Hubs and I are true-blue Singaporeans, born and raised here. And guess what?! We have only just visited the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple in Chinatown for the first time on Vesak Day! (´・ᴗ・ ` ) Even when we used to work around the area, we never bothered to check out the temple. To us, the temple is just another tourist attraction. Sometimes we joked that tourists probably have seen more of Singapore than we do. Haha! Anyway, if you are curious about this temple, keep reading as I share with you our experience of this stunning place on Vesak Day! (´• ω •`)ノ

Essential Stops Before Takeoff

Don’t miss these must-read posts before you go!

All the Korean BBQ restaurants I have been to in Singapore!
Food Gems in Tanjong Pagar – affordable food, Korean BBQ, restaurants and more!
Affordable and Luxury Hotels in Downtown Core Singapore Worth Considering!

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How to Get to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

It used to be that you would need to walk from Outram Park or Chinatown MRT station to the temple. But with the opening of more stations on the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL), you can now reach the temple with ease by alighting at the Maxwell MRT station! If I recall correctly, you just need to take Exit 2 and once you are out, the temple is just right beside you.

Exterior of Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and of people sitting outside the temple after their visit.

As a Singaporean, I am quite happy with how connected our country is becoming with the building of new train lines. It is also especially good when you have a station close to places of attraction so that you can walk less under the blazing sun! (´・ᴗ・ ` )

Things to Note Before Visiting the Temple

Entrance Fee

Entrance to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is free of charge. You are also free to roam around the temple. We did not get to see every part of the temple as the entrance to most parts of the building was closed on Vesak Day, except for the main hall. I supposed they were trying to regulate the crowd that day so everyone could only access the main hall. Anyway, to my understanding, photos and videos are allowed all around the temple except for the hall that houses the Buddha Tooth.

Also, unlike temples in Thailand, you do not need to take off your shoes before entering the main hall of the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. But the rules vary depending on the temple you visit so just follow what everyone is doing and you will be fine. ( ´ ω ` )

Dress Code when Entering the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

Visiting temples in Singapore is unlike visiting temples in countries like Thailand. In Thailand, the temples are usually quite strict with your attire. Some of them might even have someone at the entrance checking your attire before you can enter the temple. You would usually be expected to wear clothes that cover your shoulder and knees hence the safer option is to go with a T-shirt and long pants. Here in Singapore, our temples seem to be less strict with this rule. They don’t have anyone checking your attire before you enter. And this is based on the temples that hubs and I have been to.

The queue situation on Vesak Day when we visit the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and the sign showing the opening hours of the temple

Since it was our first time at the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, we were not sure if they had such a rule. Upon checking its website, we realised that it was mentioned that you should not be wearing revealing tops and short shorts/skirts. So to be safe, we decided to wear a T-shirt and long pants as well. When we were there, we did not see anyone doing the checks at the entrance. And we also saw some people wearing sleeveless tops and shorts/bermudas. I read that there are people eyeballing your attire and if you are in the wrong attire, they would give you something to cover up. I would say, to be safe, just wear what you would wear to a temple in Thailand would do. Never hurts to overdress than underdress right? Just don’t overdress too much that you get too warm in the Singapore heat. (*/ω\)

Visiting the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple on Vesak Day

The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is usually not crowded. But it is worth noting that temples in Singapore can get crowded on weekends or during lunch hours on weekdays. I don’t usually want to go out on a public holiday as it can get pretty crowded everywhere we go. But since my weekly photo challenge for the week is Religion, I decided to check out the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple on Vesak Day with hubs.

Vesak Day and Tradition

Vesak Day is known as Buddha’s birthday. A lot of Buddhists would usually visit the temple on this day to make offerings or participate in chanting sessions. Different countries celebrate Vesak Day on different days of the year and for Singapore, we usually have it in May/early June. As it was our first time visiting a temple on Vesak Day, we were surprised to see the large crowd! w(°o°)w

Visitors carrying out the ritual known as the Bathing of the Buddha at the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, a ritual that is done annually on Vesak Day as well as the queue of people going to do the ritual.

A long queue was formed on the right side of the temple. After some observation, we realised that they were queuing to carry out a ritual known as the Bathing of the Buddha. People were seen pouring water over the small infant Buddha statues in front of the main hall. This action symbolised the cleansing of one’s bad karma to bring good fortune. This is actually quite an eye-opener since we have not seen such a ritual before. ( ´ ω ` )

Being Mesmerised by the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple’s Interior

Once we entered the main hall, we were mesmerised by how grand the main hall looked. Compared to the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple that we always visit to make offerings, the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is on another level. The main hall has a high ceiling and the walls are made up of small Buddha statues of various poses.

