Located in the north-eastern part of Singapore, Punggol – with its signature waterfront housing districts – is Singapore’s first Eco-Town, which integrates green living in an urbanized area.
Originally a fishing village predominantly occupied by Malay settlers, Punggol saw a rise in Chinese immigrants in the mid-19th century who engaged in plantation work, poultry farming and pig-rearing. Hydroponic vegetable farms and orchid farms used to flourish, alongside old kampungs and low-rise residential areas. Most of these farms have since given way to the high-rise HDB flats, condominiums and shopping malls. The last pig farm closed down in 1990.
Today, Punggol is considered a buzzing hotspot for food, photography, and recreation. On top of shopping malls like Waterway Point and Oasis Terraces, this waterfront town boasts many hidden gems for foodies, as well as for those looking for fun outdoor activities.
Here is a list of things to do in Punggol:
PUNGGOL EAST CONTAINER PARK RESTAURANTS
Social Entrepreneurship and Eco-park Development (SEED) aims to be the first integrated social playground for innovative and inclusive solutions to social challenges. There are seven container restaurants along Tebing Lane are under SEED, namely Pump Station 1965, Seoul Good, Miami Bistro, L’Chiam Bistro, Big Fish Small Fish, D’Grill. What is interesting is that these restaurants offer jobs to the marginalized, raise awareness for sustainability and encourage mindfulness. The food that are available here ranges from local delights to foreign food. Furthermore, the ambience is relaxing and soothing, especially during the evenings when a live band is playing. You can also take nice Instagram-worthy shots here with the containers.
Located along the coast, Punggol Settlement houses many local and foreign restaurants. You can choose from a wide selection to satisfy any craving, from House of Seafood and the famous White Restaurant to Siam Square Mookata and Izakaya 95. With these restaurants located along the coast and boardwalk, you are able to enjoy the scenery while dining with your loved ones. You can also rent bicycles to cycle around the area and visit the famous turtle pond. In addition, water activities such as jet skis are also available there.
Take a break from city life and explore Coney Island on foot or bicycle. There are various nature routes which offers some incredible scenery. If you are lucky, you may even spot wild animals such as monkeys and otters. Remember to take some Instagram-worthy shots in front of the huge, metal gates at the entrance. Do make an effort to find Beach D to enjoy the view of a field of lalangs – an Instagram worthy shot.
PUNGGOL WATERWAY PARK
Built around Punggol Waterway and located along Sentul Crescent, this park is segregated and divided into four different themes: Nature Cove, Recreation Zone, Heritage Zone and Green Gallery. There is an array of activities that cater to different age groups. For adventurous teenagers and young adults, the longest man-made waterway, measuring 4.2 metres, allows you to learn kayak. As for families with young children, there are sand and water play areas, offering up an excellent opportunity to expose your children to nature and outdoors. In addition, there are also running and cycling tracks. Different species of birds can also be found in Punggol Waterway Park at different times of the year. There are also a few Instagram-worthy bridges such as the Jewel Bridge and the Adventure Bridge that will impress.
LORONG HALUS WETLAND
It is found next to the Serangoon Reservoir and has undergone major changes before becoming what it is today. Lorong Halus Wetland is a special system that treats the leachate and prevents it from polluting the waters in the reservoir. The entire process uses natural plants to treat the leachate in an environmentally-friendly way. Learn more about the history of Lorong Halus Wetland and the treatment processes from the many signboards and information panels along the pathways. Do look out for the iconic deep-orange Lorong Halus Bridge that stretches over the Serangoon River – a great photo spot. In addition, you will be able to cycle or jog to Pasir Ris via this bridge.
WATER ACTIVITIES AT MARINA COUNTRY CLUB
Before indulging at the club’s Cantonese restaurant Dai Lou, do check out the water activities at the port. The waters are usually calm and peaceful, so it will be safe even if you do not know how to swim. Housing the largest wakeboarding hub in Singapore, attend wakeboarding lessons that are taught by skilful and professional instructors. The lessons cost approximately S$130 per hour but that includes boat hire, equipment and instructor. Besides wakeboarding, you can also try water-skiing and diving. If adrenaline-pumping activities aren’t your style, there is still an option to enjoy the sunset on a cruise or partake in alfresco dining.
HAI BIN OR RIVIERA PRAWNING
Punggol boasts not one but two prawning establishments – Hai Bin and Riviera Prawning, which are open 24 hours around the clock. The rates are by the hour, so the more prawns you catch, the better. There is also an option to barbecue your prawns on the spot, too. At Riviera Prawning, there are some incentives if you manage to catch their tagged prawns. Over at Hai Bin Prawning, there is a Banyan Bar and Kitchen, where you order other dishes to go with your barbecued prawns. Best enjoyed with some ice cold beer. Do note that it is costlier to prawn at Hai Bin Prawning than at Riviera Prawn Fishing.
This story first appeared on 99.co.