There has been a lot of buzz surrounding Tampines recently, with many hailing it as, among other things, one of the best places on the island for families. All of this is no surprise to those who have called the area home for years, but just why is it such an attractive proposition when it comes to choosing a place to live?
It is hard to talk about Tampines without the word connectivity coming up, to such an extent it has become somewhat of a cliché. But there is a reason for that. Whatever your preferred method of transport, be it car, MRT, bicycle – even aeroplane, Tampines caters for your needs.
It currently has three MRT stations, with another two due to come online later this year, and it is where the TPE, ECP and PIE all begin – or end, depending on your perspective. Tampines is also very good for cyclists and was the first place in Singapore to have cycle friendly pavements.
It is Self-Contained
Because it is so easy to get to everywhere else on the island, you may be forgiven for thinking that the area itself is lacking in amenities. That couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, there is very little need to leave Tampines at all. It has three shopping malls, plus another incorporated into its unique HUB, which will be a place where the community can come together to enjoy sports and recreational activities, shopping and dining as well as community and art programmes.
Education-wise, Tampines has a wealth of choice from childcare centres (74) up through to primary (12) and secondary schools (9). It also has an international school (United World College of South East Asia) and the area is home to Temasek Polytechnic and Singapore University of Technology and Design.
It is always reassuring to there are healthcare facilities within easy reach and once again Tampines is not found wanting. As well as several other clinics and medical centres dotted around the area, both Changi General and St Andrews Community Hospitals are less than 500 yards from Simei MRT.
A Centre for Business
It is not just leisure, health and education facilities where the region exceeds expectations. Tampines is big when it comes to business, and is one of the major employment hubs outside of the CBD. Changi Business Park – the largest integrated business park in Singapore – covers 7,642,38 sq ft. and is home to many global heavyweights including Standard Chartered, IBM, Akzo Nobel and DBS. Tampines centre has also attracted major names in finance and industry.
UOB and OCBC have relocated their back-end operations there, and other household names with large offices include Singapore Airlines and Hitachi.
Having such a large pool of not just jobs, but well paid and desirable jobs only a short bus, MRT or cycle ride away is a massive bonus, and a very good way of ensuring a healthy work life balance.
The problem that can occasionally arise with new towns, or areas where there is suddenly a massive influx of investment and development, is that they can have the appearance and feeling of a work in progress, of somewhere that is yet to bed in and find its own identity.
That certainly isn’t the case with Tampines. Walking (biking, driving) around the area you get the very distinct impression that this is a place oozing with self-confidence and one that not only knows, but is happy with its place in the world.
Parks and Leisure Activities
Just on, or over the boundary of Tampines there are two absolute gems. The Quarry Park is not signposted, there is no official way in and there are no facilities, but if you can find a way through the vegetation, you will be rewarded with one of the most beautiful and unspoilt sights in Singapore. The former sand quarry is a perfect place for bird watchers, photographers, or anyone who just wants to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
A stone’s throw away is Bedok Reservoir with its rich wildlife, tranquil setting and gorgeous views. It is also the go to place for water sport enthusiasts in the area. Tampines has three golf courses, in the south east of the district, just over from the East Coast Park, which is a whole new destination in itself.
All in all, when everything is considered, it is no surprise that Tampines has become such a preferred destination for family living. Almost half of the 80,000 households are made up of families with three or four members.
The only thing that does raise the eyebrows is the fact of just how affordable properties are in the area. Whether that will still be the case in years to come, remains to be seen.