Upper Thomson is a major road running from the end of Sembawang Rd to the beginning of Lornie Rd. It borders the perimeter of the largest nature reserve in Singapore, the Central Water Catchment. Many local businesses and shophouses line this thoroughfare, with residential properties tucked away on the smaller streets connecting to Upper Thomson.
This area has many local restaurants and eateries, as well as hipster cafes serving up some of the best coffee in town, giving residents in the area the best of both worlds. Get your dose of local cuisine from the local Sembawang Hills Food Centre or one of the many spots serving up local chicken rice, roti prata, Thai, or even Korean cuisine. For those craving a proper brewed coffee check out the indie curbside cafes in the area that pride themselves on unique beans and roasts.
This area in Singapore is particularly unique and coveted by nature lovers due to its close proximity to the largest nature reserve in Singapore. Being right by the Central Water Catchment area, there are large areas of green forestry around as well as rare flora and fauna to be explored. Spend an afternoon hiking along the MacRitchie Trails, or partake in a bit of peaceful bird watching. For some added adrenaline, embark on the TreeTop Walk along a suspended bridge connecting the two highest points in MacRitchie and explore the wonders of the mature secondary forests around you.
Learning centers such as Montessori and international pre-schools are abundant in the area, catering to families with younger children. Primary, secondary, and tertiary schools are less readily available within the vicinity but can be found in adjacent neighborhoods.
Upper Thomson is home to numerous condominium complexes, as well as terraced houses and landed property available for rent and sale. The area is not serviced by an MRT station and moving around can be quite inconvenient without a car. This is a popular area for expatriates and locals alike, given the unique local and indie vibe of the neighborhood and the convenient amenities available in the area.
Upper Thomson is bordered on the north by Sembawang Hills and Shangri-La, on the east by Marymount, on the south by Toa Payoh, and on the west by MacRitchie Reservoir.
CBD: 11.2 km / 15-40 minutes by car / 50 minutes by transit
Changi Business Park: 21.7 km / 25-60 minutes by car / 80 minutes by transit
Jurong International Business Park: 16.6 km / 20-45 minutes by car / 60 minutes by transit
One North Buona Vista: 11.9 km / 20-40 minutes by car / 35-55 minutes by transit
Tuas: 35.4 km / 40-75 minutes by car / 120 minutes by transit
A relatively small local hawker food centre, Sembawang Hills Food Centre is filled with stalls selling local favourites, as well as a few hidden gems. Recommended stalls here include those selling traditional Hokkien Salted Duck (not commonly found in other parts of the island), as well as Satay Bee Hoon – vermicelli noodles lavished with a sweet and savory chilli-peanut gravy.
Singapore’s second-oldest reservoir, the Lower Peirce Reservoir was built in the 1900s by impounding the upper reaches of the Kallang River to meet the increasing demand for water supply in Singapore. Secondary forests line the banks of the reservoir and it's still dotted with a number of rubber trees and oil palms. Today, visitors can walk along the 900m boardwalk that runs through the forest and take in the captivating views of the natural landscapes and discover the rich variety of flora and fauna that awaits.
Opened in 1979, Thomson Plaza is a suburban shopping mall located on Upper Thomson Rd. The mall has a wide variety of stores selling bags and shoes, electronics, fashion and accessories, and home and lifestyle products as well as supermarkets and convenience stores. Services include medical and dental clinics, youth learning centers, and health and beauty wellness centers.
Occupying over 2000 hectares of forest reserve and home to forests with rich biodiversity, the Central Catchment Nature Reserve is the largest nature reserve in Singapore. Following human settlement and development, Singapore lost much of its primary forests, with rare forest types such as primary freshwater swamp forests now only found in patches within the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. Visitors can trek through the reserve on carefully planned nature trails such as the MacRitchie Trails and TreeTop Walk.
One of the most prestigious country clubs in the country, Singapore Island Country Club was formed in 1963 and is known for its impeccable golf courses that have played host to numerous golf tournaments. With a range of facilities including an 18-hole course, tennis courts, swimming pools, arcade rooms, gyms, and a bowling alley, it is one of the most sought after club memberships in the city.
The MacRitchie Reservoir Park is a gateway into one of Singapore’s largest nature reserves, and one of the most popular spots for fitness enthusiasts and nature lovers. The beautiful trails and greenery around the reservoir provide scenic routes for runners, with trekkers/hikers being able to go deeper into the forests on the MacRitchie Trails. Water sports are also a popular activity, with courses and rentals available for kayaks and canoes.
Photo Credits: Thanks to @samuelgerardwong, @neriah_krissie, @_thecountess_, @shanelyfee, @hei.alethia.j, @sangggheeee, @jhong.lim, @ms.v.a, @double_eyebags, @denisecamillia, @nohabgkuat, @flyntippet, @clement_syf, @aloycheowcheow, @shu55min, @shanobyl, @passionsgrace, @benjamin_gomes80, @joanneehq, @felixthefisherman, @onlyjam, @valkyrievallhara, @theodoremxy for your great photos of this neighborhood!