In its earliest days, Jurong was predominantly a mangrove swamp scattered with fish and prawn ponds, and plantation farms. In the 1960s, the area became the center of Singapore’s industrialisation efforts, quickly becoming the island’s first industrial estate.
Today, the area continues to bear reminders of its unique, multi-faceted past and trajectory into the years ahead. To explore Jurong East, follow along on a path that will guide you through the old world qualities of the estate as well as its futuristic developments.
There is no lack of idyllic, scenic spots about Jurong East to start the day off on the right foot. Amongst them is Jurong Lake Gardens, a sprawling recreational outdoor space that spans across 90 hectare of land which comprises of the Lakeside Garden (formerly Jurong Lake Gardens West), Chinese and Japanese Gardens (formerly Jurong Lake Gardens Central) and Garden Promenade (formerly Jurong Lake Gardens East).
A 3,100 square-meter therapeutic garden is the latest addition to the vast green land. The largest in Singapore, the garden includes a line-up of features from a section catered to children with special needs and even a butterfly maze.
Jurong Lake Gardens
Yuan Ching Rd
For breakfast, stop by Joo Siah Bak Koot Teh for a bowl of peppery pork ribs soup. This year the stall joined the lineup of eateries on the Michelin Bib Gourmand Singapore list, finding itself as the only other Bak Kut Teh eatery to have attained Michelin star status.
Joo Siah Bak Koot Teh
#01-1215 Jurong East Ave 1, Block 349, Singapore 600349
Tuesday-Saturday 8am-7:15pm, Sunday 8am-3:30pm
Alternatively, consider ENAQ The Prata Shop. This cosy prata shop located under a residential block is lauded for its unique crispy pratas. Since opening its doors at Jurong East in 2008, the crispy pratas served with unique homemade sambal sauce have earned a reputation as one of the best pratas one can find in Singapore. Having gained mass popularity amongst people not only in Jurong East but from across the island, the restaurant has also expanded with a second outlet in Ghim Moh.
ENAQ The Prata shop
303 Jurong East Street 32, Singapore 600303
Monday: 7am-10:30pm; Wednesday-Sunday: 7am-11pm
Dive into a lesson in architecture and history at Jurong Town Hall. The five-story building with a concrete façade that tips its hat to Brutalism was gazetted as a national monument in 2015. Once the headquarters of the Jurong Town Corporation, Jurong Town Hall serves as a reminder of the Jurong Town estate’s rapid development during Singapore’s industrialisation. Today, the Jurong Town Hall continues to play a role in Singapore’s economic development as a space for start-ups.
Jurong Town Hall
9 Jurong Town Hall Rd
Built in 1984, the Yu Hua Market & Hawker Centre has long been home to hidden local food gems. While relatively smaller in size than stereotypical Singaporean hawker centres, Yu Hua Market & Hawker Centre still has much to offer in the variety of cuisines it serves.
For lunch, indulge in a bowl of dumplings and shrimp wonton noodles and charcoal roasted meat at the Fei Fei Roasted Noodle stall which has been around for more than four decades. Or if you’re averse to the snaking queues, opt for authentic Singaporean Indian-Muslim fare at West Coast Arifin where you’ll find local classics from prata to mee goreng (fried noodles).
To satisfy your sweet tooth post-meal, tuck into an array of traditional pastry at Mei Wei Snacks 美味糕点. From Ondeh Ondeh (sweet rice cake balls filled with molten palm sugar and coated in grated coconut) to Soon Kueh (steamed dumplings in Teochew cuisine), there are plenty of options.
Yu Hua Market & Hawker Centre
254 Jurong East Street 24
Embark on a sunset adventure at Pandan Reservoir. The only reservoir on elevated ground in Singapore, Pandan reservoir is a breath-taking vantage point to take in the sunset views. It is also a tranquil oasis for a plethora of outdoor activities and water sports from kayaking to cycling.
Rent a single or double open-deck kayak from X-Current to take in the panoramic views from the water or sign up for a beginner-friendly rowing course from the Singapore Rowing Association all while getting front-row seats to sun down views.
Tuck into nostalgic home-cooked fare at Jia Wang Fish Head Steamboat, a fuss-free zi char (dishes influenced by home-cooked Chinese food meant for sharing) stall located in a coffee shop. A menu highlight is the pig trotters bee hoon – a traditional dish which is an underrated and rare hawker find. If you come from a traditional Chinese background, this dish might bring back memories!
Besides the pig trotters bee hoon, the store also boasts an array of stereotypical zi char dishes perfect for sharing.
Jia Wang Fish Head Steamboat
221 Jurong East Street 21, #01-875, Singapore 600221
Wind down for the night with a view of the stars from a vantage point unlike any other at The Observatory at Singapore Science Centre. As one of the few in the world located next to the equator, you’re in for a unique stargazing experience you’d only be able to experience from this part of the globe. Here, stargazers can view constellations in both the northern and southern celestial hemispheres.
The Observatory at Singapore Science Centre
21 Jurong Town Hall Road, Singapore 609433
🎥 For other unique experiences in the heartlands around Singapore, catch the entire Under My Block series here:
📍 Wondering what else to do in Singapore? Here’s a handy map of all the locations featured in the articles and videos under this series: https://bit.ly/3srQf2m