Things To Do

18 Things To Do In Marsiling-Woodlands Neighbourhood That’ll Make You U-Turn At The Checkpoint

Things to do in Marsiling-Woodlands


Folks living anywhere outside of the north of Singapore probably only know the serene Marsiling-Woodlands neighbourhood for its travel lane into Malaysia. You might even joke that going this close to the border would warrant the need for your passport.

Newsflash – this is still Singapore. Despite the ulu-ness, this former kampung village has plenty to offer. From modern escapades and scenic boardwalks to quirky playgrounds and eateries, here are 18 things to do in the Marsiling-Woodlands neighbourhood.


1. Vista Park – Alice in Wonderland-themed playground



You wouldn’t expect to find Wonderland in Woodlands. 

Encircled by HDB flats in a relatively quiet area of Woodlands is Vista Park – an Alice in Wonderland-themed playground. Take a trip down the rabbit hole and find multiple play areas, most notably the section with a gigantine wall of playing cards – a delight for the kids and an Insta moment for you.

Besides the usual playground slides, your kids can challenge themselves on the various climbing equipment designed to test their agility. There’s even a whimsical orange spiral they can take on. If they’d like to take it slow, there are swings they can play on.


The exercise equipment turns the kinetic energy from your exercise into electrical energy to charge your phone.

There’s also an exercise corner with equipment that turns your exercise into juice to charge up your phone. Connect your phone via the wireless charging dock or plug it into the equipment with a USB cable and get to cycling.

Address: 580 Woodlands Drive 16, Singapore 730580
Opening hours: 24 hours


2. MF11 Mini4WD – Tamiya car racing track open 24 hours daily


Go around to the back of the Wave9 Industrial building and you’ll find MF11 Mini4WD, a 24-hour Tamiya car hobby store and indoor race track. Race with your family of fellow Tamiya car racers and purchase parts to customise your own car. First timers are welcome too with starter kits available for an easy induction into the game.

At $4/hour, you can race around the huge indoor race track. Kids under 0.9m enter for free, so bring your kids over for a fun bonding session. While waiting for your turn to take to the tracks, keep yourselves entertained while playing board and console games. 

If you’re feeling peckish or thirsty, there are vending machines located outside and inside the building. There are even cup noodles ($2-$3) on sale with a hot water dispenser.

MF11 MINI 4WD TAMIYA SINGAPORE
ADMISSION FEE
$4/hour
ADDRESS
71 Woodlands Industrial Park E9 Wave 9 01-01, Singapore 757048
Opening Hours: Saturday 12:00 AM-12:00 AM Show Time Hide
Monday 12:00 AM-12:00 AM
Tuesday 12:00 AM-12:00 AM
Wednesday 12:00 AM-12:00 AM
Thursday 12:00 AM-12:00 AM
Friday 12:00 AM-12:00 AM
Saturday 12:00 AM-12:00 AM
Sunday 12:00 AM-12:00 AM
GOOGLE REVIEWS
4.9
(105)
CONTACT INFORMATION

3. Market Gaia Guni – Previously Sungei Road Thieves market


Remember the Sungei Road Thieves’ Market? After its closure, it relocated to Woodlands and got rebranded to Market Gaia Guni. Relive your memories of looking at different stalls sifting through various second-hand goods and interact with the sellers there.


Get some retail therapy that is a little less demanding on your wallet.

You can find a variety of items ranging from cookware to guitars. If you’re in need of some pots and pans, you can get them for around $8-$12. There are also tripods ($15-$35) for the budding photographersl – you might even score Nikon ones going for $35.

Besides that, you can find vintage trinkets and old scrolls – great for the antique collectors among us or those who want a special touch to their home. This is a market, so feel free to negotiate the price with the sellers.

Address: 200 Woodlands Industrial Park E7, Singapore 757177
Opening hours: Sat-Sun 10am-7pm (Closed from Mondays to Fridays)
Contact: Market Gaia Guni Facebook


4. Marsiling tunnels and bunkers – Explore abandoned WWII tunnels



Image credit:
Beyond Expeditions SG

Marsiling has been a residential estate since the 1970s but the quiet heartlands hold unexpected secrets for those who know where to look. Get off the beaten path and you’ll find places long forgotten, like an abandoned WWII tunnel and bunker hidden within the surrounding mangrove forest.

History books record that this was originally built as part of the Royal Air Force fuel reserve depot in 1942. But more sinister rumours say that the site was a torture chamber and a secret passage that led to a former mental hospital. Scary backstories aside, this hidden enclave is still worth exploring. 


