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Self-Improvement & Hobbies

School holiday activities - Cultural heritage tours

Take a heritage walk through Chinatown, Kampong Glam or Little India
CATS Classified In The Straits Times - June 3, 2010
By: Goh Mei Yi
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School holiday activities - Cultural heritage tours

For parents of school-going children, the June holidays mean having to think of activities to keep the kids occupied. Other than the usual outings to Orchard Road or Sentosa, you could also plan a heritage tour to the three distinct ethnic districts – Chinatown, Little India and Kampong Glam.


Although Chinatown today is considerably less of an ethnic enclave compared to Little India or Kampong Glam, the district still retains significant historical and cultural significance. You can see different elements of baroque and Victorian architecture in the conserved shophouses along Trengganu Street, Pagoda Street, Temple Street and Smith Street.

A visit to the Chinatown Heritage Centre can be an eye-opener to children about the history of Chinatown and how the early Chinese immigrants worked and lived in shophouses.

Little India

Little India is the place to go to for all things Indian. A good starting point is the Little India Arcade, where you can buy things ranging from Indian sweets and snacks, saris and Indian medicine to Indian arts and crafts.

Serangoon Road is the main thoroughfare in Little India and you can branch off into the smaller roads on both sides of the road. On these side roads, you’ll find plenty of Indian restaurants and Hindu places of worship like the Sri Lakshmi Temple and Sri Veerama Kaliamman Temple.

Kampong Glam

Sometimes known as the Muslim Quarter, Kampong Glam continues to have strong ties to the ethnic-Malay and Muslim community. Sultan Mosque, Singapore’s biggest mosque, is found here and remains a major landmark and congregation point for Singapore Muslims.

What was once known as Istana Kampong Glam has been restored to become the Malay Heritage Centre. At Arab Street, you can shop for textiles, carpets, rattan home decor and religious items used by Muslims going on pilgrimages to Mecca.


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