Ann Siang Hill Park
78 Club Street, Singapore 069447
Telok Ayer MRT Station
The Ann Siang Hill area is a quiet enclave amid the hustle and bustle of Chinatown. Meander through brightly coloured shophouses and gain insight into the lives of Singapore's early immigrants. Located beside the former Telok Ayer Bay, it was one of three hills (the others being Mount Wallich and Mount Erskine, which were eventually levelled) collectively known as Telok Ayer Hills.
In the early days of the settlement, clove and nutmeg plantations were established in many parts of the island, including the Ann Siang and Duxton Hill areas. Charles Scott was the first to plant these crops on Ann Siang Hill, which was originally named after him. Ann Siang Hill was superbly irrigated; an underground spring ran through the area and was tapped from a well on the hill. A series of terrible blights decimated the clove and nutmeg plantations across the island, causing my plantation owners to abandon their land.
After Scott left his plantation, it passed through the hands of another owner before being sold to Chia Ann Siang in 1894. From then on, the face of Ann Siang Hill changed forever. Shophouses sprang up; Chinese and Straits Chinese residents and businesses moved in and the area was transformed into an urban district. All that was left of the old Ann Siang Hill was Scotts' plantation house, which Chia kept as his family residence.