Over the years, Hougang has transformed from a forested area home to pig farms and a largely Chinese Teochew population, to become Singapore’s largest public housing estate! Today, the north-eastern neighbourhood offers plenty of avenues for family activities to bond and learn about Singapore’s heritage.
Visit Singapore’s only remaining kampong
If you think the kampong spirit is a thing of the past, think again. Just off the edge of Yio Chu Kang road Kampong Lorong Buangkok—Singapore’s one and only remaining kampong.
Modern amenities like 4G internet and flat-screen TVs notwithstanding, the village retains the rustic, idyllic feel of the kampong days, and with homes still rented out for between $4.50 to $30!
However, do note that you can’t just waltz into people’s homes, but tours are available, complete with history lessons on how HDB flats came about, trivia on village life, and old-school games to play. It’s a great way to spend some time with the family and give your children a glimpse of the side of Singapore they might only know from textbooks!
Image source: Klook
Pictures for the ‘gram and lessons for the history books
Did you know that Hougang has its share of iconic landmarks? It is home to the rainbow HDB flats, the neo-gothic style Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Japanese cemetery park. While these locations are ideal for photography enthusiasts… or people who want scenic shots for the gram, they are also great places to learn about Singapore’s heritage.
So use a visit to the Block 316 HDB flats to share stories about Singapore’s development. Drop by the neo-gothic style church to find out about the enclave of Teochew Catholics and how the practices of the two groups began to fuse over time. You could also unearth some Singapore history and stories about World War 2 to share with the family while visiting the scenic Japanese cemetery park.
Image source: Roots.gov.sg
Nature lovers unite at Punggol Park
Nature and fitness lovers alike will have a blast at Punggol Park (which for those who don’t live in the north, is different from the more commonly spoken of, Punggol Waterway Park).
There are plenty of opportunities for fishing, cycling, or even to do your own workout at one of the many fitness corners spread across the park. If working out isn’t your cup of tea, you can picnic by the pond and do a little bird watching with help from the Punggol Park bird guide!
Image source: NParks
Feast at Ci Yuan Hawker Centre
Round up your day out at Hougang with a trip to Ci Yuan Hawker Centre—a place which endeavours to help keep Singapore’s hawker culture alive with an entrepreneurship program that pairs aspiring young hawkers with veteran ones.
Besides offering local favourites like chicken rice, carrot cake and char kway teow, Ci Yuan Hawker centre also has a huge range of stores catering to more recent trends like for Korean fried chicken, Japanese rice bowls and pasta, ensuring there’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy.
Image source: ciyuanhawker.com.sg