Sunday, August 17, 2008

Growing up in Ang Mo Kio: From bus interchange to AMK Hub


AMK Hub is a building that houses the supermarket (NTUC Xtra), many retail stores, a food court, an intergrated Entertainment Centre on the 4th floor, and an airconditioned bus interchange.

Many years ago, before the year 2002, there stood a humble, non-airconditioned bus interchange approximately where AMK Hub now stands. There was a NTUC supermarket that stood just beside the non-airconditioned bus interchange but it was demolished around year 2002, I vaguely recall.

The humble bus-interchange back then had a simple canteen which I recall was on the second floor. There was an underground linkway from the bus-interchange to the Ang Mo Kio MRT station. I vaguely recall that when I was in Secondary School, I would wake up early every school-day, walk past the then non-airconditioned bus-interchange to take a bus to school. Early in those mornings (about 6.25 a.m.), there would already be a lot of commuters and bus-captains at the bus-interchange.

However, back then, I did not have an urge to take photograph and as such have no particular photo of the then non-airconditioned bus interchange to show you.

I only have a photo that gives a glimpse of the temporary bus interchange located nearby the Ang Mo Kio Polyclinic. The temporary bus interchange served commuters when the old bus interchange building was demolished sometime around the year 2002. Some residents would recall that there used to be a temporary NTUC supermarket just beside the temporary bus interchange. The temporary NTUC supermarket closed sometime after the NTUC Xtra supermarket was in operation.

The temporary bus interchange. Now demolished too.

If anyone enjoys seeing glimpses of the construction of AMK Hub, after the non-airconditioned bus-interchange located at Ang Mo Kio Central was demolished, here is a short photo presentation for your viewing pleasure:

I can't remember the date that the airconditioned bus-interchange within AMK Hub started its operation. However, according to, it could be 28 April 2007.

Does anyone have any stories to share about their growing-up years in Ang Mo Kio? I would care to hear from you.

(This post was first published on on 1 Jul 2008.)


Lam Chun See said...

When AMK new town came up, I found it much more systematic than the other HDB nes towns like Bedok and Toa Payoh becos of the orderly numbering of the avenues. Much easier for visitors to move around.

My strongest memory of AMK was the industrial park near Ave 10. At that time (maybe around 1980) I worked in Philips Spore (Audio) in Toa Payoh and business was good and we ran out of space and so had to rent the JTC factory space. We shifted the clock radio production lines there and I was involved in planning the layout etc.

Had lunch in the nearby hawker centre quite a few time.

Lam Chun See said...

At that time of course, they were no MRT or CTE or AMK Hub or Nanyang Poly or Anderson JC. I liked it much better then becos AMK Central was much less crowded and chaotic. I believe there were no multi-storey car parks near the mosque either. Nowadays, I avoid going to AMK Central.

oceanskies79 said...

Chun See: Thank you for sharing. I have pretty vague memory of the AMK new town when it first came up because I was probably a young toddler then!

Yes, there were no multi-storey car parks near the mosque in the distant past, and I used to like going to the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant near the mosque, because unlike the other Kentucky Fried Chicken fast-food outlet, it used to serve food, restuarant style.

Lam Chun See said...

The Jack's Place restaurant has also been there for along time. Remember going there very long ago.

oceanskies79 said...

Chun See: Yes, Jack's Place has been there for a long time. However, I don't usually go to Jack's Place when I was young, so I do not have much to write about the Jack's Place in Ang Mo Kio.

I would be more inclined to write about the A&W restaurant that used to be in Ang Mo Kio.

Zulkhairi Zulkiflee said...

Oh hi oceanskies, (i hope you don't mind me addressing you that way.)

I was actually looking for NUS museum (Ng Eng Teng's works) in google when i came across your blog. I'm quite eager to go for the visit especially having muster enough courage to go for art events like the Biennale,most recently. I have to say,i can relate to your Ng Eng Teng entry on how you remembered studying his works for your art theory. I did too,sort of. His works came out on the O'level theory paper and i was so stunned because at that time,i didn't know that particular piece will be out! But i enjoyed photocopying his works from the library books and studying it all! Fave piece: Maxi & Lovers II (mobile).

ordinary guy said...

I came to live in AMK after my family moved out from our 3-room flat in Toa Payoh to a 5-room unit in AMK. There was only one bus plying from AMK to my school in the mid-70s, SBS 163. An extremely long wait and often crowded. There was the Oriental Emporium and I'm sure there was a cinema existing at that time. Besides the eateries at AMK Central, there was a Mooi Chin Restaurant located along Ave 4 just after the intersection at Ave 5. From nearby Amoy Quee Camp, you can see Armoured Personnel Carriers and tanks travelling along Yio Chu Kang Road, to/fro training area to their camp. It was a new satellite town at that time and the floor area of our home then was huge for a 5-room flat compared to now.

oceanskies79 said...

Zulkhairi Zulkiflee: It's lovely to know there's others who enjoy the works of Ng Eng Teng.

ordinary guy: Thank you for sharing your experiences of Ang Mo Kio. Perhaps you would have more to share than I do?

Yes, I remember the Oriental Emporium, and there were at least three cinema buildings (and four cinema theatres) about two decades ago when I was young.

Vee said...

I miss the A&W that used to be in AMK central. In its place is 'Banquet' foodcourt now (please correct me if wrong).

I also recall having lunches after school at the small KFC that was right beside the old NTUC Fairprice.

I remember (with some horror =D) when the fenced-up constuction boards that read 'NParks' at the AMK Town Garden West turned out to be a fancy McDonald's!

I've also looked at some old maps of AMK with great interest. Could anyone shed any light on them? For example, what is 'Singapore United Plantation' (located east of Yio Chu Kang Estate in the 1978 map)? I uploaded some of these maps on to my site:


oceanskies79 said...

Vee: Hi, Yes, in place of the A&W is now the Banquet foodcourt. I miss the A&W too.

I don't have much vivid memory of the small KFC that was right beside the old NTUC Fairprice, though I only had a vague impression of it.

I don't have an answer for the SIngapore United Plantation. I have to ask around to find out if anyone I know happens to know.

Ang Mo Kio, as best as I know, used to be a place where there was a number of rubber plantations in the area. I wonder if it was one of the rubber plantations?