We Northies have been the butt of many jokes, from comments about how ridiculously far removed our town is from civilisation (“Wah, girl, you stay so far. Uncle very hard to find passengers after I drop you off, you know?”) to causeway-related jibes (“Eh, your TV antenna can pick up signals from Malaysia or not? I want to watch World Cup for free!” / “So you must carry your passport with you every day lah, since Woodlands is practically part of Johor. Geddit? Geddit? WAHAHAHA!”).
But coming from someone who’s been living in Woodlands all her life, I can vouch for the sheer awesomeness of the quiet north side. Northies, it’s time for us to shine.
1. Hang Out With The Original Biker Boys And Girls
57 Jalan Mempurong
When it comes to Handlebar, just keep this in mind: It’s all about the destination, not the journey. So it may be a little inaccessible if you do not drive, but this is Singapore’s first-ever biker’s bar we’re talking about; it’s as legit as it gets! Originally located at Gillman Village where it set up shop in 1999, Handlebar moved to the northernmost part of Singapore in Sembawang just four years ago. Bedecked with an impressive array of motorcycle memorabilia yet unpretentious and inviting, Handlebar is not just a haven for avid bikers; it attracts families and friends looking to spend a relaxing evening enjoying some booze and all-American nosh.
2. Traditional Trick-or-Treating
(Board bus service 912 at Woodlands Regional Bus Interchange and alight at Blk 425, after the Singapore American School.)
Why get wasted and risk waking up really looking like a zombie when you can celebrate Halloween the traditional way by going trick-or-treating for candies? Drawing nearly 5, 000 people from every part of Singapore, this paradoxically unconventional style of Halloween in Singapore has been an annual event at Woodgrove Drive, next to the Singapore American School. Humans – young and old – aren’t the only ones all dressed up in spooky costumes; houses are also spectacularly and creatively decked out with cobwebs, jack-o’-lanterns, and other cool Halloween props. The best bit? IT’S FREE!
3. Cafe-Hop In Johor Bahru
Loving the new interior of roost A photo posted by 子鵬 lee (@zippyzipeng) on
Yes, yes, Tiong Bahru is awesome – and it’s also a little swamped with fedora-wearing hipster-wannabes. A hop, a skip, and a passport stamp away, Johor Bahru is THE destination for serious cafe hoppers. Check out this comprehensive Burpple list and start planning a weekend day trip!
4. Food, Food, & More Glorious Food At Unbeatable Prices
Food factory outlets at Woodlands Terrace
(Board bus service 964 at Woodlands Regional Bus Interchange and alight when you see Old Chang Kee factory.)
Wow, where do I begin? Covering nearly the entire stretch of Woodlands Terrace are warehouse after warehouse of food factories selling products that run the gamut – from lava cakes and brownies to frozen meats and tuna sashimi – at wholesale prices. A must-visit before your next house party!
5. Battle At Singapore’s First International Competition-Sized Paintball Field
Paintball Alliance Open field across Marsiling MRT station
Tel: 6767 8520
Does your idea of fun involve belly-aching laughter amidst heart-stopping action? Then make your way to the open field right across Marsiling MRT station! Touted as Singapore’s first international competition-sized paintball field, Paintball Alliance consists of not one but two spacious playing fields for competitive and recreational players. Be sure to book in advance! Details on rates and how to make reservations, here.
6. Enjoy Sunday Brunch With Horses
Cheval Singapore Turf Club Riding Centre
1 Equestrian Walk
Tel: 6269 0918
Situated at Singapore Turf Club Riding Centre next to Kranji MRT station, Cheval is a cafe, bistro and bar that serves up a pretty wide selection of hearty meals and bar bites. It also has a weekend brunch menu, which consists of cheekily named crowd-favourites, like The Jockey Club (club sandwich), Saddle Up (buttermilk pancakes with berries and maple syrup), and The Great Stallion (scrambled eggs, bacon, grilled tomato, toast and hashbrown). Opt for the outdoor sitting area if you want to see horses strut their stuff!
7. Trek The Wild (& Spooky) Side
Did you know that deep inside the dense Marsiling jungle along Admiralty Road West lies a historic site with several sealed tunnels that were once a fuel reserve depot built by the British Royal Air Force in 1942? Even more interestingly, that later in 1944, the Japanese army also used the site as an oil storage facility? The National Heritage Board organised limited guided tours of the Marsiling tunnels early last year, but for those of you brave souls who wish to check out these spooky tunnels, Ho Ee Kid, founder of Luv@Adventure, is currently in the midst of working out a trekking route. Like his Facebook page and look out for his latest updates!
8. Hit A Home Run
The Hit Factory
6A Woodlands Centre Road #03-280
Tel: 6363 0863
Always wanted to swing a baseball bat? Rent a cage at The Hit Factory’s indoor training centre and go against one of their pitching machines! Even better, why not pick up the sport for real? The Hit Factory’s crew of professional coaching staff will be on hand to offer lessons using Major League Baseball (MLB) training tools. For bookings and more information, click here.