A must visit in Singapore
Bugis, in the city-state of Singapore, was renowned internationally from the 1950s to the 1980s for its nightly gathering of trans women, a phenomenon which made it one of Singapore's top tourist destinations during that period.
In the mid-1980s, Bugis Street underwent major urban redevelopment into a retail complex of modern shopping malls, restaurants and nightspots mixed with regulated back-alley roadside vendors. Underground digging to construct the Bugis MRT station prior to that also caused the upheaval and termination of nightly transgender sex bazaar culture, marking the end of a colourful and unique era in Singapore's history. This change helped improve Singapore's international image as it began to be globally recognized.
Today, the original Bugis Street is now a cobblestoned, relatively wide avenue sandwiched between the buildings of the Bugis Junction shopping complex. On the other hand, the lane presently touted as "Bugis Street" by the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board is actually developed from New Bugis Street, and is billed as "the largest street-shopping location in Singapore". An attempt by the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board to bring back the former glamor was unsuccessful. Although the street is not a well-known tourist destination, it is frequented by many Singaporeans.
Bugis Street lies in an extensive area which was commonly referred to in the past, by the Chinese-educated community, as Xiao Po (小坡; little slope). The latter stretched all the way from Tanjong Pagar, through Singapore's Chinatown, to Jalan Sultan. The whole vicinity was thriving and crammed with merchants and traders, making it one of the most vibrant economic zones of old Singapore.
A place where you can get a lot of nice snacks at a very low price
and nicely blend fruit juices at about SGD1 to SGD2
The fame of the original Bugis Street has spawned many namesakes eager to capitalise on the brand, even though many tourists, as well as some young Singaporeans, have no inkling as to the reasons for its erstwhile "glamour".
Amongst the new places, buildings and companies which carry the name of "Bugis" are New Bugis Street, Bugis Square, Bugis Village, Bugis Junction, Parco Bugis Junction, Bugis Junction Towers, Bugis Cineplex, Bugis MRT station, Bugis Pasar Malam, New Bugis Food Village, Bugis Music World, Bugis Money Changer, Bugis City Holdings, Bugis Health Centre, Bugis Store Trading, Bugis Backpackers, and Bugis Street Development.
This cacophony of Bugis'es clamouring for a spot in the limelight, reminiscent of the transwomen who gave the original its glory, leads to great confusion when trying to locate Bugis Street itself.
Just pay a visit there, and you'll love it!