All You Need To Know To Why You Should Live In Balestier

Singapore, being one of the safest countries to live in, has attracted many foreign expats to move and live here. If you are one of the many potential expats considering moving to Singapore, then living in the heartland areas might be the best decision you will ever make.

There are many benefits of living in such areas, one of which is the opportunity to live life like a local. If that is something you hope to experience in your time living in Singapore, then we would like to recommend Balestier as the place to call home.

Often not the primary destination choice for tourists, Balestier offers not only vibrant and unique shophouses, rich culture and heritage but also delicious food. In fact, Balestier is sometimes known as the next hip neighbourhood.

History of Balestier

Named after Joseph Balestier, the first American Consul to Singapore in the early 1900s, Balestier used to be filled with sugarcane fields and cotton factories. Over the years, as the neighbourhood began to be populated, many local houses started to sprout up, popularizing the Art Deco style.

In fact, some interesting facts about Balestier that add to its charms are that it was once home to the Shaw Studios, which was Singapore’s answer to Hollywood, boosting Asian cinema from the 1930s to the 1980s. It was also where our famous Hainanese chicken rice originated, as many Hainan migrants started their businesses in the area in the early 1950s. There was also a huge tiger population then.

If you head down to Balestier today, you will find an abnormally high concentration of bathroom and lighting supply shops. In fact, there are more than 40 such shops, making the streets really bright and shiny. The thing about Balestier is that it is one of the last remaining neighbourhoods that is not crowded with mega shopping malls, fancy restaurants, and high rises. Rather, it is lined with HDB apartments, local culinary delights, and 19th-century shophouses.

Furthermore, its rich history can easily be explored through its heritage trail.

So, why should you live in Balestier?

There are many attractive points of Balestier. For once, it offers some of the best and most authentic hawker fare you can find in Singapore. You will never be hungry when you live in Balestier. There are places like Balestier Market and Whampoa hawker centre, that are now serving authentic local delights, from chicken rice to Malay nasi biryani to Indian roti prata. In fact, it is the only ‘rural’ market in Singapore that still stands today.

There are also other renowned food places, such as Founder Bak Kut Teh, a popular pork rib dish served in sweet peppery pork broth. On the other end of Balestier, you will also find many Tau Sar Piah stores. Tau Sar Piah is a Chinese pastry with Western influences. They are typically filled with peanuts, red beans, or mung beans, giving an eclectic mix of sweet and salty. Of course, you cannot miss the infamous Hainanese chicken rice, do you prefer Boon Tong Kee or Loy Kee, you will have to try both to find out.

To get a taste of what the old Balestier was like, there are tons of heritage sights you can visit, from the Maha Sasana Ramsi Burmese Buddhist Temple built in 1878 to the Goh Chor Tua Pek Kong built in 1847.

If you love nature, you will be glad to know that just a five-minute bus ride from Balestier is MacRitchie Reservoir. There, you will never believe that you are in the world’s third highest population density. You get to enjoy the endless view of the reservoir and luscious rainforest. A hike through the rainforest also leads you to a suspension bridge over the canyon.


Balestier is truly a place of many wonders. And if what you have read has made you seriously consider Balestier as the place to live, then look no further at ST Residences’ serviced apartment for rent in Balestier. We offer three types of fully furnished and equipped options, from 1-bedroom to executive studio and studio apartment in Balestier. Visit us at to find out more!

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