By : Yong Shu Fui
18 October 2012
My fellow Northeasties and I have always had trouble finding a place nearby to hang out on the weekends. We’ve already been to Punggol Park in Hougang a couple of times, so we wanted to try out something new. Though there’s nex, the mega shopping mall in Serangoon, jostling with the weekend crowd did not sound very appealing. I had suggested flying kites in Sengkang, but my friends weren’t too keen on that.
One of them recently popped the idea of holding our gathering at the Punggol Promenade Riverside Walk.
I have to admit that despite living in Sengkang for over a decade, I have not felt the impulse to visit the neighbouring town. My impression of Punggol remains that of towering cranes and dusty construction, due to the numerous BTO projects in the area.
But boy was I wrong. While Punggol is still some steps from being a complete or finished town (parts of it are still being developed), the Punggol Promenade is actually a great place to have a family gathering or to hang out with your friends. There are three restaurants and one fast food outlet at the @Punggol waterfront complex along the Riverside Walk. My friends and I chose to dine at the bar and bistro and the cuisine was pretty good.
Restaurants located by the riverside
As a friend said, what you eat on Sundays will not go to your hips!
It was still early when we finished our meal, so we decided to explore the place a little. Sports fanatics will be happy to know that there is an indoor futsal pitch in the same complex. Those who believe that there’s no better way to eat seafood than to catch your own can opt for a session of prawning, crab fishing or patin fishing. Patin is a type of catfish. The sport is a cross between prawning and fishing as anglers only use a fishing rod with a hook, without the reel and the bait. Parents can also indulge their children in a round of ‘longkang fishing’. The fishing facility is open 24 hours and there are BBQ pits by the side, so you know where to go if you want to satisfy your late night seafood craving.
If you find that you are not much of an angler and fishing isn’t up your alley, then perhaps taking a stroll along the Riverside walk might be more of your thing, and that’s what we did.
Fibre-optic lights masqueraded as ‘lalangs’ and the real McCoy
We managed to find a good spot at the viewing deck to sit down and chit chat. That’s where the fibre optic lalang lights are. I’m sure it would be even more beautiful later in the evening, when the sky turns dark, with the softly lit lalang lights swaying gently with the wind. Or you could do what some families did: pack your meals there and have a little picnic while enjoying the river breeze.
We also chanced upon many joggers, cyclists and rollerbladers along the way. So if you are a fan of these sports, this is a great place to explore. Aspiring photographers can also find ample opportunities for good photography. Check out some of the photos this newbie shutterbug took.
By the way…
Everything’s been well planned. The North-Eastern Riverine Loop (NERL) of the Park Connector Network (PCN) links up Punggol Promenade to other sites such as the Lorong Halus Wetland, Punggol Beach, as well as Punggol Park, Punggol Point Park, Punggol Waterway Park, and Sengkang Riverside Park. You can organise a day trip to these places on foot or by bicycle. More details can be found on NParks’ e-guide.