Let local artist Jahan Loh show you around our inspiring sights, complete with heritage sites and progressive galleries.
“I love Tiong Bahru because it’s a mix of the old and new world,” Jahan shares. To fully experience Tiong Bahru’s charm, start at Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre with breakfast on the second floor and a stroll through the fresh produce section on the first.
At the other end of the street, past the various cafes and independent art gallery DegiosArt, is the 95-year-old Qi Tian Gong Temple—the first temple in Singapore that’s dedicated to the Buddhist Monkey God. Devotees come from all over the world to offer incense and prayers.
Venture further southwest into the neighbourhood to join new-age hipsters in their hunt for vinyl and handcrafted curios at independent local stores like Curated Records and Strangelets. As Jahan puts it, “Tiong Bahru is hip without being too gentrified.”
Spend the rest of the afternoon immersed in the meeting of worlds at National Gallery Singapore. “The architecture and space of the National Gallery draws me in because it’s a mix of old meets new, and East meets West,” shares Jahan. Formerly the Supreme Court Building and City Hall, this gallery houses the world’s largest public collection of Singaporean and Southeast Asian art.
In the evening, go drinking and people-watching at Clarke Quay. This bustling nightlife hub is home to a variety of live music bars and clubs, including Singapore’s most iconic club, Zouk. In 2006, 2007 and 2010, Zouk was ranked number 10 on DJ Magazine’s list of Top 100 clubs in the world, and its reputation has helped Singapore to attain global recognition in the nightlife scene.
Having relocated to Clarke Quay in December 2016, this local nightlife establishment holds many memories for Jahan: “Zouk was a huge influence for me when I was growing up—[I was influenced by its] music and flyers. With the new Zouk, I’m reminded of how we can draw inspiration from the past, while still moving towards the future.”