Jurong is a vast district in the western part of Singapore. Once a mangrove swamp, it is now a thriving estate with many exciting landmarks and recreational facilities, and is poised to be developed into the central business district of the western part of Singapore. Come and experience the charm of Jurong!
TOP 1 Spend Some Time at Jurong Lake Gardens
The 90-hectare Jurong Lake Gardens is perfect for those looking for tranquility amidst this bustling city. The Jurong Lake Gardens comprises the famous Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden, and the newly revamped Lakeside Garden and Garden Promenade, all of which are clustered around the idyllic Jurong Lake. You can take a leisurely jog by the lakeside, have picnic at one of the gazebos or green patches, or just take a walk and take in the sights with your eyes and camera. The garden is popular with residents staying nearby who enjoy jogging, having group exercise classes such as qi gong and even playing musical instruments in the garden.
The bad news is the Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden with their characteristic pagodas, pavilions, Chinese landscaped-gardens and bonsais are closed for redevelopment works and will only reopen in 2021. In the meantime, visitors can head to the Lakeside Garden to immerse in nature with its various features such as Alstonia Island, Rasau Walk and Neram Streams. There are plenty of play spaces for children, and plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife such as otters, birds and butterflies.
How to get there: Lakeside Garden (Jurong Lake Gardens) is accessible from Lakeside MRT station, and also by bus services 49 and 154 from Jurong East or Boon Lay Interchanges.
TOP 2 Visit Science Centre Singapore
The Science Centre is undoubtedly one of the best places to pique the children’s interest in Science. Frequent activities are held at the Science Centre, such as exhibitions, daily shows and demonstrations, workshops, kids programmes and movies. Not just that, it also has more than 1,000 interactive exhibits in its 14 galleries and 20 permanent exhibitions, covering interesting topics such as Earth: Our Untamed Planet and Phobia: The Science of Fear. Demonstrations such as the Fire Tornado are sure to capture your attention.
On top of that, there’s also an observatory where you can enjoy stargazing, the Omni Theatre (Singapore’s only IMAX dome theatre which features a five-storey high dome screen) where you can watch animals and celestial elements such as stars coming to life, Snow City where you can get up close with arctic and antarctic animals and characters and Kids Stop, the ultimate place for children to take part in fun educational programmes.
Address: 15 Science Centre Road, Singapore 609081
Science Centre: 10am – 6pm
Check the website for the opening hours of the specific attractions
TOP 3 Explore Jurong Bird Park
Jurong Bird Park sits on the western slope of Jurong Hill, the highest point in Jurong. It is the largest bird park in Asia with almost 3,500 birds across 400 species, one-fifth of which are threatened species. The habitats are designed to closely match those of the natural habitats of the birds. The waterfall aviary is the park’s largest aviary where 600 birds roam in a forest setting with a 30-metre waterfall. Head to the Lory Loft, a nine-storey high aviary with the theme of the Australian outback where you can get up close with lories and lorikeets by feeding them on a suspended bridge. The Pelican Cove, Penguin Coast and Jungle Jewels are also mesmerizing in their own ways. If you have more time, pop by the Breeding and Research Centre where you can get have a look at the growth process of birds from incubation to weaning.
Address: 2 Jurong Hill, Singapore 628925
Opening hours: 8.30am – 6.00pm daily
TOP 4 Drop by the Army Museum of Singapore
Check out the Army Museum of Singapore, where the heritage and history of the Singapore Army is showcased and the contributions of the soldiers are honoured. Stroll the galleries and admire the artillery, decommissioned vehicles and planes, old soldier uniforms and bunk beds from the 70s. Try your hand at the indoor shooting range with army rifles, and head to the Adventure Park to have a taste of the obstacle course which army boys have to go through during their National Service. There is also a lineup of military vehicles outdoors. This promises to be an eye-opening experience!
Address: 500 Upper Jurong Road, Blk 78 #02-25, Singapore 638367 (alight at Joo Koon MRT Station and take bus 182 or 182M)
Opening hours: 9am – 5pm daily
TOP 5 Unwind at Jurong Eco-Garden
Jurong Eco-Garden is the green lungs of the CleanTech Industrial Park, built and designed for workers and residents to have a place of respite in the industrial area. The first garden built in an industrial park, its four main areas – Summit Forest, Wildlife Corridor, Stream Ravine and Freshwater Swamp Forest are ingeniously integrated with the industrial buildings. Since its opening, it has proven to be a hit with workers and nearby residents who stream in to explore the walking trails, streams and freshwater swamp. Bird watchers are another group that has taking great interest in the park in anticipation of the appearance of endangered birds at the freshwater swamp such as Red Junglefowl, Straw-headed Bulbul and Oriental Pied Hornbill, and migratory birds such as the Common Sandpiper.
