10 Things to See and Do in Bishan

Bishan is a young housing estate with lots to see and explore, here are 10 things to see and do in Bishan. The name Bishan was derived from the century old organisation Peck San Theng, and was made up of two older villages, namely Kampong San Theng and Soon Hock Village. Built on what used to be a cemetery, it has now been redeveloped and houses many recreational and heritage spots for everyone to enjoy.

1. Take a stroll in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park
At 62 hectares, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, with its ponds and bridges, colourful shrubs and lush greenery, is one of the largest and most popular parks in Singapore. Divided by Marymount Road into two plots, Pond Gardens (formerly Bishan Park 1) and River Plains (formerly Bishan Park 2), the park caters to park users of all ages. Some interesting features include three exciting playgrounds, a community garden, a vantage point on a hill that gives one a landmark view of the park, and a Riverside Gallery. One of the highlights of the park is the stretch of Kallang River that used to run in a concrete canal but is now a naturalised, meandering river teeming with life. If you enjoy stargazing, you can also join the BishanParkAstronomy Group.

2. Let the dogs out at the Dog Run
The Dog Run is located in the River Plains area of Bishan Park. This fenced dog run is very popular due to its central location and the fact that it’s just a stone’s throw from a car park along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1. Weekends are often quite cramped, but if your dog loves sniffing other dogs and you like meeting other dog owners, this is the place to be.

3. Count 10,000 Buddhas at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See
Founded in 1920 by Venerable Zhuan Dao, the KMSPKS is the largest Buddhist temple / Monastery in Singapore, has a unique role to play in the hearts of Singaporean Buddhists. It also houses one of the largest bronze image of Medicine Buddha in Southeast Asia. The Chinese architecture of Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Complex with its temples, funeral parlours, columbarium and niches is an imposing sight along Sin Ming Avenue. More photos and details here.

4. Enjoy the calm at Kwong Wai Siew Peck San Theng
The Singapore Kwong Wai Siew Peck San Theng, a charitable organisation by a federation of 16 clans of the Cantonese community in Singapore ran and managed Kampong San Theng. In 1982, the area was redeveloped. Today the Peck San Theng Temple/Columbarium, housing more than 100,000 niches, serve as a gentle reminder of the past. Address: 50 Kampong San Teng, Bishan Lane. Singapore 576498.

5. See Islamic artifacts at Harmony Centre @ An-Nahdhah Mosque
The Harmony Centre is a culmination of efforts to consolidate and centralise all the interfaith and community engagement programmes carried out by Muis. The gallery exhibits, audio-visuals, and artefacts in the centre are divided into 4 main sections: Images of Islam, Civilisational Islam, Essence of Islam, and Islamic Lifestyle. Visitors to the Centre can go on a guided tour which will be led by Docents (Guides) of the Centre. Twenty docents have been specially trained to be a point of reference or resource person to address all the queries that the visitors may pose. You can call 64784310 to book a tour.

6. Play Beach Volleyball at Bishan Active Park
Founded in September 2008, the Bishan North YEC Volleyball Interest Group currently comprises of approximately 20 members whose age ranges from 18 to 39 years old. The interest group hold twice-weekly regular games and training sessions every Monday and Wednesday, from 7 to 10pm at the Bishan Active Park’s beach volleyball court. All are welcome to join. If you are interested, simply leave a message on their Facebook page.

7. Go skating at Bishan Harmony Park
The Bishan Harmony Skate Park was constructed in 2009 and is open to public. The park is located at the junction of Bishan Road and Bradell Road. Once you exit the MRT station skate down Bishan Road towards Braddell Road, you will see the park on your left, just opposite of Raffles Institution. It’s about a 10 minute skate downhill.

8. Visit the Scout Discovery Centre
The Singapore Scout Association (SSA) opened the first Scout Discovery Centre in the Asia-Pacific Region on 4th September 2010, and houses the Scout Discovery Centre which serves as a resource centre of international and local Scouting. In its exhibit galleries, significant and interesting iems, including opium artefacts from the 1930s) that have been collected over the years. Other interesting items here are Scout uniforms, badges, certificates of appointments, warrants, medals and other significant documents of heritage value that are integral part of the nation’s growth and development. The Centre is open to public. Address: 1 Bishan Street 12, Ee Peng Liang Building. Singapore 579808. Telephone: 6259 2858.

9. Relive your childhood at the old mosaic clock playground
Remember these mosaic playgrounds that come in the form of dragons, animals, and fruits built back in the 70s and 80s? Only a handfull still remain, one of which in Bishan. Playground designs based on children’s play themes were introduced in 1988, including a colourful clock, an old woman’s shoe house, fire engines and the fairytale character Humpty Dumpty. Location: Next to Bishan bus interchange. See a list of alll surviving mosaic playgrounds here.

Surviving Heritage Mosaic Playgrounds

10. Check out the Merlions
A pair of 2.5m tall pink granite Merlion statues were built in 1998 by the Ang Mo Kio Residential Commitee and stands proudly along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, at the carpark entrance for Ang Mo Kio Blk 216-222, just next to Bishan Park. This costed $30,000 and rumour has it that the Merlions were almost removed as they are not authorised by the Singapore Tourism Board, who owns the copyright of the Merlion.

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