Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Exploring Holland Village

Holland Village is a great place in Singapore that's popular among expatriates and the place has several shophouses that looks like it was stuck in the olden days. The thing about Holland Village in Singapore is that it's neither related to the country nor is it a village. Holland Village is named after Hugh Holland who was an architect and an early resident. However, there was also some speculation that Holland Village was named after a nearby road called Holland Road. Whatever it is, all I know is that Holland Village is a place with many traditional shops along with some modern shops and food establishments located almost everywhere within the area.

Just like Serangoon Garden, Holland Village also has a huge amount of expatriates living here and it's not uncommon to see a lot of them walking around Holland Village. Thanks to the recently opened Holland Village MRT Station on the Circle Line, getting here is much easier. Previously, the only way to get here was by car and taxi. If you want to get here by bus, the bus stop's located on the outskirts of Holland Village which can be pretty far. I just love the designs and architecture of the various shophouses and low rise buildings located around the area. Plus, the roads around Holland Village are narrow and have a lot of slopes.

Here are some pictures of the shophouses available at Holland Village. Each of the houses has different unique architecture and design. The first level is where all the shops and food establishments are located. Some big name retailers can be found here too such as Wendy's, 7 Eleven and The Coffee Bean. There were also plenty of bars and restaurants located around here so this place is a great place for nocturnals and for those who want to have fun late at night. Burger King actually made its Singapore debut here at Holland Village. However, that outlet closed down and instead, Wendy's took over Burger King's space which occupied two levels in one of Holland Village's shophouses.

I didn't really see any shopping malls around Holland Village though. However, there is one low rise shopping mall called Holland V Shopping Mall that's fully air-conditioned and there were shops like Ya Kun Kaya Toast, BreadTalk and Island Creamery. Do note that this is completely different than the Holland Road Shopping Centre which is just right beside.

Another attraction to the Holland Village area is this windmill located on the roof of Holland V Shopping Mall. I'm not sure why there is a windmill up there but after researching several websites, the windmill is actually just there to beautify the area. It's rare to find windmills in Singapore so it's great that they actually built one there. Another thing is that the windmill is not actually useful at creating energy. It only functions using electricity in which the blades will move at a slower speed at certain times. It's pretty ironic considering that windmills are actually supposed to generate electricity and this one runs on electricity. Nonetheless, this windmill looks great and it's a great way to show the history of Holland Village and to beautify the area.

Holland Village isn't entirely made up of just traditional shophouses, it also has its own hawker centre right in the heart of the Village. Just like other hawker centres, there are a wide variety of stalls selling cheap and delicious hawker food along with a wet market selling fresh produce. I'm not sure what stalls are there in the food centre itself so if you want to know what they sell, it's best to come here and see it for yourself. Who says you can only find food from upmarket restaurants and bars here at Holland Village?

There were also some high rise HDB flats located nearby. Holland Village is also a HDB estate. Since I don't live here, I also don't know whether or not the majority of expats living here live in the HDB flats. It's nice to see slightly newer HDB flats in contrast with old low rise shophouses in Holland Village. It's like a contrast between old and new.

Here is another picture of Holland Village shophouses. You can see the variety of pubs, restaurants and big name stores located along this part of the Village. Just like what I have mentioned earlier, the road shown above has a big slope downwards which looks quite cool. There are so many places to visit around Holland Village and you will definitely be spoilt for choice.

Lastly, there is also the Holland Road Shopping Centre which is a basic shopping centre that has shops to cater to the needs of the residents living nearby. Some examples include the Cold Storage supermarket that has a wide range of premium groceries for residents who want to purchase groceries. Pharmacies like Watsons and Guardian are also available for those who need supplies for beauty, skincare and health. It seems that you can find almost everything here at the beautiful estate of Holland Village.

Holland Village is definitely one of the most beautiful estates I have been to around Singapore. You can see the various beautiful shophouses and the huge amount of pubs and upmarket restaurants found here. Also, there are no fancy shopping malls here. Just basic low-rise shopping centres that are enough to meet the demands of residents living around here. I am sure at night, the area will be much more lively thanks to the pubs and restaurants. Holland Village is easily accessible via the Circle Line which opened in October last year and all you have to do is to alight at Holland Village MRT Station. Once you reach here, get ready to be transported back in time.

Getting Here 

Bus services available: 48, 61, 106, 970, NR8 (Bus stop along Holland Ave outside Holland Village MRT Station)

Nearest MRT Station: CC21 Holland Village MRT Station (Circle Line)


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