Fall in Love with Tiong Bahru

tiong bahru

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.

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Yep, that’s Tiong Bahru for you.  There’s parking for dogs.
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I wonder if these bikes are for rent.  I never bothered to ask.
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But the swing is definitely free to use.
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Street art hunting with MG


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.

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Books Actually.  I can literally spend a day here.
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They don’t only sell books, you can find all sorts of knick knacks at the back.
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Books Actually’s resident cat, very hard at work!


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.

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Barista doing latte art at Tiong Bahru Bakery.  Our favorite “tambayan”
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Flat White & Kouign Amann


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.

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Plain Vanilla Bakery’s adorable store front
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Freshly baked cupcakes everyday


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!!!

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Ah Bong’s Italian
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The Mac & Cheese is to die for.

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.

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The famous curry that takes 3 days to make.

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.


Not fond of DIY tours?  You can join one of these tours, and don’t forget to compare hotels, rooms, or even homes for your trip before you go. And never leave home without Travel Insurance

11 Comment

  1. […] brought me to places I would have otherwise ignored for more tourist-friendly sites and options.  Tiong Bahru and Lebuh Chulia were just two of the coffee-inspired destinations I’ve been to this last […]

  2. […]  I guess that must be the reason why Penang has a special place in my heart.  Similar to Singapore where every trip makes me feel right at home. Without even […]

  3. This post reminds me of this “Pictures are never boring if you just know how to instagram” HAHA. I agree with you if you want to discover new places, just go to IG. 😀 Lovely pictures. Thank you so much for sharing ♥

  4. Seeing those dog parking pictures makes me want to travel the world with my dog. If only it wasn’t so difficult to do so! The places you visited look so quaint and just makes me want to fly over there, relax and drink a cup of joe while reading a great book.

  5. I never heard of Tiong Bahru before, good thing I stumbled on your blog. Have a blast and thanks for sharing!

  6. Mike says: Reply

    I love your style. Your daughter is really lucky! <3

  7. This is indeed one place to explore in Singapore. I love books and started loving coffee shops though I prefer to order tea. Thanks for sharing! <3

  8. Nice, this is a fresh take on Singapore. I’ve never been there but when I hear about it, the first thing I picture is the booming metropolis of Sentosa, Marina, Universal, and the likes. Thanks for sharing this!

  9. Thanks for sharing this. I haven’t been to Singapore (I suck, I know) but will bookmark this place as a reference *wink


  10. […] Tiong Bahru and Everton, Yip Yew Chong did heritage murals depicting historical scenes of bygone […]

  11. […] always about the food.  And you thought we’ve had enough of it in Tiong Bahru. Anyway, it’s common knowledge with Singaporeans that Katong is a food destination but […]

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