A Day Out: 8 Great Reasons (That Aren’t Food!) To Visit Tiong Bahru Over and Over Again

29 June 2016
<p>This was probably what Tiong Bahru was like back in the day before gentrification happened. </p>

This was probably what Tiong Bahru was like back in the day before gentrification happened. 

Still no sign of this place becoming overrated. 

 

When it comes to Tiong Bahru, the dining options are endless.


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For local fare, Tiong Bahru Market (pictured) is your best best.


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Alternatively, hit up the various cafes (like Forty Hands and Drips Bakery Cafe), bistros (like The Tiong Bahru Club), and bakeries (like Tiong Bahru Bakery) – all fabulous parts of the food diversity in the area. 

But it’s not just aobut the food – the quaint little Tiong Bahru Estate also takes centre stage as it has become one of the places to go to experience the blend of old and new in Singapore.

Not convinced? Here’s why you should visit the estate and its surrounding areas. 

 

1. History and Heritage

Tiong Bahru is often associated with the dreaded “H” word (hispter, if you don’t know) but its rich historical value should not be overlooked. 

Tiong Bahru Photos by Muneerah Bee

Photo by Muneerah Bee

For example, did you know you can find Singapore pioneer and philanthropist Tan Tock Seng’s grave (pictured) near Seng Poh Road and Outram Road? It’s been there for possibly more than 130 years and it’s actually visible from the roads so do keep an eye out for it.

Over at Eng Hoon Street, the Qi Tian Gong Temple is the first temple dedicated to the worship of the Monkey God in Singapore and has been standing at its current location since 1938. 

And if you’re wondering about road names as you’re wandering, the streets in Tiong Bahru Estate are actually named after pioneers from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

 

2. Art

Tiong Bahru Photos by Muneerah Bee

Photo by Muneerah Bee

Sure there are several art galleries in Tiong Bahru such as the ArtBlue Studio,  White Space Art Asia, and DEGIOSART but don’t miss your chance to spot some special heritage-themed murals (pictured) by Yip Yew Chong on the side of the walls at these locations. They are depict scenes of Tiong Bahru in the past and you’ll get a glimpse of what it was like to be a resident there. 

 

3. Architecture

Tiong Bahru Photos by Muneerah Bee

Photo by Muneerah Bee

The design of flats in Tiong Bahru are unlike any other. You’ll find elements of Art Deco and Streamline Moderne, unique spiral staircases and local styles such as the Five-foot Ways incorporated into the flats. The famed ‘horse-shoe’ shaped flat at Moh Guan Terrace, built in 1939, also houses an air-raid shelter and it is the first public housing building to have one. 

Tiong Bahru Photos by Muneerah Bee

Photo by Muneerah Bee

Our personal favourite? The cute single-storey stores and restaurants at Seng Poh Lane (pictured). (Because it’s hard to find single-storey anything in land-scarce Singapore!) 

 

4. Books 


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We can’t talk about Tiong Bahru without mentioning BooksActually, our beloved independent bookstore. If you’re looking to read works by local authors, check out the various titles from Math Paper Press

Tiong Bahru Photos by Muneerah Bee

Photo by Muneerah Bee

A few doors downs, Woods in the Books (pictured) stocks up on books for kids of all ages. This “picture book shop” also holds monthly storytelling and craft sessions for four to six-year-olds.

One for the Francophiles: The French Bookshop at Tiong Bahru Road has more than 3,000 books in French!

 

5. Shopping

What else can I shop for, you ask? Well, Tiong Bahru Plaza (located next to Tiong Bahru MRT station) has been undergoing some rejuvenation and upon completion, the mall will have 155 stores. 


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But if you’re not looking for mass-produced stuff, head over to Strangelets at Yong Siak Street for uniquely designed products and knick-knacks. 

 

6. Parks and Playgrounds

What’s a Singapore neighbourhood without parks? Tiong Bahru Park is located along Tiong Bahru Road and Lower Delta Road and your kids will love the iconic life-sized tilted train with slides at the adventure playground. 

Tiong Bahru Photos by Muneerah Bee

Photo by Muneerah Bee

The cosy little Seng Poh Tea Garden at the corner of Seng Poh Road and Moh Guan Terrace is home to the Dancing Girl sculpture, made by the same man who sculpted the Merlion — Lim Nang Sang — and is also Tiong Bahru’s first piece of public art.

 

7. Music

Tiong Bahru Photos by Muneerah Bee

Photo by Muneerah Bee

We all know it’s not a hipster enclave unless it has an independent record store with vinyl records. Curated Records at Tiong Bahru Road carries mainstream releases as well as obscure indie titles which have been carefully selected. 

 

8. Nostalgia 

Tiong Bahru Photos by Muneerah Bee

Photo by Muneerah Bee

We’re just adding this in because we got excited (and a little amused) when we stumbled upon a payphone that works in Tiong Bahru. Talk about throwback!

 

By Muneerah Bee, June 2016

Photos by Muneerah Bee

 

Related articles:

A Day Out: Bugis, Singapore’s Heritage Central, Shopping Heaven, and Art Strip In One

A Day Out: An Incredible Nature Walk At The Southern Ridges in Singapore

A Day Out: Learning Through Play at the Science Centre Singapore
 

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