Visit three distinct neighborhoods in central Singapore to get a feel for the cultures that have contributed to the city’s pan-Asian identity. You can start in Chinatown, where the high rises of the central business district give way to foot reflexology spas, night markets, and souvenir stalls. Then head north to Little India, a neighborhood dominated by Hindu temples, goldsmiths, and fruit stalls blaring Hindi music. Finally, swing east into Kampong Glam near Arab Street. Here you’ll see fabric shops flanked by cafés that sell falafel and flavored tobacco for hookah pipes. Pull up a chair at one of the many outdoor eateries on pedestrian-only Haji Lane and settle in for some prime people watching.
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Arabian Glamour in Kampong Glam
Singapore’s largest Muslim house of worship, the gold-domed Sultan Mosque, is the focal point of the Kampong Glam neighborhood east of Little India. Walk along the nearby pedestrian-only street to browse trinket stalls and then head over to Haji Lane for its hipster clothing boutiques. A popular evening destination, the area becomes lively with bar goers and hookah smokers who linger at sidewalk tables. Along Arab Street, you’ll find fabric shops, a reminder that the area was once a textile district. After exploring the neighborhood on foot, take a break at one of the many sidewalk cafés for some fresh mint tea and homemade hummus with ground lamb. You can find authentic Lebanese cuisine at Beirut Grill on Bussorah Street.