#Instawalk Pasir Ris – the beach and beyond
Singapore might be a bustling metropolis, but tucked in the far east of Singapore, Pasir Ris proves that there’s more than meets the eye. From quaint spots to immerse in mother nature’s glory to secret hideouts and childhood throwbacks, this unique estate’s glory lies in more than its beaches and chalets.
Together with Ministry of National Development (MND), the Housing and Development Board (HDB), and NParks, The Smart Local organised an #Instawalk on 17th June 2017 to unearth the hidden beauty of this underrated heartland.
Embark on a journey to the east
0900: Our band of Instawalkers were in high spirits as we gathered bright and early at Pasir Ris MRT station. They came armed with all the gear needed to brave this 4 ½ hour adventure: a goodie bag brimmed with refreshments, a poncho and a handy Instawalk pamphlet.
Ready to explore the tranquil neighbourhood of Pasir Ris – check out those resort-like flats!
There was even a photography #InstaChallenge for participants: attractive prizes were up for grabs for winners of each theme – Nature, Geometry and Play.
1. Strike a pose at block 535 Pasir Ris Drive 1’s photogenic void deck
0915: A short walk later, we arrived at Block 535 Pasir Ris Drive 1. Complete with a spacious void deck lined with bright orange-green pillars, it set the scene for our first pit stop.
Under the guidance of our TSL team, our Instawalkers were soon busy snapping away and chatting with our influencers for some quick photography tips.
2. Immerse in Pasir Ris Town Park’s flora and fauna
There was a chorus of oohs and ahhs as everyone awed at the park’s beauty
0930: We set foot in Pasir Ris Town Park, an expansive park complete with a vast marine pond. Despite it being an early Saturday morning, we spotted some avid anglers eagerly waiting for their next catch. We also learned that the park will be offering new dining options, with the completion of a new hawker centre later this year.
Shrouded within the abyss of lush greenery lies this secret location – a mound of boulders for our adventurous explorers.
We also learned that Pasir Ris Town Park will be undergoing a series of enhancements under the HDB’s Remaking Our Heartland programme – ranging from enhanced fitness facilities to new playgrounds. Our Instawalk participants left looking forward to visiting the charming park again after its makeover.
3. Snap that #reflectogram at 408 Pasir Ris Drive 6
0945: The tranquil waters of Pasir Ris Waterfront got us envying its nearby residents – how nice would it be to wake up to a sight of calm waters and flourishing trees?
We snapped out of our daydream and began capturing Pasir Ris Waterfront’s enchanting façade with our cameras. Some of us even experimented with mirrors to get that mind-blowing #reflectogram shot.
Don’t mistake these pretty shrubs as Lalangs – they’re Fountain Grass.
We soon drifted away from the waterfront and were captivated by the vibrant colours of Block 408 Pasir Ris Drive 6 nearby. Its sky blue, square-framed windows allowed us to get some pretty Instagram photos
4. Rub shoulders with athletic residents at Pasir Ris Sports Centre
1030: Our next destination, Pasir Ris Sports Centre looked like just another recreational centre. But it’s actually won a Green Mark award for its environmentally friendly and energy-saving features – like its rainwater harvesting system irrigates the surrounding plants and vertical ‘green’ walls that reduce ambient heat gained. Some of the benches here were even made using wooden planks from the former National Stadium!
We also saw fitness gurus hitting the gym and aspiring Roger Federers smashing tennis balls at the Tennis Court.
Some of us decided to put our creativity to the test with some perspective shots by the Sports Hall’s rainbow-coloured bleachers.
Explore the hidden gems of Pasir Ris Park
5. Mangrove Boardwalk & Bird Watching Tower
1100: Bidding farewell to the bustling sports centre, our trail led us to Pasir Ris Park, where we met a staff from NParks. She gave us a crash course on Pasir Ris Mangrove Swamp before we ventured into the Mangrove Boardwalk.
Fun fact: If you spot smooth-coated otters roaming there, they’re actually our very own Pasir Ris otters that live in the vicinity!
After the dizzying boardwalk trail, we reached the Bird Watching Tower, a 3-storey haven for birdwatchers. We witnessed a spectacle of birds flying from tree to tree and heard the orchestra of melodic chirps of native birds such as the White-collared Kingfisher and the Black-naped Oriole.
6. Maze Garden
1130: Leaving the euphonious chirping, we headed towards the Maze Garden. Built with walls of tall hedges marked with street lamps, it was an enchanting journey weaving through the maze – as if we were in the mystical universe of Alice in Wonderland.
As a saying goes, “teamwork makes the dream work”, we exchanged tips, looked out for each other and fortunately made it out of the maze.
One piece of advice that really struck a chord was from our certified maze runner, Noel: “stick to the extreme left/right side of the maze to avoid getting lost”. And it really worked!
7. Pasir Ris Playground
1200: Entering Pasir Ris Playground, we instantly felt more youthful.
We took it upon ourselves to blend in with the crowd by engaging in a series of kiddy antics – from spinning on the standing merry-go-round to taking turns on the swings. Some of us even burst out into a medley of Disney hits – our inner children could not be contained!
8. Soak in 506 Pasir Ris Street 52’s ocean vibes
1230: The singing didn’t stop even during our bus ride to our next location. Armed with the same enthusiasm and mirth, none of us knew that we were about to meet an international award winner – Block 506 Pasir Ris Street 52.
Channelling Pasir Ris’ beach-like vibes with its shell design, this sure wasn’t any ordinary block! Source: @jemexplorer
As part of the two housing precincts that won awards such as the Excellence Award by the ASEAN Association for Planning and Housing (1997) and 5th SIA Architectural Design Award (1998), it boasts a distinctive corridor design that opens up to the view of the nearby waterfront, Sungei Api Api.
9. Reliving your childhood at Sampan Playground
Recreate the memorable Titanic scene here
1245: Located next to Elias Mall, the Sampan Playground’s nostalgic sand-pit and mosaic tiling pay homage to the area’s history. we had a fun time reliving childhood memories as we imagined “sailing the seas” – or in this case, sand – on this sampan.
10. Visit Singapore’s only colonial-style community club
1300: And finally, we reached our last stop: Pasir Ris Elias Community Centre. After exploring its regal, European-style corridors, we arrived at the Outdoor Amphitheatre. And the time was finally here – our Instawalkers began prepping their photos for the #InstaChallenge.
1315: The results were finally released! Here are the winning shots:
Winner of Nature: Asher Ong
Winner of Geometry: Desmondo Teo
Winner of Play: Lingeswaran
Best Group Photo:
1330: #iwalkpasirris might have come to an end, but it was not goodbye. Strangers turned into friends and the valuable memories cannot be adequately expressed through words or photography – only pleasant memories to keep close to our hearts.
Till next time, Instawalk!
Farewell for now explorers, till we meet again!
This post was brought to you by Ministry of National Development.