Tiong Bahru is a housing estate located within the Bukit Merah Planning Area, in the Central Region of Singapore. Tiong Bahru was constructed in the 1920s by the Singapore Improvement Trust, the predecessor to the Housing Development Board and an entity of the British colonial authority providing mass public housing in Singapore and is the oldest housing estate in Singapore. The main estate consists of 30 apartment blocks with over 900 units of two to five rooms. There are also high-rise Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats and condominiums along Boon Tiong Road, Jalan Membina and Kim Tian Road which surround the main estate.
I took the opportunity during a visit to Singapore to wander the small streets and back lanes in Tiong Bahru to capture some of the wall murals – I’m guessing since it’s Singapore we have to call them murals and not graffiti!
A corner of Tiong Bahru was called “bird corner”. The owners of song birds such as Prinias, Robins, and Shrikes would gather at the corner to meet and chat over tea and coffee. The corner was disrupted by the building of the Link Hotel in the mid 2000s, although the bird lovers and their aviaries remain welcome.
Tiong Bahru is now seen as a hotspot for yuppies and hipsters who enjoy the old nostalgic vibes of the area, with abundance of cafes and well known hawker stalls. It is attractive for high-income residential population due to its close promixity to CBD, while retaining a traditional Singapore charm. There is a thriving art community in the district, with murals and art-centric shops in the area.
This area has the famous Tiong Bahru Market which is still popular today and even has some wall murals inside.
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