The Buddha statue in the main hall of the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and a visitor dropping some coins into the bowl below the small Buddha statues lining the wall of the temple

Since it is a special occasion, the centre of the main hall was full of things that were used for offerings that day. Visitors were also queuing up to get their blessings from the monks in the temple. It was really quite an interesting side.

A grand look at the interior of the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple's main hall and worshippers getting their blessings from a monk on Vesak Day

Places to Check Out in Chinatown

Places of Worship

Once you are done with your visit to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, you can consider walking a short distance down to check out the Sri Mariamman Temple. This temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore. And just a few steps down, there is also the Jamae Mosque, one of Singapore’s oldest mosques.

A wall mural near the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple as well as a look at the exterior of the Sri Mariamman Temple

We have been told that this is a rather interesting sight as different places of worship can exist alongside one another. Being a Singaporean, it has never crossed my mind that this is something special until we realised that this does not happen in a lot of countries. It is for this exact reason that I picked this location for my photo challenge so that I can try to get as many photos of different religious activities as possible. ( ´ ω ` )

Souvenirs, Hawker Food & Korean BBQ

Anyway, since you are already in Chinatown, don’t forget to check out the following places as well:

Tanjong Pagar Street, which is just a short walk from the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, has a lot of Korean BBQ restaurants. So if you are craving some good Korean BBQ, I highly recommend checking out my blog post on the good and affordable Korean BBQ restaurants in the area!

Dome Bakery for some Brownies Goodness

We happened to walk by this lovely brownie shop called Dome Bakery, Hubs knew that I might love some brownies so we dropped by to grab a brownie to go. The owner was really nice as we asked him to recommend the brownies to us. The brownies here are different from the usual brownies. Here at Dome Bakery, the inside of the brownies is gooey, similar to what you have in a molten chocolate cake. Eventually, we went for the Matcha Macadamia Brownie and it was SO GOOD. I kind of regret not buying more. (´-ω-`)

The exterior of the Dome Bakery as well as a showcase of some of the brownies and the owner at the counter

Anyway, the owner was really lovely so you can ask him to recommend the brownies to you. If you are a chocolate lover, he recommended the 70% dark chocolate brownie. Otherwise, the smoked sea salt and matcha macadamia brownies are both popular choices as well. This is not an advertisement and I genuinely love the brownies so go check it out! (*´▽`*)

Dome Bakery

⏰ Opening Hours: 11 AM – 6.30 PM (Mon – Fri), 10.30 AM – 6.30 PM (Sat), Closed on Sundays
☎️ Phone Number: +65 8884 8893

You can find out more about Dome Bakery here:
🔎 Website: Link HERE | Facebook: Link HERE | Instagram: Link HERE

Accommodation

If you are looking around for a good hotel to stay in, check out my post where I talked about the best hotels to stay in Downtown Core Singapore, including two hotels around the Chinatown-Tanjong Pagar area! (o´▽`o)

Overall Experience at the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

I absolutely enjoyed our visit to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. Sadly, since most of the temple has been cordoned off, we did not get to explore the whole area. Given a choice, I would want to come back again to spend more time admiring the entire hall and exploring the temple grounds. ( ´ ▽ ` )

My guardian angle, the Thousand Hand Guan Yin and the lanterns lights in the second hall of the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

I highly recommend you visit the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple if you have not been here as well. Doesn’t matter if you are a Singaporean or a tourist, I think you would enjoy a walk around the temple. If you are interested in seeing more than the usual amount of activity in the temple, do consider dropping by on Vesak Day as well as during the Lunar New Year. Temples are usually open on all days but might be closed on specific days of the Lunar New Year. So remember to check the temple’s website before visiting! (´• ω •`)ノ

Information about Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

⏰ Opening Hours: 7 AM – 5 PM
☎️ Phone Number: +65 6220 0220

You can find out more about Buddha Tooth Relic Temple here:
🔎 Website: Link HERE | Facebook: Link HERE | Instagram: Link HERE

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Loved what you just read? Think your friends or family would enjoy it too? Hit your favourite share button below, and let’s make good vibes travel! Your support is greatly appreciated. Thanks a bunch for being awesome! (´• ω •`) ♡

If you’re craving some delicious Korean BBQ, you’re in for a treat! Dive into my post, where I share my adventures at various Korean BBQ restaurants in Singapore. And if you’re on the hunt for tasty options in Tanjong Pagar, don’t miss my extensive list of over 25 fantastic places to dine in the area! Alternatively, I’ve got some more Singapore food-related posts that you might find appealing. (´ ε ` )

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