Kampong Glam

The charm and color of the Malay neighborhood of Kampong Glam in Singapore make for a wonderful stroll. The conserved shophouses are each painted with different colors with each establishment carrying their own personality and character. It never gets boring. The main commercial streets that retain an authentic charm are Arab Street and Baghdad Street filled with traditional shops selling fabric, clothes, or crafts. Bussorah Street, a pedestrianized strip, has alfresco dining with several Middle Eastern-inspired restaurants.

Haji Lane is a quaint narrow alleyway that I find myself returning each time we are in Singapore. So named because in the past, Middle Easterners who were on their way for pilgrimage to Mecca would make stopover in Singapore, and they bought food and other necessities here. Today, the shophouses along Haji Lane are converted into local boutiques, each with its own cute-looking facade and brightly painted walls. Some boutiques are on the second floor and are accessible via a narrow flight of stairs.