Queenstown Public Library; first HDB blocks; HDB terraces; Tiong Ghee Temple; HDB’s first point blocks; “Butterfly Block”; Alexandra Hospital; Hang Jebat Mosque; colonial terraces at Jalan Hang Jebat; Wessex Estate; former Malayan Railways; Singapore Improvement Trust flats; Sri Muneeswaran Temple; Church of the Blessed Sacrament; Tanglin Halt Neighbourhood Centre; first flatted factory; Shuang Long Shan Wu Shu Ancestral Hall; VIP Block; Ridout Tea Garden; Commonwealth Crescent Neighbourhood Centre
Queenstown is Singapore’s first satellite town, so it has plenty of character – from charming old sundry shops to examples of early public housing, and there is no shortage of good hawker food.
The five mini trails offer a comprehensive tour of Queenstown, although it can be a slog to do them all.
I recommend skipping the Princess Trail and starting at Stirling Road – home to HDB’s oldest blocks and less commonplace terraces.
Visit Tiong Ghee Temple and HDB’s first point blocks, before grabbing a bite at Mei Ling Market and Food Centre. Then zip over to the “Butterfly Block”, one of HDB’s first curved blocks, before heading to Alexandra Hospital.
If you are feeling peckish, Alexandra Village Food Centre is close by and has good avocado milkshakes.
When you are done exploring Queensway, trek to Jalan Hang Jebat, which has a mosque and colonial terraces. After a stroll through the futuristic Mediapolis area, you will arrive in Wessex Estate. The leafy area is home to black-and-white colonial bungalows and the quaint Cafe Colbar.
Afterwards, walk down a flight of stairs to the Green Corridor (former Malayan Railways) and head back to Queenstown. You will see low-rise housing blocks by the Singapore Improvement Trust.
Down the road sits Sri Muneeswaran Temple and Church of the Blessed Sacrament.
Then stop by Tanglin Halt, which is slated for redevelopment and is home to the famous Chef Hainanese Western Food stall (open from 7pm to 9pm, closed on Thursdays).
If you are not exhausted, the hilly area near the VIP Block offers a good view of Queenstown.
Then walk down a flight of stairs and cross an overhead bridge to Ridout Tea Garden, Singapore’s first Japanese-themed community garden.
Several highlights could have been reordered for a less circuitous route. Some buildings on the Princess Trail have been demolished. Explore all five trails in one day at your own peril.
DURATION AND DIFFICULTY
More than six hours if you visit all 40 points. About 26,300 steps. An easy walk, with some stair-climbing.