Orchard-River Valley has an above average crime rate for Singapore.
150 years ago this stretch of road was the site of fruit, nutmeg, gambier, and pepper plantations. Now, Orchard Road is Asia’s most famous shopping street, and is most certainly what a shopaholic’s dreams are made of. The road is a 2.2 km boulevard of bright lights and stunning facades enticing you into one of the many designer boutiques and glamourous shopping malls. Whether you’re a traveler passing through or a local, one can’t help but feel a certain sense of excitement when walking through the crowds and looking up at the seemingly never ending rows of shops peeking back at you.
With the endless rush of traffic, swarming crowds, and endless entertainment activities, Orchard is the place to be if you want to be right in the heart of it all, feeling the pulse of the city. Several complexes such as ION Orchard are integrated with retail and residential properties, giving home hunters the option to, literally, live in the heart of the city. For all its grandeur and a postcode worth envying, be prepared to dig deep into your pockets if you are looking for property in this central location.
For more of a neighborhood vibe in the midst of a hectic city center, have a look at the adjacent River Valley area which is teeming with modern apartment blocks available at more accommodating prices than Orchard itself. Families, couples, and professionals find this a great solution to finding an affordable home, while having the convenience of the city center at your doorstep and within walking distance.
Orchard-River Valley is bordered on the north by Newton, on the east by Museum, on the south by Singapore River, and on the west by Tanglin.
CBD: 3.3 km / 10-20 minutes by car / 25-35 minutes by transit
Changi Business Park: 19.4 km / 25-50 minutes by car / 75-90 minutes by transit
Jurong International Business Park: 12.3 km / 20-40 minutes by car / 60 minutes by transit
One North Buona Vista: 6.2 km / 15-30 minutes by car / 40-45 minutes by transit
Tuas: 33.1 km / 35-60 minutes by car / 120 minutes by transit
The Istana, meaning “palace” in Malay, is the official residence and office of the President of Singapore, though no President has lived here since 1959. Built in 1869, the Istana has a neo-Palladian architectural style similar to many colonial buildings designed by British military engineers in the 18th century, with the main building standing three stories tall overlooking the entire grounds of the compound.
Founded in 1859, this tropical garden is over 150 years old and is nestled to the West of Singapore’s Orchard Road district. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Botanic Gardens is home to over 10,000 species of flora spread over 82-hectares of land. Within the Botanic Gardens sits the National Orchid Garden, an institution pioneering the cultivation of orchid hybrids and continuing to be a forefront in orchid research.
The Emerald Hill area was originally owned by a Mr. William Cuppage in the 1800s. Since then, the area has had many different owners, been turned into an orchard, and had numerous houses and estates built and demolished upon. Emerald hill is now a conservation area, with many of its unique terrace houses being taken up by commercial businesses.
An iconic landmark in Orchard with a rich heritage, the Goodwood Park Hotel started out in 1900 as the Teutonia Club, an exclusive club for the German expatriate community in Singapore. Goodwood Park Hotel has since catered to traveling businessmen from around the region, received a distinguished visit from the Duke of Windsor (then the Prince of Wales of England), housed high-ranking Japanese soldiers during the occupation of Singapore, and in its present state is one of the world’s most luxurious hotels.
One for the fashionistas and shopaholics, ION orchard is an integrated retail and residential complex that opened in 2009 and is conveniently located above Orchard MRT station. Boasting over 330 food and retail outlets within the mall, ION Orchard is certainly a destination where you can “shop till you drop”. The mall also has an observation deck, ION Sky, on the 55th and 56th floor of the building, giving you panoramic views of the city below.
Tucked away from the glamorous shopping streets is this contrastingly unassuming building complex. Orchard Towers is notoriously known for being a meeting point for illegal prostitutes and their clients, with several police raids having been carried out over the years. Apart from its shady night time deviances, the building also houses several embassy offices, including that of Romania, Cambodia, and Mauritius, as well as casual bars and pubs.
Photo Credits: Thanks to @vettyking, @sieunhan.s, @christhy_mei, @atiekmangkudiwiryo, @andream0ur, @ms.tianig, @priyanka_sawant, @mari_lucena1, @tatoxxiv, @poshmerka, @b_jumi_, @glennbrendan, @nonohusixiao, @i__amcarina, @amabelvionata, @chiefkanwar, @raeesjohaadien, @quangip, @fellixyuli for your great photos of this neighborhood!