Exploring Singapore Oldest Neighborhood – Tiong Bahru

This is actually one of the oldest neighborhoods in Singapore. The meaning of “Tiong” is dead, 塚 – Hokkien for cemetery and Bahru is Malay word for new. Tiong Bahru means New Dead/New Cemetery.  Now Tiong Bahru is a place for a mixture of western Ex-Pats and Singaporean hipsters but still consist of big portion of aging population 🙂

When we talked about Tiong Bahru, we also relate with the yummy local food from the best hawker centers in Singapore.

Old Tiong Bahru Bak Kut Teh

This Teochew style Bak Kut Teh is famous among the locals located at Seng Poh lane, opposite of Tiong Bahru Market. Teochew Style Bak Kut Teh is using pepper and garlic as the soup base so the color of the soup base is transparent, unlike the traditional Bak Kut Teh Soup base is dark brown.

Old Tiong Bahru Bak Kut Teh

Tiong Bahru Market

Tiong Bahru Market has a wet market selling all the fresh meat, fishes and vegetables.  You will be shocked at how clean the wet market is.  Don’t do any cooking? No problem, go get some ready cook food at the hawker center located at second floor.   The hawker center in Tiong Bahru market is famous in Singapore.  Go explore and get the Lor Mee no 178.  Always the longest queue.

Tiong Bahru Market

Tiong Bahru Club

Tiong Bahru Club

I bet you will take a second look at this open air retro style coffee shop when you pass by this area.  This place offer a fusion of Chinese, Malay, Eurasian and Indian dish.

Tiong Bahru Club

Nostalgia Hotel

This is truly a “nostalgia” Hotel, when I passed by the breakfast area, the hotel is airing Carpenter ” Yesterday Once More” 🙂

Great location – just 10 mins walk to MRT

Nostagia Hotel

Bird Watching Area

Bird Corner Tiong Bahru Heritage Trail

Tiong Bahru is also famous for its bird-singing corner. Bird lovers, mostly retired men would gather their songbirds every morning to catch up with the rest of bird lovers.

Bird Corner Tiong Bahru Heritage Trail

Tiong Bahru Heritage Trail : Tan Tock Seng Tomb

Tan Tock Seng Tomb

Since I am around this area so I walked to the Heritage trail to pay respect to the Tan Tock Seng tomb. A street name and a hospital is named after this great philanthropist, Tan Tock Seng. Born in Malacca in 1798 to an immigrant Hokkien father and Peranakan mother, the family moved to Singapore to sell fruit, vegetable and fowl.  Later, he became a successful businessman and helped the poor and the needy.

Tan Tock Seng Tomb

There are two tomb at the main Outram Hill, surprisingly the smaller one belong to Tan Tock Seng and the bigger one (below picture) belong to his daughter in law.

Tiong Bahru Heritage Trail : Iconic Old Flat

Have you notice the flats in Tiong Bahru look different from the normal HDB flat?  The low rise flat here is the oldest in Singapore, built in 1920’s before world war II.  There are only 4 floors and the old flat is deeply influenced by Western architectural styles.  The flats feature rounded balconies, flat rooftops & spiral staircases.

Tiong Bahru Iconic HDB

Some of the old flat still using very old window panels .

New HDB in Tiong Bahru

Qi Tian Gong Temple/齐天宫

The Qi Tian Gong Temple/齐天宫 is dedicated to the Monkey God/Qi Tian Da Sheng/Sun Wu Kong. Inside the temple you will find the Monkey God and more than 10 statues of the Taoist deity.

This temple will be flooded with people during the 15th or 16th of the First Lunar Month, that is the Monkey God’s birthday. Celebration often involves mediums referred to as “Tan Kees” performing “miraculous feats”, which includes piercing their own flesh and blood-penning.

  • Address: 44 Eng Hoon Street, Singapore
    Tel: 6220 2469
  • Operating Hours:
    7am to 5pm

Qi Tian Gong Temple/齐天宫

Tiong Bahru Nickname – 美人窝 Mei Ren Wo

Before World War II years, Tiong Bahru is the place for the upper class and also a place where the rich kept their mistresses so it also has a nickname called “Mei Ren Wo” (Den of Beauties).

Poodles in Baby Blue Flared skirt

Fashion theme :  Vintage 50’s/60’s 

  • Poodles in Baby Blue Flared skirt
  • Red & White Top
  • Playing with colors and print to get fun out of fashion.

Tiong Bahru Places of Interest and Heritage Trail

  • Tiong Bahru Market – explore good hawkers food and fresh food at the wet market
  • Tiong Bahru Restaurant – Tiong Bahru Club – retro setting
  • Old Tiong Bahru Bak Kut Teh
  • Bird Watching Area – Heritage Trail
  • Tan Tock Seng Tomb – Heritage Trail
  • Tiong Bahru Iconic Old Flat built in 1920’s
  • Qi Tian Gong Temple/齐天宫

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