Adventures At Home: Let’s Rediscover Pasir Ris
STORY: Nicholas Yong
11 August 2021
To be perfectly honest, the only reason I go all the way to Pasir Ris is to meet uncle auntie (bae's parents) for dinner. Otherwise, for most, why go all the way there unless it’s to book-in (Hormat!), go to Wild Wild Wet or… you stay there lor.
But did you know before Wild Wild Wet existed, there used to be this atas seaside hotel called the Golden Palace Holiday Resort (in its place today is the Pasir Ris Town Park) – go ask your parents/grandparents; real stuff, never bluff.
I learnt about that and a whole lot more about the history of Pasir Ris thanks to a checklist of sights to see from the NHB Pasir Ris heritage trail – I was surprised to know there’s plenty to see-see and photograph there.
Sure, it’s probably at the end of the world for those in the west but, hey, you can treat it like a weekend getaway.
Here are some of the best spots to go paktor or fill up your Instagram feed with:
Chill at Pasir Ris Park
What better place to start than a chillax-ing day at the beach?
Pasir Ris is a historical coastal paradise, after all. In fact, the earliest hotel in Pasir Ris was built in the 19th century. You could say it was the Sentosa of its time.
Got many "paktor day out" ideas here: Cycling, kayaking, stand-up paddling, horseriding – or simply getting lost in a life-sized hedged maze at Area 2.
And if you’re looking for grub, Georges @ The Cove is the best spot with great views of the beachside.
“Hiking” at Mangrove Boardwalk
Calling it "hiking" is a stretch, but it’s pretty surprising to find this dense forest so near the park. I’m one of those people who loves to take walks surrounded by nature, and the Mangrove Boardwalk does have a very chill vibe.
You’ll be encircled left, right, and centre by plenty of wildlife. This is a good time to remind you to bring a powerbank, otherwise confirm plus chop your phone battery dead sia from all the photos you’re gonna take.
If you’re lucky (or unlucky, lol) you might even spot the Estuarine Crocodile, an endangered species. If you encounter one, stay calm and back away. Do not approach, provoke or feed the animal.
Tip: Head to the three-story lookout tower for a fantastic view of the entire park.
Go fishing at Pasir Ris Town Park
Don’t confuse this with Pasir Ris Park. One is at the beach, while this “town park” is within the housing estate, only 5 minutes away from the MRT.
You’ll know you’re at the right place when you see so many people fishing! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a spot that even has aunties and kids trying their luck at getting a catch.
If you’ve always been curious to try your hand at amateur angling, you can rent equipment here too.
This was once the site of the (apparently) atas Golden Palace Holiday Resort – and the fishing pond here has been around since then.
Downtown East is right around the corner. So if you brought your swim stuff, you could spend the rest of the day at Wild Wild Wet too.
Makan at Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre
You might have noticed a funky looking circular building from the town park. This is your makan spot for the day - Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre.
If you think the design looks cool, that’s because it literally is – the architects say it’s to maximise airflow and circulation of the place.
As for photography tips and lunch/dinner/dabao ideas at Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre, here’s a must-read guide. Psst, we like Fins & Feathers!
Your Insta-walk checklist here:
Make your friends jelly of your Insta-feed with this checklist of Pasir Ris spots for fun photos.
Where else in Singapore can you find HDB blocks running parallel to mangrove trees? Before residential structures were built, this river was key to the kampung life here. Creative symmetry is key to getting a good shot of the flats framing your photo.
Old-school playgrounds are truly a Singapore legacy – lucky for us, Pasir Ris has two! One of which is this elephant located near the Home Team (NS) Pasir Ris Chalet. Don't shy lah, YOLO a bit and get creative with some playful poses.
The other - a nod to the sampan or twakow boats of the past - was built in the ‘80s right next to Elias Mall. As with most old-school Singapore playgrounds, the classic terrazzo tiles and geometric lines are incorporated here too.
Porthole Motif Flats
These blocks at 130 Pasir Ris Street 11 have nautical motifs resembling a ship's portholes. Bae can pose creatively from the porthole-shaped openings, or take a silhouette shot with the sun behind them within the clam-shaped openings upstairs. Tip: You can get the best shots from blocks 130 to 137.
Sakya Tenphel Ling
Bet you’ve never seen a Tibetan Buddhist temple in Singapore – this was one of the first in Southeast Asia! The traditional Tibetan designs are plenty colourful, and, with the right angle and shot, confirm the photo very chio sia. As this is a temple, be respectful.
Happening history sia
If you’re interested to explore the rich history of Pasir Ris, you can follow NHB’s Pasir Ris Heritage Trail. There are three suggested routes you can take to unearth hidden gems in this seaside neighbourhood in the East: