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In Photos: Paya Lebar

The last of the “Holy Trinity” of malls in Paya Lebar is finally complete.

Three seems to be the magic number when it comes to shopping malls in Singapore. Orchard itself has ION Orchard, Wisma Atria and Ngee Ann City connected to each other. Down the road, at Somerset, we have 313@Somserset and Orchard Central conjoined by a third mall, Orchard Gateway. Tampines, too, has the Tampines Mall, Century Square and Tampines One. Same for Jurong with JCube, JEM and Westgate situated just a stone’s throw away from each other.

Now with the opening of Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ), Paya Lebar now has its own Holy Trinity, with Paya Lebar Square, SingPost Centre and PLQ flanking a large open space which has become a popular hangout for groups of foreign domestic workers on their day off. Years before, they would congregate at the large open field, picnic mats in tow. Now the open field is gone but the crowd remains.

Of the three, my personal favourite is SingPost Centre with its circular glass facade. PLQ seems to have a dated feel to it — brown isn’t exactly my kind of thing. On the other hand, the open plaza flanked by the blocks of building comprising PLQ is pretty well landscaped, with a mini fountain and, perhaps more importantly for the people hanging around the area, tables and chairs where you could hang out, grab a bite, study, or even exercise. Sure, it’s no Orchard Road, but Paya Lebar has its own luxuries–a large open space is really hard to come by in Singapore these days. And there’s less of a worry that a bird will suddenly take a dump on your head.

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