There was a bunch of 6 male cyclists in their 30s or 40s at the map at the eastern end of Coney Island (see map below). One of them asks, “where is Coney Island?”, the rest burst out laughing and someone replied, “you bodoh, this is Coney Island!”. Then, the man says, “then, where is the cow?” …. LOL!
Yup, I really overheard this conversation as I cycled my way around Coney Island today after I had my dizi lesson nearby in the NE part of Singapore. Its a nice little island for those wanting to be with nature, away from the distractions (or conveniences) of “modern” life (like shopping malls, eating places, electricity etc etc).
What you get is trees, mangroves, beaches (and sandflies!!), birds, mostly dirt tracks, sea breeze and a cow (which you will be have to be very lucky to spot, believe me! the island is not that small. Also, see this link from NParks website). There are shelters and bird hideouts in several places along the connecting trails from the main park connector (the one that runs down the “middle” of the island from east to west) to the beach areas,
and an eco-toilet at the eastern end only (see map above and photo below).
Here are some photo “highlights” of the island and tips for visiting:
If without your own bicycle, it is best to rent one as you make your way towards the island at the Punggol Settlement (shophouse, mostly seafood restaurants) from Jomando Adventure and Recreation (search them to find out about rental rates and opening hours). While walking is good too, it will take some time if you plan to cover the entire island (2.4 km from east to west along the main connector!)
- bring water, sun protection
- go with little expectations (especially of finding the cow!!)
- wear proper footwear (otherwise, the sand, little rocks will get in between your toes)
- cycling will make your coverage of the island much quicker, but be prepared for bumpy rides (most of the “roads” are dirt trails, some rocky and some sandy, but mostly fine for cycling still)
- have a cold drink from 7-11 or ice cream after coming back to the mainland at the Punggol Settlement or use the drink vending machine at the car park (oh, and outdoor shower facilities are also available at the washroom near the carpark)
And I will no longer say “looking for needle in a haystack” (which doesn’t really make much sense in Singapore); instead, it shall be “looking for cow in Coney Island” ! 🙂