Courtesy of National Archives of Singapore

Each of Singapore’s local estate hides unique stories and important landmarks. Read on to see what we’re talking about, and you might find your new favourite estate to live in. Behind the hipster cafes and quaint bookstores, Tiong Bahru is filled with much historical significance. Find out what’s it like to live amidst the juxtaposition of the old and new.

Courtesy of Boulevard.


Tiong means grave in Hokkien and Bahru means new in Malay. Tiong Bahru was originally named Burial Ground Road. But just as most Singaporean lands, a lot of cemeteries were redeveloped into very expensive and popular residential areas. Today, it’s a charming place filled with quaint cafes and chic housing estates.

Courtesy of, hmlet, Alphonus Chern on ST PHOTO & Woods in the Books.

Interesting Places to Visit

The horse-shoe block, Block 78 Moh Guan Terrace, was the first public housing to build an air raid shelter into the estate. It survived WW2 and many survivors fled to Tiong Bahru for refuge. People would grow their own vegetation, raise poultry and pigs for survival. Listen to the stories of the everyday people during the Sook Ching Massacre and explore the heritage rich estate. Guided tours are available every first Saturday and Sundays of the month:

There are other hipster cafes around and bookstores like Woods in the Books. It’s a children’s bookstore but there are many illustrations and artsy finds suitable for adults that you can get there too.

Courtesy of imp on Faerie Tales & Kel Song.

Places to Eat

Hua Bee Restaurant is one of the oldest coffee shops in Tiong Bahru. It first opened in the 1940s and you’ll find fishball noodles and other local fares here.

If you want to access all our delicious local food at once, head to Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre and join any of the snaking queues. One of Singaporeans’ favourite past times is to queue up.

Courtesy of Chung Guat Hooi & SilverKris.

Fun Facts

Did you know about the Peranakan legacy in Tiong Bahru? Peranakans are first-wave Chinese migrants who settled and married local Malay, Indian or Eurasian women. The mixing of cultures led to the adopting of practices from the shared heritage. Many of them lived in the area before, during and after the war. But they started moving out to Katong later.

Now that you’ve learnt more about our local neighbourhoods, the best way to experience them is to live in them! Please reach out to us at to explore other neighbourhoods too.