|Ann Siang Hill Park is the tallest geographical point in Chinatown. This hill was originally called Scott's Hill, named after Charles Scott.
Ann Siang Hill was occupied soon after Raffles' arrival in Singapore. Collectively, the hills along the coastal areas of Chinatown were known as the Telok Ayer Hills.
These hills included Mount Wallich, Mount Erskine and Ann Siang Hill. By the 1890s, most of the Telok Ayer Hills were leveled to partially fill the Telok Ayer Basin, leaving Ann Siang Hill to stand alone.
Charles Scott was the first to plant clove & nutmeg crops on Ann Siang Hill, which was originally named after him. Ann Siang Hill was superbly irrigated; an underground spring ran through the area and was tapped from a well on the hill.
A series of terrible blights decimated clove and nutmeg plantations across the island, causing many plantation owners to abandon their land.
After Scott left his plantation, it passed through the hands of another owner before being sold to Chia Ann Siang in 1894. Shophouses sprang up; Chinese and Straits Chinese residents and business moved in and the area was transformed into an urban district.
All that was left of the old Ann Siang Hill was Scotts' plantation house, which Chia kept as his family residence.
Ann Siang Hill was named after Chia Ann Siang (1832 - 1892), a Hokkien merchant who was born in Malacca. In 1848, at 16 years of age, Chia Ann Siang found employment with the British firm Boustead & Company, whose core businesses traded in natural resources, spices, coconut, tobacco, tin, tea and silk.
He eventually left Boustead and went into the timber business and became a partner of Geok Teat and Company from 1863. After he became a rich landowner and one of the leading merchants of his time, he acquired both Ann Siang Hill and Mount Erskine.
Unguided Tour - there are a couple of story boards around the park, look for them. Once you are done, you may want to visit the nearby Red Dot Design Museum or Singapore City Gallery.