Kampong Glam is filled with interesting and picturesque stores lining Arab, Muscat, Bussorah, Baghdad and Kandahar Streets. Most of them sell beautiful fabric and are owned by enterprising Indians who will help you mix and match. Buy "ethnic" materials at reasonable prices and have them transformed into whatever you want.
Shopping madness, shopping fever, shopping as a national pastime, shopping as a sport, shopping as a delusion... all hold true in Singapore. Everywhere you look... a store, a stall, a hawker beckons. Great deals, liquidation sales, closing sales, opening sales...
Singaporeans, like most Asian, eat non-stop, although not in large single quantities and portions as westerners may do. We nibble throughout the day, snacks, soups, sweets, fruits etc. Singaporeans talk about food, where to go next, swap ideas on good spots.
You don't want to be zipping by some cute shophouse-lined street or pocket-sized temple. Nor do you want to rush by the tucked-away shop with great deals and miss out on spending time with the locals chilling and filling up on yummy hawker centre snacks.
Kampong Glam means "Glam Village" in Malay, and the name comes from "Gelam, a variety of Eucalyptus that used to grow in the area. Kampong Glam used to be the Malay sultans' residential area as well as the main Muslim and Arab district.
Singapore is a good place to party. Yuppy folks in their severe work gear hit the many bars, pubs and dance-spots throughout the week to ease the stress and pain of a meaningless rat race. Students in their post and pre-exam delirium do the same before they face the reality of the job market. No good reason for visitors not to.
Reservoirs and public gardens account for 42% of Singapore's land use, while more than half is built up. At the founding of Singapore in 1819, evergreen rainforests and mangroves covered most of the island.
I keep coming back to the area around Sultan Mosque, also known as Kampong Glam or Arab Street, in Singapore. Yes, stuff is demolished, rebuilt, renovated, refurbished, reclaimed, transformed. But somehow Kampong Glam has retained something authentic, something living.
See, people do use Singapore park connectors: take granny for the evening stroll, let baby try his first steps in the playground, muscle up with the outdoor fitness contraptions, cycle and stroll along the water for the next Iron Man triathlon...
Sim Lim Square prides itself on being "Singapore's Largest Electronics and Computer Centre". It may be true, as it is more customary for local announcers to tout themselves as the biggest in Asia (most of the time obvious lies since Singapore is so small).