Sassy’s Guide to Coney Island
When news broke out about the opening of Coney Island, everyone was excited. The people of Singers, as you know, are always hungry and on the lookout for the next new thing to do so when this pristine grassland which once used to be a millionaire’s island opened it’s doors to the public, everyone wanted to see what the hype was all about. And naturally, because we’re kaypoh by nature, we had to check out this said paradise on our own too.
Background Information: Coney Island was previously known as Pulau Serangoon or Serangoon Island and the capacious 50-hectares island is also an ecologically sustainable park. The island was previously owned by the Haw Par brothers before it was sold to Ghulam Mahmood, an Indian businessman in the 1950s. Mr Mahmood had intended to recreate the famous Coney Island of New York here but that dream was shortlived. In the 1970s, the island was returned to the Singapore government.
How to get there:
By Public Transport – Alight at Punggol MRT Station and at Exit C, board bus 84 and get off at Punggol Road End. Head to Punggol Settlement (the while low-rise building with many food outlets) and follow the signs to Coney Island.
By Car – Programme your Google Map to lead you to Punggol Settlement and park at the outdoor carpark (it’s free!). Walk towards the restaurants and follow the signs to Coney Island.
You can reach Coney Island by renting a bicycle from Punggol Point Park or Punggol Settlement. Cycling from here (about 500 metres) will get you to the West entrance of Coney Island. You can also access the East Entrance of the island via Lorong Halus and Pasir Ris Industrial Drive 6. For those who prefer to talk a leisurely stroll, you can do so from Punggol Point Park (although we highly recommend cycling!).
How to dress: Sports attire, long pants/ leggings, sunglasses, a hat and covered shoes
What to pack: Water bottle, a face towel, some tissues, a picnic mat and some food (optional), sunscreen, insect repellent (mandatory!)
Once you’ve arrived at Punggol Settlement, look out for Go Cycling which is on the opposite direction from Coney Island or Jomando Adventure and Recreations, about 200 metres away from the West entrance of Coney Island. Choose from mountain bikes, hipster city bikes (perfect for #OOTDs) and even bikes with trolleys just in case you’re planning for a big shoot or if you’re bringing your whole house then we reckon that works too! Rental of bicycles start from $8 per hour.
Hang out at the Casuarina Exploratory
The Casuarina Exploratory features tall twiggy trees and they can be found all around Coney Island. There’s an area just near the West entrance as you enter the park where uprooted Casuarina wood are made into logs, stepping stones, and fences for you to play around. The make perfect photo ops too!
Do some bird watching
There are over 80 species of birds on the island so if you’re a fan of pretty little robins and more, wait around at the bird-watching hideout. This spot allows you to observe the birds in their natural environment without scaring them away. Tip: try not to make too much noise else the birds will stay away!
Explore the beaches
There are five small beach areas on Coney Island. These beaches are accessible via earth tracks and are rather small. Albeit its small size, the beaches are all natural! Try looking for Beach Area A because it can be easily found from the West entrance.
Snap photos amongst the beautiful trees
We were really in awe of the endless tall trees and greenery all around and although it seems that every other spot looks exactly the same, we beg to differ. Some areas are more forested with lalangs all around while some are more sparse.
Relax by the promenade
On the western and eastern parts of the island, there are paved areas where you can lay your mat and enjoy the cool sea breeze with a view of passing ships and Johor’s shoreline. We spent a good hour here taking in the fresh air.
Check out the mangrove boardwalk
If you’re on the trail to Beach Area C, walk through the mangrove forest. The air is so crisp and fresh. The wooden planks are made from Casuarina trees and when you’re in this area be extra careful because mangroves are susceptible to high tides.