Other interesting features include butterfly garden, sculpture arts, composting station, pottery kilns and a lookout point.
Address: CleanTech Loop
TOP 6 Take a Dip at Jurong East Swimming Complex
Jurong East Swimming Complex is not your average public swimming complex with just a few pools. It has a water slide that’s a few metres tall (pictured above), a lazy river, a wave pool, a competition pool, a kiddy pool and even a jacuzzi. With all these facilities, the entrance fee is still less than $3 per person! So head down and have a splashing fun time without having to dig deep into your pockets.
Address: 21 Jurong East Street 31, Singapore 609517
Tue – Sun, PH: 8.00am – 9.30pm
Closed on Mon
TOP 7 Have Fun at Pandan Reservoir
Beyond storing water for the needs of the residential and industrial areas of the western part of Singapore, Pandan Reservoir is also a hot spot for water sports and sightseeing. Thanks to PUB’s Active, Beautiful, Clean (ABC) Waters programme, Pandan Reservoir has the facilities for activities such as canoeing, kayaking, rowing, radio control and electric boat sailing and sport fishing, complete with changing rooms and restrooms. The offices of National Sports Associations for canoeing, sailing and rowing are also here.
On top of that, check out the water fountain, landscaped banks and the mangroves and wetlands at the mouth of Sungei Pandan which is home to many marine flora and fauna.
TOP 8 Shop, shop and shop
Jurong is a mecca for shoppers, with four shopping malls at the doorstep of Jurong East MRT Station itself. JEM and Westgate (pictured above) carry a wide range of retail and food and beverage options together with banks, supermarkets and other essential services. JCube is home to an olympic-sized skating rink as well as more retail and food options, with a slant towards youngsters. A stone’s throw away is IMM, which is Singapore’s biggest outlet mall with more than 90 outlet stores including big names such as Calvin Klein Jeans, Coach, Kate Spade, Hush Puppies, New Balance, Nike, Adidas, Winter Time, Timberland, Onitsuka Tiger and G2000. With the availability of warehouse facilities within the mall, these outlet stores are able to carry a wide selection of goods and sell them at an unbeatable price. On top of these outlet stores, there are also 220 retail shops, more than 50 food and beverage stores and a hypermarket in IMM, making it one of the biggest malls in Singapore.
Another mammoth shopping mall, Jurong Point, lies at the doorstep of Boon Lay MRT Station. On top of the usual offerings such as hypermarket, retail, food and beverage, electronics etc, it has themed areas in the mall such as the Japanese Food Street at Basement 1 and Mongkok district at Level 3 which is decorated to mimic the bustling Mongkok district in Hong Kong and houses a variety of Hong Kong shops including Legendary Hong Kong Restaurant which is laid out in the exact same way as a cha chaan teng (coffee shop) in Hong Kong and offers authentic Hong Kong cuisine. With such great big malls, Jurong residents never have to travel to town to shop!
TOP 9 Ice Skating
Try your hand at ice skating at The Rink at JCube, the one and only Olympic-sized skating rink in Singapore. All of the skating equipment can be rented at a minimal fee, so you do not need to worry about not having the right skate boots, helmet, gloves and socks. There are also cute-looking aids to help the beginners out, such as the penguin aid, snowman aid and seal aid. Those who are serious about ice skating can take lessons at the rink. Alternatively, you can just chill at the viewing gallery with your lunch in hand as you watch the many professional and amateur skaters glide their way across the rink.
Address: 2 Jurong East Central 1, #03-11 JCube, Singapore 609731
Opening hours: Varies due to National Skating Associations (NSA) Trainings. Please refer to their public skating sessions calendar for more information.
TOP 10 Catch the Sunset at Raffles Marina
There’s Changi Boardwalk in the East, and there’s Raffles Marina in the West. It is a country club, megayatch club and nautical lifestyle centre all-in-one, with food and beverage outlets for fine and casual dining, as well as facilities such as gym, swimming pool, theatrette, games facilities, banquetting and accommodation facilities and even a lighthouse! You can also go for sailing and boating courses here. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the promenade with a view of yatchs and an unblocked view of the coast at sunrise or sunset, or even get your passports ready to enter neighbouring Malaysia as the second link bridge is just within sight!
Address: 10 Tuas West Drive, Singapore 638404
Photo credits: Wikipedia/Erwin Soo, Tourist Guru, Flickr/Terry Feuerborn, Inspirock, Jurong Town Council, Jurong East Swimming Complex, Wanderlust Paddling, CapitaLand, Flickr/Choo Yut Shing, Flickr/Randy
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