Located in the north of Singapore, Yishun is a seemingly lesser explored neighbourhood that is dotted with treasures. If you’ve run out of places to wander through, this may just be your next little adventure.
Think beautiful, lush green nature, modern yet rustic cafes, unique shops and places for recreational activities. Yishun is also home to Singapore’s only hot spring, Singapore’s first multi-recreational park and the world’s largest collection of turtles and tortoises. This underrated neighbourhood deserves a little more love and we’ve got just the guide to help you find the coolest spots.
Things to do
1. Check out ORTO Leisure Centre
Singapore’s first multi-rarefactional park, ORTO, is open to the public 24 hours a day and features all-day and night activities such as prawning. This 555,000 square foot sanctuary is a great lush, green oasis for nature lovers and family day outs with restaurants on the premise (if you feel peckish). Other activities such as paintball, longkang fishing and drift karting are also available so stop by for a fun filled day of leisure.
Address: 81 Lor Chencharu, 769198
Tel: 6257 8858
Opening hours: Open 24 hours
2. Chill with turtles and tortoises at The Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum
The Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum holds the Guinness Book of Records title for the largest collection of turtles and tortoises. Both live and artefacts. Apart from being able to get up close and personal with hundreds of turtles and tortoises of different species you will be able to marvel at the many turtle-themed artefacts the owners have collected over the years.
Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum
Address: 81 Lor Chencharu, ORTO, #01-16, 769198
Opening hours: 10 a.m. 6 p.m. (Mon.); 10 a.m. 6 p.m. (Wed. to Sun.)
*Last entry is at 5:40 p.m.
3. Visit Singapore’s only hot spring at Sembawang Hot Spring Park
Along Gambas Avenue, you’ll find Singapore’s only hot spring at Sembawang Hot Spring Park. The park features cascading pools of thermal spring water and a water collection point. There are also educational panels for visitors to learn about the spring’s history and geology. Reminiscent of the old kampungs, the park’s rustic environment holds memories for the community and provides a space for residents to create new memories! The new floral walk is dotted with fruit trees and edible plants commonly found in kampungs in the 1960s and 90s.
*Do note that the park is temporarily closed until further notice. Do stay updated via NParks Singapore’s website.
Sembawang Hot Spring Park
Address: Along, Gambas Ave.
Opening hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Daily)
4. Enjoy Yishun’s parks
Located 10 minutes away from Yishun MRT, Yishun Pond Park is a tranquil haven for nearby residents. The park features a pond surrounded by a variety of trees, colourful plants, shrubs and marshland plants and is also home to several species of birds, making it a great place to get close to nature. You can also learn more about the flora and fauna from the information boards and climb the spiral tower for a bird’s eye view of the surrounding vicinity. Not up for a climb? Sit back and relax at the benches while enjoying the tranquillity of the water promenade.
Yishun Park, on other hand, was developed on an old rubber estate and is home to an assortment of tropical fruit trees and natural vegetation. The park features facilities such as playgrounds for children, multi-purpose courts and fitness corners. Take a stroll amongst rambutan, star fruit, coconut and bread fruit and jackfruit trees and learn more about these fruits and plants from the information boards that have been installed. Great for kids and adults alike!
Yishun Pond Park
Address: Yishun Central, 760323
Address: Bounded by Yishun Ave. 4, Yishun Central, Yishun Ave. 11 and Yishun Ring Rd.
5. Take a baking class at Bakers Brew @ Sembawang
Enjoy an engaging and interactive hands-on baking class at Baker’s Brew! Professional and friendly instructors cater to beginners and experienced baking enthusiastic and home-based appliances are used so you will be able to replicate your creations at home. Classes for August 2021 are almost sold out so book early for the months to come. Prices range from $108 to $138 for individual participants and private group class rates are also available.
Baker’s Brew @ Sembawang
Address: 6 Jln Tampang, 758950
Tel: 6635 7166
Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Daily)
6. Get cosmic with Sonic Bowl @ SAFRA Yishun
Looking for an exciting after hours activity? Check out Sonic Bowl’s Cosmic Bowling Nights at SAFRA Yishun. Get ready for an out-of-this-world experience of bowling, coupled with heart-pumping tunes and discotheque lights! What’s more? Its rotating themes means you’ll never get bored. Head down every first Saturday of the month to get your bowl on to some Latin hits or every fourth Saturday of the month to hit the lanes to some 90s rock!
Rates are available on the website and there is a 15-percent discount for SAFRA members.
Sonic Bowl @ SAFRA Yishun
Address: 60 Yishun Ave. 4, 769027
Tel: 6759 9737
Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Sun. to Thu. & PH.); 11 to 1 a.m. (Fri. to Sat. & PH Eve)
Where to eat + drink
1. Holy Cow Creamery
You can’t go wrong with some ice cream! Tucked away in the quiet, charming old Yishun town Holy Cow Creamery is the perfect spot to chill out. Delicious ice creams and sorbets are crafted in-house and can be paired with crisp waffles. Don’t forget to try the aromatic coffees and creamy milkshakes ($6-$10) as well. Some unique local and regional flavours you can try include Soursop sorbet, Thai Milk Tea and Salted Gula Melaka.
Holy Cow Creamery
Address: 292 Yishun St. 22, #01-291, 760292
Opening hours: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
2. Wild Wood Cafe
All day breakfast, burgers, waffles and pizza? This bright yet cozy cafe in Yishun already sounds like a winner. Get its Signature Chicken and Waffles ($16.90) or for something a little luxe, try the Royale Waffles (smoked salmon, sliced avocado and eggs benedict) at $17.80. If you’re looking for a hearty, all-day breakfast option, go for the King’s Platter at just $20.80. Prefer a lighter bite? You will also find Salads like Sauteed Mushroom and Char-Grilled Soy Chicken ($12.80) on the menu.
