Hey Hwa Chong! We are the 42nd ITDs.
As we all know, after 6 long years of construction, the MRT has finally made its way to Hwa Chong!
The new Downtown Line, which starts from Bukit Panjang and currently terminates at Chinatown, was opened on 27 December 2015. With the introduction of Tan Kah Kee station, literally a stone’s throw away from our school, travelling is surely cheaper, faster and more convenient!
Here’s your ultimate guide to the newly-opened Downtown Line stations! Read on to find out more about transport information, shopping centres, food, hardware accessories, banner cloth, printing choices near school, and much more!
Here is the western terminus of the Downtown Line. If you stay in Bukit Panjang or Choa Chu Kang, the Downtown Line takes you here in half the time – 12 minutes!
Tip: You can enjoy free LRT transfers if you tap in at the LRT station less than 15 minutes after tapping out from MRT station.
If you want to do some shopping or dining before going back home, you can also head down to Junction 10 or Bukit Panjang Plaza, both within walking distance from the MRT station! There’s Gong Cha and Mr Bean at Bukit Panjang Plaza if you’re looking for a perk-me-up after a long day of school!
Junction 10 (left) and Bukit Panjang Plaza (right)
Beauty World has been one of our favourite hangout places even before the opening of the Downtown Line, and now the MRT station has made it even more accessible to us. You no longer have to wait for buses to go to Beauty World – just hop on the train and it only takes you 6 minutes!
There are three shopping malls within the vicinity of Beauty World MRT station, each boasting an impressive diversity of shops and F&B outlets! Leave the station from Exit A, and you’ll find Beauty World Centre is right in front of you. At Beauty World Centre, you’ll find a McDonalds outlet (when Serene Centre is a little too crowded!) an amazing open-air food court at the top storey, as well as several foot reflexology spa outlets if you’re dying for some relief from the muscle-aches after a tiring day of CCA sessions.
Beauty World Centre (left) and Beauty World Plaza (right)
Bukit Timah Shopping Centre from Exit A
Meanwhile at Bukit Timah Shopping Centre, there is a great cafe located at the basement level, #B1-05, called Buddy Hoagies! It is really good value for money, with great food at affordable prices! Opening hours are from 11:30am to 10pm on weekdays.
Buddy Hoagies Cafe & Grill (Photo from Drinksomewhere)
(Photos: Buddy Hoagies Official Website)
Bukit Timah Plaza requires a bit of walking from Exit A/C, but it’s definitely worth it – especially for the Popular bookstore and the printing shop Xorex Press and the occasional lunch and dinners at Saizeriya!
(Photos: Chong Jun Hoe 15A12)
You can also enjoy bingsu at Bing Go Jung, right outside Bukit Timah Plaza on a hot and scorching day after school!
What are the varieties of bingsu sold? The hot favourites are Milk and Red Bean ($11), Injeolmi ($11) and Green Tea ($11)!
Bing Go Jung Korean Dessert House
Bt Timah Plaza (next to taxi stand), 1 Jalan Anak Bukit, Singapore 588996
Opening Hours: 10am – 11pm
Popular bookshop at Bukit Timah Plaza Level 1
Additionally, within walking distance from Exit C, you can find many hardware shops along Jalan Jurong Kechil! If you want to buy any logistics for banner painting, it’s worth a trip down!
DT7 Sixth Avenue
Travelling further down the road, you will see another MRT station closer to our school – Sixth Avenue. Many of you are probably no strangers to this place, because of Sixth Avenue Centre and the Tea Party Cafe. Now, they are even closer than you think – 2 minutes by train!
Sixth Avenue Centre (from Exit A)
DT8 Tan Kah Kee
Finally, our school!!!
Located within our school compound, Tan Kah Kee MRT station is named after Mr Tan Kah Kee, our founding father, for his early contributions to the Chinese High School which was merged with Hwa Chong Junior College forming the current Hwa Chong Institution.
Following the opening of the MRT station, a pedestrian gate will feature on both Level 1 and 2 of our new school block – the Holistic Education Centre. The new gates and linkway to Block D will be opened once the new school term starts! So don’t forget to bring your EZ-link cards!
Walkway to the new school gate at Level 2 (under construction)
(Exit the MRT station, go up the escalator and turn left for the gate at Level 2!)
Interestingly, our station has the most vibrant colours among all the Downtown Line 2 stations. The station art was designed by our own students and staff! Named Gratitude (饮水思源), it corresponds with our school’s guiding principle to give back to the society.
