Thursday, 31 May 2012

the Kampong Glam area of Singapore

The area's name is derived from two Malay words, Kampong, meaning "village" or "settlement", and Glam (or Gelam) referring to a variety of eucalyptus which grew in the area.

Its bark was used by boat builders in the village to caulk boats while its leaves provided cajuput oil which could be used to treat muscular aches and pains, as well as respiratory problems.

Today, Kampong Glam still retains strong ties to the ethnic-Malay and Muslim community, and has sometimes been termed the "Muslim Quarter" due to its history. The Muslim population still remains a significant presence in Kampong Glam, especially in Bussorah Street. The area remains a centre for Muslim activities and the Sultan Mosque remains a major landmark and congregation point for Singapore Muslims.

Kampong Glam is Singapore's Arabic/Muslim quarter and therefore is the best place in Singapore to explore bazaars and markets with an Arabic tinge to them. If you're a shisha (water pipe) fan then this is where to come. Hindi influences also exist here and you'll find an impressive-looking Hindu temple. Also in the area, the Singapore Bazaar and Flea Market both sell cheap attire and are fun places to visit.

Kampong Glam's restaurants stand out from the rest of Singapore's with their exotic menus and eastern influences.

On Friday we had lunch with friends at Amirah's Grill, but there are many wonderful restaurants and cafes in and around Arab St or Bussorah St.

For the blog posting on our lunch, click HERE
after our lunch we wandered around the area taking loads of photos of the Shop houses and all the colourful products that are on sale!

I love the Shop houses of Singapore, there are so many. But equally there are many that are not 'cared for' which really is a shame as these can also be a 'tourist attraction' for these area's.

The maintenance costs must be fairly sizable, but I still think a coat of paint, a few bits of timber and maybe a few nails ... shouldn't cost too much, but the result would certainly brighten up some of these shop houses that are in desperate need.

I will have to do another blog post I think just on the Shop Houses of Singapore!!

enjoy your wander around the Arab Quarters, there is much to experience.

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