Everything You Need To Know About Yishun

Ultimate Guide to Yishun

When you buy new condos in Singapore, do you avoid the area Yishun? Yishun is commonly referred to as the “Florida” of Singapore due to a shady reputation brought about by the prevalence of internet memes and instances of unusual and bizarre incidents in the region. However, do most Singaporeans really know much about Yishun beyond the crazy cat killings and murderers?

This article aims to show you around the places of interest in Yishun and where to find the most interesting activities, giving a more holistic overview of Yishun.

Demographics and Stats

Here are some basic facts about Yishun in terms of its demographics and overview.

Yishun occupies an area of 21.2 km2 and is located in the Northern Region of Singapore. It is generally believed to be the home of mysterious cat killers, loonies and crazy incidents by the masses. Yishun was formerly named Nee Soon, after businessman Lim Nee Soon, who was an influential plantation owner in the early 20th century. The Chong Pang subzone is named after his son Lim Chong Pang.

According to the Yishun City Population Map, Yishun has about 210,000 inhabitants(as of 2017), with about 50% of them being Male and 50% being Female. The overall population density of the entire district is about 9,906/km2 which is slightly higher than Singapore’s average population density(at 8,155/km2). Rest easy however, for most of that is concentrated around Yishun’s town centre and the regions surrounding it, such as Khatib, Yishun South and Yishun North. Less crowded areas include Nee Soon Subzone, Lower Seletar and Springleaf, although Springleaf may be considered an extension of Upper Thompson.(Is Springleaf part of Yishun? Leave your answer in the comments below.)

73.9% of residents are aged 15 to 64, with majority of that group falling into either the 30 – 39 category or the 50 -59 category. Children and the elderly are not very well represented compared to those who are middle aged.

Most of the Yishun population resides in HDBs, with about 91% of them residing in HDB flats. The rest of the population either resides in Condominiums(6%) or Landed Property(2%). The main non-civilian areas are Chong Pang Camp and Khatib Camp.

Overall, if you are a huge fan of being in a bustling environment, Yishun may be a good place to start, with its high population density and accessibility to places of interest within the district. Do bear in mind that the population statistics omit figures for people who travel to Yishun for work, recreation or any other activity, so expect more human traffic around Yishun.

Special Features of Yishun

If you haven’t been acquainted with the dark reputation that Yishun possesses, it may be a good idea to check out this informative blog about the crazy incidents that have taken place in Yishun over the years. Various theories have surfaced about why Yishun is the epicentre of odd incidents, but my favourite theory is the one that this is all a media conspiracy that has been blown out of proportion by opportunistic journalists, bloggers and publications online. Being such a safe country, Singaporeans have to make up stories and drama to keep themselves occupied with the boring drudgery that is daily life, and using Yishun’s cat killings, murders and drug heists makes for a more exciting tale to tell. “The Devil’s Ring”, located around Yishun Central, is a location where most of the uncanny incidents occur, which is probably due to the higher population density and potential for conflict between people.

On the bright side, Yishun is one of Singapore’s more accessible heartland areas for residents, with bus services that are frequent and a centralised MRT location. With an emphasis on nature and the outdoors, Yishun’s family-friendly recreation areas are one of the main attractions. The largest mall in Yishun, Northpoint, also boasts a nice selection of stores, restaurants and services. In 2016, Yishun was designated the first Dementia-friendly district in Singapore too.

Food

Singaporeans love to eat, so finding good spots to chow down on some delicacies is essential. Here is a quick list of some prominent food establishments in Yishun, ranging from hawker fare to “atas” restaurant food.

#1: Arnold’s Fried Chicken

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Who needs KFC when you have AFC? Arnold’s is a cozy fried chicken establishment located near Yishun MRT, selling delicious fried chicken. While it is a local fast food chain with various outlets all around the country, Arnold’s is dedicated to serving fresh food to customers, which it has done for the last 30 years. Personally, having tried the signature fried chicken meal, I believe this is one of the best Fried Chicken joints in the country. It is also one of the first Halal eateries in Singapore too!

