Photo: Zairon, Wikimedia Commons
Whatever you like to do in your spare time, there’s a very good chance that Bukit Timah will have something for you. From dramatic scenery to international dining, from shopping malls to a lively bar scene, there aren’t many boxes that it does not tick.
It’s hard knowing where to start when it comes to Bukit Timah food, so like with many instances in life, its best to begin things with a hawker centre, in this case the Bukit Timah hawker centre. Located across from Exit C of Beauty World MRT station and with plenty of parking, this food court and neighbouring market is always busy, an indication of both the quality and variety of food available.
The Grandstand, due to its location in the old race course, offers a unique dining (and retail) experience. The drive there is almost worth going in itself, as the road winds its way through lush green fields, the grass swaying in the breeze. Once you arrive, you have a world of cuisine options available, with restaurants suitable for intimate date nights or family gatherings.
Last but certainly not least there’s Holland Village. With its lively bars and restaurants sitting side by side, it gives the impression that you are on holiday, as opposed to a short taxi or MRT ride from home. There’s a food court as well as high quality but good value restaurants serving Indian, Thai, Italian and Mexican food, among other favourites.
The area has several neighbourhood malls providing good value outlets, essential amenities and facilities as well as groceries. Bukit Timah Shopping Centre is a perfect example. It may have seen better days, but it is still a favourite among locals, and the 24-hour FairPrice is invaluable. Next door, Beauty World Centre is one of the oldest surviving malls in Singapore, and many of the retail and restaurant owners have been there for most of its 40 years. The recent opening of the MRT station has certainly given it a boost. Just up the road there is Courts Bukit Timah with its wide range of electronics, home appliances, computing accessories and home furnishings.
Holland Village Shopping Centre is currently being redeveloped, though many units are still open. Across the road is the new, modern Raffles Mall boasting a quirky mix of shops, boutiques and restaurants as well as a clinic.
Search for properties for sale near Bukit Timah Shopping Centre and Holland Village Shopping Centre.
Parks and Nature
The nature reserve dominates the area, with its hiking and cycle trails. MacRitchie Reservoir also skirts the area and offers a picturesque, but in the heat, demanding waterside walk around its shores. It also has the tree top walk giving a monkey’s eye view of the jungle flora and fauna.
The recently renovated Bukit Timah CC can be found a very short walk from Beauty World, and now offers its members a 24-hour gym as well as a K-Star Family Karaoke.
The Greenway (Rail Corridor) runs through the area, giving access to the north and south of the island via the former rail tracks. It can become busy on weekends, but in the week, you can wander or cycle along its length and never see another soul, at least not a human one.
A great way to take full advantage of the great outdoors, while letting someone – or something, take the strain is by climbing into the saddle at the Bukit Timah Saddle Club. This BHS approved riding school is the biggest on the island and is open to kids and adults of all abilities.
Get the Guru View
A two-minute walk away from the crowds and buzz of Holland Village is the quaint area of Chip Bee Gardens. This former British military estate is now home to several independent shops, cafes and restaurants that feel a world away from its noisy neighbour. Definitely worth a visit and a location to consider if you’re looking at rental properties in Bukit Timah.