From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Other transcription(s)
 • Chinese东陵
 • PinyinDōnglíng
 • POJTang-lêng
 • MalayTanglin
 • Tamilதங்லின்
Tanglin Planning Area locator map.png
Location of Tanglin in Central Region
Location of Tanglin in Central Region
Country Singapore
RegionCentral Region
Town councils
  • Tanjong Pagar Town Council
 • MayorsCentral Singapore CDC
 • Members of ParliamentTanjong Pagar GRC
Ethnic groups
Tanglin Mall on Tanglin Road.

Tanglin is a planning area located within the Central Region of Singapore. Tanglin is located west of Newton, Orchard, River Valley and Singapore River, south of Novena, east of Bukit Timah, northeast of Queenstown and north of Bukit Merah.

Etymology and history[edit]

Tanglin Road received its name from the house of William Napier, located in this area on 27 hectares of hilly land. Originally, Napier Road led to William Napier's Tyersall house, called Tang Leng in Chinese, which was constructed in 1854. Tang Leng was probably named after the Chinese name twa tang leng, which means "great east hill peaks", a reference perhaps to the numerous hills in the area: Leonie, Goodwood Nassim, Emerald, Cluny, Cairn, Mount Elizabeth, and Claymore.

After Stamford Raffles's allotment in 1822, the Chinese, mainly Teochews, ventured out of Chinatown and colonised the tiger-infested Tanglin area, growing sireh, pepper, nutmeg and gambier. After the Chinese came the Europeans, mainly Scotsmen, who started their spice plantations and built bungalows and villas on the various hills.

A feature of Tanglin is its many Scottish personal and place names — Balmoral (after Queen Victoria's favourite residence in Scotland), Edinburgh (after the Duke of Edinburgh, who visited Singapore in 1869), Claymore (a house owned by Captain Scott, the harbour master after whose death Scotts Road was named), Tyersall, Cluny and Scott.

A landmark of this area, the two-storey pre-war Tanglin Post Office building which stood at the corner of Tanglin Road and Nassim Hill, has been torn down and replaced with a new post office. The old Tanglin Post Office building was the premises of the then Ministry of Science and Technology and the Social Council before it became an office cum delivery base in 1974.

On 7 November 2006, the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) called for proposals to liven up the Dempsey Road area when it launched two new tenders for sites there. In doing so, it also announced that it has plans for the area up to 2015. Known as Tanglin Village, the former Central Manpower Base has now been transformed into a commercial plaza best accessed via car or taxi. The uniquely interesting barracks buildings have been well preserved and currently house a variety of retail establishments such as high end antique shops, restaurants, galleries and the like. Tanglin Village also houses popular hangouts such as alfresco bars Hacienda and RedDot BrewHouse.


Tanglin planning area is bounded by Bukit Timah Road to the north, Farrer Road and Queensway to the west, Ridout Road, Kay Siang Road, Prince Charles Crescent and Alexandra Canal to the south as well as Zion Road, Grange Road, Tanglin Road, Orange Grove Road and Balmoral Road to the east.

There are four subzones within the planning area, Chatsworth, Nassim, Ridout and Tyersall.


Tanglin is notably among the few residential districts in Singapore where there are no Housing and Development Board flats. Due to its prominent location and high land value, the district mainly comprises private properties such as bungalows and high-rise condominiums. As with Bukit Timah, many affluent Singaporeans and expatriates live in Tanglin.

Mass Rapid Transit rail connections include Farrer Road MRT Station of the Circle Line, Botanic Gardens MRT Station, which is an interchange station between the Circle and Downtown Line as well as Stevens MRT Station of the Downtown Line which will be an interchange station with the Thomson-East Coast Line when TEL Stage 3 opens in the future. Other TEL stations which are currently under construction include Napier, which is located at the foot of the Singapore Botanic Gardens and Orchard Boulevard, located at the border between Orchard and Tanglin planning areas.

Tanglin is home to several embassies and high commissions. The embassies of Australia, Brunei, France, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, People's Republic of China, Russia, The Philippines and the United States are located in Tanglin. The headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) is also located in Tanglin.

There is only one educational institution in the planning area. The Bukit Timah campus of the National University of Singapore, which comprises the Faculty of Law and the autonomous Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, is the vicinity of the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Being in close proximity to the Orchard Road shopping belt, there are several shopping malls nearby such as Tanglin Mall, Tanglin Place, Tanglin Shopping Centre and Tudor Court which are located at Tanglin Road, at the boundary between Orchard and Tanglin planning areas. Other shopping facilities include Cluny Court and Serene Centre, which are located at the northwestern tip of Tanglin.


  • Victor R Savage, Brenda S A Yeoh (2003), Toponymics - A Study of Singapore Street Names, Eastern Universities Press, ISBN 981-210-205-1