When I started traveling, I have always thought that it is one of the best ways of enlightening one’s self about various cultures. I believe that the world we live in is beautiful that is why I am always fascinated with what it offers. I like the idea of trying different food, meet different people, experience different adventures and that hint of curiosity about differences among cultures led me to accept, respect and appreciate others.
There is this one particular district in Singapore, called Kampong Glam that made my wandering soul really happy. Kampong Glam is regarded as the traditional heart of Singaporean Muslim life (because if one traces back its history, the area has enticed and united Muslims of different ethnicity). The name Kampong Glam comes from the Malay word kampong meaning “village,” and gelam, the term for cajeput tree that once grew abundantly in the area.
Walking along the streets within the district, one would notice the distinct Arab impact as streets are named after famed cities in the Middle East like Basra, Bussorah, Kandahar, and Muscat. The numerous shops around the area are reflective of the Muslim cultures that have found a home in Singapore.
So here is a glimpse of Kampong Glam – a pulsating melting pot of opulent history, architecture, cuisine, religion, fashion and shopping.
Sultan Mosque: Perhaps the most iconic structure in Kampong Glam and is the biggest mosque in Singapore. With its impressively gigantic golden dome, ivory-hued exterior and a splendid central prayer room, any visitor will be left in awe upon seeing this structure. The mosque is open from 09:00 – 13:00 and 14:00 – 16:00 daily.
Haji Lane: Another favorite of mine is this vibrant narrow path called Haji Lane. One would be overjoyed to walk along this street because of 2 main reasons. One, for its eccentric yet attractive assortment of boutique shops, café and restaurants;, and two, for the stunning street art/ murals found in the area.
Malay Heritage Centre: Located next to the Sultan Mosque, this old colonial-style building houses the various galleries. Each gallery depicts Singapore’s history, aspirations, and role in its nation-building development. The museum is open from Mon 13:00–18:00, Tue – Sun 10:00-18:00.
Arab Street: This Street lined with quaint and polychromatic shops, and restaurants is a feast for the eyes. I like the fact that a certain portion of the road in close proximity to Sultan Mosque is off limits to cars every day. This adds up to that relaxed and amiable atmosphere. Those who is looking for Halal food, this is the best area to dine.
Malabar Muslim Jama-Ath Mosque: A mosque with a modern touch with its dazzling green and blue tiles, is an exquisite bit of architecture and yet another musts see in Singapore. The mosque is located at the junction of Victoria Street and Jalan Sultan in the Kampong Glam district.
These are just some of the many wonders in Kampong Glam. So if you have the opportunity to visit the Lion City, walk around this area and you will be surprised as to how enriching the experience would be.
Don’t be a wasted soul, be “juan”derlust. Take it easy ebri”Juan”.