Thinking of somewhere to bring bae for your next outing? Try Jurong. Really! It might sound like a stretch, but hear us out.
We managed to find plenty of date spots in this neighbourhood, thanks to the National Heritage Board's Jurong Heritage Trail guide. Plus, with many preferring to stay home these days, it probably won’t be so crowded. (Either that, or they're at one of these other "Let’s Go Paktor" places.)
In fact, your parents/grandparents may have gone for a movie date at the old Jurong Drive-In Cinema, the first and only open-air drive-in theatre in Singapore that closed in 1985. Or they might have snuck out for a quick bite together at the Yung Sheng Food Centre, Singapore’s first hawker centre.
But this is 2021, peeps. So here are some present-day places in Jurong to spend a wow West-side weekend withbae.
Brunch at Taman Jurong Market and Food Centre
What better way to start the day than to stuff yourselves with some of the best food in Jurong?
The Taman Jurong Market and Food Centre was opened in 2005, but it has its roots in the old Yung Sheng Food Centre aka “60 stalls” (because the food centre had 60 permanent stalls) and Jurong Market I. Both of these places were known for being Jurong’s best makan spots since the '70s.
The must-order menu: Feng Zhen Lor Mee and the tasty ngoh hiang at Xin Sheng Gor Hiong Prawn Cracker. Other great eats include the super thin-crust ButterNut pizzas, Yang Jia Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee, and Ng Kee Teochew Fish Ball Kuay Teow Mee Crackers. Confirm sedap. Lots more info here.
Still not satiated and want even more mouth-watering makan recommendations? Follow Benzo in our video above as he introduces you to the yummiest nosh in the vicinity of Jurong Camp - NSFs, NSmen, take note!
Explore Jurong Lake Gardens
The first national gardens in the heartlands, Jurong Lake Gardens offers scenic walking paths and viewpoint decks with vistas that look like they came straight out of a postcard, especially at sunset – perfect for a romantic stroll with bae.
National Parks also hosts a guided tour of the gardens both in the morning and at sunset - do refer to the NParks site in case of closures due to Covid-19 safe management measures.
Come back again at the end of the year for the reopening of the Japanese Garden and Chinese Garden.
The Japanese Garden will feature the largest collection of water lilies in Singapore, while the Chinese Garden will have a Moon Lantern Terrace that lights up at sunset – perfect for living out your "Yanxi Palace" fantasies.
Kayaking at Pandan Reservoir
In the past, this used to be the centre of prawn farming in Singapore, which sustained the kampungs in the area until the mid-1960s.
Today’s Pandan Reservoir has been transformed under the PUB's Active, Beautiful, Clean (ABC) Waters programme to host water sports activities like kayaking, canoeing, rowing, sailing, and sport fishing.
Rediscover our nation’s story at the Singapore Discovery Centre
This edutainment centre offers a fun, interactive experience tracing Singapore’s journey from past to present.
Originally called the SAFTI Exhibition Centre when it was opened in 1996, the Singapore Discovery Centre now offers an escape room (good practice for getting out of sticky situations with bae) and a laser tag battlefield and paintball park (where you can show or rather show off to bae what you’ve learned during NS). Alternatively, catch a movie at their massive 344-seater iWerks Theatre.
Feed the birds at Jurong Bird Park
Did you know that Jurong Bird Park was the first wildlife park to open in the country in 1971 – two years before the Singapore Zoo!
The Jurong Bird Park is the biggest avian park in Asia Pacific with 3,500 birds of 400 species - find everything from hornbills and toucans, birds of prey, penguins, and flamingoes, among other fascinating feathere friends. Our recommendation: hand-feed the lories and lorikeets at the Lory Loft, the world’s largest walk-in lory flight aviary.
Complete your journey to the west at Jurong Hill
This spot is right above Jurong Bird Park, and has an iconic spiral building at the top of the hill that looks out to the rest of Jurong. The Garden of Fame here has trees that were planted by heads of state and dignitaries around the world including Deng Xiaoping, Suharto, Ferdinand Marcos and Queen Elizabeth II.
Your Insta-walk checklist here:
Fill up your Insta-feed with some amazing photos from around Jurong (bonus points for #couplegoals shots):
Jurong Lake Gardens
Head to the grasslands at Lakeside Garden to find the Insta-worthy lalang field and the lone tree atop a small hill. Also look for “A Bridge Between Habitats”, a dome structure which was built for birdwatching but doubles as the perfect backdrop.
Old Jurong railway
You’re literally stepping on history here – these railway tracks of the old Jurong railway line once ran from Bukit Timah Railway Station to Shipyard Road (present-day Jurong Island). Be careful when walking down to the railway - it's steep and can be slippery, especially after the rain.
Raffles Marina Lighthouse
Head to the Raffles Marina at Tuas West, and walk to the hidden pier behind the clubhouse to find Singapore’s secret lighthouse in the west. After you’ve taken your shots for the ‘gram, head to Marina Bistro for some amazing views while you wine and dine.
Happening history sia
If you’re interested to go on a journey to the west with bae, you can follow NHB’s Jurong Heritage Trail. Get your trail map and guide here.
This article was first published in Wonderwall.sg.