Emerald Hill is a beautifully conserved residential district just off the busy shopping belt of Orchard Road. I wonder how many people know about this hidden gem.. And how many other places like this are there around Singapore that I’ve yet to discover?   

Let me share with you some thoughts on this matter of conservation. One of my colleagues recently shared with me that she was having la mian (Chinese hand-pulled noodles) somewhere in Jalan Besar. The old lady at the next table was commenting to her daughter that some of the shophouses further down the street were very lok kok (Hokkien dialect for shabby). “Why doesn’t the government do something about them?” she asked. Interestingly, at the same time, she noted some young shutterbugs on the opposite side of the street, enthusiastically taking photos of the same shophouses. They, on the other hand, must have found the old shophouses very charming and quaint instead. - SMS Tan Chuan-Jin at the URA Architecture Heritage Awards 2012

Charming and quaint, those are the words to describe old places like this.