District 07 – Golden Mile, Middle Rd
Food lovers and shopaholics would love the wide range of local food and bargain treasures found in District 07. Comprising of Middle Road, Bencoolen Street and Bugis street, a trip to Singapore is never complete without visiting at least one of these places to experience the true Singaporean lifestyle.
In the centre of Downtown Core and Rochor, within the Central Area of Singapore, lies Middle Road, an area where the Hainanese immigrant community originally settled in. This community has contributed greatly to the diverse Chinese food fare of Singapore. It is one of the earliest Singapore roads which appeared in George Drumgoole Coleman’s Map of Singapore in 1836. Back in the 19th century until the Second World War, Middle Road’s Hylam Street and Malay Street was famous for its Japanese brothels and traditional shops.
Bencoolen Street starts from the junction of Rochor Road and Jalan Besar towards the junction of Fort Canning Road, Stamford Road and Orchard Road. The street is home home to hotels, serviced apartments and other famous landmarks.
Bugis Street offers a mixture of new and old Singaporean culture. The old Bugis Street is now a large avenue where buildings such as Bugis Junction shopping complex are located. The New Bugis Street is billed as “the largest street-shopping location in Singapore” by the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board. Revamped in the mid-1980s for a newer and fresher look, the New Bugis Street is now a street market or ‘pasar malam’ lined with stalls selling all sorts of knick-knacks, food and cheap bargains. Back in the days between the 1950s and 1980s, Bugis Street was famous for its transsexuals. It was a colour and unique time in Singaporea, as it drew many curious tourists to the spot. Over the years, Bugis underwent major makeovers and it is today a retail haven full of shopping malls, eateries, nightclubs as well as traditional back-alley ‘pasar malam’ stalls.
Middle Road is the place to be for authentic Hainanese Cuisine. Tantalize your taste buds with age-old recipes from the Hainanese.
Bencoolen Street offers a wide range of hotels such as Summer View Hotel, Bayview Hotel Singapore, Hotel 81 Bencoolen, Strand Hotel, Hotel Rendezvous and Somerset Bencoolen. Landmarks such as Sim Lim Square, Bencoolen Mosque and Albert Complex are in the area. For the IT-enthusiast, SLS or Sim Lim Square is a 390,000 square feet electronics and IT hub with all the electronic goods you need under one roof.
Bugis Street is the ultimate destination for street shopping or for getting ‘pasar malam’ goodies. You can find the cheapest bargains here by just haggling with the stall owners until you achieve a mutually agreeable price. Bugis Street is often recommended for shopping besides the famous Orchard Road.
Bugis MRT Station will take you to other destinations in Singapore easily. There are also buses and taxis in the area for your convenience.