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Street Directory or Google map of our Singapore neighborhood, off Orchard Road   首頁
Singapore 新加坡 1
From August 2011 (after Mumbai) through October 2013 we lived in Singapore. Our home, near Orchard Road,2 was at 147 Devonshire Road, the upper of two apartment blocks that comprise The Beaumont (map),3 built in 1985; the red square in the left photo marks the top front right corner of our block. Our balcony was tree-shaded, meaning no dramatic views but welcome mitigation of the equatorial heat. It was a short walk from Somerset MRT Station (illustrated from left), as follows:
  1. From the south exit (Exit A) you followed the covered walkway to Exeter Road (Exit B goes into 313@somerset and to Orchard Road)4
  2. At Exeter you followed the covered walkway right to Triple One, at the far end of which was a FairPrice Finest; our lane (pictured) was right across the street5
  3. At the top of the lane you went right, then up this driveway past the guard post; just past it you could also go up some steps and through parking level 16
  4. If you stayed on the driveway you entered here; our building ("Amica") was to the right. Go up more steps and you could buzz us by lifts 1-27

Devonshire Road being one-way in front of our lane meant coming by car or taxi required first going on or passing Killiney Road; the restaurants on Killiney (image) have made it well-known with taxi drivers, so it was good to begin by saying, "near KiLEEnee Road", then look for our lane.8 If coming from the east the closest bus stop is at Somerset Station; if from the west the closest stops are Orchard Emerald on Orchard Road or Airview Towers on River Valley Road.9

Building age and having a lower floor flat made our rent rather reasonable for Singapore, but this plus the building having only 10 floors, not to mention its prime location and some old houses to the west, must also make the whole area ripe for re-development. Both the Google map and the Street Directory were somewhat conflicting on surrounding buildings, with Google satellite view particularly out of date. All the buildings behind us were completed, or nearly so, as can be seen below. The left image below shows most clearly the old houses to the west of the Beaumont (full view); the right image below includes the front of some of the conservation shophouses below us.10 (Note also this image from behind, again showing both Beaumont buildings; ours is the upper one, at lower right of picture; lower left is the other Beaumont building, "Bowbell"; upper right is Triple One.)

From Top of the M (38th floor; expanded view) 11
From *Scape (4th floor balcony) 12

Note that Triple One, mentioned above, had in its basement a FairPrice Finest upscale supermarket, not to be confused with the the FairPrice at Orchard Grand Court on nearby Killiney Road, a 24 hour supermarket at the south end of a well-known strip of casual outdoor restaurants (map; image)

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Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Chinese transliteration/translation of selected names
The Chinese names seem rarely used here, and of course the pronunciation may not be Mandarin:

The Beaumont: 華都閣
Devonshire Road 德文郡道 or 德文莎路 (both can be found online)
Somerset MRT Station 索美塞地鐵站
Killiney Road 基里尼路

I never checked with the post office about the addresses in Chinese.

2. Orchard Road (Wikipedia)
See also the Orchard Road Business Association website

3. The Beaumont
For some reason I never figured out, many if not most locals in Singapore when confronted with the word "Beaumont" pronounce it "Bewmont". It consisted of two buildings, #145 and #147 Devonshire Road, named respectively as:

  1. Bowbell (slang: a Cockney?); and
  2. Amica (Italian: friend or girlfriend).

The building name information was of no apparent practical use. Further online information about the Beaumont was mostly from Real Estate companies, including this page.

4. Image 1, left
This view was from the roof garden of Orchard Central. To the left of the exit was *Scape Skate Park; across the street (Essex Road, which ends just right of here as it merges into Devonshire Road, which comes in from the left) was the tallest building in the neighborhood, the Comcentre headquarters for Singtel Power - image.

5. Image 1, 2nd from left: our lane, Devonshire Road(!)
The Beaumont guard post is to the right of the Beaumont sign at the far end of the street. Note that Devonshire Road can be confusing: if, having walked straight from Somerset MRT Exit A and so having come to Essex Road, you went right on Exeter you saw what seemed to be Devonshire Road going to left: actually it was coming from the left and merging into Essex Road, which ended here. About 20 meters after the merge ends was our lane, also named Devonshire Road. If instead of going up our lane you continued straight, immediately on the left you passed esome Conservation Shophouses, numbered 111-139 Devonshire. Just after the shophouses was a gate into the Beaumont; it was locked, but this was perhaps the reason the Beaumont is numbered 145 and 147 Devonshire. Just after this Devonshire Road ends by merging into Grange Road.

