The new town of Ang Mo Kio is home to 164,000 residents and about 48,000 HDB units, which range mostly from three-room to executive flats. It is true that this neighborhood is an old estate, but this only means larger apartments and rooms for rent, more parking spaces and plenty of outdoor leisure areas.
Ang Mo Kio is located to the north of Bishan, in central Singapore and consists of 10 sub-zones: Ang Mo Kio Town Centre, Cheng San, Chong Boon, Townsville, Shangri-la, Kebun Bahru, Sembawang Hills, Yio Chu Kang, Sindo and Seletar. It covers an area of 13 km2 and comes with hawker centers, wet markets, and other ample facilities, besides HDB housing blocks.
Ang Mo Kio, together with the newer residential estates in Bishan and Thomson, create the District 20.
Ang Mo Kio was named after a bridge built in Thomson Road from the initiative of J.T. Thomson, the government surveyor of Singapore from 1841 to 1854. The name of this neighborhood means “large and prosperous bridge” in Chinese.
The region was at first a village rich in farm animals, and vegetable and fruit gardens, with residents usually running small-scale businesses or being laborers. However, recently, Ang Mo Kio developed into a housing estate, with many condos available for sale and rooms for rent, as well as sufficient parking space.
The development of the new town of Ang Mo Kio began in 1973, being the seventh New town in Singapore, and was completed seven years later. The design of this new town was awarded the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) Outstanding Buildings Award in 1983, while the swimming complex at Avenue 1 received the 1986 SIA Architectural Award for its fascinating skylight design.
Today, Ang Mo Kio has seven neighborhoods, and most HDB flats are housed inside 12-storey buildings or 25-storey point blocks. However, recently, new higher blocks have sprung at the horizon and redefined the district’s skyline. Also, more and more private residential projects find a home in Ang Mo Kio, and more rooms for rent become available.
It is true that this residential area is mostly preferred by Singaporeans who enjoy generous budgets, but there is always the option to share an apartment with flatmates and divide the costs, while taking advantage of the complex amenities provided by Ang Mo Kio.
This new town offers a variety of services, from administrative and legal, to medical and social options, and is home to important hospitals like Ang Mo Kio Thye Hua Kwan Hospital. There are about 20 public schools in Ang Mo Kio, and several preschools, including the Al-Muttaqin Mosque Kindergarten and childcare centers operated by NTUC, as well as two special schools: Chaoyang School (dedicated to children with mild intellectual disability with ages from 7 to 12) and Pathlight School (focuses mostly on children with autism).
Ang Mo Kio Park is a beautiful destination for outdoor activities and relaxation, being situated on a hilly area, in the vicinity of Mayflower estate. Another option for spending your free time outdoor is Bishan Park which is often chosen by both residents of Bishan and Ang Mo Kio estates.
As expected, the central area of the district has several shopping centers such as Jubilee Square, Broadway Plaza and Djitsun Mall. Ang Mo Kio Town Center, located on Avenue 6, is the most popular shopping center of the region, housing a wide choice of merchandise, dining establishments and entertainment facilities. The town center welcomes visitors with two cinemas, a library, the AMK Hub and Ang Mo Kio Polyclinic.
Ang Mo Kio Hub incorporates an air-conditioned Bus Interchange, which is connected with the Ang Mo Kio MRT Station, situated at the center of the town, via an underground pedestrian walkway. The Bus Interchange and MRT Station are a major transportation hub for the residents of Ang Mo Kio, but they also provide reliable connection to other districts of Singapore.
The town is also served by the Yio Chu Kang MRT Station, located in the northern area of Ang Mo Kio, which provides direct connections to the city center and the rest of Singapore, including Shenton Way, Orchard Road, Marina Center and Marine Parade. This MRT Station too is serviced by buses, the Yio Chung Kang Terminal being situated right beside the station. Ang Mo Kio is also served by the Central Expressway.
Photo credits: Singapore suburbs by Euan Morrison – used under CC BY