Bukit Timah is named after Bukit Timah Hill, the highest natural point in Singapore at 164m. Located in District 10, the area is known as one of the poshest neighbourhoods in Singapore, with little government-funded public housing. Instead, there is a higher ratio of private condominiums and landed properties, including good class bungalows (GCBs), which are the most coveted and exclusive type of landed housing in Singapore.
Aside from higher-end homes, the area also houses many elite educational institutions such as Hwa Chong Institution, Hwa Chong International School, Nanyang Girls’ High School, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, and National Junior College.
While access to public transport isn't that great compared to other neighbourhoods in Singapore, there are a handful of bus services in the area. Additionally, it is also served by a few MRT stations in the area, including Beauty World MRT, King Albert Park MRT, Sixth Avenue, Tan Kah Kee MRT on the Downtown Line (DTL); Farrer Road MRT, Botanic Gardens MRT, and Holland MRT on the Circle Line; and Newton MRT on the North-South Line.
Aside from that, the area is also known for shopping; Bukit Timah Shopping Centre, Coronation Shopping Plaza, The Grandstand, Balmoral Plaza, Beauty World Centre, and The Rail Mall are some of the shopping malls available. Of the many malls in the area, Bukit Timah Shopping Centre is probably the most popular.
Education institutions in Bukit Timah
Hwa Chong Institution, Hwa Chong International School, Nanyang Girls’ High School, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, and National Junior College
Shopping malls in Bukit Timah
Bukit Timah Shopping Centre, Coronation Shopping Plaza, The Grandstand, Balmoral Plaza, Beauty World Centre, and The Rail Mall
MRT stations in Bukit Timah
Beauty World MRT, King Albert Park MRT, Sixth Avenue, Tan Kah Kee MRT, Farrer Road MRT, Botanic Gardens MRT, Holland MRT, and Newton MRT
The History of Bukit Timah Shopping Centre
Bukit Timah Shopping Centre, as its name suggests, is located within the Bukit Timah estate. Located at 170 Upper Bukit Timah Road, this historical mall is located directly opposite Beauty World Centre and UOB Centre. Beauty World MRT on the DTL is within walking distance, and residents have direct access to the downtown area.
Bukit Timah Shopping Centre has a lot of history. Designed by Mr Chee Soon Wah, the 22-storey building is one of Singapore’s first fully air-conditioned shopping complexes. It consists of a 7-storey podium, and a 12-storey tower block, completed in 1978 and 1981 respectively.
The podium once housed a Chinese emporium, a Gala cinema, and a carpark. The tower block used to house residential units, with a penthouse at the top floor. Now, the podium houses small businesses such as maid agencies and construction companies. The cinema has been converted into an auditorium that is owned by a church, and the tower now houses office spaces. The penthouse has been bought over by the church.
Repainted in 2005, the building’s playful pink, blue and yellow exterior was ahead of its time. The colours help differentiate the volumes of the mall, making it readily identifiable from a distance and helping it stand out from nearby malls like Beauty World Centre and Bukit Timah Plaza. Shoppers are generally fond of the architecture, and it was popular with Malaysian tourists due to the good deals found inside.
What Can You Find Inside the Mall?
The interior of the mall is almost labyrinthine in nature, with the staircases and escalators guiding shoppers around in a pleasant, meandering fashion. Inside is a wide mix of shops, offices and agencies. You can find employment agencies, maid agencies, and various business or accounting related services. There are also many centres for learning - art, music, training and tuition. In addition, within you may find design, construction and engineering companies.
There are also hair and beauty salons, boutiques, and printing/photocopying services. If you’re looking for new additions to your wardrobe, there are also a few clothing stores and tailoring services.
For food, there is the renowned Jew Kit Hainanese Chicken Rice, located at Basement 1 of the mall. They have a history of serving great chicken rice for more than two decades. If you prefer western food, there is Buddy Hoagies as well - a casual eatery serving up affordable steaks, with the vibe of a classic American family diner. It is also located at Basement 1.
If you’re in the mood for dessert, check out One Thing Coffee Kids Café. It is a family-friendly café, with an indoor playroom and free Wi-Fi. Although they are known for their array of Korean bingsu (with the best seller being their matcha patbingsu), they have a robust lunch and dinner menu as well.
Bukit Timah Rail Corridor on a bright afternoon
How Do I Get There?
One of the easiest ways is to take the Downtown Line and alight at Beauty World Station (DT5). If you prefer to take a bus, there are several bus stops in the vicinity - they are located before Upper Bukit Timah Road and opposite Bukit Timah Shopping Centre itself. These bus services include: 41, 52, 61, 66, 157, 170, 170A, 970 and 985.
What Else is Nearby?
Bukit Timah is a wholesome, family-friendly neighbourhood. There is no shortage of established schools and amenities to choose from. If you are done exploring Bukit Timah Shopping Centre, fear not - the area has a lot to offer - from Holland Village or at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. The Grandstand, formerly called Turf City, has a lot going on for it. It has free parking, and PasarBella, the indoor farmer’s market, has a dizzying range of gourmet goods. There’s also a Giant supermarket if you need daily necessities.
Of course, for those who want to get closer to nature, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is a destination that should not be missed. The 163-ha reserve contains one of the few areas of primary rainforest left in Singapore, and is home to a high percentage of native flora and fauna. The reserve is open daily from 7am to 7pm.
Bukit Timah is mostly known for its low-rise homes, so most new housing projects tend to comprise of terrace houses, cluster housing, and smaller condo developments. It is also home to a good number of bungalows. Some new condominium projects you can look forward to near Bukit Timah Shopping Centre include Mayfair Gardens and Mayfair Modern.
If you are thinking of renting in Bukit Timah instead, why not check out some of the properties available for rent? Looking to buy a private condominium instead? Find private condominiums for sale at Bukit Timah on PropertyGuru.
Other FAQs Related to Bukit Timah
How Do I Get to Bukit Timah by MRT?
You get to Bukit Timah via three MRT Lines: Downtown MRT Line (Beauty World MRT station, King Albert Park MRT station, Sixth Avenue MRT station, Tan Kah Kee MRT station); Circle MRT Line (Farrer Road MRT station, Botanic Gardens MRT station, and Holland MRT station); and North-South Line (Newton MRT station).
What is Bukit Timah Known for?
Bukit Timah is known for being one of the poshest neighbourhoods in Singapore, with many landed enclaves and private condos. There is also a good number of elite schools in the area.
How High is Bukit Timah?
Bukit Timah Hill, which is also the highest point in Singapore, is 164m high.