A Guide to the House of Tan Teng Niah | My Singapore Travel
Tan Teng Niaha
Tan Teng Niaha| Img via Wikimedia Commons

A Guide to the House of Tan Teng Niah

An Eye-catching Sight in Little India

Amongst the most Instagrammable places in Singapore, the distinctive House of Tan Teng Niah in Little India is not to be missed; here’s what you need to know.

Tan Teng Niaha

Tan Teng Niaha| Img by: Marcin Konsek via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0

What to Expect

While it’s not a typical attraction to explore inside, what stands out about this structure is its exterior that features a riot of colour. Only around a five-minute walk from properties like Park Hotel Farrer Park, it showcases Chinese and European-style design with individual elements be it pilasters, panels or slats, painted in various hues.

Design Elements

The House of Tan Teng Niah, easy to access for those based at a hotel in Farrer Park, offers keen observers more to see; these include swinging wooden half doors with fascinating carvings, a tiled roof and floral lunettes. Additionally, there’s a Chinese calligraphy inscription to be seen above the entrance door as well.

A Bit of History

Considered the last surviving Chinese villa in the Little India neighbourhood, this house dates to 1900; it originally belonged to Tan Teng Niah, a Chinese businessman (or “towkay”) who owned some sweet-making factories. In the 1980s, the house was restored and was subsequently given landmark status by the National Heritage Board.

Planning a Visit

You can find the House of Tan Teng Niah on Kerbau Road within walking distance from both the Little India and Farrer Park MRT stations. During the day is the optimal time to get the best shots since all the colours will be clearly visible; that said, consider weekday visits since the site can get crowded on weekends.