: Singapore Orchard Road : :
Perhaps the best known boulevard in Asia, Orchard Road doesn't have
the colourful history of say Chinatown or Little India. It was,
as the name implies, an orchard - or rather several orchards owned
by wealthy families with names like Cairnhill, Cuppage, Scotts and
so on. The orchards produced mostly nutmeg and pepper - not fruit.
And since the area is one of the lower points in Singapore, in the
early days it was prone to flooding. As such the area wasn't populated
and didn't develop as quickly as other areas commercially.
Indeed, the plot of land where CK Tangs and the Marriott Hotel now
stand was once a cemetery. It wasn't until Mr. Tang bought and developed
the land that things started to take hold and the rest, as they
say, is history. Walking along Orchard Road visitors will easily
see how the stages of development the area has undergone since the
early 1970's by comparing architectural styles of the various shopping
centres and hotels lining the street.
Lastly, one often overlooked place of interest on Orchard Road is
the Istana Negara Singapura or Presidential Palace. Located next
to the Meridien Hotel the palace is open to the public every once
and again and if you are lucky enough to be in Singapore when it
is open do make it a point to visit. FYI, in order to remain objective,
hotels are listed in alphabetical order, we don't favor any hotel
for any reason.