Decades before Yishun was transformed into the New Town we know today, the precinct was home to indigenous nomadic boat dwellers called Orang Seletar. Pepper and gambier plantations flourished. After the pepper and gambier planters relocated to Johor, came a young industrialist named Lim Nee Soon who leased lots of freehold land from the British colonial government to cultivate rubber and pineapple.

The villagers who worked for him supplemented their livelihood by growing their own vegetables and fruit, rearing poultry and pigs, and taking up fishery. In recognition of Lim’s contributions to the prosperity of the district, the area was named “Yishun” after his Chinese name.

Redevelopment by the Singapore government began in 1976, where villages made way for new Housing Development Board flats, schools, places of worship and modern buildings. On May 27, 1992, Singapore’s first multiplex was opened at Yishun Central 1.

If you don’t live in the area, you may find that travelling to Yishun is an excursion in itself. But did you know Yishun is home to some amazing deals which will make your trip worthwhile?

1. Landed property at less than $450 psf

This spacious townhouse at Skies Miltonia is listed at $2.9 million, or less than $630 psf. (Credit: PropertyGuru.com.sg)

This spacious townhouse at Skies Miltonia is listed at $2.9 million, or less than $630 psf. (Credit: PropertyGuru.com.sg)

If you run a search on PropertyGuru.com.sg, you’ll find five-bedroom terraced houses in The Shaughnessy, a private development in Miltonia Close, being listed for as low as $1.4 million. That’s less than $450 per square foot! Another star find is a spacious, one-year-old, 4,672 sq ft five-bedroom townhouse in Skies Miltonia, at a negotiable $2.9 million. It sounds like a hefty sum but it still works out to less than $630 psf, which is a fraction of the price of a condo apartment in a similar estate.

With property regulations recently being relaxed, why not shop around in Yishun for your next residence? As you’ll see below, Yishun is quite the place to eat, play, and be entertained.

2. Hold a wedding solemnisation ceremony for less than $60 per pax

Hold your solemnisation ceremony at the Lakehouse in ORTO, Lorong Chencharu, for an off-the-beaten-track experience. (Credit: orto.sg)

Hold your solemnisation ceremony at the Lakehouse in ORTO, Lorong Chencharu, for an off-the-beaten-track experience. (Credit: orto.sg)

Today, when you visit areas like ORTO in Lorong Chencharu, you can still see traces of Yishun’s rustic yesteryear. Formerly known as Bottle Tree Park, ORTO is a multi-recreational park open to the public 24 hours a day. It features outdoorsy activities like prawning, longkang fishing, inline skating, karting, and trampolining. It also has a paintball park for events and a Diggersite for kids. Check out Featherhood Sg for their free-flight sessions for macaws. After your excursion, you can relax at one of the restaurants located in ORTO for a nice dinner before calling it a day.

The Lakehouse at ORTO is a quaint location for events like wedding solemnisation ceremonies, too. Their wedding packages start at $3,288 for 60 pax.

3. Lelong durians at Chong Pang City

Expert bargain durian hunters are bound to visit Chong Pang City for the thrill of the "durian-tikam" game. (Credit: Khunthaiderick Khunchai on Facebook)

Expert bargain durian hunters are bound to visit Chong Pang City for the thrill of the “durian-tikam” game. (Credit: Khunthaiderick Khunchai on Facebook)

History nerd tidbit: “Chong Pang” is in actual fact the name of Lim Nee Soon’s second son. The “city” was built in 1993 when shopkeepers, merchants and tradesmen at Yishun Ring Road pooled their resources and upgraded their commercial units into a shopping area with pedestrian malls and archways. It is made up of 125 shops, a food centre and wet market stalls.

The area comes alive during durian season. You’ll find all manner of makeshift stalls hawking durians at prices to outdo each other, thereby contributing to Chong Pang’s reputation of selling some of the cheapest durians in Singapore, at three for $20, or even $0.20 a fruit. But are they the best? That depends on whether your durian-tikam skills are up to muster.

4. Coba Coba Nasi Ambeng – for Insta-worthy decor and food

Nasi ambeng at Coba Coba is a feast for the eyes and the tummy. (Credit: Pei Yun Cheng on Facebook)

Nasi ambeng at Coba is a feast for the eyes and the tummy. A Deluxe set like this starts from $33.90.
(Credit: Pei Yun Cheng on Facebook)

I need to state a disclaimer: I’ve never eaten at this casual Halal eatery, even though apparently it is popular with the likes of Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, going by the photos posted on its Facebook page. But after looking at said page, I’m not only going to go out on a limb and recommend that you eat here, but also consider working here – they feed their staff what they sell, which includes fresh seafood such as flower crabs and squid! Slurps.

The Smart Local listed Coba as one of the top 10 prettiest Halal cafes in Singapore and Mothership.sg listed it as one of the die-die-must-try foods in Yishun. Coba is at 156 Yishun Street 11 #01-106, Singapore 760156. Check out their Facebook page for opening hours.

5. Win GV gift cards and movie passes at GV Yishun on May 28 (Sunday)

Be sure to purchase a pair of tickets to any movie screening happening on May 28, to qualify for a birthday bash goodie bag. (Credit: Golden Village)

Be sure to purchase a pair of tickets to any movie screening happening on May 28, to qualify for a birthday bash goodie bag. (Credit: Golden Village)

Remember I mentioned earlier that Singapore’s first multiplex was built in Yishun? I’m referring to Yishun 10, otherwise known as Golden Village Yishun. That’s also GV’s first cinema in Singapore! To celebrate its 25th birthday this year, GV is organising an amazing birthday bash where they’re giving away 250 goodie bags containing gift cards, movie passes, popcorn combos and popcorn vouchers!

All you have to do is purchase a pair of tickets to any May 28 movie screening at GV Yishun to qualify for a goodie bag redemption. You don’t need to purchase them on the day itself – you can do so in advance online or at one of GV’s automated ticketing machines. Then, on May 28 itself, bring your ticket stub or electronic ticket to the redemption booth at the ground level of Yishun 10 to collect your free goodie bag.

LOVE 97.2FM DJs Dennis Chew 周崇庆 and Kenneth Kong 江坚文 will be hosting the event and calling up participants onstage to share #MyGVStory, and you can win prizes on the spot too. #MyGVStory is an ongoing Instagram campaign to get moviegoers to share a GV-related memory, with attractive prizes to be won every week until August 31. On May 28, those who get called onstage by Chew will stand to win Gold Class passes, GV gift cards and more.

Details here:

When: May 28, 2017 (Sunday); 2 pm onwards
Where: Yishun 10, ground floor. Redemption booth will be set up next to the stage – you won’t miss it.
What’s happening: Buy a pair of tickets to any May 28 movie screening at GV Yishun to qualify for goodie bag redemption. Limited to one goodie bag per pair of tickets. Bring your stubs or e-ticket to the booth for proof of purchase. Participate in the birthday event with hosts Dennis Chew and Kenneth Kong and stand to win more prizes such as Gold Class passes and GV gift cards.
Why the goodie bags are worth it: The first 50 goodie bags each contain a popcorn combo voucher and GV gift cards worth $38; the second 100 goodie bags each contain 4 x GV movie passes and a popcorn voucher; the last 100 goodie bags each contain 2 x GV movie passes. To be given away on first come, first served basis.

Sources: Infopedia, PropertyGuru.com.sg, Discoversg.com, The Independent Singapore, The Smart Local, Mothership.sg