lifestyle

Explore this unusual but underrated corner of north-western Singapore

Ask any Singaporean what is their favourite local park and many will say “East Coast” without hesitation. You’d be hard-pressed to find this 185 ha seafront property – synonymous with fun and fresh air – not thrumming with life, especially on weekends.

If you’re tired of the crowds and congestion, you can consider visiting the much smaller but nature filled: Choa Chu Kang Park. We'll tell you why it is worth a visit in just a bit.

Firstly, Choa Chu Kang Park is very accessible and just a 10 minutes walk from Choa Chu Kang MRT Station. At 11 ha, this peaceful park is a mere smidgen compared to East Coast Park, but the impressive amount of fresh greenery and number of mature trees more than makes up for its size.

Singapore is often so densely populated that it could trigger agoraphobia (a fear of crowds) for some, but Choa Chu Kang Park, is blissfully not one of them. The park was astonishingly devoid of people on a lazy Sunday afternoon with just one child frolicking in the sandpit, a smattering of diners quietly sitting under the fans of the park’s outdoor café, and one tiny dog sauntering confidently along the park’s vast pathways with his mom and dad.

Beyond its quiet façade, glimmering with many shades of emerald, Choa Chu Kang Park is home to a bevy of beautiful activities. These are just four of them.

Activity 1

You can grow your own herbs, vegetables, fruits and flowers at one of Choa Chu Kang Park’s 40 allotment plots in its Allotment Garden. Each plot stretches 2.5 metres by one metre in the style of a raised planter bed and costs $57 for three years (before GST, of course). All the plots have been rented so keep a keen eye on the website to find out when it’s your turn to showcase those green thumbs. The wheelchair-friendly Therapeutic Garden, which opened on July 7 last year, is right next to the Allotment Garden. It has edible and fragrant plants, as well as soothing water features.

Activity 2

There is a large play area for children flanked with shaded seatings for parents and caregivers. The area is rich in greenery especially tall trees that shield little ones from the harsh sun, making it possible for them to be young, wild, and free – without risking a nasty UV burn.

Activity 3

Wildlife, birds and numerous fruit trees have made this forested trove a delightful home to many of nature’s treasures. Much of this flora is native to Singapore, and ranges from trees to shrubbery. If birdspotting or fresh air is your jam, you might find this walking trail a worthy endeavour.

Activity 4

Skating and cycling rookies will find the park’s broad and smooth tarmac avenues a forgiving place to practise their moves. Those who like the thrill of skateboards can visit the park’s modest skate plaza.

Elysian fields beckon from the island’s northwest

Choa Chu Kang Park is so versatile that it can meet the needs of almost everyone; be it those who are looking for a new playground for their kids, those who want to enjoy greenery without the crowd, people who love nature or even avid birdwatchers. With the train station almost right near its doorstep and so many parking options, remember to give it a thought the next time you want a deep breath of fresh air and sunshine!

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