Tampines is a modern and beautiful neighborhood situated in the East Region of Singapore, and part of District 18, along with Simei and Pasir Ris. It is also the largest residential area in the city-state of Singapore, a region densely populated due to the impressive number of HDB flats, condos and apartments, and also due to the great facilities and amenities provided. Basically, Tampines has everything you need at a short drive or even walk away. From schools, cafes and shopping centers to recreation areas and parks, Tampines is a perfect setting for raising your family or living together with roommates or flatmates.
Due to the complexity and innovations that define Tampines, many find it hard to believe that back in the days, this region was dominated by the presence of forests, swamps and sand quarries. This area was nature’s fantasy land with ironwood trees or tampinis (Malay name for what is now, unfortunately, an extinct tree) growing abundantly here and guarding the region, hence the name of the region.
At the beginning, Tampines used to be a setting for fishing villages which, later on, became fish farms. These fish farms were situated along Orchard Tampines Road, but they were eventually moved to Pasir Ris.
The Old Tampines Road was nothing but a small path in 1864. It was developed gradually and became lined with many Chinese temple, many of which can still be admired today. By the 20th century, Tampines was a rubber plantation, and also home to a sand quarry. Some of the most famous estates were Teo Tek Ho and Hun Yeang.
The new town of Tampines was inaugurated in 1983 and 1987, when the Neighborhoods 1 and 2 were finished. More neighborhoods were added pretty fast, and today Tampines New Town consists of many divisions: Tampines East, Tampines West, Tampines North, Tampines North New Town, Tampines Changkat, Tampines Central, Tampines Retail Park, Tampines Industrial Park, Tampines LogisPark and Tampines Wafer Fab Park.
Today Tampines is home to over 237,800 residents and 152,000 HDB flats which are spread on an area of 24,24 km2. The beating heart of the neighborhood is Tampines Regional Center, the first and most complex regional center in Singapore, where residents have access to a wide selection of offices, shops and entertainment facilities.
The regional center of Tampines has three shopping centers, Tampines 1, Tampines Mall and Century Square, which come with cinemas, a library, a stadium home to Tampines Rovers Football Club, a swimming pool and a gym located right next to the stadium, and the offices of CPF Tampines Building, DBS, HSBC and UOB banks.
In the vicinity of the Tampines Regional Center, there is a branch of Safra, the recreational club of the Singapore Armed Forces.
Moreover, this residential area provides access to many primary and secondary schools, and also higher institutions such as Temasek Polytechnic and Tampines Junior College.
This residential area houses not only HDB flats, but also condominiums, where there are rooms for rent for those who are not planning yet to settle in and buy apartments or houses. Most condominiums can be found in the Tampines North region.
Those who prefer a more relaxed and less crowded shopping experience should consider visiting the neighborhood shops, supermarkets and department stores, which are lined along the many streets of Tampines. Here they can also find chic coffee shops and plenty of parking lots.
For outdoor fun and activities to enjoy together with friends and family, there are three main parks: Sunplaza Park, Tampines Bike Park and NParks, situated close to each other and offering an idyllic setting for socializing, practicing sports, and relaxation. There are also plenty of community and neighborhood parks in Tampines that remind residents of the region’s green past.
Tampines is also close to Bedok Reservoir, that offers waterfront HDB flats and apartments and spectacular views, as well as many spots for enjoying water-sports or long walks.
Tampines is served by public transportation, the MRT system offering access to Tampines MRT Station, Tampines West MRT Station, Tampines East MRT Station and Tampines Bus Interchange. The district is also crossed by a network of expressways, such as the Pan-Island Expressway and Tampines Expressway, and arterial roads that connect the neighborhoods of Tampines New Town and other regions of the island. The Town Center is served by SBS Townlink buses that assure doorstep transportation for residents.
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Photo credits: Tampines St 73 by Soham Banerjee – used under CC BY