The narrow street of Haji Lane (200 m) leads to a number of concept stores, souvenir shops and cafes. Feeling like a true tourist in our second home, we decided to explore and admire its beauty on a weekday.
Haji Lane’s name itself is a reference to Islam: the term haji indicates a man returning from the annual pilgrimage to Mecca (The Hajj); the reference also passes a historical test, as many pilgrims waiting to depart for, or returning from, Mecca used to stay in Haji Lane’s shophouses.
In the 60s and 70s, the area provided lodging for poor Malay families, and also gave shelter to pilgrims on their annual pilgrimage to Mecca.
The lane’s claim to bohemian fame began when Japanese fashion label Comme des Garçons set up a ‘guerrilla’ store in 2005 — a pop-up lasting only a year, with minimal expense on things like interior design. These are trademarks of a pop-up store that we might recognise today, but back then, they were utterly revolutionary.
Café le Caire, an Arabic hookah restaurant which started up in 2001, was then the only establishment in Kampong Glam willing to open at night and on Sundays.
If you ever visit the Lion City, be sure to explore this street and check out the shops and cafes. For us, we will definitely be back and maybe spend a lunch date in one of their lovely restaurants. 🙂 Until our next trip!
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