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Hip Hangouts in Singapore

  1. Michael Filippone
  2. Monday, October 1st, 2012

Hip Hangouts in Singapore

Credit: Photo courtesy of Singapore Tourism Board

Hip Hangouts in Singapore

In the midst of the hustle and bustle of vibrant Singapore are hip hangouts that cleverly mingle the city’s glamorous colonial past and dynamic, high-tech present. Stroll through these trendy, exquisitely restored neighborhoods to experience some of the finest shopping, dining and cocktailing in this exotic, energetic city.

Forming a bewitching little oasis of hip in the midst of the financial district, Ann Siang Hill and Club Street charmingly evoke Singapore’s Chinese heritage while serving as a major center for some of the city’s most creative contemporary fashion designers. Colorful shop houses, once home to the exclusive social clubs of Chinatown, now embrace whimsical wine bars, vintage clothing boutiques, retro toy stores and delightful alfresco cafes. Shutterbugs will find endless inspiration in narrow streets lined with exquisitely restored pastel-shuttered buildings, rooftop gardens and old street lamps. Sample French pastries, browse the wares of niche bookstores or catch an art-house flick at the Screening Room, a cinema with its own rooftop bar.

Gloriously gentrified Haji Lane has been brought to brilliant bohemian life by groups of young local designers and entrepreneurs who have created a happening little art and fashion paradise in this tiny lane of restored pre-war shop houses. From vibrant vintage clothing shops to stylish boutiques featuring the wares of some of Singapore’s hottest young designers, Haji Lane’s retailers include indie music shops, hip-hop clothing outlets and purveyors of trendy housewares. Cult labels and one-of-a-kind fashion finds lure Singapore’s young and hip to offbeat shops, while tarot card readings and yoga classes provide some interesting retailing breaks.

Hip, historic Kampong Glam has been designated as a conservation area and is known for beautifully restored original Malay buildings housing trendy design firms, avant garde art galleries, quaint curio shops and sophisticated little restaurants. Heart of the Arab community during Singapore’s colonial era, Bussorah Street is now a lively pedestrian thoroughfare lined with vividly painted shop houses embracing an eclectic mix of old-time haberdasheries and fashionable modern shops. Arab Street offers textile temptations from silk to batik and lace, along with traditional Malay costumes, vintage board games, antiques and fine rattan handicrafts.

Luscious locale of many of the city’s loveliest wining and dining establishments, the lush Dempsey Hill precinct is a verdant oasis in the midst of restless Singapore. One of the city’s most popular lifestyle destinations, Dempsey Hill was originally the site of British army barracks, and many of the old colonial black-and-white buildings still remain, reborn as eclectic restaurants, boho boutiques and stylish art galleries. Restaurants range from spicy Indian curry houses to French bistros, gourmet grocery shops and sultry little cocktail bars. Art buffs and fashionistas love Dempsey Hill, home to Singapore’s Museum of Contemporary art, several luxurious spas and loads of unique clothing shops.

Hip Hangouts in Singapore.

Michael Filippone

About the Author: Michael Filippone

Michael Filippone has traveled throughout Europe, Latin America and Asia. Each year he travels several hundred thousand miles. He regularly visits Singapore for business and has a great love of the Orient.

His favorite things are morning runs in big cities and getting lost. He has a great passion for all things that are water-sport related: paddle surfing, surfing, free diving, fishing, rowing… Here you will find his musings on everything from where to go get lost on a jungle adventure to a road-trip in Thailand to a romantic cruise weaving through the Indonesian archipelago. Here too are hand-selected articles penned for him by writers he likes on the best places to go from Singapore. As well as being one of the key drivers behind setting up Singapore.com, he runs and part-owns Asia.com – a travel site on all things happening in the wider region. Michael is known to be fond of skipping rope and other than the odd beer, his preferred beverage is coconut water. He loves to fish and play volleyball with his children. He trained as an Olympic rower and loves to see his children find their way in sports and life.

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