Istana Kampong Glam is a former Malay palace in Singapore. The palace and compounds were refurbished into the Malay Heritage Centre in 2004.
Istana Kampong Glam Hot
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A British Architect and a Sultan
The powers that be have now renovated this place and turned an already fascinating and relatively old Sultan’s palace (built by a Brit!) into something even more fascinating. Add to that a wonderful job done in revitalizing the surrounding gardens, and you have a delightful Malay museum.
With several galleries, this provides a Malay perspective of the history of Singapore. It strikes me as odd that it is mainly staffed by Singaporeans of Chinese origin, but, maybe that was just the day I went.
I suppose I must say that I was a little underwhelmed. I expected a lot more organized clutter. Many of the displays were a tad on the sparse side, but nonetheless, worth the minimal charge to get in.
Whilst the main building is mostly open during the day (some times till 8pm) it is in the evenings that the place comes alive with dancing, rehearsals, simply relaxing or whatever in the cool of Singapore’s tropical nights a stones throw from dozens of great coffee shops and restaurants and quirky stores in Kampung Glam.
Like most other heritage sites, once is definitely enough.
I visited this site once on a school heritage trail, and I did have an interesting time. The museum exhibits showcasing the history of Malays in Singapore were very detailed and informative - like the Chinese visiting the Chinatown Heritage Centre, Malays visiting Istana Kampong Glam must have felt a strong sense of pride.
There were also batik prints and paintings on sale at a shop outside the museum, along with a restaurant that served quite decent Malay cuisine.
An educational visit overall.
Creepy but sort of exciting?
I know the place isn't supposed to be creepy, but while me and my friends were inside the building/museum, there were practically no one else inside save for this guard (whom might be an apparition for all we know!), and there was a general chill about the place. We left the place as soon as possible.
Even my sister, who went there with her friends, agreed that there's definitely something going on.
Other than the whole spooky feel, the stuff they exhibited was actually quite interesting. Being a Malay, I actually felt proud of my heritage while I was there. The entry fee was (if i'm not mistaken) about $2-$3, which is really worth it.
The garden outside was just lovely. Sometimes, they'll stage performances and such at night at this area, which is fantastic and adds to the whole ambience.