Sunday, November 26, 2006

Where is Katong exactly?

So the question came up yesterday, where exactly is Katong? Aside from Tanjong Katong Rd, I don't recall any roads being called "Katong" road. There are a number of buildings (like Katong Shopping Centre, Katong Mall, Katong Convent!) but nothing very specific. Then there is Katong CC which is way out by Fort Road! Not really Katong at all - more like Mountbatten, or even in Kallang!

Katong, as I define it, is roughly bordered by the following roads:

  • In the South, by Marine Parade Road. Now, I think this is debatable. Marine Parade has got a slightly different character to Katong. It is also far newer and built on reclaimed land (old time Katong residents can recall the days when their homes were by the sea). But anyone staying in Marine Parade would be eating, shopping or passing through Katong all the time and vice versa. So in practice it is hard to de-link the two (e.g. my last post was all about Marine Parade!).
  • In the North, by Changi Road. Again, a little debatable. But Ceylon Road, Joo Chiat Road, Still Road are definitely in Katong. So it seems logical that where these roads end, that's roughly where Katong should end too.
  • In the East, by Frankel Avenue (beyond that it is already Siglap)
  • In the West, by Tanjong Katong Road (or possibly by Haig Road, but at least Tanjong Katong Road has the right name).

The heart of Katong is probably the East Coast Road area and the shops and buildings around it. Of course, others may disagree with these boundaries. But I think that my borders are no less arbitrary than the one that has Marine Parade extending all the way up to Serangoon.


  1. KG's M says:Your Katong borders are a lot less arbitrary than having Serangoon Gardens as part of Marine Parade.

  2. What I miss about Katong is Roxy, Odean Katong Palace the Chinese Emporium at TBG and the old Holy Family Church with the steeple, they don't make churches like that anymore. I remember after church on Sunday we will head to Roxy for the Sunday matinee 50cts only any seat. Every Saturday night if you walk around Katong you will surely see a house party going on sometimes with live band. These are the things that makes Katong a unique place, People who do not come from the Eastern part of Singapore will never know the feel especially the Eurasians and the Peranakans.


  3. Tks Gerard for sharing!
    Yes, it is the warm hospitality and good food which characterises Katong people!

  4. Katong was originally bounded by Tanjong Katong Road/Grove Road (now Mountbatten Road)/Ford Road the sea front. In 1928 Katong had grown so rapidly that it encroached into Joo Chiat. Ref: Book "The Singapore House 1819-1942 (pg 119)by Lee Kip Lin. Today, Katong is still growing towards Siglap.

  5. Gerard hit a good point about the live bands.
    I remember for Saturday night parties ,weddings or birthdays family members & friends would get together & form 'their' bands and play the standards & classics for everyone.Eurasian parties/weddings were the best & always had the classic 'Jingkli Nona' dance.No one complained about noise or whatever & everyone respected and tolerated each other's culture.

  6. Philip - thanks for the useful historical info. Must look up the book.

    Jean - thanks for sharing memories!

  7. Re: Gerard's comment of 50cts. Sunday matinee. Remember how we choped seats for our friends by tying hankerchiefs on the arm rests?



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