Most Singaporeans have little idea of what the north has to offer; after all, it is one of the least developed areas on our island, unlike the traditional east and industrial west. Exclusively for your information, here are 6 facts about Sembawang only the locals northerners will know.
Sembawang is named after a tree.
When the British were doing urban planning in Singapore after Sir Stamford Raffles had landed, the area was named Sembawang after the iconic Mesua ferruginea, locally known as Sembawang trees, in the area. Today, you can find a Sembawang tree as you can see above at the carpark of Sembawang Park.
Sembawang is where the northernmost point of Singapore is.
A mere one kilometre swim away from Johor Bahru, the Senoko Industrial Estate is the northernmost part of Singapore where you will find various familiar names such as Sunshine Bakeries and the Yakult Factory. Right at the northernmost edge of Singapore is the SAF Yacht club, where you can find a small resort for a staycation, sea-sport activities for the adventurous and even a course where you can obtain your Power Pleasure Craft Driving License so that you can drive that swanky boat of yours.
Sembawang has one of only two natural sandy beaches in Singapore.
The geographical conditions necessary for sandy beaches to form are not as common as you think they are, which is why many people pay big bucks to holiday at popular sandy beaches around the world. However, you can find one such beach right here in Sembawang, at Sembawang Park. Many coastal resorts pay billions of dollars to build and maintain sandy beaches – not here. Mother Nature has blessed Sembawang with a idylic, natural sandy beach popular with families and fishermen. The other natural sandy beach in Singapore is Changi Beach.
Sembawang has the only natural hot spring in Singapore.
Nobody needs to go all the way to Taiwan or Japan for an onsen experience. You can find a much more economical but equally downsized and cheapskate alternative right here on our tiny island, between Gambas Avenue and Sembawang Road. It was discovered way back in the early 1900s and was even converted into a recreational thermal bath place for Japanese soldiers during the Japanese Occupation. Today, the SAF has taken over the area but has kept the hot spring accessible to locals from 7 am to 7 pm.
Sembawang has the tastiest white seafood bee hoon in Singapore.
Although they have since expanded and opened outlets in various places, You Huak Restaurant at Jalan Tampang has long been patronised by locals for its smooth and flavourful seafood white beehoon. More commonly known as “sembawang white beehoon” in the local lingo, they have rebranded themselves as White Restaurant and seem to be extending their reach throughout the island. Expect to queue for at least 45 minutes during lunch and dinner times just to get a seat at the original restaurant found just opposite of Sembawang Shopping Centre.
Sembawang is where the only God of Wealth temple in Singapore can be found.
It is hardly a surprise to find a temple solely dedicated to the taoist God of Wealth, or cai shen, right here in capitalist and mercantile Singapore; it might be a surprise to find it in the far north though. With a 31-feet high, 8 tonne God of Wealth statue, it is no surprise that the temple draws businessmen and Singaporeans from all walks of life to seek the blessing of one of the most popular deities in Singaporean Chinese culture.
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