Having one of the busiest MRT, Bugis offers various shopping and eating locations. For those fashionable but affordable clothing and accessories, it is definitely a must-go. But since shopping isn’t my reason for travelling, I had to break away from the calls of persistent store clerks. I crossed Victoria Street and explored the nearby places within the Kampong Glam area. I also went to the opposite side, heading to Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple at Waterloo Street.
Captivating Haji Lane. There are independent fashion boutiques and shops selling handmade products and mostly locally designed and produced crafts. Since the shops are small and easy to miss, I walked leisurely with eyes wide open, intently surveying every sign I pass by. Even without buying anything, the murals were definitely satisfying for a sight-seer like me. Well, I lied. There’s no way I could have left without buying anything from the enticing shops around.
Don’t you wish it’s always Mondays Off. This shop sells handmade cycling caps! (I’m not a cyclist. I just think they would be cute if I do so.) They have quirky cards, stylish bags,lovely accessories, and even rustic decors perfect for that minimalistic shelf at home. 76 Haji Lane, Singapore 189269
A sign board at Craft Assembly. This shop is full of cute handmade crafts that would make great gifts. There are wooden necklaces, hand-crafted earrings, candles, and fairy tale books in Singlish! There were so many people at the time I visited that I missed to take photos of the interior. 61 Haji Lane, Singapore 189254
The Children Little Museum for the not-so-little children. Just around the corner of Bussorah St., the admission fee here is measly S$2. The owner and collector, Mr. Ann, was very kind and offered to take photos of me among his memorabilia. There were toys from as far back as 1950s – wind-up robots, DIY toys like chapteh and kites, tin toys, rocking horses, play carts, etc. On the second floor of the museum, an old public school serves as a backdrop. It was built by the owner himself. Aside from that, the museum exhibits an old barber shop station, a local stall selling drinks, and a toy store that was famous to children years back. It definitely reflected the times when children were often out and playing among friends rather than fixated on the screens of phones and tablets.
The majestic Masjid Sultan. As a focal point of the Muslim Community, it is considered as one of the most significant landmarks in Singapore. The mosque is surrounded by Halal restaurants and shops selling Islamic clothing. I went around the mosque and found a flock of doves at the back of the shophouses.
At the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple. Worshippers come to pray for blessings from Kwan Yin, the goddess of mercy. On my way to the temple, there were shops selling religious paraphernalia, plants, homewares, and even some were offering services such as fortune telling and massages.
Despite the variations in religion, one thing that the people in Singapore have in common is their sincere devotion.
Since the day had been tiring, I opted to have lunch at I Am Cafe. I ordered the charcoal-grilled beef burger and a glass of orange juice. The burger was served with fries and the beef was thick and savory. It was filling for me that I had to scratch off the other restaurants and cafes I had on the list for that day. On my way back to Bugis MRT, I only stopped by at Peaches Juice Bar for a Scarlett Dream – juice made of watermelon, strawberry, and mint.