Get us in your inbox

Search
coney island
Photograph: Delfina Utomo

The guide to Coney Island in Singapore

Once it was an untouched island with a solitary cow, but these days Coney Island in Punggol is looking a lot better

Delfina Utomo
Written by
Delfina Utomo
Advertising

The iconic solitary cow on Coney Island is no longer there but there are still plenty of things to see on this rustic island in the North-East of Singapore. The island is very easily accessible from Punggol Central – no passports and ferries involved. If you want to feel away from Singapore without leaving the country, Coney Island is a great place to escape to. 

This ecologically sustainable park also uses timber from fallen trees for all the signage in the park, benches and the boardwalk over the mangrove swamp. Pack your bags, it's time to make the trip to the northeast of Singapore. 

RECOMMENDED: The best hiking trails in Singapore and the ultimate guide to Singapore's offshore islands

Getting there

Getting there

No, you don't have to swim across or get on a ferry to reach the island. With bus service 84 from Punggol Interchange, you'll drive through Punggol's residential estates away from the HDB clusters in the new, developing. Alight at the now-defunct Punggol Ranch where you can walk to the boardwalk at Punggol Beach that leads to the island. Stop by The Punggol Settlement to get some water or rent some bikes – though you can trek the entire island by foot – before you head to Coney Island. Alternatively, you can enter from the other end of the island from Lorong Halus Wetlands.

Look out for the monkeys
Photograph: Delfina Utomo

Look out for the monkeys

Sure you can pack a picnic at Coney Island but do it at your own risk! Remember that everything on the island is kept rustic so there will be native macaques and other wildlife on the island. The macaques are quite the mischievous bunch but are harmless if you ignore them. Avoid bringing plastic bags and food on the island – the sound of plastic rustling attracts them – and stick to exploring. Other wildlife you might spot on your trek will be rare birds and also snakes.

Advertising
Secret beaches
Photograph: Delfina Utomo

Secret beaches

Follow the main trail that brings you from the main West entrance of the island to the East entrance near Lorong Halus but venture to the many coastal trails that branch out from the main trail. You'll be rewarded with glimpses of the developing mangrove and tiny serene beaches – but beware of sandflies!

Mangrove trail
Photograph: Delfina Utomo

Mangrove trail

The mangrove trail is one of the highlights of Coney Island. Walk on the boardwalk that takes you through a mangrove forest. If you look closely, you might see mudskippers and if you're lucky, water snakes. Remember to dismount from your bike if you're cycling to be considerate to other people trekking. At the end of the boardwalk is one of the best viewpoints of Coney Island. Tip: one of the best times to come to Coney Island is after a rainy day – the mangroves will be filled and there's plenty more to see.

Advertising
Abandoned villa
Photograph: Delfina Utomo

Abandoned villa

Until recently, the unoccupied Haw Par Beach Villa has been spotted deep inside the forest. Built in 1937 by the Aw brothers (the duo behind Tiger Balm and Haw Par Villa), the single-story villa comes complete with an open verandah. It's said that the brothers owned it until the 1950s before the government acquired it in the 1970s. A graffiti on one of its walls is dated "Sept '66" which could be assumed that it was already abandoned then. The path to the villa is boggy, with "no entry" signs along the way, so go at your own risk.

Bird watching
Photograph: Delfina Utomo

Bird watching

If you take the coastal trails, you'll find designated bird-watching huts where watchers or photographers can sit and spot the rare species of birds on the island and also snap some photos of the surrounding woods. Coney Island is really a pretty park if you're prepared to rough it out for a few hours. 

 

Advertising
Sunset hike
Photograph: Delfina Utomo

Sunset hike

Coney Island closes its gates at 7pm so you can still squeeze in an evening hike. In fact, the sunsets at Coney Island are quite spectacular. Watch the sun spill through the tall trees as you walk on the main track or sit on the steps by the water to enjoy a clear view of the sunset and waterfront. 

Continue the hike
Photograph: Delfina Utomo

Continue the hike

Now that you've seen the entire island – and want to see some more of this side of Singapore – exit via the East entrance which leads to the Lorong Halus Wetlands. Take a walk by Serangoon Reservoir where you might see some industrious birdwatchers coming out from the woods. Be curious and follow them – they might just lead you to secret swamps and the best spots to catch some birdlife in action. 

More trails and ways

Advertising
Advertising
Recommended
    You may also like
      Advertising