Thursday, September 13, 2012

Taking A Walk Around Sengkang Riverside Park

It's been a while since I last wrote about parks and gardens around Singapore. Well, after several posts on Ramadan Bazaars, it's time for me to talk about various places around Singapore. In today's article, it's going to be about my visit to one of the parks in Sengkang called the Sengkang Riverside Park which is a park along the river.

Getting to Sengkang Riverside Park was not really that easy unless you have some sort of car because there are only two modes of transport to the park. There is the LRT train and one feeder bus service from the nearby Sengkang Bus Interchange. The park is located in Sengkang West which doesn't really have a lot of bus services and cars going around. It can be a little bit scary to come here alone so bring along a friend if possible.

Anyway, I took the LRT train to Farmway LRT Station and once I have alighted, the park is right behind the Anchorvale Community Club. It's a very quiet place with few people around. The last time I went there, there were only a few people and most of them were jogging around. I also spotted this sort of stage with seats and steps and when you sit down on it, it gives a nice view of the reservoir and the nearby floating island.

The view of the reservoir is just so beautiful. The water was clear and free of litter and I could actually see the reflection of the trees and bridges on the water itself. More pictures of beautiful reflections will be shown further down.

And here's a directional sign board of the Sengkang Riverside Park and the Punggol Reservoir so that it's easy to navigate around the park and you won't get lost.

Now it's time to check out the Floating Island. Basically, the Floating Island is a boardwalk with several fixtures in it and it brings direct access to the nearby Sengkang Riverside Park. (The Floating Island is not part of Sengkang Riverside Park). Just outside the boardwalk, there were some swamps and plantations around which were beautiful. I also noticed some fixtures and street furniture in the theme of fruits. Some benches looked like halved oranges and there was a giant mangosteen shelter. They looked cool and the designs can attract the attention of children.

Here are some pictures of the plantations located just right outside of the Floating Island. They look beautiful and it really shows the best of nature. Since the place is quiet and very few people can be seen walking around here, the Floating Island is truly a serene place to visit.

Oh yes, there are more pictures of the swamp plantations here. There were a lot of them. At one point, I saw a group of turtles (or is it terrapins?) crowding around trying to eat pieces of bread thrown by an elderly couple. They looked cute crowding around waiting for their turn to eat the pieces of bread.

This is a picture of the signboard at the entrance of the Floating Island. You get to know more information about the island and the cute mascot of the Public Utilities Board.

This is how Sengkang Riverside Park looks like. It doesn't look like a regular park in which there are huge trees and shrubs all around. Sengkang Riverside Park actually has fewer trees and fewer shrubs and lots and lots of plain grass. Plus, the park is not completely flat. Some parts of the park are much higher than others so it's like walking up and down and up again. There is a jogging path so you can do some jogging or running around at the park without any problems.

Let's say that after a lot of running and jogging and you want to take a break, there are plenty of shelters with benches for you to take a rest on before continuing your workouts. The shelters look beautiful and they have interesting designs. Like I mentioned earlier, some parts of the park are higher than others so there is a staircase at the front entrance if you wish to access the higher part of the riverside park.

Sengkang Riverside Park is actually divided into three parts. There are some notable differences between the three. One has a visitor centre and several fruit trees, another one is right opposite the Anchorvale Community Club while the other is connected directly to the Floating Island. If only NParks has some sort of naming system or numbering system to distinguish the three parts of the Sengkang Riverside Park, it will be much easier to identify. Not to worry though as all three parts of the Sengkang Riverside Park have different mapboards.

Now I'm at the part of the park with the Visitor Centre. I like the architecture of the Visitor Centre because it's simple and open air. However, the Visitor Centre doesn't really have that much facilities. There were toilets, vending machines and a cafe called the Mushroom Cafe. Visitor Centres at other parks have an air-conditioned room with a desk that will provide visitors with information and paper maps of the park but since Sengkang Riverside Park is a small park, it's redundant to have such a facility. Still, the Visitor Centre at the Sengkang Riverside Park is a great place for visitors to have a break and have a quick bite. This part of the park is slightly bigger than the other parts of the park as you can see from the mapboard above.

Before I entered the Visitor Centre, I checked out this cafe called the Mushroom Cafe at the Visitor Centre. The Mushroom Cafe is a cafe that sells delicious food at affordable prices. Most of the food available here are local dishes and some of the dishes are their own creations. Other than that, they also sell fried snacks on skewers and curry puffs.

The Mushroom Cafe is actually owned by Old Chang Kee which is a popular fried foods snack chain that's located in almost every shopping mall in Singapore. That explains why the fried snacks available here are similar to the ones sold at Old Chang Kee outlets. There is also a menu board on the wall that shows the dishes they sell here and their respective prices. After a long day's walk along the Sengkang Riverside Park, it's a great idea to come here and enjoy a good meal in the open-air environment of the Visitor Centre.

The Sengkang Riverside Park also has several ponds with long plants along the sides of it. I don't exactly know what the names of the long plants are but hey, it doesn't really matter right? When I was at the pond, several groups of people gathered together and went fishing at the pond itself. I did not really get up close to the pond so I cannot confirm how the fishes in the pond looked like.

This part of the park has jogging paths all around and lots of plants and trees can be found here. It's a great place to take a walk around and enjoy the scenery plus it's a great place to have a picnic under the sun. Of course, just like other parks, there were several shelters and benches all around so that joggers and visitors to the park can have a good rest here.

The park has plenty of parking space available so if you intend to reach here using your own car or private transport, you do not have to worry about the lack of space to park your vehicle. Although when I took this photo, it was on a weekday. Maybe more spaces will be taken up on a typical weekend. It's best to come here by taking the LRT. You don't have to worry about parking charges and no parking space on a weekday.

While walking to the last part of the Sengkang Riverside Park (Remember, there are three parts of Sengkang Riverside Park), I have to walk along a bridge that passes by the Sungei Punggol River which has a beautiful scenery and you can totally see the reflections of the trees on the water itself. Plus, if you look closely, you can see the Tampines Expressway (TPE) in a distance. The bridge itself also acts as a vehicular bridge and along the side, there were some concrete benches with flowers planted in between the concrete benches. Pretty cool, huh?

The last part of the Sengkang Riverside Park that I visited wasn't really that interesting as it has lesser trees, a jogging track that goes one big loop and a really interesting tall sculpture. This part of the park is also a great place for kite-flying. Back then, there was an open field adjacent to the park until it was closed for construction of HDB flats. Kite enthusiasts loved to fly their kites there but they don't have to worry because Sengkang Riverside Park has plenty of space to fly their kites here.

Just right opposite of the 3rd part of the Sengkang Riverside Park is Anchorvale Community Club which is also the Sengkang Hockey Stadium and Sengkang Sports and Recreation Centre combined into one. You can have a break and relax at the McDonald's outlet here or you can take a break from the hot weather and go for a swim here at the swimming complex.

The Sengkang Riverside Park is a great big park that is located in the western part of Sengkang. It's a great place to relax and unwind plus it's a great place to go kite-flying with friends. Go for a jog, take a long relaxing walk, enjoy the wonderful scenery at this quiet park and get out of work pressure for a while. The Mushroom Cafe is available at the Visitor Centre of the park for you to grab a bite after spending a hot day at the park. Bring your family and friends along and enjoy a great time with them here at the Sengkang Riverside Park.

The Mushroom Cafe is HALAL certified

Getting Here 

Bus services available: Not available

Nearest LRT Station: SW2 Farmway LRT Station (Sengkang West Loop)

Website: Sengkang Riverside Park Website

View Larger Map

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