Central Singapore - Part II

January 14, 2017

Continuing our journey through one of the most fascinating part of the island city, central Singapore, we now delve into the towns and neighbourhoods that are spread along its periphery. This outer part of central Singapore offers a smorgasbord of unique cultures and exotic personalities that bless the region with a rich, interesting tapestry. Here you will find memories of a time when the island nation was going through its growing pains. And that only adds to its quaint charm. 

Perhaps the true beauty of the area is that it so close to the buzz and hyperactivity of the Downtown Core and yet distant enough to offer residents and visitors a relaxed way of life.     

Risen From The Ashes

Tiong Bahru represents a perfect snapshot of the rise of Singapore as a modern, millennial, global city. It was the first area in the island nation to be extensively developed for public housing, presenting the first step that Singapore took towards a more modern and ordered city state. A literal transition of the name is ‘New Cemeteries’ or ‘New Tomb’. The reason being that until the 1920s, the area had a spattering of cemeteries, which was new compared to the older ones in Chinatown. 

From an aesthetic point of view, the offers one of the most eye pleasing views of public housing architecture that is distinctive from the rest of Singapore. 

The Queen’s Legacy

It would be hard to visit Singapore and not be reminded of its colonial past. The suburb of Queenstown presents a more direct connection to the past, at least as far as the name is concerned. The area was named so to commemorate the coronation of the reigning royal of England, Queen Elizabeth II, in 1952.

Queenstown has undergone various stages in its metamorphoses. Starting from a swamp land that became a military camp, and the camp which then became a housing estate. In the new millennium, the area has stamped its signature as one of the first satellite towns in Singapore that offers everything under one umbrella to residents and visitors. 

Another Legend 

The central part of Singapore sure has its share of legends and fables. Adding to the litany is the legend of Redhill and Tanjong Pagar. 

The southern coast was once inhabited with fierce swordfish that would attack the fishermen who ventured out to sea. The Sultan deployed his army to tackle the menace but they too failed. Then a little boy suggested that a barricade of   banana tree trunks be built around the coast. When the swordfish attacked again, they were trapped in the barricade. The little boy rose in prominence amongst the fishermen, which drew the ire of the Sultan. The army was sent to kill the child. The blood from his body trickled down the village and soaked the hill red. This gave birth to the area of Bukit Merah or Redhill.  

The Essence Of Singapore 

The outer part of central Singapore captures the true essence of Singapore – from its rise as a British colony to the modern, independent nation it has become today.