Chill out at Haji Lane

Chill out at Haji Lane

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A signboard which can easily be missed if not careful.

Amidst the hustle and bustle of city life, this tiny little lane proves that an alternative side still exists in the modern Singapore. This quaint place was once a dull row of pre-war lodging for hajj pilgrims. Now, it is a mecca for alternative shopping with throngs of cafes and dainty shops lining up the blocks.


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A typical weekend in Haji Lane.

Haji Lane draws a crowd from many different walks of life spanning from hundreds of nations. No matter where you are from, this little lane will never fail to attract you with its offbeat bravado and an artsy vibe. Shopaholics will find themselves immersed in a “gypsy-like” alternative shopping experience as dozens of shops line the area. Each shop is a world of its own with quirky little themes set to mesmerise anyone who passes by.

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The exterior and interior of “Monday’s Off”

One such shop to note is Monday’s Off, a start up venture by Singaporean siblings Leyna Poh and Joel Poh. The shop is the new kid in the block, being 8 months old at its current location. The theme of the shop is inspired by Scandinavian motives with the front façade being chic and quaint, like a picture out of a tumblr post. Loads of pedestrians stop by to have a look at the various accessories and items available. After browsing through, the customers will indulge themselves with selfies at the exterior of the shop.

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Ana Maria, a Colombian student in Singapore, working at a Colombian shop in Haji Lane.

Ana Maria has been living in Singapore since January this year. She got to know about Haji Lane during her second week here. The first time she came to Haji Lane, all she could think of was how interestingly different this place is compared to the rest of the city.

When asked to describe this vibrant street, she said “Haji lane is like an alternative gypsy street.”

She currently works at Kolombiana, a shop in Haji Lane which sells handmade bags and accessories by tribes all the way from Colombia.

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Signboards showing the direction of two famous venues in Haji Lane.

Blujaz Café and Piedra Negra are two venues which are synonymous to Haji Lane. Have a feast of excellent Mexican tapas and drinks at Piedra Negra while admiring the Mayan inspired murals on their walls. After a heartfelt meal, proceed your way to the Blujaz Café in the evening to chill out and catch various spectacular music performances by renowned local bands.

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Mural paintings by Didier Jaba Mathieu

If you are a photo enthusiast looking for a snap, Haji Lane offers many different shops with uniquely creative visuals outside their shops. Quirky abstract murals decorate the walls of the cafes and restaurants in the lane. A famous Thai singer, Stamp Apiwat, has even featured these murals in his music video called “The Last Single”.


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Cool Subaru Bonnet


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A dainty little shop caught the attention of these two ladies

With all its crazy vibrant antiques, Haji Lane is a must go in this city state. So flip out your travel notebook and jot down this quaint street the next time you come to Singapore.

/// Written by Irwan Shah, Singapore