Monday, July 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Singapore from Tiong Bahru!

Thank you for coming to visit my blog.

On 9 August, Singapore celebrates its 44th birthday. The same year I celebrate my 54th! After more than a 100 years of British colonial rule and 2 years under the Malaysian Federation Singapore was declared a sovereign and independent nation on 9 August 1965.
This is a very big occasion. Singapore only allows its citizens to display the national flag in public in the official period of the celebration.

I won't be in Singapore to take photos next weekend. But I thought I could show you a rather special part of Singapore called Tiong Bahru. While Singapore is celebrating it's independence it is good to look back to one of the few places left that have pre-independence history.

Hope you enjoy it!

Happy birthday Singapore!

Do come back again. I update my blog every two weeks.


It is one of the oldest parts of Singapore left
standing, built in the 1930's when Singapore
was still under colonial rule.

Many consider Tiong Bahru to be Singapore's
most charming residential area

The building style is a mixture of art deco and
local Straits Settlements shophouse
architecture. The Straits Settlements
consisted of Malacca, Penang, Singapore and

Traditional local hot-pot eatery

Small side streets are characteristic

As are external spiral staircases
Other features of the architecture
are rounded balconies, flat rooftops,
and underground storage and shelters

Perhaps one of the first penthouses?

All the streets are named after Chinese
Pioneers of the 19th and early 20th century

The whole estate has recently been re-painted

If you look at the top of the
photo you will see the traditional
Singaporean way of drying the
laundry for people living in flats

Close up! The poles are bamboo and are iconic
of public housing in Singapore

Somebody loves their plants. The slatted
windows are also common in Tiong Bahru

This small traditional Kampung (village) is
dwarfed by the modern high rise private

What a great 'street'! The Kampung
is a village where the inhabitants
know and look out for each other.
Despite modern lifestyles and
architecture the collective community
spirit is still strong in Singapore

Love the windows and the red brazier

Before the war not many peole could afford
to live here. The upper class and the rich &
powerful kept their mistresses here. During this
period it was known as Mei Ren Wuo
(Chinese for “den of beauties”)

Our visit to Tiong Bahru was made special by
meeting a family that invited us to see their
lovely house. This is a picture taken outside.
I haven't posted photos of the house to
protect their privacy

Classic shophouse unique to Tiong Bahru

The juxtaposition of the old and new in this
and the next photo is part of the fascination
of Singapore

The tallest building is Capital
. A famous landmark in
Singapore (I work in the block
next to it). The round tower is
Temasek Tower, the tallest
cylindrical building in the world

Tiong Bahru hawker food centre, recently
renovated. Tiong Bahru is famous for being
a great place to eat.

Close to sunset. More clothes out to dry. Locals
quantify the amount of washing they have done
by sticks. "I did 5 sticks of washing today"

Singaporeans eat early in the evening.
We liked the way the restaurant has
incorporated the public bench to extend the
number of tables. Rare to see tablecloths.
Probably a special occasion

Colourful advertising

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