Ghim Moh is part of Buona Vista, which is actually one of the seven districts of Queenstown. However, due to its location, it is easily mistaken as an independent housing estate.
Buona Vista is one of the rare places in Singapore with an Italian name, which means “good sight” in Italian. The origin of the name Ghim Moh is debatable, but the biggest possibility is its Hokkien translation, which means “golden hair“, a reference to the Caucasians, majority of them British soldiers, who once lived at the nearby Holland Village.
Located along Ghim Moh Road in front of Block 9, the tiny Ghim Moh Bus Terminal is one of the few last surviving roadside bus terminals left in Singapore that have been in operation since the seventies. Serving four routes (92, 100, 111 and 563), the buses lined up on one side of the two-lane road, making use of a narrow road within the bus park to make difficult three-point turns. While the bus is waiting at the bus park, passengers can board the bus instead of the normal bus stop along the road.
Other similar old roadside bus terminals elsewhere of Singapore that had already ceased to exist were Tampines Way Terminal, Punggol Road End Bus Terminal and Sembawang Road End Bus Terminal. Back in 1976, under the Singapore Bus Services’ (SBS) terminal improvement program, a total of 28 bus terminals were phased out or resited. Many of their bus services were relocated to the major bus interchanges located at the centrals of the new towns.
The clusters of 14- and 20-storey blocks of flats of three- to five-room around Ghim Moh Road were mostly built around 1977. In its early days, pedestrian crossings and traffic lights were absent at Ghim Moh, causing inconvenience and danger to the residents who had to travel to the main road of Commonwealth Avenue to catch their buses.
In 2006, the Housing Development Board (HDB) announced the Selective En-Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) program for blocks numbered 9, 9A, 10, 11, 12 and 12A. By the early 2012, most of the residents had left their homes, leaving the neighbourhood quiet and deserted.
The blocks of old flats are expected to be demolished in another year’s time. By then, the Ghim Moh Bus Terminal is also expected to cease its operation, moving its small fleet of buses to the nearby Buona Vista Bus Terminal.
Published: 23 July 2012
Updated: 23 October 2012
This place will be missed… It’s where I grew up and the fond memories will be with me forever. Thank you so much for capturing the images on this website before it’s gone… Great work!
I stayed at Blk12 since October, 1976. Then “asked” to go to the new Ghim Moh Link. I miss the raiway train sound.
All have changed when I left GM for good. It’s an estate that is fast growing old. That was not all. When RJC left the place for Bishan, things started to change rapidly. The jungle where the grass lizards lived was getting smaller when new flats were built there. I do remember the good old days when I need to help my mom to give her two pet dogs outdoor exercises along the canal where the jogging and cycling tracks are. The towering height has now obscured our beautiful unblocked scenery of the west like the microwave tower at the Singapore Polytechnic. Those were the days of my youth.
Ghim Moh was our home since 1976 until we were compelled to move in late 2011. There’s nothing wrong with the structure – it is OUR home and fully paid for – yet we MUST move. Why? The new flats at Ghim Moh Link cannot compare to Ghim Moh Road flats!
Hi Lorna. I lived in Ghim Moh road Block 9a from 1978 to 2000. I moved to Bt Batok then. But I never liked the idea as my parents made the decision. I still visit Ghim Moh once a month and sit under my block. Fond memories of my childhood comes back when I am there. Yes you’re right, the new flats are very much smaller than the old ones. I know this because I visited an old neighbour who shifted there. I also missed the railway track with the beautiful banana trees surrounding them. What a memory! By the way, which block did you lived in?
Hi Lorna, Ghim Moh was my house even before i was born in the year 1978. I was there till my families moved to Bukit Panjang, but still i always went back Ghim Moh to visit my friends.. Really really miss the moment when i had there. Small community but friendly.. Miss the ice kacang stall in the market..
We lived at Block 12A. Unfortunately, not only humans were affected. The stray cats – one of them went missing mysteriously – had to be rehomed when humans moved out. There were a few pet cats who were abandoned when their owners moved and never seen again…GMoh Link – they must possibly be the most unattractive, resident unfriendly blocks of flats HDB had built. Imposing grey structures. No void decks, narrower corridors (so you cannot have plants, etc.), the corridors don’t get sunlight – plants don’t thrive and died – and also no sunlight at the rear (utility room) to dry the laundry. The blocks are just giant “sandwiches” – and the residents are the sandwich filling!
Singapore is dying anyway.
Yes some HDB flats are poorly designed. But my memory is filled with all the nice neighbours that lived there. Singapore is just wonderful!
