Sidecar Sojourn: Art and Artisans
of Kampung Glam
for its textiles, art, scents and food
There are 60, 120 and 180 minute versions of this vintage vespa sidecar ride. The 120 and 180 minute versions include visits to meet and greet locals who hand-built their livelihoods with some great passion: we got to meet the local baker in the hippest part of town, hidden near Singapore's narrowest street, Haji Lane, also fast becoming world famous for its eclectic home grown designer boutiques, cafes and nightlife. Hollywood Director Joe Russo (Avengers Infinity War, Captain America movies) quoted during a bakery stop of his entourage's 180 minute sidecar experience "that was one of the best tours I've ever been on", returning again the same evening to enjoy the area's nightlife.
We also got to meet the hipster tailor, a man who decks out local celebrities, and stepped suddenly into some part of Persia as we toured the traditional shophouse premises of a master Purveyor of scents and oil.
What You See
The Kampung Glam area is historically famous for these trades, and many others, and there's no better way than to link the myriad lanes and former waterfront streets than by zipping nimbly about on vintage sidecars. We discover Singapore's street art and giant murals hidden here, some works as high as a 3 storey shophouse, featuring art by Yip Yew Chong, banker by day and artist by night.
With traffic conditions clear, our friendly sidecar drivers went the extra mile and took us sideways to the nearby Civic District. On the left, the famous view of Marina Bay framing the 'Durians' (the pet name for The Esplanade, world class home of the arts), a skyline that has been smashed up by aliens in Hollywood movies - you know your city's made it when it's been smashed up in blockbusters - and then a turn inland and we cross a Victorian cast iron bridge and arrive in London. Alighting briefly for a photo opp (you'll get the most and best shots of Singapore on this ride), you're now flanked by Victoria Theatre (home to what was once a fledgling colony's tallest clock tower), the City Hall, now the National Gallery, and Old Parliament House, now the Arts House.
Our cheerful crew return us to Sultan Gate at the end, via a quick run along part of the F1 track as it skirts by The Padang and St Andrew's Cathedral.
By a small stretch of the imagination one easily visualises what's it like being cheered through the bright lights and stands, especially if you take this tour and plan it to end in the early evening. Sun sets a little after 7pm here, starting about 630-645pm.
Pulling up at Sultan Gate, the attention from bystanders never ceasing as we dismount our swank rides, it takes quite some time to escape the many photo opps outside the former seat of Malay Royalty.
The tourist becomes the attraction on any sidecar ride.
Our appetite for exploration now fully fired up, we time-travel back to the quaint shophouses of Haji Lane to begin the night, our Singapore Sidecars heritage experience ruling our conversations for the coming days.
How to book
The Art & Artisans Sidecar Tour caters for group sizes from 2 - 20, and can accomodate MICE and incentive group sizes of up to 60 in a day. For groups of 10 and above, the fleet of vintage sidecars is joined by vintage Volkswagen camper vans - adding to the spectacle and fun as visitors get to alternate between Roman Holiday and Scooby Doo.
Follow the booking link here to enquire about availability, group concessions and latest prices.