Things to do in Yishun 

Drift Karting Arena ORTO Yishun

Image adapted from: @maximumdriftsg

“Walou, must be in Yishun again,” seems to be the auto-response towards news of any grisly events in Singapore these days. Accuracy: >50%

Once a sleepy neighbourhood, Yishun is now twice as happening as any other township in Singapore, and has swiftly gained a reputation for being a ‘hood of hooligans – no thanks to the series of unfortunate events that have recently plagued it.

But other than being (in)famous for stabbing incidents, cat killers, and drug busts, Yishun is so much more to me – it’s been my hometown for my entire 23 years of existence, and counting. And I might be biased, but I daresay it’s a pretty neat neighbourhood, with lots to see and do:

1. Let your inner child out at some of the quirkiest playgrounds

Quirky crooked playground Yishun

A Salvador Dali creation come to life? Or just an unfortunate structure that melted in Singapore’s unbearable heat? Nope, this wonky-looking playground at Block 330 was proudly born this way, with no mistakes.

Quirky crooked playground Yishun

Quirky pendulum swing Yishun

Right across the road at Yishun Nature Park are other creatively designed play areas, which include a climbing net and this giant pendulum-like swing that could easily fit 2-3 children.

NEOS Light Ring interactive playground game Yishun

The NEOS Ring, which, according to its signage, is “part electronic game, part sport”

Head further down to Block 291 (near Nee Soon Town Council Head Office) and you’ll find yourself a playground with interactive light-based games. Choose from 6 different gameplays that’ll have you working up a sweat as you chase red and green flashing lights. It’s more tiring than it sounds!

NEOS Light interactive playground game Yishun

Other structures which work in the same way as the NEOS Ring

While we’re still mourning the loss of Yishun’s classic yellow watermelon playground, we’ve gotta admit, these modern new additions are pretty cool too.

2. Take on the Canopy Sky Walker 18m above ground

 Canopy Sky Walker Cargo Net Bridge SAFRA Yishun

Cargo Net Bridge. Image credit: @iamsoulhappy

If getting active on flat ground doesn’t cut it for your thrill-seeking soul, take it up a notch – literally – with the Canopy Sky Walker at SAFRA Yishun’s Adventure Sports Centre. You’ll be hoisted 15-18 metres up in the air to clear 4 tiers of obstacles: the Cargo Net Bridge, Broken Island, Zig-Zag Trail, and Flying Fox.

 Canopy Sky Walker Zig Zag Trail SAFRA Yishun

Zig Zag Trail. Image credit: Meetup

Don’t worry; you’ll be strapped into a harness and there’ll be experienced instructors on site to help belay and guide you. Adventurous young children can take on the course too, so head on down for some family bonding high up in the foliage.

Note: participants must be at least 7 years old or have a height of 1.1m and above

SAFRA Yishun Country Club
Address: 60 Yishun Avenue 4, Singapore 769027
Telephone: 6377 9889
Canopy Sky Walker session timings: Tue – Sun: 10AM – 12PM,  2PM – 4PM

3. Fill your shopping cart at a shopkeeper-less vending machine store

We’ve been warned: robots will soon rule the Earth. They’ve already started taking over our jobs, and this outlet is a clear example of that. vending machine store Yishun

Jokes aside, this 24-hour vending machine mart offers a convenient way for you to pick up daily essentials at the most inconvenient of hours. Other than the usual vending machine snacks and drinks, these stock items like lip balm, shampoo, detergent, and even soy sauce, should you suddenly run out while whipping up a feast. vending machine store soy sauce canned food Yishun vending machine store condoms and lip balm Yishun

There are even, ahem, ~bedroom supplies~ for those too paiseh to purchase them from a human-operated store. No excuse for “accidents” now. vending machine store printer ink Yishun

Printer ink and transfer paper for printing your own designs on t-shirts. A screen within the machine itself will give you helpful instructions on how to use them.
Address: Blk 232 Yishun Street 21, #01-K1, Singapore 760232
Opening hours: 24/7

4. Kayak along the tranquil waters of Lower Seletar Reservoir

Kayaking Lower Seletar Reservoir Yishun

Image credit: @salman_mricn

Devoid of the crowds that plague Kallang Basin during weekends, Lower Seletar Reservoir is a haven for avid kayakers who don’t wish to knock paddles with others. Go ahead and rent a kayak from the Water-Venture outlet there, and werk those arms!

Heritage Bridge Lower Seletar Reservoir Yishun

Those who’d prefer something less intense can take a tranquil stroll along the waters, and head out to the Heritage Bridge for some stellar views – especially during sunset.

