Orchard Road

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Other transcription(s)
 • Chinese乌节
 • PinyinWū jié
 • MalayOrchard
 • Tamilஆர்ச்சர்ட்
Presenting... the real ION (8200217734).jpg
Wheelock Place in a small package (8169763799).jpg
Ngee Ann City Orchard Road.jpg
Orchard Central, 2011.jpg
Shaw House 2, Dec 05.JPG
OG Orchard Point, 2011.jpg
From top left to right: ION Orchard at night, Wheelock Place at night, Ngee Ann City, Orchard Central at night, Shaw House, OG Orchard Point
Orchard is located in Singapore
Location of Orchard within Singapore
Coordinates: 1°18′17.4″N 103°49′54.6″E / 1.304833°N 103.831833°E / 1.304833; 103.831833
Country Singapore
RegionCentral Region
Town council
  • Tanjong Pagar Town Council
DGP exhibited
PA incorporated
  • 22 January 1999[1]
 • MayorCentral Singapore CDC
 • Members of ParliamentTanjong Pagar GRC
 • Total0.96 km2 (0.37 sq mi)
Area rank52nd
 • Total990
 • Rank37th
 • Density1,000/km2 (2,700/sq mi)
 • Density rank33rd
  • Orchard resident
Postal district

Orchard Road is a 2.2 kilometre-long major road in the Central Area of Singapore.[4] Often known colloquially as Orchard, the area is a major shopping belt and tourist attraction.[4]

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.


Orchard Road got its name from the nutmeg, pepper and fruit orchards or the plantations that the road once led to.[5] Such plantations were common in the area in the 19th century.[6]


After more than a century as a two-way thoroughfare, Orchard Road became a one-way street in 1974.[6] 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, c. 1900
Orchard Road, c. 2014

Orchard Road was already cut in the 1830s, though the new road was not named in George Coleman's 1836 Map of Singapore. In the 1830s the Orchard Road area was the scene of gambier and pepper plantations. Later, nutmeg plantations and fruit orchards predominated, hence its name.

By 1846, the spread of houses had reached up to Tank Road. There were none on the left side and only three or four houses went past Tank Road on the right side of Orchard Road.

One major sight during this period was a Dr Jun tending his garden, which helped endorse the road's name. He had a garden and plantation at the corner of what is now Scotts Road and Orchard Road.

Towards the later part of the 1840s, graveyards began to appear along the road. By 1846, the Chinese had a large graveyard around what is now the Meritus Mandarin Hotel and Ngee Ann City, while the Sumatrans from Bencoolen had their burial ground where the current Hotel Grand Central stands. Later a Jewish cemetery was established; it was located where Dhoby Ghaut MRT station is now and was demolished in 1984.

In the 1860s, Orchard Road had a great number of private houses and bungalows on hills looking down through the valley where the road passed through. Early in the 1890s, King Chulalongkorn, the then King of Siam, acquired "Hurricane House" in the vicinity of Orchard Road through Tan Kim Ching, the Thai Consul in Singapore. Two further pieces of adjoining property were added later and these subsequently became the site of the Royal Thai Embassy at 370 Orchard Road.

In the early 20th century, it was noted that Orchard Road "present[ed] the appearance of a well-shaded avenue to English mansion[s]," comparable in its "quiet but effective beauty to Devonshire lanes."

Flash floods occurred at the road's iconic junction with Scotts Road on 16 June 2010 after 100mm of rain fell from 8 am to 11 am, reportedly the worst flood at the junction since 1984. Shopping malls along Orchard Road such as Lucky Plaza and Liat Towers were affected. The flood had caused some shopping mall and car park basements to be submerged. Around 70 people had to be rescued from cars and buses, as flooding shut down Orchard Road. Some people sustained injuries.[7]

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[8], 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).[9] 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.[9] To ensure smooth transition to new regulation, NEA will take an advisory approach for the first 3 months of launch from 1 January 2019. [10]

Notable past and present landmarks[edit]

The junction of Orchard Road and Scotts Road
Plaza Singapura is a major shopping centre in Orchard

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."

To the south of Orchard Road is former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew's house, located at 38 Oxley Road.

On the western side of Orchard Road is the Botanic Gardens.

About halfway down Orchard Road are Cairnhill and Emerald Hill where the rich Chinese built their residences. Next to Emerald Hill is Centrepoint, which houses the supermarket Cold Storage, possibly the oldest surviving business establishment in the area. Other establishments have not been so fortunate. Amber Mansions, one of the earliest apartment blocks in Singapore, 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 a new development, Orchard Gateway.

Elsewhere just off Orchard Road on 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 a new building.


