5 late-night things to do at Punggol
*note: the pictures are NOT mine. They’re basically from the net.*
This is pre-Punggol:
Empty, quiet, really nice for kite-flying.
This is Punggol now:
It’s pretty amazing. How everything went from nothing to a whole lot of urban HDB, cloying amount of people stuffed into blocks of flats. But when there’s people… there’s a 101 more things to do!
Here’s a little list on the exciting things to do in Punggol I discovered over the past two years:
1) Prawning and Fishing @ Hai Bin
It’s late at night, you’ve got pretty much nothing else to do, I’d suggest going down to Hai Bin for some prawning fun. It’s four pools of different seafood, two have prawns, one has crabs and the other fish.
You can actually hear Hai Bin, before you step into the area. It blasts top 40s music or club music throughout the night. I’ve stayed once till 3am and the music just doesn’t stop. It’s pretty amazing, you see groups of “professional” prawners sitting on the cheap plastic white chairs, and staring intently at the water, their nets practically teeming with prawns. Then you see another group, usually teenagers, huddled around two rods all desperately trying to catch something and failing miserably. Still it’s a great place to catch up with friends - albeit in an unglam way - and have a bbq with what little prawns you catch.
Fishing there is an adventure though. You would think, in a tiny pond, what the heck can you catch? A lot apparently. Next to the yellow-lined splash zone, you can see red buckets full of ice and fish. Huge fish, big and heavy. When you’re there, everyone’s staring intently at the water and the minute someone get’s a bite on their hook it’s a war between man and fish. Water flies everywhere, people have to pull up their rods to get out of the way. Then sploosh! Someone throws their hand in the water to grab the fish by the tail and it’s over. Quite a lot of fun.
Location: 6 Tebing Lane #01-04 Singapore 828835
Tel: +65 6447 8693
2) Have A Picnic @ Punggol Waterway Park
The new Punggol Waterway has to be one of the most beautiful places being developed in Singapore right now. B and I took a stroll from his house all the way to the other end and it was just stunning. There were a few joggers, some couples enjoying the night, and at the kids play area, some kids were running around even though the water works hadn’t come on yet. For one Valentine’s Day we climbed up a hill and had a picnic at twilight. Really peaceful pocket of nature in the midst of the hustle and bustle of city life.
3) Have a buffet dinner at Sakura Charcoal Grilled and Shabu Shabu @ Marina Country Club
We went a bit mad the last time my family and I went there. We had a non-stop munching fest cause my grandma was in the mood for some steamboat and charcoal grilled noms.There’s fresh seafood, a ton of meat, free-flow drinks and it was really fun cooking it on your own.
No lie though, getting there’s a bit of a hassle, it’s deep in the heart of Punggol End and it’s only accessible by car or cab. The food’s good, the location is great, I’m a sucker for boats and water and the fact that the Sakura buffet place is in a boat yard is pretty awesome. After dinner we took a stroll, played a few games at the old-school arcade and just had a nice walk along the boardwalk where all the boats were lined up. Totally worth going if you’re looking for a nice place to have dinner and a relaxing after dinner walk.
4) Visit the horses @ Gallop Stables
What? Horses in PUNGGOL. I KNOW RIGHT. I was shocked too when I saw their friendly looking heads pop out from the stables. Right at Punggol End, just before you hit the jetty and the police post, you’ll see a bunch of funny looking caravans. They all belong to a new attraction, the Gallop Stables Punggol Ranch. It’s so idyllic. With a rustic, cowboy feel, caravans surrounding a big field for the horses and the sea just a few steps away.
The ranch isn’t open yet, but the horses are there already and everything is built. They even mentioned a rabbit park being built. Definitely a staycation worth having, horses surrounding you, the ocean just at the front and bacon and booze just next door.
5) Have late night munchies @ Bacon and Booze
It’s a new pub just next door to the stables and opposite outward bounds. The best part about this new pub is the fact that there’s FREE PARKING. I can’t take it, going to clarke quay, Bedok 85 or Simpang Bedok is annoying because you’re constantly fighting for parking. But at Punggol End, there’s no one there to compete with at the dead, dark-as-a-grave carpark of outward bounds. Bacon and Booze has a really small menu, a few bar bites, sharing platters and only four mains. The mains are not served after 6.30pm. But the rest are available up till 12am and sometimes 1am.
