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Why Yishun is one of Singapore’s most misunderstood neighbourhoods

Don’t let the outlandish Yishun stories deter you from visiting this multi-faceted district that’s home to HomeTeamNS Khatib

Don’t let the outlandish Yishun stories deter you from visiting this multi-faceted district that’s home to HomeTeamNS Khatib

TEXT: MORGAN AWYONG

PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK, HOMETEAMNS, NELLY’S RETRO SNACKS FACEBOOK PAGE

Singapore’s northerly region of Yishun used to be known for a host of headline-grabbing incidents  – alleged supernatural sightings, strange crimes and other unusual incidents. However, Yishun residents know this is not a fair representation of the town.

Along with the many amenities at HomeTeamNS Khatib, the town boasts other fascinating gems including Singapore’s last fishing village, a sustainable market with lake views, and scenic walks with hints of its colourful past.

NIBBLE ON NOSTALGIA

Nelly’s Retro Snacks brings back the nostalgic goodness of old-school treats. Whether you’re a child of the ’70s or the new millennium, they have all kinds of tidbits that you will instantly recognise. Classic gemstone biscuits, chocolate wafers, figure-of-eight candy chocolates and whistling candies are just some of the sweet treats available.

There is a new branch at Causeway Point but the original one at Junction 9 offers a true old-school experience. Filled with metal tins and wired shelves, it’s a joy to hunt for your favourite snack there.

Where? Junction 9 (18 Yishun Avenue 9 #01-49 Singapore 768897)

SHOP AND EAT AT A SUSTAINABLE MARKET

Fancy a lake view with your coffee? The Tzu Chi Humanistic Youth Centre offers a scenic cafe experience. On the first and third weekend of each month, the venue hosts the Zero Market. Visitors  can browse and buy a variety of fresh produce and sustainable goods.

Why the name? The organisers have adopted a  zero meat, zero plastic approach and aim to make it zero waste in the future. If you love anything handcrafted, upcycled, or pre-loved, this Yishun oasis is definitely worth visiting.

Where? Tzu Chi Humanistic Youth Centre (30A Yishun Central 1, Singapore 768196)

INDULGE IN LOCAL FAVES AT CHONG PANG

Ask any local to recommend good food and Chong Pang Market & Food Centre will probably be on their list. Other than the institution that is Chong Pang Nasi Lemak, the hawker centre is also the perfect place to satisfy your cravings for local delights.

Just a 10-minute walk from Yishun MRT, you’ll find a food haven with all types of cuisines and flavours. Try the famous Chuan Kee Boneless Braised Duck for its aromatic dishes that has won acclaim from Michelin. Or visit Guan Heng for a plate of beehoon slathered in generous satay sauce. Haji Ali offers homely Malay dishes like lontong, mee siam and mee rebus. Super Penyet offers crispy flattened chicken served with sharp, delicious belacan.

Where? Chong Pang Market & Food Centre (105 Yishun Ring Road, Singapore 760105)

EXPLORE SCENIC YISHUN DAM

Who knew a simple man-made structure could be so beautiful? Yishun Dam has become an unexpected perch for people to enjoy golden sunset views. Far enough from the crowds to be quiet, yet accessible enough by public transport, it has been enjoyed as a landmark by couples, families hikers and cyclists. Its fresh green lawns are great picnic spots and ideal for setting up that trending camp-and-coffee spot. It’s also a great location to catch local fauna. Astronomy buffs flock there as it’s situated far enough from built-up areas that cameras and telescopes are not affected by light pollution.

Next to it is Jenal Jetty and a little fishing village that time forgot. While the village is not open to the public, you can still catch sight of villagers from a distance.

Where? Yishun Dam (Yishun Avenue 1, near the junction of Seletar West Link and Seletar Aerospace Drive)

REMINISCE ABOUT THE PAST ON A HISTORIC TRAIL

Yishun became home to Asia’s first cineplex in 1992 when Yishun 10 (now GV Yishun) opened. While some expected it to fail, the multiplex has thrived. You can find out more about this along the curated Yishun-Sembawang Heritage Trail. Discover how Chong Pang became the first neighbourhood centre in Yishun New Town and why it is marked by two stone gateways. Learn how Yishun Park used to be a plantation that belonged to Chye Kay village.

The trail starts at Singapore’s first outdoor heritage space, Heritage Garden @ Yishun, and goes past hot springs, iconic eateries, a striking minaret and the area’s only national monument, Old Admiralty House.

PADDLE PAST NATURAL MANGROVES

Most people know about Sungei Buloh’s wetlands, but Yishun holds its own natural treasure – Sungei Khatib Bongsu. A rich mangrove and mudflat habitat, the area is seeing growing interest as the park and connectors to the area are developed. The area is teeming with wildlife and marine ecosystems and is a popular stopover for migratory birds.

The best way to see this is on kayaks, where you can row past several sections of well-preserved mangroves. Witness amazing sights like the natural tunnel formed by the trees – which will have you thinking you’re not in Singapore.

VISIT SINGAPORE’S LARGEST MULTI-INSTALLATION INDOOR PLAYGROUND

AdventureHQ is another first for Yishun. Located at HomeTeamNS Khatib, it is Singapore’s first and largest multi-installation indoor playground. It features the longest indoor slide in Singapore and offers plenty of challenging obstacles. Make your way across swinging tires, narrow rope bridges and even a fossil cave system.

The clubhouse is also perfect for organising group outings at the Mancaves. Play console games, unleash your karaoke skills or enjoy a barbecue with loved ones. Children can explore the T-Play Indoor Playground. Up for a little challenge? Head to TactSim for some target practice or split into teams to see who can hold fort.

Where? HomeTeamNS Khatib  (2 Yishun Walk, Singapore 767944)

Like our stories? Subscribe to our Frontline Digital newsletters now! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App, and update your communication preference to ‘Receive Digital Frontline Magazine’, through the App Settings.

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Check out the exclusive perks and benefits we have for our HomeTeamNS members in celebration of the inaugural Home Team Day 2024! Find out more here: https://www.hometeamns.sg/htd2024/
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