Food: 7/10
Accessibility: 10/10

#2: 928 Laksa

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Every foodie that’s worth their salt has heard of the famous 928 Laksa, located at block 928 in Yishun. The delicious noodles are aromatic and affordable(the small bowl sells for $2.80) and many loyal customers have cited that they grew up eating these amazing spicy noodles. The special chilli sauce is the secret magical ingredient that makes this Laksa so tantalising.
People travelling by public transport will have to walk a short distance to find this local delicacy, but it is definitely worth the time.

Food: 8/10
Accessibility: 9/10

#3: 925 Chicken Rice

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Next on the list is 925 Chicken Rice, located at block 925(what a surprise), next to Northpoint Mall. This stall’s main dish is Steamed Chicken Rice(白斩鸡), which has fragrant rice and a juicy texture. Drenched in sauce and complemented with a decent serving of cucumber and achar, this dish is one of the best Hainanese Chicken Rice in the North.

Food: 8.5/10
Accessibility: 9/10

#4:Chong Pang Food Centre

Chong Pang Food Centre is a renowned hawker centre in Yishun West that contains some of the best hawker fare available to man. Foodies can find tasty Ayam Penyet, Kway Chap and Fishball Noodles here, and the Prawn Noodles pack a punch too. To top it off, Chong Pang’s “apex predator” is the Nasi Lemak – so good that it can be considered King of the North. With a wide selection of food and a bustling environment, Chong Pang Food Centre is a must-visit for hardcore food enthusiasts. It can get a bit crowded during peak periods, so you might have to wait a bit for the queues to clear up.

Update: Chong Pang Nasi Lemak has moved to 447 Sembawang Road, 758404(next to Chong Pang Camp)and is open from 5PM to 7AM(sorry Lunch lovers).

Food:9/10
Accessibility:7/10

#5: BurgerUP

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BurgerUP is a fast food chain that specialises in burgers(didn’t see that one coming), with an emphasis on quick service and good ingredients. Their main specialty is allowing customers to build their own burgers, from the patty, bun and fillings down to the sides and drink, like a custom burger creation machine. Located near Northpoint mall, this premium burger outlet uses touchscreens to order, greatly improving the speed of orders. So if you like fast food to be really fast, this is the outlet for you.

Food:6/10
Accessibility:10/10

#6:Heng Hua Zi Char

Heng Hua(sometimes referred to as Xing Hua) Zi Char is a chinese restaurant that serves Putian cuisine(Putianese are an ethnic group from Fujian province). Located at 748 Yishun Street, this authentic eatery has a large variety of traditional dishes, ranging from Bee Hoon to Bamboo Shoots and Spinach. It would be hard to recommend just a single dish on the menu as almost everything tastes stellar, so just check out the restaurant to experience the delight firsthand!

Food: 9/10
Accessibility:7/10

#7:Coba Coba

If you are looking for authentic delicious Indonesian cuisine, look no further than Coba Coba. Located in a cozy corner near Chong Pang, this establishment is great for Halal Indonesian cuisine which is delightful and doesn’t cost an arm and leg. The Nasi Padang and Sumatran Coffee are the main attractions for visitors, with many praising the spiciness and flavour of the Beef Rendang and the fragrant rice. Their takeout is also amazing, with Nasi Padang served in a huge platter that is an amazing spectacle – definitely a place to check out if you enjoy awesome food.

Food: 8/10
Accessibility: 8/10

#8: 618 Carrot Cake

Finding good Carrot Cake or “luo bo gao/cai dao kueh” in Singapore is not an easy task, as there are so many stalls to choose from, yet so few that are great. Located in Block 618 in Yishun, this unassuming carrot cake stall serves up some delicious food for an affordable price, so be sure to check it out. The only cons are that it is located in a relatively isolated part of Yishun which is not often easy to find – but with Google Maps and a bit of walking, you’ll get there in no time!

Food: 7/10
Accessibility: 4/10

#9: 632 Yishun Wanton Noodles

The trend of naming food stalls after the block that they are located in continues with 632 Wanton Noodles, a cozy little wanton noodle stall that also offers decent spinach noodle and chicken feet noodles. Be warned – this stall is so popular that their food is usually sold out by 10am on weekends, and if you’re unlucky, they might even be closed before 10am! On weekdays, the stall closes in the early afternoon. The stall is nearer to Khatib MRT station than it is to Yishun MRT, located at Block 632 Yishun Ring Road.

