When I just shifted into Punggol way back in 2003, my block and those surrounding mine are at the extreme eastern corner of the whole Punggol. You can imagine staying next to nature with migratory birds just steps away from your home.
And then the Punggol Waterway was built and the plot of land slowly became man-made. Gradually the Serangoon and Punggol River are dammed up becoming another reservoir for Singapore. Lorong Halus Wetlands was introduced but Coney Island was ‘locked up’ as a result. In the end, the greens around the area was drastically reduced.
So it was a happy day that Coney Island was ‘renovated’ and opened today and the whole area has more recreational space now for the residents in Punggol.
Overall, Coney Island Park may not be the most accessible park of the whole of Singapore if one relies on public transport. Perhaps it will be this seclusion that will save it from the hordes of people thronging this place every weekend. For now I would say this is a much easier place to get to rather than Pulau Ubin and yet have a bit of the rustic feel to the place.
Do note, there’s only one toilet that is near to the Eastern Entrance so do come ’empty’ at Lorong Halus Wetlands or Punggol Settlement first before proceeding. If not you will find yourself shitting amongst the bushes like what we did in Army.
Oh yeah, there’s dried up Bovine Excrement (literally Bull Shit) everywhere on the island – yes there is (or was?) a bull hiding on the island. As shared by Haslinda, the poor beast was on a capsized boat transporting it from Ubin to the main land and found refuge on the island. And no, I didn’t see it yet. There’s monkeys too actually so take care of your belongings.
If you are thinking of going to the beach for a dip, there are jellyfish around so take care. At beach site B there’s a huge bunch of sandflies so be uber prepared with insect repellant. Mosquito abounds too at certain areas particularly the coastal walks/trek.
For those who are new to Punggol, the fastest way is to take the NEL train to Punggol MRT station and hop on to bus 84 to Punggol End. From there, pass the Punggol Settlement food outlets and proceed along the coastal line with the sea on your left. In about 10-15 minutes walk you should reach the West end of Coney Island.
You could walk from one end to the other of the island where you will be facing the Lorong Halus Wetlands. To your right would be the Red Bridge (the Lorong Halus Bridge) over Sungei Serangoon and if you walk across the bridge and then turn left, you will reach the food outlets along the river with Popeye’s, Hong Kong Cafe and Seafood restaurants. From there you can take the LRT at Riviera LRT Station back to Punggol MRT.
For those who are driving, there are two ways – first is to park at Punggol End and walk to the island and back or from Lorong Halus Wetlands to the Eastern entrance and then walk back. Do note the car park space at the Wetlands park is very limited with a pretty narrow service road so if there’s a major jam it won’t help matters.
Most would park right at the end of Pasir Ris Coast Industrial Park 6 road illegally and then walk in. Without flouting the law, it is best to park at Punggol East blocks 160+ and cross Punggol East road.
Just find Popeye’s which is just behind the row of nurseries. You can also park at Popeye’s but the car park space there is also very limited.
At Popeye’s just walk towards the water body and you could see the pedestrian and bicycle paths. From there turn left and keep walking and then cross the Red Bridge. Turn left after you cross the bridge and you should see a pebble track. Don’t fret, just walk all the way straight and you could see the dam/barrage on your left. At the end of the trek, cross the barrage and the Eastern Gate is there.
Do note, the walking would take at least a good 2 hours for casual walkers and much longer if you want to take photos along the way and even longer if you want to traverse from Punggol End right to Riviera LRT station. I would suggest take in the fresh air in the morning as the late afternoon can be pretty humid while on the island (was sweating bucket loads today).