You’re in for a treat. Here’s 11 fun things to see and do in Punggol.
In its early days, the town used to be home to poultry, pig and vegetable farms. It was also famous for its seafood restaurants and sea sports development. Its history includes a national heritage site, Punggol Point which saw the massacre of Chinese civilians by Japanese soldiers during World War II. Now it’s been redeveloped with lots of recreational spots for residents in the area.
1. Take a bike ride down the Punggol Park Connector
The Punggol Park Connector is a 2km long route which links Gerald Drive (next to Kampong Lorong Buangkok, Singapore’s last rural village) to Sengkang Riverside Park, along the drainage reserve of Sungei Punggol. You can extend your ride through the Punggol Promenade and Serangoon Park connector for a 26km loop route. If you don’t have your own bike, there is a bicycle kiosk at Punggol Road (End), East of Punggol Jetty that is open 2pm – 8pm (Tuesday – Friday) and 9am – 8pm (Saturday / Sunday / Public Holiday). They are closed on Mondays.
2. Take a stroll around Punggol Point Park
The once popular seafood haunt beside Punggol Jetty has transformed into an idyllic waterfront destination with beautiful lily ponds, a sand-filled playground and an event plaza. Soak in the laidback atmosphere here and take in panoramic views of Pulau Ubin and the Straits of Johor on an elevated, ship-inspired viewing deck.
3. Visit the Punggol Beach Heritage Site
At 1942, 400 Chinese civilians were massacred here as part of the Sook Ching Massacre. The place has been declared as a national heritage site. There is a plaque commemorating this incident. The area was known as Kangkar back then. Kangkar means “river mouth” in Teochew.
4. Eat, drink, or ride a horse at Punggol Ranch or Punggol Settlement
This is one of the few laid back places you can ever find in Singapore. Tucked in one corner of the island, it offers a whole new different experience. Other than Horse Riding facilities, Punggol Ranch also offer chalet facilities, an Indian restaurant, Bacon & Booze Cafe & Bar, Cowboy Mart, Rabbit Park and campfire ground. Alternatively, check out the cluster of F&B Outlets (including House of Seafood, Jing Long Seafood, Georges By The Bay, Just The Place, Old Hock Kee, etc.) and Recreational (e.g Look Good Naked) Complex at Punggol Settlement.
5. Go Jogging Along The Punggol Promenade
While much of the Punggol Point coastline used to be inaccessible, today’s Punggol Point Walk allows you to enjoy the greenery and biodiversity flourishing along the coast. Stretch your legs on the 2.4km Punggol Promenade Nature Walk, the middle section of Punggol Promenade. The meandering trail dotted with fishing platforms and rest shelters offers a respite for nature lovers seeking out the area’s abundant flora and fauna. Southwards towards Punggol East, you can take pleasure in the sights of Sungei Serangoon AKA Coney Island.
6. Explore Coney Island (before it gets developed)
In the early days, and for a long time, Coney Island was an island retreat popular with families looking for picnic spots. In later years, the island became popular for water-skiing, boating, and fishing. Previously people have to hire boats from Punggol boatels or Changi Point to get here. Today it is part of Punggol New Town, a unique ‘Waterfront Town’ linked by two bridges/dams to mainland Singapore. At one end, the East Dam is near Lorong Halus Wetland. The West Dam is across Punggol Promenade, between the Nature Walk section and Jetty Walk section.
7. Cross bridges over the Punggol Waterway
Punggol Waterway was conceived as a ‘green pipeline’ linking two reservoirs & running through one of the oldest estates in Singapore. It is an environmental engineering marvel and has been recognised internationally for its innovative design & eco-green concepts. The building of the five bridges (Jewel Bridge, Adventure Bridge, Heritage Bridge, Wave Bridge, and Sunrise Bridge) across the waterway enhanced its functional & aesthetic value.
8. Play futsal, snooker or pool at @Punggol Recreation Complex
@Punggol’s main attraction is Hai Bin Prawning, which has two prawning ponds, a crabbing pond and a fishing pond. Next to it, there are three artificial turf futsal pitches operated by Sports Planet. The pitches open round the clock and cost $40-$95 an hour to rent. The pool and billiards hall has 28 snooker tables, 16 pool tables and four VIP rooms and rates start at $7-8 per hour. Directions: Nearest LRT Station – Riviera. Buses – 3, 85, 83, 569. Car – Drive along Punggol East Road, turn into Tebing Lane.
9. Visit the Lorong Halus Wetland Reserve
Located along the eastern bank of Serangoon Reservoir, Lorong Halus Wetland was transformed from a landfill (from the 1970s till the 1990s) into a haven for biodiversity. Spend some time exploring this wetland that spans the area of 18 football fields! Visitors entering Lorong Halus Wetland from Punggol Promenade will be greeted by the elegantly designed Lorong Halus Bridge, which is a charming addition to the natural surroundings. There are also information boards to explain how the wetland collects and treats rainwater that passes through the former dumping ground before it reaches the adjacent reservoir, therefore protecting our water supply.
10. Use the facilities at Marina Country Club.
This one-stop recreational haunt spreading over four acres of picturesque tropical north-eastern coastline is the only private country club amenity that is open to the public. An entire family can enjoy the facilities and amenities at the Club and the Resort on a “pay per use” basis. Accessibility is relatively convenient and easy by regular shuttle bus services from pick-up points next to Sengkang MRT (Pickup Bay is located directly opposite Compass Point and in front of Blk 257C). Address: 600 Ponggol Seventeenth Avenue. Singapore 829734.
11. Take a peak at Matilda House
Located off Punggol Road, the house was originally built in 1902 for Mr Alexander Cashin, whose family history in Singapore can be traced back to the early 1840s. His father was Joseph William Cashin, a lawyer’s clerk who made good and became the first Eurasian millionaire. He made his fortune on opium farms (legal in the 1880s) and subsequently real estate. According to the late Mr Howard Cashin (1920-2009), the house was named Matilda, after his paternal grandmother and built by his father, Mr Alexander Cashin, as a present for his wife. Matilda House was Gazetted on 21 February 2000 for conservation and will get a new lease of life in 2015 as a condominium clubhouse. Location coordinates: 1.405139, 103.898750 – go up the stairs of the overhead bridge for a better vantage point!
Matilda House Photos courtesy of Straits Times.