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Guide to Tiong Bahru • Singapore’s hipster hood

October 27, 2015
Guide to Tiong Bahru, Singapore by that nordic feeling

Guide to Tiong Bahru, Singapore by that nordic feeling

Tiong Bahru is Singapore’s hipster hood filled with good coffee, books, bakeries, designer and lifestyle shops – not to mention the stunning art deco architecture. Tiong Bahru captured my heart, when I visited Singapore in February. Today I am sharing my guide to this cool, eclectic neighbourhood. 

It all began as Singapore’s first housing estate built in the 1930s to the west of Chinatown. At the beginning it was a bit shady, as many rich men housed their mistresses in this estate. Therefore it was referred to as Mei Ren Wu (directly translated as “den of beauties”) for years.

In later years this was not a popular neighbourhood. But then back in 2010 a cool coffee joint and an indie book store opened up along Yong Siak Street. And Tiong Bahru began to evolve into the hip, eclectic neighbourhood it is today.

Tiong Bahru is one of the few low-rise areas remaining in this land of skyscrapers. The palm trees are slowly waving in the wind next to the beautiful lines of the art deco architecture and colourful curb stones covered with tiles in dusty pastel shades. I fell in love and felt right at home from the moment I stepped foot in this neighbourhood.

Guide to Tiong Bahru, Singapore by that nordic feeling

That wavy window trimming – I’m dying!

Guide to Tiong Bahru, Singapore by that nordic feeling

The cutest spiralled staircase!

Guide to Tiong Bahru, Singapore by that nordic feeling

The windows, the balconies – my heart is singing with joy.

Guide to Tiong Bahru, Singapore by that nordic feeling

That bike made me feel right at home.

Guide to Tiong Bahru, Singapore by that nordic feeling

Find more photos of the beautiful architecture at the end of this post. First; let’s visit my favourite spots in Tiong Bahru. get ready for books, coffee, food and design.

40 Hands Coffee

This is where it all began. The coffee revolution in Singapore and the revival of Tiong Bahru. I stopped by for coffee and lunch – the fresh carrot juice was a welcome treat.

78 Yong Siak Street
40 Hands Coffee

Plain Vanilla

The cutest little cupcake bakery in town! I am still dreaming of the caramel cupcake I had with a side of caffè latte and a magazine.

1d Yong Siak Street
Plain Vanilla Bakery

Guide to Tiong Bahru, Singapore by that nordic feeling Guide to Tiong Bahru, Singapore by that nordic feeling

Books Actually

Books Actually is an independent bookstore specialising in fiction and literature including poetry, essays, literary journals. The owners curate a great selection of books that you cannot find elsewhere. I felt right at home in here and ended up buying quite a few books (as if my suitcase wasn’t heavy enough to begin with!). In every book I bought I found a little handmade bookmark – different for each one. Such a sweet touch!

9 Yong Siak Street
Books Actually

Guide to Tiong Bahru, Singapore by that nordic feeling

Guide to Tiong Bahru, Singapore by that nordic feeling Guide to Tiong Bahru, Singapore by that nordic feeling Guide to Tiong Bahru, Singapore by that nordic feeling

Strangelets

The cutest little lifestyle shop with a great collection of local ceramics, books, jewellery, prints, design objects and more. I found quite a few things in here to take home including a little book of drawing of Tiong Bahru by local artists.

7 Yong Siak Street
Strangelets

Bloesem Creative Space

This is a place for design and interior lovers – especially those who loves the Scandinavian way. The quiet, bright and airy space is neatly filled with everything from magazines to accessories and stationery to homeware by mostly international brands like Brita Sweden, Darling Clementine, Fine Little Day and Jurianne Matter.

23 Nassim Road
Bloesem Creative Space

Guide to Tiong Bahru, Singapore by that nordic feeling Guide to Tiong Bahru, Singapore by that nordic feeling

Architecture

Make sure to take a good stroll around the neighbourhood to take in the beautiful architecture. I ended up spending a few afternoons in this area as I loved the ambiance, the shops and cafés and the quiet. Singapore is a busy country/city, but it feels like life moves a bit slower in this part of town. Here’s a few more shots of the motives that captured me.

DSC_0061 Guide to Tiong Bahru, Singapore by that nordic feeling Guide to Tiong Bahru, Singapore by that nordic feelingGuide to Tiong Bahru, Singapore by that nordic feeling

that nordic feeling 2.0

On a different note, I have changed the design of the blog. I’ve been staying up late for days now trying to get everything into place. I hope you like the new design? I wanted to give you a better overview of what you can find here on the blog – so the new front page has a slider with the newest posts and below there is a grid of posts. Let’s call it that nordic feeling 2.0. I’ve been going through all my posts and sorting the categories. For now on there will only be five categories here on that nordic feeling; interior, food, lifestyle, travel and Copenhagen. I hope it’s easier for you to find inspiration on topics you like this way. Bear with me for the next week or so as I am getting everything into place – and please let me know if something is not working. This is my first post in the new design and as you might see, this means bigger pictures (wohoo!).

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