Pictured above: The Sultan Mosque and Arab Street, located in the heart of Kampong Glam.
For my second trip to Singapore, I wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of Orchard Road and live somewhere more authentic, unrefined and unique. Enter the neighborhood of Kampong Glam, a historic conservation area and the hub of Singapore’s Muslim community.
The neighborhood is often colloquially called “Arab Street” (which is confusing because there’s an actual Arab Street in Kampong Glam), and CNN describes it as being “hip before hipsters“. I’m sure there are some people who might hear the terms “Muslim” or “Arab” and start to feel squirmy, but there’s nothing to be nervous about unless you are scared of delicious middle eastern food and hipster boutiques.
At the center of Kampong Glam is the Sultan Mosque, which holds great significance for the Muslim community and is the national mosque of Singapore.
The actual Arab Street itself, has lots of rug and textile shops and middle eastern restaurants.
One block over on Haji Lane, you’ll find many cafes and indie boutiques sure to tickle your curiosity.
Below you can see the colorful shops on Haji Lane and my apartment building in the background. Even when it’s filled with throngs of tourists, there is a tranquil energy here that fits my personality very well. I would definitely see myself living in this area if I were to move to Singapore.
My new apartment is roughly 20 minutes from the office by MRT. It’s beautifully decorated, with floor-ceiling-windows in the living room and bedroom. My unit overlooks the Singapore Flyer, as does the building’s rooftop pool.
I’m definitely starting to get homesick, but I’m glad I found this area in Singapore and this sunrise view to keep me entertained.