06 March 2007

Hidden gems of Haji Lane

The Kampong Glam I know is a tourist spot made famous by the landmark Sultan Mosque and populated with rattan goods, textile and fishing tackles shops. But heard that the area is currently the one of the hippest place in town for the uber-cool to hangout.

Took opportunity over a weekend to drop-by since I have heard so much about it, especially Haji Lane. Immersed with strong Middle-East flavour, the area which comprises of Bussorah Street, Kandahar Street, Muscat Street, Bagdad Street, Arab Street, Haji Lane, Shaik Madrasah Lane, Pahang Street, Bali Lane and Sultan Gate is definitely seeing a higher traffic flow these days. Even so, it still feels somewhat laid back, rustic, idyllic and not as cheesy as other tourist spots like Chinatown; hope that it will be kept this way.

Many exotic eateries as well as charming and quaint shops have since opened their doors and attracted crowds of fashionistas and yuppies. It's a common sight to see people unwind over a drink while puffing on a Shisha pipe and enjoying Arabic or Egyptian cuisine.

Haji Lane. It's quite surreal to walk down this memory lane. If you don't look closely, you'd think that this is just a quiet back alley with unoccupied shophouses. However, it's really exciting to discover many interesting lifestyle concept shops and designer boutiques. This place almost felt like Jiyuugaoka or Daikanyama in Tokyo. Most shops have colourful exteriors creating their own identity. Better still, be fascinated and inspired by the furnishings and merchandise, ranging from vintage stuff to fashion accessories to decor items. I could certainly spend an afternoon shopping here and the best part, most merchandise like accessories and clothing come in 1 or 2 pieces making the prized possession uniquely yours!

Pluck is one of my personal favourite, for the vintage wallpaper furnishings and fashion accessories. The shop even has a small ice-cream parlour for shoppers to take a breather, brilliant idea! P.S. this is where I bought my bag charm to go with my etoffe bag from Japan.

There are many other shops that left an impression and some are not open yet. I'll be back for more. Another shopping area to add to my list, cool!

Shop List (to be updated)

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