Orchard Road in Singapore

Friday, 6 August 2021 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, Shopping, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  7 minutes

ION Orchard Shopping Mall © flickr.com - Erwin Soo/cc-by-2.0

ION Orchard Shopping Mall © flickr.com – Erwin Soo/cc-by-2.0

Orchard Road, often known colloquially as Orchard, is a major 2.5 km (1.6 mi)–long road in the Central Area of Singapore. A famous tourist attraction, it is an upscale shopping area of Singapore, with numerous internationally renowned department stores, restaurants and coffeehouses located in its vicinity. Orchard Road got its name from the nutmeg, pepper and fruit orchards or the plantations that the road once led to. Such plantations were common in the area in the 19th century. The Orchard Planning Area is a planning area as specified by the Urban Redevelopment Authority. It is part of the Central Area located within the Central Region. Orchard is bordered by Newton in the east and north, Tanglin in the west, River Valley in the south and Museum to the southeast.

After more than a century as a two-way thoroughfare, Orchard Road became a one-way street east of Scotts Road in 1974. and entirely in 1977 when Orchard Boulevard was completed. The ever-lively street starts at the junction with Orange Grove Road which is the location of the Orchard Hotel. It then stretches southeast across the Scotts Road–Paterson Hill junction, Orchard MRT station, Bideford Road, Somerset MRT station, Central Expressway, Dhoby Ghaut MRT station, and ends at the junction with Handy Road (just before Prinsep Street), where it becomes Bras Basah Road. It has an extensive underground infrastructure, including underground pedestrian walkways between the malls running underneath the street and other streets in the vicinity. The numbers begin at Handy Road and end at Orange Grove Road.

Orchard Road was initially designated to be completely smoke-free with the exception of designated smoking areas by 1 July 2018. However, the implementation was pushed back to 31 December 2018, as businesses will need more time to identify appropriate locations and set up designated areas for smoking, according to the National Environment of Agency (NEA). Food establishments that currently have smoking corners within the no-smoking zones will also be given the same extension to remove them. Currently, around 40 designated smoking areas have been set up, including five public ones at Orchard Towers, Far East Plaza, The Heeren, Cuppage Terrace, and behind Somerset MRT station. Since its announcement, NEA has said that the majority of stakeholders have been supportive of this initiative. As of 1 January 2019, Orchard Road was officially declared as a strictly smoke-free zone except within the designated smoking areas.

Emerald Hill Conservation Area © Terence Ong/cc-by-2.5 ION Orchard Shopping Mall © flickr.com - Erwin Soo/cc-by-2.0 Plaza Singapura Shopping Mall © flickr.com - Erwin Soo/cc-by-2.0 Wheelock Place © Mitchen Mackvid/cc-by-sa-4.0 Symphony Lake in Singapore Botanic Gardens © Velela The Istana © Elisa.rolle/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Plaza Singapura Shopping Mall © flickr.com - Erwin Soo/cc-by-2.0
At Orchard Road’s eastern end is official residence and office of the President of Singapore, the Istana, marked with Nibong palms and a plaque that reads, “As the nibong is a mangrove palm, this site must have once been a mangrove swamp.” Singapore’s first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew‘s house is located at 38 Oxley Road, which is just south of Orchard Road. On the western side of Orchard Road is the Singapore Botanic Gardens, the only tropical garden in the world that’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. About halfway down Orchard Road are Cairnhill and Emerald Hill which are mainly private residential areas. Next to Emerald Hill is Centrepoint, which houses the supermarket Cold Storage, the oldest surviving business establishment in the area. Amber Mansions, one of the earliest apartment blocks in Singapore which was built around the turn of the 20th century, was torn down in the 1980s to make way for the Dhoby Ghaut MRT station. Specialists’ Shopping Centre was one of the earliest redevelopment projects on Orchard Road. It occupied the site of the former Pavilion Cinema, which was demolished in 1979. Specialists’ Shopping Centre was itself demolished in 2007 to make way for new development, called Orchard Gateway. Elsewhere just off Orchard Road is Scotts Road. Scotts Shopping Centre housed Singapore’s first food court, which sat below the Ascott Singapore. It was torn down in June 2007 to make way for Scotts Square.

The first shop of note on Orchard Road was Tangs founded in 1934 and established on Orchard Road in the 1950s. Orchard Road is flanked by hotels and pedestrian shopping centres housing numerous upmarket restaurants, coffee chains, cafés, nightclubs. Tanglin Mall is located at the junction of Tanglin Road and Grange Road. Its customer base is made up of expatriates, yuppies and professionals. Anchor tenants include Tanglin Market Place, a gourmet supermarket and bakery, and Tasty Food Court where up to 15 varieties of local cuisine can be found. Orchard Central distinguishes itself from other shopping centres on Orchard Road with unique architectural designs. Fronted by an exterior featuring local artist Matthew Ngui’s digital art membrane, the shopping centre offers cluster concept shopping by grouping complementary offerings for shoppers. The shopping centre houses the world’s tallest indoor Via Ferrata climbing wall, a large collection of public art installations by international artists and a 24/7-operational Roof Garden and Discovery Walk. The Roof Garden offers dining options on an open-air veranda. American fashion retailer Abercrombie & Fitch opened a flagship store on Orchard Road on 15 December 2011. In 2017, technological company Apple opened an official Apple Store on Orchard Road.

Read more on VisitSingapore.com – Orchard Road, every shopper’s paradise, OrchardRoad.org, Wikitravel Orchard Road and Wikipedia Orchard Road (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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