In 1822, Sir Stamford Raffles allocated the area to the Malay Sultan Hussein Mohammed Shah and the Muslim community, including Arab and Bugis traders, the Malays from Malacca, the Riau Islands and Sumatra in Indonesia.
Today, Kampong Glam is the center of the Malay and Muslim culture in Singapore. Here we can find the beautiful Masjid Sultan (Sultan Mosque) and the Malay Heritage Center.
The Masjid Sultan mosque is an important focal point for Muslims in Singapore and the most prominent landmark in Kampong Glam.
If you not familiar with the Malay culture or you want to learn more about it, start your exploration with a visit to the Malay Heritage Centre, which showcases the culture, heritage and history of the Malay community in Singapore. The building was residence of Malay royalty in Singapore.
Then, take some time to walk slowly and explore the colorful shops in Arab Street. These shops are full of textiles, fabrics, silk, lanterns, carpets, baskets and batiks from Indonesia and Malaysia.
Moving around the area, you can discover different shophouse styles. Kandahar Street, with shophouses built from 1900 to 1940 and North Bridge Road, with shophouses built between 1840 and 1900, probably are the best places in the area.
There are lots of nice restaurants selling middle eastern, Turkish and Lebanese food, in Arab Street and Bussorah Street and great Muslim food in the corner of North Bridge Road with Arab Street.
Finally, don’t miss Haji Lane, great place for shopping. This street is full of interesting stores and boutiques selling products from local and international brands, and also great bars and cafes.