DT9/CC19 Botanic Gardens
Transfer linkway between Circle Line and Downtown Line
Adam Food Centre from Exit A/B
(You need to cross the overhead bridge to Dunearn Road and walk towards Adam Road.)
There is also a well-known hawker centre, Adam Food Centre, lying at the junction of Adam Road and Dunearn Road within walking distance from Botanic Gardens MRT station. Some of you may have already been walking here for dinner, and the Downtown Line just made things even more convenient!
Not far away from the Downtown Line exit is also the well-known Assembly Coffee at 26 Evans Road, with good coffee and waffles for you to try out if you haven’t!
Here are the details:
Opening Hours: 8am – 7pm
Tuesday to Sunday
Closed on Monday
Recommended food include Assembly’s Brick Toast for $12 and Earl Grey Caramel Waffle for $11.50. They are known for their coffee, so you can try out the Caffe Mocha which contains espresso, milk and chocolate for $5! Furthermore, there is a prata shop, The Prata Cafe, just right beside Assembly Coffee. Additionally, if you feel like burning off some of the excess calories you just consumed, you can always head to the nearby PESEB for a run or a swim.
Two more stations down the road, and you’ll arrive at the next interchange on the DTL – Newton. Here, you can transfer to the North South Line towards Novena and Toa Payoh if you’re going back home, or towards Orchard and Dhoby Ghaut if you feel like doing some city shopping!
Another highlight of the station is Newton Food Centre, one of the most famous food centres in Singapore with unique food delights! Cross an overhead bridge outside Exit B and you’re here.
Newton Food Centre from Exit B
Have you ever wondered how Singapore will look like in 2200? If you haven’t, it’s time to see the artists’ impression. As you travel up the escalators from the Downtown Line platform, you can take a close look at this huge piece of artwork full of imaginations and possibilities!
DT12/NE7 Little India
Of course, Little India is exciting too! If you just feel like exploring Little India, you can walk to Tekka Centre to get hennas or traditional costumes for Racial Harmony Day! Additionally, henna tattoos are also available in the Little India Arcade, only a road away from Tekka Centre.
Tekka Centre from Exit C
National Library Board from Exit C
(You need to go straight upon exiting the station and cross Middle Road to reach NLB)
Bugis Street from Exit C
There is also a variety of food choices and shopping opportunities at Bugis+ and Bugis Junction too!
Bugis Junction from Exit C
Bugis+ from Exit C
Marina Bay probably needs no further introduction too, and Bayfront MRT is just located in the centre of everything here, with Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay right beside!
View of Marina Bay and developments outside Marina Bay Sands (from Exit D)
Art Science Museum outside Marina Bay Sands from Exit D, where interesting exhibitions are commonly held!
However, if you’re a little broke, Gardens by the Bay is also the perfect place to stroll around and drink in the sight of flora and fauna for the price of nothing.
Just last Christmas in 2015, Gardens by the Bay had a themed funfair named “Winter Wonderland”. Admission (a.k.a. basking in the festive atmosphere) was free as always, you only had to pay for food and games there.
Underpass from Exit B to Gardens by the Bay
Finally, the destination of our trip. Chinatown is currently the terminus of the Downtown Line.
But that’s not all – Chinatown is the centre of Chinese culture, food and shopping! In this vicinity, you can find People’s Park Centre (the first shopping centre in Singapore), accompanied by People’s Park Complex and People’s Park Food Centre.
Tips in case you mess up with these 3 buildings: People’s Park Centre is where you can find retailers dealing in Chinese handicrafts; People’s Park Complex hosts a variety of travel agencies; last but not least, People’s Park Food Centre is the corner for delicious food as well as textile shops at Level 2!
People’s Park Centre from Exit D
People’ Park Complex from Exit C
If you have long breaks between lessons and you’re craving a little authentic Chinese food (CSC students we feel your pain before 大堂课) of if you’re just looking for more interesting lunch/dinner places, you can enjoy 10 cheap and delectable 小笼包 and 锅贴 at People’s Park Complex at $5.50.
People’s Park Food Centre from Exit C
Also of note to all CCAs looking to get banner cloth, Lee Ann Textiles is the place to go! Located on the second storey of People’s Park Food Centre, this shop sells banner cloth at really affordable prices! The owners are alumni of Hwa Chong as well.
Lee Ann Textiles, #02-1110, People’s Park Food Centre (from Exit C)
That’s it from us! What are you waiting for? Go explore places in Singapore made more accessible by the Downtown Line now! 🙂