Arab Street

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Singapore, Singapore

Arab Street Singapore Reviews

AzecR AzecR
6 reviews
The Fascinating Arab street in Singapore May 16, 2012
Once again, hello to all fellow Wanderers,Drifters and Travelers like me. I have been quite away for awhile focusing on studies and balancing on work as well. Nevertheless, the mystery of the World and the Beauty of discovering has never subsided my passion of travelling the World like a free bird. This time round, I'm very excited to review a place in Singapore that is fascinating. It is simply my most favourite tourist hot spot locally. Yep you already have guessed it simply by looking at the title though haha. Its none other than the sensual, exotic and fascinating Arab Street in Singapore which is also known colloquially as "Kampong Glam". It is a historical place in Singapore which dates back to the Pre-Independence era of Singapore. It was also established as spot for many Muslims and Middle-Eastern traders as well as becoming settlements to them. Most traders were en route through Singapore to other regional countries, thus Arab street was often a meeting point for the various Islamic merchants ,scholars and travellers alike. Common items likes Spices, Sugar and Artworks were traded in those forgotten times. Moreover,even after post-Independence of Singapore, Arab Street's charm is still the same as it was back then. In my opinion, this tourist spot is the spot that still has that captivating charm simply because of its rich history. The fire hasn't burned out yet !:D I have always been fascinated with Middle-Eastern Culture ever since I indulged in the wonderful tales of the Arabian Nights. My interest in Arabian literature sparked my passion to love the culture. In addition, I spent my childhood in a neighbourhood mixed with different nationalities where most of them were Middle-easterns and my family itself had friendly connections with various Muslim families and as kids we always played together. With an early exposure to Middle-eastern Culture, Arab street never fails to make me appreciate the culture as it is. The street is located conveniently around the Central Business District - or City, as I would always prefer to say for drifters like me. It is also very close to various tourist attractions such as Little India, Chinatown and Clarke Quay and many more. Regarding transport, you can flag a cab to get you there or if you want to experience going there in cost effective way, take the train. It will be better. The nearest MRT station is " Bugis MRT" or "Nicoll Highway" of the latter which is a new station. Here comes the charm of Arab street:) The best time to visit Arab street is definitely in the Evening. Although in the Afternoon, it can be quiet. As you walk and take your very first steps into Arab Street, you will be greeted of the sight of a huge Golden Dome of a Mosque at a distance. This beautiful Mosque is called the Sultan Mosque and it is a religious place of worship for the Muslims. The Mosque is one of the attractive sights in Arab street as it is a display of the Muslim architecture and the beauty of the tall Minarets always grabs a sense of shrouded mystery and fantasy. It is more fantastic if you were to witness the Mosque at night with the glittering stars, and if your lucky, with a crescent moon above in the sky. I was lucky enough to behold such a sight! But it was just once.! Moving further into the street, the atmosphere starts to kick in as there are more Shophouses with narrow streets and their glittering lights at the distance. More people hustle in at the street shops. Exploring one by one, there will be many things you discover..various salesmen will be out there infront of their shops which are decorated with fine fabrics ready to welcome you. As you move along the way, you may want to take a look at their fine traditional middle-eastern clothings. The various array of colours and with beautiful decorations and traditional elements are very inviting. Many shops are often cosy and well decorated with traditional curtains which accentuates the homely middle-eastern atmosphere. As you walk out in the main arena admiring street shops decorated with flowers, your nose might pick up the exhilarating aromas and scents coming from the perfume shops the other corner. In my opinion, traditional perfumes are often longer lasting than the usual Eau De Toilette perfumes. No pun intended hehe. Traditional perfumes often carry a charisma and a certain personality to it. When it comes to Middle-Eastern perfumes, there is something magnetic about them. More and more as you go, you can pick up your best bets of souvenirs from the other shops which can occupy your time. I do remember a shop that sells special handicrafts that were very traditional and now I can't remember the name of the shop. Im a bad traveller haha. However, like every other place, Arab street is also best explored at the night time. As night falls, the lights glitter the streets and Arab street looks totally cosy and beautiful. Here at this time, you can probably see alot of people relaxing in the restaurants and coffee shops which is of course cafes after a long day. Oh yes! How could I even forget this? You will see people smoking shishas and having a good drink with their fellow mates. You may want to indulge yourself in experiencing the Shisha. The elegantly designed apparatus of the Shisha always seemed interesting as it is often a popular aspect in Middle-Eastern social scene. Now, your nose is still not happy and it might be picking another aroma which makes you feel grrrrrrr hungry! Arab street is very well fitted with alot of restaurants and cafeterias to invite you to have a taste of their delightful Muslim cuisine. Oh yes, when I say restaurants don't expect them to be soo grand, even though there are grand restaurants in Arab street, most of them are simple restaurants with a cosy and affordable space well made for the average person. But do not doubt their cuisine! It has a well mix of Indian-Muslim delights and there are spicy tit-bits which can make you wanting more. My favourite restaurant is called the Singapore Zam Zam(cute name i knw:P ) restaurant and whenever I go for a visit, I often have my bite there. Apart from the exploration, Arab street also houses the Malay Heritage Centre where you get can an in-depth detail about the Malay people who were the prominent muslims along with other Middle-easterns to have shaped Arab street as it is today. There are also alot of hostels and inns situated in the area for travellers who wish to enjoy the delicate middle-eastern atmosphere. In terms of money and expense, things are pretty cheap there. It is best to have quite a moderate amount of cash as you would want to purchase memorable souvenirs. Food expense is relatively cheap unless if you are headed for a wine and dine in a big restaurant. As for safety, it is best to follow the necessary precautions. Arab street is pretty much a safe place. However, it can get really dark at night as the place has alot of narrow streets and twists. So stick to the safety guidelines. Dont stay out too late in the night as usual and you will enjoy Arab street and the exotic culture it embraces. As such, Arab street is always on my list for the best local tourist spots and it is a spot which I would recommend to those homely atmosphere lovers and to travellers who love enjoying the Middle-Eastern culture. It is almost going back in time to witness the beauty of having a simple and cosy but yet a beautiful life :)..Now i need to go and take my shisha! hehe wanna join?:D
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fun2travelwith fun2trav…
3 reviews
Arab Street Jun 29, 2011
There is an area called Arab Street. its such a cool street or line of streets. Old untouched buildings, and when you step inside the shops, you find modern clothing and designer stores. Most have narrow staircases to upstairs areas too! I found a couple of very quiet but very cool bars above the shops, which looked out to the street also. Def worth checking out while youre in Singapore!
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