Geylang is a well-known red-light district and thus sees many men rent hotel rooms for a couple of hours for their rendezvous with prostitutes. It is therefore not surprising that hotels openly advertise their hourly (instead of daily) rates on banners outside the building.
If you don't mind the sleazy action and sounds from your neigboring rooms, you have a choice of many budget hotels in Geylang, e.g. Jing Dong Hotel.
However, Geylang is not simply a red-light district. It is arguably the most authentic Chinese-dominated district in Singapore and a melting pot of cultures. The real Chinatown, so to say. You will find rows of shophouses selling all kinds of Chinese products, from herbs to burial items to kitchenware and motorbikes.
The goods often fill up the sidewalk in front of the shops, and it is difficult to pass by. Therefore, many pedestrians simply walk on the street, where bicycles go the wrong way and cars park illegally in the second row. Welcome to the Singaporean form of chaos!
In the day, the area stands out for the numerous religious buildings like the Amitabha Buddhist Centre, which is one of the tallest buildings in Geylang, and the Pu Ji Si Buddhist Research Centre. In addition to these, there are many other religious and clan buildings of all religions and denominations.
Come night though, the area truly comes alive as the red lights at brothels are switched on and many eateries open for business. The numerous eateries have garnered Geylang a reputation as a foodie haven. Restaurants like Sin Huat Eating House and No Signboard Seafood offer delicious and reasonably priced seafood dishes.
Geylang also has one of the largest areas of restored shophouses. The two sides of Geylang Road and its side streets are lined with shophouses which people tend to overlook.