We travel to Singapore, a multicultural and modern city to discover Kampong Glam, one of its oldest neighborhoods. If Chinatown is the city's Chinatown, Kampong Glam is, from the beginning, the neighborhood where the Arab population settled. Want to know more about him? Join us!
History of the Kampong Glam neighborhoodTrong Nguyen / Shutterstock.com
The history of the Kampong Glam neighborhood begins long before the British colonization, which occurred in 1819. Before the English landed in Singapore, this place was occupied by the Malaysian aristocracy of Singapore. It was a small core fundamentally port.
In addition to the aristocracy, it was an area where immigrants from Indonesia, Sumatra and Malaysia settled. When the coexistence of the inhabitants of Kampong Glam and the British began, with the Raffles Plan of 1822, the neighborhood was under the domain of the Sultan of Hussein.
As a result, The area was occupied by Arabs and Malays. The trade was mostly commercial, since since 1819 they had a commercial position. To the east of this region was the one known as "European city." Over the years, the Sultan ordered the construction of his own mosque and a palace.
Slowly, was expanding its population to become one of the most important neighborhoods in Singapore, partly because of its history. In fact, the name of the neighborhood derives from two terms. On the one hand, "Kampong" which means village and "gelam" in Malay, a tree with medicinal properties.
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What to visit in Kampong Glam
During your tour of this fantastic neighborhood there are mandatory stops that you have to keep in mind. They are the following:
1. Sultan MosqueSultan Mosque - vichie81
It is the jewel of the Kampong Glam neighborhood and the most important mosque in the entire city. It was built in 1924, although the works did not finish until 1932, when the structure was renovated.
The Muslim community considers it the national mosque. The most impressive is the great golden dome that fills this imposing Arab construction with light. The visiting hours are from 9 to 13 and from 14 to 16 in the afternoon.
2. Arab Streetkerochan
It is one of the first streets that were created after the foundation of the neighborhood. It is the favorite place to walk and take advantage to enter the different shops. For something it is the most representative street of Kampong Glam: for the endless establishments of perfumes, fabrics, carpets ...
3. Bussorah MallBroewnis Photo / Shutterstock.com
Bussorah mall It is considered the most beautiful street in the neighborhood. It is born from the Sultan Mosque and along the street you have beautiful colonial-style buildings.
However, what makes this place more special is that It is the perfect place to eat and enjoy Arabic cuisine. In it you will find the best bars and cafes. Many of them have terraces where you can relax while having a drink.
In addition to Arabic cuisine you can find dishes from Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. A perfect way to soak up three cultures at once.
4. Sultan's Palace
It is the place of residence of Sultan Ali, the successor of Sultan Hussein. It was built in 1840. It is located on Kandahar Street, a street where immigrants from Indonesia and Malaysia lived.
How to get to the neighborhoodMark Pegrum / Flickr.com
Kampong Glam is located north of the Singapore River and the best way to get there is by taking the subway. The stop where you have to get off is Bugis. From there, you have to walk a few minutes until you reach Jalan Pinang Street, very close to the Sultan's mosque.
We recommend you take a walk through the main streets: Arab Street, Muscat Street and Baghdag Street. They are the first streets of the neighborhood, although yes, nothing like getting off the road and investigating for yourself every corner of Kampong Glam. The visit will not last more than an entire morning making stops. You will not regret!
There is nothing like being carried away by the curiosity of visiting a new place and Kampong Glam invites you to lose yourself in its streets, to discover new places, flavors and sensations. Do not miss the opportunity to live a unique and unforgettable experience. It is in your hands to make your trip to Singapore a memory for the rest of your life.