Take a one-way (MRT) trip to the far east – you’ll find more than chalets and droves of army boys. Hit up Pasir Ris and Changi for a walk through nature as you explore the mangroves or chug down refreshing brews by the seaside. We round up where to hang out and what to do while you're in these two quaint neighbourhoods.
Managed by NTUC Foodfare, this hawker centre in the East aims to attract and mentor the next generation of hawkers, or hawkerpreneurs. On the first floor of the Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre, you'll find the usual suspects, from ayam penyet and Hokkien mee to bak chor mee and fish soup. For something different, head upstairs for stalls selling dishes like Thai boat noodles, Cajun seafood boils and healthy grain bowls – hardly the hawker staples we’re accustomed to.
Calling itself a 'Toppoki' restaurant, Mukshidonna is the place to go for delicious budae jjigae, a Korean spicy sausage stew. Choose from a variety of soup bases from bulgogi (beef) and budae (chicken sausage) to mussels and mushroom (and if you want the extra kick, add $1 to make it spicier). You can further expand your dish with add-ons like eggs, scallops and odaeng (fishcake), as well as fried rice and noodles. The literal translation of the name is: eat (muk), rest (shi), pay (don) and leave (na) – so get Mukshidonna.
Follow the aroma of freshly brewed coffee to this cosy little cottage tucked in a corner of White Sands Mall. Then sit back, relax and enjoy a warm cuppa with a country-style pie that’s baked in-house. Go for the hearty chicken pie – it’s the house specialty – but make it quick as these sell out fast.
Have a slice of Thailand without leaving the country at The Basil Inn. Authentically Thai, the Thai chefs at this resto use traditional cooking methods to create dishes that ooze the true flavours and tastes of Bangkok. Spice up your lunch and dinner plans with fresh-off-the-wok phad Thai ($6.50), piping hot tom yum goong ($6) and the signature steamed lemongrass fish ($30) that's large enough to share.
Opened in 2008 as a casual dining spot for handmade noodles at E!Avenue, Yumen Hut has become a favourite among Eastsiders for comforting ban mian and you mian dishes at affordable prices – most bowls are less than $5. The noodles here are made using vegetable juice for taste and nutrition. Start with the all-time faves like the seafood ban mian, before leveling up with the pasta sauce pumpkin noodles or the laksa paprika noodles. It's so well received that the snaking queues that line the resto resulted in an extension and later, a second restaurant next door at Downtown East.
Yes, it’s ridiculously ulu. But trust us, a visit to this one-year-old microbrewery is well worth your Grab fare. Little Island occupies a warehouse-like space on the eastern reaches of Singapore, pouring out a range of ales, porters and stouts. Bonus points for its laid-back vibe – the beach is just a stroll away – and the ’60s psychedelic-inspired beer labels.
Nothing beats chilling at this 'friendly neighbourhood bar' by Pasir Ris beach. Couple your ice-cold beers with Western grill faves such as the signature Georges burger ($17.90), beer-battered fish and chips ($15.90) and pull pork sandwich ($15.90) at the family restaurant and sports bar. Enjoy it all with live band performances, live sports screenings and a friendly game of pool after your meal.
Located on the outskirts of Changi, this casual dining hotspot is a treasure trove of retro memorabilia – think antique bicycles, vintage cameras and kerosene lamps. The restaurant itself is spacious and airy, flooded with natural light due to its floor-to-ceiling windows, while surrounding greenery provide ample opportunities for an outdoor shot. The menu includes sharing plates like har cheong gai (prawn paste chicken) ($14), crispy pork ribs ($16) and wagyu cubes ($24), while seafood selections like the grilled octopus ($31), sambal squid ($21) and drunken lala clams ($23) promise to be fresh and filling.
Indonesian cuisine by the beach? Count us in. This family resto along Changi Coast Walk dishes out authentic Indonesian fare like its Gurame goreng (deep fried fish), gulai kepala ikan (spicy fish dish), tahu kipas (stuffed fried tofu) and udang gala sambal (spicy prawns). You can even turn up the heat factor with its fragrant chilli sauce.