6. Image 1, 2nd from right: Beaumont guardpost and driveway
At the guard house there was sometimes a sign saying, "Guard is patrolling the grounds", and in any case they often ignored you. There was never a problem with guest parking. The lower building, Bowbell, had two parking levels. As the driveway turns left you passed the entrance to the lower level, with parking spaces marked for guest parking; parking on the upper level was only for residents.

7. Image 1, right: Beaumont entrance
Having come in this entrance you went right for our building, "Amica". Our lift (#1 and #2) was up two sets of stairs. Having found the lift it was then often necessary to phone - it was sometimes difficult for us to hear the buzzer.

8. Coming to the Beaumont by taxi or car (Street Directory)
Most drivers didn't seem to know The Beaumont (if they did they often called it the "Bewmont"); others didn't even know Devonshire Road. However, they all knew Killiney Road (here usually pronounced "kil-LEE-nee") and so, since a car or taxi coming to the Beaumont had either to cross or drive along Killiney Road, it was often easiest to begin by saying "near Killiney Road". Once the driver indicated understanding you then said, "Go past the Singtel Comcentre on Exeter (Street)". Exeter is wide but short: just after the huge Singtel Comcentre Building, which is on the left, Devonshire merges in from the left and Exeter ends; you didn't turn left into Devonshire here: instead you went another 20 meters or so, to where there was a little lane going left, also marked Devonshire Road; it was across from FairPrice Finest, which was in the basement of "Triple One". At the end of the lane the Beaumont was on the right; the taxi/car would drive through the gate, turn left around the corner to the guest parking entrance, or past this and left to the main entrance. Our building was marked "Amica"; you went up several sets of steps and buzzed (or called) us by lifts 1-2.

You had to be careful not to miss our lane; if you did miss it, it was about a mile around to get back: you went left on Grange Road, left on Leonie Hill Road, left on River Valley Road, then left on Killiney Road (which began/ended here). From Killiney angle left at the new One Devonshire onto Devonshire Road (across from a 24-hour FairPrice), then about 20 metres after it angles left again, merging with the end of Exeter Road (here Comcentre was off to your right), you came again to our lane. (If your car or taxi happened to come from the River Valley Road direction in the first place you would skip the above instructions that say, "Go past the Singtel Comcentre on Exeter (Street)"; instead, once you entered Killiney from River Valley Road you followed the directions given above in the present paragraph.

In the image note the corner of our building, again marked with a red square; to the lower left are the rooftops of shops along the Killiney Road mentioned above details.

9. Coming to the Beaumont by bus
The nearest bus stop for westbound traffic was Somerset Station on Somerset Road; for eastbound it would be Orchard Emerald on Orchard Road. Also of note was the Airview Towers stop on River Valley Road. From there you walked down Killiney Road to Devonshire Road, as described above.

10. Conservation Shophouses
There were 15 of these connected houses, #111 - #139 Devonshire Road (odd numbers only). They included, in addition to private homes, a nail spa, at least one hostel, and the 雲夢寺 Dream Cloud Temple.

11. View from Top of the M (August 2011; expanded view)
Top of the M was a revolving restaurant (when we moved in it was under renovation) on the 38th floor of the Mandarin Orchard Hotel (formerly Meritus Mandarin Hotel). On the right you could clearly see the two apparently abandoned houses at #25 Grange Road; below that you could see the roof of #7 Grange Road, currently occupied. In the lower right corner of the expanded view is the roof of *Scape.

12. View from *Scape (August 2011; also see map)
*Scape, a non-profit youth activities center, also manages the *Scape Skate Park shown above. From the map also note:

  1. It was on Orchard Link next to the Mandarin Orchard, below its Top of the M (previous footnote).
  2. It was just across from Cathay Cineplex Cineleisure Orchard (film schedule; scroll down for The Cathay, more likely to have art films but a 20 minute walk away, near Dhobi Ghaut [map]).
  3. It was also across from Takashimaya and Ngee An City, which had Books Kinokuniya, the largest bookstore in Singapore.

When we first arrived its weekend activities often involved making un-neighborly amplified loud noise from its outdoor open space (see the basketball court), but due apparently to complaints this became much less frequent some months later.

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