It’s sinful, bacon, and alcohol. But imagine a piece of bacon rolled over some sweet, caramalised onions and topped with a tomato on a skewer. Heaven. The cherry tomato bursts in your mouth, pair that with the greasy, guilty-pleasure of bacon fried with fat and it’s a party in your mouth.
They have a great selection of beers, ciders and Japanese alcohol (whuutt!) at the bar. my favourite being Pure Blonde. It’s a hard beer to find in Singapore. But I also love the ciders.
The prices are a little steep, and the bar is still in the midst of renovation, we saw chairs still piled up at the side of the entrance. But I have great hopes for this little B&B. (haha geddit?) Hopefully they’ll expand their menu and make it a little more welcoming in time.
How I feel about B&B is similar to my feelings about Punggol. It’s great, a little rough around the edges, with much happening at one time. But it definitely has great potential. I’ve a feeling in a few years, Punggol’s going to become the new East Coast.
Dumb things people do on social media
- Post self-shot photos of themselves sleeping on facebook/instagram.
- YOLO pictures
- Open a group chat on Whatsapp to discuss an event, constantly update the group chat with pictures of their food followed by the too cheery and way too annoying chirp of “my supper!” “my dinner!” Here’s a clue. NO ONE CARES.
- Good morning status updates on Facebook. Yes. We know it’s a Monday. YES, we get that there’s 6 days, 144 hours or whatever left till the week is over!
- over-exposed pictures with iPhone app decor like glitter/hearts/lens-flare/black&white etc etc. Take a normal picture!!
- Self-shot photos with the stupidest captions: “waiting for euu <3” “UR MY SHINING STAR” etcetc.
- farmville invites. candy crush invites. pet society invites. FIND OUT WHO PLAYS AND SEND THE INVITATIONS TO THEM! DON’T RANDOMLY SEND THEM TO STRANGERS.
Well. I’m glad I got that out of my system. When I think of more. It’s going here.
While driving my mom home, she turned to me and asked, “is there a Singaporean Identity?” I looked at her blankly.
“Of course there is mum. Only in this country would you find people as kaypo, kiasu and kan-chiong as Singaporeans.” I answered dryly after a beat.
“I think in a few years… There won’t be one anymore…” She lamented.
And that is the truth. With the expected growth of our country to end up with only 55% of the population being actual Singaporeans, it comes as no surprise that the Singaporean culture might disappear.
The kampong feel of the HDB where friendly neighbours yell out, “Keep your clothes! It’s going to rain!” Or the Karang Guni man shouting from the bottom of the flat. The yakult auntie selling drinks at every door, and neighbours popping by during CNY and Hari Raya.
In Singaporean terms, “where got? Still have meh?” No lah. Disappearing liao.
Let’s be honest, do you even know who your neighbours are? Do you smile at your neighbours in the lift or are you too busy on your phone? Do you smile at your next door neighbour or worry that his PRC ways will get in your way? Singaporeans, be honest, the reason why the Singaporean identity might be lost is not just because foreigners “take over” our country. It’s also because we won’t accept them.
Where is that kampong spirit we once shared? Your neighbours might be your acquaintance, but you don’t actually know them. There is no more the spirit of “let’s share and keep each other happy.” It’s more, “wah, so suay, the water from upstairs drip on your clothes? Lucky not my clothes.”
We’re a bunch of selfish bastards now.
Because of our prejudice against foreigners, we have lost our ability to be nice, not just to them, but to our fellow Singaporeans as well. How can we expect foreigners to integrate into our country, when we don’t even try to teach them our identity, or be just nice to our fellow men?
Has anyone bothered to tell the PRC woman with a little boy peeing in the bus that that’s not common Singaporean habit? Has anyone bothered to try teaching the PRCs next door that curry, though pungent, tastes like heaven? No. We haven’t. Instead, we stand there, watch, and complain about how they don’t understand our culture.
How can anyone learn, when there’s no one to teach?
Our society is sad, we have lost the ability to help each other because all we know is to sit behind the sidelines and have our government take action for us instead. We are a spoilt, molly-coddled society. A society which talks cock but never walks the walk.