You are right. The new block cannot match the old ones. I remember block 12A. It is the 1st block when you approach from Buona Vista MRT. I went there 2 months ago with my son and wife. I took photos of block 9A, the Ulu Pandan CC, the bridge that connects Ghim Moh and Holland and the old market.
When I was in Primary School 25 years ago, I went to the Ghim Moh market with my mother. There was this old malay lady who use to sell mee siam for 50 cents. I always use to make fun of her. I always say ‘Aunty, your mee siam and nasi lemak is so little and you ask 50 cents.’ She then replied, ‘Alamak you so little and so naughty. This is just nice for 50 cents. There will be a time in Singapore where nasi lemak and mee siam will sell for 1 dollar!’ Can you find mee siam for 1 dollar in Singapore now. At least minimum 2 dollar. That’s why when I saw the market where her stall use to be, I immediately broke down. I walked away because I did not want my son to see me in tears. The old lady passed away when I was still in Ghim Moh road.
There were many memories like this in Ghim Moh road. If possible go back to the old blocks and take some photos. We may never know what will happen to those blocks where we stayed. I missed the railway track the most. But what to do. Time and tide waits for no man.
I lived in Block 11 unit #08-66 from 1977 till 1985.
I love this estate but unfortunately our family of 7 outgrew the small 3-room flat so we moved to a 5-room flat in Jurong East in the mid-80s.
Fond memories of racing up the stairs with my a pair of siblings from the opposite block (Block 10) from ground floor to the 8th floor.
When I had my first BMX bicycle I used to cycle in the big car park that is surrounded by blocks 11, 12 and 12A.
The cake shop, the book shop, the doctor (Dr Kee!) and the grocery shop at our block become long time friends with my parents…
Our favourite outing was crossing the railway track to the Buona Vista Swimming Pool; after our swimming lessons, mum would buy us a plate of mee siam and fishballs…
What lovely memories… growing up in the 70s & 80s in Singapore had been a wonderful experience and I would not want to swop for anywhere else!
Happen 1 of your brother studied in RVH?
You still remember the doctor’s name! That’s very nice of you. I remember Dr Patrick Kee treated me when I poured hot oil on myself at 2 years old. I went back to Ghim Moh road last week to the hawker centre for lunch. The blocks 9, 9A, 10, 11, 12 & 12A are all deserted. Most probably they will be demolished next year.
WHat are they going to do with bus terminal?
If gone, where is 100, 111 & 92 ends to?
Ghim Moh Edge?
The bus services are likely to be routed to the nearby Buona Vista Terminal.
They had actually wanted to abolish Ghim Moh Terminal since some 20 years ago. It survived nevertheless, but with the en-bloc of the flats, its operations may finally be ceased soon
Remember SG it is still up and running.
https://landtransportguru.net/ghim-moh-bus-terminal it is still up and running.
Half of Ghim Moh is dead. With one-half gone, the life has gone out of the GM estate. Looks like eventually the whole of GMoh may go – prime land now. It wasn’t so when we moved there in 1977! A 4-room costs S$20,500 back then.
They will build new flats when they demolish the old ones. Most probably like the new ones in Ghim Moh Link. I visited an old neighbour who shifted there. The kitchen and the rooms are so small compared to our old Ghim Moh kitchen. My father bought the 4 room flat in block 9a for $17,000 back in 1976. It was left unoccupied for 2 years before we moved in 1978. The 40 storey high new flat can accommodate many families compared to the old blocks where there are only 12 floors. They squeeze all the families there by making the houses smaller!
It was a very busy estate once upon a time. The coffeshops were packed, the hawker centre was packed. I remembered a bird and fish shop below block 10 which was later replaced by a clinic. Then there was a aunty selling books and stationary beside the bird shop. There was a pharmacy called Bedok Medical Hall, a provision shop owned by Ah Seng and his brothers. There was also an old dentist and a toys shop called Bescom. On the opposite side, there was a cake shop called Smiling Orchid. Beside Doctor Patrick Kee’s clinic was another provision shop called Ban Joo Loong. All these names are deeply engraved inside my heart because I loved Ghim Moh road very much. Remember the bridge by the side of block 10 that connects Ghim Moh road and Holland road? I witnessed the construction of that bridge. At that time, I was in Primary School. They did the construction at night. 2 large cranes brought the bridge in 3 pieces. They were lifted, placed on top of the pillars and then were connected and casted with concrete.
