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Uncle Ringo
Photograph: Delfina Utomo

The ultimate guide to Punggol

The sprawling coastal town in the northeast has plenty of parks and family-friendly things to do

Nicole-Marie Ng
Delfina Utomo
Written by
Nicole-Marie Ng
&
Delfina Utomo
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In the past, the Punggol area used to be a rural district dotted with farmhouses and farm structures. Today, the waterfront heartland of Punggol is home to streams, reservoirs and an energetic atmosphere that sees it constantly pulsing with life. Watch fitness enthusiasts out on jogs with their puppies, as well as families tucking into seafood feasts and children having a whale of a time at water parks.

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DO

Uncle Ringo funfair
Photograph: Delfina Utomo

Uncle Ringo funfair

From Wednesdays to Sundays, Punggol gets buzzy in the evenings when the eateries, pubs and neighbourhood prawning spot opens. There's one more things adding to the bustle – the Uncle Ringo funfair. Bring the kids along to catch fun carnival rides like carousels, merry-go-rounds and pirate ships, and even get the chance to gawk at towering dinosaurs and other mythical creatures. The funfair is open every Wednesday to Saturday 5pm-8pm and Sundays till 9pm.  

  • Things to do
  • Punggol

Though it is an island, you don't have to hop on a ferry to get here. Just put on a pair of good walking shoes or jump on a bike to get here. This park may be small and can be explored within 30 minutes, but there is plenty to see – from its coastal trails, the mangroves and the ancient trees in the park. This ecologically sustainable reserve also uses timber from fallen trees for all the signage in the park, benches and the boardwalk over the mangrove swamp. Everything on the island is kept rustic and as it is, so expect to find hidden beaches and some wildlife out and about. 

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Hai Bin Prawning
  • Things to do
  • Punggol

Hai Bin Prawning in Punggol is perfect for a bottle of beer and, if luck is on your side, a heaped-up plate of fresh prawns. It’s set up under a thatched roof with hanging red lanterns above plastic chairs that surround six ponds, all regularly filled with live prawns. Equipment and bait are included in the hourly fee, along with barbecue pits, charcoal, satay sticks and salt for seasoning. The onsite beer garden charges reasonable rates for labels like Corona and Hoegaarden ($6-$10), along with red and white wine for under $40.

There are two outlets including the one at Jurong.

  • Things to do
  • Pasir Ris

Though a scenic spot on Punggol, Lorong Halus Wetland is also an educational place where you can learn about the unique water bio-treatment system which uses plants as part of the treatment process. Every pond you see in the park is part of the system. Stroll through to read more about the process and how each pond contributes to this system. The most stunning views can be enjoyed by the Serangoon Reservoir or on the famous red bridge that links the residential part of Punggol to the park. 

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  • Things to do
  • Punggol

This park offers four unique themes with something in store for visitors of all ages. The Nature Cove features a picturesque view of the Waterway, with a relaxing lawn area for families to spend lazy Sundays. At the Recreation Zone, little ones can let loose with activities like water play and sand play, while the rest of the family gets a workout at the fitness corner. The Heritage Zone offers gorgeous greenery along the stretch of the old Punggol Road, where families can take a walk down memory lane, and the Green Gallery consists of a peaceful trail along the park's natural terrain. If you want to get active with your family, go for the cycling or inline skating activities, or admire the views from the Rope Bridge and Kelong Bridge.

Punggol Beach
  • Attractions
  • Beaches
  • Punggol

That this was the site of the Sook Ching Massacre in 1942 is impossible to ignore – there is an on-site heritage marker detailing the tragic event – still, this stretch of beach in Northern Singapore is a gem. The sand is fine and soft, there’s a collection of boulders (which makes for great photos), and there's a jetty you can walk out to which offers scenic views, especially when the tide is high.

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  • Sport and fitness
  • Punggol

This family-friendly SAFRA club is the first to receive the prestigious Building and Construction Authority Green Mark Platinum award. Some highlights of the five-storey club include an indoor water playground, dedicated swimming pools, badminton courts, a bowling alley, and the biggest NurtureStars Preschool and a series of educational centres that offer programmes ranging from linguistics to the arts.

