Yong Siak Street: Strangelets, Books Actually & 40 Hands

I finally made it to Yong Siak Street which is in Tiong Bahru, after reading so many complementary posts by so many young bloggers. When I was there the most striking thing I saw was this poster for a beautiful lost kitten named Gaspare.

photo by bookjunkie

I can finally say I am not swakoo and that I have actually been to these cool places and I now know what you’re raving about. And I will admit, this is a pretty awesome enclave. Quirky and charming come to mind when describing this area.  Although what you see when you enter this street is a grungy old building. In a way, it’s a nicely tucked away secret hideout for hipsters.

photo by bookjunkie

Just love the uniqueness of the decor and the name – Strangelets. What’s not to love about that name.

Then there’s Books Actually, a boutique bookstore which requires a whole other post. Singapore is filling with these cosy little independent bookstores, including Woods in the Books and Littered with Books that I need to check out.

photo by bookjunkie

I love simple, stark and a little bit of cosy.  That was the vibe I was getting from these three little establishments. It’s like an Etsy store transformed into Bricks and Mortar.  The truth is, I didn’t feel hipster enough and the prices of the books were higher than the prices at Kino.  However, this place has an edge.  It carries books by local authors including one by Teo Soh Lung about her arrest and detention.

And 40 Hands which I need to revisit for the coffee, when it’s a bit less crowded. This time it was just a short stop-over.

Meanwhile here are the best blogger reviews and articles for you to check out, before I reveal my own photo journey in the next few posts. The NY Times actually featured them all in its article about Singapore’s Expanding Cultural Realm:


2. NY Times (before it moved to Yong Siang)

Books Actually

1. ficsation
2. sgentrepreneurs

40 Hands

1. ate too much
2. 365days2play
3. somoofood

The whole vibe of the street seems to go with songs by She & Him:


P.S. Reader, Conrad pointed out to me that an article about Yong Siak Street just appeared in the Business Times. So I had to go hunt for it and here’s the link.

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore & recently cancer too.
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9 Responses to Yong Siak Street: Strangelets, Books Actually & 40 Hands

  1. whatsaysyou says:

    I have never heard of Yong Siak Street but I would love to explore it someday.

  2. notabilia says:

    I hang out here all the time. (Often have meetings at Forty Hands!) Wonder if we saw each other while you were there ;).

  3. 365days2play says:

    Wow the building sure looks old from this angle! Looks like some time warp. With a name like Gaspare, no wonder he went missing! 🙂

  4. brinjalboss says:

    It is a cool place and the changes are an amazing sight. Hope it doesn’t go too commercial or it will definitely lose its appeal. Wrote about the recent Sketch Walk by artists last month.


  5. Pingback: #89. Little Independent Cafes & Book Stores | Singapore Actually

  6. Pingback: Exploring Yong Siak Street at the Hip New Tiong Bahru | Singapore Actually

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