May 28, 2012

Punggol Park - Into the Heart of the Opposition ward

Thanks to the strange Hot/Wet weather of the past few weeks, I came down with flu and fever last week and had to take a break from running, while the gang went for a run at Clark Quay. This week, with all the hype about the re-election hype for the member of parliament of the Worker's Party stronghold of Hougang, we decided to drop by the nearby Punggol Park for a Heartland run.

The Pond of Punggol Park. Lots of activites there!
Somebody declaring their love using balloons?

Punggol Park is a favorite hangout spot for many Hougang residents, with a coffee shop full of delicious cusines and a pub right at Punggol Park, Wild Oats. The only carpark at the park is right at the entrance of Wild Oats which is usually full by 6pm in the evening. I will recommend drivers to park at the various HDB carparks across the parks as parking is much more ample.

The 401 Coffeeshop. Always crowded with hungry locals!
The small carpark outside Wild Oats
Punggol Park itself is a pretty small park with a small pond in the middle and it boast a 1.3km track around the pond with slight elevations here and there. Today, however, we are not planing to do laps around the park. Too boring for our taste. We decided to explore the PCN connecting Ang Mo Kio, Punggol Promenade and Tampines road.

The signpost marks the PCN at Punggol Park
The T junction which will lead you to east, north and central of Singapore
A short exploration of the park will reveal the nearby Park Connector which is running along a canal/river. The route is pretty smooth for runners and bikers alike as the various underpass allows an uninterrupted journey from Punggol Park all the way to Punggol Promenade. You read it correct, there is no traffic lights or road junctions along the way! Road signs are clear and the running track is wide, enough for bikes to zoom along without endangering the runners.
If you are tall, you have to watch your head!

There is an abundance of Singaporeans working out along the area and few families clusters, which are often seen at East Coast Park or Punggol Promenade, are sighted along this path. Perhaps there is no nearby bicycle kisok, which is probably the leading cause of family clusters, along with kids on deadly bikes. Surprisingly, there are quite a number of young ladies working out along this route. Typically, most of the people working out on these running routes are guys, who are obviously doing last minute training for their annual National Service fitness test (IPPT), fit looking guys looking cool in their shades doing long distance running, or elderly gentlemen also doing their marathons. Seldom do you see the famously slender Singaporean ladies working out and it's no wonder that people always wonder what do our local ladies do, to maintain their waistlines. Well, my conclusion is that quite a number of them are working out along the Punggol Park/Punggol Promenade PCN!

You can see Sengkang estate ahead
Wild undeveloped land on the other side of the river
Along the way, I ran into an ex-colleague and we had a good 15 mins chat. By timing is pretty off by than and I decided to turn back. My stamina is quite horrible this week anyway, thanks to the flubug!

The spot where I met my ex-colleague
Sunset is glorious, over the Hougang estate
This stretch of the Park connector is pretty interesting in my opinion. It connects the mature estate of Hougang to the relatively much new estates of Sengkang and Punggol and the undeveloped land across the river to the east. You can do a straight run and end at Punggol Riverside Walk and dine in fastfood and seafood restaurants or you can do a run from the other direction and end up at the coffeeshops and pubs of Hougang and Upper Serangoon Road. If you feel you are up for a longer run, you can try for the longer route along the Punggol Promenade or towards Ang Mo Kio where you can end up at Kallang River. With so many alternative routes to explore and pretty ladies to encounter, we decided that this area deserves a second and perhaps a third run, to fully appreciate the potential Punggol Park and the surrounding PCN can offer.
 
Did a short 4km run


Location: Punggol Park, Singapore

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