Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Thomson
District 20 is primarily residential made up of a mix of large well-established residential estates located in Ang Mo Kio and more recently developed estates in Bishan and Thomson. These residential properties tend to be much more expensive than others due to being so close to the Central Business District (CBD). Another factor justifying prices is the facilities and conveniences that this location offers, starting with excellent schools, shopping malls and numerous community centres.
Therefore, many different types of residential homes have been developed to meet the needs of people drawn to District 20. These include HDB flats and condos in Ang Mo Kio like Centro Residences, Nuovo, and The Panorama; plus, landed properties along Thomson Rd., and Bishan St. 12 and 15. Bishan also has a number of condominium buildings in town like Sky Habitat and Sky Vue. This makes it easy for families of all walks of life to reside in District 20 and enjoy all the facilities and amenities that the district offers.
Ang Mo Kio
The literal translation of Ang Mo Kio is “red bridge,” which in Chinese culture denotes good luck and prosperity. This comes from the name of a bridge built by J.T. Thomson, which forms part of Thomson Road. He was at one time a Singapore government surveyor. Ang Mo Kio was originally a small village whose residents made their living growing fruits and vegetables while raising farm animals. There were also a number of small businesses that performed menial labour.
This is in stark contrast to what Ang Mo Kio looks like today, with all its high-rise apartments, outdoor recreation areas and modern streetlights. Of more significance is Ang Mo Kio Hub, a shopping mall that attracts a lot of visitors and conveniently links with the Bus Interchange and the Ang Mo Kio MRT Station. Another benefit for families living here are the excellent schools, which are Ang Mo Kio Secondary School and CHIJ Saint Nicholas Girls’ School.
Bishan is another popular residential area located 3 kilometres from Ang Mo Kio in a more central part of District 20. Bishan means “large burial ground” in Cantonese and in fact this had been a large burial ground before major developments transformed the area. Prior to that this area was known as Soon Hock Village and Kampong San Theng with the Hokkien Chinese dialect and main dialect Cantonese groups occupying the area. Today, Bishan is an expensive housing area made up of more than 19,000 apartments.
Property buyers are attracted to Bishan because it is where some of the most elite schools in Singapore are located. These include Ai Tong School, Catholic High, and Raffles Institution. Also, residents of Bishan have access to many different recreational activities in Junction 8, and Bishan Park Mall, which has undergone major changes in recent years, becoming a great place to congregate with friends and working out. Another place where residents of all ages can enjoy a variety of activities is at the Bishan Community Club.
Adding to all the benefits that residents of Bishan enjoy, we need to mention that it offers easy access to the Bishan Bus Interchange and the North-South and Circle MRT Lines. This is why Bishan is such a popular residential community.
Last but not least, Thomson is another popular section of District 20 and consists of a mix of residential estates, hotels, and recreational areas. The homes prices here are dramatically higher than other areas because they are primarily landed properties and high-end condos like Espana and The Compass at Chancery. More importantly, Thomson has made a name for itself as an education centre and food haven.
The primary shopping centre is Thomson Plaza which has quite a few music schools and dance studios. Foodies love exploring Thompson because there are so many different eateries lining Upper Thomson Road including Black Sheep Café, Waffelicious, The Roti Prata House, and Little Pancakes.