When you think of beaches in Singapore, Punggol Beach probably isn’t the first place that pops into mind. Surprisingly, the North East has one of the most aesthetic beaches on our Little Red Dot to visit; especially if you’re not too keen on squeezing with the crowds at East Coast Park or Sentosa.
For both a peace of mind and that perfect #wanderlust IG shot, Punggol Beach is definitely worth the ride to the end of the purple line.
As picturesque as this beach may be, it’s also important to recognise its tragic past. Originally used as one of the spots for the Sook Ching Massacres during WW2, Punggol Beach is laden with history.
On 28th February 1942, a group of over 400 Chinese men were gunned down by the Japanese hojo kempei – military police – firing squad on the grounds of being anti-Japanese. Many of these accusations were never proven to be true, and thousands of innocent lives were lost over the course of Operation Sook Ching.
Image credit: tinybludancer
After the massacre, the hundreds of bodies on Punggol Beach were thrown into the ocean and up until 1997, human remains could still be found. While it has since been cleaned up and is now teeming with visitors, memorial plaques have been installed and the beach is officially on the National Heritage Board’s list of historical sites in Singapore.
Tucked away at the very end of Punggol Point Park, this beach has scenic views of Pulau Ubin and the Johor Straits. While the park is much smaller than its famous neighbour, Punggol Waterway Park, it still consists of a few notable spots including Punggol Point Jetty, Punggol Promenade, and the Punggol Settlement.
Punggol Point Park is on the more ulu side, but with its lookout decks and, of course, Punggol Beach, this area is great to just relax and enjoy the coastal view. The best time to visit the beach is in the mornings and evenings so you can fully soak in the stunning views of the sunrise and sunset.
Try spotting Pulau Ubin or even Coney Island while you’re at the beach.
Image credit: @toperuhazu via Instagram
Perhaps the most prominent features of Punggol Beach are the rocks that are peppered around the shore line. Varying in both size and shape, you can even use them as a unique prop for all your photographs.
Image credit: @linlinma00 via Instagram
If you’re looking for a more typical beach day, a short walk along the shore will bring you to a nice, sandy area where you can lay out your beach towels with no obstructions.
While you’re hanging out at Punggol Beach, consider having a picnic with your friends or even going for a dip in the water. Once you’re ready to leave, do remember to take all your trash with you and dispose of them in the proper bins around the park.
The little ones can even try their hand at building sandcastles on the beach.
Image credit: @zeanchan via Instagram
Angling enthusiasts will also be excited to know that fishing is allowed at Punggol Beach. The deck stretches out over the water, and you can bring home all kinds of fish like groupers, barramundi, rabbitfish, and sand whitings. The jetty is on the relatively smaller side, so don’t mind if you have to share the space with fellow anglers.
Image credit: @_allenju_ via Instagram
Singapore might only be a Little Red Dot, but there are still plenty of quiet spots on our island that many of us have yet to visit and explore. If you hardly ever step foot in the North East region, visiting Punggol Beach is a great way to start getting familiar with the area, a.k.a. everyone’s dream BTO location these days.
From its rich history to beautiful shores, this beach has much to offer for history junkies and photographers alike.
Directions: Alight at Punggol MRT and take Bus 84 to the end of the service.
Address: Punggol End, towards the end of Punggol Road.
For more things to do in Punggol, check out:
Cover image adapted from: @toperuhazu, @linlinma00, @_carolinepang_ via Instagram
Originally published on 29th April 2021. Last updated by Kezia Tan on 26th October 2023.
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