October 22, 2017
| On 1 year ago

North Eastern Riverine Loop: Go On A Couple Photoshoot While Binge Hiking Along This Scenic Park Connector

By Terence Tan

As a country famed for our food, multi-racial society and well, kiasu culture, 2-in-1 deals for the kiasu Singaporean are not unheard of. While such deals often involve some kind of money-saving hack, forget about that for now and hear me out on this 2-in-1 dating idea.

For all the laojiao couples on this small, sunny island who have long run out of novel dating activities, don’t say I bojio.

Running through the heartlands of Buangkok, Sengkang and Punggol before continuing into the rustic landscapes of Punggol Beach, Punggol Promenade and Lorong Halus Wetland, the North Eastern Riverine Loop is no doubt one of the most scenic park connectors in Singapore.

The best part? This hiking trail is chock-full of insta-worthy spots where you can practise posing for a couple photoshoot in the embrace of nature. Since it’s a couple photoshoot, you must be wondering… who takes the photos?

Well, you can either do it like the Koreans and bring along a small smartphone tripod or you can always pull along a friend who’s a professional third-wheeler (ahem, photographer).

Technically, the trail starts at Punggol Park but you can choose to skip it and head directly to Punggol Riverside Promenade Walk instead since there isn’t much to see or take there (personally tried and test by yours truly).

Otherwise, you can treat this as a warm up hike for what’s to come.

Something I really liked about Punggol Riverside Promenade Walk is its abundance of lookout points that allow visitors to get closer to the adjacent Serangoon Reservoir. Besides, lookout points are literally the best spots for a “looking out into the distance” shot.

From Punggol Riverside Promenade Walk, follow the signs and head to Lorong Halus Wetland — a landfill that has now been transformed into a wetland, spanning an area of 18 football fields.

Before entering the wetland, you will be greeted by this red and elegant Lorong Halus Bridge that resembles an old, steel railway bridge. The unique geometry here is something you can play with while framing the shot.

Lorong Halus Wetland may be a pretty early checkpoint on the map but trust me, you will definitely be spending quite some time here.

Remember when Punggol used to be insta-famous for its ridiculously photogenic fields of lalang? That field is now pretty barren and I have no clue as to what happened but in its stead, I found this field of cattails that’s equally (or possibly even more) photogenic.

Pro-tip: Go for a slightly low-angle shot for a different perspective. Also, silently pray for the skies to look this blue for you.

If the journey so far has been tough, press on. Well, at least till you reach Sengkang Riverside Park. Home to a unique wetland that was constructed to collect and filter rainwater naturally through its aquatic plants, the hidden corners around the park are pretty damn photogenic as well.

En route to Sengkang Floating Wetland, you will come across this river bank (sorta) that looks like a scene right out of a Taiwanese coming-of-age film. Depending on the time of day, the light and shadow play creates a really surreal mood for pictures too.

From the river bank, Sengkang Floating Wetland is just a five-minute walk away. While I personally feel that this wetland is a tad bit disappointing as compared to the Lorong Halus one, it does have a nice, fruity surprise in store for you.

And by fruity surprise, I mean this huge-ass mangosteen that’s seemingly floating on the wetland. Even at a distance it will probably catch your attention, but as you venture closer you will find that it’s actually a pavilion/shelter-like thing for visitors to take a break (or a photo) in.

Regardless of how shag you may be at this point, don’t forget to take one for the ‘gram and add a few splashes of colour to your feed.

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More often than not, 2-in-1 deals may seem a little too good to be true but in this case, let me leave it to you to decide. I mean, I did deliver my promise of a 2-in-1 dating idea, right?

North Eastern Riverine Loop: Start at Punggol Park, Hougang Avenue 8 and Hougang Avenue 10, Singapore 538768

Terence Tan

Terence aspires to be a photojournalist. He loves spending his free time exploring Singapore and attributes this hobby to binge watching Dora the Explorer when he was a rug rat.