While Orchard Road remains a popular hotel destination for many visitors, some foreigners have turned to short-term rental websites like Airbnb, for a more unique experience in sunny Singapore. Despite Tanjong Pagar being a bustling business location, an increasing number of visitors have been seen staying in the location for various reasons.
A foodie enclave
Ferron, an Australian, for example, had specially selected Tanjong Pagar as her temporary home during her holidays earlier this year. A travel enthusiast, Ferron, wanted to “stay in a central area that still had character, and was not too impersonal like the centre of any city can sometimes be.”
Travelling with her mother who had visited Singapore previously, Tanjong Pagar was a natural choice for them. “My mother recommended that we stayed in Tanjong Pagar as she had stayed there previously, and really enjoyed the location and the variety of eating places,” Ferron explained.
Both mother and daughter stayed in a mixed development apartment building where they had easy access to a food court, pharmacy and convenience store on the ground floor. Being a food lover, Ferron went and queued for the famous Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice at Maxwell Food Centre which was just a five-minute walk from where she stayed. The verdict? She fell in love with the delicious chicken rice and many other “incredibly tasty and affordable” dishes from Maxwell Food Centre.
Sugata Duygu from Turkey echoed the same sentiments as Ferron. She too, was in love with the location for its plethora of great food and close proximity to Marine Bay area where she had done some great shopping.
Besides its wide selection of delectable food, many visitors also chose Tanjong Pagar for its great convenience; Denton from the United States is one of them.
He explained, “I have very easy access to a MRT station almost immediately outside where I stayed, and the neighborhood itself is very clean and not terribly crowded. There is also often a line of taxis waiting outside if you’re looking to reach destinations not easily served by the excellent public transit in the city. If you decide to explore on foot, there is also a plethora of hawker centers within a 10- to 15-minute radius, as well as the lively Chinatown nearby. Overall, excellent location, and I would definitely stay here again!”
As Tanjong Pagar lies along the same green line as Changi Airport station, visitors who want to save on transportation can easily travel downtown via our public transit system; and that was what J.K. from the United States did.
In fact, that was her major reason for choosing to stay in Tanjong Pagar, so that she did not need to carry her heavy luggage and change to a different train to reach her destination.
A perfect marriage of old and new
Ferron found it a delightful experience to stroll through the streets in Tanjong Pagar and admire the brightly painted shophouses, as these heritage gems gave her valuable insights to how Singapore used to look like.
“I love how in Tanjong Pagar there is evidence of history and yet it is still so diverse and modern. It is fascinating to think that it was once a coastal area. You can spend a whole day just walking around the streets and taking in historic sites or looking at the galleries such as the Red Dot Design Museum. People are very friendly, and there is a feeling of relaxed vibrancy throughout the whole area.
“We strolled around Duxton Hill and enjoyed drinking at the small bars there. We were also intrigued by the Pinnacle@Duxton, and walked around there to have a look. I was amazed by how clean and spacious the gardens were, and how harmonious it seemed for such a large residential development. We took the lift up to the sky garden on the top of the building, and experienced the incredible views of Singapore from that vantage point, 50 floors above ground.
Though Ferron absolutely loves Tanjong Pagar, the constant noise from a construction site opposite where she stayed was a minor letdown. On the other hand, despite Tanjong Pagar’s great location and attractive characteristics, it is essentially still a business location and that did not sit well with Sugata Duygu who would much prefer to stay in a more touristy location.
While Tanjong Pagar may not be the perfect home for all our foreign friends, there is no doubt that it has something unique to offer. Whether you are a foodie, a heritage lover or an adventure-seeking traveler, Tanjong Pagar will surely work its charms on you.