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Tiong Bahru

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The now charming and modern Tiong Bahru area was once home to really large families where space was a premium, squeezing five in one bedroom even. Mention Tiong Bahru to the under-30s, and they will think of a now-trendy neighbourhood with art cafés and indie bookstores. But to my mother – and some others from her generation – Singapore’s oldest estate was not nearly as glamorous as it is today. Instead, the words “Tiong Bahru” bring to her mind the image of almost 20 family members living in a three-room flat. “The vintage and sometimes European architecture of the estate…