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Journey to the West

Here are some must-dos in the vibrant, bustling neighbourhood of Jurong.

By Chin Wei Lien

Come 2040, the west of Singapore will see the rise of the Jurong Lake District, a waterfront development that will house the country’s next Central Business District as well some exciting recreational facilities.

But you don't need to wait till then to enjoy what the area has to offer now. Contrary to popular belief, Jurong is not merely an industrial area of factories, warehouses and power plants (that is Tuas you are thinking of!). If you take the time to venture out and explore further, Jurong may just surprise you and your friends.

Late-night haunts

Westies, or those who live in the west, are a passionate bunch. They are nearly always engaged in a covert battle with those living in the east – and for very good reason. Hardcore Westies will tell you that the west, especially Jurong, offers some of the best late-night food haunts in Singapore. In Jurong alone, there are the famous eating outposts – Joo Siah Bak Koot Teh at Block 349 Jurong East Avenue 1, Kok Kee Wanton Mee at Jurong West Food Centre and Boon Lay Power Nasi Lemak at Boon Lay Food Village (yes, this nasi lemak is quite powerful indeed).

Shopping paradise

Just because you live in the west does not mean that you are far from the shopping action. In fact, those living in Jurong will argue that they have even better shopping options than the city has to offer.

Case in point: IMM, Singapore’s largest outlet mall. Yes, this behemoth of a building near Jurong East MRT is more than just a furniture mall. These days, it doubles up as an outlet mall of famous fashion brands, from Coach and agnès b. to Polo Ralph Lauren and Nine West. For even better buys, JCube’s J.Avenue boasts a diverse selection of chic and affordable merchandise aimed squarely at younger shoppers. A good place to look for last-minute gifts, perhaps?

The Jurong legacy

A big reason why Jurong residents share an intense love for their hometown is due to its history. For example, Bukit Timah Railway Station is actually connected to a more secluded Jurong Line that runs through secret tunnels. The tower atop Jurong Hill, too, offers an aerial glimpse of Jurong Town. Perhaps the best place to witness the community’s passion, however, is Our Museum @ Taman Jurong, Singapore’s first community museum. Here, residents of Jurong are more than happy to share and celebrate the artworks co-created by schools and volunteers from the neighbourhood.

5 Fun Things to Do in Jurong

From skating to stargazing, activities are aplenty in the western corner of Singapore

1. Amped Trampoline Park

Sometimes, the best dates are the ones that make us feel like kids. At AMPED Trampoline Park, you and your date get to bounce around on 464 square metres of trampolines, then jump into giant foam pits!

Address: 200 Jurong East Avenue 1, Yo:Ha, Level 2 (Sports Hall)

Website: www.ampedsingapore.com

2. The Rink at JCube

If your partner has never worn a pair of ice skates, ice skating is the perfect activity since it involves a lot of handholding. Don’t worry if you are not very good. There are skating aids to help you out – or you can just ride bumper cars on ice!

Address: 2 Jurong East Central 1, JCube, Level 3

Website: www.therink.sg

3. Science Centre Observatory

Admiring constellations in an open field is not a comfortable experience, considering the pesky nighttime insects. Thankfully, Jurong has a planetarium that offers free stargazing sessions for a romantic night out.

Address: 15 Science Centre Road
Website: www.science.edu.sg/events/pages/stargazing.aspx

4. Homerun Baseball

Baseball may not be the most popular sport in Singapore, but there is a reason why people are crazy for it! Try your hand pitching or batting at this indoor batting cage — which is Singapore’s first. All the equipment is provided, so just turn up with covered shoes and a whole lot of enthusiasm.

Address: 200 Pandan Gardens, #01-01

Website: www.hrb.com.sg

5. The Playground Coffee

No need to head to the city for your caffeine fix! The Playground Coffee at Nanyang Community Club serves cups of joe brewed from beans from local roaster 2 Degrees North Coffee Co. It serves brunch favourites such as French toast and Eggs Benedict alongside Japanese-inspired dishes, including soba with salmon and teriyaki chicken donburi.

Address: 60 Jurong West Street 91, #01-04

Website: www.facebook.com/theplaygroundcoffee