District Guide – River Valley

If you want (and can afford) to live the high life, look no further than River Valley for your dream home. Part of District 9, River Valley houses Singapore’s richer half with its innumerable private and public homes.

( Situated in and around River Valley are bars and pubs. Image courtesy of Terence Ong.)

The area is surrounded by a few stretches of big roads—namely Hoot Kiam Road, Grange Road, Devonshire Road, Oxley Rise, River Valley Road, Kim Yan Road, and Mohamed Sultan Road—and underscored by a section of the Singapore River.

The name ‘River Valley’ pays homage to the Singapore River, which cuts across River Valley at its Southern end. Back in the 1840s, there used to be two River Valley roads running on either side of the Singapore River. One retained the name, while the other was eventually renamed Havelock Road.

The vicinity has seen a myriad of different occupants. It was first home to wealthy Europeans and Chinese merchants who wanted to get away from the bustle of the town centre. Later, River Valley gained popularity with the Straits Chinese.

Although villas gave ways to high-rise apartments and condominiums over time, the residential area still remains characterised by its wealthy residents.

There are not many recreational destinations in the River Valley area. Sports buffs can get their fix watching soccer or cricket at sports bars around, or take their mind off things with a scenic walk around the Singapore River. Party animals will adore the proximity to Zouk, arguably Singapore’s most popular clubbing venue.

Supermarkets (there is a Cold Storage branch in both Great World City and Valley Point) as well as pre- and primary schools (JHS Montessori Kindergarten, River Valley Primary School) add convenience to easy living.

Head out to nearby Fort Canning Park for a fun weekend gig or just to kick back and while the day away.

Besides the pretty private homes, another reason for River Valley’s appeal is the growing food culture. It is home to an array of dining options from the pricey—Dozo at Valley Point has garnered a following for its Japanese-European fusion fare—to the fuss-free—Jian Jian Curry Rice at the Zion Riverside Food Centre is a hidden treasure.

Essentially an R&R destination, pubs and bars dot River Valley and its neighbours. Standouts include La Maison Du Whiskey (The [email protected]) and Bar Bar Black Sheep (Robertson Quay).

Valley Point Shopping Centre seems to cater more to relaxation than retail therapy. It is filled with dining joints and wellness centres. Great World City, on the other hand, has retail outlets including fashion, kids wear, books and stationery, and gifts. Notable tenants include Zara, Sephora and Harris Bookstore.

Despite its massive size, there are no MRT stations within River Valley. The closest of which are Somerset and Dhoby Ghaut MRT. However, the roads in the area are well connected. The presence of landmarks like Great World City, Zouk and numerous hotels means taxis are not hard to come by.