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 architectural and design forms. 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. The store was marked by controversy over an ad during its construction phase.[11]

List of Shopping Centers[edit]

  • 313@Somerset —313@somerset is one of the first major fully integrated retail developments undertaken by the Lend Lease Group in Asia. It marks its first green field development in Asia and its first development in Orchard Road. Houses Singapore's largest Forever 21 and Zara retail store and a HMV which moved from The Heeren. There is also a food court.
  • Cathay Cineleisure Orchard – a cinema, in addition there is a 7-Eleven and a food court there.
  • The Centrepoint – The shopping centre opened in 1983 with Robinsons and Marks and Spencer as its anchor tenants. It underwent renovation and built a new extension in 2007. Metro took over Robinsons' space in 2014.
  • Design Orchard - This two and a half storey building is the junction of Orchard & Cairnhill Roads opened in 2019 and promotes local designers by providing a high-profile retail space on ground level, and incubation spaces at level 2-3. The sloped rooftop acts as a public park and amphitheatre.
  • Far East Plaza – Far East Plaza opened in 1982 with a Metro which has since closed down. Popular with students due to its cheap fashion items as well as inexpensive food, the plaza is also known for its cheap food outlets. The shopping complex has since undergone renovation.
The Paragon is a high-end shopping centre along the Orchard Road strip.
Ngee Ann City is the largest shopping complex along Orchard Road.


Public transport[edit]

Mass rapid transit (underground trains)[edit]

There are three major MRT stations in the Orchard Road vicinity: Orchard, Somerset and Dhoby Ghaut MRT stations.[16] These stations are important hubs for commuters, locals, students and tourists who travel to the Orchard Road shopping and business district.


Bus services provided by SBS Transit, SMRT Buses, Tower Transit Singapore and Go-Ahead Singapore provide access to Orchard Road. Bus stops are staggered to avoid causing congestion, with the scheme being implemented on 13 May 2004 (1st Phase, Mandarin Orchard Singapore) and 28 May 2004 (2nd Phase, Midpoint Orchard). A bus lane was introduced in 2005, operational from 7.30 am to 8 pm, Monday to Saturday. It was extended to 24 hours in 2016. The major bus stops along Orchard Road are situated at:

Westbound passengers can board their buses at Penang Road (Dhoby Ghaut Station), Somerset Road (Somerset Station), Orchard Turn (opp Ngee Ann City/Takashimaya), Orchard Turn (Orchard Station), Orchard Boulevard (opp Orchard Station) and Orchard Boulevard (Wheelock Place).


Orchard Road has numerous taxi stands, which are mostly found at shopping centres and hotels. It is prohibited to hail taxis at locations other than these official stands.

Vehicular access[edit]

Those driving into Orchard Road may enter from the west via Napier Road. Vehicles from Dunearn Road that travel via Scotts Road can turn left into Orchard Road at the Marriott Hotel junction. Vehicles coming from the opposite direction on Paterson Road can enter Orchard Road by turning right. There are also a number of other roads leading into Orchard Road. Orchard Road is one-way heading south and leads into Bras Basah Road which is a one-way street heading south.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Singapore Infopedia – Development guide plan". National Library Board. Archived from the original on 3 January 2018. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Orchard (Planning Area, Singapore) - Population Statistics, Charts, Map and Location". citypopulation.info. Archived from the original on 28 December 2017. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Statistics Singapore - Geographic Distribution - 2018 Latest Data". Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Shop til you Drop along Orchard Road". Passion Made Possible. Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  5. ^ Victor R Savage, Brenda S A Yeoh (2003), Toponymics – A Study of Singapore Street Names, Eastern Universities Press, ISBN 981-210-205-1
  6. ^ a b "Orchard Road on Infopedia". National Library Board, Singapore. 3 January 2005. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  7. ^ "Annual Weather Review 2010" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 September 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  8. ^ "Smoke-free zone in Orchard Road delayed 6 months to end-2018". Archived from the original on 13 June 2018. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Smoking ban in Orchard Road will be implemented end-2018 instead of July 1: NEA". 13 June 2018.
  10. ^ "Orchard Road No Smoking Zone". National Environmental Agency. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Abercrombie & Fitch is too sexy for Singapore". CNN. 29 September 2011. Archived from the original on 22 May 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  12. ^ "Retail Therapy: Orchard Road". Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  13. ^ "The Heeren". www.heeren.com.sg. Archived from the original on 23 September 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  14. ^ Milne, Rosie (6 May 2016). "Sex in Singapore: expats who spend their evenings seeking sleaze". The Telegraph. Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  15. ^ "Borders closes flagship store at Wheelock Place". Channel NewsAsia. 19 August 2011. Archived from the original on 6 October 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  16. ^ "About Orchard Road" (PDF). Singapore Press Holdings. Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 6 September 2015.


External links[edit]

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