First, we stopped to admire the building and beautiful grounds of the Malay Heritage Center. According to my handy Frommer's Singapore & Malaysia guidebook, the center is housed in the former royal palace where descendants of the original sultan that oversaw Singapore lived. Now, the building contains exhibits showcasing the history, culture and arts of Malays in Singapore. (Currently, 15% of Singapore's population is Malay, the tour guide said.) Unfortunately, we didn't go inside of the Malay Heritage Center -- perhaps to provide time to explore the nearby mosque and other attractions we were scheduled to visit that day.
|The Malay Heritage Center is located in the Kampong Glam neighborhood in Singapore.|
The tour group walked over to the Masjid Sultan, or Sultan Mosque, next. The women on the tour covered their shoulders with cardigans or shawls, and both the men and women in the tour group took off their shoes so we would be suitably dressed to go inside the mosque. Unfortunately, we discovered a sign that said visitors were not allowed on the day and time that we were there. Going inside of the mosque and Malay Heritage Center are now on my list of things to do before my family moves from Singapore. Luckily, we're here for a few years. Plenty of time!
The Sultan Mosque.
|The black rim on the bottom of the mosque's dome is made of bottles! |
Rich people donated money and various items to restore the mosque,
according to the tour guide.
The poor also wanted to contribute, so they donated the bottles.
Finally, it was time for the tour group to wander around the neighborhood, which had rows of restaurants and shops selling everything from perfume to shawls. The heat, unfortunately, was starting to get to me. While my tour buddies walked around and popped into various shops, I planted myself at a cafe table, sipped on a refreshing calamansi juice and people watched.
|Plenty of shopping opportunities in Kampong Glam.|
|Beautiful vials waiting to be filled with custom-made perfume at Jamal Kazura Aromatics.|
|Cooling down at a cafe with a calamansi juice on ice. |
(Calamansi is similar to lime.)
P.S. Click here if you missed the first stop of the cultural tour: Merlion Park.