Image credit:
@weisieong1984

You’ll want to prepare your best hiking boots because the tunnels are filled with slick mud. Nature has also taken over the abandoned site, and various creepy crawlies have made a home for themselves here over the years. A word of caution: The entire tunnel is pitch black even in the day, so you’ll need strong flashlights to avoid tripping over old pipes.  


Image credit:
@aswadm8

Near the tunnel is the underground bunker, although the two are not connected. The bunker has two entrances, and you could choose to enter via the main entrance or try your hand at the back. The low crawl space is only 30cm in height, and will require you to get on your belly to slither in.

Pro tip: Make sure to stretch before heading in to avoid cramping up.

Once you navigate through the tiny tunnels, you’ll find yourself in a larger cavity. It is said to have been a hideaway for illegal activities in the past like a secret brothel. It’s mostly empty now, save for a family of lizards that live there.


Image credit:
@jepoisadventure

Marsiling Tunnels
ADDRESS
Admiralty Rd W, Singapore
Opening Hours: Saturday 12:00 AM-12:00 AM Show Time Hide
Monday 12:00 AM-12:00 AM
Tuesday 12:00 AM-12:00 AM
Wednesday 12:00 AM-12:00 AM
Thursday 12:00 AM-12:00 AM
Friday 12:00 AM-12:00 AM
Saturday 12:00 AM-12:00 AM
Sunday 12:00 AM-12:00 AM
GOOGLE REVIEWS
4.1
(49)

5. Animal-themed playgrounds in the heart of Woodlands


Secret tunnels and underground bunkers hidden by overgrown foliage don’t really say “kid-friendly”. But that’s alright, because the rest of the Marsiling-Woodlands area is home to a collection of quirk playgrounds in Singapore built just for tiny tots to explore.


Miniature “Jurassic Park” at Fu Shan Garden


If you’re anything like Ross from F.R.I.E.N.D.S., you’ll know that dinosaurs aren’t just for kiddos. Maybe you’ve never outgrown dino-shaped nuggets or you dream of the possibility of bringing the prehistoric lizards back a la Jurassic Park. For some of us, that fixation will never go extinct – no pun intended. 

It’s no Changi Jurassic Mile, nor does it have the thrill of riding rapids at Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure at Universal Studio Singapore, but this heartland playground at Fu Shan Garden still has lots of dinosaurs to bring out the dino explorer in you.

It’s one of the few themed playgrounds in Singapore that was built in the 1990s. The idea was to create a more immersive experience for kids through these dino sculptures.


Kids in the community playing on the Brontosaurus slide and sandpit at Fu Shan Garden in 1997
Image credit: Hong Hai Arts

The original sculptures, which form tunnels, slides and structures you can climb all over, are still standing today. They’ve since been retouched and modernised but still maintain their kitschy, vibrant colouring.


The repainted Brontosaurus slide has been restructured on a wooden platform 

The playground has also been expanded to include new geometrical dinosaur sculptures too, including a triceratops and stegosaurus that can be climbed through and all over. 


The triceratops sculpture comes with a short fireman pole for kids to climb into the hole and around the structure
Image credit: Playpoint.asia

This unconventional park is also packed with information panels about these extinct creatures, giving little ones educational tidbits while having fun.

Address: 827 Woodlands Street 81, Singapore 730827
Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily


Dragon playground


The orange-tiled dragon head playground in Toa Payoh is quite the icon, but right here in Woodlands is today’s modern upgrade.


Image credit:
Sembawang Town Council 

The playground itself doesn’t have a range of features, but it’s nothing short of aesthetic and versatile. The spine serves as a tunnel route to crawl through back and forth, while climbing ropes hang from the beast’s belly. 

Address: 852 Woodlands Street 83, Singapore 730852
Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily


Ant and grasshopper playground


Last but not least on the list of eccentric playgrounds in the north is the Ant and Grasshopper Playground. There are two main structures with loads of fun features at manageable levels of difficulty that make this playground appropriate for tykes and older ones to enjoy.

And though these itty-bitty creatures make us squeal IRL, these scaled up versions at least are friendlier looking, and helps show these bugs in a positive light.

The black garden ant is smaller than the grasshopper structure, and is much more suited for younger ones to climb all over before sliding down the bright red slide. There’s even a small leaf-shaped bench for kids to sit and recharge on before their next run around the playground. 

Then just a few feet over is the grasshopper that older children would enjoy. It has complex features like an intricate web that links the insect to a treehouse with a taller slide.


Image credit: @sembawangtc

The grasshopper’s head can also be climbed up, and you can opt to descend from the two fireman poles which have been cleverly crafted to look like feelers. Otherwise whizz down the slide located on the back of the structure if you want to play it safe.

Address: 573B Woodlands Drive 16
Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily


6. Woodlands Waterfront Park – 1.5km pathway and 400m jetty


Though not as prominent or as popular as East Coast Park, you can at least be sure you’re afforded a much more serene coastal experience at Woodlands Waterfront Park.

The park connects to a 400m fishing jetty, where the end gives you a vantage point to catch our neighbours across the Causeway in Johor Bahru. 

And if for some reason you feel peckish while walking along the jetty, you’ll find Rasa Istimewa Waterfront Restaurant, which serves a variety of Malay dishes.

Then to shed the additional calories, you can take a casual stroll along the 1.5km promenade which has been fitted with jogging and cycling tracks.


Image credit:
@marketuncle

For the younger ones with energy to burn, there’s a large web playground to go ape on. Speaking of, the playground is sometimes popular with monkeys who’ll take their turns climbing too when no one’s around.

Address: Admiralty Road West, Singapore 759956
Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily


7. Woodlands Town Park East – Lesser-known hiking spot



Image credit:
@gonewi1405

While we may live in a bustling city, there are hiking trails aplenty that provide an escape into nature. And lucky for residents in Marsiling-Woodlands, there’s one right in your own backyard.


This hidden gem has a peak of 30m.
Image credit: @zionkwc

Woodlands Town Park East is a peaceful park offering not just lush greenery, but a beginner-friendly hiking trail that cuts through the park and leads up a hill. The bouldered pathways with tarmac-ed roads make it easy to trek up. It’ll take 15 minutes tops to reach the peak, plus you’ll be rewarded with scenic views of the estate from up here.


You’ll be able to catch a panoramic view of the neighbourhood at the top of the hill
Image credit: @brattyollie

Woodlands Town Park East
Address: 3 Woodlands Street 13, 738600
Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily

After your hiking trail, stop and smell the flowers at the Woodlands Botanical Garden. It leads up the hill so you can enjoy the view at the top before viewing the flowers on the way down. Keep your eyes peeled for little critters such as dragonflies and butterflies resting on plants.

The West Indian Lantana and Camellia Sasanqua among over 200 plants at the garden.

Believe it or not, this garden that snakes up the side of a hill is actually a community garden. It’s currently tended to by about 20 residents. The next time you’re in the Marsiling-Woodlands neighbourhood, swing by and view the vibrant flora and fauna here.


Check out unique features such as a gigantic golden birdcage you can step in and take pictures with, as well as little gnomes hidden behind trees. 

Woodlands Botanical Garden
Address: 134 Marsiling Road, Singapore 730134
Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily
Contact: Woodlands Botanical Garden Instagram


8. Woodlands Regional Library – Autism-friendly zones



Image credit: @lala.yelim

While libraries are a dime a dozen in Singapore, the Woodlands Regional Library takes this simple neighbourhood up a notch with its bustling large spaces and zones catered to those in need of extra support.

It’s one of the larger libraries in Singapore with four-and-a-half floors of resources for the public to browse through. Its collection boasts more than half a million items, ranging from academic data like scientific journals, to multimedia resources like audiovisual materials.


Image credit: @alfineth.0710

There are plenty of nooks and crannies to get reading done around here as well. The library has reading rooms on the third floor, a reading park and garden for children on the fourth floor, and even a cafe on the first floor for those looking for a bite to eat between chapters.

What’s unique to this library is its Calm Down To The Library initiative for those with autism. The programme offers various reading and learning areas to help allow those with autism to feel comfortable within the library. 

Woodlands Regional Library
ADDRESS
2523
Opening Hours: Saturday 10:00 AM-09:00 PM Show Time Hide
Monday 10:00 AM-09:00 PM
Tuesday 10:00 AM-09:00 PM
Wednesday 10:00 AM-09:00 PM
Thursday 10:00 AM-09:00 PM
Friday 10:00 AM-09:00 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM-09:00 PM
Sunday 10:00 AM-09:00 PM

9. Woodlands Galaxy CC – Observe the sky with a 30cm telescope


Unless you’re well on your way to becoming an astronaut, your only chance to catch a glimpse of space might be through a telescope. But you won’t have to worry about having to shell out a fortune to stargaze, as Woodlands Galaxy Community Club has an astronomical sized one for all your astrological watching.

