Feature Articles

The Heartlands @ Toa Payoh

By: deliatoh on 25 May 2012
The heartlands are towns in Singapore where most citizens get about with their daily activities, and hence can be said to be the best place for visitors to experience first-hand the culture and daily lives of an average Singaporean. It is where 'aunties' and 'uncles' and happy families reside and congregate for the bustling activities that are on-going. These are close-knit communities, and residents, or even locals who don't live here, feel the warmth of being in a town full of fun and excitement.

Toa Payoh is a well-known heartland district in Singapore. Literally translated to mean “big swamp”, it was one of the earliest public housing estates to be established here. Located between the northern region and the central business district of Singapore, it is just a convenient few stops away from the city area, where the most happening shopping, eating and fun takes place.

Toa Payoh

The air-conditioned bus interchange is also a convenient stop for people wish to grab a bite, do brief window shopping, or stock up on necessities before moving on to your next stop. The variety of retail stores located at the interchange is really wide, despite not being your usual grandiose shopping mall. Here, you will be able to purchase anything from clothes, watches and accessories to high-end luxury bags and body/face products. The bus interchange is also a starting point for up to 25 bus routes that reach various destinations islandwide.

Toa Payoh Bus Interchange

The most well-known icon in the centre of Toa Payoh is the Housing Development Board Hub (HDB Hub), the headquarters of the government body that handles all housing issues in Singapore. The HDB was first founded in 1960 and inititally aimed to provide as many housing units as possible, to address the shortage of houses, all at the lowest possible cost. Today, the HDB focuses on upgrading existing flats to improve living conditions of Singaporeans. The HDB Hub features a special life-sized model which allows visitors to witness the process and development that HDB has made in housing estates throughout the years since our independence. It is undoubtedly an amazing feat for the squatter houses of the 1950s to be transformed into the modern high-rise flats so commonly seen around Singapore today.

The Toa Payoh HDB Hub is located at 480 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh, SG 310480, above Toa Payoh MRT station.

While you are here, do not miss the Toa Payoh Mall. This is a row of shophouses which present you with a great variety of goods and a great hangout for those who wish to do some shopping at economical prices! Clothing sold here ranges from T-shirts to lovely yet inexpensive dresses. You will also be able to find handy equipment such as iPhone cases, alarm clocks, as well as handphone retailers and more! In the night, immerse yourself in the busy atmosphere as many working individuals get down to the Mall to purchase their desired shopping amenities. You may also look no further if you are seeking skincare, dental or manicure services!

Toa Payoh Mall

The best food in town also resides here at Toa Payoh. Check out the award-winning Koufu food court, located at the 2nd storey of the Toa Payoh Bus Interchange. “Koufu” is the Chinese belief that to have good food is a person's fortune. The food court, now with over 20 branches, serves a wide variety of local favourites including kuay teow, cai tao kuay (carrot cake), chicken rice and lor mee. Also check out Gourmet Paradise, located at the basement, if you're in for delicious international cuisine. Nonetheless, more economical priced, yet tasty, delights can be found all over Toa Payoh in kopitiams and Hawker Centres.

Finally, enjoy a relaxing evening at the Toa Payoh Town Park! The park has facilities such as open-concept restrooms, pavilions for the holding various activities, cascading pools and fountain pools. For those keen on a nice panoramic view of the park, take a stop at the observation tower to enjoy the greenery of the surroundings below. If you are lucky enough to visit during the national day period, be treated to a beautiful décor of coloured lights above you.

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