Tiong Bahru is the oldest housing estate in singapore, and when you visit this quaint community, you’ll immediately notice an intriguing mix of old and new. While many older residents have lived in the shophouses and flats here for decades, the younger generation flocks here for the food, shops, and culture.
Steeped in history
The neighbourhood is one of the hippest places in Singapore today, but it’s also a neighbourhood steeped in fascinating history. The name Tiong Bahru actually means ‘new cemetery’ – Tiong means ‘end’ in the Chinese Hokkien dialect, and bahru means ‘new’ in Malay – because it used to be a burial ground. The lowlands were used to cultivate crops in the 19th century, while Pearl’s Hill housed a fortification for military personnel.
The neighbourhood’s transformation from swamp to swank began in the 1930s, and some of the landmarks from that era, including the residential blocks, still stand today. Take for instance the Qi Tian Gong Temple. Over nine-decades-old, this place of worship is nicknamed the Monkey God Temple as it’s dedicated to the main character from Chinese literary classic Journey to the West.
A new lease of life
In recent years, Tiong Bahru has experienced further gentrification, with a whole host of trendy tenants moving in. Fancy a coffee and a quick bite? There are lots of cafés to choose from – Tiong Bahru Bakery, Flock, and cupcakes specialists Plain Vanilla are just a few of them.
It’s a great place to go for a spot of retail therapy, too. Fashion boutique DGA Threads is a haven for apparel and accessories alike. For all the music lovers out there, Curated Records offers a selection of vinyls, from rare vintage LPs to mainstream hits.
And if you’re looking to slow things down with a little tranquility, head to homegrown yoga studio, Yoga Movement.
Tiong Bahru’s history goes back to the 19th century when it was a burial ground and the lowlands were used for crop cultivation. The area also housed a fortification for military personnel. However, in the 1930s, the neighbourhood began its transformation into what it is today.
One of the standout landmarks from that era is the Qi Tian Gong Temple. This temple, which is over nine decades old, is dedicated to the Monkey God from the Chinese literary classic, Journey to the West. The temple is not only a place of worship but also a symbol of the neighbourhood’s rich cultural heritage.
As time went on, Tiong Bahru experienced further development and gentrification. Today, it is one of the trendiest places in Singapore, attracting both locals and tourists alike. The neighbourhood is known for its vibrant food scene, with numerous cafes and restaurants offering a variety of cuisines.
Tiong Bahru Bakery is a popular choice for those looking to indulge in delicious pastries and freshly brewed coffee. The bakery is known for its artisanal bread and pastries made with high-quality ingredients. Flock is another cafe that has gained a reputation for its cozy atmosphere and tasty brunch options.
For fashion enthusiasts, DGA Threads is a must-visit boutique in Tiong Bahru. The store offers a curated collection of apparel and accessories from both local and international designers. Whether you’re looking for a stylish outfit or a unique accessory, DGA Threads has something for everyone.
Music lovers will also find their haven in Tiong Bahru. Curated Records is a record store that offers a wide selection of vinyl records, ranging from rare vintage LPs to mainstream hits. Whether you’re a collector or simply enjoy the warm sound of vinyl, Curated Records is a place where you can discover new music or find that special album you’ve been searching for.
If you’re in need of some relaxation and rejuvenation, Tiong Bahru has you covered. Yoga Movement, a homegrown yoga studio, offers a range of classes for all levels. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced yogi, you can find a class that suits your needs and enjoy a moment of tranquility in the midst of the bustling city.
In conclusion, Tiong Bahru is a neighbourhood that seamlessly blends the old with the new. Its rich history, vibrant food scene, trendy shops, and cultural offerings make it a must-visit destination in Singapore. Whether you’re interested in exploring the neighbourhood’s history, indulging in delicious food, shopping for unique finds, or seeking relaxation through yoga, Tiong Bahru has something for everyone. So, the next time you find yourself in Singapore, make sure to pay a visit to this charming and eclectic neighbourhood.
Address And Location:
300 Tiong Bahru Road, Singapore 168731
300 Tiong Bahru Road, Singapore 168731