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You might be familiar with the location; you might not. Either way, it doesn’t matter, because ActuallyMAG took the nosedive and explored the mythical place of legend for you. In this sophomore installation of getting lost in the city, we now find ourselves exploring the district surrounding Ann Siang Hill.

Located somewhere between Chinatown and Telok Ayer, the place is getting increasingly popular of late; slowly gaining attention as a niche destination of sorts.

Getting there for the first time might prove a little tricky though; aside from its obscure geographical setting, the location could come off as unassuming compared to the range of eclectic finds it harbors. It is the type of area where you could stroll by, only to have an “oh, this is it?” thought in your head as you realize that you’ve reached your destination.

Do not get me wrong though; this place is anything but boring. Just from the tranquility of the area alone, the allure of the place magically grows on you like a serving of Cheesy Nachos for an empty stomach.

When you get to the hill, you will find that the vicinity’s architecture of choice is vintage shophouses – and we mean really vintage shophouses. Some of them have even preserved their vintage saloon doors, especially those found along Ann Siang Road.

Wish we could actually try swinging the doors. Bet it'd feel squishy.

With Asylum, the multi-label concept store; Fred Perry’s Laurel Wreath Collection Shop, which obviously needs no further introduction; and Oakham Market, a neat little vintage thrift store – it’s easy to see why many define Ann Siang as the (obscure) fashion destination.

A vintage thrift store hidden away in a basement. Beat that, hipsters!

And what makes a destination cool without quirky shops selling even quirkier items? We find our answer to that in the little dröm store and Trolley, both of which are lifestyle concept stores; selling just about everything a hyperactive 5 year old could conjure up given 3 wishes.

K ki. Kinky. the little dröm store? Not as kinky but just as good.

Believe us, if you thought Ann Siang was a retail destination; you’ve definitely thought wrong. The place is peppered with so many cafés/bars/bistros/restaurants, ActuallyMAG would turn into a food guide should we decide to introduce them all… which isn’t entirely impossible, but you get the drift. A few you should keep an eye out though, are P.S. Café, perched at the “peak” of Ann Siang Hill; K ki, a fine pastries shop sharing the space with The Little Drom Store; and shots. a café on ann siang hill., well… a café on Ann Siang Hill.

Definitely one of the cooler cafés around Town. This is one to check out.

Rounding up the trip, taking a walk at around the Ann Siang district had brought about a strangely fulfilling feeling. We do not know if it’s the calories burnt, or the discovery of new, cool stuff – but it doesn’t matter. The list above is left non-extensive on purpose. It may be a little too clichéd to say this, but you really have to take a walk down Ann Siang yourself to understand what we experienced. And of course, we feel that there’s nothing better than doing a little exploration yourself for new haunts and discoveries.

Should you decide to take the leap of faith and travel down Ann Siang after reading this, here’s a little pro tip from us. The appeal of Ann Siang doesn’t only stop there; it extends to its surroundings, so be sure to check out the nearby spots such as Club Street, Mohamed Ali LaneAmoy Street and Telok Ayer Street. We assure you that it will be more than worth the calories burnt.

Because we’re truly generous people here at ActuallyMAG, here’s another one. Given Singapore’s sweltering weather and the unforgiving gradient of the hill, you’re probably better off wearing something loose and comfortable; we learnt the hard way.

– Toke

Images by Hafiz

View the rest of the images taken from the trip below.

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