History of Tiong Bahru
Tiong Bahru’s history can be traced back to the 1920s when it was developed as one of Singapore’s earliest public housing estates. The estate was built by the Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT) to provide affordable housing for the working-class population. The estate was named after the Chinese words “Tiong” and “Bahru,” which translates to “new cemetery” in Malay.
In the early days, Tiong Bahru was predominantly a Chinese neighborhood, but it gradually became more diverse over time. In the 1950s and 1960s, Tiong Bahru was known for its vibrant social scene, with many cafes, bars, and restaurants catering to the local community. More
Architecture and Design
Tiong Bahru’s unique architectural style is a blend of Art Deco and Streamline Moderne, with many of the buildings featuring curved lines, bold geometric shapes, and intricate details. Many of the buildings in Tiong Bahru have been designated as conservation buildings, preserving the area’s rich architectural heritage.
One of the most iconic buildings in Tiong Bahru is the Tiong Bahru Market, which was built in 1955. The market is a popular destination for foodies, with over 80 stalls selling a wide variety of local and international cuisine.
Another notable landmark in Tiong Bahru is the Tiong Bahru SIT Estate, which was built in the 1930s. The estate features low-rise flats with distinctive Art Deco details, such as rounded balconies and decorative tiles. Today, the estate is a popular destination for architecture enthusiasts and Instagrammers.
Attractions and Activities
Tiong Bahru is a great place to explore on foot, with many hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the tree-lined streets, admiring the unique architecture and charming shophouses.
Foodies will love Tiong Bahru’s diverse culinary scene, with many popular cafes, restaurants, and hawker centers serving up delicious local and international cuisine. Some must-try dishes include the traditional Hainanese chicken rice at Tiong Bahru Hainanese Chicken Rice, the artisanal pastries at Tiong Bahru Bakery, and the famous rojak (a local fruit salad) at Tiong Bahru Rojak.
For those interested in history and culture, the Tiong Bahru Heritage Trail is a great way to learn more about the neighborhood’s rich history. The trail takes visitors on a journey through the area’s landmarks and historical sites, including the Tiong Bahru Community Centre, the Tiong Bahru Park, and the Tiong Bahru Air Raid Shelter.
Shopping enthusiasts will enjoy exploring the many boutique shops and art galleries in Tiong Bahru. Some popular stores include Strangelets, a lifestyle store featuring unique homeware and accessories, and BooksActually, a cozy independent bookstore specializing in local and international literature.
Tiong Bahru is a charming and unique neighborhood that is well worth a visit for anyone visiting Singapore. Its rich history, distinctive architecture, and vibrant culinary scene make it a must-see destination for tourists and locals alike. Whether you’re exploring the heritage trail, trying out the local cuisine, or simply strolling through the tree-lined streets, Tiong Bahru is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Learn More