Located close to Changi Point Ferry Terminal (the main transfer point to Pulau Ubin), it’s convenient for weekend fishermen and residents living in nearby HDB estates like Pasir Ris and Tampines looking for supper. There are more Malay-cuisine stalls here than at most other hawker centres, and Changi Village is hailed as a nasi lemak haven by most locals. Check out International Muslim Food Stall Nasi Lemak (#01-03) known for their signature nasi lemak dish ($3.50) that comes with crispy and juicy fried chicken, lemongrass-tinged pandan rice and chunky otah.
Go for a jaunt through Pasir Ris Park with the kids in tow. While the coastline view is a plus, explore the mangrove swamp using the boardwalks and bird-watch at the three-story viewing tower. Playgrounds and pony rides keep the kids entertained, while nearby barbecue pits and nature trails ensure parents can keep an eye out for their little ones.
From high-speed flume rides to four-storey slides and wave pools, there’s plenty to do at this water park. Small children can take it easy in the meandering river or splash around in Yippie!, a shallow sloshing area. The Yakult Professor’s Playground, with its slides, ladders, water cannons and fountains, will entertain older kids for hours. More adventurous ones will prefer the exhilarating trip down the 'Ular-Lah' raft slide, with its high, banked corners and 360° spins. The water park has also added four new rides for adrenaline-seekers. There's the 'Royal Flush', which sends you down a steep drop, and the 'Free Fall' that takes riders down a near-vertical slide that's six storeys high. Compete with your friends as you speed down the four-lane ride 'Kraken Racers', or if you're more of a solo daredevil, then the 19m-tall Vortex that turns and twists is set to be thrilling.
Here’s why you should make a trip to the boondocks (otherwise known as Pasir Ris): D’Resort. Sure, the name leaves much to be D’sired, but the quiet surroundings and affordable prices make it worthy digs for your next staycation. For large gatherings, check out the Mangrove Walk rooms, which have two queen beds, a balcony and access to the BBQ pit. Families can book a stay at the Rainforest Family and couples with cash to spare can go for the luxe option: Rainforest Premier Suite.
Saddle up – horse riding isn’t just for trust fund babies or polo players. Learning to ride at Gallop Stables starts from as little as $65 (per 30-minute session). There’s also private or group lessons, a 20-minute pony ride ($45) for little ones, three years and up, and the option to go riding(with an instructor) for an hour ($85) on the Fairways Green Track or Fairways Sand Ring.
Spot mudskippers, herons and even monitor lizards as you amble down the Pasir Ris Mangrove Boardwalk Trail. Great angles for the camera: at the jetty overlooking Sungei Tampines, and on the three-storey-high Bird Watching Tower, which offers views of the swamps from way up high.
The sports centre features a range of facilities including an unassuming public gym on the second floor that offers a full view of the waterslides and swimming pool of the complex on the bottom floor, as well as a glimpse of the lush park that surrounds the area. And entry for both the gym and pool costs less than $5.
One of the oldest in Singapore, it's located so far away from the city centre that it has remained relatively undeveloped. And that’s a good thing. Unlike East Coast Park, Changi Beach Park has a distinct kampong vibe. You’ll feel it the moment you sink your toes into the white sand. In fact, we daresay that this park is your best bet if you want to escape the weekend throngs. Rent bicycles for the family and hit the nearby Park Connectors, or book one of the 20 barbecue pits across the entire park – and since most people flock to its cousin on East Coast, it’s relatively easier to score one here.
Entertain yourself throughout the night at latest lifestyle concept, Jewel Changi Airport. This majestic dome is home to over 280 dining and retail outlets, with some open around the clock – think dining at ungodly hours at American fast-food chain A&W or food court Five Spice, or killing a couple of hours with a movie at 24-hour Shaw Theatres. You can also catch the hourly light and sound show at the HSBC Rain Vortex, the mall’s 40m-tall indoor waterfall, from 7.30pm to midnight.