Arab Street / Kampong Glam
Arab Street is well known for its unique culture, exotic ambience and one-of-a-kind dining and shopping opportunities. A strongly Muslim locality, Arab Street is steeped in history and culture and attracts visitors from all ethnicities and walks of life. Attractions such as the Istana Kampong Glam, a former palace which is now a heritage centre of the Malay community and the Sultan Mosque are located there.
Although their food's expensive, It's a great place to shisha at cheap prices! Whenever I walk along Arab Street, I never fail to inhale the scent of the different flavours of shisha.
If I'm not wrong, there's also a lot of shops that sells fabrics but I've never personally gone to one so I'm clueless about that. All in all, Arab Street is basically where all the 'cool' people hangout.
They have now renovated this place and turned an already fascinating and relatively old Sultan’s palace (built by a Brit!) into something even more fascinating. Add to that a wonderful job done in revitalizing the surrounding gardens, and you have a delightful Malay museum. With several galleries, this provides a Malay perspective of the history of Singapore.
Whilst the main building is mostly open during the day (some times till 8pm) it is in the evenings that the place comes alive with dancing, rehearsals, simply relaxing or whatever in the cool of Singapore’s tropical nights a stones throw from dozens of great coffee shops and restaurants and quirky stores in Arab Street and Kampung Glam
Forget Orchard Road. Don’t bother with Holland Village. Arab Street, Haji Lane, Bussorah Street, Baghdad Street and so on all the way to the Sultan's Gate: even the names are exotic. They promise much, and they deliver.
This area is the up and coming destination. It provides a fascinating haunt for a wander, browse, drink (no alcohol, unless you stray over the Ophir Rad) and meal. Curios, artifacts, art, clothing, textiles: it is all here.
As I mentioned, it remains a work in progress, but from the offbeat to the quaint to the meditative, this place provides what you won’t find in Orchard Road or any other international shopping centre. This is not just another series of large shopping malls: this is truly a happening and vibrant area that is well worth a visit, day or night.
Here's the catch, though. From my knowledge, Arab street may have the widest variety of textiles, but not all of them come cheap.
My advice is to really take a walk around the street before you buy your cloth. It seems that the deeper into the street you go, the cheaper the value.The first shop i entered sold Lycra red cloth at $20; the last shop i got into after walking down the road sold it at $8, so take your time and don't be afraid to politely reject the shopkeepers, many of whom possess strong mercantile skills.
Specifically, the gemstones at Digvijay sequins are of a wide range, and identical to those sold in Chinatown at the Golden Dragon store. What is better is that you can refund your items(unopened of course) unlike at Chinatown.
Artsy stuff aside, I've heard from my friends(but have not experienced) that is a great place for shisha at a cheap price.
The strong smell of the shisha smoke em-bellows the street, and coupled with the mosque and blazing heat one experiences while walking, it feels like a walk in the middle eastern marketplace.
The place also has some overrated turkish restaurants, which are not in the least excellent or value for money. The other shops selling food and drinks retail these things at exorbitant prices, and I would not really advise eating there since the food is not fantastic, expensive, and the environment is not very comfortable.
Perhaps an interesting shop to visit would be the fishing supplies shop, a good place to get fishing materials for avid fishermen
It's way too hot to go in the mid day sometimes, so I make my way there around 5 when the sun is starting to set and the day is cooling. My usual routine is usually going to shop at Haji Lane, then go to one of the cafes to shisha and just hang out till late at night. The entire atmosphere of the place is really laid back and really relaxing. I can spend 4 to 5 hours there just chit chatting and not realise it. Food can be pricey at some stores and the prices of shisha ranges from cafe to cafe. So far the cheapest I've got was $18. If you don't intend to eat, at least buy a drink.
Arab Street at night (or day) is a great place to hangout and take a break from life for a few hours.
The wares were not arranged orderly, but rather, sprawled onto the streets, making individual shophouses blend together. But it is precisely because of this that Arab Street emanates an exotic yet homely feel; a far cry from the sense of aloofness shops in shopping malls give due to their systematic and orderly arrangement.
Arab streets has tons of shisha shops that provides different shisha flavour, a really comfy relaxing corner, food and alcohol. If ever clubbing is too boring for you, shisha place would be a really good replacement for a source of entertainment.
With recent new opening of a photoshoot studio, Shooting Ponies. Taking over Ohsofickle's store, they open up a studio with cheap rates for photoshoot. And this means a huge good deal for portfolio taking, blogshop shoot and many more. If you do not want to spend any amount on renting a studio, graffiti art on walls along arab street is definitely a good background for you to camwhore or do some photoshoot over there.
Along Arab street, there are couples of stores that sells street wear like SUP Clothing or popular blogshop items. Shopping, dining and photoshooting all in one place. Talking about it makes me wanna go over there soon.
Prices for shisha are priced at average $20 or $25 inclusive of snacks or drinks. Shopping around can cost you $30 per item for good quality and up to date fashion.
The old colonial architecture type shop houses set on both side of the rows of Arab street makes it seem like it is a little dodgy. Upon walking into this magical street, there are indeed many hidden treasures awaiting to be discovered from the nice little coffee houses to the bars, and arabic restaurants where one can find many people doing the traditional shi-sha. The entire street can easily be covered in half an hour if one is unaware of the small little doors that lead upstairs to doors and doors of shopping. So do keep eyes peeled on every door because there are many little houses, with interesting goodies in them waiting to be bought!
I would say that it is great to hangout and to find pretty clothes!