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Singapore's Seedy Neighborhoods and Warehouses Now Hot Spots

With
its Art Deco style wet market and pre-War public housing, Singapore's Tiong Bahru neighborhood has been
luring thirtysomething artists, architects, and other creatives in recent
years, so it was only a matter of time that funky small businesses began
popping up in the area.

Among the ’hood’s latest finds are 40 Hands, an
eclectic Aussie-run café that is devoted to the perfect brew; White Canvas
Gallery, an industrial space focused on emerging regional artists; and Nostalgia Hotel, 50 petite rooms
in a converted bungalow. Gentrification, however, hasn’t dislodged the
old-timers, so travelers can still soak in authentic local flavor.

The once
seedy Chinatown district of Keong Saik Road has evolved into an attractive
culinary strip, with a crop of new, lauded restaurants. The latest is Donoma, a slick, slim space in the Saff
Hotel that’s focused on new American cuisine. Other neighborhood gems: Bistro
Soori, the latest venture of the city’s fusion die-hard Jimmy Chok, and the
French-focused Taratata Bistrot. There’s also a charming café–cookbook
shop–test kitchen.

Meanwhile,
the remaking of Singapore’s
cityscape continues apace with the expected opening of the first phase of Gardens
by the Bay, sprawling public gardens that will grace the waterfront. The first
phase includes conservatories and 50-yard-tall vertical gardens!

Jennifer
Chen is
Travel
+ Leisure's Asia correspondent. You can follow her on Twitter at xiaochen6.

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