Wild Wood Cafe
Address: 598 Yishun Ring Rd., 768698
Tel: 8769 2069
Opening hours: 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. (Tue. to Fri.); 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
3. Coba Coba
This restaurant sweeps you back to the yesteryears with its retro-esque aesthetic. Vintage displays and rustic furniture adorn this bright, old-school cafe that feels completely cool in this day and age. Some things just never go out of style. Aesthetics aside, you can try some delicious, authentic, traditional Indonesian dishes here such as Nasi Padang, (steamed rice served with various choices of pre-cooked Indonesian dishes) or Nasi Ambeng which features various dishes served on a large platter. The Classic Nasi Ambeng Set for two costs $23.90.
Address: 156 Yishun St. 11, #01-106, 760156
Tel: 6382 2622
Opening hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Daily)
4. Seoul Kitchen
Looking for Korean food in Yishun? Check out Seoul Kitchen. Kimchi pancakes, Korean fried chicken, Korean BBQ sets, plus warming, comforting Korean soups and stews. This is a great place to get your Korean food fix. What’s more? It does oven fried chicken as well for a healthier alternative. Its Korean fried chicken is available plain or seasoned Yangnyeom (Korean spicy sauce) and Ganjang (Korean sweet soy sauce). Or get a combo mix of all 3 flavours!
Address: 435 Sembawang Rd., 758398
Tel: 6483 0818
Opening hours: 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Daily)
5. Real Food Yishun
Looking for vegan or gluten-free restaurant options? Yishun has got you covered with this tranquil cafe. Not only are the views beautiful, you’ll find some fresh, tasty and affordable items on the menu such as Sweet Pumpkin Pancakes ($11.80), made with mashed organic pumpkin, coconut oil and gluten-free self-raising flour. Gluten-Free English Muffins With Scrambled Eggs ($12.80) and Dry Dumpling Noodles ($11.80) are also available.
Craving a burger? It has a burger section on the menu with options like Beet Millet and Curried Black Bean ($14.80). Burgers come with your choice of two sides and a gluten-free English muffin option is also available for your choice of bread. For lighter options, a variety of salads are available on the menu as well as organic teas and cold pressed juices.
Real Food Yishun
Address: 30A Yishun Central 1, #01-08, 768796
Tel: 9456 2370
Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Daily)
6. Bloom Artisan
Gelato, coffee and waffles! Treat yourself at Bloom Artisan. Its sourdough waffles are made from scratch and feature brown butter to give it a nutty flavour. Whiskey Crancherry, Coconut Sorbet, and Blue Pea Sea Salt Lavender are some of the fun flavours on the menu. If you are fond of minty ice creams, this cafe doesn’t just do the usual mint chocolate chip, they have a watermelon and mint sorbet as well.
Address: Yishun St. 61, #01-322 Block 645, 760645
Tel: 9889 0366
Opening hours: 12 to 10 p.m. (Mon.); 12 to 10 p.m. (Wed. to Sun.)
Where to shop
1. Northpoint City
Check out Northpoint for your shopping needs. This mall features an extensive range of stores including sporting goods, restaurants, bakeries, apparel (kids and adults) and more. You will also find a variety of supermarkets here from local brands such as Cold Storage and Fair Price to specialty supermarkets like Sri Murugan (Indian grocery store) and K-Mart (Korean supermarket). Baking enthusiasts can head to Poon Huat for a large selection of baking products and ingredients.
Address: 930 Yishun Ave. 2, 769098
Tel: 6754 2300
Opening hours: 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. (Daily)
2. Born in Colour
For your home furnishing needs, check out the chic, trendy and eclectic offerings at Born in Colour. From sofas, chairs, dining tables, shelves, beds, mattresses, lighting and kitchen appliances – these products are all imported from Korea, offering quality design at affordable prices. It carries a variety of styles ranging from retro, and Scandinavian to industrial. Book an appointment before you head down to its warehouse studio in Yishun to check out the unique designs available.
Born in Colour
Address: 1024 Yishun Industrial Park A, #02-31, 768763
Tel: 6257 2501
Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (Mon. to Fri.); 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Sat. to Sun.)
3. CatSmart @ Sembawang
You will find products ranging from health, grooming, housing and food at CatSmart, the nation’s largest cat specialty store. You’ll be in good hands as its highly focused and specialised team is comprised of individuals who are experts in their respective fields, ranging from cat behaviour to feline nutrition. The owners are constantly on the lookout for quality and innovative products that cater to the modern lifestyles of cat parents, so you’ll be sure to find some top notch, yet aesthetically pleasing and practical items for your kitty!
Address: 411 Sembawang Rd., 758388
Tel: 6513 3777
Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Daily)
4. Modern Lighting Concepts
Whether you’re moving in, doing a full home makeover or just need to get some new fixtures to spruce up a room, you’ll find a wide variety of quality lighting, ceiling fans, bathroom and kitchen accessories all in one place at Modern Lighting Concepts.
Modern Lighting Concepts
Address: 1 Yishun Industrial St. 1, A Posh Bizhub, #01-10, 768160
Tel: 6339 7738
Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Daily)
5. Nelly’s Retro Snacks
With a spectacular display of over a hundred old-school Singaporean biscuits, sweets, crackers and toys, become a kid in a candy shop again at Nelly’s Retro Snacks. Products are lined up and stored in nostalgic biscuit tins reminiscent of the old-time mamak shops (meaning convenience or sundry stores) in Singapore, making this a great place to for a blast to the past and get a taste of some good-old fashioned Singaporean snacks.
Nelly’s Retro Snacks
Address: 18 Yishun Ave. 9, 768897
Tel: 8776 8200
Opening hours: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Daily)
By K Praveena