Golden Mile Complex: Singapore’s “Little Thailand”

The closest place you can find to Thailand in Singapore, Golden Mile Complex remains one of the most iconic buildings in the country.
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Situated between Nicoll Highway and Beach Road, Golden Mile Complex plays host to a large portion of the Thai community in Singapore. Famous for Siam Square Mookata and various other Thai offerings, Golden Mile Complex’s run might soon be coming to an end.

Golden Mile’s Complex’s second en bloc

The initial tender for Golden Mile Complex closed on 30 January 2018 with no buyers. With its reserve price of $800 million remaining unchanged, the complex has been put up for a second collective sale in 2019.

Even as the development tries to find a buyer, however, Golden Mile Complex might be conserved instead of demolished due to its heritage value. Authorities are also exploring the possibility of adding a new block to the existing 16-storey building.

This has brought relief to several Singaporeans, especially those who retain a fondness for buildings constructed in the days of Singapore’s early independence.

A brief history of Golden Mile Complex

Built in 1973 as a strata-mixed development, Golden Mile Complex was part of the government’s urban renewal scheme in the 1960s. The complex was designed to integrate shops, offices, and residences all in one building, something we see in many developments today.

In it’s earlier days, Golden Mile Complex saw quite a high demand for its residential units. Its structure allowed for plenty of natural light and ventilation, presenting residents with a beautiful sea view. With its signature step-terrace architecture, it was one of the more recognizable buildings in Singapore during its time.

Unfortunately, Golden Mile’s image began to deteriorate in later years. In 2006, it was described by a Nominated Member of Parliament as a “vertical slum”, as some residents would add zinc sheets and patch boards to their balconies.

With that said, the Thai presence in Golden Mile Complex has always been significant. Many tour agencies operated within the area, specialising in bus tours to Malaysia and Thailand. Many Thai eateries also popped up in the complex. The Friends of Thai Workers Association is also a tenant there.

During the Singapore-Thailand soccer match in 2007, Golden Mile Complex saw a huge number of Thais gathering to watch the live telecast, further cementing Golden Mile’s status as a “Little Thailand”.

What’s there to eat near Golden Mile Complex?

Golden Mile’s close proximity to Suntec City and Bugis ensures its residents will always have plenty of shopping to do. Even the street that Golden Mile Complex is located on - Beach Road, features a marketplace known as Golden Mile Food Centre.

There’s a large variety of food to be found here, spanning multiple cuisines. Located at #B1-30, Charlie Peranakan boasts an impressive menu of items such as Babi Assam, Itek Sio, Bakwan Kepiting, Chap Chye and Babi Pongteh. The chef picked up his culinary skills from his own mother and has been honing them since they opened in 1980 at Bukit Merah.

For those who prefer a spin on something more local, Hainan Hokkien Mee serves a dry variation of hokkien mee, something you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else. Stock for the noodles is left to simmer until it evaporates, locking all the flavour into the yellow noodles and bee hoon. What you get is a plate of hokkien mee that’s incredibly rich in flavour, coupled with a smoky, charred fragrance.

Burgs offers gourmet burgers at affordable prices. Here, you can get a burger set for less than $10, with each set coming with thick cut fries. Don’t like fries? You can always opt to swap them out for onion rings for an extra dollar. They also offer various other side dishes, such as Honey Soy Chicken Wings.

If you like being near all this and more, you could consider nearby properties such as City Gate or Duo Residences.

What else is near Golden Mile Complex?

Golden Mile Food Centre is also the location of an unofficial army market, which sells military goods and equipment ranging from custom name tags to water canteens. Not surprisingly, the army market is often frequented by Singapore military personnel.

Palm Ave Float Club, Singapore’s first and only float centre, is within walking distance from Golden Mile Complex. For up to an hour and a half, visitors can suspend themselves in a futuristic-looking pod filled with clean water and Epsom salt. Backed even by athletes such as Stephen Curry and Wayne Rooney, the experience is said to declutter one’s mind.

Claustrophobia is a genuine concern for many newcomers. However, most people get over that fear after the first five to ten minutes, according to Palm Ave’s owner. If you still feel uncomfortable, you can step out any time you want from the unlatched pod.
Golden Mile Complex provides a spectacular view of the Kallang River - PropertyGuru SingaporeGolden Mile Complex provides a spectacular view of the Kallang River

Golden Mile Complex also happens to have an uninterrupted panoramic view of the Singapore cityscape. This means residents have a ringside view to spectacles and landmarks such as the National Day fireworks, Gardens by the Bay, and Marina Bay Sands.

Since Golden Mile Complex overlooks Marina Bay, it is one of the few homes in Singapore that provides a water view.

Those who enjoy being in close proximity to water may also like Amber Park. Set to be completed in 2023, it overlooks the sea and grants easy access to East Coast Park.

 

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