Although considered two entirely separate areas, Bugis Street and Kampong Glam are within a few minutes walk of each other, and have a similar atmosphere.

You cannot be considered a tourist unless you’ve bought some of the many cheap fashion items at Bugis Street Markets (open from 10am – late every day) or bought a snack from one of the many local takeaway places. Fortunately, Bugis Street MRT is in the centre of it all, and there’s a smaller markets selling cheap t-shirts and food directly outside the MRT in the park.

Opposite the markets is Bugis Junction, home of a large BHG store (similar to David Jones or Myer) and a plethora of smaller trendy shops. Bugis Junction is also home to a great Japanese restaurant, Ajisen, where Meredith and I had dinner one evening (200 Victoria Street, Ph (65) 6333 9512).

A few minutes walk from Bugis Junction up North Bridge Rd will take you to Kampong Glam, also known as the Arab Quarter. At the centre, lies Singapore’s Sultan Mosque and this is surrounded by narrow streets with shop houses selling everything from auto parts to used Japanese clothing to Beads and fabrics.

It’s also home to our favourite lunchtime spot, an Arabic cafe with hip black and white decor, Samar Cafe (60 Kandahar St (65) 6398 0530). Also look for Quaint Secrets, Haji Lane, for all your beading supplies.

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