Don’t forget, our ancestors were immigrants too. They banded together to create a Singaporean identity. This mish-mash of cultures, this ability to appreciate all manners of cuisines comes from our ancestors ability to accept and appreciate.
We can’t blame the foreigners for wanting a better life! (Partially our government is to blame for inviting too many of them in. STOP IT LAH. NO MORE SPACE.) Since they are here, we have to do our part to help them too! Instead of complaining, “why can’t they speak English?” Encourage them by teaching random strangers at least one or two phrases! Met an exchange student who might one to migrate here one day? Introduce them to uniquely Singaporean things they might not know about! Like the $1 ice cream carts along Orchard, fruit juice (it appears that not many ang mors know about Soursop). Let them play pepsi cola, block catching and all kinds of games with our local kids!
We complain that they don’t belong here, well, if we can’t kick them out, we might as well make them like us. TURN them into Singaporeans.
But of course this goes both ways. If foreigners refuse to accept our ways then clearly, that’s their bloody fault.
I say all this because I want to make it clear that I don’t blame them ALL the time. Yes, I dislike how when I look around all I see are foreign faces, but I just think more can be done than to complain.
Be kind. Rewind.
Sometimes I look at my parents relationship and I wonder if I will end up the same sorry way.
Their cynicism, sarcasm, distaste for each other’s habits frightens and worries me. I wonder if one day, I will grow to hate my husband to that extent too. Should I be in a relationship if I’m going to end up just like them in the future? Will I end up bitter and unhappy with the man I vowed to stay true and in love with?
What has become of what was once a happy marriage? Did they not know of the person’s faults as they said ‘I do’? Or was it a strange development of bad to worse over the years? How will I know if I won’t end up the same way 20-30 years from now with only my children to use as my armour and sword against my partner?
Yet, even I have become instrument to their meaningless lashings towards one another. My mother complains endlessly to me about my father, his many faults, her bitterness towards having to put up with him for the many years of marriage. Her cynicism towards God for putting her in such a situation. Where has her faith gone? Where has her happiness? Has it been lost like the love between my father and herself?
When I tell her, “okay, enough.” She claims I shut her off every time she does this. Would you want to stop her from going on about the faults of your father, her husband? It saddens me, and in truth, it makes me hate him even more than I do now.
I don’t want to hate my father. I want tos ee the good in him. I want to see him as a father who cares and does things for us. But daily I’m reminded by my mother of his selfishness, his inability to generous, or what a terrible man he is.
Yes. He has done many hateful, hurtful things. But a man is many things and I’d like to believe that some part of him is good. Staying away from him, talking to him less makes it easier not to quarrel with him. I find that every conversation we have, my mother’s words haunt me and remind me of his faults and they badger me as I speak to him. I am less loving, more unkind. It disgusts me and makes me feel awful. Yet I cannot stop.
It’s a fruitless attempt to be kind to him when I’m marred by the dissonance of my mother’s own words and feelings. All I have left are unkind feelings.
I try my hardest to be kind, I really am, when he’s sick I make effort to get medicine, when he’s stranded I make effort to pick him up but in truth I don’t want to. I really really don’t want to because I know in those moments alone with him all I will have to say in reply are unkind words and an unhappiness that can be seen at every step.
It is so hard to live in a house where harmony has left and has been replaced with bitterness and discord. Where what is left stewing is unhappiness and a want to leave but fear holds us back. A marriage isn’t a marriage when it’s held together with fear of the comfort of a relationship that has gone sour rather than love.
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Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen
Of home and foreigners.
I remember screaming at the television, “YOU’VE GOT COLOUR IN OZ!” when I was watching the ending of the Wizard of Oz as Dorothy clicked those red shoes and wished to be home . Now why would anyone, living in place full of magic, munchkins and rainbows want to leave? Now that I’m older, I realise it’s because as Dorothy says, there’s no place like home.
Your hometown maybe boring, may lack certain luxuries you find in far off places, but there’s nowhere else you can find that safe, warm happy feeling. To the Singaporean who left the country raging about how Singapore has sucked you dry etc etc. I feel sorry that you could not find that feeling.