I went to Ghim Moh road last week for lunch at the hawker centre. All the workers from MOE nearby the Buona Vista MRT came there for lunch. It is still packed like those days. The post office is still there. But the shops along the way have changed. I saw new pet shops, a shop and save supermarket (It was a small coffeshop back then). I use to rent and watch wrestling video tapes from a video library called Shadow. It is also gone. Then I spoke to an old friend of mine. He is an Indian Muslin vendor inside the hawker centre. He sells magazines, newspapers, sweets and cigarettes. He cannot remember me as he became too old . He told me that his shop is there for 35 years, same as my age. He also told me that he’s very sick and will give up the shop soon.
It has been 12 years since I left Ghim Moh road to Bukit Batok. But I still like Ghim Moh. It has been my hometown for 22 years. Those childhood days when I use to cycle around Ghim Moh estate, those days where me and my friends will go down to the Railway track canal to catch tadpoles, those days when I cross the bridge and go to Holland Village, those days when I take bus 100 to go to Primary and Secondary school, those days when I use to go the old Ulu Pandan CC for my Tae Kwon Do lessons – all these memories will not be erased from my memory. It’s very hard and painful to know that the area will be torn down. Anyway to all you guys and gals out there who shared the memory of Ghim Moh road, thank you very much. Take care.
Yes, Ban Joo Leong – husband and wife. Marvel at their hard work. Open whole year round – except for 1 or 2 days of Chinese New Year. Long hours and only the 2 of them. The people who ran the provision shops – Teochew (next to Ban Joo Leong) and Shanghai – who sells durians and one of the brothers used to give a tabby female cat (I call her “Wild Girl”) bicycle rides in the basket around the estate every morining. Wild Girl passed away April 2010 – of advanced kidney failure. I had her for 4 months until she died. Fiesty character, who used to take the lift to her former home at Block 10 – 8th floor? – and sleep on the sofa outside the flat until dusk, then she comes down. All the memories – gone all too soon. As for the new GMoh Link flats, where are the void decks for relaxation? If the HDB “wants” the people to move, the least they could do is to build the same type and size to replace the old flats. Why not give the residents the “old” designs? The “old” designs and layout are far better. Now – all the new flats have the same design! Mass housing? New flats are not cheap, by the way.
I found an old photo in the National Archives of Singapore
The Commonwealth Ave West was constructed in 1977 to link up the estates of Holland Village, Buona Vista, Ghim Moh and Clementi together… In the photo, the Buona Vista Bus Terminal as well as the railway track that used to run beside Ghim Moh were visible.
Thank you for the photo! Nearby to bus terminal is Blk 44 Holland Close market. My parents had a stall there for many years.
Hi Remember Singapore. I managed to get a few pictures of Ghim Moh road when I visited last week. Ho do I attach the pictures in my reply? Because I don’t see any attach icon. The pictures include the old bridge, some old HDB blocks and a few more. I want to share those with you. Thank you.
Thanks Sugumar for the contribution of the photos of good old Ghim Moh estate… a soon-to-be-vanish place that contains lots of memories of two generations of Singaporeans!
How do I contribute some of my photos of Ghim Moh here?
Hi, you can email your photos to email@example.com and I will post them up for you 🙂
In 2014, the market lease will be up. Wonder if the stall owner will be allowed to stay or move? i miss the Prawn noodle, Yong Tau Foo and Teo Chew porridge.
Hi to all. I will be visiting Ghim Moh road again somewhere this month. I will be taking more photos and will contribute to this website. I am only one citizen of this country. The memories of Ghim Moh road is deeply attached to my heart as it was my childhood neighborhood. Imagine how many places like there in Singapore! Imagine how many people like me who missed their childhood neighborhoods, same like our Ghim Moh road. Some things in life are hard to accept and hard to forget. It will be very painful for me if the old flats in Ghim Moh road are demolished. Even when my sons grow up and I retire, I will still come and visit Ghim Moh road during my old age days. I will tell stories to my grandchildren. All those days when me and my friends go fishing at the railway track stream and stories like me and my father went to the banana tress nearby the railway track to look for Bananas are hard to forget!
All of us need to thank our dear ‘Remember Singapore’. He or she has done a great favour for all the Singapore lovers. All the hard to get photographs, whereby we did not think of creating a website like this, ‘Remember Singapore’ has done it. Even my father who is now 68 years old and an old resident of Woodlands road 11 3/4 milestone kampong found this website great. He was rather surprised by the photographs of the good old days. He later moved to Ghim Moh road and we stayed there for 22 years before going to Bukit Batok. He liked the old Kampong photos and the Community centres photos in this website. On behalf of all the Singaporeans who love this website I would like to thank ‘Remember Singapore’ very much. Keep up the very good work. I will always be here to support you. Even if I get a job overseas, I will still visit this website weekly and try to help with my contributions.
