We recently spent some time in the district known as Kampong Glam, which is sort of a Malay quarter of Singapore. This is a nice area to spend some time and can easily be combined with visits to nearby Bugis and/or Little India districts of the city.
What we like about Kampong Glam are the colourful buildings, particularly in the area round Arab St. and the very nice Haji Lane, which seems to have evolved into something of a trendy/boutique fashion street over the years. While accessory, fashion and perhaps quirk might be the best way to describe some of the shops we found on Haji Lane, it was back to the traditional in terms of the shops on Arab Street. Here, shops deal in dress materials, fabrics, pashmina and other related goods.
The area has plenty of restaurants, coffee shops, hostel/guesthouses. A restaurant that we tried during our recent visit and were most pleased with was Zam Zam, which served up a delicious chicken murtabek. This is something we will specifically target for a future visit, it was so good!
The top attraction in this area is the Sultan Mosque, which is the largest mosque you can visit in Singapore and a nice one to step in and have a quick look around. It is a rather tourist-friendly mosque for visitations. Not as elaborately decorated or massive in scale as other mosque visits you may have made during your travels, but overall a nice one to see.
Overall, we like the Kampong Glam area and enjoy combining it with some time being spent in Bugis and / or Little India when we are in Singapore. Its a photographic area of the city, has nice shopping and some very good food. As such, we recommend this district to those interested in seeing some of the 'real' side of Singapore
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