The last time I went to Singapore, I only had one destination in mind. Tiong Bahru. Again, I came across Tiong Bahru while looking at photos on Instagram. I’m telling you, Instagram is better than Google when it comes to discovering new places. Anyway, I never even knew that Tiong Bahru existed because when we talk about Singapore, Marina Bay Sands, Orchard Road, Bugis and Universal Studios are first things that come to mind.
1. The Old World Charm
Tiong Bahru. Why is it so special? For one, it’s truly a beautiful area. It’s the one of the oldest housing estates in Singapore that’s why you immediately get that unmistakable old world charm. The Art Deco buildings, shops that have been around since the 70’s, old people playing Mah Jong, expats having coffee while kids are busy playing or running around outside plus a lot of new hip and artsy food and shopping outlets that have set up shop over the last 3 or so years. They all add up to that appeal that draw people to this place.
2. Books Actually
My favorite bookshop, Books Actually, can be found here and it’s a must visit for anyone traveling to Singapore for the first time…or the second or third.
3. Cafe Culture
There is no shortage of cafes on this side of world. One of the reasons why I wanted to explore Tiong Bahru was to do my coffee crawl. There was never a day that went by that we didn’t drop by Tiong Bahru Bakery or one of the cafes around the area to have my Flat White. I would normally reserve this time to check my email and browse Facebook. In a way, it became a habit.
4. Plain Vanilla Bakery
Plain Vanilla Bakery was where we head to for sweets and cupcakes. The whole vibe of the place is reminiscent of a country store complete with vintage bicycles and an actual swing on the storefront. It is cute. By the way, I love the Earl Grey and Lavender cupcake.
5. The food
Tiong Bahru is a foodie haven, too. On our last trip, we ate at the following: Ah Bong’s Italian for delicious pasta dishes, Bak Kuh Teh on one street corner, and of course, the Tiong Bahru market which houses food stalls that offer Singapore staples such as Hainanese Chicken, Laksa, and Char Kway Teow at hawker prices. See Part 1 of our very long Singapore Eat List!!!
I always get excited whenever I see a Bak Kuh Teh on the menu so you can just imagine how much I ate here.
My son enjoying his Hainanese Chicken while I lined up for the Hainanese Curry Porkchop.
And we finally got to eat at Loo’s Hainanese Curry House along Seng Poh last month which was closed during our last visit.
Tiong Bahru is truly a beautiful place and should be on the top of everyone’s list looking for something new to see, do and taste in Singapore.