5 images that reveal a different side to Singapore
Discover a whole other side of this island nation through the eyes of award-winning documentary photographer Mindy Tan
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 (@mindytanphoto) takes us on a personalised tour of Singapore that you can watch here. In this 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.
This photo itinerary offers a guide into the hidden but no less fascinating places in Singapore.
1. Visit the Kebun Baru Bird Singing Club
For a peek into the city’s 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 feathered friends in cages hoisted high above the ground. After you’ve snapped a few photos, close your eyes and simply soak in the melodious sounds of the birds singing.
2. Strike a pose along Koon Seng Road
Located in the Peranakan enclave that is Katong, this iconic row of shophouses has been dubbed “the most colourful street in Singapore” because of the multi-hued structures that line the street. Once you’ve gotten a shot for the ‘gram, continue exploring the lively lanes and bustling stalls that make up this characterful neighbourhood.
Read more: Street artists Ripple Root share their favourite al fresco restaurants in Singapore
3. Learn the art of making dumplings at Kim Choo Kueh Chang
Kim Choo Kueh Chang is a 75-year-old eatery specialising in Nyonya rice dumplings. Here, the filling is flavoured with Chinese five-spice powder and is made with diced (not minced) pork for added texture and candied winter melon, which lends a touch of sweetness to the dumpling. To find out more about their rice dumpling workshops, contact them here.
4. Feast on durians in Geylang
Love it or hate it, some people say you can’t leave Singapore without trying the King of Fruits. The best place to shop for durians is in Geylang where you’ll find rows and rows of stalls hawking the spiky, pungent but oh-so-delicious fruit. And remember, the stronger it smells, the better the taste!
5. Admire the strength of dragon boat rowers at Kallang River
Dragon boat racing is an ancient Chinese tradition built on strength and coordination between a crew of paddlers, and is a popular sport in Singapore. Many teams train at the Kallang Basin, which is framed by the spectacular backdrop of the National Stadium as well as the Marina Bay skyline.
Read more: Singapore’s best urban farms, as recommended by culinary anthropologist Nithiya Laila