The Road To Tyersall Park

March 22, 2016

These questions have always been in my mind since the moment I read the book Crazy Rich Asians: Is there a real-life Tyersall Park? Will I ever get to see the long winding secret road to an old mansion hidden within the vicinity of the Singapore Botanic Gardens? Was Kevin Kwan making it all up?

Naturally, I did what every curious millennial would do-- I Googled "where is tyersall park located."

There were search results varying from historic accounts that there was a Tyersall Park and there are actual mansion ruins - to - news bits where Kevin Kwan vaguely said he based it on a real life compound. Result after result, I just ended up getting more confused as they showed different location markers all around the place. And that was it. I've had enough. I had to find it for myself.

I immediately texted my friend Santy, also a fan of the Crazy Rich Asians book series.

"Hey, do you have plans for tomorrow? If none, can we go find Tyersall Park? See you at 2PM?"

I wasn't actually asking. With or without Santy, I was going to go anyway. Thankfully, he said yes because in hindsight, this was not an activity I would have enjoyed doing alone. (It was so hot and humid that day, we were bathing in our own sweat all afternoon! You'd want to have a close friend with you for this so it's less dyahe to other people!)

The gameplan was to show up at the Botanic Gardens MRT station, and follow the map side by side with Google Maps and some personal accounts from Google, and that's it. Pretty sound plan, huh? It became a scavenger hunt, map-reading test, photowalk and fail-blogger-poses-pero-mukha-namang-candid-shots-so-pagbigyan-na shoot, all rolled into one.

As much as I want to write here how surreal the experience was when we found it, no, we didn't find it!


A bit demotivated, we were already preparing to walk 1.2km back to the MRT station when we turned the street corner. We were in a deep conversation about life when we abruptly stopped, looked at each other, and screamed like little kids who were given a bag of candies. Like clockwork, we raced each other to go to the street corner sign. The sign read: Tyersall Avenue.

We took so many variation of photos of each other at that corner until we eventually ran out of poses. We didn't get to see where Tyersall Park was, or even its rumored ruins, but at the very least, we will always have an overrun of #tbt photos for Instagram. And sometimes, even a small win like this can be enough to be excited for the next couple of days. It was for me! 

P.S. So here's my theory... I think the maps were somewhat right. I think the personal accounts were somewhat right. I think maybe the ruins are no longer there and the long winding road, too. I think Tyersall Avenue was a road made recently to pave way (pun!) for the new MRT line development, and it was named aptly because of Tyersall Park. I think the ruins were previously located to where the development was being done at the time we were there. 

It was the only thing that made sense. That, and of course, the option of not believing Tyersall Park to be true. So unless Kevin Kwan comes to this post and tells me otherwise, I will continue believing in my theory.

How To Get There

In case you didn't actually read what I wrote above, the details below are directions on how to get to the Singapore Botanic Gardens, not Tyersall Park, because *spoiler alert* the mansion in the book is not there.

Nearest MRT station: Botanic Gardens (Circle Line and Downtown Line)
Address: 1 Cluny Road, Singapore
Opening Hours: 5AM to 12MN daily

For more information, click here.

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