Central Districts 

South of the island or commonly known as Central District 

CBD & Chinatown, Orchard, Tanglin, River Valley 

The far south end tip of the island commonly known as 'Central' is a mixture of high rise office buildings, main belt shopping, residential, entertainment and the old Chinatown of Singapore. The area is easily accessible too by all major expressways & public transport (Bus or MRT). Click on the sub districts below within this area to find out more specific details. 

CBD & Chinatown 

Overview: The Central Business District is the main area for which most major multinational companies & worldwide business operations house their offices for regional trading within a number of high- & low-rise buildings. The area is very compact and can easily be walked within about 10 minutes from one end to the other. Alternatively, for the less energetic, you can hop on the MRT one or two stops. Most expats living within this area choose it as an easy location where minimum travel is required to reach their CBD based office. Tucked away in this central area is Singapore's historical heartland, where Sir Stamford Raffles landed and set to work creating the Singapore that you see today. 



Chinatown is a place that was set up by migrant merchants from China in the 19th Century after Raffles handed them a large portion of land just south west of the Singapore river. Amongst residential local housing the area is bustling with local Chinese traders touting their wares from silk cloth to Chinese artefacts. There are also many mouth-watering eateries including Lau Pau Sat and the Maxwell food centre. The area also has many local shopping plazas, some of which are open 24 hours a day. 

Types of residential property available: A small handful of 'City Living' condominiums, walk up apartments and Peranakan style shop houses. There are also new waterfront residencies at Marina Bay which are currently under development. 

Entertainment & leisure: Boat Quay and Club Street battle it out for the business of good food, booze and night time entertainment. Fantastic local fare can be found at a number of local hawker centres and street stalls in and around old Chinatown. Over towards the sparkling Marina Bay you'll find the 'Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay' - this is Singapore's main performing arts centre. The new 'Marina Bay Sands Complex' offers hotel & leisure facilities and Singapore's first Casino. The Singapore Flyer is the huge Ferris wheel that hustles for space on the forever changing Singapore skyline, similar to the London Eye' - this is the prime spot for catching all the action at the city's Formula 1 night race in September. There are a number of colonial districts dotted around the CBD which are home to inspiring historic architecture, museums and galleries. 

SEPE insider tip: Great expansion plans are ahead - in addition to the Marina Bay Sands Complex with waterfront promenades, a second botanical garden (Gardens by the Bay), a national art park, cycle and walkways, waterfront bars, shops and wonderful waterfront residencies are planned. 

Nearest International Schools: Oversea Family School (OFS), International Singapore School (ISS), Chatsworth International School, Insworld School 

Nearest MRT Stations: Raffles Place, Tanjong Pagar, Chinatown, Outram, Marina Bay 

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Overview: Orchard Road is a prime district area and the islands most famous shopping and eating district. This place is the central hub, also known as the 'city' or capital of Singapore, and it is well known among tourists. Orchard Road is a wide, one-way street with shady tree lined walkways; it offers major departmental stores, supermarkets, movie theatres, restaurants and many of Singapore's grandest hotels. Orchard Road's start point is at the top in Tanglin, it then runs all the way down to Dhoby Ghout in the East to the Istana (the home of the President), just close to the famous Raffles Hotel. 

Types of residential property available: Many high & low end condominiums, apartments, houses & restored shop houses. 

Entertainment & leisure: Around the Orchard road MRT you will find the heart of the retail district which now boasts the awesome futurist ION Mall - this unique building facade sits alongside more established favourites such as Ngee Ann City, Takashimaya, Wismia Atria and Wheelock Place. Many of the hotels in the area host excellent Sunday brunches, where the food and drink flows freely all for one set price! Escape from the shopping and wander the side roads of Emerald Hill just off Orchard Road behind the Centrepoint Shopping Mall. The shop houses here are well restored, designed beautifully by wealthy Peranakans - they are now mainly homes for well-to-do expats. A Portion of this road also sees these traditional shop houses restored to a range of lively bars and restaurants. This is a buzzing vibrant little enclave where ice-cold beers are always a plenty. Also in close proximity are the Tanglin Club & the American Club. 

Nearest International Schools: Oversea Family School (OFS), International Singapore School (ISS) Elementary & Middle, Chatsworth International School 

Nearest MRT Stations: Orchard, Somerset, Dhoby Ghout, City Hall 

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Overview: The far top end of Orchard Road eventually becomes the area of Tanglin - a once popular haunt of the British colonials. The area has excellent shopping options including the popular Tanglin Mall, the stylish lifestyle mall Friven & Co, gourmet food lovers favourite 'Tanglin Market Place' and the Parisian food shop Hediard amongst others. Tanglin is also home to many foreign embassies & high commissions. The area is also home to a number large bungalows normally occupied by foreign diplomats & expat senior management. It is in very short walking distance to the Orchard Road shopping belt & the Singapore Botanical Gardens. 

Types of residential property available: Many high- & low-end condominiums and lush Greenery colonial bungalows & houses. 

Entertainment & leisure: Tanglin Golf Course, which is a relatively small course and open to the public. On the corner of Napier Road and Cluny road you will find the entrance to the Singapore Botanical Gardens with its ornate silver and floral gating - nowhere is more perfect in Singapore for a for a long lazy picnic and a walk around the grassy rolling slopes, lakes, palms, trees, bamboos, flowers and orchids. There are a number of free open-air concerts by the lakes throughout the year. Another highlight is the brilliant 'Evolution Garden' for you and the kids to explore and learn! Opposite this there are many excellent eating establishments, coffee shops, food stores and malls including the popular Dempsey Hill area comprising of many buzzing drinking outlets & fine dining restaurants. 

Nearest International Schools: Overseas Family School (OFS), International Singapore School (ISS), Chatsworth International School 

Nearest MRT Stations: Orchard 

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River Valley 


Overview: The River Valley area runs naturally alongside the Singapore River and is also a very popular area with expats as it situated on the fringe of the CBD (easy access to the office) and it runs parallel to the Orchard Road shopping belt which is a 5-10 minute walk. It is also in walking distance to favourite entertainment haunts like Robertson Quay & Clarke Quay. Some condominiums are actually situated along the river giving you a superb riverside living & city view lifestyle. 

Types of residential property available: Peranakan-style shop houses, condominiums and a handful of bungalows & houses. 

Entertainment & leisure: Excellent food and drink options are plentiful along Robertson Quay. Within just a few years neighbouring Clarke Quay has become the city's number one nightlife spot where the party ends at dawn. Both Quays have a staggering amount of excellent bars and restaurants. Grassy spaces, tree shaded picnic areas and winding hilly walks can be had at Fort Canning Park, which was once the centre base for the British Army in World War II. The park is also a very popular place for major international rock, dance, classical and world music shows (Keane, Lady GaGa, The Prodigy, The WOMAD festival to name a few). Along the river is Singapore's famous nightspot Zouk which still attracts the biggest names in dance music from around the globe. Also just off River valley Road is an historical strip of shop houses on Killiney Road - here you can enjoy local coffee at traditional Kopitan coffee shops. The hawkers and local eateries of Old Chinatown are just a stones throw from Clark Quay. 

Nearest International Schools: Oversea Family School (OFS), International Singapore School (ISS), Chatsworth International School 

Nearest MRT Stations: Clarke Quay (Orchard, Somerset & Dhoby Ghaut for some condo's) 

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