Concierge.com's insider take:
Arab merchants and traders settled in this area of Singapore during the 1820s. Sidewalks still bustle with shoppers haggling over fabrics, spices, and leather. Even a few of the family longhouses known as rumah panjangs remain. But the latest trends are making their way into this historic 'hood along Haji Lane, a more intimate stretch running parallel to Arab Street, the main drag. Salad stocks playful yet practical home wares and casual frocks made for nearby beach holidays (25–27 Haji La.; 65-6299-5805). An intimate incubator for local talent, Pluck balances artful gifts, retro home furnishings, and a well-edited selection of vintage dresses–along with homemade ice creams and sorbets in indigenous flavors like tart soursop, red bean gula malaka, and the addictive Earl Grey and fig (31–33 Haji La.; 65-6396-4048; www.pluck.com.sg). Linger here before heading on to vintage-filled, closet-size spaces like Dulcetfig (41 Haji La.; 65-6396-5648). Check out nascent local brands like Soon Lee (56 Haji La.; 65-6297-0198; www.ishopsoonlee.blogspot.com) and well-priced handbags at Skyroom (84 Haji La.; 65-6392-4533; www.skyroom.com.sg). Don't let the retail madness overwhelm you, and make time to wonder at the shining dome of the Sultan Mosque, Singapore's largest and most majestic.