Sentosa Cove: “The World’s Most Desirable Address”

Sentosa Cove

Photo by Studio8

That is the unabashed marketing tagline for Sentosa Cove, Singapore’s haute island residence that has in the same vein been touted as the “Monte Carlo of Asia”.

Since the first homes were completed in 2006, Sentosa Cove has become the epitome of living the high life in Singapore. Its very name conjures up images of luxury waterfront bungalows, with private yachts berthed alongside. A tony residential retreat for the wealthy where “Lamborghinis, Porsches and Bentleys fill the driveways of multimillion-dollar villas”, Sentosa Cove is indeed home to Singapore’s well-coiffed and well-heeled.

For those of us old enough to remember the 80s TV show “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”, I think it would be apt to say that Sentosa Cove residents are having their “champagne wishes and caviar dreams” fulfilled.

Sentosa Cove

Villa Alba – Photo by Mercurio Design Lab

Incredibly though, barely 10 years ago Sentosa was a very different island.

THE LOWDOWN

Sentosa Cove occupies approximately 120 hectares on the eastern end of Sentosa island, just across the harbour from mainland Singapore. It is Singapore’s first and only gated community and is home to the who’s who of Singapore. In fact, as it is the only place in Singapore where non-Singaporeans are allowed to buy landed property to reside in, Sentosa Cove boasts a veritable list of High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) from all over the world as residents. Today the over 2000 lavish waterside bungalows and luxury seafront condominium apartments within are home to approximately 6000 residents.

Sentosa CoveNot long ago however Sentosa used to just be Singaporeans’ humble family leisure venue, so the island’s relatively recent dramatic transformation into a resort home and playground for the rich and famous has caught many by surprise. Older generation locals still have fond memories of the island’s family friendly attractions we grew up with in the 70s, including the Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom, the Fort Siloso war museum, the Musical Fountain with its then “high-tech” laser show, and later on the kitschy Volcano Land theme park with its lifelike volcano eruptions, and of course the Fantasy Island water park with its many water slides.

Sentosa CoveBack then in the 70s and 80s the only way across to the island was by ferry or the overhead cable car ropeway. A causeway, built in 1992, became a huge game changer allowing visitors to simply drive over to the island. Hotels and beach-side restaurants and other amenities soon followed, and Sentosa became a popular “staycation” venue for Singaporeans and even tourists who wanted to kind of get away for a day or two of fun and relaxation.

The transformation of Sentosa into a high-end retreat only began in 2006 however when the first affluent occupants took up residence in Sentosa Cove (although plans for the up-market residential enclave were put in place as early as 1986). A large area on the eastern shore of Sentosa including the small reef island Pulau Buran Darat was reclaimed and redeveloped to form the Sentosa Cove site.

Sentosa CoveOutside of the Sentosa Cove residential area the rest of Sentosa was also undergoing a major revamp. 2010 saw a milestone reinvention of Sentosa with the opening of the glitzy Resorts World Sentosa, a casino resort that also housed the headlining Universal Studios theme park. The old cable car ropeway was also upgraded that same year.

Interestingly, the transformation of Sentosa from mass market leisure resort into a high-end residential and high roller retreat wasn’t the first transformation for the island. Before the island was renamed to Sentosa (which means ‘peace and tranquillity’ in Malay) in 1972 and developed purposefully into a tourist attraction, it was a naval base with the ominous sounding local name of Pulau Blakang Mati – loosely translated as “island after death”, a possible reference to a malaria outbreak on the island in the late 1840s.

An even more curious fact is that Sentosa was used as a detention site for one of the government’s earliest political prisoners – Chia Thye Poh, who was imprisoned on the island from 1989 and was not allowed to leave for the mainland until 1992.

Sentosa CoveWith Sentosa now famed instead for its Sentosa Cove millionaire’s row, the island has certainly come a long way. It is probably more of a “Fantasy Island” now than the water theme park ever was.

VISITING

Sentosa CoveTo reach Sentosa Cove, drive eastwards once you enter the island along Allanbrooke Road, past the golf courses. Once past the arches of Sentosa Cove you’ll arrive at the dolphin fountain and Sentosa Cove Village, or the Cove Arrival Plaza. Continue left and you’ll see Quayside Isle, a restaurant and shopping plaza fringing the marina’s boardwalk. Up ahead is the W Singapore luxury hotel, and on the other side the ONE°15 Marina Club. While the restaurants in Quayside Isle and the hotel are open to the public, the restaurants and facilities within the marina club are open only to members and their guests.

Sentosa Cove Quayside IsleQuayside Isle is a great waterfront dining venue especially if you want some respite from the city, or if you just want to soak up the glamour of the Sentosa Cove lifestyle. Notable restaurants at Quayside Isle include chef/owner Emmanuel Stroobant’s Saint Pierre offering his acclaimed modern French cuisine; Spanish seafood and tapas grill Sabio by the Sea, as well as the Blue Lotus Chinese restaurant and the Earl of Hindh Indian restaurant that cater to the many Chinese and Indian nationals living on the island. More casual dining options include Brussels Sprouts, known for their Belgian beer and mussels, or Picotin Express bistro or SolePomodoro Trattoria for wood-fired oven pizzas and casual European and Italian fare respectively. Kith cafe too is a great place for a coffee and a light bite, and is usually packed during the day with island residents and non-residents alike.

Sentosa CoveThe residential area in Sentosa Cove is just beyond the public precinct, and is divided into a North Cove and South Cove. Access to the residential areas is limited strictly to residents and their guests however. Since many would not have an opportunity to enter the residential areas (unless you happen to be a realtor with occasional access!), I’ll give you a quick peek.

Sentosa CoveOpposite Quayside Isle you have the Residences at W condominium. Go left and you’ll be in North Cove, where you will cruise by the houses along Ocean Drive and on 3 small artificial islands – Treasure Island, Paradise Island, and Coral Island. Virtually all the houses have yacht berthing facilities. Continue along the sea front road and you will come across the condominiums The Azure, The Berth by the Cove, The Coast @ Sentosa Cove, and The Oceanfront @ Sentosa Cove, all sea-facing with gorgeous views.

If you turn right at the dolphin fountain junction you’ll be in South Cove, where along Cove Drive there are similarly 2 artificial islands – Sandy Island and Pearl Island with more waterfront homes. There is also a development featuring cluster terrace houses called the Green Collection, while condos on South Cove include the Marina Collection, Turquoise, Seascape, the very exclusive Seven Palms Sentosa Cove by luxury developer SC Global Developments, and the newest and tallest condo on Sentosa Cove – Cape Royale.

Sentosa Cove Cashew tree

Cashew tree and fruit

Both the North and South Coves have lovely green park spaces fronting the coastline called “Foreshores”, which are reclaimed coastlines. These beach front areas shored up by a stone embankment feature an automatic irrigation system to keep the well-groomed lawns in tip-top condition. The pleasant open spaces have shady trees (even a fruit-bearing cashew tree), and park benches and wooden gazebos to rest in and enjoy the strong sea breezes. You’ll also be afforded wide open views of the Singapore Strait and the nearby Tanjong Pagar Port with its container ships pulling into and out of the busy port. On Sundays, domestic helpers lucky enough to be employed by families living in Sentosa Cove like to gather at these areas for a bit of R&R themselves.

LOCATION

Eastern part of Sentosa island; just follow the signs.

Sentosa Cove

TIDBITS

  • Beleaguered City Harvest church pastor Kong Hee recently put his The Oceanfront @ Sentosa Cove luxury penthouse up for sale for S$10M. The 5,242 sq ft lavishly furnished apartment is served by a private lift and comes with a huge rooftop infinity pool. The church pastor has been involved in a long drawn out court case accusing him and his team of misappropriating church funds to the tune of S$50M.
  • In 2010, the drowning of a Karaoke lounge hostess at one of the bungalows made the headlines. The young lady from China was found floating naked in the mansion’s pool after an apparent pre-dawn swim. The courts ruled the drowning an accident, and the owner, who had paid for the lounge hostess’ companionship for that night, sold the house soon after.
  • Australian mining magnates Gina Reinhart and Nathan Tinkler both own property on Sentosa Cove (at the Seven Palms), as does a Spanish tycoon named Ricardo Portabella Peralta, as well as Indian Telecom billionaire Bhupendra Kumar Modi.
  • Houses in Sentosa Cove are currently up for sale for between S$6.5M for a terraced house to S$50M for a luxurious designer bungalow. You can also rent an apartment at one of the 9 condos from about S$6000 up. Both rents and purchase prices on Sentosa Cove have taken a tumble in recent months however as the property market cools, so renters and buyers can actually pick up some good deals!
  • Sentosa was originally master-planned by the Housing Development Board (HDB) in 1970, however was soon taken over by the Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC), set up in 1972 to develop the island into a tourist destination.
  • A scene from an episode of the popular 1970s American detective show Hawaii Five-O was filmed on the original Sentosa cable car line.

Sentosa CoveTAKE NOTE

  • To access the North or South Cove residential areas you need to be a resident of Sentosa Cove with a resident’s pass, or be visiting a resident (the resident’s details will be noted down) in order to get past the security gates.
  • You can take the free Sentosa Shuttle Bus 3 from stations around the island to Sentosa Cove Village. The bus operates at 35 minute intervals daily from 8am – 10.30pm.

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Sentosa Cove

Steve Fisher’s “Fish House”

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one-north: Talent Central

one-north

Fusionopolis – Solaris (Photo by Albert Lim)

Question: Where would you find the largest concentration of Singapore’s best and brightest?

Answer: Quite possibly at one-north, Singapore’s Research and Development (R&D) mini-city along North Buona Vista Road. Throw a stone and you will more than likely hit one of the thousands of research scientists working in the labs there.

A few years ago when I was working at a company located close to one-north, my colleagues and I would occasionally drive over to have lunch at one of its dining spots. I have to admit that coming from the decidedly low-tech transportation industry, we did feel a wee bit intimidated sharing the same lunch spaces with the Mensa types that populate one-north.

THE LOWDOWN

one-north (lower case please) is a state-of-the-art R&D hub cum business park cum education and training centre cum living space. Named for Singapore’s position 1 degree north of the equator, the self-contained mini-city is something of a combination of Silicon Valley and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the U.S. Unlike the Valley’s organic nature however, one-north has been meticulously master-planned, as is typical of most things in Singapore.

one-north

Fusionopolis – Connexis and Symbiosis

First conceptualized in 1991, the dedicated facility is the lynchpin in the government’s grand and very gung-ho plan to catapult Singapore to the forefront of science and technology, particularly in the burgeoning field of biomedical science. The hub was designed by high-profile architectural consultant Zaha Hadid, and is being developed over a 20 year time span at an estimated cost of S$15 billion. The facilities are located over a 200 hectare (2 km square) site designed to accommodate over 130,000 staffers, working in either public or private organisations focused on research.

During the work week the mini-city hums from thousands of researchers beavering away on all manner of cutting-edge projects. From cancer research to nano-technology computing to visual effects artistry on Hollywood blockbusters, the amount of talent and brain-power concentrated in the area is surely impressive.

one-north

Fusionopolis – Sandcrawler

one-north was officially launched in 2001, and the first buildings were completed in 2003. More than 10 years later the all-in-one R&D hub has already made waves in the scientific world, lauded as a success story and laying claim to a number of world-class breakthroughs.

The one-north mini-city is divided into 7 precincts, however its 3 core sections are:

  • Biopolis – biomedical and medicine related research hub
  • Fusionopolis – research hub for technology and engineering (officially termed Info-communications Technology or ICT) and media, and
  • Mediapolis – for all things digital media-related.

Other supporting precincts are Nepal Hill for training and development; Pixel, an education facility, and JTC Launchpad @ one-north, an incubator for start-ups. To ensure work life balance one-north also boasts a host of dining, recreational and entertainment facilities within the core complexes, and in the larger area there are also 2 malls, and housing options such as serviced apartments, condominiums and a hotel. With just about everything available in one-north, I wouldn’t be surprised if the research talent we’ve attracted to our shores never have to leave their labs and one-north at all.

one-north

Fusionopolis – Sandcrawler

VISITING

The buildings in one-north all sport thematic names, which while clever is more than a little confusing, especially for hapless taxi drivers. To help you navigate the area and see how the mini-city has taken shape over the last decade, listed here are the core R&D buildings in one-north:

  1. Biopolis: This is where cutting edge (and sometimes controversial) stem-cell research takes place, along with other ground-breaking biomedical research in infectious diseases, cancer and other ills. Biopolis currently has 13 buildings:
    • Phase 1 (2003): Nanos, Genome, Helios, Chromos, Proteos, Matrix and Centros
    • Phase 2 (2006): Neuros and Immunos
    • Phase 3 (2011): Synapse and Amnios
    • Phase 4 (2014): Proctor and Gamble’s Innovation Centre (P&G SgIC)
    • Phase 5 (2014): Nucleos
  2. Fusionopolis: The buildings in the ICT research hub are:
    • Phase 1 (2008): Connexis (South and North) and Symbiosis
    • Phase 2B (2010): Solaris
    • Phase 3 (2013): Nexus
    • Phase 4 (2014): Walt Disney Lucas Film’s Sandcrawler Building
    • Phase 5 (2014): Galaxis
    • Phase 2A (2014 & 2015): Innovis, Kinesis and Synthesis
  3. Mediapolis: For digital media production and development:
    • (2014): Infinite Studios
    • (2015): MediaCorp

For those of us not working or living in the mini-city, the main reason to visit one-north’s core areas would be for its dining options. The area is home to a number of quality cafes (caffeine = brain fuel) and more than a few decent restaurants. Some interesting ones are:

one-north

The Lawn Cafe

  • The Lawn Café (Biopolis Nanos #01-07) attracts the health-conscious crowd with its grilled meat salad bowls
  • Raj Restaurant (Biopolis Centros #01-03) is well-established in Little India, and its outlet here is frequented by the many Indian and British expats working in one-north
  • Long Black Café (Biopolis Centros #01-02) serves connoisseur-grade coffee and café fare, a crowd favourite
  • Infuzi (Biopolis Chromos #01-01) is a more upmarket restaurant offering “fine European” cuisine, good if you want to get away from the crowds
  • Parkway@one-north (Biopolis Chromos #01-02) is probably not affiliated to the famed Parkway Thai restaurant of old, in spite of the similar sounding name. No matter as its modern Thai fare seems to be popular with the lunch time crowd

    https://www.facebook.com/weBreadsg

    Long Black Cafe

  • Bodacious Bar and Bistro (Biopolis P&G SgIC building) is a relative newcomer to the village. Started by the folks of Long Black Café to offer proper meal offerings, it was still pretty quiet when we visited although it seemed like a nice place to kick back in after work
  • WeBread (Biopolis P&G SgIC building #01-02) is an interesting looking quiet little place, serving simple homemade fare
  • Penang Place (Fusionopolis Connexis #B1-20/24) is a large restaurant that gets really crowded. Almost everyone is there for the eat-all-you-want buffet spread of Penang favourites
  • Rong Hua Bak Kut Teh (Fusionopolis Connexis #02-13) for that firm local favourite – pork rib soup

    one-north

    Bodacious Bar and Bistro

  • Across North Buona Vista Road you also have the charming Rochester Park featuring restaurants set in lovely conserved colonial houses. The restaurants suffer from the secluded location however, and only the Goodwood Park Hotel’s Min Jiang Chinese restaurant and the North Border American Bar and Grill have survived from the original raft of restaurants that opened in 2006.
  • Rochester Park is also home to Singapore’s “best looking Starbucks”, in a 2-storey Black-and-White colonial house next to Rochester Mall. The cafe is popular with students from the nearby learning institutions though so you’ll have to fight them for a much-hogged table.one-north
one-north

Never knew Yoda had claws on his feet

Other attractions: You can visit the Sky Garden on the 21st floor of the Symbiosis building in Fusionopolis. Although there are security gate posts at the entrances of all the offices and lab buildings, you can exchange your identity card for a visitor pass and proceed up to enjoy a vantage view of the southern coast.

Over at Lucasfilms’s gleaming Sandcrawler Building (inspired by the giant fortresses-on-wheels in the Star Wars movies) you can also explore the lovely atrium garden. Find you must try the statue of Yoda, Star Wars’ Grand Master of the Jedi Order.

LOCATION

Off North Buona Vista Road, between Commonwealth Avenue and Ayer Rajah Ave.

HOW MUCH TIME

You can drive through the area in under 15 minutes if you just want a look-see at the architecturally acclaimed main research buildings. Far better though to stop and have coffee or drinks or a meal within the one-north complexes in the company of uber talents.

