|Kampong Glam (甘榜格南) Singapore walkabout will take you through ICA Building, Hong Wen School, Malabar Mosque, Muslim Cemetry, Old Malay Cemetery, Alsagoff Arab School, The Heritage Shop, Hajiah Fatimah Mosque, Beach Road, Lee Loy Hin, Sultan Palace, Kandahar Street, Sultan Mosque, Bussorah Mall, Arab Street, Bali Lane, Parkview Square and much more.
Kampong Glam is Singapore's earliest Muslim enclave. It was the home of Malay royalty before the time of Raffles. This area was originally called seduyong by the orang laut (sea gypsies) at the time of Raffles' landing in Singapore. When Sir Stamford Raffles established a trading post at the confluence of the Singapore River in 1819, the inhabitants of the floating Malay village at the river mouth dispersed and settled here.
The malay word "Kampong" means "village or settlement" and named after the medicinal Gelam (melaleuca leucadendron) trees that once proliferated in this area, from which the Bugis and Malays extracted oils for medicines and to make their ships watertight. Raffles designated this area, in 1822, as the Sultan's official enclave when Singapore was ceded to the British. He wrote also: "The Arab population will require every consideration..." And they would have a 57-acre plot between the Rochor River (today, a canal) and Beach Road. The area around Kampong Glam was officially allocated to the Bugis traders, Arabs, Javanese, Boyanese and other Muslim merchants.
Tengku Ali built Istana Kampong Glam in 1840 at Sultan Gate. Tengku Ali was only recognised as Sultan of Singapore by the British, in 1855. The second half of the 19th century saw the rapid growth of immigrant communities in Kampong Glam, initially from Sumatra, and later from other parts of Indonesia and Malaya.
By the early 20th century, Kampong glam underwent substantial change. Shophouses and other dwellings, such as the bungalows at 73 Sultan Gate and Pondok Java were built. Kampong Glam's buildings are predominantly two and three storey shophouses ranging from Early, First Transitional, Late and Art-Deco architectural styles. The area was accorded conservation status on 7 July 1989.
Walkabout Guide can be downloaded here.