SANDRA JOHNSON is a business owner who lives at Cairnhill, Orchard enclave, but was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. Cairnhill Road is a street in Singapore. She lives in an apartment in Cairnhill, and tells us all about it.
What is a common myth or misconception about your neighborhood in Singapore?
That it’s only made up of high-rise condos and shopping malls, and not anything else. There are a lot of those things in this neighborhood, but there are also a lot of old buildings and shophouses.
Is there anything I should tell a taxi driver to get me home?
If you don’t want to get stuck in a traffic jam at the U-turn, you should take Scotts Road to Cairnhill Road instead.
How long have you lived here?
3.5 years. We moved to this Cairnhill because it was easy to get to the stores and restaurants we like to go to. I love walking, and I’m able to do most of my shopping and other chores on foot.
History of Orchard Road
A nutmeg plantation owner in the Orchard enclave built an estate on top of a hill in 1840. It took 27 acres. In the past, people called the area “Carnie’s Hill.” This has turned into the name of the road: Cairnhill Road
After Charles Carnie’s nutmeg orchard didn’t work out, Cairnhill began to become a residential area. His house was bought in 1884 and turned into a home for the manager of the Chartered Bank (now Standard Chartered Bank). Cairnhill Road also had a lot of terrace homes in the early 1900s.
Tan Chin Tuan Mansion is one of the most well-known houses in Cairnhill. It was built around 1926 by a rubber tycoon named Tan Kah Kee, who built the house. A banker who later bought it was Tan Chin Tuan, who became Chairman of Oversea-China Banking Corporation (OCBC) when he took the job in 1966. The mansion has a tower with a bell-shaped turret and a large porch that is supported by several round columns.
First, what do you see when you leave your house? One of the many cute dogs that live in the neighborhood is ideal, but if you can’t find one, cars will be zipping by on their way to Orchard Road and other places.
There are many stores near your front door. Across the street, Paragon, which has many great shops, is.
If a movie were to be made on your street, which one would you choose? There’s a chance Crazy Rich Asians.
We’re sure your neighbors are great, but is there anything you’d rather have less of than more of? It would be great if there was less traffic on Saturday and Sunday.
What’s the unofficial uniform of your street, and what does it look like? Yoga pants and running shoes, or, on the other end of the spectrum, well-dressed people in the city.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen on your way home from work? It’s pretty quiet around here.
The best of the best
Three of my favorite places to eat or drink are: We went to Din Tai Fung, Blue Label Pizza, and Wild Honey.
Find the best places to shop around here. ION has a good number of shops I like, and the Design Centre has some unique finds and stocks a lot of local labels. There are too many to name on Orchard Road. It’s usually at the new CS Paragon or FairPrice at 111 Somerset, which isn’t far from me. I also go to Tanglin Marketplace, which isn’t far from me.
Things to do that are both fun and interesting to do in this Singapore neighborhood On Emerald Hill, I like to walk around and take pictures. When it’s dark and there’s a lot of rain, the colors are especially beautiful. There is always something interesting to see.
If looking to explore new condo at low quantum at Orchard, One can look at 33 Devonshire Showflat or Sophia Regency Showflat, while lies along Orchard Road, Singapore Prime District 9 where all the shopping malls reside.
What would you never change? The location, the view, and the interesting history of this neighborhood are all good things about it. Nutmegs were grown in this area, and there is a statue of one outside Orchard Central to remember it.
Across from the “Hood”
In Singapore, what are your favorite places to take out-of-town guests to? In the past, there were Raffles Hotel, Marina Bay Sands and the Asian Civilizations Museum. It’s been a while since that.
The next time you’re in need of a dose of culture, what do you do? One of the many beautiful museums in this city, or to Joo Chiat, or to a live show of some kind.