By : Nur Ezzaty
11 February 2014
Did you know that Hougang was once a large area of forested land, dotted with pig farms? The name Hougang stems from the Hokkien and Teochew word Ow Kung, which means ‘river end’, as Hougang is located upstream of Sungei Serangoon.
I’ve been living in Hougang for 17 years now, and it’s really great to see how it has developed over time (and to know that there are more improvements to come, as it’s one of the towns under HDB’s Remaking Our Heartland programme!). To some, Hougang may not seem as bustling or busy as other towns, but I think that’s only because non-residents haven’t found the gems in Hougang… yet. So I have decided to bring you on a leisurely walkathon around Hougang to show the nuggets in the estate you should not give a miss.
I started my journey at the Kovan area, also known as Hougang South. Kovan Hub was previously the Hougang South Bus Interchange but it ceased operations in February 2004.
As I was taking this photo, I suddenly recalled buying my favourite snacks at the “mama shop” in the middle of the interchange, years ago. It is no longer around though. Now, there is an assortment of stalls selling a wide range of items such as unique printed tees. I also spotted a private coach pickup point to Malaysia which I did not notice before.
Kovan Sports Centre
There’s also a sports centre located near Kovan MRT station, which houses eight indoor futsal courts. It organises activities such as Frisbee, dodge ball and laser tag too! So if you’re a sports fan, you know where to find your adrenaline rush! More importantly, it’s adjacent to a wide range of eateries, so you can recharge your batteries there after a good workout – and not feel the least bit guilty
Kovan Market and Food Centre
Whenever I take a cab home, most taxi drivers will say the same thing – that Hougang is a food paradise. And I totally agree with that. Almost every corner in Hougang boasts something special. I was told by my friends that this hawker centre has a wide variety of food. The best part is that the food isn’t only delicious, but cheap too
Next to the Kovan Market and Food Centre is the Heartland Mall, one of the bigger shopping centres in Hougang estate. Though it doesn’t offer entertainment options such as a cinema or an arcade, shoppers are able to find trendy goods at affordable prices. As for me, I like its quiet charm compared to other malls in Hougang.
The Superbowl building is situated just a short distance away from the Heartland Mall. While my friends prefer to go bowling at other newer places, this building is and will forever be my favourite bowling alley as it’s not always packed with people. Don’t be deceived by its façade! It may look a little run-down but the bowling lanes here are well-maintained.
Kang Kar Mall
Next up, is the Kang Kar Mall, which houses a supermarket and an air-conditioned food court – so you can enjoy your favourite spicy food without breaking out in a sweat!
And I realised that many like to shop at the supermarket here, as there’re many provision stores around, allowing shoppers to compare prices and get the best deal on items!
Moving along, I continued my journey all the way to the tranquil Punggol Park. In case you’re wondering… yes I’m still in Hougang. Long before Sengkang and Punggol Towns were ready, Punggol Road meandered from old Punggol to Hougang and towards Upper Serangoon Road,which is near to this park. I’ve to admit I didn’t realise that the park was actually so charming. There’re so many things you can do there – relaxing, cycling, or simply taking a stroll by the beautiful waterside. I think I might have just found my recreational sweet spot closer to home now!
So, if you have the time, do visit Hougang and see what I love about my estate for yourself.
Know of other gems in your own HDB town? Do share them with us on the MyNiceHome Facebook page!