Journey to the west
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away; just kidding, I’m talking about the MRT stations in the far, far west – Joo Koon, anyone? Even for a mid-westie like me, anything beyond Jurong East on the green line is considered as “uncharted territory”.
Unless you’re staying in that area, you probably haven’t visited that area of Singapore since the school trip to Discovery Centre in P5. Or since the time you went to Chinese Garden just to get that step shot. If you’re looking for a place to escape the crowd and still have a day of fun, the far west couldn’t be more of an obvious answer.
Here are 11 things you’ve been missing out on – get your MRT cards ready!
1. Tour the BTS of Singapore’s most iconic beer
More Singaporeans know about the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam than this Tiger Beer Brewery in the far west of Joo Koon. Peek into the home of Singapore’s most iconic beer, and catch behind the scenes action of the brewing process. Get ready to witness the whole magical creation of this addictive concoction, from malt milling to packaging!
Additionally, you’ll get to try your hand at tapping a pint of draught beer, and relish in the moment of being a bartender, just for that second. Here comes the best part that’ll seal the deal for anyone – enjoy unlimited free beer samples of 7 different brews for 45 minutes at the end of the tour. If that’s not amazing enough for you, you’ll also get to try ‘wort’ – beer before fermentation!
Gather your beer buddies and head down for the Tiger Beer Tour! Remember to bring your ICs. Click here to book now.
Address: 459 Jalan Ahmad Ibrahim, Singapore 639934
Contact: 6860 3005
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 10am – 5pm | Sat 1pm – 5pm (Closed on Sun and PH)
Admission fee: Adult $18 | Child $12
2. and the most exclusive NTUC Fairprice ever
Another gem hidden in Joo Koon is also a massive NTUC grocery warehouse – think IKEA, but with food instead of furniture. Visitors are allowed to enter for free, but aren’t able to purchase anything unless they get the annual membership. One look and you can tell this isn’t a normal supermarket you’re facing – it’s something bigger, better, and possibly where you’ll take your next hipster Instagram shot.
Warehouse Club offers all its groceries at a lower price compared to the normal supermarkets, and many of their products come in bigger sizes as well. If you have a large family, consider signing up for membership to do some grocery shopping here instead. Plus, you can also find international brands such as Kirkland here, which are unavailable elsewhere. Talk about exclusiveness!
Address: 1 Joo Koon Circle, Levels 2 & 3, Singapore 629117
Contact: 6710 4584
Opening hours: Weekdays 10am – 9pm | Weekends 9am – 9:30pm
3. Stuff yourself at a year-round crab buffet
This will test your love for all things salted egg – Crab Corner is located all the way at Joo Koon, but serves up delicious varieties of crab including Salted Egg Crab, one of the greatest creations yet in the Singapore food scene.
If you’re taking a break from the salted egg craze, Crab Corner also serves other zi char dishes such as Sweet and Sour Pork and Crispy Crab Meat Rolls. They offer ala carte buffet at $28.80++ which includes a serving of crab – pretty worth it. Do call them to make a reservation beforehand!
They also have various promotions ongoing such as lunch specials, click here to check them out!
Address: 1 Joo Koon Circle, #03-26 FairPrice Hub, Singapore 629117
Contact: 6333 6969
Opening hours: Mon – Thu 11:30am – 3pm, 5:30pm – 10pm | Weekends & PH 11am – 10pm
4. Look out for ZALORA outlet sales at Big Box
This mall in the west is no ordinary mall – don’t expect to find familiar brands like H&M or Starbucks or Watsons at here. Big Box has a unique concept which operates like a warehouse instead of a mall. Categorised into sections such as “Style Box” for fashion, “Munchy Box” for food and “Play Box” (self explanatory), shopping here is much easier as you can focus on getting what you need instead of searching multiple shops and brands.
Score great bargains for household necessities, apparels and groceries at Big Box, and they offer brands that cannot be found elsewhere. Big Box also hosts various outlet sales such as Zalora Outlet – $10 for shoes and $20 for apparel. Do check their website regularly to get important updates like these! They also have various ongoing promotions which you can check out here.
Address: 1 Venture Ave, Singapore 608521
Contact: 6801 6688
Opening hours: Sun to Thu 11am – 10pm | Fri & Sat 10am – 11pm
5. Ride a pedal boat on Discovery Lake for $2
Priced at just $2 for 15 minutes, you can hop onto a pedal boat and explore Singapore Discovery Centre’s Discovery Lake. Stray away from the mainstream-ness of kayaking at Marina Bay or Macritchie – the tranquil setting of Discovery Lake awaits you.
