Exploring the Colorful Stretch of Kampong Glam

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Hello from the other side of Lion City! Of all places you'll probably know about SG, Kampong Glam would be the least. Singapore is a country of diverse culture & food, and Kampong Glam is the best place to immersed yourself in it. I'll take you to a little historical tour.

Known as the Arab's Quarter, Kampong Glam is located a few minutes walk from Bugis MTR Station or Lavender Station. It is divided into a lot of streets, some names derived from famous cities in the Middle East like Arab Street and Haji Lane. Somehow neglected by tourists, it still has a different historical and cultural magic to offer - the heart of the Muslim life. Kampong Glam is a proof that the native malay and muslim community's historical culture is still celebrated in one small community. In a way, they have retained the Kampung Spirit by showcasing their society through art, architecture and colors.

One of the most visited places in Kampong Glam is the Sultan Mosque which stands for two centuries already and is now considered as a National Heritage. It was built in 1826 and was rebuilt during 1928. You could enter for free, but I chose not to because my outfit isn't appropriate. If you want to explore the Mosque inside, though they can lend cloaks for free, be sure to dress appropriately to pay respect. And oh, a fun fact I've heard is that the carpet used inside was a gift from the Prince of Saudi Arabia.

I like the idea of learning and experiencing a different culture every time I travel to a different country. The curiosity that's pumping through my veins just kept on tickling while exploring the colorful stretch of Kampong Glam. It offers more than just the latest fashion trends, shopping, and regional cuisines. Rather, it boasts for architecture, religion, and heritage. Truly, it is where we can find the heart of the Muslim community.

As you walk away from the Sultan Mosque, you'll be greeted by a lot of restaurants featuring affordable muslim and malay treats.

Haji Lane is a long stretch of perfectly curated murals, street arts, vintage shop, and some independent local brands in the Kampong Glam neighbourhood. It's where you can find unique dresses, hipster clutches, and vintage antiques of all sorts. Young locals usually go here to shop for the latest cutting edge fashion and do some photoshoot on a lot of instagram-worthy corners. You just can't ran out of backdrops to use!

Beneath the popular street that it is now, Haji Lane was a community for poor Malay families way back, and serves as a shelter to pilgrimage groups.

You might be curious about this wall painting I chose to take my ootds with. It's Piedra Negra, hailed as the most popular sight and restaurant in Haji Lane, gaining a lot of praises and most uploaded photos in Instagram.  This restaurant/cafe has grown to be one of Haji lane's landmarks. The street art was led by an Australian artist named Jay.

While afternoons here are filled with fashionistas and young teens shopping and taking photoshoots, bar and restaurants light up during the night. So, it was still closed when we drop by at 4 pm. (Not sure tho, but it was supposed to be open by 11pm that day :( ) 

This cafe is popular for their rainbow cakes. 

I am is also one of the most popular food stops in Haji Lane being one of the few hipster cafe in the area, and is accessible being just at the end corner of the street. They do not accept reservations, so make sure to come earlier since an average of 30 minutes of queue time will brave you. As for us, it was an hour, so we didn't go for it. Though, a lot of locals said that their burger deserves a whole paragraph of good insight and their rainbow crepe is the bomb. (Waaaah, I'll be back for ya)

We spent the rest of the day walking along the streets of Haji lane and searching for cute photo stations. Here are some:

Mondays Off is a popular boutique in Haji Lane which sells scandinavian style items such as totes, bags, books, and etc.

That's it for this post. I know I wasn't able to explore a lot of street arts in different lanes and more of the shopping boutiques, but as I've always said, it'll be another good reason to be back soon. :)

2 comments on "Exploring the Colorful Stretch of Kampong Glam"
  1. Wow your todays blog post is super amazing. After looking at your wonderful trip pictures I m im love with Singapore and its tourist attraction

  2. I found your this post while searching for some related information on blog search...Its a good post..keep posting and update the information. Kampong Java Road Newton MRT


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