Setting the mood right
So the crew has been crazy over National Geographic and Discovery Channel, since we subscribed to these channels lately. When the post on Coney Island was posted and they heard about a Wild Brahman Cow that roams the island freely, everyone was ecstatic.
So we pulled out our maps and GPS (which is just our iPhone and Google Map App) to determine the objective for the route we are going to work on. After several options, we decided to approach the Escapade as how a resident of Punggol would. (considering that Coney Island is just next to Punggol Waterway Estate) And introduce the most scenic and comfortable ride through the Punggol Waterway to Coney Island and to return via Lor Halus Wetland Bridge.
We decided to start from Oasis LRT station in Punggol since it's easily accessible via the Punggol MRT station. From here we made a turn into the Punggol Waterway Woodcress (shout out to Woodcress residents!) towards the Sunrise Bridge.
View of Sunrise Bridge from the Punggol Waterway
Sunrise Bridge Along Punggol Waterway
The viewpoint here is breathtaking, perfect for a day out. Photo on the right shows our return exit.
THe Island, Coney Island
After 15mins of cycling along the coastal track towards the West Entrance of Coney Island, we finally saw the Dam and the big gate spelling Coney Island!
At first, the closed gate got us worried but we quickly realised that the side gates were open and presume that's how its going to be. The island is looked after by the National Parks and the opening hours are from 7am to 7pm.
Putting on our game faces
INto the island
Directional and Information Signages at the Entrance
Bicycle Parking available at the entrance for those who prefer to trek
Concrete tracks runs on a loop and branches further in via the dirt tracks
Exploring the concrete track
We followed the concrete track that loops and it led us towards the coast line. The view that opened up was breathtaking. With the sea meeting the concrete steps and not having barriers spoiling the view, Mother Nature seems to be closer and intimate!
I can imagine as time seems to stop on it's path, lazing into the steps along the coast and watching the boats sail by slowly. Perfect place to spend time with the love ones. :)
Finally towards the end of the tracks, we came across an obstacle course which was build by logs presumably from the renovation of the Island. I enjoyed the effort put in by Nparks, where nothing is put to waste. They do their best to utilise all the natural resources found during the construction of the island and keeping the balance between comfort and nature.
On to the Dirt Track
As we completed the ride around the concrete track, we prepared to head into the dirt track. These tracks branches off from the concrete road and the signs show potential of more wild life. Which we presume is hint of where the Cow is suppose to be.
Delightfully, we realised that the dirt track leads to the 5 Beach Areas and the view that welcomed us was fantastic! You had the coastal view with Pulau Ubin at the far end and the breeze coming in... until.. we start to feel the itch on our legs. Then we saw the sign.
That's right. As beautiful as the view is, the beach has it's flaw. The Sandflies. You can't see them nor hear them. They move in like ninja and they make sure you remember them. We would STRONGLY recommend you guys to cover yourself in repellent twice, trice or just finish the whole bottle on each leg. You do not want those sandfly bites, period.
The rustling in the bush
As we continued on the dirt track, one of the crew spotted disturbance from the bushes. Using whatever field signals he remembered from the 2 years stint in the army, he got us to stop in our treks.
What greeted us was a lone Wild Boar, which seemed uneasy around human. This was unlike the nonchalant Wild Boars on Pulau Ubin. He quickly dashed into covers when he saw us in the distance, which I guess they haven't warm up to our presence on the Island yet.
Advisable to stay off their way for now.
Bird Hide are available for Bird Watchers to take cover.
We ran into the Mangrove path which lead us to a pretty cool looking dam. It was built with cement blocks as the wall of the river and they used wooden stacks to sort of create a dam. We spotted Mudskippers skidding through the water as we tried to get a nice shot of the wooden stick dam. Weird looking guys but adorable at the same time.
Mudskippers from the Mangrove
cow, where are you HIDING?
Coming our from the Mangrove, we realised we are coming close to our exit at the East Entrance of Coney Island, which also means we failed to see The Cow! We guess he must be hiding somewhere under the shade and just not ready to be taking interviews.
Nevertheless, we headed out towards Lor Halus Wetland as our target to get back to Punggol Waterway and spotted a secluded pond along the way! There stood a lone Stork who was more than happy for us to take a few shots of him. So our National Geographic crew had that chance to take some wild life photo, other than the pig.
The end, finally
After another 10 mins on the ride, we manage to reach the Lor Halus bridge and joined back into Punggol Waterway. Total of 2.5hours leisure ride and though regretful, we didn't see The Cow. We did however enjoyed the change in scenery especially so close to our heartlands.
If you are loving the outdoors and wouldn't want to get too far from Mainland Singapore. Coney Island is your best pick. With the effort of retaining the authencity of the Island, Nparks have made this both a safe and enjoyable getaway.
We do vote this as a must come for local Singaporeans. However for Tourist, you can get more with us on our Biking Singapore: Pulau Ubin Tour (click for more information on the tour).
tips for visiting coney island
We came in our Tern Link C7 Foldable bicycles and it performed pretty well on the trails. The route had a combination of concrete, dirt and sandy tracks. The only time we felt challenged on our foldies was going through the sandy tracks, but a quick switch on the gears solved that.
The National Parks has done a fabulous job turning the place into a comfortable and fascinating trek. You can trek comfortably along the paths with directional signs at each junction, telling you the distance to the next prominent point.
We see couples, families with toddlers coming in for a stroll and not breaking a sweat going around.
Tip #1: Sands Flies at Beach Areas
The island houses up to 5 Beach Areas, named from A to E. Each of the beaches are done up with a rustic feel and that also means sand flies are common.
Our crew had our legs sacrificed to those invisible insects and the itch from the bites will keep you awake all night! So please protect well with insect repellent, especially for the young ones.
Tip #2: Water
The island houses a very clean toilet, which you can make use of. However do take note that there are no water coolers for you to feel your bottles. Make sure you bring sufficient water along on your trek, otherwise the closest drink would be back at Punggol.
We have also prepared a full video of our ride along Coney Island. So for the more visual readers, do enjoy our video and please feel free to share it through our Facebook link.
A hub for Bike Commuters to gather and share the latest news that affects are daily travels through this Little Red Dot we call home.