Bukit Timah: Prime Estate Surrounding Singapore’s Tallest Hill
Size & Population 18 Sq Km with an estimated 78,000 residents.
Bukit Timah is located in the central region of Singapore. There are seven sub-zones in this district: Swiss Club, Holland Road, Ulu Pandan, Hillcrest, Coronation, Leedon Park and Farrer Court. This area is known to be the residential hub for the wealthy, and comprises many condominiums and landed property. There are also many schools in Bukit Timah, most of which are amongst the top-ranked schools in Singapore.
The district is named after Bukit Timah, Singapore's tallest hill and highest natural point. The word 'Timah' is a variation of the timak tree that was found in the area. The hill was once covered in jungle, which was densely populated by tigers. In fact, the residents of Bukit Timah were once attacked by tigers some 150 years ago. Development in Bukit Timah began in 1845, shortly after Singapore was founded, as a result of British plans to eradicate these tigers.
Bukit Timah is also the area in which Singapore was surrendered over to the Japanese during World War II. The specific site of surrender was the Ford Factory off Bukit Timah Road. Following the surrender, the Japanese celebrated their victory by marching along Bukit Timah Road.
Houses in Bukit Timah tend to be large and expensive. Some condominiums in the area include Pandan Valley and Adam Park Condominium.
There are many schools in Bukit Timah - public schools, private schools and international schools. Also, there are many institutions of higher learning. National University of Singapore's Law Faculty is located in Bukit Timah, the site of the former National Institute of Education (NIE) and Singapore Management University (SMU). Private institutes include Singapore Bible College, which is located off Bukit Timah.
Here are some places to relax:
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
The highest hill in Singapore, Bukit Timah has been converted into a nature reserve that attempts to preserve wildlife in Singapore. Walk along the nature trail or climb up the hill. Along the way, gaze at the scenery or try and catch a glimpse of the many monkeys in this nature reserve. For those who prefer a leisurely walk rather than a climb, take the Kampong Trail, which leads all the way to MacRitchie Reservoir.
Singapore Botanic Gardens' main entrance is in the Tanglin district, but this park encompasses such a large area that you can also enter from Bukit Timah. This garden was opened in 1859, a successor of the first Botanic Gardens in Fort Canning that was set up by Raffles, founder and botanist. Today it boasts a collection of thousands of species of plants, its highlight being its Orchid garden. It also has a gazebo, or pavilion, where music was often played in the 1930s. Today, there are still many concerts held in the Botanic Gardens.
Bukit Timah Saddle Club
Horse-lovers can join the Bukit Timah Saddle Club to pursue their passion. This club owns 23 horses and ponies and is closely tied with the Equestrian Federation of Singapore.
Raffles Town Club
Raffles Town Club was once one of the most expensive clubs in Singapore. This club is huge and luxurious, with a pool, pubs and a grand ballroom. Raffles Town Club also provides lodging for guests.
Shopping and Businesses
There are not many places to shop in Bukit Timah, except for a few old and meager shopping centres such as Serene Centre, Bukit Timah Plaza, Beauty World Shopping Centre and Courts Bukit Timah. For food and groceries, you can go to Sixth Avenue, a row of coffee shops, restaurants and pubs. Alternatively, go to King Albert Park, Coronation Plaze or Jelita to get necessities.
There are some offices located along Bukit Timah Road, mostly in automotive buildings with car showrooms. Branches of Honda, BMW, Hyundai and Nissan showrooms are located in Bukit Timah. For owners of Macintosh computers, you can go to Mac's Epicenter in Bukit Timah to get your computers repaired.