This 2.2km long road is one of the most famous in Asia, if not the world, and as well as Marina Bay, is considered by many residents to be the hub of the island. That was not always the case though, and the area which today boasts some of the most exclusive shopping anywhere on the globe has gone through several different transformations over the last two centuries. The area was originally home to uncaria (known locally as gambier), pepper and nutmeg plantations and then as the name suggests, orchards of fruit trees. Then in the mid to late 1840’s, graveyards became a feature of the road that had been cut over a decade before. As well as a large Chinese graveyard, there was also a Sumatran burial ground and a Jewish cemetery – which survived until the building of Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station in 1984.
By the 1860’s, there were already a large number of bungalows and private homes built on the hills that overlooked the road, and three decades later the King of Siam came into possession of Hurricane House, which with the addition of two adjoining properties became the site of the Royal Thai Embassy, which is still there today, with the address of 370 Orchard Road.
The first hint of what was to become was in the first few years of the 20th century, when shops began to spring up along the tree lined avenue. The island’s first supermarket was opened along it (where Centrepoint is today) in 1903, but it was not until much later in 1958 that the first department store – and indeed shop of any real note opened its doors. This was the famous Tangs, which had actually been established in 1934 before moving to the place where it was to make its reputation on Orchard Road. There it stayed until being knocked down in 1982, and replaced with the Tang Plaza. Tangs was the catalyst for the road, and over the years many more shops, shopping malls, a cinema and a bowling alley sprouted up on both sides, transforming it into the entertainment and shopping hub of present day.
There are nearly 30 separate shopping malls on Orchard Road today, offering shoppers every kind of retail choice and experience, as well as a huge range of eating options, from high end international restaurants to food courts. Orchard Road is bounded by several interesting landmarks, including the Istana (the official presidential office and residence) near its eastern end, Cairnhill and Emerald Hill leading off from its centre and Singapore’s UNESCO listed Botanic Gardens on its western extremity.
In terms of transport, Orchard Road is a one way street (though this has only been the case since 1974), open to all vehicles, and has many bus routes and stops along its length. It is also home to 3 MRT Stations, namely Orchard, Somerset and Dhoby Ghaut. The first 2 are on the North South Line, though Orchard will also connect to the Thomson East Coast Line when it is opened, while Dhoby Ghaut is on the North South and North East Lines.
Freehold Condos that are of close proximity to Orchard Road
Leasehold Condos at the city fringe