haji lane

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Dearest ______,

It’s always nice to walk around Haji Lane.

Some friends who’ve gone there while vacationing in Singapore get a bit underwhelmed by this little area known as one of the artsier places in the Little Red Dot, expecting something like Williamsburg in Brooklyn or Brick Lane in London.

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First of all, most things– with the exception of really good local food- are generally a bit pricier in Singapore. So don’t expect vintage or one- off items to go for as low as those that you might get from bargain shops in the US or UK.

There are great finds all around Haji Lane though, and entering every one of its uniquely decorated shops is worth finding that one special piece that ultimately speaks to you.

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Secondly, if you’re quite into history and things from the past, you’ll definitely get a kick out of just walking around Haji Lane and the general Kampong Glam area where it is:

[of Kampong Glam]

Prior to colonisation by the British in 1819, the area was home to the Malay aristocracy of Singapore. It became prominent and more populous after the signing of a treaty between the British East India Company, Sultan Hussein Shah of Johor and Temenggong Abdul Rahman in 1819. 

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So it isn’t any surprise that you still see traces of the rich Malay/ Arab culture that once predominantly populated this part of Singapore: you see it in the proliferation of amazing Middle Eastern restaurants, the vibrant hookah bars, the line of Persian carpet shops, etc.

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Personally, the last time I was in Haji Lane (with the exception of a family dinner last September) was in July, when the band practiced at some studio inside one of the shop houses there.  I happened to buy two cool button- down shirts that very day.  Good finds.

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This is basically just me, rehashing pictures I’ve just discovered inside the randomly chaotic labyrinth that is my phone camera’s photo album.

… And wishing we all had more time to visit the little areas of interest within the city, as pictured all over this letter.

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Love,

Karlita

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Photography and text by Author unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.

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