Some say Kampong Glam really is glam (a local term meaning ‘glamorous’). The area has an eclectic blend of history, culture and a super-trendy lifestyle scene.
See if this is true on your Kampong Glam journey. Start from the landmark Sultan Mosque, and wander through the many side streets.
A Malay enclave
Kampong Glam has its origins as a fishing village at the mouth of Rochor River. The Malay word 'kampung' means 'village', and the area was known for the gelam tree (or Paperbark Tree) that grew here and was used for building ships.
In 1822, Sir Stamford Raffles allocated the area to the Malay Sultan Hussain Mohammed Shah and others in the Muslim community, including Arab and Bugis traders.
Today, the grounds of the 'Istana' ('palace') is home to the Malay Heritage Centre, where you can get to know Malay history and culture better.
You’ll love the culinary delights here, from local delicacies such as nasi padang (steamed rice served with various dishes) and Malay kuih ('cakes') to Middle Eastern, Japanese, Swedish and even Mexican fare.
Shopaholics, head to colourful Haji Lane - a row of multi-label stores, quirky boutiques as well as hip bars and cafes. Or pick up traditional wares such as Persian carpets, kebaya dresses and handmade perfumes from Arab Street and Bussorah Street.
Kampong Glam truly comes alive during Ramadan (Muslim fasting month) leading up to Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Join in the ‘breaking of fast’ (iftar) in the evenings, or stroll through the bustling night markets.