Please visit my webpage. It is not about Singapore but about my hobbies like jungle trekking, hiking and animals. I have written some articles on my own. I have mentioned about Ghim Moh road in an article on ‘My passion for nature and animals’. I also wrote another article about my great grandfather and his adventures in the old Singapore jungles and Kampong days. Please feel free to visit. Thanks and have a nice day,
Website : http://www.wix.com/sugu_king/1
That’s a neat website Sugumar!
Where do you usually trek in Singapore?
I trekked in Yio Choo Kang, Mandai and Choa Chua Kang areas. There used to be an old police camp in between Bukit Gombak MRT and Choa Chu Kand MRT. It is now being torn down for housing developments. There use to be an old Chinese kampong there. Me and my father use to go there around 10 years ago to look for jackfruits, bananas and tapioca. Hard to forget. In a few years later, the forested area will also be gone due to the up comings of HDB and condos. That place was full of Pythons and Monitor lizards. I’ve seen and played with many. I think if you visit my website, you can see me handling reptiles.
Thanks for visiting my website. I will update and add more interesting items in a few days.
Demolishment Notice has been posted. Demolishment starts 3 April 2013 to February 2014. So sad! Would be interesting to see what is being built in place. Condo housing or foreign campus?
Thanks for the message. I visited an old neighbour 3 days ago in Ghim Moh link block 23. She was just discharged from hospital. I saw the old blocks, 12, 12A and 11 from the Buona Vista MRT station. Since the power is cut off, it was very dark. I went to visit her after work so I did not have enough time to visit the old blocks. Yes it would be very sad to see the place that we grow hard no more! If possible, I will visit the place in the off days to capture some photos. It is also very hard for me to accept that the whole area will change like what you said, a condo or foreign campus. Just bear with it as that is all that we can do.
Used to stay in Ghim Moh as well, actually, since I was born. I stayed at Block 1 but moved out last year. It’s quite sad to see Block 10 and 11 being demolished. Especially that playground where my mum presented me my first phone last time when I was still in primary school! Also, the awesome popiah from the kopitiam and the hair salon which is now at Ghim Moh Link if i’m not wrong. Great memories! I think HDB will build newer flats just like what they did with the neighbouring Holland Road (beside the swimming pool)
It is great to see a write up that documented Ghim Moh, part of my cherished childhood memories, having spent my teengage years in Ghim Moh. After moving out from Gim Moh in the late nineties, I only went back to Ghim Moh one afternoon early this year. I completely forgot that part of Ghim Moh (including my old home in block 10) has been selected for redevelopment when I visited my old place, in hope of reminiscing the bygone days. Seeing the snapshot of the row of shophouses lining block 10 and block 11 above, I could still vividly recall the old buzzling activities taking place between the open space and also the shops. Probably one of the unique memories of Ghim Moh was the scheduled northbound train and tanjong pager bound train that occasionally woke me up in the middle of the night and of course interrupting part of the audio from tv because of bypassing trains. For many former Ghim Moh residents, the easiest route to Holland Village is crossing battered path that traverse the railway track. In the eighties to mid nineties, there were only two buses at the Ghim Moh bus terminal; bus 13 and bus 100, that we could take to Orchard Road and Beach Road. So much cherished memories we are missing and there are many places and events that could only be documented to keep the old Singapore remembered. Thanks for creating and documenting what we will be losing and missing.
A little minor correction on Mike, if I’m not wrong the first two bus service number are 13 & 20. Then 111 & 100 replace the respectively. But I can’t remember when 13 & 20 started the service. In the 1970s, as I know. I stay Ghim Moh since 1976, Oct. Before that is at Commomwealth Close, near by.
A “No Football/Roller Skating/Littering/Motorcycle at the Void Deck” signage at one of the Ghim Moh block
GM has now been cordoned off, Its end is in sight.
Removing the windows from the units at Block 9. If you “buy” a HDB flat, pay up the loan, you can still be asked to go before the end of the 99-year lease. Ghim Moh Blocks 9,9A, 10, 11, 12 & 12A have another 60 years or so to go, but the residents had to go involuntarily! Question: Is the fully paid up HDB property really yours?
Of course not. HDB is rented to you for 99 years or when the land under your feet is needed again. Whichever earlier. Home ownership in SIngapore is only possible for the elites. All Singaporeans are equal but some Singaporeans are more equal.
I think it was called a leasee. But HDB took advantage of the market situation and make new flats ‘owners’ to purchase the land too.
It’s a question we all know the answer to but can’t say for fear of reprisal.
Public housing in SG. Very high price for a few hundred of square feet or even less up in the air. 99 years lease. Take max. 30-year housing loan. Can use your CPF to pay. Keep on working and working and working, my friend, to pay your loan.
