Holland Village in Singapore is only one of the major tourist attractions in Singapore's shopping scene. Coined the "bohemian enclave" of Singapore, Holland Village is a blend of Singaporean lifestyle, a nice mix between old and new.
Holland Village was named after Holland Road which in turn was named after Hugh Holland in 1907. Hugh Holland was an early resident in Singapore, he was an architect and an amateur actor. The roads Holland Avenue, Holland Close and Holland Drive were officially named after the principal road in 1972. Holland Road is known as “Hue Hng Au” in Hokkien, meaning “behind the flower garden”. The “flower garden” refers to the Botanic Gardens, which is about 3 minutes drive from Holland Village.
I’ve lived in Holland Village for the last 5 years, and been lovin’ this place for a long time now. It is a popular venue for younger Singaporeans and expatriates. Famous for its 24-hour kopitiam (food plaza) and groceries, a vast row of bars and hip clubs stretches on a long alley making Holland Village a must-see and go-to place especially during weekends. Fancy watching live football feeds with your friends? There’s the very famous Wala-Wala Bar serving ice-cold beer and sumptuous Calamares. Name your food, and you’ll find it here – be it Indian, Thai, Italian, Japanese, Lebanese, Mexican, and even African cuisines.
Holland Village like the other shopping venues in Singapore is worth visiting. The Holland Village Shopping Mall and Holland Road Shopping Center are the two major shopping areas of the city. During the last Sunday of the month, a flea market is arranged in one of the central squares close to the residential communities. Similar to a typical flea market, you can find anything here from vintage clothing, tin can toys, and various collectibles. You might snatch an old film camera bargain too if you’re lucky!
This place is also known as a pet-friendly community. From cute Mini Pinschers, Pomeranians and cats to huge Dobermans and Dalmatians, a variety of pet shops and clinics are not too far away from the grocery store. Never a dull day to shoot those pets away!
Now what makes Holland Village similar to the real Holland in Europe? – I can only think of the huge windmill replica in one of the shopping centers.
Oh yeah – for film enthusiasts and lomographers planning to visit Holland Village in Singapore, you’ll never have to travel back to your favorite film lab as there’s also a photo processing shop called “Photo Finish”. They process, scan and sell different kinds of films from negatives to slides of both 35mm and 120 formats.
A trip to Singapore is therefore never complete without a visit to Holland Village. Holland Village encompasses the picture of modern Singapore in all its grandeur and slenderness. So make sure you stop by! (. and if you’re planning to visit anytime between now and August 2010, don’t hesitate to give me a shout. I’d be willing to give you a tour and convince you to try the scrumptious Chili Crab and Grilled Stingray Supreme!)
Mr and Mrs Panelomo will be moving to Amsterdam, Netherlands this coming September 2010. It just seems funny how we’ll be traveling from a small town in Singapore called Holland Village to the real “Holland”.