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Price: $75 / ticket
Singapore’s multi-faceted history reaches back over 700 years. The arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles on behalf of the British East India Company (EIC) in 1819 marked a turning point that set the island on a new trajectory, and launched it onto the global stage.
Learn the personal journeys of British East India men such as Raffles, Farquhar, and Crawfurd, and those of the many intrepid souls from all over the world — especially China, India, and the Middle East as well as neighbouring countries (today’s Malaysia and Indonesia) — who decided to take a gamble on this new outpost. As we commemorate the 200th anniversary of the EIC’s arrival, join us to explore not only its colonial and pre-colonial history, but also the impact these figures still make on today’s Singapore.
This is a multi-part series that may be purchased as either a one-off or a package of three tours.
Each tour will be held both on a Saturday & on a Tuesday in February.
Please also note that details of where exactly each tour will meet will be emailed to all those registered 2 or 3 days in advance.
Part 3 The Doctor, the Sultan and the Scribe
As we walk the streets of the historic neighbourhood of Kampong Glam, discover the stories of its Kota Raja — the royal compound which Raffles had designated for the newly installed Sultan Hussain. See first hand how the area developed from a fishing village with help from Indian convict labour.
You’ll also visit one of the oldest cemeteries in Singapore that contains royal tombs as well as those of other Muslim communities. Learn how and why our second resident governor, Dr. John Crawfurd, punished the Sultan by building Victoria Street through his grounds.
Find out about the Sultan’s contemporary, the Temenggong, aka the Prince of Pirates, and Munshi Abdullah, the father of Malay literature and Malay teacher to Raffles and other early European settlers. Learn how this area became an early printing hub, with the locals having learnt printing technology from the missionaries.
Discover how Crawfurd ditched some of the Raffles’ more Utopian plans to implement a more pragmatic approach to the settlement, including the signing of the Treaty of Friendship and Alliance, which effectively bought out both the Sultan and Temenggong and diminished their influence.
Visiting both the Sultan Mosque and the Hajjah Fatimah Mosque, we’ll explore the importance of the Muslim faith and how Singapore became a centre for Haj pilgrims in the region to prepare for their journeys to Mecca.
This tour ends at the Malay Heritage Centre, the former Istana, or palace, of the Sultan.
Off the Beaten Track
We pride ourselves in offering out of the ordinary tours (some walking, some by bus, some a mix!) and other events with an emphasis on the heritage, history, and culture of our "little red dot" of an island. We have a wonderfully professional, committed team who work hard to ensure that the interesting parts of our small but magical island are introduced to residents and visitors alike.