Friday, September 4, 2015

Foreign Friday

Bugis Street "Queen"
December 1979
One of the stops on our nighttime tour of Singapore was Bugis Street.

Wikipedia states this about Bugis Street:

After World War II, hawkers gathered there to sell food and goods. There was initially also a small number of outdoor bars set up beside rat-infested drains.

When transvestites began to rendezvous in the area in the 1950s, they attracted increasing numbers of Western tourists who came for the booze, the food, the pasar malam shopping and the "girls." Business boomed and Bugis Street became an extremely lively and bustling area, forming the heart of Xiao Po. It was one of Singapore's most famous tourist meccas from the 1950s to the 1980s, renowned internationally for its nightly parade of flamboyantly-dressed transwomen and attracted hordes of Caucasian gawkers who had never before witnessed Asian queens in full regalia.

The latter would tease, cajole and sit on visitors' laps or pose for photographs for a fee.


Our guide made arrangements for a couple of the "girls" to sit at our tables, and we were able to ask them questions.

9 comments:

  1. So interesting! Wonder why it ceased to be a popular tourist attraction after the 1980s.

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  2. That must have been an *interesting* conversation.

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  3. The parade of Asian "queens" must have been quite the site. Can't you imagine all the open-mouthed gawking of Caucasians!!

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  4. What a fun post. You always bring something so unique to the table on Foreign Fridays

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  5. What a interesting experience. Like Kristi I can't imagine what your questions might have been.

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  6. I would love to have been there :)

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  7. That is quite a handsome "girl".

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  8. I've heard wonderful things about Singapore. Love the photo and the references.

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