Kampong Glam

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Kampong Glam Tourism

Kampong Glam is the toy town neighbourhood on the northern side of Singapore River, in the planning area of Rochor. The word 'Kampong' in the Malay language means a compound area, and 'Glam' probably comes from the long-leaved paperbark trees that are native to this place. As you take a walk down the streets, the one thing that predominates over everything else is the vibrancy of colours. They are everywhere and in every shade - yellow, pink, white, blue - you name it, you have it. Up close, Kampong Glam looks like someone has carefully organised everything like they were painting a pretty picture.

The place, however, was not always like this. Back in the colonial days, the Raffles Plan of the British Company had Singapore divided into several districts by ethnicity. This part went to the Sultan of Johor and some of the Arab and Malay communities. Many of the residing families turned out to be merchants, and they ended up making this region a bustling hub of trade.

By the early twentieth century, Kampong Glam was not only for the Arabs and Malays but Indians and Chinese as well. Soon, like Little India and Chinatown, Kampong Glam too was refurbished and restored to its current glory. The shops were rebuilt and painted, streets were made, plants were potted, and textile shops, jewellers, art and curio shops, restaurants, cafes, bakeries popped up one after the other.

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