TIDBITS

  • The Fusionopolis building names were picked from a contest held in 2008 which attracted close to 1600 entries. Winning entries were submitted by engineers, students, a film producer, and even a housewife.one-north
  • Indian movie goers may find that some of the buildings in one-north look familiar, as Hindi movie De Dana Dan, which was filmed in Singapore, featured shoots at Fusionopolis.
  • Zaha Hadid also designed the head-turning 1,715 unit d’Leedon condominium along Farrer Road.
  • In 2002 Singapore’s National Science and Technology Board (NSTB) was renamed to the more hip-sounding Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), to highlight the country’s new research emphasis. A*STAR’s many agencies are all housed within Fusionopolis.

    one-north

    Prof. Jackie Ying

  • An example of the calibre of global talent Singapore has attracted to the biomed industry and working in one-north is Prof. Jackie Ying, Executive Director of the A*STAR’s Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology. Prof. Ying is a 48 year old Taiwanese native and a Princeton University Ph.D. scholar, who interestingly converted to Islam in Singapore.
  • one-north is not without its detractors. While the generous research grants have attracted big name scientists (“whales”), some such as pre-eminent cancer research couple Neal Copeland and Nancy Jenkins have left citing the country’s infamous red tape, as well as disillusionment with the centre’s approach and the pressure to demonstrate commercial results.
  • One of A*STAR’s talents recently made the news for the wrong reasons: Bright young scholar scientist Dr Eng Kai Er, who is employed at A*STAR in virus research, spoke out about having to serve a 6 year bond, never mind that she enjoyed over S$1 million in scholarship monies. She also railed against her work, describing her scientific research as “narcissistic, masturbatory work”. Ouch.
  • In case you’re marvelling at how all the buildings sport so much lovely greenery and think that Singapore is so environmentally conscious, the truth is that government buildings have to incorporate greenery and ecological features according to government guidelines (in keeping with the country’s tagline of “A City in a Garden”), while private developers enjoy hefty incentives to incorporate green features in their buildings.
  • A friend of mind took a cab to Metropolis, an office building on the periphery of one-north. The cabbie could not make out what she meant by “Metropolis”, but understood where she wanted to go to when she pronounced it the local way: Metro-po-lis.

one-north

TAKE NOTE

  • Several buildings are still being worked on so parts of one-north are zoned construction areas.
  • If you plan to dine at any of the restaurants/cafes in the core areas do check their opening hours as not all are open throughout the weekend.

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Golden Mile Complex: Step into Little Thailand

With Thailand’s political unrest culminating in its coming under martial law in May of this year, Singaporeans have been putting off visits to one of their favourite destinations. For anyone having Thai withdrawal symptoms however there is always Golden Mile Complex, a.k.a. Little Thailand, for a quick fix of all things Thai.

Golden Mile Complex - Little Thailand

Photo by the Straits Times

THE LOWDOWN

Amid an endless stream of gleaming new shopping malls in Singapore lie a few older, derelict almost shopping centres, untouched by time and development.

One such centre is the Golden Mile Complex, which over time has evolved into an ethnic enclave for the Thai community in Singapore.

Golden Mile Complex - Little ThailandOpened in 1973, the mall boasts none of the trappings of its young, glitzy Orchard Road brethren. Dark, dingy even and dotted with small shops and eateries, many with signage only in Thai, the centre looks like a provincial Thai shopping mall. And it certainly sounds and smells like one too, with the strains of Thai pop music and the scent of Thai cooking and spices wafting throughout the centre.

Golden Mile Complex - Little ThailandThe Golden Mile Complex did have its glory days when it first opened however. Back in the late 1960s the strip of land between Nicoll Highway (completed in 1956) and Beach Road was conceived as Singapore’s “Golden Mile”, a wonderfully romantic name for a shopping and residential high-rise belt fronting the Kallang Basin. The 16-storey Golden Mile Complex (first named Woh Hup Complex, then the Golden Mile Shopping Centre) opened soon after, a grandly touted integrated commercial and residential complex with full bay views, and boasting of an innovative stepped architecture that was a first of its kind in Singapore.

As to how Golden Mile Complex became a Thai hub: The stretch of Beach Road in front of the complex has long served as a terminal for coaches operating the Singapore-Haadyai (Southern Thailand) route. As business grew the travel company opened a Thai eatery in the complex. They gradually expanded their travel and dining services, and also opened a provision shop, all catering to their Thai clientèle. Soon other Thai businesses opened there too tapping into the opportunity.

