Istana Kampong Glam a.k.a. Malay Heritage Centre

What:
Istana Kampong Glam
- formerly a palace to Singapore's Sultans. Now as the Malay Heritage Centre.

Where:
Sultan Gate, Kampong Glam, Singapore's Malay-Arab Quarter.

Highlights:

  • Malay Heritage Museum: a one-stop showcase of Malay culture
  • Pottery and Batik-Painting Workshops
  • Meet Singapore's most talented potter, Mr Iskandar Jalil (Mon, Tue Workshops)

Istana Kampong Glam - The Sultan's former palace is now used as the Malay Heritage Centre.

Entrance Fee:

  • Free to enter the compound and to see pottery and batik-painting workshops

  • Malay Heritage Museum admission: $4 Adult, $3 Seniors & Children 7-12, Free for Children under 7

  • Various donation amounts to participate in pottery and batik workshops (half-day or full-day)


The Grounds of Istana Kampong Glam

Istana Kampong Glam - Panoramic shot of the former sultan's palace from Sultan Gate.

The Istana Kampong Glam is situated in a beautiful compound. In front of the main building is a lovingly manicured garden. Further out, one may find tree-covered areas with chengal-wood pavilions. If you are going on a Kampong Glam walking tour, these lovely spots are great for escaping from the day's heat. Buy a chilled coconut from an eatery nearby and sip it in one of the pavilions.

Istana Kampong Glam - An example of the Bugis boats which used to call at the harbour here.

In a quiet corner of Istana Kampong Glam, you'll find this disused Bugis boat.

Many of these boats called at the nearby harbour more than 100 years ago.

 

Istana Kampong Glam - A disused carriage horse-drawn carriage.

A nicely preserved carriage catches the eye near the main building.

Was this used by the Sultans of old for their travels?

Pottery & Batik-painting Workshops

Istana Kampong Glam - Batik fabrics of various designs.

If you wander to the backyard of the Istana grounds, you'll stumble upon the real gems here.

There are 2 workshops which you should really consider joining.

The first one walks you through the batik-painting process. These beautiful fabrics (left) need not be bought.

Join one of the workshops and make your own!

Istana Kampong Glam - Tools for making batik fabrics. The tools used for making batik fabrics.
Istana Kampong Glam - Mr Iskandar Jalil showing visitors how to make pottery.

The second workshop is anchored my an amiable gentleman called Mr Iskandar Jalil.

He is positively Singapore's most talented potter, and definitely one of the most famous in South-east Asia.

Istana Kampong Glam - Mr Iskandar showing friends how pottery art is conceptualised.

Mr Iskandar Jalil shows visitors one of his many drafts. His pottery is first conceptualised on paper.

His works have been featured in at least 4 coffee-table books.

They have even made their way into the homes of Singapore's Presidents and other Malay royalty!



Suggestions for Travellers

  1. The Istana Kampong Glam may be visited as one of the stops on the Kampong Glam Walking Tour. On this walking tour, visit also Arab Street and Bussorah Street. Another must-see is the Sultan Mosque, a mosque with close links to Istana Kampong Glam.

  2. Do note the opening hours:
    Malay Heritage Museum: Monday 1pm-6pm; Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm.
    Istana Compound: 8am-9pm daily.
    Workshops: Monday-Friday.

  3. If you plan on joining the workshops, call first to book: (+65) 6391 0450 or (+65) 6391 0465.



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