Food: 9/10
Accessibility: 5/10

#10: Hup Lee Fried Bee Hoon

According to most patrons of this economical Bee Hoon stall located within Chong Pang Food Centre, this is one of the best meals ever for breakfast. With generous servings of bee hoon coated with slick deliciousness and “toppings” that the customer can choose, this Bee Hoon is a scrumptious meal that will cause you to feel guilty for indulging in greatness. It was so good we decided to give it its own spot on this list!

Food:10/10
Accessibility: 7/10

#11:Choo Chiang Roast Noodle

Yishun is no stranger to good Wanton mee joints, and this is one of the better stalls around. With a delectable offering of Hong Kong style roasted char siew in their Wanton noodles and great crunchy vegetables, Choo Chiang Roast Noodle is a decent option for food explorers to try out. It is conveniently located near Chong Pang market along Yishun Avenue 5.

Food: 7/10
Accessibility: 6/10

#12:Lu Jia Fish Soup

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Life changing fish soup in a bowl

Finding unique Fish Soup stalls in Singapore is no easy feat, but we believe we have found one in Lu Jia Fish Soup. The queues are always long at the A’Posh Biz Hub Food Court where they are located, and rightfully so. The unique blend of fish slices and fried fish mixed with a tasty soup base will leave you wanting more, and that’s not all. A variety of add-ons can be purchased, including fried egg fluff, ikan bilis, noodles, rice, fried fish skin, beancurd and yam rice. The unique blend of spices in the chilli sauce also makes the Lu Jia experience tough to forget. It may be a bit tougher to locate than some other items on this list, but if you make the trip to A’Posh Biz Hub, you will not regret your decision one bit.

Food:10/10
Accessibility:5/10

#13:Holy Cow Creamery

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No food list would be complete without dessert, which is why Holy Cow Creamery makes this list of great places for foodies in Yishun. You might exclaim “holy cow” when you take your first bite of their delicious ice cream(which is probably made with some holy cow’s milk).The main attraction of Holy Cow is their special waffles, especially the charcoal flavoured one, which appears to be a fan-favourite. With a great ambience, and boasting a nice selection of treats for cafe hoppers, Yishun’s only dessert cafe certainly lives up to its reputation.

Food:8/10
Accessibility: 7/10

#14:Taste of Thailand

Taste of Thailand is an authentic thai restaurant located near the Chong Pang Food centre, offering a wide variety of Thai delicacies and dishes. The best dishes on offer are the fried grouper, deep fried cuttlefish and Seafood Curry. Taste of Thailand also puts the ‘yum’ in heir Tom Yum, with a unique taste that words can’t describe. The prices for food here are also affordable, with a meal for 4 averaging less than $30.

Food: 8.5/10
Accessibility:7/10

#15: Pizza Maru

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Fusion food is underrepresented in Yishun, with most of the top food options being traditional cuisines. Pizza Maru is a Korean pizza establishment found in Yishun’s largest mall, Northpoint, serving an interesting blend of American and Korean styled food. Pizza is the main attraction here, with fun and creative variants such as mango, BBQ sauce with icing and even Kimchi! Other Korean delicacies offered include Bulgogi, Bingsu and Super Hot Dak Gangjeong Fried Chicken. An absolute calorie fest awaits at Pizza Maru, but that doesn’t deter most foodies.

Food: 9/10
Accessibility:10/10

#16:Yishun Park Hawker Centre

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Move aside Chong Pang Food Centre, a new hawker centre is about the take the spotlight. Boasting a wide repertoire of local hawker delights, Yishun Park Hawker Centre is the only hawker centre in YIshun that can give Chong Pang a real run for their money. The top picks at this location include Ah Tan’s Wings, a delectable Har Cheong Gai stall, Smoking Joe’s Western Food, Xin Long Xing Seafood White Bee Hoon and Ajisai Ramen. WIth a total of 43 stalls to choose from, you will be spoiled for choice at this wonderful hawker centre.