Golden Mile Complex - Little ThailandFast-forward to recent times however and the increasing crowds the centre draws has unfortunately created a problem for the complex. With the Thai community in Singapore largely made up of blue-collar manual workers, the complex gained a reputation as a sleazy haunt particularly on weekends, with rowdy intoxicated men and working girls frequenting the complex. In 2006 a member of Singapore’s parliament went so far as to describe the complex as a “vertical slum”, a “terrible eyesore” and a “national disgrace”. Residents and owners have since made several attempts to cash out and sell their building “en bloc” to a developer to tear it down, however all unsuccessful.

In spite of its rawness Little Thailand does have its charms though, especially if all you want is authentic Thai food in an unpretentious setting. Just look past the grittiness and tuck in.

VISITING

My friends and I go to the Golden Mile Complex every so often when a craving for “cheap and good” Thai food strikes. There are numerous small eateries offering all manner of Thai cuisine that are popular with the Thai nationals, however the non-Thais usually go to Diandin Leluk, prominently located around the open centre of the mall and the most fancy of all the restaurants at the complex. The eating place my friends and I go to however is the other sizeable restaurant in the complex, the BeerThai House Restaurant tucked away in the back. The food here is no-frills, but definitely authentic. There is an English menu and some of the servers do speak a smattering of English. The restaurant’s extensive menu is interesting and offers uncommon regional Thai fare, in addition to all the usual favourites.

In recent years with the popularity of “Mookata” combination Thai barbecue and steamboat dining in Singapore, the eateries offering Mookata at wallet-friendly prices in the centre of the complex have also been drawing the crowds.

Golden Mile Complex - Little Thailand

Golden Mile Complex - Little Thailand

Sai Ooah Northern  Thai Spicy Fermented Sausage

After a satisfying meal you can amble up the stairs to the large well-stocked supermarket on the second floor. Even if you don’t cook and have no use for the abundant fresh and packaged native Thai produce (they actually also stock Vietnamese and Filipino produce), chances are you will find some tantalizing Thai munchies to take home. There are also fresh fried banana fritters, grilled sausages and the “kanom berng” mini crepes on sale, all popular Thai street snacks.

Golden Mile Complex - Little Thailand

There are different brands and types of Sriracha hot sauce apparently

Golden Mile Complex - Little Thailand

Ready-packed green preparations

Golden Mile Complex - Little Thailand

I have no idea what this is – some kind of tripe??

If you are male and enjoy the charms of Thai ladies then you might be tempted to linger at any of the cafe/pubs after dinner over a few bottles of Singha, the ubiquitous Thai beer. If you are a party animal to boot then check out the action late night/early morning at the Butterfly Thai disco. Thai discos have become “hot” in Singapore in recent years, and the Butterfly Thai Disco at the complex (previously named Pure Thai Disco, and before that Thai Disco 2) is one of the biggest and oldest. Open till 4am and sometimes later, you can listen to a live Thai band belt out cover songs, as well as sponsor garlands of plastic flowers or more expensive sashes to shower your appreciation on your favourite singers. This is clearly for generous (and gullible) free-spenders only.

Golden Mile Complex - Little Thailand

Kanom Berng mini crepes

LOCATION

5001 Beach Road (Near Crawford Street)
Open:  Late morning till late night

HOW MUCH TIME

About an hour and a half for a meal and a quick stroll through the ethnic supermarket.

TIDBITS

  • Golden Mile Complex was designed by local architectural firm Design Partnership, which has since grown to become Singapore’s preeminent architectural firm DP Architects.
  • Conservationists have started to clamour that the building, viewed by most as an ugly monstrosity, is actually an architectural wonder with too much historical merit to be torn down.
  • Songkran, the Thai/South East Asian new year “water festival” is also celebrated in Little Thailand each April. Revellers douse each other with water in a symbolic cleansing ritual that is fun if a little messy. The celebrations this year were muted however as Singapore experienced one of its worst droughts earlier this year.
  • The Golden Mile Food Centre across the road has a few notable local food stalls. Upstairs, the Army Market is also fun to trawl through.

TAKE NOTE

  • The complex is super crowded on Sundays when scores of Thai foreign workers get their day off and throng the shopping centre. Visit during the day or early evening, before the atmosphere turns rowdy.
  • Don’t get confused with the neighbouring Golden Mile Tower, a far more prosaic looking office and retail building. Although there are some Thai cafes in that building too including Beer Thai Restaurant’s more upmarket outlet, the tower is better known for its Golden Digital Theatre which screens Indian movies.
Golden Mile Complex - Little Thailand

Water Mimosa – great stir-fried

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