Maybe the reason why I want to go home so badly is because, even though I have friends here, the bonds that I have built back home are strong enough to pull me back in. I have memories of Singapore that I’m not willing to give up on. Relationships that make me think that even the worst form of haze and humidity are as good as sunny days and cool breezes.
I know, Singapore is overrun with foreigners now, long gone are the days of 10 cents for an ice stick, 20 cent card dispensing machines and running through fields catching Tiger Moths. Instead what we have are over-crowded trains, bus-loads of foreigners who don’t shave their pits and houses that are so expensive, newly weds have to wait till they’re past 35 to actually afford a house. But yet, there’s a lingering hope in me that some part of Singapore and its people is just like the old days.
Maybe for some going overseas makes you regret being a Singaporean. But for me it makes me proud to be a Singaporean. I love how I can get along with different nationalities and mingle with them, appreciate them because I am intelligent, I am bilingual (or as close to bilingual as I can get with my half-past six Mandarin), I have a global perspective and a great appreciation for different cultures. I credit that to my upbringing in Singapore. Where else can you find a greater mash of different cultures in such a cosmopolitan environment? Coming overseas with that Singaporean view makes me sad to know that while I know so much about some cultures and while I’m open to new cultures, they don’t even know about mine. It only goes to show how open Singapore is to new things, new people, new cultures. We are an open society.
But there is a limit to how open we should be.
I look at Singapore now and I feel sad. Where is my home? It is overrun with people who don’t understand this openness, this acceptance of other cultures. Instead these people bring in their own cultures and expect Singaporeans to adapt to their cultures. No. That is not how it’s supposed to work. When you come to my country, you learn my language, you learn my culture. And together, maybe we can build a new one together. Isn’t that what being Singaporean is all about? We were all migrants once too, but we “build a dream together”, we created a whole SINGAPOREAN culture together, we created a whole new LANGUAGE (Singlish, for those of you who are slightly slow). I have a few friends in Singapore who weren’t born there. They are permanent residents or migrated early in their lives. But they make attempts to fit in, they adapt to us, they adapt to our language and our culture. That’s the beauty of Singapore, you take us as a whole, put in a tiny bit of yourself and we just grow together.
Our government has said that they need more people, that we need to grow as a nation. So they throw in new people, but forget that new things, new people take time to adapt. They take time to change. You have made a grave error PAP. You disappoint me. You believe what you have done has grown Singapore but you have not. Like an obese child, we are large in size but we are unhealthy.
Your people are unhappy. Do something about it.
My point, aside from this complaining, is that I miss home. Not the home that it is now, but the home I remember back when I was young. 2000-2005 maybe? Those were good years, mama shops were still everywhere. Uncle sitting in his singlet and sarong fanning himself watching over his supply of crazy toys that are probably deemed as “dangerous” now. (Remember those gunpowder packets that you threw on the floor and they would burst with a loud crack? Or the gun that had little rubber pellets you could shoot at people.) Rows of sweets you could buy like the root beer flavoured ones, country erasers and a ton of nonsense. They are just so hard to find today.I still mourn the loss of the old fashioned playgrounds, those that had sand, the “dragon playground”..
Now most of the playgrounds I see are made of plastic and rubber. Not much fun anymore. Just like how the old playgrounds, mama shops and places are dying out, so is the Singaporean spirit. People were still friendly then (to a certain extent) but now people are just cynical and jaded from being forced to compete against one another, and on top of that foreign talent, all the time. We have no rest. We are tired of fighting for ourselves when our government should be fighting for us. What’s the point of celebrating our National Day when it doesn’t feel like a nation anymore? We are more of a clean, sterile hotel for rich foreigners and Singaporeans are the service staff, having to make things comfortable for them.
I’m just saying Singapore, when your only resource is people, you have to take care of that resource, if not it’s just going to die out.
I am just a simple student, I am just one of your people, but if I don’t say anything now, when do I say it?
Maybe when I am old, living in my half-a-million HDB flat and wondering where it all went wrong I’d think back on how I should have applied for PR in another country. But for now I hope. I believe that change will come and that Singaporeans will one day be able to afford housing, afford cars, not have to fight against foreigners and bring their children for a cheap ice stick at the mama shop after grocery shopping at NTUC or Sheng Siong.
That should be our theme for next year’s NDP, HOPE, no matter how fruitless it may be.