Jalan Besar Heritage Trail

Estimated trail distance: 1.2 km

26 loved this Trail

Syed Alwi Road

Former New World

People's Association Headquarters (Former Victoria School)

Allenby House and International Hotel

Jalan Besar Stadium

Petain Road Terrace Houses

Holy Trinity Church

Lavender Street

Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital

Central Sikh Temple

Boon Keng Estate

Chwee Kang Beo Temple (Shui Jiang Miao)

Kallang Basin

Sri Manmatha Karuneshvarar Temple

Jalan Besar Heritage Trail

26 loved this Trail

Estimated trail distance: 1.2 km

  1. Syed Alwi Road
  2. Former New World
  3. People's Association Headquarters (Former Victoria School)
  4. Allenby House and International Hotel
  5. Jalan Besar Stadium
  6. Petain Road Terrace Houses
  7. Holy Trinity Church
  8. Lavender Street
  9. Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital
  10. Central Sikh Temple
  11. Boon Keng Estate
  12. Chwee Kang Beo Temple (Shui Jiang Miao)
  13. Kallang Basin
  14. Sri Manmatha Karuneshvarar Temple
Culture & Community, National History, Architecture
Organised by
National Heritage Board
Number of points
Estimated trail distance
1.2 km

The Jalan Besar Heritage Trail tells a tale of two former swamps. It traces the urban development of a floodplain that once existed on the north bank of the Rochor River. It also charts the stories of the communities and cultures that sprung up around the muddy basin of Singapore’s longest waterway, the Kallang River.

The remnant swampland around Jalan Besar and the tidal flats of the Kallang Basin have long been reclaimed. Shophouses, temples and churches now occupy land once overgrown by mangrove trees and nipah palms. Farmland has given way to schools, hospitals and a stadium. And once bustling villages sustained by coastal trade have vanished as industries, housing developments and parkland emerged to add a new dimension to life on the eastern reaches of the Lion City.

Gone too, but certainly not forgotten, are New World and its gaudy host of performers who sang, danced and performed for citizens in an era when live entertainment was the only form of recreation in town. In between sets, the audience probably sipped soft drinks brewed and bottled by beverage factories located in the neighbourhood, which are, similarly, a mere memory today. Little missed, however, are the less pleasant elements of the area: the cattle and pig slaughterhouses, municipal refuse facilities, sawmills, oil mills, rubber factories and brick kilns that once polluted the rivers and almost certainly overpowered the senses of those who wandered too close.

Please note that the Jalan Besar Heritage Trail will be undergoing a refresh to bring you updated information on the different sites. Stay tuned to this space!