Exploring East Coast

BODY IMAGE: Hotel Jen Orchard Gateway Singapore : Exploring East Coast

Find Your Inner Zen  

 

If you want to exercise in Singapore, make sure you pick a time when the sun is not beating down too relentlessly on you. One of the local ways to exercise is the ancient art of tai chi. In Singapore, you’ll often see groups of aunties and uncles practising their tai chi moves in the early morning.

 

There are lots of different types of tai chi and tai chi masters. Some are more focused on the martial arts. However, many groups in Singapore focus on the health and wellbeing benefits of the art, which is said to induce a state of calm and clarity in its practitioners. The forms of tai chi mainly practised in Singapore are slow moving and often include some chanting and a bit of chest slapping or hand clapping. The great thing about tai chi is that anyone can give it a try.

 

Many groups welcome guests to enjoy the benefits and fellowship of tai chi. Daniel Tan is an instructor who leads a class at the East Coast, which forms the eastern seaboard of Singapore. His class takes place in a field to the left of the main walking path along the East Coast, between Big Splash and the Burger King at East Coast Park. His class is the big group that wears white shirts with red on the sides. Further down from Big Splash, you’ll see a smaller group with shirts of red and a mix of other colours.

 

Daniel welcomes all guests who wish to try something new. He is happy when visitors from out of town, locals or expats join his classes every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7.30am. At this time, the sun will have just burst from over the horizon, but it won’t be too hot yet. You’ll be able to watch the more experienced members and learn a few poses and breathing techniques that will definitely give you a great start to your day.

 

Big Splash

902 East Coast Parkway, Singapore

The nearest car park is B1. The nearest MRT station is Paya Lebar. From this area, you’ll need to get on Bus 43, Bus 76 or Bus 135 and alight at Amber Road Bus Stop. Then, follow the underpass near the Chinese Swimming Club.

 

WiFi tip: There is a wireless@sg hotspot at the KFC at Big Splash.

 

Restroom tip: There are plenty of restrooms and showers all along the East Coast Parkway. Most are clean and have paper, but it’s always advisable to carry your own tissue.

 

Cycle on Four Wheels or Two  

 

East Coast is a hive of activity for those who have a bit of energy. On weekends, the car-free paths brim with enthusiastic inline skaters, cyclists, runners and those just out for a gentle stroll.

 

Even visitors to this coastal retreat can join in the activity. Several outlets rent out all kinds of bikes, inline skates and scooters. The bikes come in all shapes and sizes. If you’re in a group, you could go for the amusing four-wheeled variety, which requires one driver and multiple people to pedal. Of course, the driver stands the danger of having to pedal for the rest of the group once they get tired.

 

There are plenty of regular bikes to choose from. You can even ask for one with a basket to hold your things while you pedal around. My suggestion is to hire a bike from Cycle Max at the Burger King East Coast Parkway complex. It has a decent range of bikes to suit all heights and abilities. You should be able to find one that works for you.

 

Once you’ve got your wheels, head eastward towards Changi at your leisure. Watch out for pedestrians. They can be a bit distracted and may accidentally walk into your path. Depending on the time of day, you could either head to East Coast Seafood Centre to try Singapore’s famous Chilli Crab or eat at East Coast Lagoon Food Centre, which is located a little further down and populated by more locals. Whichever place you choose, there’s no doubt that the food served will fuel you up for your trip back to the bike shop or further along the coast. Make sure to ride safely and enjoy.

 

Cycle Max

1018 East Coast Parkway, Singapore

The nearest MRT station is Eunos. From there, you could get on Bus 55 and then walk for another 20 minutes. Alternatively, you could get a taxi to drop you off at Car Park C3.

 

 WiFi tip: There is a wireless@sg hotspot at the KFC at Big Splash.

 

Restroom tip: There are plenty of restrooms and showers along East Coast Parkway. Most are clean and provide toilet paper, but it’s always advisable to carry your own tissue.

 

Hawker Food on East Coast 

 

Like everywhere in Singapore, there are plenty of places to eat along the East Coast. Locals come to relax at the many famous food outlets in the area, and the more-adventurous tourists can sample authentic dishes. However, the place where you’ll find the most number of locals is East Coast Lagoon Food Village.

 

This hawker centre is one of the more up-market food centres in Singapore, offering great options at reasonable prices. You’ll find pretty much any local food you can think of here, although East Coast is famous for its satays. There are quite a few little stalls set up in the pavilion, with cooks slaving away over hot coals to prepare crispy and succulent satays for customers. These stalls are some of my favourite places to eat.

 

Another good dish to try is the pork noodles – sweet, succulent roasted pork (char siew) on top of springy egg noodles. Alternatively, have a bowl of rich and creamy laksa. Laksa is a traditional Peranakan dish. Peranakan cuisine started back in the days when Singapore was part of Malaysia and many Chinese settlers travelled south to Malaysia and Indonesia and married the local women, creating the tasty Peranakan cuisine. The cuisine’s flavours are truly unique. As such, if you haven’t tried it already, you should think about doing so.

 

There is plenty of seating at the food centre. Furthermore, most of it is covered, making the area a great place to wait out one of Singapore’s famous downpours. Make sure you note your table number before ordering food. That way you can tell the hawker where you are seated. In most cases, they’ll bring the food straight to you (talk about good service). Usually, you’ll pay once your meal is delivered. Make sure to get your money ready, so you can dive into your food as soon as it arrives.

 

East Coast Lagoon Hawker Village

1220 East Coast Parkway, Singapore

 

The nearest MRT is Bedok Station. From there, you can reach the food centre within a 35-minute walk. You can also take a bus to Victoria School and then walk for about 15 minutes to reach the area. Alternatively, you could get a taxi to drop you off at Car Park E2.

 

WiFi tip: There is a wireless@sg hotspot at the KFC at Big Splash.

 

Restroom tip: East Coast Lagoon Food Village has good restrooms that are free and clean. Some are Western-style restrooms, while others are local-style restrooms.