Sunday, March 8, 2009

changes coming to punggol point

seems like work has started on developing the tract of land at punggol point into a beverage and food centre. the old outward bound school's car-park has been hoarded up and some earth work is going on. the former car-park and an old community centre used to serve as the reporting area for campers attending obs courses at pulau ubin. the old community centre at track 24 had been demolished some years back.

today, there is a new car-park across the road. there is also an area, about the size of two football fields, which is fenced up, with a signboard that says 'outward bound school of singapore'. the reception centre is now located at 24th avenue, where the punggol point people's association (pa)holiday camp used to be.

former pa holiday camp

i remember the time when the pa campsite was still available for the public to use. we held a camp there for the secondary three students one year. one activity of the camp programme involved the campers having to hike, at around midnight, from the holiday camp to the former punggol fishery port, about 2.5km away. at the fishery, the teachers bought prawns, crabs, squids and fish for the barbeque which was held on campfire night.

the punggol fishing port was closed in 1997 and it relocated to senoko fishing port. at these fisheries - today, there are two, one at jurong and the other at senoko - auctions usually start after midnight, between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. after 6 a.m., these places become quiet again.

photo from national archives of singapore

for the younger generation of singaporeans who do not have reasons to visit punggol point, it would seem like it is one of the more remote corners of singapore. older singaporeans will fondly remember the few eateries at the end which once made it the place to go for seafood in singapore in the 70s and the 80s.

sure, there were other places you could go for seafood, like tuas, changi and katong but a lot of people flocked to punggol for the chilli crabs and other seafood.

photo from national archives of singapore

punggol point was quite a lively place in those days. there was a kampong of fishermen and farmers. there were boatels and facilities for boating and skiing. during the weekends, a lot of the boat owners would be there to take their friends and family members out to the sea for a spin, water-ski or further out/away to fish.

there used to be two bus services that terminated at punggol point; today, one of them is still plying the area. the bus service that stops at punggol end is service number 82.

the stretch of punggol road from punggol drive onwards has not changed much. it is a narrow road, with a lane on each side. whenever i drive along this stretch, i feel that i am in some part of malaysia.


Andy said...

My favourite place ! i always go there to fish ~ Nice & quiet place to relax. However, u'll be attack by mozzies & bugs frequently though. Hah !

yg said...

hi andy, last thursday when i was there, this angler was complaining about the state of the water, about oil discharged by the ships.
i don't fish but i visit the place once in a while. like you say, nice and quiet; a good place to relax.

Andy said...

Yea man, yg. That place is frequent by the oil discharge that is polluting the waters of punggol, sometimes or would i say frequently in changi waters. When there is talks about such things, i will avoid those areas and have fun in the CNR local ponds. No point fishing as the fish would naturally migrate to a new and cleaner habitat. Especially the green eyed squids aka "bak tao" =< ! However, this ships that move around has its pros & cons, depends on how u make use of it as an angler ! Heh.

ordinary guy said...

Travelling along this stretch of road at Punggol gives you the creeps. There were over-hung trees, the roads were narrow with tracks branching off to farms and homes, bust-stops were dimly lit, and the road lights were the old type which can hardly shine sufficient light on the roads with dancing shadows all around.

yg said...

yes, ordinary guy, i agree with you that it could have been scary travelling along this sretch of road at night.

Kyle Leung said...

Hi YG,

It's been a while since you posted this but I'm working on a documentary on Punggol

I'd like to know if you would be keen on doing interviews of recalling the days of Old Punggol the way you did in your blog? Please let me know :)

Best Regards,