Not Your Usual Staycation: Heartland Holiday In Bedok
Mention Bedok and most of us would probably think of glorious hawker food or the “infamous” Bedok Reservoir. But a staycation? Most people won’t be too enthusiastic about doing a staycay in the heartlands, but here’s where we’ll prove you wrong. From a treetop obstacle course and ziplining to possibly the most Instagram-worthy public library in our Little Red Dot, we’ll show you why Bedok can give you a novel staycay experience that’s anything but mainstream.
And for you history buffs out there, you can even take a trip back in time through the Bedok heritage trail to learn about this heartland’s former identity as a fishing coastal settlement and its colonial history.
WHERE TO STAY
There aren’t many choices for a place to stay overnight here, but Q Loft Bedok is more than decent to recharge after a day full of activities. This nondescript hotel doesn’t look fancy from the outside, but step into the rooms at Q Loft Bedok and you’ll find that they are clean and modern – no frills, with everything you need packed in a small room. There are plenty of reviews giving Q Loft Bedok a thumbs up for their excellent staff service.
For a more comfortable staycation weekend, we’d recommend the Double Room or the Triple Room - the latter with a double bed and an additional single bed to accommodate a small family.
When you’re feeling peckish, there’s a supermarket nearby and a number of restaurants downstairs that open ‘till late. Take note that it’s easier to check in to Q Loft Bedok from Tanah Merah MRT station, so don’t rush out when the train stops at Bedok MRT.
WHAT TO DO
Besides the excellent makan spots here, Bedok has something for nature lovers as well – a forest “oasis” up north from New Bedok Town. Bedok Reservoir has a reputation among non-Bedokians as being a haunted spot, but for those living here, it’s a hotspot for water sports and fun family activities.
Spend your morning with a jog around the 4.3 km track, then rent a kayak from the PAssion WaVe outlet here (only between Wednesdays to Sundays) and paddle your worries away. Don’t forget to wear quick drying clothes and strapped sandals for a comfortable kayaking experience. Once you’re tuckered out, chill at the floating deck for a fantastic view of Bedok Reservoir.
Adrenaline junkies (and Tarzan wannabes) should make their way to Forest Adventure, the only treetop obstacle course in all of Singapore. The Grand Course has 44 wobbly crossings to make your knees weak and arms spaghetti, plus three zip lines to really get your blood pumping.
Set aside two and a half hours for your Forest Adventure trip. There’s even a Kids’ Course and Junior Course with their own set of obstacles more suited for the young ones. Make an online booking before you pay them a visit.
Sports is at the heart of Bedok – specifically, the sprawling [email protected] complex. There’s an eight-lane indoor swimming pool for your cardio workout, and a jacuzzi to relax in. The little ones will have a fun time at the pool playground too. If swimming is not up your alley, fret not - the complex also comes equipped with badminton courts, a gym, and a tennis centre.
And since you’re already here, why not hit the books at the public library at [email protected]? Even if reading is not your thing, the honeycomb-inspired interior design is sure to make your Instagram feed pop.
Next, head down towards the Bedok side of East Coast Park, where you’ll find the Xtreme SkatePark. You’ll find plenty of people on wheels from early in the morning. If you’re looking to pick up skateboarding or roller-skating, this is the place to be. Did we mention that it is also the spiritual home of the Singapore Skateboarding Championship?
Further down is the Bedok Jetty. The long 250m stretch is popular with the local fishing community, but even if you aren’t an angler, the Bedok Jetty is the best spot to jog or cycle while enjoying the sea breeze.
WHERE TO EAT
No one would bat an eyelid if you told them you came all the way from Punggol or Woodlands just to makan at Bedok. This here is a foodie’s paradise – you could spend the entire day committing gluttony and still not cover everything there is to offer. We didn’t even cover a quarter of the good eats in Bedok while we were there.
Set your map app to Bedok 85 (aka Fengshan Market and Food Centre, but no one calls it that) to sample some of Bedok’s best food in one place. Here’s our cheat sheet for the stalls you need to visit. Let us know which one is your favourite!
• Bak chor mee at either Xing Ji Rou Cuo Mian or Seng Hiang’s
• Fried Oyster Omelette at Bedok 85
• Wanton Noodle at Swatow
• BBQ chicken wings at either Sin Bedok North or Chong Pang Huat
• Sambal stingray at either Chan BBQ or Chomp Chomp BBQ
• Satay beehoon at Shi Wei Da
• Actual satay from Lin Yuan
• Chai Chee Pork Porridge for its namesake
Once you’ve stuffed yourself silly, grab some old school desserts at the nearby Lek Lim Nonya Cake Confectionery. This shop has been around since the '60s, serving its best-selling colourful Kueh Lapis Nyonya. Do also try their other Nyonya delights such as the Ondeh Ondeh Gula Melaka, pulut inti, kotoh ubi, and kueh salat. Prices are wallet-friendly too.
Halal options are aplenty in Bedok too. Badoque in Simpang Bedok has got you covered for Asian-Western fare, serving a mean wagyu steak, beef ribs, and Shabsouka. Do order the potato wrapped shrimp to start. For other halal-friendly eats, check out What I Eat In My Hood: Bedok Halal Edition.
For dessert, grab a cuppa with a slice of banana loaf cake at Percolate. This quiet spot also serves unique tea options like their Kukicha (Shizuoka green tea), Chai Milkshake, and Matcha Milo Dinosaur. If you’re still a little hungry, order a Fishcake Laksa or Hae Bee Hiam croissant sandwich for something out of the ordinary.
If ice cream is more your thing, then you’ll have to try FATCAT Ice Cream Bar’s Signature Charcoal Waffle with salted egg sauce. This hidden gem is for the adventurous sweet tooth, with other interesting creations like the Lime Mojito Sphere and the Reverse S’mores to look forward to.
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