NSmen and families can also rent bicycles and rollerblades, and conveniently return the bicycles at any of the designated 'pitstops' situated outside the club.  

EAT

  • Restaurants
  • Bistros
  • Punggol

Boasting a large outdoor veranda that looks out at Punggol-Serangoon Reservoir, Whisk and Paddle is a tranquil oasis that's perfect for a leisurely meal. Its comprehensive menu includes an all-day breakfast selection, burgers, pastas, pizzas and mains lke the coq au vin ($28.80) and lamb shank ($30.80). The family-friendly space even has a kids' menu and small playground to keep the tykes entertained. 

  • Restaurants
  • Singaporean
  • Punggol
  • price 2 of 4

Seafood by the beach? It only makes sense. This eatery had been lauded as one of the best seafood restaurants and you can see all its testimonials plastered on the walls in the form of photos with local celebrities dining. Some of the usual dishes you will find on the table with the diners are crab (with assorted sauces), lobster, clams and more. 

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Rong Hua Bak Kut Teh
  • Restaurants
  • Singaporean
  • Punggol
  • price 1 of 4

If you like your bak kut teh soup base peppery, the one at Rong Hua Bak Kut Teh would serve your tastebuds just fine. A good bah kut teh relies heavily on the freshness of ingredients in the soup base and you can taste this in the soup here. The side dishes that come with the soup are also commendable and the roast pork is a crowd favourite

  • Restaurants
  • Pan-Asian
  • Punggol
  • price 1 of 4

Huang Hong Ji Porridge has been serving bowls of comforting Cantonese porridge to the residents living in Tanglin Halt for the past 40 years. Fortunately for the residents in Punggol, the stall has set up its flagship store in Punggol where it continues to roll out its signature dishes including the bestselling congee mix of cuttlefish, fish, pork and deep-fried pig's intestines.

SHOP

  • Shopping
  • Punggol

Located alongside other plant nurseries in the Punggol area, BLG stands out as one of the stops to make when you're shopping for plants. The huge compound houses a wide variety of plants, including air plants, cacti (including rare specimens), ferns, plants suited for an outdoor garden, herbs and more. There is also a huge section of pots and gardening needs that you can pick while on your way out. 

  • Attractions
  • Garden centres and nurseries
  • Punggol

This popular greenhouse in Punggol is where you can find a selection of the trendiest plants for your living spaces. Make a trip yourself to bring home some stripey peperomia, pink-leaved calatheas, polka-dotted begonia plants and more. And if you can't make it down to the greenhouse, the House of Plants has brought the goods online. There is a good collection of plants suitable for the indoors like monsteras and philodendrons. One thing we love about shopping on this site is that the team promises that you will receive the exact plant in the photos.

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  • Shopping
  • Florists
  • Punggol

It started as a hobby, which grew into an obsession, and now, Wan Ting is the proud owner of A Tilly A Day. Rock up to the store in Waterway Point and you’ll find serenity in the natural greenery. The shop gets its name from tillandsia – the scientific name for air plants, her biggest passion. When she first started out as a home gardener, she never had much luck with keeping her plants alive – until she had air plants. 

For Wan Ting, gardening is a form of therapy. Spending time with her air plants brings her a sense of calm. If you walk into her store, it's easy to see why – the huge driftwood at the store window is decorated with various air plants creating an indoor forest vibe. 

One of the best parts of keeping air plants is that it basically survives on nothing, besides some water misting and the occasional bath. This makes it a suitable indoor plant to keep even for the busiest people. Drop by the shop and discover how diverse the range of air plants are: from the bulbous and onion-looking to the leafy and flowering sorts. 

Waterway Point
  • Shopping
  • Punggol

Located right next to Punggol MRT/LRT station, the surburban retail and lifestyle hub offers a variety of dining and shopping outlets. The mall also overlooks the scenic Punggol Waterway park so if you're down with combing shops like H&M, Uniqlo, Daiso and more, head to the pavilion which overlooks the network of canals for a quick breather. 

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