Food:9/10
Accessibility: 5/10

#17: Lit Lit Sin Dessert

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Dessert lovers will be delighted at the inclusion of this comforting traditional hot and cold dessert stall in this list. Nostalgic treats such as Ice Kachang, Bubur chacha and Chng Tng are available at this quaint dessert hideout. Affordable and delicious, this dessert stall is a solid option for the local palate.

Food: 7.5/10
Accessibility: 7/10

#18:Fat Papas

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Started by celebrity Sheikh Haikel as a halal burger alternative to the popular fast food chain Fat Boys, this unassuming burger shop can be found on the corner of Northpoint mall, making it a highly accessible location. The offshoot of Fat Boys offers massive, greasy burgers which leave you wanting more. The cheese and juicy patties are absolutely fantastic. While the prices may be a little steeper than usual, the burgers are filling and tasty.

Food:8.5/10
Accessibility:10/10

#19: The French Table

Another great restaurant located in Northpoint, The French Table serves up fresh western cuisine which looks and tastes great. Offering a range of tastes from Duck Pasta to Vongole soup, The French Table does not disappoint with their top notch selection of ingredients and awesome presentation of food. Sadly, we couldn’t find any French tables there.

Food: 8/10
Accessibility:10/10

#20: Orchid Live Seafood Restaurant

Fancy enjoying some freshly cooked lobster and crab? Head down to Orchid Live Seafood Restaurant, located just opposite Khatib camp for some old-school seafood. The famous lobster porridge is a must-try for all, while a lad named Steve cooks up some amazing chicken wings(Steve’s wings). Great for large groups of hungry foodies to share the spoils.

Food: 10/10
Accessibility: 4/10

Parks and Recreation

Yishun isn’t just a place with delicious food, it is also home to some great places to engage in various activities! In addition to being the capital of Singapore for cat killings, Yishun contains a few sporting venues and places for humans to relax and enjoy themselves.

#1:SAFRA Yishun

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A wonderful country club for NSFs and Regular servicemen to relax and enjoy their days out of the drudgery of military life, this recreational club offers Karaoke, Food and drink, Pool, Swimming Pools and arcade machines. The facility also includes a bowling alley, shooting range and adventure sports centre, with rock climbing walls.

#2: Yishun Stadium, Yishun Sports Hall and Yishun Swimming Complex

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The triumvirate of sporting facilities are open for public use. Yishun Stadium is a standard stadium in Singapore, with a capacity of 3.400 seats and a 400m running track bordering a football field, while Yishun Sports Hall contains table tennis and badminton courts. The swimming complex is also a standard public swimming complex, with a 50m pool and the usual facilities that a swimming complex has.

#3:Yishun Park

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Yishun, like many other areas of Singapore, has parks and recreational areas that allow users to enjoy the natural landscape and take a break from the bustle of city life. Yishun park is one such location, situated in the eastern part of Yishun. Cycling, yoga and jogging are just some of the fun activities you can do in Yishun park. In addition, this park has an allotment garden, where residents can plant their own trees and shrubbery.

#4: Community Centres

Community centres are pretty much ubiquitous in Singapore now, and Yishun happens to have 3 CCs – Nee Soon East, Nee Soon South and Nee Soon Central(very creative names indeed). Each CC comes equipped with a multi-purpose hall, basketball court and conference room, except Nee Soon Central CC. Nee Soon East, in particular, was recently renovated and has its own rock-climbing wall. Residents can engage in a variety of activities ranging from sports to dancing and even computer courses. In short, Yishun is not short on options for senior citizens to while their time away learning new skills.

#5: Yishun Futsal

FutsalArena is an indoor football facility with professionally designed courts which are suitable for use in “all-weather”, located next to the jogging trail on Yishun Pond. In addition to the footballing facilities, there are 3 basketball courts and showers for athletes to utilise.

#6:ORTO

ORTO is a 24 hour leisure facility located in the southern part of Yishun. It contains a prawning centre, Fishing Paradise and even paintball. The ORTO dining facilities are top notch, with delicious seafood and mookata on the menu. ORTO is definitely one for the adventure-seeking local!

