library@orchard is tucked inside a mall along Orchard Road. Joy Patag
A trip to the quieter side of Singapore
Kristine Joy Patag ( - July 17, 2019 - 5:18pm

SINGAPORE — Away from the hustle and bustle of Singapore’s busiest streets is the quaint neighborhood of Tiong Bahru, where tourists wanting to spend a quieter day may troop to.

Tiong Bahru is 30 minutes away from Orchard MRT via train. It is a residential place—with gorgeous architecture to boot—with streets lined with cafes, murals, bookstores and eateries.

If you want to avoid the crowd while in Singapore, check out this alternative itinerary:

Baked goodies and photowalk

Start your day with breakfast at Tiong Bahru Bakery. Take a whiff of freshly baked goodies and brewed coffee.

The bakery's bestseller is the Kouign Amann, a crusty pastry with sugar and butter. It is big enough to fill your belly before you walk along the scenic Eng Hoon Street.

Freshly baked goodies! Joy Patag

If you want to try the famous goodies, but a trip to Eng Hoon cannot fit in your itinerary, the bakery has other branches and mobile app service provider Klook offers vouchers for discounted meals.

After getting your bread and coffee fix, take a photowalk along Eng Hoon Street.

Tiong Bahru is a residential place with low-rise buildings that can serve as your backdrop as you walk along the streets and explore other stores.

Tiong Bahru is a residential area with some low-rise housing that injects a wave of serenity for walking tourists. Joy Patag
A Thai restaurant just beside Tiong Bahru Bakery. Joy Patag

For the book lover

A few blocks away from Eng Hoon is Yong Siak Street where you can find two independent bookstores.

It would be hard to miss Woods in the Books next door with its whimsical mural outside the store.

The mural is enough to draw you in. Joy Patag

This store specializes in children’s books, but your young-at-heart self will surely find something to bring home in this independent bookstore.

A few more walks would lead you to BooksActually, another independent bookstore that specializes in fiction.

A shelf in BooksActually. Joy Patag

It carries publications from Math Paper Press, a small press publisher of poetry, new wave novellas, full-length novels and essays.

Its covers of the Singaporean literary publications are gorgeous; it’s hard to stop having tactile romance with its little beautiful books.

Small but with gorgeous covers: These books make perfect gifts for friends and yourself. Joy Patag

Outside BooksActually, there is a vendo machine where you pay at least 10SGD for a mystery book.

We took a chance at this mystery book vendo and got to take home a postcard book featuring Singapore road signs. Joy Patag

But, if you find yourself pressed for time—after all, there are so many places to see in Singapore—you may find this library nestled along Orchard Road.


While this space is fast becoming a favorite Instagrammable spot for the younger crowd—with the gorgeous tall, curving shelves and a ladder to boot—the library@orchard is also refuge for tired tourists wanting some peace.

The library is tucked in Orchard Gateway mall and it houses thousands of books, in many different genres, for your leisure reading.

Get lost in this aisle of books. Joy Patag

Just by looking at the thousands of books and magazines neatly lined in the towering white shelves is enough to make yourself feel relaxed.

This spot is famous for being Instagrammable. Joy Patag

There are plenty of spaces for reading, enjoying the sunlight or having a quiet "me time" in the corners. There is also a mini courtyard where groups can huddle.

Take a rest at this spot. Joy Patag

RELATED: Shopping in Singapore: 3 must-visit places

Editor's note: The tour to Singapore was hosted by Klook and Singapore Tourism Board to promote Singapore as a destination for incentive travel. At no stage does the host organization has a say on the stories generated from the coverage, interviews conducted, publication date and story treatment. Content is produced solely by following editorial guidelines.

  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with