Kampong Gelam - April 2023

Arab Street
Sultan Mosque - April 2023. Nikon D850, 28-70@42mm, f5.6, 1/1600s, GPS: N:1° 18' 11.87" E:103° 51' 29.31"

This was an interesting day, as believe it or not, I did not even know this place existed and only stumbled upon it while heading for Little India, when seeing the minaret out of the corner of my eye

Just look at the above shot, and you will see why I got distracted and just had to go have a closer look. The result is that I put off Little India for another day. And yes, I may photoshop the green rails out of the image at some point.

Arab Street
Kandahar Street April 2023.
Nikon D850, 28-70@28mm, f6.3, 1/2500s
GPS: N:1° 18' 8.9" E:103° 51' 34.8"

This impressive building is actually the Sultan Mosque and needs a closer look.

After getting across the crazy busy road, I starting my wanderings to get a closer look at the Mosque, and as is usual for me got a little sidetracked, by the shops.

The streets surrounding the Mosque are packed with shops selling not only religious items but also general Middle Eastern arts and crafts. In other words, there goes the rest of the day, hunting for bargins.

There is an atmosphere in these streets, which brought back memories of my time in Dubai; then comes the smell of the food, which, although my senses are limited (THANKS COVID!!), it was still mouth-watering, and considering it was only mid-morning, later in the day would be impossible to resist.

While exploring the streets surrounding the mosque, one thing which was thankfully very limited, were the pushy salesmen who basically grab you as you walk past their shops.

And no, this is not a Singapore thing. I have experienced it in various parts of the world and freely admit that it drives me nuts.

While on the subject, on this trip, I have noted a most welcome reduction in this problem; for example, when I visited Sim Lim Square, which used to be a nightmare for this, this time not a single one. Chinatown had a few who were not that pushy, whereas this area had none at all.

Arab Street
Sultan Mosque April 2023
Nikon D850, 28-70@28mm, f6.3, 1/3200s.

Looking at the above photo you will see what looks like market stalls being taken down, hmmm, what ever it was I missed it.

And boy did I miss it, and only by 1 day, so after asking around, it seems what I missed was actually the Kampong Gelam Bazaar which from the research I did following my visit was something I really wanted to see, and is on my must do list for a future trip. This was the first case of " bad timing" for the day.

Anyhow I finally found my way to the mosque, but my timing was not good, as after talking to several of the very friendly staff, it seems the tours where not running, nor could I go inside at that time. Oh well another one for the next trip, but at least it was the last case of " bad timing" for the day.

Arab Street
Bussorah Street April 2023
Nikon D850, 28-70@28mm, f2.8, 1/125s,
GPS: N:1° 18' 4.59" E:103° 51' 34.76"

Even after my double bout of " bad timing" , I was still able to explore the area, and never know find some bargins in the many stores.

Look at the above photo which I took in one of the surrounding streets lined with restaurants in the ever present Singapore Shophouses, just look up for some real good examples of this classic singapore architecture.

While on the subject of the above photo, I took that right in the middle of the day, with my DSLR on a tripod, in the centre of the street, in full sun, wearing all black, in other words the classic "mad tourist", and yes I did get some strange looks from the few others brave enough to join me in the sun.

Back to the exploring and more signs of the Bazaar I missed. I bet that street would have been really buzzing, especially at night. A must-visit for a future trip.

Arab Street 4
Kandahar Street - April 2023 Nikon D850, 28-70@28mm, f6.3, 1/2500s.
Arab Street 3
Bussorah Street - April 2023 Nikon D850, 28-70@28mm, f2.8, 1/800s

Some thoughts on Kampong Gelam, yes, I did not know this place existed, but after spending the day exploring, it's a most welcome discovery and a place to revisit on a future trip, just with better timing.

That bazaar is held yearly in Ramadan, so something to think about when scheduling a future trip. It's a good place to spend a day exploring; there is something new around each corner.

After way too many steps, it was time to return to the hotel and take a rest before heading out for the evening.

Daily Stats: 28, 898 steps, and according to Samsung Health, that's a little over 22km

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