Water Play Area Lower Seletar Reservoir Yishun

Let your little ones run loose at the water play area. Image credit: new88 on TripAdvisor

Sunset Lower Seletar Reservoir Yishun

Image credit: @ngyiyang

Water-Venture at Lower Seletar Reservoir Park
Opening hours: Wed: 2PM-6PM | Sat and Sun: 7AM-7PM
Telephone: 9710 1826

5. Mingle with friendly folks at the “kampung” void deck

Kampung void deck Yishun

Kampungs may be a thing of the past, but their spirit still lingers – and we don’t mean the pontianaks that lurk among the trees. Full of homely comfort, this “kampung” void deck at Block 603 looks more like a living room – with a TV, fridge, Khong Guan biscuits, and even rice cookers free for all to share.

Kampung void deck Yishun

There are also toys for kids to play with!

Kampung void deck Yishun

Close-knit bonds and high levels of trust among residents here bring back the neighbourly warmth reminiscent of our ah mahs’ time. Which really makes one wonder: how did the rest of us become so cynical and detached from our community? Perhaps it’s time we started getting to know our neighbours more, instead of hiding in our own bubbles.

Read our article on other cool void decks in Singapore here!

6. Go cosmic bowling at Orchid Bowl

cosmic bowling Orchid Bowl Yishun

Image credit: @_jonx

In a club-like atmosphere with neon lights and thumping music – minus the sweaty grinding of bodies – knock over some pins in a game of cosmic bowling at Orchid Bowl. Now that’s a wholesome yet exciting way to spend your Friday night.

You’ll get 1 hour of unlimited bowling per lane, so it’ll be worth going with a big group of buds to max out the cost.

Orchid Bowl @ SAFRA Yishun
Address: Yishun Avenue 4, SAFRA Yishun #02-V2, Singapore 769027
Telephone: 6759 9737
Cosmic bowling timings: 10PM-3AM, Fridays
Rates: $24.50 for members, $30 for public


7. Grow organic fruit and veg at KTPH’s rooftop herb garden

Khoo Teck Puat Hospital rooftop herb garden

With its lush greenery leading out to Yishun Pond, the ground floor of Khoo Teck Puat Hospital looks more like a garden than part of a medical centre. However, most don’t know that its 7th floor is home to an actual garden – where everything grown is edible!

Khoo Teck Puat Hospital rooftop herb garden

From corn to Thai basil and wintermelon, the myriad of produce here – as well as the fertiliser used – is 100% organic. You can gain access to the garden as a volunteer tending it on weekdays. Currently, all active volunteers are retirees, but young blood is always welcome.

Khoo Teck Puat Hospital rooftop herb garden

A rare strawberry plant which miraculously managed to bear fruit in our humid climate

Even if gardening isn’t your thing, you can still purchase the fruit and veg for your own consumption! Plucked fruits and veg cost $1-$2, while whole potted herbs go for $3-$5. Proceeds are channelled into a Green Fund used for the purchase of seeds and tools for upkeeping the garden.

Khoo Teck Puat Hospital rooftop herb garden

The inside of the loofah fruit, which can be used as a sponge

Khoo Teck Puat Hospital rooftop herb garden vegetable sale

Lelong, lelong! Most of the produce gets wiped out within 15 minutes, so arrive early to avoid disappointment.

Sale of organic fruit and veg at KTPH
When: Mon, Wed, Fri: 10.30AM till sold out
Where: Wooden benches on the ground floor of KTPH, near Food Fare

If you’re interested in volunteering, simply approach any of the volunteers during the sales, or contact Rosalind, KTPH’s Senior Executive of Operations at


ORTO is an all-in-one hub for outdoor fun and group bonding, with a plethora of activities you can take part in:

Address: 81 Lor Chencharu, Singapore 769198
Telephone: 6257 8858

8. Get splattered in a paintball shootout

Red Dynasty Paintball ORTO Yishun

Image credit: ORTO

We don’t condone violence, but all’s fair in love and war – when it comes to a friendly paintball match, that is. Letting you turn your friends into paint-splattered works of “art” – while keeping things safe with protective vests and headgear – Red Dynasty Paintball offers various game packages starting from $10.90/pax.

Red Dynasty Paintball ORTO Yishun

Image credit: ORTO

If standard paintball guns aren’t bomb enough for you, mix things up with a $10 top-up for a paint grenade.

Reservations are required, so remember to ring them up in advance if you’re planning on heading down.

Note: participants must be 14 years old and above. Those below 18 years of age must produce written parental consent.

Red Dynasty Paintball
Opening hours: Daily; 9AM-11PM including Public Holidays
Telephone: 6659 4782 / 6755 7537 / 6659 8095
Check out their rates on their website

9. Bounce around at Katapult Trampoline Park

Katapult Trampoline Park ORTO Yishun

Image credit: ORTO

Imagine a huge room where pretty much the entire floor is made of trampolines and inflatable bouncy mattresses – that’s exactly what Katapult Trampoline Park is. Other than trying out backflips on their 30 interconnected trampolines and angled trampoline walls, you can also play a game of dodgeball, walk the Slackline, or test your courage in a Free Fall.

How To: Dodgeball
play button
How To: Dodgeball

You can even try shooting hoops here – perhaps that elusive slam dunk might finally be more possible with that extra boost from the trampolines.