Keep my chye tow kueh in Ghim Moh
By Tan Hsueh Yun
The Straits Times
Saturday, August 31, 2013
There are hawker centres you go to for a quick meal and then vamoose, and there are those where you linger to people-watch and to sample mouth-watering fare.
Ghim Moh Market and Food Centre at Block 20 Ghim Moh Road is one of the latter.
It was my stomping ground where I lunched during my days at a junior college a short walk away. On weekends, my family braved the crowds for meals.
On a recent visit, I was struck by the easy camaraderie of folks there.
At Thye Hong fishball noodle stall, a regular customer with a standing order got a “scolding” from the stallholder because she wanted something different that day.
“You are so disorganised,” he told her in Mandarin, in mock anger and smiling the whole time.
“Long time no see,” said a man nursing a cup of coffee, to a friend.
Three women sat in companionable silence while picking the tails off a big pile of bean sprouts. At the next table, a group of women with fancy handbags were in deep conversation.
At Ghim Moh Chwee Kueh, I could not resist snapping a photo of a tall pile of steamed rice cakes in metal cups, laid out on large round boards stacked on top of one another.
The friendly uncle at the stall smiled and said: “You don’t often see this, do you?”
A long-time Ghim Moh resident was not surprised when I recounted my experience there.
“Oh, the stallholders keep an eye on each other’s kids too,” he said.
Camaraderie at risk
But all that will soon disappear. This is because the 20-year leases for the stalls will be expiring in May next year, and there is no certainty all the hawkers can continue to run their stalls at the same centre.
Between 1994 and 1997, the Government sold off stalls in markets and food centres under the Stall Ownership Scheme to let hawkers own their stalls to give them incentives to improve their service.
Close to 2,000 stalls in 15 centres were sold at between $26,600 and $141,000 each, depending on the location of the stalls and their size.
The 15 centres formed only a small fraction of the total 107 government-owned markets and hawker centres.
But most were established centres with many popular stalls, including the Ghim Moh food centre. Others included Bedok Food Centre in New Upper Changi Road; Chomp Chomp in Serangoon Garden; Golden Mile Food Centre in Beach Road and Pasir Panjang Food Centre.
Some owners bought the stalls only to sell them off, pocketing tens of thousands of dollars in the process. Some bought extra stalls and rented them out.
The scheme stopped in 1997, when the Asian financial crisis hit and economic conditions became uncertain.
As the stalls were sold on 20-year leases, they will start expiring between next year and 2017. The centres will also be refurbished.
Rent, buy or retire?
But what happens to the hawkers and their stalls after that?
So far, all that the National Environment Agency (NEA) has said is that the leases will revert to the Government.
But will NEA then put up the other stalls for rent or purchase?
If for rent, will they be offered to the highest bidder? Or will there be other criteria?
Will NEA let out each stall by itself, or bundle the stalls together and tender them out as a centre?
There is no official word from NEA or its parent ministry, the Environment Ministry, on these issues.
NEA has assured current stall owners that they will be allowed to take up a stall at the refurbished centre after their ownership leases expire. But they can only rent, not buy a stall. And no one can tell them how much the rent will be.
The result: lots of uncertainty for hawkers, who can’t plan for their business properly.
Meanwhile, some hawkers are taking things into their own hands. At Ghim Moh market, The Sunday Times reported on Aug 18, stalls are changing hands at prices of $50,000 to $100,000. Buyers are willing to pay for the certainty of being able to operate at the same location when the centre is refurbished.
Mr Philip Wong, 58, who runs Soyfresh, a soya bean milk stall and is the spokesman for the Ghim Moh Shop & Merchant Association, expects more stalls to change hands. Just two months ago, he paid $60,000 to buy over the stall he had been renting, to secure a place in the new centre.
But for hawkers who rent and are unable to buy a stall to secure their business, the future is uncertain.
At least three popular stalls – Heavens, which sells putu mayam; Lian He Chye Tow Kway, which sells black and white fried carrot cake; and 88 Chicken Rice – are undecided about whether they can or want to continue their business at Ghim Moh.
Ghim Moh residents and regular patrons at the centre too are anxious about what is going to happen to this important neighbourhood institution.
Is there any way to address these concerns?
Well, earlier this year, the National Environment Agency in charge of hawker centres said it was considering a proposal by the Federation of Merchants’ Associations to run seven hawker centres, including the one in Ghim Moh, as social enterprises when the leases run out.
Under the arrangement, the federation would register cooperatives to run the hawker centres and charge lower rents compared to commercially run food centres.
