Tiong Bahru Bird Corner

I’ve blogged before about bird singing areas when I visited the Kebun Baru Bird Singing Club in Ang Mo Kio, and since then I’ve noticed a couple of other smaller bird singing areas around Singapore.

I’m currently completing a university assignment on Tiong Bahru and was struck by the bird singing corner on the corner of Tiong Bahru Road and Seng Poh Road.

Tiong Bahru (2)What struck me was the EMPTINESS of the corner. Not a bird in sight on any of the times I’ve been down that way.

According to the Tiong Bahru Heritage Trail the history of the bird corner goes back to the early 80s when the owner of the coffee shop on the corner noticed the crowds that gathered to hear the birds at the pet shop across the road and  built a structure outside his shop to attract business. It didn’t take long for the bird corner to become a popular spot for both locals and tourists.

Back in the day!

Back in the day!

Sadly, the building that house the coffee shop was ‘redeveloped’ in 2003 and the bird corner was also demolished. Although the owners of the hotel that now stands on the site reopened the bird corner in 2008 the bird owners have never returned, and the bird corner stands empty and forlorn.

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Boon Teck Road Water Kiosk

DSCF4362Along Balestier Road on the corner of Boon Teck Road stands a cart hosting a couple of urns – one of clean, fresh drinking water and the other with Su Teh tea (it apparently relieves the effects of heat.

In times past when fresh water was a luxury a few of these kiosks sat around Singapore, but this is the last one remaining. The kiosks have always been maintained by charitable institutions and the one on Boon Teck Road is maintained by the charity Thong Teck Sian Tong Lian Sin Sia.

DSCF4363The water kiosk is on the corner of Balestier Road and Boon Teck Road in the Balestier/Moulmein area. Both water and tea are free, but BYO cup!

Reference: Balestier; A Heritage Trail, 2011, National Heritage Board.