#7: Heritage Garden @ Yishun

Want to know a little bit more about the history of Yishun? Head on down to the Heritage [email protected], a quaint little garden with information etched on stone tablets.

#8: Orchid Country Club

The Orchid Country Club is located near Seletar, on the southern end of Yishun. Boasting a wide variety of activities such as golf, swimming,bowling, dancing and tennis, this recreational facility requires private membership(like all country clubs). Activities such as weddings and lavish dinners can also be had at Orchid Country Club, with an emphasis on premium service and enjoyment of members.

#9: Northpoint/GV Yishun

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Contrary to popular belief, Causeway Point is not the largest mall in the north. That honour goes to Yishun’s Northpoint City. Northpoint, after its recent renovation and expansion, has become the bustling hub of YIshun, housing a massive number of retail outlets. Located conveniently next to Yishun MRT and containing a whole list of awesome restaurants and eateries, this revamped attraction is now also housed under a condominium known as North Park Residences, making it a central location for metropolitan city dwellers. The Golden Village Cinema is also located nearby, rendering it easy to watch a movie and indulge in draining your wallet.

Schools

Yishun district contains many schools which are located everywhere around the region. 10 Primary Schools, 8 Secondary Schools and 1 Junior college occupy this region of Singapore. The only tertiary educational institution in Yishun is Yishun Junior College.

Primary Schools

  • Chongfu School
  • Yishun Primary
  • Xi Shan Primary
  • Huamin Primary
  • Jie Min Primary
  • Northview Primary
  • Northland Primary
  • Ahmad Ibrahim Primary
  • Naval Base Primary
  • Pei Ying Primary

Secondary Schools

  • Northland Sec
  • Yishun Town Sec
  • Naval Base Sec
  • Yishun Sec
  • Orchid Park
  • Northbrooks
  • Ahmad Ibrahim
  • Chung Cheng High School

Tertiary Education

  • Yishun JC

Transport and Others

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Khoo Teck Puat Hospital

Yishun MRT is the central connection hub of the district. Located next to Yishun Bus Interchange and Northpoint Mall, this train station is a part of the North-South Line, Singapore’s oldest MRT line. It is usually moderately crowded in the mornings and extremely packed during the evenings.

Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, a hospital opened in 2010, can be found opposite SAFRA Yishun. It contains 590 beds for its patients and has won numerous awards for its eco-friendly, green and energy efficient design.

Yishun has its own neighbourhood police posts scattered around the subzones, which come in pretty handy during emergencies or when the cat killer strikes again.

In addition to civilian facilities such as Yishun Polyclinic and the various Police posts, Yishun also contains a thriving industrial zone. Yishun Industrial Park and the various Business Hubs(stylised Biz Hubs)are inhabited by tech companies and heavy industries alike.

Housing

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Yishun is comprised mostly of HDB flats, with about 91% of the population residing in a HDB flat. As of March 2017, there were 60,904 HDB flats in Yishun. Being one of the older estates in Singapore, Yishun was revamped under the Remaking our Heartland(ROH) project in 2007, which saw Yishun Park transformed into Yishun Pond Park. Yishun’s various HDB estates have a classic HDB vibe to them, which contributes to Yishun’s overall Heartland atmosphere.

Condominiums are sparsely located around the outskirts of Yishun, making them a minority in this district. Less than 6% of the population live in condominiums, and only a little more than twenty condominiums can be found in Yishun. However, with new developments in store to rejuvenate Yishun, condominiums will be constructed in the future. To stay updated on the latest new condo launches in Yishun, visit New Condos Asia to find out more.

Conclusion

While Yishun may not have the best reputation in the media, this heartland district has a lot to offer in terms of delicious food and convenient transport, with Northpoint as the central locus of the area. As the area becomes more developed over time, Yishun could very well be known for more than just cat killings and weird siao langs. With new MRT lines being developed such as the Cross Island Line and North South Corridor Expressway, Yishun will become more connected to the other parts of Singapore, with better opportunities for expansion and growth. Start by checking out the latest condo projects in Yishun!

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James Yang

Associate Division Director at Huttons Asia Pte Ltd
James identifies the latest property trends to bring the most relevant advice to his clients.
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