There would be bulk buying of ingredients to cut cost, and profits would go back to hawkers, who would keep prices stable.
NEA has not said publicly if it will take up the proposal.
Another option is to give the owners a chance to buy their stalls with fresh 20-year leases, at prices that take into account the refurbishment cost. Stall owners will then have the option to continue their businesses or transfer ownership to their children.
Neither solution is perfect. But they give some certainty to stallholders, especially those who now rent their stalls and want to continue doing business in the same place. It is one way of ensuring that the hawker trade continues.
The dilemma faced by Ghim Moh hawkers and residents is shared by those at the other 14 centres with leases expiring in the next four years.
At these centres, residents have built rapport with hawkers and market stallholders. Many have exceptional food stalls that add vibrancy to the Republic’s growing reputation as a street-food paradise.
It is in Singapore’s interest to preserve these relationships, and prevent these stalls from scattering to different centres.
In the past, questions have been asked about what would anchor Singaporeans to Singapore.
Perhaps the answer is a simple one. In a city where change happens in a heartbeat, it is reassuring to be able to head to the neighbourhood market and hawker centre in shorts and flip-flops and join a neighbour for a cup of coffee.
It is reassuring to shop in a wet market where stallholders know what you want before you ask for it.
And it is bliss to order the chwee kueh you have eaten for 30 years with every assurance that it will be just as you remember it.
A little certainty in an uncertain world cannot be a bad thing.
Food and relationships anchor people to their community. NEA should work with the hawker associations and stallholders to preserve these neighbourhood hubs.
Used to live in Block 11 Ghim Moh Road. Some fond memories:
There was an old man suffering from dementia from the opposite block, who sometimes couldn’t find his way home and loiter along my corridor. I had to accompany him to take the lift down and went over to the opposite block and lead him back to his own home.
Old estate with coffee shop downstairs, I think it breeds cockroaches, lots of cockroaches in the rubbish chutes. One time I woke up in the night and saw a few crawling on the kitchen floor. LOL!!
Awesome unblock kitchen view facing MOE building, super windy.
Sound of train passing by could be heard in my the toilet at night. LOL!!
7 minutes covered walkway to MRT!!! Where to find nowadays??
Got married and spend the first week of marriage with wife here. Later on moved to central part of SG. This place will be missed.
I heard that the demolished blocks will be replaced by an intergrated hub with bus interchange. Meaning that old buona vista interchange will all be considated to that new hub. How true is this story? I hope new hdb blocks will be build above it just like Clementi Mall!
Lovely to read all the memories here. I’m currently staying at Ghim Moh (the old part) but my ties with Ghim Moh go back to RJC days in the 1990s. Used to leave the JC by the back entrance and head to the food centre for ice kachang! At that time, the hawker centre didn’t have those tables fixed to the floor yet, so we would arrange the tables in long rows and have ice kachang together!
The RJC campus is now occupied by RGPS. They will be using the campus until 2015.
Block 6 demolition is almost completed. I think they’re working on Block 9 now. The boarding is quite high so I can’t really see.
I really hope my block will stay on. This is a beautiful neighbourhood with lots of beautiful memories.
Which block 6 are you talking about?
I am sorry, I was referring to Block 9, the block behind the bus terminal. Block 9 and 9A have both been demolished.
Stayed Block 9A for more than 10 years. Ghim Moh sure holds lots of memories of my adolescent years. Played squash almost daily at the CC and represented Ulu Pandan Constituency in the Inter-Con Squash Tournament.
Hi… i also stay in Ghim Moh. I move out Ghim Moh already 19 years. i stay near to the Ghim Moh primary and secondary secondary. I guess i still remember i still block 18 ba. Infront of the big basketball court. I guess Ghim moh have change alot.. I very long nv go bk take a walk already. Miss the food in the hawker centre and the house.
Damn miss tat place…was brought up there in the 80s staying at Blk 18…tat basketball court where all the ghim moh kids my age would gather n play …hahaha
Used to stay in Blk 12A in the late 70s and early 80s, void deck soccer was a daily ritual with the boys (Bala, Chee Keong, Ravi, Suresh just to name a few). The Malayan Railway trains will be sadly missed. Lots of fond memories of GM…
Ghim Moh and Bunoa Vista bus terminals have always been right next to each other; it kinds of make little sense to maintain two separate bus terminals within walking distance, so merging both would be a long-overdue move.
