Shopping in Kampong Glam and Arab Street

The little streets in this area form the historical focal point of Muslim life in Singapore. Nothing beats the surroundings for bazaar-style shopping with true ethnic character. Here you can browse in hole-in-the-wall shops, haggle to your heart's content and come away with the most delightful purchases at bargain prices.

Arab traders settled here to be near their Muslim brothers, the Malays, Javanese and Buginese. Many shops still reflect the Muslim influence, selling prayer rugs, skull caps and anything needed for an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca.

The most visible items for sale are the baskets and other cane, straw, rattan and pandan leaf goods spilling out onto the pavements - from baby cradles to floor mats, hanging chairs to serving trays. These shops also stock interesting camel skin bags, cloisonne boxes and sewing kits.

But perhaps the real glory of Kampong Glam and Arab Street is the textiles. Bales of gorgeous chiffon, silk, cotton georgette and other luxurious fabrics crowd the pavements, waiting to be sold at unbeatable prices. The area is also renowned for batiks from Indonesia and Malaysia, exquisitely hand-made by the wax-resist dye method and typically sold in sarong lengths. Machine-printed batik with traditional designs is also available by the metre or in ready-made shorts, sundresses, ties, table linen and more.

There are also a number of fishing tackle shops carrying an amazing array of items for both the amateur and the professional angler.

Nearest MRT station: Bugis (EW12)

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