's also a career coach for MBA students at the Singapore Management University and INSEAD. The one job he doesn't get paid for but happily undertakes is being a casual ambassador of Geylang: "When friends from abroad visit me, I'd take them around the neighbourhood and show them its architecture. I'm drawn to the older, decaying buildings that haven't been remade. They have original plasterwork from a century ago and give you a small peek into what Singapore once looked like." Mr Jones thinks that the Geylang demographics is changing: "When I walked around Geylang in the 90s, there were few Caucasians like me. So people might be surprised and say hello. Nowadays, you'll find lots of expats living here - especially the French in the area opposite Aljunied MRT station. I call it the French Quarter."


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