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Singapore Travel Guide

Kampong Gelam and Arab Street

Kampong Gelam and Arab Street

Kampong Gelam is said to have taken its name from the Gelam tribe of sea gypsies who lived in the original Malay village southwest of the Rochor River. Sir Stamford Raffles allotted the area as an ethnic enclave to the Muslim population and it became the focal point for Arab trade and traditional Malay culture. Baghdad, Muscat Street and Haji Lane resonate with tradition as cane, straw, rattan and pandan leaf goods spill out onto the streets. The spectrum of fabrics flowing onto the pavements of Arab Street comprise chiffon, silk, cotton georgette and include the batiks of Indonesia and Malaysia. Located between Kandahar and Aliwal streets is the Istana Kampong Gelam. It was built as the royal palace of Sultan Ali Iskandar Shah, the son of Sultan Hussein who negotiated the handover of Singapore to Britain. The government recently took possession of the building with plans to transform it into a Malay heritage museum. Another significant building in the area is the Sultan Mosque (op
Transportation: The Arab Quarter is a 10-minute walk from Bencoolen Street. Take bus 7 from Orchard Road to Victoria Street, if commuting by MRT, stop at Bugis

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Travel guide by (c) Globe Media Ltd. By its very nature much of the information in this travel guide is subject to change at short notice and travellers are urged to verify information on which they're relying with the relevant authorities. We cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to any person as a result of information contained above.

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