Chances are that when a traveler thinks of Singapore, the first thing that comes to mind will be this boat like structure and lots of high rise buildings.
Yes I’m talking about the Marina Bay Sands and Marina Barrage area. While that isn’t inaccurate, I’ll like to think of Singapore as a place with lots more. I’m proud of our beautiful skyline, but beyond the concrete jungle, there are plenty of cozy corners too.
A place that I always like to bring my overseas guests to is Haji Lane (see map below).
Situated near the old Malay district of Kampong Glam, Haji Lane is a small but fascinating street/neighbourhood just on the edge of town. While skyscrapers and other modern buildings dominate it’s surroundings, Haji Lane retains it’s charm with it’s rows of refurbished two storey colonial period shophouses. It brings you back to our yesteryears, albeit with an edgier modern vibe.
Image credit: William Cho
Popular amongst the Young Urban Creatives, otherwise known as Yuccies, Haji Lane is filled with quirky designer shops, trendy cafes, and street art. If you’re tired of shopping in huge malls, shopping here would be pure joy as every shop oozes a unique character. Just take a look at some of the shopfronts!
Shop Wonderland ,37 Haji Lane – Image Credit: foodiepink
Soon Lee, 73 Haji Lane – Image Credit: Naked Glory
Wicked Laundry, 76 Haji Lane – Image Credit: Naked Glory
House of Japan, 55 Haji Lane – Image Credit: singaporeinkedimages
I love wondering around Haji Lane too as you never know what you might find. From vintage home decor pieces, edgy fashion wear, to even the occasional cat lounging on a chair in the shop. It also helps that almost every picture taken there is Instagram-worthy. Just search for the hashtag #HajiLane on Instagram and you’ll know what I mean!
When you’re tired, there are plenty of cafes around the area to chill too. Cafe Hopping offers a great guide to the cafes around the area – http://cafehopping.sg/singapore-cafe-guide-kampong-glam/
My western friends are also usually quite intrigued when I tell them about the cat cafe in the area. Sounds like a great idea isn’t it. You pay a fixed entrance fee which includes a free drink and the company of cats for an hour. What a great way to recharge. Just look at their cuddly faces!
Meomi Cat Cafe (just off Haji Lane), 668 North Bridge Rd, 188801
While it’s an interesting shopping and cafe hopping experience by day, the area around Haji Lane comes alive at night too. Adjacent streets Bali Lane and Arab Street joins in the fun with plenty of bars playing live music from local bands. You’ll see people from all walks of life as well. From locals, post uni western backpackers, to professionals, interesting conversations are just waiting to happen.
Got an interesting place at Haji Lane to share? Drop them in the comments section below!