If I’m ever to get a workout I prefer it this way. Walking around Arab Street looking for Haji Lane.
And then after strolling through the lovely empty lanes, I would have worked up an appetite and can indulge guilt free. It was an unusually hot day as well, after a long period of cool weather. Most of the shops were closed. But that was fine with me. I liked the quiet and I don’t really shop much. I do love to explore as it doesn’t cost a cent.
I have heard so much about Haji Lane, but this is the first time I am truly exploring it. I guess we missed it previously as it’s a very narrow walking street where cars are not allowed to park, and that’s great in my book. I did see a van squeeze by the one way lane when I was there, but other than that, no traffic.
Looking back I must have come here before, perhaps during prom in Junior College when we came here to buy material for our prom dresses. Unfortunately they turned out to be truly hideous. Mine as least. The material was beautiful on it’s own, but I just had no taste then and the designs I selected at the tailor we could afford, just didn’t work. The tailor was not too experienced with such dresses either. And we couldn’t really find them in department stores. At least with our budget of about S$50.
Haji Lane is world famous now as our hip and trendy Clothing District and the place for the anti-mall crowd. I was thrilled to find it featured in none other than the New York Times back in 2009. It’s so cool that even Gwen Stefani dropped by.
Gisela Williams writes:
THERE are shops in Singapore’s Kampong Glam neighborhood that have been selling Indonesian batik textiles and Muslim prayer carpets for almost a hundred years. The historic neighborhood can feel like it’s been preserved in amber since the 1822 Jackson Plan, when the British divided Singapore into ethnic enclaves.
But head down Haji Lane, a small back street nestled in the heart of the quarter, and you’ll find a decidedly different vibe. Blink and you’ll probably miss the opening of a trendy shop.
Time magazine has also featured Haji Lane as one of the must see attractions. Here’s an extract of the article by Daven Wu:
This tiny lane, hidden away in the heart of the Muslim quarter, is a fashionista’s paradise. With very little fanfare, the collection of narrow shop-houses have, in less than a year, been transformed into an aggressively hip retail stretch recalling Le Marais in Paris or New York’s Meatpacking District.
There are so many cool unique shops and boutiques here that I decided to feature the stores that caught my eye in another post.
What I found most awe-inspiring was a wall. Yes a wall with beautiful art on it. I think this would be one of the few places you will find graffiti in Singapore.
The graffiti wall made me want to stop and read. More here.