North of the Singapore River over to the west of Central Business District is the world-renowned Orchard Road. The road got its names from the orchards and plantations that used to exist in the area up until the 20th century. Misfortune struck when an epidemic swept through the nutmeg plantations back in the 1900s. Floods were a bane to their existence and caused numerous problems to the orchards. The solution was to deepen and widen the Stamford Canal, which runs below the pedestrian mall in front of Wisma Atria Shopping Centre. The 1970s was a golden age for Orchard as pioneering landmarks such as C.K.Tangs, Plaza Singapura and Mandarin Hotel were erected along the road. Towards the eastern Bras Basah end of Orchard Road lies colonial architecture and historical museums.
River Valley is a residential area with private properties for the middle and high income earners of the population. It is located north of Orchard Boulevard, Devonshire Road and Eber Road, the south of Martin Road and Singapore River and the west of Hoot Kiam Road and Grange Road.
Every year in December, tourists and locals alike flock to Orchard Road to view its magnificent, elaborate Christmas decorations. The decorations are always picture perfect, sometimes a little over the top because of its extravagant winter theme situated in a sunny and tropical country. Shopping complexes at Orchard include Wheelock Place, C.K. Tangs, Wisma Atria, Lucky Plaza, Ngee Ann City/Takashimaya, Paragon, The Heeren and Plaza Singapura.
In River Valley, there is the “River Valley Nasi Padang” which is said to be the best place to get a steaming plate of Nasi Padang.
On the North South MRT Line, there are Orchard, Somerset, Dhoby Ghaut and City Hall MRT Stations. You can stop at Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station to change to the North East Line or at City Hall MRT Station to get on the East West Line.