Interestingly, while in the years past roadside bus terminals have been closed down and demolished, recently they seem to be making a comeback – a new roadside bus terminal was actually built in Taman Jurong recently to lay over buses running on the new route 49. As a means to improve bus routes in the future, the authorities are already planning more decentralised bus terminals in the future, with one coming up in the Upper Changi area near Expo/Somapah (incidentally, that area used to play host to a bus station many years back). I believe LTA is now having a change of heart, and I expect more roadside and out-of-the-way bus terminals to be built in the future to serve out-of-the way areas and corridors. Who knows, large new towns like Punggol and Tampines, and some industrial areas like Tuas or the International Business Park in Jurong might see these old-style roadside terminals in the future.
Thanks for the update of roadside bus terminal 🙂
Yep, it seems feasible at those less-populated areas that won’t cause any traffic congestions (maybe not Tampines)
used to live at Blk 11 #05-56 since 1976..had a great fond memories there..made many childhood friends too..played gasing and catching spider at nearby kebun..AH seng and Ban Joo Long?? who didnt remember them hehe..recently went there to see my beloved Blk 11 being torn down 😦
Some comments said Ghim Moh will vanish, I don’t think so for next 20 years.
They “re-boot” the market.
Ulu Pandan CC seems to be tallest, the landmark of Ghim Moh.
Old place is vanish,but will replace by new look.
Sigh…. What to go Global Change?
Ghim Moh in December 2002
Photos contributed by Vince.. Thanks!
My deepest thanks to the creator of this wonderful website, this is one site I visit regularly, and look forward to reading new articles. Reading the article about Ghim Moh really brought me back to my childhood days, when I used to live in blk 14. I moved out in the early 90s. Until today, Ghim Moh remains the only place that feels like home to me. This is where I grew up, and ocassionally I will still visit Ghim Moh by bicycle, all the way from Jurong, to remind myself of the happy times I had when I lived there.
So many memories, I don’t know where to start. I remember learning to roller skate at the void deck of blk 15. Learning to cycle round my block and what used to be the open car park between blk 13 and 14. Going for weekly piano lessons in blk 13. Waiting for the schoolbus at dawn, seated at the stone table. Walking home after school through the tunnel from Buona Vista station. Playing football with neighbours at the small open space between blk 15 and 14. Remember crossing the bridge to go to buona vista swimming complex, or to holland village.
I remember clearly the Bescom toy shop and of course the bespectacled shopkeeper uncle. Xin Yu book store where I got all my stationery supplies, the indian barber, and of course Dr Kee’s clinic.
I remembered Ponggol Bus Service tucked along Hillside Drive next to St. Gabriel’s school not too far from Haji Yussof mosque. Or was it a workshop? I saw so many Yellow buses then there.
Grew up here too. Also remembered the rest-area for taxi drivers, behind blk 19. I always have to buy betel leaves for my late great-grandma from the mama shop in the market. The stall selling many varieties of bread in blk 19 coffee shop and the dragon playground. I used to stay at blk 5 and I can see the rooftop of Raffles JC. I can see the students training for track & field there. Beyond that, in the distance; is the unique apartment block shaped like a ship, located in Pandan Valley. At one end of the blk 5, I used to look over the landed housing area and spot houses with swimming pools in their compound. And dream of owning a house there when I grow up. We sometime have to walk along East Sussex Lane and cut across the railway track to get home. That was before they built an overhead bridge there. It was really creepy walking there at night. There’s also a ‘surau’ (Muslim prayer area) under blk 2. Still exists, now.
Hi everyone. I will be visiting Ghim Moh road again. Everytime the MRT passes Buona Vista, I see some blocks no more. The demolishing of the blocks are still ongoing. The old railway track is now a jogging area and for people to walk their dogs. I will snap some pictures and put them up for all of us to see. Thanks.
I don’t think they will demolish Ghim Moh bus terminal yet as it serves students of Henry Park Primary School just up the hill
Train, bridge and the Ghim Moh flats. 1970s
(Photo credit: Facebook Group “Nostalgic Singapore”)
Guess who wrote this?
“As a child, I skinned my knees countless times in the sandy playgrounds and on concrete sidewalks as I ran around chasing my brother within the void decks of our Ghim Moh estate. I remember, as a 6-year old, pleading and whining for 20 cents to buy the chicken-flavoured Kaka snacks from the mamak stall downstairs just so I could get that little surprise toy hidden within.
I have fond memories of following my mother to the wet market in Ghim Moh estate, walking around the maze of stalls, trying not to slip and fall in my slippers and inadvertently getting my toes wet from the water that drained off from the fish counters and vegetable stalls to the mosaic floor, listening to her bargain in Teochew to the vegetable seller who in the next minute would start talking to another customer in Malay and juggle that with hawking his wares in a smattering of Hokkien and Singlish.