If you’re looking for date ideas away from the crowd in town, this is perfect for you. They offer twin pedal boats, and even quad-sharing pedal boats – did someone say double date?! Do note that pedal boats are only available on weekends and public holidays, for those above 1.2m.
Address: 510 Upper Jurong Road, Singapore 638365
6. Or the slides of Jurong East Swimming Complex’s neglected cousin
Some days are just meant for nua-ing, and this swimming complex at Jurong West will give you just that. Being tucked away in the far west means fewer screaming kids, greater space, and more turns at the super cool twirly slides. Just LOOK at those blue and red slides! It’s impossible to not want to try them out.
On top of the ginormous slides, Jurong West Swimming Complex has a jacuzzi, and a lazy river if you’re in the mood for some floating. No money for Adventure Cove? This place will suffice. They also have a sheltered competition pool where you can seek refuge in case of rain.
Address: 20 Jurong West Street 93, Singapore 648965
Contact: 6515 5332
Opening hours: 8am – 9:30pm (Closed on Tue)
Admission Fee: click here
7. Step into the shoes of an F1 racer at Kartright Speedway
I feel your pain when you don’t have a driving license yet, and the Luge just doesn’t cut it. We want to step on the gas and feel the wind in our hair as we drift along the circuit, pretending to be in Fast & Furious.
Thankfully for us, we can get our racing fix at Kartright Speedway located in Joo Koon. They rent out those badass looking karts which can go up to 30 km/hr, or 50 km/hr if you have a driving license. Enough of Mario Kart on your Wii – this is the real deal.
Come early to sign the indemnity and registration forms before you’re allowed on the track – all individuals below 18 have to be accompanied by an adult above 21 years old. Kids from 4 – 10 years old are also allowed to join in the fun on a 2 seater kart! If you’re looking for a family friendly activity in the west filled with adrenaline, this is the place to go.
Address: 511 Upper Jurong Road, #01-05, Singapore 638366
Contact: 6265 3303
Opening hours: Weekdays & Sat: 11am – 7pm | Sun & PH: 12pm – 7pm
8. Explore the Army Museum
If you’ve never been on a school trip to Singapore’s Army Museum, now’s a good time to visit – admission to Singaporeans and PRs are free anyway! Besides the usual exhibitions, the Army Museum also features various activities for you to take part in.
For all those who don’t have army experience, this is your chance to get a glimpse of what life in the army is like, and test your skills to see if you have what it takes to be a soldier. Don’t miss the actual 5 ton (4535.92kg) tire soldiers use to train, on display as well!
Address: 520 Upper Jurong Road, Singapore 638367
Contact: 6861 3957
Opening hours: 10am – 6pm (closed on Mon)
9. Hold your next crew outing at Crossfire Paintball
Singapore Discovery centre is no longer just a place for primary school excursions. It has upped its game quietly over the years, now providing many fun activities such as paintballing! Come with a minimum group size of 8 people and you’ll be pit against each other for the 2 rounds of paintballing.
Fans of Call of Duty will love the gameplays offered by Crossfire Paintball – capture the flag, and simple elimination. If you think you’re too pro for this, don’t worry, intensity of the game can also be customised to your preference! Appropriate paintballing attire will also be provided such as masks and vests, and shower facilities are provided for free.
Check out their rates here.
Address: Crossfire @ S’pore Discovery Centre, 510 Upper Jurong Road, Singapore 638365
Contact: 6668 0332 / 6792 6188
Opening hours: 9am – 5:30pm (Closed on Mon) Strictly by appointments only
Best of the West
Being in the far west, places like Joo Koon and Pioneer have been long forgotten by all of us. Compared to Orchard or Somerset, the west doesn’t boast of flashy decorations and luxurious malls. But if you’re looking for a peaceful getaway from the crowd and busyness of the city, here’s the right destination.
Binge on salted egg soaked dishes, race around like an F1 driver, get your alcohol fix or snatch up great deals at Big Box – the west is best in giving you interesting experiences. Don’t be afraid to take the train to the far end of Singapore; the long train ride could just be another bonding session for you and your pals. Get there now before the crowd finds out!