Katapult Trampoline Park ORTO Yishun

Image credit: ORTO

Note: Children under 4 must be supervised. 1 adult gets to jump with the child for free.

Katapult Trampoline Park
Opening hours: Mon: 12PM-9PM | Tue – Fri and School Holidays: 10AM-9PM | Sat, Sun, and Public Holidays 9AM-9PM
Telephone: 6754 5188
Check out their rates on their website

10. Catch your own prawns and fish for dinner

Prawning @ ORTO Yishun

Image credit: ORTO

Prawning at ORTO is a popular late-night activity of Yishunites looking for something to occupy both their time AND their tummies with. Amidst a lepak kampung village atmosphere, you can catch your prawns and eat them too, after grilling them to perfection on skewers.

Prawning @ ORTO Yishun

Image credit: ORTO

Seasoned prawners looking for a bigger challenge can trade their prawning rods for fishing rods at ORTO’s Fishing Paradise right next door. If you’re lucky, you might even snag a catch sizeable enough to feed the entire family for a meal or two!

Fishing Paradise @ ORTO Yishun

Image credit: Prawning at ORTO

Prawning @ ORTO
Opening hours: Daily; 24/7
Telephone: 8518 7088
Check out their rates on their website

Fishing Paradise @ ORTO
Opening hours: Daily; 24/7
Telephone: 9632 7626
Check out their rates on their website

11. Operate real construction vehicles at Diggersite

Diggersite ORTO Yishun

Image credit: @meowmelmeowmel

If you’ve ever dreamed of coming in like a wrecking ball a la Miley, Diggersite allows you to do just that – with machinery like excavators, forklifts, even tower cranes! While more targeted towards kids than adults, this isn’t just child’s play – the vehicles are real and fully functional ones, able to be driven and capable of actual construction work.

Diggersite ORTO Yishun

Image credit: @khairulannuar1

For the full Bob the Builder experience, you’ll even get to don a hard hat and fluorescent vest – just like the ones our unsung labourer heroes wear.

P.S.: there’s no maximum age limit, so adults can get in on the fun too!

Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 11AM – 9PM | Sat-Sun: 9AM – 9PM
Telephone: 6481 6916
Check out their rates on their website

Note: Diggersite is currently being renovated and will re-open in mid-August 2017. Stay posted on their Facebook page.

12. Do crazy go kart drifts at Maximum Drift Karting Arena

Maximum Drift Karting Arena ORTO Yishun

Image credit: @maximumdriftsg

Drifting on our expressways will earn you a love letter in your mailbox from the traffic police, but at Maximum Drift Karting Arena – Singapore’s very first drift karting circuit – you can zoom along to your Tokyo Drift fantasies, legally.

Doesn’t matter if you don’t have a driving license – this is suitable for anyone from age 10 and above.

Maximum Drift Karting Arena
Opening hours:
Mon-Fri: 3PM-9PM | Sat-Sun and Public Holidays: 10AM-9PM
Telephone: 9299 3911
Check out their rates on their website

13. Have a quiet BBQ against the sunset at Yishun Dam

Once a top secret spot only accessible by car or bicycle, Yishun Dam is now less out of the way with bus service 103. Even so, it remains relatively crowd-free, and is the perfect place to catch a striking, unobstructed sunset by calm waters.

Yishun Dam sunset

Image credit: @caramellechaos

There’s not much else here, but this little piece of heaven is also my go-to for chill BBQs – thanks to disposable barbeque pits from Cold Storage with pre-packed coal. Bring along a picnic mat, sparklers, and portable speakers, and you’re all set for a great cookout! Of course, do be a good citizen and clean up after yourselves once the party’s over.

Note: clear your bladder beforehand as there are no toilets here.

Getting here: Take bus 103 from Yishun Bus Interchange (8 stops)

Bonus: Take a peek at Jenal Jetty’s kelongs

It’s worth venturing further down past the far end of Yishun Dam’s boardwalk to catch a glimpse of Jenal Jetty. In land-scarce Singapore, pockets of land are constantly being built over with shiny new buildings, but fortunately this rustic spot is still being preserved. For now.

Jenal jetty

Signs screaming “NO ENTRY” line the fences, but we hear that you might just be granted entry if you make friends with the fishermen uncles there. Either way, peering in from the outside will still give you a pretty good view of the mangroves, fishing boats, and kampung huts within – a stark contrast to the cityscapes we’re used to.

Yishun, a unique neighbourhood with lots to enjoy

Ulu Yishun might be the butt of many jokes, but it also holds many dear memories for me – and over 200,000 others. Say what you will, but I’m proud to be an Yishunite from birth. Really wouldn’t mind if my future BTO ends up being here too.

Put your reservations aside and head down with your pals sometime to experience what this little town has to offer! I can’t guarantee that you won’t run into any Yishun Crazies, but I can bet you this: you’ll be having a ton of fun, and perhaps even gain a newfound appreciation for this little estate.