Kampong Glam has an above average crime rate for Singapore.
Originally a fishing village, Kampong Glam is an ethnic district steeped in Malay-Arab history. “Kampong” is a Malay word meaning “village”, and “Glam” is a reference to the “gelam” tree (or Paperbark tree) that grew indigenously in the area back in the day. In 1822, Kampong Glam was allocated to the Sultan Hussain Mohammed Shah and others in the Muslim community, including Arab and Bugis traders, and eventually became a bustling business quarter.
Today, Kampong Glam is identified by the historic shophouses that have been carefully conserved in their original forms. With a rich history, diverse blend of cultures and a trendy lifestyle vibe, old trade houses are now home to a range of modern businesses.
Shopaholics will be excited by the independent clothing stores and trinket stores that line the streets. Carpet and fabric stores are abundant for those searching for that little ethnic touch for home living. Spend a lazy Sunday afternoon at one of a number of hipster cafes in the area, or be spoiled for choice for bars and restaurants when the sun goes down. The area holds much character, complete with pockets of graffiti walls (unheard of in Singapore!) that call for mandatory Instagram photos.
In recent years, Kampong Glam has slowly evolved from being a historical and commercial zone to encompassing more residential developments. Several local Housing Development Board estates (or HDBs, which are government-subsidised estates) surround the area, with more modern condominium complexes being developed in the vicinity due to its close proximity to the city centre. This residents in this area are made up mostly of creatives and artists attracted to the indie vibes, families living in the local estates, and more singles, couples and young professionals trickling in with the new condominiums.
Kampong Glam is bordered on the north by Lavender, on the east by Crawford, on the south by City Hall and Bugis, and on the west by Victoria and Sungei Road.
CBD: 3 km / 10-25 minutes by car / 25 minutes by transit
Changi Business Park: 15.9 km / 15-25 minutes by car / 60 minutes by transit
Jurong International Business Park: 15.2 km / 20-40 minutes by car / 55-70 minutes by transit
One North Buona Vista: 11 km / 20-40 minutes by car / 35-40 minutes by transit
Tuas: 34 km / 40-60 minutes by car / 110 minutes by transit
A live music bar with a great ambience that offers both food and drinks. Usually packed out on the weekends, Blu Jaz hosts different music events every month including DJs, open mic nights, and especially Jazz bands.
Known as the “Little Thailand” of Singapore, Golden Mile Complex is an aged commercial and residential property located on Beach Road. Home to a number of Thai eateries, supermarkets, and KTV clubs, you can find your favorite authentic Thai produce (yes, that means Chang beer too) and dishes to satiate your cravings.
This bustling joint is a crowd favorite for Mexican cuisine. Occasionally, this place also organizes awesome street parties where food, drinks, music, and crowds overflow to the streets outside and promises a fun-filled evening.
Originally built more than 150 years ago by Sultan Ali, the son of Sultan Hussein Shah, the building was once known as the Istana (Malay for “palace) Kampong Glam. After careful restoration, the Malay Heritage Centre now houses exhibitions and galleries showcasing Malay heritage and culture in Singapore.
An iconic landmark in the Kampong Glam district, the Sultan Mosque has a long history dating back to 1824. With a prayer hall that can accommodate up to 5,000 people in mass prayer, this is one of the most impressive religious establishments in Singapore. The mosque is open for visits and guides are available in several languages.
Photo Credits: Thanks to @j_unwei, @lorld, @mrkelakar, @daigoroman, @mikariaaa, @samanthas.travels, @charlie_insider, @patriciasomera, @sierrasclark, @mdzulkar9, @cheskamanuel, @theamazinglani, @phixfl0_, @msbrightsid3, @jumaat_jantan, @absarlebeh, @adlidanial, @kumoya_singapore, @isnaoktaviani, @greeneyes_09, @ritaironadi for your great photos of this neighborhood!