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July 13, 2009

Punggol Beach

Punggol Beach

Of the many beautiful beaches in Singapore, Punggol beach is one of the more offbeat locations to find a sandy beachfront on the mainland. I was glad I make a trip there after my last visit last year.

Photograph 1: A scene of Punggol beach.

The greatest allure of Punggol beach is its peaceful ambiance. To me, I find that coming to Punggol beach is like taking a step back in time, away from the maddening crowd of a concrete jungle. Even the winding and undulating road that leads to Punggol beach looks different: no traffic lights, no zebra crossing, no ERP gantry, just a few parked cars on the 2-lane carriageway where durian hunters gather.

Photograph 2: Jetty at Punggol beach.

In terms of public amenities, there are hardly any at Punggol beach. If you visit Punggol beach, you won't find stand-alone kiosks offering bicycle or skate rentals. There are no public barbecue pits along the beachfront. There are no signs allowing or disallowing camping at Punggol beach. The only public toilet is a mobile cubicle that can double as a changing room if you intend to swim in the open sea.

There are no food and beverage outlets in the region of Punggol beach although that may change soon. There is a large sign board advertising the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) sale of a land parcel at Punggol Point for food and beverage development. I hope Punggol beach doesn't turn out to become another East Coast beach, overrun by fast food outlets and car parking nightmare.

The police presence at Punggol beach is apparent with large signs around a small hut-like building situated at the end of Punggol Road. Since a certain fugitive got caught across the Causeway, all appears quiet on this front.

Punggol beach is not really suitable for swimming as there are plenty of rocks just beyond the sandy shoreline. The large open spaces, coupled with sea breeze, is ideal for a quiet family picnic. Kids like mine would enjoy playing on the sand, working creations with sand castle-making tools and bare hands. The other popular leisure pursuit at Punggol beach, judging by the number of anglers on the jetty, is fishing.

One uncommon reason that could bring visitors to Punggol beach is a National Heritage Board historical marker that I wrote about last year, detailing atrocities committed at the beach during World War II, near the police post.

During my visit, I saw a platoon of young shutterbugs combing Punggol beach, shooting everything in their sight. I wonder if they knew about the other kind of shooting that took place decades ago on this very same beach.

What do you think of Punggol beach?

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Muhd Imran said...

I think the beach still holds the old beauty of Singapore. It is so soothing to be there during the day, especially the long undulating road that leads to the point.

I don't think I'll be anywhere near that place at night though.

KLS said...

I'm afraid sooner rather than later this beach is gonna be the next ECP. With the punggol 21+ plan taking place, I don't see how the Govt will not want to milk something from the nice quiet beach... :(

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