Orchard Road Refresh: From nutmeg orchards to urban jungle

With ongoing plans to refresh Orchard Road, such as the Istana Park expansion announced last month, The Straits Times looks at the genesis and future of one of the world's most famous shopping strips in a two-part report

Singapore's prime shopping belt during colonial times was far from the fruit-laden Eden-esque tropical thoroughfare that its epithet would have you evoke.

The truth is that Orchard Road was a dusty rural lane that snaked past cemeteries, hills and gambier farms carved into the landscape by gambier merchants before Stamford Raffles hoisted the British flag in Singapore in 1819.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 20, 2020, with the headline 'From nutmeg orchards to urban jungle'. Subscribe