The Secret Life Of Arabia

Crossing the Bridge and walking due east of Little India you can’t but fail to notice a mosque to your left. This is the Sultan Mosque and it is the center piece of an area known as Kampong Glam or Arab Street – a middle eastern enclave in the heart of Singapore. This area was also part of the city where Raffles decided that Malays would settle so you have a bit of a mishmash!

This is the oldest, and largest mosque in Singapore. The current building was built in 1928, as the older Mosque on this site was deemed too small for the growing Muslim community in Singapore. Designed by the firm Swan & Maclaren and adopts a Saracenic style! (So wikipedia tells me!) It was worth mentioning that as this is the same firm that designed the Raffles Hotel.

Silk Shops compete with Shisha bars and cafés selling amazing coffee for your attention. Streets are named after such far flung places as Baghdad, Muscat and Kandahar. The Saris of Little India were replaced with Burqas and the men were now eating Baklava instead of Roti’s washed down with coffee instead of Lassi’s!

This was a great place to walk around taking in the mishmash of sights including a little toy museum full of vintage toys and robots. The collection was impressive but the owner kept trying to sell me items for a good price…. $100 for a toy car. I was tempted lol!!

A few days later we ventured back to Arab Street to meet out new friend Jane for lunch. We had met Jane in Yunnan at our guesthouse a few weeks before and got chatting around the mutual topic of Travel. She said to drop her a line when we went to Singapore so we did and had a nice day out with her.

Starting with some authentic Malay dishes like Beef Rendang before finishing with a coffee and cake in a very funky place with old wooden doors as tables.

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