Penniless Tour: Ann Siang Hill

There’s a place in Singapore where you can get away from the busy cosmopolitan streets. For shutterbugs such as myself, Ann Siang Hill stands out with its bohemian, chill vibe—a great escape from all things mainstream and loud.

Back in the old days, Ann Siang Hill was the main location for many remittance houses, clan associations, and exclusive social clubs of the different Chinese dialect groups. The remittance houses are no longer there, and many of the finely decorated shop houses are now restaurants, offices and bars. Spend a day walking uphill and you’ll discover an array of contemporary designer boutiques, niche bookstores, specialty restaurants, coffee shops and other unique businesses that will catch you eye.

Tourist favorites include 1) Stevie General Store, a novelty vintage antique shop, 2) The Patissier, a French cake shop, 3) Screening Room, a cinema with a rooftop bar, 4) Asylum, a quirky retail store, 5) Books Actually, a niche bookstore, and 6) Front Row, an underground fashion hub.

It’s too bad I went on a Sunday afternoon, as most of the shops were closed. I still managed to snap a lot of great photographs and have the time of my life without spending a single cent.