Google Singapore and the first few images that appear are probably of the iconic Marina Bay skyline or the futuristic Gardens by the Bay. The modern metropolis is packed with photogenic spots within its relatively small 721.5 km² land mass, but beyond the usual tourist offerings there are plenty of characterful places that usually fly under the tourist radar.
As part of a campaign between Ink and the Singapore Tourism Board centred on the theme of Strength, photographer Mindy Tan takes us on a personalised tour of Singapore.
In a short video, Tan gets acquainted with some of the more unique spots in Singapore, such as the bird singing club at Kebun Baru and the durian stalls lining the streets of Geylang. If you’re looking to explore a different side of the Lion City, this guide offers you a peek into lesser-known but no less fascinating places in Singapore.
1. Kebun Baru Bird Singing Club
For a peek into a bygone era, make your way to this bird singing club located just north of central Singapore. This open parkland is where singing-bird enthusiasts gather, displaying their prized avians in cages hoisted high above the ground. After you’ve snapped a few photos, close your eyes and simply soak in the melodious birdsong.
2. House of Tan Teng Niah
Dubbed “the most colourful house in Singapore”, this historic building (top) was constructed in 1900 by Tan Teng Niah, a candy and rubber businessman. Located in Little India, this two-storey house is awash in a psychedelic palette of colours – from sky blue to hot pink. Once you’ve got a shot for the ’gram, continue exploring the lively lanes and bustling stalls that make up this characterful neighbourhood.
3. Bukit Timah Railway Station
Previously a stop along the train line that transported passengers between Singapore and Malaysia, this disused station is now a popular attraction along the Rail Corridor running trail. Easily accessible from the nearby King Albert Park MRT station, this striking truss bridge is a popular spot for wedding photography as well as casual weekend shutterbugs.
4. Parkview Square
Often referred to by locals as the “Gotham building” because of its resemblance to the neo-Art Deco architecture found in the Batman universe, this towering structure features an eye-catching exterior made up of brown granite, bronze, lacquer and glass. Housed within the building’s high, cathedral-like space is Atlas, recently ranked number eight in the world (and best in Asia) by the World’s 50 Best Bars awards. In between snapping pictures of their three-storey-high gin library be sure to try one of the more than 1,300 gin labels available.