Though the CC is packed with the usual facilities like badminton courts and multi-purpose rooms, the star here is the Woodlands Galaxy CC Observatory that comes with a 30cm telescope

For just a dollar, budding astronomers can spend the night observing planets in the distance, getting a close-up glimpse of the moon and maybe catch a star or two shooting across the sky. Tickets are limited so we suggest getting them as early as possible. You can purchase them at the CC Counter Service on the first floor of the CC.

Woodlands Galaxy Community Club Observatory
ADMISSION FEE
$1/pax
ADDRESS
31 Woodlands Ave 6, Singapore 738991
Opening Hours: Saturday 07:30 AM-07:30 AM Show Time Hide
Monday Closed
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday Closed
Thursday Closed
Friday 07:30 PM-09:30 PM
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

10. Citrus by the Pool – Hipster restaurant at Woodlands Sports Complex



Image credit:
@Citrusbythepool

If your idea of hipster cafes is limited to areas like Tiong Bahru, this trendy eatery will hopefully prove you wrong. Just a 10-minute walk from Marsiling MRT is Citrus by the Pool that’s situated within Woodlands Sports Complex and – you guessed it – right next to an Olympic-sized pool.

The quaint restaurant is known for its indulgent milkshakes. The mini ones ($8.99) are quite filling on their own with each cup holding one scoop of ice cream, but if you’re looking to share with a friend, opt for the $10.99 mighty milkshake that are adorned with toppings like popcorn and Oreos.

Elsewhere on the menu is a curation of Western-Thai fusion meals. You’ll find that perfect blend of east meets west in dishes like the Tom Yum Seafood Pasta ($11.99) or the Thai Green Curry Pasta ($11.99).


11. 566 Seafood Restaurant – Safari-themed zi char restaurant



Image credit: Eatbook

The north of Singapore can be quite wild, with its dinosaur playground, and Singapore Zoo and Night Safari situated around the area too. Exotic animals make yet another appearance in this neighbourhood at 566 Seafood Restaurant, a safari-themed eatery hidden in an industrial area in Woodlands.

Animal figures like gorillas, parrots and dinosaurs can be found scattered around the restaurant, giving a whole new meaning to the term conversation starters. 


Image credit: Eatbook

This secluded little eatery offers zi char-style favourites that aren’t just delicious, but affordable too. Its signature dish is the Sliced Sotong with Salted Egg (from $15) that regulars always order. Another popular one is the Salted Fish Fried Rice that starts from just $4.50 per plate.

Address: 566 Woodlands Road, Singapore 728697
Opening Hours: 11am-3pm, Daily | 5pm-10pm, Daily
Contact: 6365 6566 | 566 Seafood Restaurant website


12. Al-Ameen Eating Corner – Supper spot for midnight cravings



Image credit:
Al-Malik Restaurant 

Regular clubbers and night owls can attest that their day is never complete without a late-night rendezvous for a quick meal – even if it means grabbing affordable light bites and microwavable meals at 7-Eleven. While there aren’t any 24-hour 7-Eleven outlets in the area, you can however get your fill of midnight snackage at Al-Ameen Eating Corner.

The eatery serves all the great supper classics like nasi goreng, and even dessert prata if you’re feeling more decadent.

Address: 35 Marsiling Industrial Estate Road 3 #01-11 Central Industrial Estate, 739257
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 6am-2am | Sun 11am-2am
Contact: 6366 1740 | Al-Ameen Facebook


13. The Woodgrove – Work off calories at 24-hour gym



Image credit:
Property Monster

With such good food available around the clock, you’ll want a gym that operates through the night too to work off all that late-night feasting. The Woodgrove has a 24-hour Anytime Fitness branch conveniently located within.

If you’re planning an entire lifestyle overhaul, you can meal prep for the week as well at the FairPrice Finest outlet here that’s also open 24/7.

Address: 30 Woodlands Avenue 1, Singapore 739065
Opening Hours: 24 hours, Daily 


14. The Carpenters Bar – Family & pet-friendly mookata


Open a cold one with the boys at The Carpenters Bar – one of the bars in the North. This bar is pet and family-friendly so you can bring your entire family down for a chill dinner. You also get to enjoy some mookata platters (from $40) when you dine in the outdoor area. 

Drink the night away with your buddies and share a beer tower ($50 during happy hour). There’s also an extensive wine selection for wine connoisseurs.

There are also non-alcoholic drinks available such as the Mango Tango ($13), an ice-blended mango drink topped with mango pudding.

