Photographing Singapore – Kampong Glam

In our opinion, Kampong Glam (KG) tends to get rather overlooked in the grand scheme of tourist attractions in Singapore. That’s fine by Noodle Photography, the less tourists, the better the shots. And Kampong Glam is very photogenic, especially when it comes to street photography. Noodle has led some very successful photo-tours in KG with each corner revealing something new about the traditionally Malay-Arab neighbourhood. At the heart of the area is the impressive Masjid Sultan. It’s a great place to start and of course a great place to photograph. Outside is impressive, but the real joy comes from venturing inside. The arches, colours and shapes formed by the light flooding through the windows is fantastic. You can walk round the edges of the prayer area and capture lovely silhouettes of those praying and learning inside. The corridors are great for portraits of the people coming and going as the windows create a natural diffusion of the bright light from outside. The abundance of stars and crescents in the decor give a real sense of place to the images you capture.

Once back outside you can venture towards Arab Street and Haji Lane. The former is well known for selling textiles and carpets; it’s full of colour and pattern, a photographer’s bread and butter.

Morning in Kampong Glam

The latter is one of the slimmest streets in Singapore and is well known for it’s boutique shops and bars. From a photographer’s point of view it also has graffiti, street art, posters and stickers adorning the walls. Whilst not unusual in most countries this is very out of place in the usually pristine streets of Singapore and well worth your close attention for some detailed, atmospheric shots.

Drainpipe 3

On the other side of town you can find the Malay Heritage Centre which in itself is worth a look with it’s manicured lawns and fountains at the front. However, the area that interests us is through the gates at the far end, walking away from the centre and in to Aliwal Street and it’s back alleys. Here you find the complete opposite of what you have just walked through. The buildings here have character; run down shop houses, small kopitiams and chickens roaming the back streets and alleys. It really is a different world to check out with your camera.

This is just a small taste of what’s on offer in this inspiring area. You can still visit the Malay and Muslim cemeteries, wander down the pedestrianised walkway to the Mosque and maybe take some tea and a shisha along Bagdad Street. Noodle never tires of the street photography on offer here and finds it one of the most vibrant areas to visit in Singapore.

If you’d like to find out more or take a photo-tour, just contact us on or take as look at our website You can also follow @Noodle_Photo on Twitter or Facebook.

Read our previous ‘Photographing Singapore‘ posts here.

Morning in Kampong Glam

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