Central Singapore - Part I

January 14, 2017

If there is one region in Singapore that encapsulates its dramatic rise from a swamp at the tip of the Malaysian Peninsula to the global megapolis of the new millennium, that region is central Singapore. You could compare it to the very heartbeat that buzzes through the entire island nation, including neighbourhoods and suburbs of other regions. The central region is the place to be, no matter whether you are a local or a tourist. 

Central Singapore is a vast, diverse area divided into an inner core that comprises of businesses, shopping districts, residences, swanky restaurants; and an outer region that presents a unique charm of its own with a quixotic spirit. Here we take a look at the downtown area that belongs to the inner core. 

The Buzz Of Business

If any visitor wishes to experience the buzz of Singapore, they should simply head to the CBD, also known as the Central Business District, around 5 in the evening. There is a veritable swarm of people as they leave their glass offices and return to the warm comfort of their homes. You will find busy bodies, impatient steps, and a rushing need to catch the earliest commute. But there are also those who may hang back for a drink or two or just chill at a coffee shop. 

The experience of witnessing the evening hour rush is as surreal as it is enthralling. 

The Orchard

Perhaps the most glamourous, and the most decked up part of Singapore. Orchard Road comprises of a single street that stretches through the heart of the island nation, but it offers everything that the city has to offer right in that single street. 

There are restaurants, cafes, fast food joints, food courts, shopping malls, exclusive fashion stores and the list goes on. For most tourists and locals, it is a one stop destination for everything Singapore.      

The reason why the street is called Orchard is because, once upon a time, the area consisted of farms that grew nutmeg and pepper, and was flush with spice gardens and fruit orchards. It may be a bit difficult to imagine this idyllic past when you witness the glitz and glamour on offer today. 

The Singapore River

Most of us know the Singapore River as a rich cultural vein that houses the very best of the island nation’s hospitality. What you may not be aware of is the legend attached to it. The legend of Badang and the Singapore Stone.

The story goes that Badang was a regular fisherman who got his hands on a specter. The fisherman demanded that he be the strongest of men in return for the specter’s release. After the wish was granted, Badang went on to become the most feared warrior in the kingdom. His strength was challenged by another strong man from India. Badang defeated the challenger in three rounds, the final of which was hurling a mammoth stone into the river. That stone came to be known as the Singapore stone.