Address: 28 Woodlands Sector 2, Woodlands Connection Building, Singapore 737686
Opening hours: Mon-Wed 12pm-10.30pm | Thu-Fri 12pm-12am | Sat 2pm-12am | Sun 2pm-10.30pm
Contact: 6908 2931, 9650 2110 (Whatsapp) | The Carpenters Bar website


15. Marsiling Mall – Hawker complex with 70 food stalls



Image credit:
@marsilingyewteetc

If the food at Marsiling Lane Market and Food Centre isn’t enough, there’s Marsiling Mall situated just a 10-minute drive away. The building is split into retail on the upper floor, while a hawker centre takes up the first floor.

For those who frequented the hawker centre at Old Woodlands Town Centre and were bummed about its closure, you’ll be happy to know that many of the stalls have relocated here. There are 70 food stalls in total but keep in mind long queues are to be expected during peak dining hours, as this spot has become a popular go-to eatery for many residents.

While its proximity to Marsiling MRT is already a bonus for those planning a visit, it’s conveniently accessible for those who drive. Marsiling Mall also has a 3-storey car park with plenty of parking lots to boot.

Address: 4 Woodlands Street 12, Singapore 738620
Opening hours: 7am-11pm, Daily 


16. Block 683C Woodlands Nature Zone – Void deck murals


HDB void decks are often plain, with the occasional events held there. Though in some neighbourhoods, you’ll find libraries, study pods and some neat art – an example is Block 683C Woodlands Nature Zone, a void deck with murals painted by local artist, Mr Yip Yew Chong.


Take a trip down memory lane as you view painted walls emulating a home in the past.

The HDB is a 5-minute walk from Admiralty MRT – and you’ll find murals depicting the contrast between old school nostalgia and modern day imagination. The artworks are a blast from the past, when houses were made of wood and attap leaves instead of cement and bricks.

On the other side of the void deck are brighter hues of blue and green – which represents the future. You’ll find what looks like a futuristic Gardens By The Bay and a cafe located in a round pod. 

Address: Block 683C Woodlands Drive 62, Singapore 733683
Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily


17. Marsiling Park –  Lookout tower and unique playgrounds


In clean and green Singapore, most estates have a park, and this is true for Marsiling-Woodlands. But Marsiling Park has got quite a history to it. Formerly known as Woodlands Town Garden, the park underwent a renovation in 2018, 35 years after it first opened in 1983.

Features like the lookout tower still remain, and gives park goers a vantage point of the pond below. The pond itself has a Chinese Pavilion nearby that serves as shelter and rest stop, and can be easily accessed via the stone bridge. The bridge is quite the Marsiling icon, and has apparently been featured in some of the older residents’ wedding photos too!


Image credit: @abby.cheong

There’re new additions to the park as well, like Ribbonscape – where a whole line of park benches have been tethered to metal railings to make them into swings.


Toot your own horn at Fun Play in Marsiling Park

Two family-friendly playgrounds were added during the upgrade also. Hit up Adventure Play, the colourful butterfly-shaped playground that has nets for kids to practice their climbing skills. Or to build up an interest in creative music play, Fun Play has larger-than-life musical instruments for kids and adults to jam out to.

Address: Woodlands Centre Road, Singapore 738930
Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily


18. Marsiling Lane Market & Food Centre – Affordable dishes & goods



Image credit:
@zaqymohammad 

If you’re looking for an alternative besides your go-to grocery store, the Marsiling Lane Market has a whopping 112 stalls selling produce. The wet market can be quite chaotic early in the morning, with residents jostling around to get the freshest picks in fruits and vegetables, and choice cuts of meats. But it’s all worth it for the affordable prices the market offers.


Image credit: Calvin Yang

The wet market connects directly to Marsiling Lane Food Centre, where you can fuel up after buying your week’s worth of groceries. Packed with 52 food stalls, this hawker has all your local favourites at economic prices. 

Chow down on a nasi lemak set from Aminah Family Food Corner or a chicken rice meal from Yong Seng Chicken and Duck Rice at affordable prices. Another cheap favourite with regulars is the fried carrot cake with a generous portion at Sin Yong Kee.

Address: 20 Marsiling Lane, Singapore 730020
Opening hours: 5am-9pm, Daily


Things to do in Marsiling-Woodlands


For anyone not living in this estate, this would just be a neighbourhood to drive through en route to JB. But there’s more to this town than just a last minute top up of petrol before crossing the border.

With its funky animals found every corner you turn, and historic ties to WWII, this is one place that will surely break the monotony of cafes and retail experiences in other neighbourhoods.

Check out more neighbourhood guides:


Cover image adapted from: @aswadm8
Article originally published on 6th November 2021 by Isabella Cuevas. Last updated by Nur Hidaya on 10th March 2023.

Isabella Cuevas

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