Thursday 6 August 2015

13 Things to Do in Tiong Bahru

If you're bored and have nothing to do, why not head down to Tiong Bahru? Besides the food, there are a lot of other things that you can do here =)

Tiong Poh Road

13 Things to Do in Tiong Bahru:

1) EAT @ Tiong Bahru Market

Tiong Bahru Market

For my recommendations of great hawker food at Tiong Bahru Market and other locations, check out my post on 10 Hawker Food You Must Try in Tiong Bahru! There is something for everyone I'm sure =)

2) EAT @ Cafes

Chilling in a artsy cafe
Used to be the favourite haunt of the girlfriends and I

If you've got a bit more cash to spare and want to enjoy the comforts of air-conditioning, head down to one of the many cafes in the area. There are many more, but here are 10 cafes you can visit.

3) EAT @ Tiong Bahru Galicier Pastries

Tiong Bahru Galicier Pastry

If you like traditional Nonya kueh and pastries, drop by this very famous pastry bakery along Tiong Bahru Road. Many cars love to stop at the side of the road and pop in to buy the pastries, much to the chagrin of other road users and buses! I personally love their kueh dar dar! Totally melts in your mouth! *yum*

Don't ask the shopkeepers too many questions though. Let's just say that they have the typical "resting bitch face" and are not the most friendly people in the world. Just buy and go and you'll be ok.

4) SHOP @ Yong Siak Street

Books Actually
Woods in the Books
Gardening supplies at Super Farmers
(Love their colourful watering cans! Too bad I don't have green fingers..)
All things strange and interesting at Strangelets

Yong Siak Street is looking more and more like Arab Street in that it is becoming more artsy. Besides buying actual art pieces, you can also shop for books, buy really cool gardening supplies and other strange knick knacks. Definitely a nice place to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon =)

5) PLAY @ a Tiong Bahru Playground

There are two playgrounds that my family goes to regularly: 1) a small playground next to Blk 49 Kim Pong Road (near to Tiong Bahru Market), 2) Tiong Bahru Adventure Park, which is located across the road from PSB.

Small playground at Blk 49 Kim Pong Road
(The only playground in the area unfortunately)
When my girl was younger, she enjoyed climbing up and down the stairs
Three years later, Baby Boy is doing the exact same thing!

Do note that this playground requires that you supervise your child a lot, especially if they are younger than 4 years old. This is because there are a lot of big gaps between steps, which a young child may fall through without adult's assistance. The playground is really small though so if you prefer a bigger playground with real sand, head to Tiong Bahru Adventure Park.

Tiong Bahru Adventure Park
Clockwise from left: Mum-in-law helping my almost 2 year old girl to slide down the slide;
Girl climbing up the stairs on her own;
Loving the swing! One of her first times swinging on a "real" swing without assistance (sigh, miss those days T_T)!
Clockwise from left: It's not hard to guess which is her favourite thing in the playground;
Rocking in a race car;
Spinning around in one of the few merry-go-rounds left in Singapore!

It's not hard to guess which playground my kids love more! =)

6) SHOP @ Tiong Bahru Plaza

Tiong Bahru Plaza is currently undergoing renovations right now so I don't have a photo. It used to be a really small mall but things could change after the renovations. In any case, a small shopping mall is better than no shopping mall!

7) HIKE along the Tiong Bahru Heritage Trail

Tiong Bahru Heritage Trail
Map of all the possible stops you can make to read and learn about the history of Tiong Bahru
Reading about the origin of Tiong Bahru at the Tiong Bahru Market stop
More information on the uniqueness of Tiong Bahru
Bringing Baby Boy on a little hike one afternoon
(it was very hot, which explains his cranky face)

Of course I didn't walk the whole way (not with a cranky Baby Boy at least) but it was still fun to stop by a few structures and read about the history and other interesting facts. You may want to sign up for a guided tour if you prefer to hear someone talk about it rather than read (more about that below).

8) EXPLORE the Graveyard

Photo credit: Cheekiemonkies
Photo credit: Cheekiemonkies

Bet not many of you know that the grave located on a hill just above the bus stop right next to Jubilee Church actually belongs to Tan Tock Seng! I walk pass the grave all the time and in all my 14 years I had never known that! Interesting isn't it?

If you want to read more about the Tiong Bahru Heritage Trail and the graves, Kelvin from the Cheekiemonkies has written a nice post about it.

9) EXPLORE the Tiong Bahru Air Raid Shelter

Photo credit: Gingerbreadmum

The Tiong Bahru Air Raid Shelter (which is no longer in use) is also part of the Tiong Bahru Heritage Tour. If you don't want to walk the whole route, this is also a great place to stop and learn about the history of the air raid shelter.

10) GO on a Scavenger Hunt

Screenshot of the downloadable Tiong Bahru Scavenger Hunt by Gingerbreadmum
(Used with permission)

My friend Adora has compiled a fun downloadable scavenger hunt so you can keep your kids engaged while you go on the heritage trail. Kills two birds with one stone if you ask me! =)

11) FIX Your Shoes

Handwritten sign advertising their shoe repair service
With examples of the kind of shoe repairs that they do

It's a sad truth but shoe repair is a dying trade as shoes are getting cheaper so people rather throw them away than fix them. If however you do have a pair of shoes that you want to fix, pop by this cute place =)

12) VISIT the Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD)

The SPD building
SPD Signboard

Consider popping by the Society for the Physically Disabled and show your support by being a volunteer (more information on how to volunteer here). You can also support by donating or buying stuff from their online store.

13) DONATE BLOOD @ Blood Bank at HSA

Photo credit: Health Sciences Authority (HSA)

Technically this is in Outram and not Tiong Bahru but it's only 5 minutes away so please, please help save lives by donating your blood if you can! Visit the Blood Bank @ HSA website for more details.

And there you have it! You'll not be bored when you're in Tiong Bahru. Tiong Bahru kakis, anything else to add? =)

This post is part of I Love My Tiong Bahru series, which is my way of bidding farewell to my favourite neighbourhood that I had called my home for the last 14 years. As I move to another neighbourhood, join me in celebrating Tiong Bahru! =)

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