History & Origins
Bishan derived its name from Peck San Theng, a Cantonese term for large burial ground. In Chinese, ‘bishanting’, literally translates to "pavillions on the green". Bishan is divided into 3 planning subzones - Bishan East, Marymount and Upper Thomson. During World War II, the area of Bishan became a battleground for the Japanese and British forces in a fight over Macritchie Reservoir. In spite of this, the area served as a refuge for people who sought to evade Japanese capture due to the reluctance of the Japanese occupiers to enter the cemetery grounds.
Bishan is a URA planning area in Singapore’s central region. There are 20,072 HDB flats under HDB Town Council’s management (as of 31 March 2018) - ranging from three-bedroom homes to executive maisonettes. Flats within the town also have distinctive sloped roofs which have since become closely associated with the skyline of Bishan. Aside from HDB, Bishan also has an abundance of private housing options, these range from existing projects (such as Sky Vue, Clover By The Park, Rafflesia Condominium, Bishan Loft, Marymount View, Tresalveo, Seasons View) to newer launches such as Jade Scape, Lattice One and Sky Habitat.
Transportation & Connectivity
Bishan is served by 1 current MRT interchange - Bishan (NS17/CC15) and 1 MRT station - Marymount (CC16). There are also plans to build 1 future MRT interchange in the area - Bright Hill (TE7/CR13) and 2 future MRT stations Upper Thomson (TE8) & Teck Ghee (CR12). Bishan MRT is integrated with Bishan Bus Interchange which, together with the surrounding bus stops, provides residents of Bishan with access to 17 bus services, 13, 50, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 71, 88, 128, 156, 410G, 410W & NR1.
Residents of Bishan are spoilt for choice when it comes to schools in the area as there are 4 Primary Schools (Ai Tong School, Guangyang Primary School, Catholic High School (Primary Section), Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Primary School), 6 Secondary Schools (Catholic High School, Whitley Secondary School, Peirce Secondary School, Raffles Institution, Guangyang Secondary School, Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Secondary School) and 2 Tertiary Institutions (Raffles Junior College, Eunoia Junior College) located here.
Bishan residents can do their shopping at 3 main malls, namely Thomson Plaza, Bishan North Shopping Mall and Junction 8, with the latter being the largest of the 3. Junction 8 is located at Bishan Interchange and is a one-stop mall for shopping, dining and entertainment. It comprises of 5 retail floors and includes major tenants like FairPrice Finest, BHG Department Store, Food Junction and Golden Village.
Aside from shopping options, residents in the area can also choose to engage in greener pursuits with numerous parks in the area. These include Bishan Harmony Park, Bishan Active Park, Thomson Park, Thomson Park Estate Interim Park, Windsor Nature Park and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. Within Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, an old concrete canal was transformed into a 3km long river with banks of wildflowers, surrounded by pond gardens and river plains. On top of this, residents can picnic on the park's open lawns and grassy river banks, cycle or jog along the paved tracks or play at the playgrounds within the park. If you get hungry you can even grab a bite at the park's three eateries (GRUB, Canopy Garden or McDonald's). In addition, Bishan boasts of Bishan Sports Centre - currently equipped with world class facilities at Bishan Sports Hall, Bishan Stadium and Bishan Swimming Complex to satisfy local and international competitive training requirements.
URA Master Plan
Under URA's Draft Master Plan 2019, Bishan Sub-Regional Centre will be transformed into a node for employment - integrating community facilities and commercial developments, with an emphasis on accessibility to serve nearby residents and workers. On top of this, residents can also look forward to the expansion of medical facilities at Mt. Alvernia Hospital, transformation of walking/cycling paths into seamless interconnected routes as well as the redevelopment of the facilities at Bishan North Community Club and Thomson Community Club.
Did You know?
- The first two 30-storey HDB blocks are located in Bishan
- Bishan was the first estate to feature HDB flats with open roof terraces
- Look up when in Bishan to see the distinctive architectural identity of the area - colorful and triangular shaped roofs (pitched roofs) of the majority of HDB homes here