I remember too, a long-gone time, when hawkers at the wet market used to sell live chickens, kept in metal cages, and how as a child, I often wondered if they were cooking those same chickens in the huge, metal barrel-like vats that stood next to those cages of chickens.”
It was written by Corrinne May.
Hi guys, the old blocks are all demolished and so is the old hawker center. The government built a temporary hawker center just right behind the bus stop. And yes the bus stop is still around! I still stay around here in Ghim Moh so i know what happened.
Hi Annie, any idea how would ura intend to reuse the empty land after all the old blocks are demolished?
Guess….more blocks of flats? Condos…this time…like the land where Buona Vista swimming pool was situated. Condos coming up….
I am also an old Ghim Mohian. Born in 12A, moved after 20+ years to Jurong and then back to stay a family in 9A. Enbloc and now in Ghim Moh Link.
Not sure if anyone remembers an old mamak store that used to be at block 12? My school bus from Henry park primary drops me off at 12, so I will always buy some snack from the Indian shopkeeper, until suddenly one day the shop was gone 😦
He died. Understand he was ex policeman. Family at blk 12a. Now at g moh link. Son a bit off. Died of heart attack
I had actually did some documenting filming on the demolished 6 blocks in Ghim Moh. I was an ex-resident of Blk 11 from 1981 to 2010. Due to my busy schedule, I couldn’t complete the project but here’s the teaser to the video that I will try to finish it next year.
Wow nice! Thanks for capturing the memories on video…
I’m sure many, including me, will want to view your completed video on Ghim Moh 🙂
Thanks! I would also like to invite residents of Ghim Moh or ex-residents of these 6 blocks to tell me their fond memories and I will try to include them on the video. 🙂
did you publish this eventually? looks really good, Jimz
“Eunoia Junior College will be located at a temporary site in Mount Sinai when it opens, until its campus in Sin Ming is ready in late 2019.”
Seems like we will be having a new kid on the block, “you know yah” that will be replacing the outgoing Raffles Girls Primary.
That used to be also Raffles JC old campus.
I think I still have a few photos of RJ folks walking leisurely, leaving the school on their way home. I used to see them eating ice-jelly or ice something after school at the hawker centre. They left the place for the new campus some years back. Then, things became so different. It’s not the same anymore without them.
Does anyone know the name of coffee shop at ghim moh block 11 after Elijah?
Looks like the small road-side bus terminal will stay on for some time…
Nice article! Actually, the official chinese name for Ghim Moh is “锦茂” or “Jin Mao”, meaning bright/beautiful and lush. The english name is derived from the hokkien pronunciation of “锦茂”. It is not from the hokkien pronunciation of “金毛“ or “Golden hair”. While similar, the tones are different. “Golden hair” is pronounced more like “Kim Mor”.
Oh Yes wonderful memories indeed of Ghim Moh where I lived for an unbelievable 44 years of my life ! from sec. 4 until I turned 60 last year, I had lived there and seen wonderful neighbours grow and move until my own turn with my family last year when the property cycle would wait no longer for any further procrastination not to move
I am Sugumar, a former resident of Ghim Moh Road Block 9A.
It has been quite long I came to this website and type memories of Ghim Moh.
The last time was the year 2015 whereby I typed my comment.
Every time I take MRT and pass Buona Vista station, I get a glimpse of Ghim Moh.
I can see the community centre far away and the open field where Blocks 9, 9A, 10, 11, 12 and 12A once stood.
Still in touch with my old Ghim Moh neighbours.
I will be visiting the new Ghim Moh link and visit the hawker centre one of these days.
The good old hawker centre where I use to go with my mum when I was studying Kindergarten !
and the little roadside bus terminal is still there going strong! 🙂
Ghim Moh Terminal will be relocated at a new site near MOE carpark..
This is Sugumar, ex resident of Ghim Moh Road block 9A.
I went to Ghim Moh road last week to shoot a video for my Youtube channel.
The railway track in front of my block 9A is no more.
It has been replaced with a jogging / cycling track.
The thick vegetation is still there.
I also visited the hawker centre to have a cup of tea.
It brought me back my old memories when I was a kid in the 1980s.
6 blocks were demolished, the place is now an empty field.
I can still visualize, when I was a kid, I use to see through my living room window, the train going from Tanjong Pagar to Woodlands.
Years have passed & all the sweet memories of our childhood days in Ghim Moh road will be forever in our hearts.
(Photo Credit: Sugumar)
My Youtube video that I have created on old Ghim Moh road railway track, can be viewed if you click the link below.
My channel is about exploring nature parks & forested areas in Singapore.
I also give tutorials on Animals.