tiong bahru guide: part 1.

Mar 11, 2015

Tiong Bahru is easily one of Singapore's most well-preserved yet modernized neighborhoods. The quaint, fairly-touched area, a little away from the heart of the city, is distanced from commercial entities and the high-street brands which populate Orchard Road. Instead, the area has independent companies, local-owned bakeries, bookstores, museums – all quiet and subtle. I've been exploring the neighborhood more and more, as of late, and have discovered so much of what it offers. This is the first of many upcoming posts featuring Tiong Bahru; this first one will show two of the more well-known, go-to spots in the area. 

Specializing in 'obscure and critical works', Books Actually is a gem of a bookstore that I instantly fell in love with. The large space is tranquil yet energetic – and always full of customers, whether it's in the middle of the week or on a Saturday afternoon. The sections are sprawling – from history to art to the classics to poetry to photography. Every now and then, you come across books in formats you haven't seen before, with subjects varied and wide. The store also publishes under it's own company, Math Paper Press, with local authors. The secondhand book section was my favorite to explore. I've rarely been to a secondhand bookstore, and Book Actually has a lovely, closed-off section towards the back of the space, with just used books. Here, the collection is even more wonderfully quirky and varied. You'll never know what you come across. 
Tiong Bahru Bakery / first image by Decadent Drama
Tiong Bahru Bakery is the perfect next stop on a trip to Tiong Bahru. The gorgeous, bright café is renowned for its croissants, pastries, and amazing coffee. The bakery has now become a chain, with many locations across the island, but the original one would have to be the best by far. Balanced with a French and local fusion, the bakery has quickly become a favorite of mine. I headed there a few Sundays ago, after checking out a small, locally-owned art gallery and stopping by PS Cafe (a more commonly known, yet always loved, Singapore favorite!) More than the food, the atmosphere is its biggest asset. The bakery allows for a lovely morning, with people-watching, bookstores nearby, the ideal mocha and mostly, an escape from what is the norm in a big city. But be prepared for the lines – the bakery has gained a fair share of loyal and ever-returning customers. To see more of the incredible food, check out this link.

Stay tuned for more city and culture guides coming soon!


1 comment

  1. I love Tiong Bahru!
    awesome impressions, those are definitely good spots :)


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